Posted by psgels on 14 September 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews, Shangri-La

Well, this is going to be my hardest review to write this season: explaining why the heck I considered Shangri-La among my favourites for the past half year. Even though there is a lot to dislike this series for, it’s really a series that proves to be very solid entertainment for those willing to suspend their disbelief.

I think it’s best explained as follows: imagine a series with a straightforward story, a simple and small cast and a slow pacing. Now imagine a series with a huge setting, a large and diverse cast of characters who all have their own motives and stance, a multi-layered story with a fast pacing that delivers buckets of plot twists each episode. Now, which of these two is likely to have more plotholes? And which one is probably going to be more exciting?

That’s basically the thing with Shangri-La. Granted, throughout the series Kuniko does a number of things that are rather hard to suspend your disbelief at (including breaking the laws of physics), and plotholes are also pretty common for those who pay attention. But at the same time, it had just about everything I look for in an anime.

The concept of Carbon Trading might seem weird at first, but it’s a pretty neat idea for this series to work with, and the setting that this series built around this concept is rich and imaginative. There are lots of different parties with all different priorities, morals and values, and the same goes for the cast: there are a lot of characters, and yet there are hardly two characters with the same outlook on life: everyone feels like an individual, and is interesting to watch and develop. My personal favourite was Karin, who gets the most development in this series.

My favourite part of this series was the plot, though. Throughout the majority of the series, you’re never going to know what to expect. Especially a good portion of the middle part of this series is features an truly excellent mystery plot, in which every revelation only makes the setting even more intriguing than it already was. Every character has so his or her own secrets, that together form a multi-layered storyline that just keeps delivering.

Unfortunately, this series plays the “lazy”-card right at its ending, which is without a doubt rushed. I’m not sure why there are only 24 episodes for this series because it definitely could have used two more episodes to wrap up the story better. The story right now just wants a happy ending a little too badly, even though it has to use lots of deus ex machina to get there. A shame.

The visuals for this series are an interesting beast. They range from rushed to absolutely gorgeous. Especially the first couple of episodes suffer from a collection of rushed shots and drawings, but at the same time some episodes feature the single most visually pleasing shots that I have seen for the past half year. The animation also picks itself up very nicely in the second half, and delivers some really good use of CG and shading to make this a very aesthetically pleasing series. The soundtrack of this series is also among my three favourite soundtracks of the past half year (with the other two belonging to Phantom and the Guin Saga).

So yes, you’re going to have to bring a cup of suspense of disbelief when you want to watch this series, and if you’re not trying to turn over every stone in search of a flaw you’ll be rewarded by a great story with a great setting that always manages to bring something new to the table, instead of dragging at the same point over and over. It’s a fun and diverse series, but I can understand why many hate the plotholes with passion.

Storytelling: 9/10
Characters: 8/10
Production-Values: 9/10
Setting: 9/10

19 Responses

  1. Meep says:

    I’ve waiting for this review since last night, and I’m pretty satisfied with your review. You really enjoyed the series while acknowleding its many weaknesses, something I wish I could have done for Shangri-La.

    You made me appreciate the characters more. You’re right, none of them are exactly alike, and they’re certainly not like characters I’ve seen anywhere else (except Ryoko and Kuniko). In fact, they’re all VERY different, and some of their quirks make them special stand-out characters…definitely memorable.

    My hard time with Shangri-La was suspending my disbelief. I’ve watched a lot of fantasy anime where I’ve managed to get over that, and get sucked into the world the characters live in. But with Shangri-La, it just wasn’t happening.

    Before this turns into another rant, I just wanna say awesome job on your review. =] As always.


  2. supertauren says:

    The thing about this series is it has most of the elements that I absolutely hate about anime in it. You know, the little kid somehow beating up an adult or the little kid somehow being smarter than all the adults. It’s bullshit, and I hate it. Also, as you pointed out, lots of things in this series just defy common sense and scientific knowledge.

    However, this show obviously isn’t trying to be smart or realistic I think. Once you accept that, this show is pretty enjoyable. I marathoned most of the episodes after reading a few of your reviews for some of the episodes and I’m glad I did because I enjoyed watching this series. Sure there are flaws but it’s entertainment and I was definitely entertained watching this series.

    Maybe it was just the absolutely ridiculousness of this show that made it so entertaining for me. I mean if you just think about the cast it sounds interesting. A boomerang wielding girl, a tranny, greedy genius lolicon, uptight what what in the butt soldiers, crazy evil super computer villain, etc.

    Oh well, I’m sure there are a lot of people that will hate this show and it’s really understandable because there is a lot to hate about this show. But then again, there’s a lot to hate about Picasso, he painted shit, but people still love him and his work.

  3. RE says:

    Storytelling: 7/10
    Characters: 6/10
    Production-Values: 4/10
    Setting: 7/10

    Without Mikuni, this is nothing!

  4. blah says:

    Crap series -> crap ending. How could people expect anything different?

  5. Rex says:

    I will just make this short even though i could write pages about it:

    Shangri-La was an OK series. not good, but not bad either. The setting, the premise, the plot, the characters all felt fresh and interesting. But it had a horrible execution and direction, and was only saved because of the aforementioned positive points.
    This series could EASILY have been a fantastic anime had it been made with a bigger budget or an entirely different team altogether. Had it been made with the same amount of quality as Gonzo’s previous work like “Last Exile”, woah! Just thinking about it makes me dislike Shangri-La even more as it is now.
    But still, it was alright.

  6. skchai says:

    The plotholes come almost entirely from trying to cram a very complex, not-so-light (nearly 600 page) science fiction novel into 25 episodes. So the Atlas, Metalage/Nagiko, Digma stories are told in such a perfunctory way that you can never quite figure out what happened, much less get drawn into them. The numerous deux ex machina similarly having to bring story arcs to conclusion fast without all the development of the novel.

