Shangri-la 19


Kuniko in command

Episode 19 of Shangri-la, “The Aerial Bombing of Tokyo”, begins with a whole lot of bombers approaching Tokyo. For once, ATLAS is not being obstructionist and even provides a command center for Kuniko to direct the operation with assistance from Kunihito. As the bombers drop their load, it looks like the plan to eradicate Daedalus will actually work, with the concussive blasts tearing apart the plants and the resulting fires hopefully burning up the dispersed seeds. Of course, corporate ATLAS is still being a jerk because they won’t open up available spaces to accommodate the still incoming refugees.

Metal Age is managing the sheltering of the incoming refugees in ATLAS. Momoko is obviously playing a large role in the evacuation, but Tomoka and Yuri have also volunteered themselves to help out. In fact, Tomoka seems to have become much more confident and is being a big help. Incidentally, it is mentioned in passing that Metal Age’s resident geek Furukawa has gone missing. As for the normal residents of ATLAS, for once they might be getting accurate news in relation to Metal Age with the coverage of the bombing.

Nagiko: "ATLAS belongs to the Digma."

Meanwhile, Nagiko is spending time with Tarsian playing chess during the bombing. Nagiko remembers demanding an explanation from Ryouko on what was going on, where Ryouko answers that ATLAS was no longer Nagiko’s or Tarsian’s, which doesn’t seem to be an issue for Nagiko, but the fact that Ryouko seems to consider ATLAS her own possession is an issue when it is supposed to belong to the Digma. The flashback has Nagiko note that the doll has gone completely out of control. I wouldn’t have thought that Nagiko would derogatorily refer to someone as a doll to be controlled: perhaps Ryouko literally is a doll come to life. More specifically, I think Ryouko is a mimetic robot who can interface directly with Zeus. Or maybe she is Zeus.

Tarsian reflects that the bombing will drastically increase the carbon emissions for Japan and worries that it might even bring about the collapse of the carbon economy. Nagiko is adamant that it won’t happen as long as ATLAS exists. Then Nagiko recites portions about the island of Onogoro and the courtship of the deities from the Kojiki, a 7th century Japanese text which begins with mythology. I doubt that Japanese mythology is literally true in the show, but it does seem likely that the ATLAS plan draws heavily from the mythology. Now if I could just figure out what the connection is and what Nagiko and Tarsian had planned … Hiruko, who I likewise think is named after the deity rather than being the deity itself, is aware that Tokyo is burning, and interestingly says that a hidden symbol will be revealed.

Essential survival items for the otaku

Not everyone in Tokyo has taken shelter in Tokyo, however. Akiba is not a direct target for bombing, for Daedalus had yet to obtain a foothold in the area, so anyone who can protect themselves from the collateral damage due to the bombing could stay behind. This includes the three men of Akiba, who use their multipurpose metal box as shelter. Of course, they do not forget essential otaku survival items. Mikuni and Sayoko also remain in Akiba, thanks to their residence being a robust building that even survived the earthquakes from fifty years ago.

As for Karin, she is ecstatic about the dramatically rising carbon levels for Japan. She is taking full advantage of her foreknowledge of the bombing plan and is making out like a bandit, feeling superior to the other carbonists who would have been taken by surprise. She is not even using Medusa yet. Medusa is asking for help, though, warning that the water levels are rising and that the danger level is 75%, but Karin asks for a little more patience.

Meanwhile, ATLAS staff are monitoring carbon levels in the market, where Japan is reaching record levels with the rest of the world following suit. Basically, this is the start of an worldwide economic depression. They are also informed by the United Nations of an anti-Medusa law that has just passed: this would be an ideal situation for Medusa to show up, so if its existence is confirmed, an attack against it is authorized even if it is in foreign soil.

Good-bye, Duomo.

Back to the people being sheltered in ATLAS, Momoko has gone missing, so Tomoka takes charge. Momoko has not wandered off for some subterfuge, but rather went to get to a better viewpoint for watching the destruction of Duomo. Kuniko is being just as sentimental about it: despite all the hardships, Duomo was still her home all her life, so she will personally take control of the bombing of Duomo rather than let someone else do it. As Duomo is engulfed in fire and destroyed by a single bomb, the clock tower strikes midnight, signaling those from Duomo of its sad demise. (As Kunihito points out, it should be too far away to hear, but I won’t begrudge the artistic license.)

The operation is now over, and from all appearances, it looks like it is a success. This makes it the one major operation led by Kuniko that actually worked, albeit with a huge cost as expected. As Ryouko personally watches the burning of Tokyo, despite not liking being used by Kuniko she is still satisfied with the amusement she got out of it. I would have thought that the fun was just beginning, since there is a tattered economy to deal with and a huge number of refugees who might not meekly leave ATLAS now that they’re inside.

The only Daedalus that remain are those on the eighth layer of ATLAS, which would need some other way to be dealt with since they can’t just be bombed like those on the ground. Ominously, we see Takehiko on the eighth layer: I feel it is ominous since I think Takehiko is going to use the plants to wreak havoc with no disregard for the people who are in ATLAS.

While ATLAS staff such as Shougo Kudo despair about Japan just having become the poorest nation in the world, Karin is besides herself with how much money she has been able to make. She is not finished yet, and finally plans to unleash Medusa to illegally gather even more money. Medusa is extremely agitated, though, warning that the water levels are even higher with a danger level of 99%, but Karin doesn’t worry and unleashes Medusa unhurriedly. Unfortunately, it seems Karin is too late: Medusa transforms into aggressive mode and fires out light upwards to the shock of Karin. I wonder what could be happening at the Marshall Islands where Medusa’s physical body is presumably at …

A shocked Karin

  1. #1 by Vexasse on August 13, 2009 - 6:51 pm

    Maybe because I was watching this episode too hurriedly, I took the story literally when I first saw it 8D; It’ll be really cool if the traditional references had some really special meaning to it. Zeus, the almight immortal god who resides on a high mount (the computer system that Nagiko seem to place high value upon; how exactly can it chose the successor..? :O),
    Atlas holding up the sky (like the literal building I suppose),
    Daedalus the architect whose son died while flying (or can be thought of as someone who managed to fly across the sky. I wonder if they’re referring to the seeds that those plants shoot out… not really feeling the connection between the mythology and Shangri-la version),
    Hiruko whom I assume to be someone who should not have been born, or born of wrong circumstances. Perhaps Ryoko found a way or person who is of a higher rank, like one of the other children from Kojiki.

    Also there’s Medusa, who “went crazy” as most people could guess. Perhaps its eyes can freeze carbon markets or something lol. Who might be the brave warrior to cut off its head? I’m guessing Kunihito, he seems the most warrior-ly out of them all :D

    Haha sorry about the long comment ^^; My otaku side just suddenly came out lol.

    • #2 by Shounen A on August 14, 2009 - 2:40 pm

      When I first heard Nagiko’s recital of the story, I had no idea what she was saying with the arcane language. It was only after I tried out googling some of the verses that I learned it was from the Kojiki, a book that I admit I have never heard of before. ^_^;;

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