The manga adaptation of “Shangri-La Frontier”, originally serialized as a light novel on the popular website “Shousetsuka ni Narou”, is creating a buzz. In this article, we’re diving deep into spoiler territory! We’ll introduce the story from volumes 1 to 3 of the manga, lovingly nicknamed “ShanFro”, which particularly resonates with the younger demographic. Additionally, we’ll provide details about the original author and delve into the captivating allure of “Shangri-La Frontier”. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get the inside scoop!
【What is the Manga “Shangri-La Frontier”? Introducing the Original Author】
■Overview of “Shangri-La Frontier” (ShanFro) “Shangri-La Frontier”, commonly abbreviated as “ShanFro”, formally titled “Shangri-La Frontier ~Kusoge Hunter, Challenging a God Game~”, is a manga adaptation of the light novel of the same name serialized on the novel submission site “Shousetsuka ni Narou”.
ShanFro explores the theme of online games (VRMMO) set in a near-futuristic virtual space. The narrative revolves around the protagonist, Sankura, diving into the immensely popular game “Shangri-La Frontier” and embarking on an adventurous journey.
The manga adaptation began its serialization in the July 2020 issue of the Weekly Shonen Magazine and continues to be popular. Upon its debut, it immediately clinched the top spot in reader surveys, garnering fervent support especially from the younger demographic, like teens and those in their twenties.
■Original Author of “Shangri-La Frontier” Next, let’s introduce the original author of “Shangri-La Frontier”. The author goes by the pen name “Katalina”, and details such as their real name and gender remain unknown.
Katalina debuted the light novel that would become the basis for this work in May 2017 on “Shousetsuka ni Narou”. With consistent updates, the popularity of the novel skyrocketed. Although it hasn’t been published in book format yet, there have been fan surveys, spin-off novels, and other unconventional developments surrounding the work. A testament to its popularity can be seen in its achievement of securing 30% of the votes and ranking first in the “Most Desired Anime Adaptation of a Light Novel” poll in the latter half of 2020.
A distinct feature of Katalina’s work is the intricate and detailed setting. Insights into the world and character design can be found in the novel’s afterword or through the author’s responses to feedback on the site. Moreover, several pages dedicated solely to the settings further showcase the author’s commitment to the intricacies of the universe they’ve created. It offers a glimpse into the author’s meticulous approach, wouldn’t you agree?
Shangri-La Frontier Spoilers
Volume 1 Summary Spoiler Here, we delve into the volume-by-volume spoilers of Shangri-La Frontier.
Set in near-future Japan, where advanced VR games have proliferated, the protagonist Sunclad, also known as Hizutome Rakurou, seems like an ordinary second-year high school student. However, he is known as the “Crappy Game Hunter” due to his passion for conquering subpar games.
One day before summer vacation, Rakurou, inspired by a game store clerk’s suggestion to “try something other than crappy games for once,” buys the legendary game “Shangri-La Frontier”. Upon returning home, he starts the game and is amazed by its impeccable controls and lack of bugs. Using the skills honed from playing terrible games, he becomes engrossed in the world of Shangri-La Frontier as he clears its challenging quests.
Volume 2 Summary Spoiler Next, we’ll provide a spoiler-filled summary of the Shangri-La Frontier manga’s second volume. In the game “Shangri-La Frontier”, Sunclad suffers a defeat by the mighty “Ryukaon of the Night Raid”. He ends up being marked with paint all over his body and is bound at the torso and legs.
During these events, Sunclad befriends a new NPC, the magical rabbit Emul. However, they are photographed by a newbie player and posted on a bulletin board with their names. Their unique appearance and the talking NPC Emul attract attention, leading to numerous players flocking to them.
Sunclad’s next move is to defeat an area boss. He engages in battle with the mud-digging boss, Maddig, in a swampy zone. Due to the swamp, Sunclad’s agility is hampered, and he struggles. In his dire situation, Emul’s magical attacks come to his rescue, allowing Sunclad to defeat the area boss.
Sunclad’s journey continues. Upon arriving at Thirdlema, he encounters the SF-zoo’s director, Animalia, who after seeing the bulletin board, tries to extract information on taming from Sunclad. However, Sunclad’s old crappy game buddy, Pencilgon, appears. Sunclad leaves Animalia to deal with Pencilgon and departs. Despite obstacles, with Emul’s help, he teleports to the Rabbit Kingdom, Rabbits, evading any dangers.
Next, Sunclad embarks on the unique scenario “Invitation from the Rabbit Kingdom”. The quest involves battling 10 monsters, one by one, in the Vorpal Colosseum. As he progresses and only one opponent remains, the boss of Vorpal Bunny, Vassh, introduces a monster named “Obsessive Treedemon Luzer’s Woods”. The challenge? Survive for 5 minutes.
However, this proves to be incredibly difficult. Sunclad rethinks his strategy, aiming for a blind spot breakthrough. Eventually, he manages to snatch the staff that powers Woods’ magical attacks. But with just 2 minutes left, Vassh taunts, “It’s too early to feel relieved.”
Volume 3 Summary Spoiler Lastly, we’ll go into spoilers for the manga’s third volume. With only 2 minutes remaining, Luzer’s Woods goes berserk, catching Sunclad off guard. Though he evades using his agility, the sheer number of attacks overwhelms him, and he gets debuffed. In desperation, he throws the staff he had taken. This distraction works, and as Woods goes to retrieve the staff, the 5 minutes elapse, giving Sunclad a breather.
Soon after, he receives an email from his old crappy game buddy, Pencilgon. The email invites him to take on one of the “Seven Mightiest Species” in Shangri-La Frontier, the “Tomb Guardian Wezaemon” – a creature that none of the game’s 30 million players have defeated. It’s rumored that Wezaemon can only be defeated once after a major update.
