Shangri-La Episode #07 (

By:Mark Thomas
Review Date: Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Release Date: Sunday, May 17, 2009

At return to prison finally brings Kuniko and Lady Ryoko together. Shame they cannot be friends.

What They Say:

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 marginalizing the less-privileged masses outside the tower - by force, if necessary.

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.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

After being a bit disappointed with the last episode, I was hoping for a return back to the mysteries of Atlus for episode 7. We got that. After helping foil a collapse of the carbon market, Kuniko sits back with a couple friends to reminisce about old days. However, as they are enjoying a night out, the Atlus military invades Duomo to arrest Kuniko. They claim it is because of her theft of the holographic armor, but the reality is worse. When her friend, Tomoka, insists on going too, it opens up new insight to Kuniko’s past. As Kuniko returns to the prison she started the series in, she finds a completely different situation, as none of her friends still incarcerated will talk to her. There is a new queen of the prison, and she does not like Kuniko. To make matters worse, the reality of Kuniko’s arrest comes to light when we find that Lady Ryoko has taken over as warden of the prison, and she had Kuniko arrested so that she could get closer to her.

This episode once again returned to the fun of prior episodes, as we get to see more development with Kuniko’s role as a foil to Atlus. While we still do not know exactly why Atlus fears her, yet, the fact that the Atlus CEO, Ryoko, has taken over the prison just to torment Kuniko suggests that Kuniko is more than just an anti-government militant. And really, Ryoko’s sadism combined with Kuniko’s hardheadedness is a fantastic dichotomy. I really cannot wait to see where this will go. And as much as I really do not care about the carbon market, I was interested in the little snippet at Karin’s place where her MEDUSA system decided to ignore a market fluctuation to instead study Jupiter. After the destruction of the twin system, SERPENT, in the last episode, that raises the question as to what role MEDUSA will have in the future. All in all, I was pleased with this episode.

As a final note, I should mention that Crunchyroll seems to be offering this simulcast title for free as a bit of an advertisement for their membership services. So you do not actually need an account to watch it before it drops into their general video collection.

In Summary:

After what I felt was a bit of a letdown last episode, Shangri-La returned to the winning formula with this one. I am particularly interested to see where it is going now that Kuniko and Ryoko are starting to butt heads. There are still a lot of questions that need answering over the last five episodes, but I have really enjoyed what I have seen so far. Recommended.

Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Mania Grade: B+
Audio Rating: NA
Video Rating: NA
Packaging Rating: NA
Menus Rating: NA
Extras Rating: NA
Age Rating: 13 and Up
Region: All Region DVD
Released By: Crunchyroll
Running time: 25
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Disc Resolution: 480i/p
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Shangri-La