Shangri-La (シャングリ・ラ)

All posts tagged Shangri-La (シャングリ・ラ)

The main protagonist in this anime, and just like the anime itself, she not in a very good shape.

The 11th review in this month is another 2009 anime titled Shangri-La I mentioned not so long ago. This anime is much better than the previously reviewed 2009 anime Princess Lover!, but not good enough to depose the wolf-girl part 2 off her throne. BTW, I actually have noticed that there is an anime version of the Korean drama Winter Sonata for this year’s fall season. If that anime is just as good as the drama version, the wolf-girl will have a lot to worry about. But then again, Japan’s tendencies to butcher the original work that an anime is based upon is quite disturbingly common too.

Also one of the main protagonist in this anime, she is the best character in this series.

In the future where a cap-and-trade system is actually implemented in a world-wide effort to stem global warming (those people in that era apparently doesn’t learn the failure of that system in European Union implemented by the Kyoto Protocol), the people of Kyoto Tokyo has to live in a huge tower called Atlas which was built as a replacement for the destroyed capital. Many of them are still living on the surface though but the forest is slowly taking over the remaining habitable cities on the surface. Meanwhile, the pink-haired protagonist is a de-facto leader of a rebel group that is opposed to the government’s policies and their job is primarily to blow things up anywhere they can, while the blonde-haired protagonist is a George Soros-wannabe who is hell-bent on making plenty of money of the carbon trading system even if it means the world’s economy will be wrecked. Better not say anything bad about the white-haired protagonist or else she will turn me into a pile of dead meat ahahahahaha!

This anime has a somewhat complex but still decent storyline, where you will be able to see several independent characters involved in their own story arcs that will then form the essence of this anime. The story was backed with great pacing and somewhat fluid plot development too, but this anime has glaring problems with scene transitions. This problem is even more apparent than the one exhibited in another Gonzo (that produced this title) anime titled Blassreiter. It become worse as the anime nears the end (see the transition between episode 21 and 22 to understand what I am saying) and this also affect the ending.

The ending is just like the one in Tears to Tiara; lame, ridiculously predictable (even more so in this anime) and unoriginal. As a coup de grâce to the ending, the pink-haired protagonist also spouts the same cliché-laden lines like the one that Tears to Tiara protagonist also used! Well, not the exact same wording, but the gist in both set of dialogues is depressingly very similar. I really fear for the future on Japan’s animation industry if the stakeholders cannot even ensure that each anime has their own unique bad endings. Well, at least this anime doesn’t have an ending scene that compares to Tears to Tiara’s lame rip-off of Lord of the Rings coronation scene.

Character development in this anime is way better than Tears to Tiara’s. The three pink/blonde/white-haired main protagonists in this anime are prominent in this aspect, with the blonde-hair carbon speculator and her virtual less-competent buddy being the best characters in this anime. This anime really has bad luck being reviewed after I have watched Tears to Tiara, or else it is highly unlikely I will savage the ending this much.

The face of the best character in this anime when her investments gone haywire.

Character Design:-
If there is anything Tears to Tiara excels compared to this anime, that would be character designs. Only the white-haired protagonist’s character design can be compared favorably to the ones in Tears to Tiara. But then again, character designs in this anime has seinen undertones within them unlike Tears to Tiara fantasy-like shounen designs.

Her constant creepy screaming in this anime is probably one of the best voice acting gigs in this anime.

Voice Acting:-
Voice acting in this anime is patchy, but better than Tears to Tiara’s. The pink-haired main protagonist is average, the white-haired protagonist fared a little better but the blonde-haired protagonist is better than them by a long distance. A honorable mention should be given to Hiruko-sama too, especially for her horrifying but addicting creepy screams. A positive point for this anime.

The OST in this anime is good, but only the insert they used as ending theme for episode 20 is of any good.

Despite low airtime, this virtual character is actually a very interesting persona.

The quality of the animation in this anime is excellent, even in fast-paced scenes. Choreography in action scenes are great too, with some outrageous and unbelievable action stunts. The directing is badly affected by the scene transition problems mentioned above, and of course, the ending too.

6 out of 10.
That’s it for this anime, nowhere near of being able to challenge Wolf and Spice 2 for the ‘Anime of the Year 2009’ title.

Contrary to what he implies, this anime is not really that good at the end.