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.

    ~Meep

  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:

    chounokoe WHICH POINTS HAVE I MADE THAT ARE WEAK?

    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.

    ———————————————–

    SHANGRI-LA OTHER WEAK POINTS

    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
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/kj/kj044.htm

    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?

    ———————————————–

    WEAKPOINT 1

    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”

    and

    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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Kaiser-Eoghan
Novels are somewhat alien territory to me as I tend to watch adaptations be they film or otherwise.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I've watched thousands in the past few years because I neglected the medium in childhood.
Nielllo
Unless you mean animated only.
Nielllo
@Eoghan: I don't think I watched enough films at all, and that's made even worst when I forget most of them after a couple of years.
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I really recommend The Legend of the Sun Knight novel. Think it's something you'll probably enjoy quite a bit. It's quite cleverly written. You can read the official fan translation online.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: A top ten film list for me is even harder, I can't even attempt.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Akumetsu> death note
FITE ME.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Gunslinger girl gets such a strong mention from me because I feel that action stories often work better when you care about the characters.
Kaiser-Eoghan
<No Freesia adaptation
<No Eden adaptation
<No full production IG Alita film series
<why live =<
Nielllo
@SuperMario: There are some anime I'm not going to watch just because the manga is superior, period. Good examples are Monster and One Piece.
Nielllo
@Eoghan: Oh, I knew about Wolfram mangaka's apprenticeship already :p
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: First however, When mountains may depart, By Jia Zhangke, I am full romance mood.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Planetes and Vinland saga have to go somewhere on a list. Oddly they share the same creator.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Reminds me Dreams by Kim-ki-duk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: I mentioned Dorohedoro's author was Nihei's apprentice, but heres another interesting one, the mangaka for Wolfram apprentice under BOTH Kento Miura and Kaoru Mori.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: gladly. On Body and Soul is a weird mix of romance drama, character study and a weirdly magical bond between two people who share the same dream. That weirdness is what make the movie so memorable, although I do feel the ending stays out its welcome
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nihei, Umezu and Itou belong somewhere among my favourite mangaka.
SuperMario
I don't know why you'd mix manga/anime together, but my own top 10 is in my profile (click over my username), I've included anime/ movies together but if the list is purely anime shows I'd add Haibane Reimen as #9 and Humanity Has Declined as #10
Nielllo
Apart from Kyousougiga which is always no.1, and The Legend of the Sun Knight, Dorohedoro, Shinsekai Yori and Monster whose places are swappable, the rest I'm quite flexible with. Saint Seiya is in if it's a favorite list, and out among the bottom of the barrel when it comes to quality list, with the exception of The Lost Canvas.
Nielllo
Hmmm, atm it's 1. Kyousougiga (a) 2. Monster (m) 3. Dorohedoro (m) 4. Shinsekai Yori (n) 5. Baccano! (a) 6. Ran to Haiiro no Sekai (m) 7. Saint Seiya (my guilty pleasure, I can't defend it in anyway) 8. Franken Fran (m) 9. The Legend of the Sun Knight (n)(1st tier comedy) 10. Haibane Renmei/Toradora!.Honorable mentions to Gamaran, Beck, GTO, Mushishi, Kaiba and Grave of the Fireflies.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Damn....its a harder question to answer than it looks =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although Cruel God reigns in heaven would com close.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nah, nothing would dethrone Gunslinger girl for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or even Utena but I feel it somewhat overated as I do Bebop despite enjoying both.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One of those on the top ten could easily be switched for honey and clover.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also love the works of Shimura Takkako, early takahashi and early Clamp.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Shiki would work its way onto a recent favourites list.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My favourite visual novels are Kara no shoujo, saya no uta and Sharin no kuni.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I've a soft spot for ah my goddess, basara, 7 seeds , nanoha and Red river.