    Gonzo had a lot of balls going for a self-financed science fictioner when it’s on the brink of bankruptcy. moreover one that lacks the usual surefire anime tropes and tackles complex subjects like carbon trading. On top of this, or to compensate for this, they splurged on Range Murata character designs. But the execution was uneven – not horrible, but bad enough at times to doom whatever chance the show had of commercial success. The crucial first five episodes, which had to draw in a not-ready-made audience, including some of most poorly animated of the entire series, and unfortunately Kuniko and her fellow female characters suffered the most from this, often coming across as boxy and crudely drawn. So much for the otaku market.

    Given the resources (and the future of a company) invested in it, Shangri-La must go down in history as one of the most epic commercial failures in TV anime history. The R2 DVD #1 sold a pathetic

  7. skchai says:

    Oop’s now I realized I enclosed the last part in tags (please delete the repeat posts, sorry):

    Given the resources (and the future of a company) invested in it, Shangri-La must go down in history as one of the most epic commercial failures in TV anime history. The R2 DVD 1 sold a pathetic several hundred its first week, and I just hope this is not Gonzo’s death knell. Saki was the hit of the season but it was a piecework contract with Kadokawa, so Gonzo won’t reap much of the profits. I know a lot of people enjoy bashing on Gonzo, but it is one of the few studios that seems to enjoy taking chances on risky non-genre material (albeit balancing it off with its share of service-oriented shows). I’m afraid that the lesson of this season will be to stick to genre and avoid any complicated.

  8. chounokoe says:

    I must say I nearly completely agree with you on Shangri La, now I could finally finish it after escaping the terror of 56k Internet.
    Nearly, because I liked the final episode very much, because it was so heaviliy Japanese in many terms that it just made my student-heart jump.

    In the end it is sad, that a series like Shangri La, which really tried something different (on todays standards of anime), failed so heavily on a commercial base. I can also only hope Gonzo will not go down with this one, because after this series I have hopes to see something interesting from them again in the future.

    I understand how many people can have issues with this series, because sometimes it just draws on so many strings (Japaneseness, ridiculing clichés, etc.) that you just have to know some stuff to really get what they are trying to imply.
    They had time issues and they had financial issues, but I loved the series and I’m glad there’s someone out there who likes it too.

  9. Solaris says:

    I don’t know what to say about Shangri La. Did i like it or not? At first i liked it, but i must say there are issues here!
    The complex story and the beautiful scenery are indeed a win, but something wasn’t all right.
    Some comments cleared up my mind better.
    Too many deux ex machina and clichees hindered this show’s success.
    I mean, why the hell it takes a bunch of little girls to save the world, handle supercomputers or being powerful expers?
    Why the third AAA character, the only one who could at least balance the man’s pride in this show, was left so much out of the story? Indeed the cast semmed to have been written by feminists: females chars are the only righteous, in the good or in the bad, despite men are all flawed chars, they’re at least traitors or weak, if not puppets in the hands of some leading girl. Aww too bad.
    Anyhow, despite the many flaws i liked this anime and am going to rewatch the entire show for better understanding.

  10. Robhiengler says:

    There is suspending disbelief then there is bullshitting straight off the bat. What I most dislike is the utter pretentiousness and callous disregard for anything factual in the entire series i.e. scientific, mythology, historical.

    Condensing the entire 536 page novel into 24 episodes wasn’t the reason for the major plotholes – the source material itself is responsible as well as the fact that most of the episodes were spent doing nothing, not even developing the characters or filling in the setting.

    This resulted in the story-telling itself “rambling”: the characters being undeveloped and paper-thin as well as their motivations. In fact by the end of it several main characters were utterly superfluous to the story.

    The only redeeming feature was reasonable backgrounds and premise of a dystopian global-warming future.

    Storytelling: 1/10
    Characters: 2/10
    Production-Values: 7/10
    Setting: 5/10

    Note to self: pay more attention to comments under review.

  11. chounokoe says:

    While everyone’s personal opinion is valid and all that, I have to disagree with some of your points there.

    While I can’t say anything about the scientific accuracy of the plot, because I have no actuall interest in that to be honest, there is nothing wrong in using certain mythological items and interpreting them in a new way…or is there?
    Mythological characters, places and items are nothing more than images, which represent certain factors and stances…and this is exactly what Shangri La used them for.

    I would assume you read the source novel if you say it is ridden with plotholes, too, were it not for the fact that you already got the pages wrong (it’s 592 pages…at least in my version).
    You should not really try comparing the finale of the novel and the anime. For anyone who is interested, the basic premise of the novel-finale is as follows:

    —–Spoiler for source-novel—–

    Kuniko is ordered by Zeus’ voice to find the holy items of Japan (sword, mirror and jewel) and learns, that she was created to become one of the possible future emperor’s of Japan.
    In the end she encounters Nagiko in the central controlroom of Atlas, where Nagiko reveals herself to be one of the last people of the Yamato-clan and that she originally started the Atlas project under a different name.
    It was planned to become the new Ame no Mihashira (The pillar of heaven) and to connect the land back to the gods. Kuniko herself is a clone of the Jimmu Tennô, the first emperor of Japan and grandson of Amaterasu. The mummy of that emperor lies at the center of the old palace, on the deepest floor of Atlas (there is no Himiko in the novel). Tarshan gave that plan codenames, for example Ame no Mihashira became Atlas.

    Nagiko summons the spirit of Jimmu from the mainframe of Zeus (through which it controlled Atlas), the mummy revives and announces his plan to destroy Japan, save a small ammount of worthy people with Atlas and form a new homeland, with the 4th holy item, the Amenonuboko (the heavenly spear), which is described as a plasma weapon.

    In the end Hiruko destroys the mummy of Jimmu and takes his spirit into his vessel, to claim his place as a god which was taken from him by birth. But Kuniko and Mikuni destroy him with Ame no Nuboko.


    The whole plot is quite different to that of the anime from the point where Miiko enters the service of Mikuni.
    But still I liked the anime’s plot quite a lot, the only thing that lacked was a really consistent finale, because Ryouko was just never meant to be Zeus in the first place.
    I do not exactly understand what exactly your problem with the characters was, as I would not call them paper-thin.

