Shangri-la is entertainingly packed with interesting characters, a fast paced story, surprising plot twists, note worthy subplots, and social commentary to boot.
In not-so-distant future Earth, global warming and other man-induced ecological disasters have taken its toll on the planet. Nature is now retaking what humans have spent millennia destroying. With jungles now engulfing Tokyo, survivors of mother nature’s aggressive resurgence have become split between the haves and have-nots. The haves live in a state of the art enclosed city called Atlas that shields them from the harsh, outside world. For them, life goes on as normal, safe from the hazards of the Earth. The have-nots live in villages on Atlas’ outskirts and fend for themselves in a harsh and dangerous environment.
Kuniko, a rambunctious girl, who sees her people suffering daily, takes matters into her own hands. Along with a group of guerilla fighters, she challenges the authoritative rule of Atlas’ government and seeks to open its doors to her people. Kuniko’s battle starts her on a road of unexpected self-discovery. The more she learns about Atlas, the more she finds out about her mysterious past.
You’ll find yourself routing for Kuniko, our boomerang wielding heroine and her posse of fighters, which surprisingly includes a hilarious transvestite named Momoko as her whip clad guardian.
Beautifully animated, Shangri-la is a mixture of traditional 2D cel animation and computer graphics that flows with the fluidity of watercolor. The catchy opening theme, “Kimi Shinitamō Koto Nakare”, is by seasoned anime songstress May’n. The background music adds emotional undertones to the story, although it can get repetitive at times. The series character design by Range Murata is simple but appealing and accurate to the source manga.
Both the Japanese and English language versions feature excellent voice acting. The English version is actually a joy to watch and includes witty quips not found in the Japanese version. The adventure, mystery, and suspense of Shangri-la sure make this series a worthwhile watch.
Funimation split Shangri-la into two parts, releasing episodes 1-12 in Part 1 and episodes 13-24 in Part 2 on Blu-Ray + DVD Hybrid sets. Each set includes one DVD and one Blu-ray disc each. Part 1 comes with a glossy, hard outer slipcase that includes one clear blue plastic Blu-Ray case. The slipcover features original art on the front and back and is sized to hold both Shangri-la Parts 1 and 2 DVD/Blu-ray disc sets.
The Blu-ray case features artwork featuring the series characters on the front and your standard type summary and disc specs on the back. The reverse side of each inner cover features alternate reversible artwork which is a nice touch.
Genres: Action, Drama
Episodes: 24 Total / 12 (Part 1) / 12 (Part 2)
Feature Runtime: 300 minutes (Part 1) / 300 minutes (Part 2)
Audio Languages: English and Japanese
Subtitle Language: English
Special Features (Blu-Ray): Episode commentaries, U.S. Trailer, Textless Opening Song, Textless Closing Song, Trailers, (Parts 1 & 2). Promotional video for “Magical Girl Gina the Akiba Fairy” in Part 1 only.
Aspect Ratio: 16:9