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Shangri-La: Part 1 (Limited Edition)

3.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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(Aug 21, 2012)
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Limited Edition
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Editorial Reviews

In the distant future, earthquakes and the effects of global warming have splintered Japanese society. Some struggle hand-to-mouth in the jungle-tangled ruins of civilization. Some live comfortably within the closed-off city of Atlas. Others lurk online, anonymously hacking the global economy. As nature grows more violent and the divide between classes expands, one spirited girl - Kuniko - must face her destiny and lead her people into the utopia of Atlas. The city's ruthless government isn't going to welcome them with open arms, but Kuniko won't give up until the gates of Atlas are kicked open for good - even if it means discovering that the promised land she dreamed of is built upon a foundation of twisted secrets and lies.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Terri Doty, Tyler Walker, Yui Ariga, Makoto Ishii
  • Directors: Makoto Bessho
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Box set, Color, Limited Edition, NTSC
  • Language: Japanese, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Funimation Prod
  • DVD Release Date: August 21, 2012
  • Run Time: 300 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0083QJW8E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,798 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This anime looks awesome. It's the story of an 18 year old girl named Kuniko Hojo. She lives in a devastated world that is ruled by a ruthless government. The Atlas government makes sure there is a huge difference between the ruling class and the regular citizens. This makes rising against them difficult. They control the economy and make living a comfortable life nigh impossible. Kuniko and her friends are part of a resistance group that fights to give people a chance to live for themselves.

The animation is amazing, the voice acting and soundtrack are also top notch. The thing that kept me from getting engrossed by this show was the lack of character development. There are a few interesting characters. They have colorful attitudes and good dialogue, but they aren't developed in depth. This makes it hard to get into the story. This is only the 1st part of the story, so there is more time to rectify the issues I have with this anime. It's clear to see that the real action and drama have yet to be seen. I'll probably buy the 2nd part too, but as things stand now the story is 3 stars, the production quality is 5 stars, and I'll give it an average of 4 stars. It's not a strong series thus far, but I hope things will get better. It has massive potential.

UPDATE
Since I wrote this review, I've watched the 2nd part of this anime. All my issues with it were resolved and I loved the conclusion. This is definitely a 5 star series in my book!
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Format: DVD
I first watched this series for free on Crunchyroll (a free or premium for pay streaming anime site). They have since removed the series due to Funimation's picking up the license. Note: the LIMITED EDITION is the art box. That's it. It is a 12 episode, 2 disc set - that is the first 12 episodes of the 24 episode series. Perhaps LIMITED refers to the limited amount of special features! Also, the first half 'limited edition' sells for $10 more MSRP than the second half of the series. So $10 for a cardboard art box.

I had always wondered why a top class Gonzo series had not been picked up until this time. But now seeing the staggering $60 price point for 12 episodes borders on criminal. The series is a solid 5, but Funimation's decision to package a 2009 series for this price is unethical at best. I felt this would have better been the entire series for $60 instead of the first half. Shame on you Funimation. Perhaps in a year or two it will appear in their S.A.V.E. series?

The series is one that is set in the near future. Mankind has been cornered into small settlements due to overwhelming growth of aggressive plants. Any attempts to use fossil fuels typically winds up with mysterious attacks from afar on the populace.

The aspect I really enjoyed about this series was their characterization. I really like that one of the important characters is actually a transvestite! The other supporting characters are also quite enjoyable. I do prefer the Japanese audio with English subtitles, especially for Karin (the blue haired computer hacker girl) and Momoko (the tranny). Mikuni adds a little awe, horror, and strange compassion into the series as well. Don't want to spoil anything.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Much like our heroine, Kuniko, Part 1 of Shangri-La comes over as lively, strong and bold, and with sudden moments of tenderness and insight. However by the end of Part 1 we suspect that the series has a McGuffin at its core and will be the worse for it.

This review should be read alongside my review of Part 2. Like several recent Funimation series, Parts 1 and 2 are all of a piece and cannot be viewed as stand-alone.

Funimation's limited edition features a strong card box that fits both parts, and is a good feature and well worth paying for if you spot a different option. (Don't be put off by 3D-style art: the show is normal anime, not creepy CGI 3D!)

Part 1 of Shangri-La (avoiding spoilers as much as possible, but spoilers follow!)
The series creator has come up with an ingenious concept: imagine a world in which the carbon market becomes a complete replacement market. Now imagine you discovered a way to sequester carbon and build a whole new way of living. Japan has become such a world. (We see nothing of life in other countries but the show implies they are limping on in the traditional way as best they can, barring any dependence on petrogas products.) Now Japan has two sides: a "utopia" where loyal citizens slave to build the final living space project, known as Atlas, and everywhere else, where the jungle is free to re-grow and people get by as best they can. Atlas is mind-numbingly huge. It is possibly taller than any mountain. Anyone living even vaguely near it has at least a support arm looming over them, their whole life.

One such community is Duoma, where the people are generally supportive of each other, but where a rebel force known as Metal Age plots to force Atlas to open its gates to all.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I LOVE IT
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If the politically-correct thugs have left this series reasonably intacked,this will show the true natures and rational' for the carbon credits,taxes and exchanges,the fraud behind the global-warming hysteria,centralized government dominated by force,thuggary,sexual perversions and the corruption of all sense of moralities. Friends become enemies,enemies, friends.The art and action is excellent,the characters are engaging and well-developed. There is no fan-service but this series needs none.
Kuniko Hojo is the boomarange-wielding star and future leader of the Metal-Age, a group of anti-governmental "activists" and community leaders.Duomo is her grandmother,present Metal-Age leader and has more than a few secrets.Mi-ko and Momko are the transgendered pair that are central to the series and provide more than a few laughs. Lady Ryoko is the principle evil villian and plays the role to the hilt. Others of great significants,including a 10-year-old or so brat that uses a computer to shake down the contries of the world for carbon credits and another brat,Lady Mikunu, that cannot go out into the sun(and can kill anyone just by a stare) are central to the story.
While there are seldom "important" anime or,for that matter, "live-action" series or movies, this one is,in all respects.
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