    It’s of course up to you, to like or dislike certain anime…but at certain points you make things out to be a weakpoint, when it is just personal opinion.

  12. Robhiengler says:


    You cannot make that claim then not back it up!

    I would also refer you to my posts UNDER EPISODE 20-24 regarding weakness of characters.

    Well you’ll have to take it from me that the science and economics are utter bullshit, please read every episode post as I have gone into detail. Its just LAZINESS on the part of the writers.

    chounokoe/SHANGRI-LA WEAK POINT 1
    First of all Izanagi and Izanami decended FROM heaven via Amenoukihashi (“Floating Bridge of Heaven”).

    The pillar called Amenomihashira was created as part of a ritual so they can mate: it has nothing to do with connecting earth and heaven. So Shangri-La and you AREN’T REINTERPRETING mythology, you got it completely utterly wrong. It’s very basic immutable concepts we are talking about.


    chounokoe/SHANGRI-LA WEAK POINT 2

    Emperor Jimmu – First of all his misasagi, or tomb, can be found in Kashihara in Nara prefecture, a short distance from Kashihara Shrine NOT FUCKING CENTRAL TOKYO! Again bare-faced bullshit from Shangri-La. Secondly I doubt he is a mummy. Thirdly you cannot clone women from Male DNA and Vice-versa. Fourthly Jimmu was never a god, perhaps divinely decended but not a god. Don’t they teach you history in Japan?


    chounokoe/SHANGRI-LA WEAK POINT 3

    Amenonuboko (the heavenly spear) is not part of the Three Sacred Treasures of Japan and have nothing to do with the enthronement ceremony. They are meant to represent sun, moon and STARS (not wind) or Power, knowledge and wealth. In addition a PLASMA weapon – this is meant to be a DIVINE MAGICAL WEAPON which created the first land in Japan not a scifi toy.


    chounokoe/SHANGRI-LA WEAK POINT 4

    Greek References have nothing to do with their Mythological counterparts.

    Zeus – Head God of olympus, but NOT all powerful or all knowing certainly he doesn’t rule the sea or the underworld ever hear of Posiedon & Hades? – how is this related to a DNA computer? What is the symbolism here?

    Atlas – was a primordial Titan who HELD UP the heavens NOT CONNECTED them to earth. Also in this case the tower is more suitably represent the Hakko-Ichiu Monument as mentioned in the anime it was built to rule the world essentially in racial imperialistic terms.

    MEDUSA – a chthonic female monster called a gorgon with snakes for hair. The program was a snake? or not but that’s where the similarities end. Did it represent feminine rage or male castration? – no. Turn anything to stone? – no. It would have been better to call it HYDRA or PYTHON.



    See Comments under episode 24

    So what’s the DANGER of HACK & SLASHING Mythology – it profoundly distorts any understanding or appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of nations and in this case it was used at the most trivial and superficial level to make it appear that the plot was deeper and more profound than it actually is. My point is have some decency to do it properly and not RAPE and disregard the source material to suit your plot – its not clever and quite frankly insults the intelligence.

  13. chounokoe says:

    So yes, you mainly answered my question about you, wether you like interpretations or not…you just don’t.
    Well that is you’re opinion, but bending the rules of a mythological item does not make it a false representation. It is merely taking it’s symbolic meaning and transferring it to another object, using the name, which calls upon a certain image or convention in the reader’s/viewer’s mind.

    So I also assume you really have not read the source material and preferred to stay silent about it.

    About weakpoint 1:
    Ame no Mihashira, as the name implies, was a pillar erected on the first island, which was meant to symbolize the connection between the new homeland and the heavens from which Izanami and Izanagi descended.
    This is merely an interpretation of the pillars function within the creation myth, as it was a pivotal object in the creation of Japan.

    About weakpoint 2:
    We are not talking about the human (or humans) who was later fabricated into the representation of the Jimmu Tennô.
    Shangri La refers to the mythical figure in the Kôjiki or Nihonshôki. He was a descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu and by her command became the first emperor of Japan. She bestowed upon him the three treasures (the sword to conquer, the jewel to symbolize and the mirror to see her image in himself) and he claimed the throne of Japan, as the link between gods and humans.
    It is assumed that an emperor like that (even without the mythical part) never existed, but that he was fabricated, a collective persona of the first rulers of Japan.

    About weakpoint 3:
    Of course Ame no Nuboko is NOT a mythical treasure, that is the whole point.
    The spear was never mentioned again in mythological records, but in Shangri La’s plot it was left on earth to the clan of Yamato.
    In the creation myth it was that spear which stired up the Japanese ocean and the droplets from it’s tip formed the Japanese islands. In the novel this is an ancient interpretation of a device to reform matter.

    About weak point 4:
    It is not about 1:1 direct compatibility, but about the basic universal concepts that those items represent.
    For example Zeus was a descendant of the first gods, who was made out to rule over humanity, while not being one himself. This category can be translated unto the function of the Jimmu Tennô in mythological records.

    The Atlas who is referred to mostly was (in Greek mythology) a titan who had to keep the heavenly sphere and the earthly sphere from touching, so that Gaia and Ouranos did not return to the mass of chaos.
    Ame no Mihashira was a pillar that represented the connection of the land and the heavens, but also the fact that those two were not one.

    Medusa has several interpretations. I think the one that Ikegami was aiming for was that Medusa angered the god by aspiring to be as beautiful (and thus powerful) as them and was turned into her monstrous shape as punishment.
    Karin tried to break into the divine realm without actually having knowledge about it, but was punished anyway.


    My point is, that you should maybe think about the function of certain mythological conventions and beliefs some more. It is not about representing them without change, it is about staying true to their basic meaning.
    Cultural heritage should not be considered a solid object, but a mass which can be reformed and used both in a classical as in a modern sense. If we are not able to do that, then Campbell is actually right and myths ARE doomed to vanish completely.

