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August 22, 2012

Anime Review: Shangri-La

Shangri-La is what you can describe as a futuristic anime set in a time period where the Earth is on the brink of destruction and sea levels have risen dramatically due to global warming. This is a dramatic action and sci-fi anime that intriguing right from the start.

Shangri-LaSynopsis:

In the distant future, earthquakes and the effects of global warming have splintered Japanese society. Some struggle hand-to-mouth in the jungle-tangled ruins of civilization. Some live comfortably within the closed-off city of Atlas. Others lurk online, anonymously hacking the global economy. As nature grows more violent and the divide between classes expands, one spirited girl – Kuniko – must face her destiny and lead her people into the utopia of Atlas. The city's ruthless government isn't going to welcome them with open arms, but Kuniko won't give up until the gates of Atlas are kicked open for good – even if it means discovering that the promised land she dreamed of is built upon a foundation of twisted secrets and lies. 

Review:

Imagine Earth after global warming has dramatically affected the living environments of people and the once busting cities are now covered in urban decay and forests. This is the story of the people who still live on the ground, living in fear and desolation, within the shadow of the great sky city, Atlas. As the impending danger of the forest as it spreads, Kuniko is determined to lead her people into what seemed to be the utopia of Atlas. With her friends by her side, they are determined to break through into the city, against the corrupt government that oversees the city as well as accidentally discovering the twisted secrets and lies that the city is founded upon. At first, the anime presents itself rather slowly, and you will encounter plenty of "WTF" moments; not to mention the transsexuals that are just randomly in the story for no apparent reason. After a while as the story progresses, you will uncover more truths and links between the characters and what Atlas actually is. The story somewhat can get slightly confusing at some points, but all is explained later on as you watch on.

The art was really well done and the environments all look so highly detailed as if you are actually there. The greenery, forests, and decay is clearly seen from the way the art was illustrated. It was wonderful and impressive. The anime was fluid and well animated. The characters all looked great and spectacular from their clothes to their facial expressions. I loved the action, special effects and especially that boomerang weapon! I loved that boomerang weapon! Is awesome.

Voice acting was quite good for most characters. I am unsure how to describe the way the transsexuals talk in this anime, but frankly, it is not as disturbing as you might have thought. Otherwise, the other characters were portrayed pretty accurately from their character expressions and dialogue. Theme songs were quite catchy to listen to and I found myself relistening to them again and again. There were plenty of background music to subconsciously listen to and there were plenty of accurate sound effects to support various scenes throughout the anime.

Overall, the story took a bit of time to digest, and the anime doesn't rush giving you every detail there is to give. Most of the time, you would be guessing to as what is happening on screen and who are those people doing there. Of course, if you watch this anime closely, you can start to create mental links between characters and try to discovers their motives and thoughts. There are plenty of interesting characters here and there, and the art was simply expressive. In the end, if you like watching an anime featuring a kick-ass girl, then Shangri-La will probably satisfy your hunger.

STORY: 7
The story slowly reveals itself whilst giving us the action we need.

ART: 9
Simply wonderfully illustrated and smoothly animated.

SOUND: 8
Voice acting was quite good and theme songs were catchy to listen to.

CHARACTER: 8
The characters are quite mysterious and you only find out more about them as you watch through the series.

ENJOYMENT: 8
A kick-ass girl that leads a rebel group to take over a huge city? Awesome. There's plenty of action and adventure to keep you occupied.

OVERALL: 8
It was a great anime to watch. I loved how it was set in a believable future where global warming has damaged most of the Earth and how humans have to survive in this environment.