I'm sure all of us have watched anime series that we simply didn't want to end; shows where we reached the last episode and found ourselves wishing it could go on forever, allowing us to enjoy and grow with the characters and stories ad infinitum. Well, Shangri-la isn't one of those shows.
Rather, Shangri-la is an anime of the "Hallelujah, thank God it's over!" variety, although upon saying that I have to give it kudos for finishing its twenty-four episode run with the most unintentionally hilarious twenty minutes of anime I've seen in 2009. Where do I start with it? Perhaps with Kuniko using the wind from a boomerang to cushion her fall? Or the fact that Kuniko and Mikuni are really sisters? Or perhaps that they're clones of Hiruko? That's a fair few snigger-worthy moments, and we're only about two minutes into the episode.
From here, MEDUSA's attempts to create a nuclear winter are prevented... because MEDUSA didn't realise he was only hacking into the UN's weapons systems in a virtual world, and not a real one, before then drowning in a virtual sea. But MEDUSA has a baby, which is a good thing apparantly. Huh?
Oh, and Kuniko wins the day using a giant jet-powered boomerang which just so happens to have been invented and manufactured just in case she needed to beat an evil computer within Atlas which is actually Kuniko as well. The computer in question is also Ryoko, which I suppose means that Ryoko is Kuniko; convenient, considering that Ryoko wants to steal and inhabit Kuniko's body.
As a final denouement of stupidity (well, I could go on all day, but let's just skip to the funniest part), Lady Mikuni's inability to tolerate sunlight and her proclivity to tie people she doesn't like into knots are both healed by the ghost of Miko, who has become a ghost to look after the dead children of Atlas, and she returns to Mikuni briefly to cast a transsexual magic spell on her. No really, I haven't been drinking while writing this, it's actually how the series ends. Wait, come back, I'm not insane. Really!
I know times are tough for Gonzo of late, but if Shangri-la suggests anything it's that these guys really need a break (be it enforced or otherwise) to get their heads together and stop producing utterly stupid trash like this. Sure, it had a few reasonable episodes, but beyond that the vast majority of both the plot and characters of the series were complete tripe of the highest degree possible, and much as I occasionally enjoyed giggling and shaking my head at such daft and incoherent attempts at storytelling (particularly towards the end of the series, as referenced above, where the story didn't so much jump the shark as leap to the outer edges of the universe to avoid it), I can't pretend that it wasn't utterly awful. Let it be duly noted for the records that Shangri-la is to 2009 what Allison to Lilliawas to 2008 - An utterly shameful effort.