    If you of course only LIKE the classical approach, then that is up to you alone, but you should really stay open towards the potential of literature and media as it can open some really interesting views.

  14. Robhiengler says:

    Actually I’m fine with reinterpretations or even referencing.
    Let me see Gilgamesh for instance, Ragnarok, Dragon Ball Z, Heroic Age or Souten Kouro.

    The difference is they didn’t slaughter the source material or pretend it to be something it wasn’t did they you ignorant fuck. So do I mind re-interpretations NO? Do I mind shit stories with no regard for the source material they RAPE – yes! That isn’t staying TRUE to the basic meaning is IT now?

    Are YOU a twat who actually doesn’t answer my questions regarding the anime series then makes a defence saying you have to read the LIGHT NOVEL as a pretense to be pseudo-intellectual and actually know anything about mythology – I guess so.

    Is the Novel available IN ENGLISH? If it is provide me a link; that’s why I asked YOU the questions about it. IN ADDITION, MY criticism is mainly of the ANIME or are YOU THAT DENSE!?

    What you’ve just pointed out “BENDING THE RULES” just means you agree they’ve assigned a completely different meaning or symbolism from the original so your statement:

    “certain image or convention in the reader’s/viewer’s mind.”

    IS UTTERLY FALSE! The symbolism has utterly changed or been fabricated.

    For example:


    About weakpoint 2:

    The three items were given by Amaterasu to her grand-son Ninigi-no-Mikoto the person in question. I am familiar with the story; more so than you. Ninigi’s his line are cursed with mortality as he rejects Iwa-Naga-Hime, therefore Jimmu was a never god and could never be a god.

    SOURCE: Kojiki 1:41

    Again you also fail to address the point OF THE CRITICISM that Emperor Jimmu’s tomb IS NOT IN TOKYO! Considering this story is meant to take place in a dystopoian future based in this reality!


    About weakpoint 3:
    Ancient device to reform matter now is it. I thought it was PLASMA Spear as YOU SAID. So is it science or is occult/magic? It can’t be both. In addition the spear has nothing to do with the concept of divine right to rule. Therefore symbolically is meaningless as japan already exists. Again FAILED to address the POINT!


    About weak point 4:
    Actually you’ll find that Zeus wasn’t MADE to rule humanity at all. Again this SHOWS YOUR UTTER LACK OF KNOWLEDGE. Zeus overthrew the Titans and seized power. Zeus shared the world with his elder brothers, Poseidon and Hades, by drawing lots: Zeus got the sky and air, Poseidon the waters, and Hades the world of the dead (the underworld). Zeus had to also fight creatures Gaia created Typhon and Echidna: so his rule was NOT destined or by divine right either.

    Wasn’t Jimmu Tennô given the divine right to rule Japan ALONE – huge difference. See your comparisons are utterly superficial.

    ATLAS: he was there to HOLD Gaia and Ouranus APART not connect them as his punishment. You do realise that Gaia and Ouranus are primordial deities and as such do not relate to the concept of heaven and earth as in Japanese mythology!? Ever hear of Elysium and Tartarus (Heaven and Hell)? The Gods as well reside in Olympus not YOURANUS.

    MEDUSA: I’m sorry in what way was the program MEDUSA trying to be beautiful? Now you’re grasping at straws here. Karin was trying to break into the divine realm how exactly, in so far as making money?



    Ame-no-Mihashira Again you are trying to change your argument. First it was meant to bridge heaven and earth. Now its a symbol of a symbolic connection? Actually I’ll think you’ll find the symbolism that the pillar represents is that “its the centre of the world”: the cosmic axis, which is all the anime got right with regards to ley-lines. It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with connecting heaven and earth as you claim.

    Oh I read a lot of literature perhaps you should actually do some reading yourself as you clearly have a utter disregard for science, mythology or history. Maybe look up R.E. Howard and I.P. Lovecraft as examples of how to create a Mythos from pre-existing ideas without raping the source material.

    Additionally Joseph Campbell never said take mythology and rape it at a superficial level so it utterly fails to resemble the original material.

    When did he ever say that “Myths ARE doomed to vanish completely?” Provide your source: That sounds like an outright LIE you’ve provided.

    Joseph Campbell did claim:

    “modern society lacks the stability it previously derived from being educated in the mythology and legends of the Greek and Roman classics”


    there is no effective mythology in modern society by which individuals can relate to their role in the world

    Comments about society, nothing about Myths dying out. Let’s face it with the number of fantasy films its hardly going to happen. Shangri-La for me is the equivalent of the Twilight series – raping a pre-existent mythos and facts so it barely resembles the original source material i.e. utter rubbish.

    Sounds like you’re living in the myth chounokoe that Shangri-La is actually a good piece of literature and not toilet paper.

  15. chounokoe says:

    The fact that you took the liberty of being insulting shows that you’re not exactly what one could call a reasonable partner in a discussion…so I’ll just make it short.

    2: Yes I actually forgot it was Ninigi whom Amaterasu gave the items to. So they were just inherited by Jimmu.
    Yet the fact that his actual tomb is not in Tokyo, the same goes for Himiko in the anime, may be a historical inaccuracy but it is questionable if the tomb that is regarded as Jimmu’s grave today is actually the resting place of that mythical person who is referred to in the Kojiki.

    3: Why can’t it be both? It is quite possible to explain ancient myths as a simple explanation of more complicated scientific principles.
    The spear is supposed to be used to reform matter through a plasma beam (don’t know in how far that is techno-babble or actually possible), so it is not about creating Japan, but about recreating Japan. That plot was widely dropped in the anime, which was a bit sad, because the reason for Ame no Nuboko to be there became nonexistent.
    In the novel Nagiko wanted to give the rule back to the ancient tribe of Yamato, by forming a new Japan and channeling Jimmu’s spirit into Kuniko, who was to become the new emperor.

