With Kuniko and Momoko's visit to New Akihabara ending in an unexpected chance meeting with Kunihito Kusanagi, it was clear that something was afoot, but what exactly? This episode reveals all... Well, apart from what Momoko's "silver" is, but to be honest I think I'd rather it stay that way.
Away from the main thread of this episode, we see Mikuni continuing to get on really rather well with her new "lady" in waiting Miiko, and Karin is still having a few problems (not least the sudden appearance of Kuniko in "her world", but more on that later).
Meanwhile, Kuniko and Momoko work to find out just what the military are up to in New Akihabara, which unfortunately means a visit to the world's three most annoying otaku again, who are on-hand to provide some kind of "hacking booth" which again makes Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex's hacking sequences seem like the work of a 25th century genius animator. Anyhow, this hacking allows Kuniko to see that Kusanagi is after information on who purchased a particularly powerful CPU, while offering some rather impressive camouflaging nanotechnology in return for said information.
Perhaps the biggest set piece of the episode is, however, yet another meeting between Kusanagi and Kuniko, which leads to some long conversations between these two idealists on both sides of the fence, before the latter finally gets fed up, attacks Kusanagi and steals the aforementioned sample of the camouflaging nanotechnology.
I'm really trying hard to reasses this series after being very harsh on it for the past few episodes now, and to be fair it is improving in small and subtle ways, while at least making an effort to develop the show's storyline. The trouble is, the whole thing just has a rather childish sheen to it, from the way the debate between Kuniko and Kusanagi is framed onwards. "Childish" is perhaps a harsh word to use, as it certainly doesn't appear to be the aim of Shangri-la, but rather the series lacks and real maturity in the way it's handling its subject matter, leaving us with what is looking like a rather simple and shallow series - A real surprise considering the potentially complex subject matter. Shangri-la should be thought-provoking, yet conversely the only real thought it tends to promote in me is "how long until this episode is over?". Further steps in the right direction may put paid to this negative mindset of mine, and I haven't given up hope entirely, but something needs to change sooner rather than later if this show has any hope of impressing me.