I just finished watching Shangri-La
. My overall score: 5/10 - it was not bad, but could have been much better.
Setting: Quite interesting. Near future; global warming; huge, clean city in the sky; overgrown poison forests slowly taking over the few remaining surface settlements; a world economy literally based on carbon credits. Also the huge clean city is terribly sinister. Also there's some sort of weird god thing keeping it intact, or something. Also there's a prophecy. There's always a prophecy.
Story: Convoluted. Lots of stuff happens, much of it only slightly related to the main plot. Right now, I can't really remember what much happened in the first half of the series. It takes a while to start coming together, but when it does... it's still hard to make a coherent statement about. When the climax of the story is almost literally:
"a wizard did it"
then there's trouble. Ah, but such is the way these series go sometimes. It's interesting enough to move the characters along to the end, and the characters are what this is about.
Characters: Many and varied, some are fairly deep, and a good few are grating for no reason.
Karin, Kuniko, Kunihito, and Sayoko were characters I liked, with motivations, a decent bit of depth, strength, flaws, and character arcs.
Some other "main" characters were good enough, but not spectacular either way.
Many supporting characters got enough screen time of their own and mini-arcs, and generally were decent.
Some other supporting characters were just annoying (Akihibara guys), some were unpleasant (Hiruko communicates entirely by screams and seems to serve no real
purpose), and some didn't really do much outstanding, though were pleasant enough.
And finally, some main characters were gratingly bad: Ryoko redefines "cartoonishly evil" and seems to be a pale, shallow imitation of Delphine from Last Exile
; Momoko seems to have been specifically engineered to be as offensive and unlikeable as possible to as many different people as possible.
Overall, there's enough variety in things going on that there's bound to be something worthwhile. Unfortunately, that variety is bound to include some things that are less worthwhile to you. And if any one, large, component of the show bugs you, then it could easily spoil the whole thing.
Anyway. Next up: Continuing with Girls und Panzer
, and will begin... Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
(aieee, 52 episodes!?)