    4. I’ll admit that my knowledge of Greek mythology is rather rudimentary, so I don’t know every aspect of it.
    Japanese mythology also proves much more difficult, so it is obvious that some corners have to be cut. Yet it is more about the position of creating order in a world that is perceived as chaotic, which connects Jimmu and Zeus at a certain point.
    In the anime it was a bit less obvious with the mummy being Himiko, who, while supposedly being an important empress, did not play a very prominent role in Japanese history.

    Atlas held them apart, I said nothing else.
    Yet due to the act of serving as a pillar he also connected them.

    Medusa was designed to be strong enough to controll the world via it’s network systems. In the end Karin’s attempt failed and she lost control over Medusa.

    1: I wasn’t saying it was bridging heaven and earth but that it was connecting them in a symbolic sense.

    You assume that a work referring to mythological concepts has to copy their structure to have a right to display them, I don’t.

    Well, I prefer to end it here. A person who was to resort to insult is someone I do not want to discuss with.

  16. Robhiengler says:

    Well let’s not forget you insulted me and essentially everything I wrote by claiming:

    “wether you like interpretations or not…you just don’t.

    so if you’re not going to bother to read my reply and put words in my mouth I call that VERY UNREASONABLE. The other point is I don’t like to be condescended by someone who takes the stance that I must know nothing of Oriental Mythology purely because I have a western name – that is just downright racist.

    2: Questionable by who? I would say there is more evidence to support this than there is for what the anime/book claims to be in Tokyo.

    3: Yes it is Technobabble. Also if you choose to explain the spear in scientific terms then that has to extend to everything occult/magic as well not to mention an explanation for deities. You can’t have it both ways.

    Considering the Japanese monarchy allegedly has a 1500 years unbroken line of sucession where was the present emperor why did they feel the need to get Jimmu back? Why was Kuniko made a girl if she was intended to be Jimmu’s vessel?

    4: So now its about law and order now? I think you’ll find that under whatever ruler you’ll have law and order of some form. Emperor Jimmu’s emphasis is on unification of the world under his sacred rule not on law and order. Strawman argument you’ve put forward, essentially substitute Zeus with any head-deity.

    Himiko was the shaman empress of Yamataikoku; quite honestly she was clearly there for the occult angle – clue is the shaman bit.

    Medusa was created as a market program to make Karin money. Maybe wealth=power? It was only when Zeus hacked it at least in the anime then it tried to take over the world nuclear systems, something which Karin hadn’t anything to do with.

    As regards to Atlas you compared it to Ame no Mihashira: my point is they serve utterly different purposes symbolically and practically therefore you cannot make comparisons.

    and Atlas connects Earth to sky in a very PRACTICAL sense not symbolically.

    You would have been better off calling it Mount Olympus or axis mundi or Jacob’s Ladder.


    Finally I don’t assume anything. IF you are going to use mythological concepts then you have to honor the framework of the original material. You cannot just go making up things which go completely against the facts or has such a superficial connection as to be non-existent, ESPECIALLY if your trying to pass yourself off as profound intellectual anime. It really is an insult to the audience.

    If you want to see an anime which does this referencing of mythology acceptably WELL then I suggest you watch Heroic age.

    Also I’m still waiting for your Joseph Campbell source.

    • Reaper says:

      Pardon my french but u are an asshole.

    • cras says:

      I don’t see why the writers can’t use the “names” of Greek Gods for their own purposes. You just don’t like the fact that it’s not according to what we know, well I haven’t even watched the series, but I’m not against having “Zeus” referred to as something else.

      Also, why are you so mad? lol
      This discussion was quite enjoyable until you started being insulting, which make your posts unreadable.

