Miken: This post has no real thought flow to it, so bear with me.
Also — thanks to this, I can clear out 1.74 gigs of this off of my hard drive. Now I only have 5 gigs worth of anime I still have to catch up and watch. Bah, but I want to play Persona 4 more than I want to watch more anime, so I guess that plan’s down the drain for at least one more week. Then again, I’m visiting colleges next week…so make that two weeks. Well, at least I’m done with this show for the next month. *cough*
Miken’s Enjoyment Level: 7/10
It wasn’t much of a surprise that Mikuni wasn’t immediately announced as the successor to Atlas even after hearing the message, and when Ryoko points out that there are two other candidates…and I suppose it isn’t that hard to guess who exactly she’s referring. Obviously, Sayoko doesn’t take this news very well, but even though she’s doing her best for Mikuni, I was happy to see her dragged off. Well, that’s mostly because she dropped Momoko’s earring, which led to Mi-ko freeing him.
I also liked that Kuniko matured enough to realize that adding a whole rescue mission on top of her plan to invade Atlas was bound to end in disaster. Of course, that problem is resolved anyways, with Momoko making a grand entrance with some of the best timing in the world. It was nice to see them reunited and all with Momoko backing Kuniko up even though he obviously wants her to lead a more normal life…But it would’ve been nice to have them hold back the reunion for a bit until the end of the episode. I was quite perplexed at how fast Momoko got home too…
Needs more spandex to become a proper rebellion…>_>
Miken’s Enjoyment Level: 8/10
Finally, the mysterious Tarsian is revealed and I’m quite shocked to find that he doesn’t have any multicolored hair or any hair at all! Ah, well, he does have a goatee. The rest of the episode was okay…I liked the dogfight that occurred midway into the episode, but it went nowhere fast and I was left disappointed. Sure, I liked that Kuniko got to blow up the missiles with her new boomerang, but it was so improbable that I was left laughing instead of amazed.
On the plus side — I still love that they portrayed Mikuni as a seemingly heartless soul with those who are untruthful when she was still being introduced, but now she becomes the little girl that she is when aroun Mi-ko, letting all of those walls fall down [and asking the darnedest questions]. I’m also happy with the new ED art — finally, the muted color is gone and now we have some beautiful artwork in its place.
Miken’s Enjoyment Level: 8/10
More info about the quake and why Atlas was created…and Tarsian is revealed to be the current Chairman of Atlas. Surprise surprise! He’s also Ryoko’s uncle. I guess that makes sense, since Ryoko has a helluva lot of influence for someone who appears to be in her early 30s at the very worst. The whole parallel between Tarsian and Ryoko’s chess game and what’s happening below was nice too. Still, the rest of the Metal Age group [the unnamed ones] died off a bit too quick. Then again, it does show off the power and resources that Atlas has.
I especially loved that Kuniko and Kunihito came face-to-face again. This time, there were definitely more bitter feelings due to the whole camoflauge armor theft thing, but they both somehow agreed in their disagreeable way that they had people to protect and neither would stand aside even if their side was morally wrong. The biggest surprise was that Kuniko’s grandmother was the first CEO of Atlas. I, like many others, assumed that she was that Gina idol that kept showing up on the screens of Akihabara. The reveal and Kuniko’s subsequent raging was a nice way to end the episode.
Miken’s Enjoyment Level: 8.8/10
Just as Zhang predicted the episode before, MEDUSA’s getting a swelled head and is somehow manipulating Karin against better moral decisions. He bows out, leaving me quite impressed that someone like him — only known through his chat icon-thing and his voice — had enough guts to go against MEDUSA. I also thought that it was somewhat touching to learn that Takehito had a little sister who probably ended up being sacrificed to be one of Hiruko’s containers. It would have been more touching if his face had shown enough emotion to match how much his seiyuu was giving. It also seems like they’re pulling out all the stops and using as many “fortunate coincidences” as they can too…like Momoko and Kuniko meeting with Kunihito’s mother.
When Zhang made his triumphant voice-only return after driving Ishida Finance bankrupt with the help of Nagiko, I was genuinely pleased. Miss Bankrupt Klaris and MEDUSA needed some more mellowing out. However, Karin got a little too greedy and she pretty much got rid of all restirctions on MEDUSA. This doesn’t bode well for Japan, which needs a ton of funds for Atlas itself…and Karin’s attacking all of it. Still, for Tarsian to decide to completely reformat Zeus was pretty big — the secrets he’s trying to hide are big enough to risk the safety of his entire project. Then, it turns out that Tarsian in the one behind MEDUSA and Ryoko’s men start pointing guns at him.
I also don’t know what the hell they’re doing with the whole Kuniko and Kunihito’s relationship. I mean, it’s strange that one episode they can be ready to kill (or at least knock out) one another while the next Kunihito is returning Kuniko’s old boomerang…I suppose they’re supposed to mirror one another as their resolves waver and they search for answers, but still…Nevertheless, I did like their balcony scene. Ahahaha, I think I’m starting to get to the point that I’m willing to ship them together. XD;;
No idea why Mi-ko’s getting arrested though…ohwait…yeah…nevermind. >_>;;
Ryoko must be a champ at Russian Roulette…
Miken’s Enjoyment Level: 8/10
It kinda felt like a bit too much for Kuniko to up and banish her grandma like that…though I suppose she has enough reason to after having such a huge secret kept from her. At the very least, Nagiko left without any harsh feelings and Kuniko at least showed remorse over her decision.
I also loved how Kuniko shoved Momoko’s words right back at him when she pretty much leapt off the clock tower while dragging him with her and declared “Every decision I make is a good one!” I also suppose that Mi-ko is pretty much gone and never coming back, at least not the way he was before. Momoko’s earlier “connected by the heart” line served as enough of a death flag. Still, I was kind of surprised (but not really) that he held enough self to be able to talk and defend Mikuni from Hiruko.
Kunihito asking to leave the military wasn’t that much of a surprise though. With his recent wavering resolve, it was bound to happen. I’m more surprised that Ryoko doesn’t care, being the glorified stalker that she is. Other than that, I liked that Mikuni decided to grow up a bit and stage a rescue attempt for Mi-ko and attack Atlas. Now if only this had coincided better with Kuniko’s attack…>_>;;
Obviously, though, we can’t have Mikuni actually dying…so Sayoko enters in a Big Damn Heroes moment, kidnaps Hiruko and declares that she and Mikuni are leaving Atlas. Once again, Ryoko surprises me by not caring about Hiruko. I swear, she better have a good backup plan without the creepy kid there.
I loved the art-shift near the end of the episode when Momoko was explaining the growth of the Daedalus~ It was so cute! <3 [Even though the subject they were talking about was anything but cute]
…And I suppose his angst over what happened to his sis is what’s making Takehito point his gun at Kuniko’s head, but it was a nice twist to end the episode on~<3
Shangri-La definitely is better than what I though it’d turn out when I started watching it. Sure, some of it’s low-quality moments are really really easy to tell, but the general suspense keeps up. The characters interact well and I’m left genuinely intruigued at what Ryoko and our three Digmas will be up to next. Concerning Kunihito’s resignation from the military, though, I assume this places him in a better position to ally himself with Metal Age (but obviously not fully, since that wouldn’t be his style) in the future. Takehito’s dead little sister story was really really cliched though, I kinda wanted to see something more imaginative for him. Still, thanks to his sis and Nagiko, he gets to the point where he can turn on Kuniko…so it isn’t all for naught.
Next time: Tunnels on a Dark Night
Miken’s Anticipation Level: 7/10
Obviously, he won’t shoot. >_>;;
Or, at the very least, he won’t headshot her…