Carbon Dated Shangri-La Anime Review

Anime: Shangri-La
Published: 2009

Genre: Sci-Fiction/Fantasy 
Producer: Gonzo
Episodes: 24

“Will call it Shangri-La”

At first not liking a series you started off watching then end up liking it after all, love hate thing. This is what I experienced as Lita reviews the weird, confusing Shangri-La.


In a dim future where global warming, earth quakes have caused chaos. Japan is divided of people who barely scrape by in the outside over-jungle. Some living a life of now worries in safe haven Atlas. While others hacking to get what they want through the gobal economy market. Dangerous Carbon Dioxide pollutes the air and among those living in that a spirited girl, Kuniko is determined to break through the ruthless government. That will not give her people passage into Atlas the new future of Tokyo, in hopes for a better life for everyone.

Main Characters

Boomerang Girl Kuniko

Kuniko was a little fire cracker, she knew how to stir the pot. Thoroughly entertaining all the way through the series, All Kuniko wished to do was give everyone a better life and hope, that hope was Atlas. But when she had to face the lies and secrets beneath it all, her determination never wavered. Every tough situation she faced head on, which was something I came to admire greatly about her character. Kuniko’s character was well-developed and easily likable, she was a fun protagonist for this series.


The Flamboyant Momoko

Momoko brought the humor to the most confusing parts of this series for me. Not sure if I should say him or her as Momoko is a Transwoman. Her character was caring, fun and very laid back, nothing ever seem to get to Momoko. Taking everything with a pinch of salt. I fear for others Momoko’s character may be rubbed for the wrong way, but from my point of view this anime needed a character like hers. She was a mother like figure for Kuniko, together the two of them were a funny duo.



Snake Lady Ryoko

Shangri-La started out me not liking it at all the first six episodes in but by the end of it, I actually liked the series. Let me tell you now the plot to the series was not the easiest to follow, it’s not until the end of where everything begins to make sense. Even if when I was really confused the plot was brilliant for this scifi watch. The idea of carbon becoming a global market to try and reduce the amount of Carbon dioxide polluting the air, to me was fascinating. It kept me interested all the way through but some of the plot was not handle well and left quite a few things open ended.

The other characters in the series to me were all average, when trying to add some of their backstories. At times it worked well in the on going plot but other times just was a mess. Kuniko and Momoko were the only stand outs as they had the most personality. Guess I can make an exception for our-so called villian Ryoko (President Of Atlas), her twisted nature brought all the unexpected plot twists. Though half the time I’m cringing in every scene she is in as I couldn’t stand her all together. 

Studio Gonzo deserve a lot of praise for the animation work, of creating this scifi world. Jungle infested landscape being caused by Carbon dioxide, Gonzo captured that idea amazingly. I’ve loved Gonzo for their animation work for years now and have to say this is their best by far. I mean look for yourself above at that detail, man don’t get me started talking about the way future Tokyo Atlas was captured, visually stunning.


Stand Out Points

– Very interesting plot
– Amazingly, detailed animation 
– Surprising twists in the plot/keep you guessing


Kuniko and Momoko only characters with any personality 
– Plot is done at a very slow pace
– Character cast was average some bland and forgettable
– Certain parts of the plot are left open ended
– At points in the series things can get quite weird and confusing which make no sense



Shangri-La was a breathe of fresh air. From starting out to not liking this show then to actually liking it, you never know how it will pans out until you’ve seen a whole anime. As much as I liked this anime had quite a few flaws, which really dragged the show down. None the less it was something different than all the “end of the world” plots, I’ve watched in the past. The storyline stuck well to the sci-fi theme and was very interesting. Characters having more personality and not so many open ends this show I feel the show could have turned out so much better. Still if you like the sci-fi genre, having a interesting plot and plain old weird I recommend giving this anime a shot.

I hope you all enjoyed this review of Shangri-La,
Please leave any comments below about this anime or review 😀

I’ll see you all in the next review!! 😀


  1. I had a similar experience with this series. At first it felt mediocre, but once all the characters were established and the main story hit max gear I became invested in it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think we feel both the same about this show very slow at the start, plot can get a little crazy but eventually goes all so well together and I found myself loving it by the end 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I must admit I never got over the opening few episodes. I have meant to revisit it as lots of people have told me that it gets better but I always seem to find something else to distract me.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeh the first few episodes i wanted to stop watching it but somehow I end up liking it even with all the flaws it has 🙂 distractions can be the best or worst thing haha

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “It was a breath of fresh air.” Hah! That’s ironic considering your clever title and the subject at hand 🙂
    Joking aside, what pretty artwork! I love that rustic overgrowth look in animation. You can see it predominately in dystopian anime, but A Lull in the Sea also has a nice salty look. This was one of those anime that, as a younger me, I always passed up on at my local book/movie store. Since it recently got rereleased on a complete collection here in the states, I really ought to check it out. Thanks for the sci-fi recommendation, Lita~!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yusssss my title is rather clever isn’t it but seriously I just thought it up on the spot ahaha lol
      Shangri-la is an interesting series at first starting not loving but slowly changed after a while 🙂 the animation is my favorite about it in honestly but the story is great 🙂 Hope you watch it sometime hehe 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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