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Though I actually was happy when they went invisible as that's when I can shave off a heavy chunk of their HP. Still if you happen to miss the small sign of where they jumped then you are screwed on that.
Healing, huge area of effect attacks, grab moves with barely any windup, freeze weapon effects that slow down attack animations, three goddamn forms, can turn invisible, long ass combos leaving little counterattack room and having to fight two bosses at the same time. Honestly, my victory here really depended in them not using certain attacks.
@Lenlo, I liked the visual design and the idea of it. However they gave it far too many cheap attacks. The second form is way to chaotic and depending on how they attack can put you in a position where you really can't do anything. Like when one breaths fire while the other starts healing, then you can't stop it. The final form as well, the minute they get you into a corner, you are done.
Whaaat? I loved that last boss.
Took me 2 and half hours to see everything in the DLC. Took me another 3 hours to beat the boss. Damn that boss had me in the zone. I think its was a serious bullshit artifical difficultly boss but man...beating that bullshit boss solo...felt good.
@Mario, starting to think I didn't need my help after all. I hope they make something worthwhile.
On a unrelated note the Dark Souls 3 DLC boss is serious bullshit.
Hey Aidan, thqt Kickstarter project Mecha-ude has passed its goal (nearly double now with 10 more days to go). Seems like people getting real hype for it
Wonder if Bam has played the new Dark Souls DLC. Found it rather lacking when compared to previous DLC from the last games.
@Anon, it's just a video of a still image of anime girls in bikini's with a red circle around one of their chests. Seeing as this thing has no views or subscribers my guess is someones is fishing for views. To which i say...what really is the point of making videos if this is the only way you can get people to watch them?
[link src="
I"] hate this crap that they corrupt anime with (crappy video that insults anime)
So RWBY's back. I actually miss the whole RWBY team. Still prefer Ruby's old custom more. Nora looks cool.
With the fourth episode, Vivid Strike seems to have crossed an invisible line that makes it more like the original Nanoha shows rather than Vivid. The kind of brutal beatdown delivered by the co-protagonist and the build up to it is something quite alien to a normal SoL/Sports anime show.
Ep. 4 of Tiger Mask was a lot better than the last 3, quite a hyped fight that was a full 6mins long. Will continue watching in hope of an awesomely long final fight.
Kaiser Eoghan
Kaiser Eoghan
Going back to the fanservice topic, its very easy to complain about it in anything but then something actually comes along that actually does it for you. I mean I always say that I don't watch a show/movie for its fanservice elements and stick with pictures on image boards, but then I ended up seeing a film where I actually got something out of the fanservice while watching the film its.
Kaiser Eoghan
The oujia prequel was competent genre fare, the director cared about the characters and every now and the built up a decent mood. Although jump Scares are there . And I always appreciate a horror film having a mean spirited ending. One of the rare cases where the young actors do well in a horror film. The pace is a bit uneven, rushed and a bit laggy .
Kaiser Eoghan
In the sense of how messed up/especially bleak those two episodes were.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was the sense too with both those episodes of "Jesus...I wasn't ready for that...."
Kaiser Eoghan
Though the first episode of the first season and the third episode of season 3 are very hard to beat. Adding to what I thought of s3 ep3 I felt that one hit me on the same level as s1 ep1 did so.
Though in previous seasons I generally only really liked 2 out of the 3.
@Kaiser, though the previous seasons where only 3 episodes long and you enjoyed 3 out of 6 in this season. So yo essentially get the same amount of enjoyment as previous seasons.
Kaiser Eoghan
Based on my comments, it looks like I had a mixed reaction to the third season. Three out of six, but the great was was great and forgives it but I still feel that there was more of a consistentancy in quality in the other seasons. I enjoyed every story in seasons 1 and 2.
Kaiser Eoghan
The final episode felt like a movie all on its own, I'd have gladly watched another thirty minutes of it, ending was a nice punch in the gut.
Just finished black mirror season 3. I hear people basically complaining that it's not as strong as the previous two season but I disagree. I really enjoyed this and this is a show that deserves much more episodes. Personal favorite is between shut up and dance and hated in the nation. Worst I thought was San Junipero. Overall thought each episode was interesting.
Kaiser Eoghan
On the upside I loved black mirrors fifth episode, I'm a sucker for war/action-dramas and I particularly liked the tech in this one.
Kaiser Eoghan
Yeah this is impossible for me to sit through, the romance part is also rather dull.
Kaiser Eoghan
Eh, this fourth episode is plodding and trite, feels like a bad, poorly dated 90s film.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Third episode also instilled a great sense of paranoia.
@Kaiser: thanks for that mate. I have too much to say for Flipflappers but to put them all in coherent flow is goddamn hard. And like I said I still fell I left many details out: that gung-ho potato or Yayaka and the twins
@Friend: jugding from the last convention I went to, people loved Re:Zero customs (Emilia and Rem, Ram were highlights. Or you could try RWBY characters (I for once love to see someone cosplay Pirrha Nikos or Velvet Scarlatina)
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: Didn't care much for new black mirrors second episode, then again I'm not really the target for that story. The third episode while a bit heavyhanded and predictable was suspenseful, nasty/mean and I liked that about it, did in 50 minutes what some thrillers fail to achieve in two hours.
Holo is a good one :0
Materials aren't a problem at all for the most part, except for anything too crazy like working in brass. I'd prefer it to be characters I'm familiar with.
Does it matter to you that they're from shows that you like, or are you just in it for the challenge?
@Friend Aidan has some good ones there. I'd also give the cast of Akame ga Kiru a shot, I don't like the series but it has a lot of neat character designs.
I was thinking simple as I didn't know what kind of materials you got on hand. I was also thinking of Holo from spice and wolf or Kino from Kinos journey either.
Mm, Tatsumaki might be not challenging enough to design for. Doesn't Shiki simply wear either a coat or Japanese kimono? I do work in set design and not in character prop design, but I'd love to try something that would let me reasonably challenge myself.
@Friend, Spit balling here but Tatsumaki from One Punch Man? I know the costume for that one would be simple enough. Or maybe Shiki from Kara No Kyoukai?
*I don't want to do anything too complex for my first try, but I also don't want to do anything boring. Boring would be a character like Rukia or Celty. Any ideas?
I remember talking about this with Emma/Kaiser before, but has anyone here gone cosplaying at an expo before? I thought it would be neat to try designing my own costume and try something else beside drawing on a computer.
@Kaiser, I am up to episode 4. 3 has been the best one so far.Though in all these episodes I pretty much figured out the twist from the get go. Still this shows always tends to get you thinking.
Kaiser Eoghan
I think the roles/identity thing with flipflappers, at least with the protaganist does fit in well with adolescence.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I've only seen the first episode so far. I felt the acting was intentional and reflected the satire Brooker was going for on the shallow nature of society. Bleak as ever but gloriously grotesque.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario:Good in depth reviewing there Mario of flipflappers episode three.
