Monday, 27 April 2009

Shangri-la - Episode 4

Four episodes in, and Shangri-la appears ever more determined to be as irritating as humanly possible. If that is it's aim, then it has to be said that it delivers admirably.

After their return from Atlas last episode, Kuniko is still mulling over what she saw there, while meanwhile the whole carbon trading scam going on in the background becomes even more unstable as another party starts hacking around and adjusting things to their needs. But who else would have a computer powerful enough to perform such feats? Well, it looks like Kuniko's grandmother has a pretty hefty PC or two hidden away in her basement...

It's carbon trading of a more physical kind that's on Kuniko's mind however, as she decides that Metal-Age should trade in some of their huge graphite stockpile (methinks they've been taking carbon trading a little too literally) for some hard cash. Oh, and guns. Lots of guns. To complete this transaction, it's time for a trip to Akihabara, so that the series can offend as many otaku stereotypes as humanly possible while also creating an opening for at least one more transsexual gag (not that any further openings were needed, as that particular quote was fulfilled within the first two minutes of this episode).

You know, it's actually becoming increasingly painful to write out any kind of plot synopsis for this series, so ridiculous has it all become. Trading in graphite? Miiko as the new favoured lady-in-waiting of Mikuni when the rest of us would have killed her within seconds? Lady Ryoko naked again? Please, for the love of God, make it stop... Still, at least Kuniko seems to have got her attitude back again this episode, after turning into a stupid whining idiot last time around.

After watching the first episode of this, I discussed the even-handing approach the series seemed to be taking towards climate change issues. Well, I've changed my mind - This series is clearly encouraging us to pollute and destroy the planet by making all of its characters to utterly annoying.. Certainly, it would make me want to light fire to an oil field or two having to spend five minutes with Momoko or her terribly animated buddy Takehiko. I'm trying to think of a single redeeming feature to this series but I simply can't - It isn't even fun to watch in a "so bad it's good" kind of, it's just outright terrible. I was almost going to suggest that Shangri-la feels like it's been written by a teenager who has spent far too much time fretting about the environment and not enough time learning how to write, but that would be way too harsh on illiterate, environmentally-conscious teenagers.


Zaeris said...

I don't understand people irk with transsexual. In form of writing you consider it a form of gag but the jokes/gag are about a part of Momoko making it a characterization of her character. Being open freely with her sexually it is no different from gay people making gay jokes about themselves. Just curious do you have a general dislike of transvestite in general or are your feelings neutral in this case?

I assume or rather listen to the conversation between the Mikuni servants, Mikuni herself is telepathic having the ability to read minds. While you see her mercilessly kill without warning her reasoning consist the tendency of others to lie and by nature she reacts the way she does. Miko exhibit an honest personality allowing her to communicate with Mikuni. The only thing lacking was a transition scene at the end of near the end of episode 3 to clear up the matter.

Hanners said...

It's nothing to do with their sexuality or expression of it (which I have absolutely zero problem with), and it's everything to do with the tiresome and repetitive use of Momoko's sexuality as a comic vehicle - It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't cringe-worthingly unfunny, and even then it would be more palatable if it wasn't wheeled out every two minutes to cover up the fact that the rest of the plot is largely an embarrassment.

Mikuni is probably one of the more interesting characters the series has, but she still feels like a tired old cliche that we've seen done better countless times before.

zaeris said...

To write or not to write.
Lol, adding words to express my current dilemma. One man’s hell is another man heaven, myself I don’t have the same issue with regards to Shangri-la the graphite trading is an interesting device maybe because as an economics students following the simple law of demand and supply leading towards a carbon currency is rather interesting like in the past when most of Europe and Britain used the gold standard as a exchange and measure of economic power of one countries.

While cliché can be overuse in anime in most cases what cases can anyone support which isn’t cliché I think what it boils down to is it entertaining as Cliché can be entertaining. Being original doesn’t necessarily equate to greater enjoyment. The plot itself is moving towards 3 path judging from 3 different perspective and many of them are hidden with the origin relating to each character does everything looks as simple as it seems, hints are given but I’m doubting the truth to be different later. The gist of the episode relates to Kuniko development and her idea to allow everyone to live freely on Altas via the usage of force, to me it a sense of excitement hoping for resolution and excitement when it happens.