Monday, 22 June 2009

Shangri-la - Episode 12

After Karin's period in the spotlight last time around, the main focus of episode twelve returns to Kuniko, the new leader of Metal Age. It isn't too long before she has yet further reason to take action against Atlas either, as the new Prime Minister Ryoko goes against her initial promise regarding moving people into Atlas, suspending the settlement programme to instead focus on building Atlas first. An unelected Prime Minister going back on promises made only a few weeks before? You'd never see such a shambolic state of affairs here in UK politics, that's for sure...

So, with anger rising against Atlas, Kuniko reveals her plan for a full-on attack of the settlements. Naturally, such an audacious plot is going to require some serious hardware, which means a trip to Akihabara. No, please, anywhere but there! Sadly, despite my protestations we get another dose of those annoying cosplaying shop-keepers (although they have put together a nifty Kuniko figure, which is pretty sweet), although thankfully they manage to keep the stupidity to a relative minimum this time around.

Kuniko isn't the only one on a shopping spree in the district as Karin, buoyed by the events of the last episode, goes out herself, albeit disguised as a bear in the hope that nobody will talk to her. Probably not the best plan I've heard recently, but never mind... After trying to buy Akihabara itself, she ends up running into Kuniko, before running away - I'm sure that won't be the last time those two meet, and indeed that thought is backed up by Sayako paying a visit to Ryoko to inquire about Lady Mikuni's status as the future ruler of Atlas, only to be told that she isn't the only candidate for the position. Hmmm, I wonder who the others could be? Oh, and of course all this is without Momoko finally escaping her captors, thanks to the help of an old friend.

In all fairness to Shangri-la, it does at least seem to have got a grip on itself over the last few episodes, pulling itself up by the bootstraps from the utter ridicule it was facing to present something slightly less ridiculous for the time being. Yes, Lady Ryoko and Sayako are both tiresomely cliched evil characters (although I did enjoy the latter's hacking attempt using only the opening titles to Blockbusters for guidance), and the whole plot of the series is messy at best, but perhaps Shangri-la has done itself a favour by being so terrible for so long - Now it's just "quite bad", in relative terms it almost feels like a quality effort.

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