Kaiser-Eoghan
If I was making more modern lists for recent favourites I'd probably add flipflappers somewhere or yuasas works.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh my top ten by mixing manga and anime into the same list? 1. Gunslinger (both) girl 2. Ghost in the shell (anime) 3. Earl cain saga (manga) 4. Angel Sanctuary (manga) 5. Texhnolyze (anime) 6. Lain (anime) 7. Perfect blue (anime) 8. Fruits basket (manga) 9. Monster 10. Kare kano.
Nielllo
I don't think anything will ever dethrone Kyousougiga for me though.
Nielllo
I still need to watch Tatami Galaxy and a bunch of other staple shows...
Lenlo
We could put out a site-author Top 10 list sometime maybe... Some of mine are Mushishi, Steins;Gate, Tatami Galaxy and Your Lie in April. Its got a spectrum of genre.
Nielllo
So what are people's top 10?
silver
Certainly on my top 10 list I have works adapted from VNs, manga, novels, LNs, and originals. I just think originals have a higher rate of efficient visual storytelling compared to adaptations
silver
@Kaiser: I like SEL and Haibane and texhnolyze is on my ever-growing list of things to watch. I also really like Gurren Lagen and Kill la Kill although they're both better if you've seen enough anime to know what they're parodying. My ex who loathed most anime because of the aforementioned over-exposition issue also introduced me to Dennou Coil which I really enjoyed.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Body and soul just got released on a webdl , sell me on the film if you can =)
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: Texhnolyze/Lain/Haibane are excellent examples.
silver
I think original anime offers a different experience than adaptations, particularly regarding 'show don't tell.' By necessity most anime source material is dialogue and exposition heavy and can't always utilize the medium efficiently. Of course, I've watched masterpieces adapted from every kind of source, so it's all good
Niello
I'd love to see this thing animated some day. Preferably with movie budget: http://thepropertyofhate.com/TPoH/Ex position/312
Niello
@Eoghan: Try searching in some Asian languages and you might have better luck.
silver
Most open-minded people I talk with don't have anything against animated entertainment. Shows like Bob's Burgers, Archer, and Bojack Horseman have carved a modern niche for 'adult' animation. Having a show about talking alcoholic horse would be pretty cheesy with live action.
Niello
Never mind, Mario said it. But I also don't agree that idol shows or incest shows are intrinsically bad. On top of idol being a trend in Japan first and anime pick it up because it's part of the culture.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The reason people see the worst side of things, is because that is what is made most on the surface and immediate,
Niello
@Amagi: Considering that all the ones you listed are originally manga, I think you should give manga more credit...
Kaiser-Eoghan
And by finding I mean, hard to buy or torrent .
Kaiser-Eoghan
The infuriating thing is how poorly distributed some things are. I hate seeing Godammn blurays of shit hollywood films everywhere and I have to struggle to find some old/quality eastern film.
Amagi
I think it's the same problem as with endless shounen. Sometimes series get dragged on purpose to make more money.
Amagi
The tons of seasons is what scares me away sometimes
Kaiser-Eoghan
I keep thinking, why pad a 90 minute-9 1/2 hour story in a billion one hour per episode seasons.
Amagi
Yeah it's always like that, with cinema movies too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also hate ensemble/mosaic storytelling for the larger part, with some exceptions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know this excuse won't work with people who love serialized live-action tv dramas but...I don't like most tv shows because of how padded they are and that they go on far too long and the acting is tv standard and not film standard.
Lenlo
I dont want TV that much, but my experience has been there are very few shows worth watching. Just like anime.
Lenlo
Well, in the argument that anime has alot of bad trends to, I would say so does regular television. How many TVs per year are as good/acclaimed in the "best" anime of each season are in the community?
Amagi
I think it's just sad that there are so many people (the big majority) that refuse to watch cartoons in general because they consider them as either childish or a worse version of "real" series. They'll always miss the good sides anime/manga have and therefore certain sub-genres as a whole.
Amagi
@SuperMario: Yeah you're right. I should have specified it to Japanese drawn media in general (VNs too). And yeah most anime/manga are rather trashy or blatantly bad. But the good series are often something live acting can't create and we'd miss without Japan. There are good cartoons too, though