Good god this first episode of black mirror is hard to watch. I know exactly how it's going to turn out but it's just so damn painful to watch.
Well, tbh up to where I've seen there's not much explicit yaoi in yuri on ice, only a lot of fujoshi fuel.
@Kaiser. thanks for the torrent. Gonna blaze through this today.
@Topgavin, as someone who watches a metric ton of anime I am rather surprised at that estimate that 90% of it contains Yuri.
My god those gay scenes in Yuri on Ice are hard to watch for me. Wonder if this is how it feels to be a girl watching 90% of normal anime nowadays.
okay, Flip Flappers episodic review was up. This is my lengthiest weekly review so far and I still feel I missed a lot of points. Damn you Flip Flappers
Kaiser Eoghan
You have seen the light, not needing to know everything thats happening to enjoy something ^_^
Kaiser Eoghan
I've given some consideration to reviewing that oujia film followup.
Whether you see one or the other is entirely up to your preferences, so it makes no difference to me which is worse. I have gotten very tired of generic character types, but again that's just because of the things I decide to regularly follow.
I will say if it must come down to either unnatural dialogue or unnatural character types, at leas the character type is speaking their own words and not the words of the script writer.
Or was that a black and white fallacy? Maybe it was a little of both.
@Realjustified, K-Off wasn't agreeing with me. That's a Moving the Goal Posts logical Fallacy but well I will answer regardless. Honestly it's preferable to have neither. The big mistake you are making here is that you are putting down a condiction that a show must have one or the other. But both cartoons and anime can have both. I just think it's a lot more prominent in cartoons than anime.
Like, having read hundreds of harem manga over the years, a majority of the ultimate love interest always happens to be the first girl the protagonist meets.
Wait wait wait wait. Aidan and K-Off. I get that dialogue in cartoon can seem like it was written by a script writer, but at the same time, lots of anime have characters whose sole purpose is entirely scripted. The whole spectrum of "deres" and everything. What do you think is worse? Unnatural dialogue, or unnatural character types?
You guys should really go fuck yourself, it's a solution and it's nothing short of great!
You guys should really watch the first 4 episodes of Bungo, it's a prequel and it was nothing short of great!
omg!! I just realized To be Hero was one of the show that I reviewed its 1st episode back in Chinese Animation post. I watched raw then though
forgive me if I'm a bit too overwhelmed by Flip Flappers... For this episode alone I took like 25 screenshots...trying to write a review now...
I have absolutely no idea what is going on in Flip Flappers plot. And yet for some reason I am OK with that.
Anyone out there that's a fan of crude humor should go watch ep.3 of To Be Hero. Certinately stepped it up a notch from the last two humor-wise.
One downside I can think of already is that I'm bound to lose or break one of the detachable controllers. The cost for those pieces is what I'm most interested in.
Nintendo Switch hmm? Honestly it looks too good to be true. I expect some major downsides to this thing.
I like cartoons, don't get me wrong. Certainly good for a change of pace. But there is something about the way they are written that I find rather distracting.
I don't know, maybe if I said it's like the difference from how characters talk in movie vs how characters talk in a sitcom?
@K-Off, I said one liner's or jokes. Not one liner jokes. It's hard to explain. Basically when I hear a conversation in anime even if it is based in stereotypes, it at least feels like a conversation that's being had in the moment. In cartoons however there is a layer of artificiality and it feels like characters know what a person is going to say and has a response prepared.
That's probably why some of my favorite anime in recent years haven't been very heavy on character archetypes, or were either parodies of it.
Comedic dialogue with anime in recent years have leaned too much on the idea of playing off character archetypes. The collected character vs the energetic character, for one. I'd like to see more variety. Some more word play, hyperbolic humor, body humor, etc etc.
@Aidan Not quite sure what you mean by that, because it's certainly not even a majority of cartoons that rely on cheap one liner jokes. I suppose it's entirely up to taste, but I can appreciate the energy in cartoons like Steven Universe or Regular Show when compared to the increasingly repetitive dialogue found in some recent anime.
@Topgavin: I just read that review and his main reason being Shelter is pretentious. oh well! Can't never please anyone.
Thought I'd check out the reviews for Shelter on MAl and the top review is a 1/10. Apparently because it's a cute girl we sympathise with her more, which is bad because reasons. I mean.. what? MAL never ceases to amaze me
@Mario, no. It's more that the dialogue keeps trying to push out one liners or jokes regardless of whose talking.
@Aidan: maybe because they spoke in your native language do you can feel that it's artificial, ya know? I know I have the same problem with Vietnamese drama/ cartoon and maybe Japanese people have that same issues with anime?
By which I mean, the way characters talk in cartoons is very...artificial. Like you can tell that the dialgoue was clearly written beforehand and it never really sounds natural. At least to me.
@Anon, I wouldn't. The writing and structure are too cartoon. What with the episodic nature and dialogue that generally pushes for a comedic tone.
Kaiser Eoghan
Flanagan also directed absentia which I haven't seen yet but I think someone I came across of 4chan linked it to being lovecraftian?
Kaiser Eoghan
Oculus was a film of two halves for me. Hush was a pretty standard home invasion thriller, making the victim deaf was an interesting twist but not as unique as you might think, still suspenseful though.
Kaiser Eoghan
I never saw the first oujia film. Though Mike Flanagan who did the sequel, he's never made a bad movie but he's never really made a great one either.
Kaiser Eoghan
I stick to the firm belief that cartoons and anime, visually should do and be their own thing. I'll prefer a western artstyle for cartoons rather than one pretending to look like anime style.
But this is a good topic and I'm sure everyone has their own opinions so I'm looking to hear some more arguments
@anon352392: no they aren't. For me not because of where their production based, nor their intended audience, but rather their styles, both visually and storytelling-ly, are different
Anime,” they assert, is not a “style” of illustration or animation.
That's where I differ to those guys. For me, anime is a style. In that sense, I consider RWBY, and Canadian-produced short Flutter as an anime. Thunderbolt Fantasy is not and anime-influence shows/movies that are intented for Western audience like AniMatrix or Afro Samurai are anime
@Anon nah they wouldn't be because they aren't made by a japanese producer for the japanese market. Quality isn't the question, production is
NX and Red Dead Redemption 2 trailers tomorrow.
They are good series and i honestly like them alot more than most anime series, would their quality make them anime?
What about cartoons like Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, Wander Over Yonder, Star Vs The Forces Of Evil?
In other news a sequel to an absolutely terrible horror movie called Ouija is out and it's...actually pretty good? Wondering if critics were paid off or it is legit good. Well it did have the guy who was behind Oculus and that was a pretty good movie.
