Monday, 7 September 2009

Shangri-la - Episode 23

At long last, Shangri-lareaches its penultimate episode, and to celebrate it fills a huge bucket with nonsense and then proceeds to tip it in its entirety over what remains of this show's plot.

If anything, this particular instalment is a celebration of paper-thin characterisation, as Kusanagi turns from helping Kuniko to pointing a gun at her on account of his mother having been kidnapped, only to persuaded not to do that because Kuniko promises to save her with no semblance of an actual plan in sight on her part. Lady Mikuni similar changes her mind more often that she does those robes, helping Ryoko and then deciding not to, only to change her mind again in the face of some mild bullying, while she similarly changes her tune about Sayoko from grief at her loss to telling her to get lost when she returns alive and well after all, and the mourns her death later on. Again.

Kuniko and Momoko aside, pretty much every major character here seems unable to make their mind up about anything, while Nagiko and Tarsian finally decide that they should probably do something about MEDUSA after spending what seems like the past half-dozen episodes drinking tea, playing chess and reminiscing about old times - These guys certainly don't have much of a sense of crisis, do they? Oh, and speaking of crises, Karin's parents have been dead for three years and living their undead lives and virtual bears, but they didn't want their daughter to find out that they were dead because.... oh, who cares, it makes no sense anyway. At least Ryoko remains resolutely and comically evil until the bitter end.

In case you haven't guessed long before this, Shangi-la makes absolutely no sense any more. Actually, to clarify, it does make sense, but only in the most laughably pathetic, ill-conceived and plain stupid way possible - It's a bit like one of those stories where each person has to write a paragraph then pass the piece of paper onto the next person, who then writes the next paragraph without looking at what was written previously. It's a mess, pure and simple, from the little things (bomb and rocket-launcher proof metal that can be cut open by a magical knife, and then pulled apart by a schoolgirl) to the big ones (the entire revelation about Karin's parents reeks of deus ex machina), and that leaves Shangri-la's legacy to anime as a show that stands proud for being an utter joke.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm actually really going to miss your episode reviews of this series. They are beautiful, articulate expressions of loathing. And hilarious.