Shangri-La Frontier – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

Episode 3

We start episode 3 with Rei playing Shangri-La Frontier lying down in her room. She is interrogating the people who help Hizutome in episode 2. They say they met a player named Sunraku (Hizutome’s name in the game) and that he went straight to the second town. They also describe his appearance to her. Rei is impressed; Hizutome really defeated the snake boss as a beginner. 

After receiving the information, she gives one of them a gift and leaves extremely fast using an ability. But before we get the chance to look at her cape with a wolf symbol. The boy tells his friend it’s the emblem of a clan that focuses on killing Lycagon the Nightslayer.

Unlike normal creatures, there’s only one of each unique monster in the world. Rumors say there are seven of them, but players don’t know much. Because of their abnormal strength, people also call them Colossi. Many top players are part of clans dedicated to killing a specific unique monster.

Sunraku begins his fight against Lycagon. He knows it won’t be easy, and that he’ll probably die in one hit. He manages a perfect parry and then lands a hit on the Colossi. Things seem to be going pretty well for him, as he hits many criticals and evades all of the monster’s attacks. But, the battle won’t be easy, obviously.

Lycagon starts teleporting and attacking Sunraku, which he still can evade for a while. After 5 minutes, our protagonist questions the efficiency of his hits, as it seems they are not doing any damage. Also, his Vorpal Choppers, one of his best weapons, is almost breaking. He has no chance of winning, but it’s this exact type of challenge he loves.

When he thinks he will finally cause a lot of damage, the wolf sends him flying and roars. Inexplicably, before Sunraku can do anything he loses his legs and stays with only 1 HP. That’s when he makes up his mind. He doesn’t care about the game’s story or anything else, he’ll kill Lycagon.

After he dies, he has one more surprise. He wakes up to see Lycagon put a curse on him (in the form of cool-looking scars). He can’t use any armor where he has the scars, so it means less defense and vitality. Grinding will be harder, as monsters weaker than him will flee. The curse also affects his conversation with some NPCs and gives him resistance to some magical effects. For last, he can only cure it with the help of a Saint or by killing Lycagon.

One good thing about the fight is that he gained a lot of XP, reaching level 28. He uses his stat points to buff some of his abilities, but mainly luck. Sunraku theorizes that his luck was responsible for letting him stay with 1 HP after the Colossi’s attack.

We get a nice Alice in Wonderland reference, with a white Vorpal Bunny with a suit and a hat looking at Sunraku and disappearing. He goes after it, thinking the creature might give him a rare item. He finds the bunny opening a door and escaping. Hizutome finds out it’s a unique scenario, a type of side-quest that grants you top-class items and spells.

He enters the door, but we get to see “Invitation to Rabituza,” the name of the scenario, is indicated for players at level 80. He reaches a city full of Vorpal Bunnies and entirely stylized in their aesthetic. Emul, the bunny he was trying to catch before, starts talking to him. It says his fight against Lycagon inspired everyone in Rabituza. Now their boss wants to meet him.

Sanraku finds out it’s a unique scenario only he knows about and gets happy. However, his feelings are shaken when he sees the Vorpal Bunnies’ boss. Vysache has a strong and imponent vibe to him, instead of the usual cute and fluffy one. He looks more like a dangerous samurai than anything else. Sunraku is speechless.

The Episode Review

The concept of all the Colossi and clans that focus only on beating them is great. It’s gonna be great to see how they organize and if the players change their builds to face the specific monsters. It sure has a lot of potential.

The fight between Sunraku and Lycago is just a tease of what will happen when Hizutome becomes a top player, and it’s already insane. The animation perfectly conveys the fluidity and speed of Sunraku’s moves. Lycagon stays as ominous as ever, even after receiving thousands of critical attacks. It makes you want to beg for fights against other Colossi soon.

We also get the story’s objective (or at least one of them), to defeat Lycagon. We’ll probably see Sunraku discovering unique scenarios and finding the other unique monsters before finally facing off against it again. It’ll be great to see him evolve and compare the strength of the wolf to the other Colossi. 

Also, Rabituza seems like an interesting scenario. We didn’t get to see anything yet, as we don’t know what the mission will be about or how it might affect Sunraku. So we’ll have to leave that for the next episode. But, if we can be annoyed about a small detail is that Rabituza is just too bland. Of course, some buildings have rabbit ears, and that’s funny, but the city could be more exaggerated and colorful. 

Again, that’s just a very small complaint. And, on the other hand, Vysache’s design is pretty cool. Surely the rest of the mission will be full of new creatures and hype moments we’ll rave about later.

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