Simplify the term down enough and anime is literally anything animated but the whole point of the term is to distinguish it. For to call Spongebob an anime makes me want to projectile vomit. Point is this, you say you watched a cartoon, people think Tom and jerry, Scooby doo etc. You say you watched an anime, people think Cowboy bebop, Attack on titan, etc. Whole point of the term.
For example, I don't consider Avatar or RWBY to be anime for while they use anime style, the writing is fundamentally structured like an American cartoon. Through I would consider Bloodivores an anime even though it was made by a Chinese animation company, making it technically a Chinese cartoon.
As far as what is and isn't anime I honestly think of the term as a means of distinguishing it from cartoon which gives the impression of being for children. It's like Graphic novel is to comic book. Though techically graphic novels are issues of comics bound in book form, the term Graphic novel is often used to distinguish works that go above superhero comics and whatnot.
Basically I think it was due to Porter Robinsons involvement that they didn't consider it anime.
@Aidan: Did the mods give any concrete reasons why they didn't consider it an anime?
@Mario, It wasn't the community that had the problem. It was the mods. The community made it pretty clear that they considered it anime.
So despite the art style is obviously anime, the character speaks in Japanese, and the production was animated by A1 Studios, it's not an anime? Sometimes I feel sad that the anime community keeps limiting themselves with such fixed minds.
I saw it yesterday and yes it was good. For a 5-minute story, they don't make it too overwhelme with details, and still pack an emotional punch. Moreover it elevates the song. Good stuffs.
Shelter was quite good though. It works well and the animation was beautiful. Song is not bad either. It's got a nice emotional punch to it though it's a bit simple a story.
Well anyway I only saw all this because I checked out the video for the first time and wanted to see how others thought of it with a quick scan through reddit. And I get this shitshow instead.
Playing the victim is the one really pisses off the internet. For refusing to admit you f*cked up only encourages people to shove how you f*cked up into your face. That's what really grinds peoples gears.
Yep, seen that too. The mods even put up another tread about the video and tried to guilt trip people by saying they got death threats. Look, internet rules 101. If you said or did something stupid admit to it and just walk away. Do not try to deflect blame or play the victim, that only adds fuel to the fire.
@Aidan oh yeah saw that live lol. Porter himself even commented on twitter about it, gotta love internet drama
So did anyone happen to catch the big old shitstorm of that Shelter music music when a mod of the Anime subreddit decided it wasn't "Anime" enough and removed the discussion post about it? Oh internet drama...what silly nonsense.
Finally caught up with JoJo. Diamond is Unbreakable has turned out to be much better than Stardust Crusaders. Should have waited for the season to finish through as I really loved marathoning it.
I had a feeling that might be the case considering the source materail for luger.
@Mario Oh I watched that, certinately worth it. Packed more story that some 12-episode shows do nowadays and gorgeous animation.
and I will check out "Shelter" music video to see what all the fuss is about
*this weekend to be exact.
Sounds like Luger Code 1951 is an OVA that will air next week, the same air date with "my" Zaregoto OVA.
@Mario: doesn't sound real at all to me lol
@Mario, I might be able to manage. If all else fails I can talk about the past of these historical figures.
While I don't mind watchinng Drifters, I swaer if I had to cover that show, I couldn't come up with anything to say.
Do you guys know what language the fairies speak in Drifters? It does sound like a genuine language
@topgavin: humanity has declined is a great show. It has good writing and dark, witty sense of humor. I could talk about it in length but psgels pretty much covered it all. He was really impressed by that show however.
That should be me covered till the weekend. Why do all my shows air on the weekend...
@Mario nah I've watched the whole thing but I'd heard about it at the start of this year and put it off. The dialogue between her and the fairies was great stuff, probably gonna rewatch it this weekend now that you mention it
Alright, I got three posts written up and will be throwing them out in about two hours or do.
I thought you've finished it. Yeah I love her character a lot, so cynical but witty. My favorite moment was when she read about fairy's plan to invent religions. She was like "so religions are invented?" (beat) "I've learn something new today". Priceless
@Mario Oh nice, it was one that I had heard about but never got round to. To put it in simple anime terms, Watashi is best girl
@topgavin: I just finished the series yo mentioned the other day: humanity is declined. Man, I love it. I know now I have a thing for dark twisted absurdist anime
@Ano340004: the name is Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, or to put it short Motete. I have fun with it but i'm not that enthuastic
@anon the english name is Kiss him, not me. Search through the first impressions if you need the jap name.
then that girl really loves BL (boy love)
what is the name of the anime that the girl is fat and then she got depressed because her favorite boy anime died then she got thin?
Season 7 is awesome so far too. It feels like the tone of the show is finally back to normal and it feels like Adventure Time again.
Whew, I binged all seasons of Adventure Time this weekend. The show hit a low spot in Season 6 but I think it needed to happen...Poor Finn needed the serious character development after what he did to FP.
You guys are too hard on it
Motete is very funny
Kaiser Eoghan
When it comes to gag manga and four-koma, I just eventually reach a stopping point with a comedy series in that format. Even with hidamari sketch.
I think it was typical light novel trash based on what was in the PV. I laughed that despite it being horrible that the crowd still cheered anyway, likely because it had a bath clip in it.
The PV was hilarious. I had no idea what the anime was about.
@Aidan I'm good, I'll stick with Working.
@K-Off, you could switch to something like Gi(a)rlish Number if you like. I for one am really digging the satire of the show. Plus I like that it's basically showing how an utter train-wreck of an anime can be made. That PV in the last episode was truly painful.
Feeling pretty disappointed with Working. I haven't gotten any more cynical with comedies, at least I don't think, and its flaws are so irritating.
@Adam Le, I find that with Comic book dialogue. Which is one of the reasons I have gone off marvel movies. Cartoons have it to a degree as well.
I love the instagram shots in Yuri
Maybe I can have a watch through those live action films and do a compare/contrast to see which version works better. After all movie and tv series are 2 different medium, and live-action vs animation is the topic that we never get tired of
speaking of which, the overlap between anime and live-action adaptation from manga is overwhelming. For this year alone, there were Erased, 3-gatsu no Lion, Fune o Amu, orange, and Chihayafuru (part 1&2). Those were just the ones I know.
@Adam: Don't know which genre you're into but you can try Fune o Amu (The Great Passage)
Adam Le
I can't seem to get into any of these new shows. I don't know, the dialogue always seems off to me and the forced comedy is a big turn off.
Reminds me of a thought I had when I was last at the Getty art museum. People walking past works of art hundreds of years old, but only taking a second-long glance before moving on to the next one. Not their fault really, it's only the professional critics who can understand what they see with depth.
I'm the opposite really, they're getting paid for what they said so they better know their shits
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