While Kuniko is preoccupied with her thoughts about the open spaces of ATLAS in episode 4 of Shangri-la, “Super Akihabara”, Karin and Klaris are panicking about the unexplained drop of carbon emissions from Saudi Arabia. And in ATLAS, Miko turns out to have passed the test from the previous episode with flying colors. In fact, Miko is now Mikuni’s favorite attendant, and Miko thinks this might be what it feels like to be a mother. But on the topic of mothers, Mikuni knows nothing about her own mother and only has a single earring left behind from her mother. Miko finds the earring oddly familiar.
Episode 3 of Ristorante Paradiso, “Paradiso”, begins with Claudio listening to a woman saying that it was fun the previous night. She is also wondering when the man will take off his ring, accusing him that he still has feelings for his wife. The woman wasn’t talking to Claudio, though, but her words must have made him think of his own situation. At another time, Nicoletta watches Claudio as the restaurant closes. I had thought that the short sequences starting each episode were supposed to illustrate the atmosphere of the restaurant, but now it seems that they’re supposed to show aspects of Claudio and Nicoletta.
Episode 3 of Shangri-la, “Layers of Heaven and Earth”, begins with a dream by Kuniko where she hears a woman saying that ATLAS has to be completed before some baby is born. This is a recurring dream, although it seems to have been absent during Kuniko’s stay at the rehabilitation center. When Kuniko wonders what the dream might mean, Nagiko offhandedly mentions that Kuniko’s true parents are at ATLAS. For such a monumental revelation for Kuniko, Nagiko irritatingly deflects her queries by simply stating that she’ll learn the truth in due time. But before Kuniko can interrogate her grandmother further, her friends arrive to drag her to the farewell party for Miko.
Episode 2 of Shangri-la, “Cursed Sea of Ikebukuro”, starts with the attack from the previous episode. With a completely unknown attacker, the military is forced to withdraw from Duomo. The attack is inflicting a lot of damage on the town, but at least there aren’t as many casualties as one would expect from such an attack.
Nicoletta is now a regular visitor to the restaurant staff meals by the start of episode 2 of Ristorante Paradiso, “Ring”. It is also pretty much set in stone by now that Nicoletta is supposed to be the daughter of a friend of Olga’s, which makes it that much harder for Nicoletta to reveal that she’s the daughter of Olga. In a phone call with her grandmother, Nicoletta complains about her mother, but she also wants to talk about a potential love interest to which the grandmother suggests that Nicoletta talk with Olga. This is no surprise since the grandmother recommended that Nicoletta come to Rome to reconcile with her mother.
At the beginning of episode 1 of Ristorante Paradiso, “Nicoletta”, the namesake for the episode arrives in Rome. Nicoletta is looking for the restaurant “casetta dell’orso”, hoping to talk with the owner. Once she finds the restaurant, she’s told that the owner is not in yet but should shortly arrive, so she’s willing to wait. While she’s waiting, one of the restaurant staff offers her coffee, and Nicoletta’s first impression of the staff member is that he’s a kind-looking man. She also notices that everyone working at the restaurant were old men wearing reading glasses.
Images for the staff of the restaurant “casetta dell’orso” from Ristorante Paradiso.
Shangri-la is supposed to be an anime set in a future where global warming is a serious issue. Carbon emissions are controlled to a militant degree, and even Tokyo, a city that is a thriving metropolis today, is deliberately made into a forested area as part of the effort to control carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The story revolves around a girl named Kuniko, who is part of a rebel group living in Tokyo that is fighting against the forestation effort.
At first glance, this story sounds like it’s so ridiculous that it cannot be anything but an incoherent mess. On the other hand, if they can tell the story in a way that actually make sense, it could be nothing but an awesome show. With this dichotomy, it would be nice if we can tell which case Shangri-la will be from the first episode, but it’s still not clear, although small things make me think it will be great in the end.
Shabranigdo is beginning to revive in the beginning of thirteenth and final episode of Slayers Evolution-R, “Zero Hour: The one that destructs!”, after Rezo opened his eyes using Pocota’s body. But Rezo’s primary goal is not to regain his sight or even revenge against Lina: with the fragment of Shabranigdo intertwined with his own soul, it would only be a matter of time before Shabranigdo revived anyways, so Rezo intended to be resurrected with Lina around, the only person alive who has a record of defeating Shabranigdo. Being able to see again for a while is just a side benefit.