On July 7, 2022, the Oricon News website it was revealed that the Japanese web novel series written by Katarina titled Shangri-La Frontier is inspiring a TV anime series by C2C Studio and a game. Both the anime and game should be released sometime in 2023.
Toshiyuki Kubooka (Harukana Receive, Wandering Witch – The Journey of Elaina) will direct the series with Hiroki Ikeshita serving as assistant director. Kazuyuki Fudeyasu (Black Clover, Dropkick on My Devil!, Hetalia The Beautiful World, In the Land of Leadale, Record of Ragnarok) is in charge of supervising and writing the series scripts. Designing the characters is Ayumi KuraShima (DEVILMAN crybaby, Magalobox 2: Nomad) and composing the series’ music is Monaca.
You can watch the trailer on the official Shangri-La Frontier YouTube channel here:
In the trailer, we get to see a sneak peek of our hero, Rakuro Hizutome, an expert in playing glitchy retro games, who has decided to try playing the VR game called Shangri-La. From the trailer, we can see that Hizutome picks up two allies – a purple-haired beauty, who wields a lance, a blonde cutie, who appears to be good at martial arts, and a bunny rabbit that may or may not be an NPC.
We also get a peek at a normal-looking girl who may have a crush on Hizutome in real life. There also appears to be an interesting-looking female character that could be an NPC or a ghost that has become trapped in the game. It will be interesting to discover the mystery behind this character in the upcoming anime.
What is the plot of Shangri-La Frontier?
The story is set in the future where games that use old-fashioned display screens are classified as “retro games” or considered to be “crappy games”, and full-dive VR games are more popular and commonplace. Due to the fact that VR games became mainstream several “trash games” that were rushed, full of glitches, faulty, and have systems that have not kept up with the improved visual technology have flooded the game market.
The story centers on a young man named Rakuro Hizutome, who considers himself to be a “trash game hunter”. Rakuro admires these “crappy games” and enjoys the challenge of mastering them despite the difficulty due to their glitches. He plays the games under the nickname Sunraku. After Rakuro manages to clear the oversized “Faeria Chronicle Online” trash game he suffers from a sort of burnout syndrome.
When he goes to his favorite game store, RockRoll, to try to find a game that will lift his spirits, the owner suggests that he buys the best-selling and excellently made “Shangri-La Frontier” – a full-dive VR game with 30 million registered players. Rakuro decides to enter the world of Shangri-La as the player character Sunraku – a humanoid avatar that has a blue bird head. Surprisingly the skills he has attained as an expert trash game hunter come in handy as he progresses in the game and gains him many interesting friends and enemies alike.
Who are the anime’s cast members?
Shangri-La Frontier cast members:
- Yuma Uchida – Sunraku/Rakuro Hizutome
- Azumi Waki – Saiga 0/Rei Saiga
- Yoko Hikasa – Arthur Pencilgon/Towa Amane
- Makoto Koichi – Oiazzo/Kei Uomi
- Rina Hidaka – Emul
- Akio Ohtsuka – Viceash
Who are some of the other project team members?
Shangri-La Project team members:
- Action effect director – Satoshi Sakai
- Color key artist – Masato Takagi
- Art – Inspired
- 2D Works – Azusa Tamura
- Compositing director of photography – Hikaru Yamamoku
- Editing – Go Sadamatsu
- Sound director – Akiko Fujita
Who is developing the game?
Netmarble Nexus is developing and publishing the game that the world of Shangri-La Frontier has inspired, and Netmarble will publish it.
Where can I read the novel and manga?
In May 2017, Katarina published the novel on the website Shosetsuka ni Naro (Let’s Be Novelists) and it began its serialization there. No printed version of the novel exists yet. Katarina also wrote a second novel series for Weekly Shonen Magazine about a heroine Saiga 0, who is the top player in the VR world of Shangri-La Frontier. Ryosuke Fuji created a manga adaptation, which has been serialized in Kodansha’s Weekly Shonen Magazine since July 2020. The manga was published under the title Shangri-La Frontier – Kusoge Hunter, Kamige ni Idoman to su (Shangri-La Frontier – Crappy Game Hunter Challenges God-Tier Game).
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