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Shangri-la Episode 2: In the Dark Ocean of Trees

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Shangri-la
About Shangri-la:

SHANGRI-LA is the story of a young woman fighting for her survival in a real “urban jungle.” Only 18 years old, Kuniko Hojo finds herself at the heart of the battle for humanity’s future when she discovers that the government which rules Atlas intends to continue marginalising the less-privileged masses outside the tower – by force, if necessary.

With character designs by internationally acclaimed artist Range Murata (Last Exile, Blue Submarine No. 6), series structure by Hiroshi Ohnogi (Kekkaishi, Birdy the Mighty) and directed by Makoto Bessho (animation director of Ah! My Goddess Movie, Brave Story), SHANGRI-LA is set to be another major international hit from legendary anime studio GONZO (Last Exile, Blue Submarine No. 6, Yukikaze, Samurai 7, Witchblade, Afro Samurai).

Follow Kuniko and her rag-tag group of guerrillas, Metal-age, as they fight for survival in the amazing surroundings of a bustling metropolis reclaimed by nature. Even in this superheated future, both bravery and the human spirit can persevere and—hopefully—win.

(c) 2008 Eiichi Ikegami/KADOKAWA SHOTEN/SHANGRI-LA Partners

Episode 2 Synopsis:
The mysterious daggers resonate at Kuniko’s encounter with young army officer Kusanagi. Then suddenly, bomb-like objects shower down from the sky on Duomo. The Metal-age and the government begin their investigations to identify their unknown enemy, which they believe opened fire on them from the forbidden jungle of Ikebukuro.

You can watch episode 2 at Crunchyroll for free and legally streamed.
http://www.crunchyroll.com/media-525392/shangri-la-2/

Filtaku Episode Review
Impressions:
The episode begins where they left off from Episode 1. The daggers stop resonating and then the town suddenly gets bombarded. Everyone assumes that its artillery. The Atlas Security Corps retreat under the suggestion of Kusanagi of which he mentions that the artillery is not friendly and of unknown origin. Kuniko and co. withdraws from the small skirmish between them and Atlas Security and help evacuate and help the bombard town. Kuniko saves a little boy from falling debris but is scolded by the mother of the boy saying that kuniko and Metal-Age are to be blame for the attack. The scene switches to a meeting with the blonde mistress of Atlas Corperation (Though her offical title hasn’t been discussed yet, it is assumed she is a superior figure in Atlas). She scolds the the leader of the security corps that just retreated. Here it is revealed that the servant that she previously abused in last episode is the younger brother of the security corps leader. She gets enraged grabs the boy. Her irratic speech and gestures made it seem that the boy was going to be harmed. The brother speaks out that he will take responsibility and search for the origin of the unknown artillery. The scene switches back to Kuniko and co. at a debriefing. The Metal-Age debriefing. Then talk about the origins of the artillery and make out that it came from the jungle. Kuniko suggests to going and investigating. They also mention that the jungle is highly dense with oxygen and has a poisonous swamland. They gear up in what seems to be enviromental/hazmat suits to protect themselfs and take the old subway to the jungle. The scene switches again to the genius girl Karin who developed medusa. This time she’s having online avatar conversation with 3 other people, two of which are of screen names Zhang, Klaris, and Tarsian. They talk about the emissions market, then proceed to manipulate it more for more gains using Medusa. The scene ends with Karin disconnecting communications after reading a text message from Tarsian (of which is a character unknown yet) that said “Your parents will be proud of you”. The next scene goes to Lady Mikuni and her inquiring about why what she calls a “sigil” chimmed. Her uptight glasses caretaker answers by saying that she didn’t know and that she asked Atlas Corp. and they didn’t know. A what seems to be a female servant of Mikuni interrupts and says that it must be a good omen. Another servant interrupts her and says that she must be new and pitys her. Mikuni smiles and says she hates lies. The servant that told mikuni of the good omenbegins to has a spasm, she falls to the ground and into what seems a canal or something. She then begins to be invisibly crushed. Glasses caretaker lader complains how she is going to replace the killed servant. Mikuni happily responds that there are plenty of people in the “lower world”. The scene switches to Kuniko and co. exploring the subways and jungle for the origin of the artillery. They find the military searching for something, Kuniko and co. assumes that they are searching for the orgins of the artillery as well and deduct that it was not Atlas that bombarded the town. Kuniko and co. are found by Kusanagi who, along with the other Atlas Security soldiers, is also wearing an enviromental/hazmat suit. They exchange attacks with Kusanagi firing a what seems to be an OICW style weapon. Kuniko and Co. escape the confrontation and Atlast Security leave after their investigation. The scene switches to two Atlas lackeys of the blonde mistress. They discuss the discovery of how they found no traces of increased carbon monoxide with the Carbon Observation Satellite Icarus in the jungle where the assumed artillery origin was. Questioning how there could be artillery with no increase in emissions. One of the lackeys jokingly says that it might be the forest itself lashing out at them. The scene goes to Kuniko and Co. where they discuss the findings of their own investigation. They discuss how they found  no artillery shells in the bombarded town. They discuss that maybe it was Atlas testing a new weapon on the town. They are suddenly inturrepted by a person telling them that the results of the Atlas Ballot was about to be released. The group rushes out the room talking about they are finally going to get into atlas. The scene switches to Momoko-san and Tetsuo (the seemingly pale fat girl). They discuss what they are going to do if selected to live in Atlas. A small time of anticipation passes and the result of the lottery is released. Tetsuo  is chosen and everyone gives a loud “Eh!!” while staring at her. The scene switches to the blonde mistress walking down a set of stares, she enters a room. The room’s walls are filled what seems to be eyes. Someone or something is in the middle of the room. She speaks out saying that she wants to speak with Lord of Atlas mentioning that the seals have resonated. With that the episode ends.

