After a brief break, we enter the new year with… another episode that feels more like setup. I know I keep harping on this point, but after going through the first half of a two-cour season, I cannot help but feel like almost half the episodes we’ve already watched have just been set up and training with minimal payoff. Shangri-La Frontier is the type of show where I like a lot of the moments and scenes as they’re happening, like the scene where Sunraku is purchasing skills, which was pretty funny. But I feel there isn’t much to say when I have to explain what happened. The first third of this episode was just Sunraku training a newbie in a completely different game. While it was fun to get a little bit of insight into the culture of glitch discovery, there is a part of me that feels like I’m reading an extra side chapter at the end of a volume that could fit in the original story but was separated because it may ruin the pacing. Except in this case, it was added in…and ruined the pacing.
This new character that Sunraku was training in the fighting game seems fun, and I wonder if this character will make an appearance later on. The new opening, which was metal as hell, featured a wide array of new characters that will be showcased during the second half, so I am looking forward to their reveal. I’m just wondering how long the wait would be when we haven’t even resolved…ANY of the major reveals that have been set up for the past six episodes. Not only are we still training for the inevitable big boss battle, but this episode ends with the audience being told we will do a side quest.
The side quest makes sense because it had been established that other players were farming experience using this boss, and since there’s a good chance that it will be removed entirely once beaten, it stands to reason that some players would probably get in the way of that. Also, I like how they tied in that reality with the ongoing issue of player killers set up in the background a while ago. I am looking forward to this confrontation with other players, but it feels so weird for this to be brought up now. Maybe I’m being impatient because this side quest would warrant a lot of promising rewards for characters. I hope it will feel as worth it for the audience.
Shangri-La Frontier is currently streaming on