Dantalian no Shoka Episode 3
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Series Premise: Dantalian no Shoka, or “The Mystic Archives of Dantalian”, is a weekly televised anime series started in July 2011, based on a light novel series of the same name. Huey has inherited his grandfather’s estate, along with the cryptic library and a young girl called “Dalian” that comes along with it. With her help, Huey investigates people who have come into possession of “Phantom Books” and the dire consequences that result.
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Episode Summary: At a bookstore, Huey and Dalian meet with one of Huey’s old friends, Camilla. She informs them of another friend who opened a boarding school, but the children are now acting strangely. Turns out they picked up one of the Phantom Books, the Book of Wisdom; now that they have transformed into freakishly intelligent beings, they have no need for the book, hand it over and Huey destroys it. Later, two burglars break into the mansion and tie up Huey and Dalian as they look for an expensive book. But they run afoul of a carnivorous cactus flower in the garden that only blooms once every 13 years that has a special taste for bibliophiles.
My Impressions: Okay, they lost me on this one.
I already knew that Dalian was a walking talking breathing personification of the “tsundere” character type, but her totally predictable reactions in this episode were so blatantly tsundere that it was almost painful to watch. Oh, Camilla, I hate you with a passion and will denigrate your outrageous outfits look at how much more superior I am. Hmph! What, you have cake for me? Oh boy!, oh boy!, oh…I mean, uh…well, I guess I could deign to lower myself to accept your gift. If you must. This doesn’t mean I like you or anything, though.
Ugh. I’m so fucking tired of that shit. Seriously, Japan, EVERY SINGLE SERIES does not require a tsundere character! It kinda loses its interest or impact sometime after the hundredth time you’ve seen it. Also, while Huey is no Kujo (thank god for that), Dalian seems to be turning more and more into a savvier version of Victorique. And if I wanted to watch a Gosick clone, I would just simply watch Gosick (which I just dropped after the 12th episode).
But that’s not the deal-breaker. Nope, instead I was agog at the whole concept behind the second-half story of the man-eating plant. So Dalian has been tenderly taking care of some massive plant that sort of looks like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors, waiting for that *one* night that it will bloom, every 13 years. And just their luck, it happens to bloom on the one night they are attacked by a bunch of book company goons. Oh, and it’s a plant that entices its prey by creating pages of some sort of irresistible manuscript at its base — sweet, sweet nectar for book lovers!
Seriously, that’s the best they could come up with? There’s stupid, and then there’s stupid. I mean, I endure lots of really inane and outlandish shit in anime (lord knows…), but this I cannot abide. It has turned a show where I was already debating whether it was worth continuing into the definitely-thumbs-down category.
Oh, and the first-half story of the uber-smart children? I realize that they are clearly setting up for something further down the line, but does anyone else find it just the teensiest-bit odd that they just decide to leave six kids who have gained god-like wisdom beyond any human’s comprehension to their own devices? Taking them at their word that, “eh, we don’t have interest in taking over the world, we’ll just live boring normal lives”? Huey and Dalian’s response is…let’s do nothing. Goodbye uber-smart kids, have fun! Yeah, I’m sure that will end up well.
The verdict: Screw you guys, I’m going home.
- Previous reviews:
- Info resources:
- If you like this, you might also like: Rozen Maiden or Gosick.
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “I’m not sure if I can bear this too much more. This episode was fairly atrocious, making it two episodes of a very steady and disturbingly rapid decline from the first, and it isn’t like the first episode didn’t have its fill of problems.” – Tenka Seiha
- “The problem that I’ve been having with Dantalian thus far is that there’s a lot of potential in the show, I can see so many things that they can do with the concept, but at the same time, with each passing episode I see that this potential gets wasted.” – Glass Reflection
- “Anyways, this episode itself was rather uneventful, where Dalian and Huey literally just watch the situations unfold before them. They didn’t pull out chant any glowy spells, open any forbidden doors to magical libraries, or anything else of the sort. Unfortunately, that proved to make this episode dull at times due to it’s heavy usage of dialogue and exposition.” – Emory Anime Club
- “It did everything wrong, and yet… I loved this episode. It took every expectation and assumption I had and threw them out the window. Some of them were tossed out for ridiculous reasons (a carnivorous plant that lures its prey with books… come on) but it was a pleasurable experience nonetheless.” – Draggle’s Anime Blog
- “So many things happening for nothing with no meaning, this is confusing. the worst part is, this does not shock me, I don’t feel disappointed from the lack of anything, the show has this huge creepy aura around it and I feel that this episode was really seriously creepy. It is difficult to explain, the contrast between the great calm and the chaotic and savage paranormal around it, it just makes for a weird atmosphere.” – Angry Anime Bitches
ROUND THREE RESULTS FOR SUMMER 2011 SHOWS:
Thumbs-up for Round Three: Mawaru Penguin Drum, Kamisama Dolls, No. 6
Thumbs-down for Round Three: Dantalian no Shoka
Coming up next: Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Nekogami Yaoyorozu, Kamisama no Memochou, Nurarihyon no Mago Second Season, Natsume Yuujinchou-san, Usagi Drop