SuperMario
... original ones: Cowboy Bebop, EVA, Flip Flappers, Kaiba, etc
SuperMario
@amagi: I almost agree with everything you said, but we might give anime too much credits. Remember it's a medium that responsible for many, many bad trends: idol shows, incest shows, tentacle hentai shows and so on so forth. The shows you listed here are come from manga as well, and they are strong manga materials to begin with. If I choose an example of what anime can achieve I'd point to some..
Amagi
This season is really good and it shows how lacking fiction would be without anime. Stuff like Shuumatsu, Houseki or even Mahoutsukai can only exist as anime. It's something live acting script writers would never come up with, not to mention that a lot would be lost without the respective drawing styles, be it the moe blobbs of Shuumatsu or the CGI hair, grass and camera movement of Houseki.
KTravlos
btw I really liked this Mahoutsukai no Yome episode. Finally we are getting somewhere
Amagi
@Kaiser: You're right, totally forgot that. Looking forward to this. Also I could have sworn I heard about a new project from Iso (Dennou Coil) last year but I guess I either confused him with someone else or with Children of Ether in which he's involved in some kind of way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That series was going to be devilman crybaby .
Amagi
Wasn't Yuasa also doing a series of some sort this year? Haven't watched the movies yet but I loved most of his stuff so far, with Kaiba being my favorite.
Anonymous1575628
Wow, Houseki did not disappoint for me this week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I enjoyed it for what it was. But I'd say even if you didn't read the subs you probably wouldn't have much trouble following it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I actually had a look and lu over the wall, coincidentally , there are moments of where Yuasa's imagination/visuals shine through and its a genuinely charming film at times, but it does almost outstay its welcome and there's a sense Yuasa was somewhat restrained this time round, it IS a kids movie and that kind of does need to be taken into account, its not AS mad as mind game or kemonozume.
Amagi
Yoake Tsugeru Lu no Uta is subbed, but no idea if the subs are good
Kaiser-Eoghan
And its quite natural.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Florida project succeeds through its free flowing nature/narrative and manages to be hilarious all the while managing to never allow you forget its also a kitchen sink drama, the best performances come from William Dafoe and the girl. At the end it gut punches the audience emotionally.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: also expecting Florida Project, 3 Billboards, and The Shape of Water in my end
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, Kino was a bit too slight this week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just Lu, disaster artist and happy end left now for the year. Maybe the new Godzilla.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt that Sion Soni's Noriko's dinner table did the irl acting thing better.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to watch The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Consider I regarded The Lobster as one of the best film of that year and Dogtooth and Alps impressed me a lot; I have high hope for this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mooooommm, I want my Lu over the wal subs and I want them now OMO!
Niello
...Can't torrent where I am, grrrr.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm quite fond of Go Nagai's devilman, so I'll be interested in seeing Yuasa's adaptation of it whenever it comes out.
SuperMario
@Kasier: ha! thanks Kaiser. Finally it's out... gonna download it now
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Here is a link to Night is short walk on girl English subbed: https://nyaa.si/view/979508
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: OR JUST MONIKA Amirite =P
SuperMario
in all seriousness though, I hope they can use one week break to smooth out their production.
SuperMario
so Just Because's taking a break this week. The reason: just because
Lenlo
Mhmhmm Inuyashiki was great this week. I just love this show.
Amagi
The hell- no didn't know that. I really wouldn't have expected tribute songs to this series
Niello
@Amagi: Did you know this exists? And it's by Igorrr no less. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhQQ57N-9ys&list=PL9ku-W0xIzd4EYUL9bUG2CZXBIy7cCiSk
Niello
And yes, I'm just waiting and waiting for the day the anime get announced. No doubt it'll becomes a classic.
Niello
@Eoghan, I don't think it becomes a mess though, the story threads all come together amazingly well.
KTravlos
I too recommend at least watching 2nd episode of Tanya before passing judgement.