Sunclad, along with Pencilgon’s friend Kuzzo, attempts to take down “Tomb Guardian Wezaemon”. They realize that Wezaemon, an undead-type monster, has vulnerabilities.
Before the decisive night, Sunclad and Kuzzo split up. Equipped with a map, a fishing rod, and dual swords, they successfully defeat a Live-styled Lake Serpent monster. This victory brings them significant level-ups and new skills.
When they reunite, Pencilgon is shocked at their rapid progress. She then reveals the condition for battling the “Tomb Guardian Wezaemon”: They need to speak with “Unique PC, Setsuna of Distant Days.”
Intriguing Charms of Shangri-La Frontier
Charm #1: Not a Reincarnation Story? So far, we have discussed the plot of the popular manga “Shangri-La Frontier”, based on a light novel, without giving away any spoilers. Now, let’s delve into the captivating charms of Shangri-La Frontier.
Many might associate works on the novel submission site “Shōsetsuka ni Narō” with the so-called “reincarnation stories,” as exemplified by hit titles like “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime” and “My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!” In these stories, the protagonists almost always reincarnate or transfer to another world.
However, in Shangri-La Frontier, the protagonist does not reincarnate or move to a different world. While he dives into a game world, he actively plays as a player. Within the story, we see the protagonist, SunCra or Yōmugirakurō, immersing himself in the game world, occasionally resting in the real world, and indulging in other games. This deviation from the reincarnation trope adds a unique charm to Shangri-La Frontier.
Furthermore, there are mysterious aspects unique to this game-focused world. For instance, even though NPCs (non-player characters) in the game, operating on computer programs, should only speak predetermined lines, they converse as if they were real humans in Shangri-La Frontier. Such details add another layer of charm unique to the series.
Charm #2: The Protagonist’s Avatar Typically, when you think of a protagonist, you might imagine a handsome character with a dashing costume. However, the avatar of Shangri-La Frontier’s protagonist, Rakurō (SunCra), appears wearing a comical bird mask resembling a shoebill and only a pair of underpants.
Initially, Rakurō had a regular avatar with ordinary clothes and no mask. For some reason, he sold all of his attire, leaving him nearly naked. Wanting to cover his face, he opted for the nearest available mask, which happened to be the shoebill, creating an unforgettable character.
Charm #3: The “Unique” Elements of the Game World Shangri-La Frontier is brimming with “unique” elements of the game world, adding to its charm. For example, one side quest involves a “Unique Monster.” These rare creatures, of which there are only seven in the entire game world, have unknown strategies for conquest, challenging many players.
SunCra stumbles upon one of these unique monsters, “Lycaon of the Night Raid,” and from that encounter, he starts a new, unprecedented game scenario. This turn of events captivates many readers, undoubtedly raising their excitement.
As SunCra obtains a scenario no one else has experienced, other players become aware of it. Many players approach SunCra for information, leading to player-versus-player confrontations, ensuring readers are on the edge of their seats.
Charm #4: The Interplay Between Game and Reality “Shangri-La Frontier” not only depicts events within the game but also illustrates the real-world reactions and interactions of the players. There are numerous scenes where the protagonist, SunCra, applies his in-game experiences to real-world conversations and actions, and vice versa. This blurring of lines between game and reality makes readers feel the potential real-world impacts of the game. Notably, in-game achievements or information becoming negotiation tools in reality depict the game’s influence and the relationships between players.
Charm #5: Technical Aspects and Detailed Settings The work intricately describes the game’s systems and mechanics. The detailed explanations of character skill sets, weapon types, and strategic choices enable readers to grasp the depth and complexity of the game. It also touches upon real-world game issues like bugs and exploiting specific systems for cheating, reflecting a gamer’s perspective.
Charm #6: Relationships Between Characters One of the charms of Shangri-La Frontier is the relationships not only with the main character, SunCra, but also with a diverse cast of supporting and antagonist characters. Encounters, interactions, conflicts, and collaborations weave intricate human dramas, making it not just about the game, but also about the depth of human relationships.
In conclusion, we have introduced some of the intriguing charms of Shangri-La Frontier. These elements combine harmoniously to create a work with a unique worldview. While readers enjoy the game world, they will also be drawn into the interplay between the game and reality and the intricate relationships between the characters.
【Manga Version of “Shangri-La Frontier”】
■The Manga Adaptation is Illustrated by Ryosuke Fuji
To wrap up our special feature on “Shangri-La Frontier”, let’s introduce the manga version adapted from the light novel, “Shanfro”. The illustrator responsible for the manga adaptation is the manga artist Ryosuke Fuji.
He began his career with the spin-off manga “Attack on Titan: LOST GIRLS”, based on “Attack on Titan”, and has worked on the manga “World End Crusaders” as well as the manga adaptation of the anime “Fairy gone”.
■The Remarkable Artwork of Ryosuke Fuji A major highlight of the manga version of “Shangri-La Frontier” is the incredible artistry of Ryosuke Fuji. His vibrant character expressions and dynamic action scenes have been highly acclaimed, making for a truly engaging read.
This isn’t limited to just the human characters; even monsters and animals are illustrated with compelling intensity. Given the intricate details that underpin Shanfro, an artist with Fuji’s exceptional skills is essential to effectively translate it into manga.
【Summary of Spoilers for “Shangri-La Frontier”】
Until now, under the title “Spoilers and Analysis of Shangri-La Frontier!”, we’ve covered the manga’s storyline, delved into Shanfro’s intriguing appeals, and introduced the original novel’s author. How did you find it? If this article piqued your interest in “Shangri-La Frontier”, why not give the manga or the still ongoing original novel a read?
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