I first heard of Shangri-La while on a Wiki Walk on this site. After looking up its OST on youtube and concluding it had Awesome Music I decided to watch a few episodes. Needless to say, I ended up watching the whole series. The characters are interesting and memorable. For example, Kuniko seems like a Pollyanna at first but as time goes on it's obvious she isn't suppressing anything during the frequent attempts to Break The Cutie. There's also Momoko, an unapologetic Transsexual Badass who has (among other things) essentially weaponized his perversions. There are other great characters as well, but explaining them and why would take too long. The setting and story are also well done. I don't believe in Global Warming and was thus very pleased the writers didn't try to drill in a Green Aesop like they usually do when that's in play, instead focusing on how hard things like carbon police and limited power would make life for the average man. The elites in Atlas and elsewhere are portrayed as complete assholes (in one way or another) and the politicians as their resigned slaves (*sniff* just like in Real Life). Also, there is the powerful trading algorithm/A.I. called MEDUSA that has the power to grossly distort the markets (in RL, there are several MEDUSA-like systems fighting each other for profits and manipulating the markets every day. Go down to Wall Street and ask any broker if you think this is just some Conspiracy Theory). So it's obvious the writers did some research while not allowing certain truths get in the way of awesome things. I for one appreciate this. Later on there are some esoteric and occult elements introduced, but these elements fall squarely in the realm of Low Fantasy and thus don't disturb the overall sci-fi feel of the story all that much. As for the animation, it was pretty good despite being produced by GONZO and the action scenes were very well done. All in all, I found this anime to be most enjoyable and would highly recommend it to people looking for something they probably weren't expecting to like.
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