Looking forward to the Urasawa manga as well!
SuperWooper
@Anonymous: Thanks! Reading blog posts used to be my go-to distraction when I took breaks at work. Now I have to take breaks from writing them. It's a grind at times, but Star Crossed ought to be alive for a while yet.
Amagi
Adaptions for series like these only work when they're passion projects. If they're not they end up like the Dies Irae anime.
Amagi
It's another one of those series I really wish to see as an anime with music, movement and so on. But same as with Made in Abyss, it needs a cometent director and one that is in love with the work or else it will be a letdown
Amagi
@Niello: Yes and I fucking love it. The gritty style, the setting, the characters and designs and so on. @Kaiser didn't know she was under Nihei that's cool. I love these sketchy styles
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: yes and more people I believe should so, despite that its kind of become a mess, I take the thing as one big black comedy. The woman who drew it interestingly enough apprenticed under Tsutomu Nihei.
Niello
Anyone here read Dorohedoro?
Anonymous1566521
Just passing by to say like the place, it's kinda perfect to read for whenever I take a break. And most importantly I haven't read anything stupid. Hopefully it won't die anytime soon:0
Vonter
Masky - Overlord has an OP isekai, yet I find that series compelling do to the world building, and how even with power and influence, the MC plays like a chessmaster and not brute force his way into doing something.
AidanAK47
@Masky, I wouldn't write off Tanya so fast. Make it to episode 2 at least.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel I need to actually properly get into Godzilla for some frame of reference before the anime film, I've only seen the new one and the original.
Amagi
Or the Hiroshima movie
Amagi
I know you can't have everything but considering that we currently have Blame, the Itoh movies, Lu over the Wall, Godzilla or Napping Princess this is rather a let down
Amagi
Meh, not really happy about the anime film festival decision here - a few good movies are there: heaven's feel, motherfucka (from the tekkonkinkreet guy) and another one that sounds great but other than that a lot specials like conan movie #718 or something, the third part (why?) of persona 3 and other movies that are just specials of series I dropped at some point
Masky
*WWI
Masky
I mean, op isekai mc is boring whether they are hero or villain, thats how tired I'm of that trope at least
Masky
So was wondering what was up with that Tanya the Evil show and was disappointed to find out its "Isekai were MC is evil and WWII esque fantasy setting"
Anonymous1566013
dragon ball kai
Anonymous1566013
dragon ball z
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: That Godard biopic you mentioned is showing tonight and on sunday afternoon, at the very least I'll be checking out Le Chinoise in preparation for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: and right after I just watched Loving Vincent in theatre, it's available online
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! got released ages ago and no one watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Out in cinemas in Dublin in 3 weeks though, might aswell wait.
SuperMario
Also Lu over the Wall is out, with Russian subtitle. So anyone here who can understand Russian, you're in luck
Amagi
@Kaiser: Thanks, I love quite many anime movies. Guess I have something to watch this weekend.
AidanAK47
Not many I am afraid. Though I do like it's music.
Anonymous1565678
who is fairy tail fan here
Kaiser-Eoghan
For those interested anime Godzilla is out in a few weeks. Also Genocidal organ, napping princess and in this corner of the world are out as is the Fate/ilya movie.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm interested enough to read more of that Urasawa manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't point out errors (although its part of my job at work to lol) but I feel that one thing was noticeable in the Kino review, soap instead of soup is mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I quite like it when anything deals with religion or conviction in a mature way, it makes me feel things.
AidanAK47
Not really keen on following a Urasawa manga while it's ongoing considering how much of a slow burn his stories usually are.
Amagi
To the English only people: the Urasawa manga is translated into English now - it's on Mangastream (so beware of the watermark, but better than nothing)
Anonymous1565136
The anime?
SuperMario
... still on course with the anime (my phone acting up again)
SuperMario
@afgm: welcome back mate. It has been awhile. Hope you're
Anonymous1564565
@Amagi, The sign post with Iyami's teeth symbol read something like Buddhist reseach facility, which only makes it weirder.
Amagi
Also that Iyami clone seems to be the same as the running guy on page 2 (which was also the promo page posted on sites like ANN)
Amagi
Thank you very much anon. I love how international this chat is. But what you said makes the story feel even weirder. Really wonder what this is about but I can't say I am not interested now
Anonymous1564565
This is weird, really weird.
Anonymous1564565
[spoiler] As expected, now he's in another trouble. ...He mistook a crow for a blue bird that will bring happiness. And then we go back to the scene at the beginning when he hallucinate about someone calling. ...Is that Iyami from Osomatsu-san?
Anonymous1564565
[spoiler]Then because Trump is currently popular, their plan to is mass produce the mask with the guy's factory? (He's totally getting dupe isn't e?)
Anonymous1564565
[spoiler] The wife won a lottery and got a free vacation ticket to a luxurious cruise ship. She then left the husband with another guy. The Trump parody hag person is Beverly Duncan. Then one of the husband coworker put on a mask of Trump and start mocking.
afgm
I feel like the site is finally coming back into its own :)
afgm
(and great old writers)
afgm
Great new writers on the site
Anonymous1564565
[spoiler] He's trying to look at tax avoidance and discuss it to his fam. The turns out the gov start checking so that plan was a bust. Now they are looking at potential confiscations, including their flip flop factory.
Anonymous1564565
[Spoiler] So the guy seem to be having some kind of hallucination of someone calling him, even though there's no one in that direction.
Anonymous1564565
@Amagi "but it's in Thai", :)
Amagi
I am really looking forward to the Pluto anime. But I guess it won't come earlier than spring 2018 or something.
Amagi
If it was Japanese I'd at least understand a few parts (and almost everything if it was French) but now I have not the slightest idea what this is about but it does look interesting. I also liked Urasawa's earlier one shot. The one after Billy
Amagi
Not sure if I am allowed to link scans so here an indirect (last post) one I found, but it's in Thai (I hope someone who understands it will translate that chapter into English) https://www.reddit.com/r/manga/comments/780rve/sl_how_long_until_we_see_the_1st_chapter_of_naoki/
Anonymous1564517
It shows a lot of shots though that bring back memories of Urasawa's earlier works. Its great that he's going weird; Urasawa is one of the best at producing unique series, even if his methodical writing and storytelling style is always evident.
Anonymous1564517
Is it Mujirushi? I saw some French advert for it, (nothing said except that it's launching soon), but I can't find anything else on it.
Amagi
There is a (sadly, non-English) scan for Urasawa's new manga and it looks weird. Hundreds of masks of some presidential candidate that looks like a female Trump and a weird and shady guy at the end.
Lenlo
That said, why is PUBG on any of these lists. Its still in beta
Lenlo
Horizon on the other hand is easily understood and fits the open world mold well. I like Nier more, but Horizon is still a really good game.
Lenlo
Everyone knows it exists, but not everyone likes it/could finish it/understands it.
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