Despite being one of the best-animated episodes of the season thus far, this is the episode where Shangri-La Frontier loses me. The pacing felt dramatically slowed down. Things were set up for the past few episodes without significant resolution. We are eight episodes in, and the number of quests or significant developments that have occurred can be counted on just one hand. Although these quests are supposed to be difficult and highlight just how intense this world is when it takes the kiddy gloves off, I’m trying to figure out what the goal is.
I like this show because of the absence of stakes, but stakes and direction are two different things. The last episode and a half have just been taken up by Sunraku training. While that might be important, it is worrying that too much time has been spent on that, especially when the resolution to this training made him an honorary rabbit person. I can’t tell if that’s supposed to be a joke or a crucial development.
The episode highlights Sunraku doubting himself during an intense fight with the tree wizard. It felt unnecessarily more dramatic. He resolves that he can’t keep cutting corners because he wouldn’t be able to advance farther, but it felt like that message was tacked on. The show is at its best when trying to be a silly adventure. While the comedy of this episode was pretty good (the final scene of the episode got an audible laugh out of me), the adventure aspects of Shangri-La Frontier are missing. Hopefully, the upcoming quest will inject more fun into the series.
Shangri-La Frontier is currently streaming on