Dantalian no Shoka (2011) – Anime Review

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Author: G Yuusuke, Mikumo Gakuto

Genre:  Action, Mystery, Historical, Supernatural

Episodes: 12

Production Studio: Gainax

 

Introduction

My first impression of the anime was that it seemed very Gosick-esque during the first few episodes; the library, the little lolita girl, it seemed pretty similar at first glance but now that I’ve watched it, I have to admit that these two anime are actually very different despite coincidentally having kinda the same concept.

 

Storyline premise

It starts off with a man named Hugh Anthony Disward, otherwise known as Huey, entering a mansion and testing a fairly outlandish key on the door keyhole before using another key to unlock the door, as if he didn’t know what this “outlandish” key was supposed to do or where it was supposed to go. As he wanders through the huge mansion, he comes across a cellar filled with books, like a library, where he meets Dalian, a petite lolita with a sharp tongue.

The said “outlandish” key

They converse and through there, we can gather that Huey was to inherit his grandfather’s mansion, books and well, Dalian too. They bond and Huey learns more about Dalian and Mystic Tomes through getting involved with to me related incidences and and sweetened fried bread.

Verdict: Similar to Gosick in very significant ways but also very different at the same time.

 

Animation and Art

The animation wasn’t bad and distant characters weren’t half assed. Overall smooth animation. Art was very versatile, characters are cute when they need to be and serious when it really comes down to it. The art style the characters were drawn in looked incredible with all sorts of features. What I really want to point out are the scenes where a completely new art style comes up. They used a black and white pictures to visualize war scenes.

And not to mention the episode where they entered a storybook, the art style was unfamiliar and new to me personally.

Verdict: Unique way of visualizing certain scenes, art style is very likeable and animation quality is better than average.

Sound and Music

The music was incredibly intriguing. Both the OP, Cras numquam scire by Yucca feat. Daisuke Ono, and ED, Yes, Prisoner by maRIONnetTe, had a calming yet creepy vibe to them. It’s not music I would personally listen to but the difference between this kind of music for opening and ending sequences for this anime compared to others is actually very refreshing.

Verdict: A nice change of atmosphere to the generic loud and fast anime OPs and EDs.

 

Characterization

Hugh Anthony Disward, or better known as Huey, is a very righteous and caring character which we can see through his actions. He doesn’t hesitate when it comes to helping people and he uses Dalian for good. He never forces her to do what she doesn’t want to, actually he spoils her quite a lot. He didn’t let his inheritance get to his head and he clearly isn’t a boastful character. He is also Dalian’s keykeeper.

Dalian on the other hand, is fairly foul-mouthed but innocent at the same time. She wants to seem all grown up and mature because of her height despite being the Black Biblioprincess, custodian of Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian housing 900,666 Mystic Tomes. Her keykeeper was once Wesley Disward but his title has since been inherited by his grandson, Huey.

 

Conclusion

Has an overall good plot concept and execution, unique art in certain scenes that isn’t normally seen in anime, fairy good animation and peculiar but good music. Characters can be considered fairly generic, not as special but good use of their personalities. I generally like this anime because It is somewhat different from what I’m used to seeing in a good way. If there ever is a season 2, I would definitely watch it!

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