Conclusion/Expectations:
Well, with this episode there leaves more questions rather than answers. What was that bombardment really? They mentioned no conventional artillery in terms of using standard projectiles and not even finding any projectiles in whatsoever in the town. Well given that its pretty neo modern, they could use something like a rail gun to launch projectiles, that is using magnetism rather than chemical combustion. But then again there were no projectiles, so im not sure.

A new setting was introduced to the story, that would be the surrounding jungle. They mention in the episode that it is saturated with oxygen and has poisonous swamps. They also mention risk of infection if they take off their protective suits while in the jungle. Infection? What infection? Yeah sure the jungle does seem a little mutated and could be hosts to a bucket load of disease but they didn’t emphasis on the point. Whats more interesting is that when Kuniko and Co. met Kusanagi, he opened fire with his gun. This part intrigues me mainly because if the jungle was densely saturated with oxygen wouldn’t the whole place ignite when he fired his gun? I dunno i could be wrong, a little research could probably resolve this question but im a tad lazy and tired right now to look.

Mikuni. The cute little mystic girl. My opinion of her went from “aw cute” to “Whoa scary”. From what the scene depicted she herself used some sort of psychokinesis to crush and kill a girl to a pulp, well not really pulp but close to it.

The discovery of the maybe leader of the Security Corps and the abused boy servant of the mistress of Atlas of which them being brothers is interesting. I’m pretty sure that point will be used for plot development later on.

Karin-chan, our lolipop loving genius emissions market manipulator, in this episode just emphasis’s more how lonely she seems to be. Though she seems to be greedy and loves money. Makes you just want to hug her and say it’s alright your not alone. Her scene introduced 3 new characters. Two of which seem to be “business” partners in manipulating the markets for profits. Assuming also that they are from different parts of the world. The  third character, that really didn’t get much screen time but had great influence on Karin was Tarsian. Tarsian seems more close to Karin given that his/her statement of “your parents will be proud” cause karin to cut communications as she despairs. Who knows really. I’m looking forward to her character development and the role she plays in the plot.

They have an interesting system in their universe. A lottery that decides who gets to live in Atlas, a seemingly Utopia compared to the outside world, or what they depict it as. The next episode seems to answer or at least explain Atlas itself. Sure is funny how that the members of metal age look forward to the lottery even though they are an anti-government organization.

Now the last piece to talk about what went on at the end. The Atlas mistress and the whole “demonic” type room with a creepy person in the middle. I dunno, but the whole thing yelled out evil and creepy. I’m pretty sure now that there will be a little mysticism going on if you didn’t already thought so by now. Lord of Atlas she calls him. The seals resonating. Makes me think that something other than intense global warming and emissions regulation is going on in this universe.

With that i look foward to the next episode. Hopefully more answers will be given than questions.

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Author: PJ

I am a filipino college student that enjoys watching anime, gaming, and is an airsoft enthusiast.

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