In my last post I discussed Kamisama no Memo-chou, and how Gosick set the bar for this specific type of anime. That being the case, a new challenger appears a little late, but proves to be rather promising as well.
My fourth, and last pick for my Summer 2011 lineup, Dantalian no Shoka
Dantalian no Shoka, or Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian, or The Mystic Archives of Dantalian (yeah, it’s a lot of names) is an adaptation of an ongoing light novel series with the same name/s. The series is set for thirteen episodes. Dantalian no Shoka aired it’s first episode, a little under a week later than the other shows, so by the time I am posting this, it has only aired two episodes, compared to the others who have had three already.
Dantalian starts out with a peculiar scene: a blonde boy talking to a girl who appears to be floating within a very vast plane of existence. The boy asks the girl where they were. The place had no name but according to her it was once called the Labyrinth Library, as well as the Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian. The boy then holds out his hand, and offers to keep the girl company.
The next scene starts with a monologue being spoken by our main male lead, Hugh Anthony Disward, or simply, Huey. His grandfather, Wesley Disward, had then recently passed, due to a supposed “robbery gone wrong”. Wesley Disward was characterized by Huey as a ‘bibliomaniac’ due to his passion for collecting books. According to his grandfather’s will, Huey was to inherit his manor, as well as his vast collection of books, as well as a golden key.
As Huey explores the manor, he notices a distinct trail from the dusty floorboards of his grandfather’s study. It leads to a hidden chamber behind a book shelf. Using a lighter, he wanders through the chamber and discovers that it was the place where his grandfather had kept his books. Huey then notices a doll-like figure of a girl in the middle of the room. To his surprise, the girl was real, as she moved her hand to turn a page of a book that was on her lap. The girl notices Huey, and asks for his purpose in being there. He tells her about his grandfather’s will, and inquires about it. Apparently, there was a note in the will that said “take care of Dalian”. Huey assumed that it was some sort of pet and exclaimed how it must be starving, and how it must have made a mess around the manor. Much to his chagrin (and a painful smack as well) the doll-like girl was actually Dalian. And that’s how their story begins.
I have been highly anticipating this title since the Spring season, and from the looks of it, it didn’t disappoint one bit. I loved everything about it in the first episode, and it is justifiably so. The way they portrayed Huey, a gun-wielding pilot, was so new to me. I was like “Whoa, this guy can hold his ground.” Which is very uncommon in these types of anime. Usually we are left with a very generic male lead who lets everyone else do the cool stuff.
As for Dalian, she’s also doing well as the female lead, though some may argue with this one. Dalian may appear cute, or annoying, depending on who sees her. She’s not textbook tsundere so I give her that.
Another thing that I liked about it is the theme used by the story concerning the Phantom Books. As explained by Dalian, these books were never meant to exist, and as such, they are sealed within the Mystic Archives of Dantalian, which is in fact, Dalian herself. Huey, being acknowledged by Dalian as her keykeeper (the golden key in his grandfather’s will) has access to the Phantom Books, and uses it to fend off the effects of other Phantom Books.
As far as the fight scenes go, there is much talk about it going around. You see, for Huey to call upon the powers of the Phantom Books, he needs to read a passage from it. Now with all the action going on like say, a rampaging dragon, one may stop and ask, how did he read those lines without being burnt to a crisp? I personally do not mind it. Maybe it’s the Phantom Books’ powers already at work? We do not know.
The story so far is still a bit foggy, but bits and pieces of it were present in the second episode, so there is still some progress. I hope that this series retains being awesome, because I do hold it very highly compared to my other picks.
So there you have it. I am following
four five titles this season; Blood-C, Usagi Drop, Kamisama no Memo-chou, and Dantalian no Shoka. (I actually just picked up Mawaru Penguindrum, but I didn’t watch it from when the first episode got aired/subbed so I don’t think it really counts as a “pick”)