After shocking and amazing me by delivering an episode that wasn't bad last time around, it seems that Shangri-la has decided to play it safe for the duration of episode eleven by boring the pants off me lest I find anything to make fun of.
As the episode begins, it seems that once again an attack on Medusa has been foiled, with Kunihito and his crew left stranded on a life raft for the entire episode after their ship was sunk. Now, if only they had Takehiko around to help them - He'd soon have dug a tunnel to save them from their current perils.
However, the main focus of this episode is Karin, who finds herself first coming into the possession of a cat which appears from nowhere, before receiving a mysterious visitor who urges her to go outside and break free from her current life stuck in the front of a keyboard all day every day (hmm, that sounds familiar to me...). After a couple of visitations, Karin takes this advice, and we get to see the birdcage in which she's been trapped for so long. Indeed, the bird and canary references run throughout this episode, in what turned out to be a pretty lazy theme for this instalment. That aside, we're also beginning to see some further evidence that ties the major characters (Kuniko, Karin, Mikuni and Kunihito, as well as Karin's strange visitor) together, although again this felt like a rather clumsy and/or lazy addition as presented in this episode rather than anything worthy of real intrigue or deep plot development.
Really, it seems as though Shangri-la has swung from one extreme to the other - While previously it tried way too hard to pack in the action, adventure and plot progression, now it almost seems to be scared to move things forward, instead preferring to frame everything in simple terms and throwing in the odd important moment just to keep things ticking along. In short, it remains a horribly badly paced series that feels like it doesn't know what it wants to do with itself, and thus ends up making a ham-fisted attempt at everything that it turns its mind to.