I’m going to go about this in my usual biased way, ignoring anything that didn’t interest me and selecting the shows that were great, the shows that were good, and the shows that might have been good were it not for some serious flaw. Ongoing series that have not completed a single season will have judgement deferred until next year. (Too often a promising show is ruined by a bad or missing ending.) Continue reading →
The Mystic Archives of Dantalian a.k.a. Dantalian no Shoka a.k.a. Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian did not, as I feared, have a Gainax ending, but the ending was nevertheless startlingly abrupt.
In the space of the two final episodes we learn of the existence of rival supernatural libraries, meet two new pairs of antagonists and learn the real nature of the relationship between Dalian and the pink-haired girl. One might well expect that this would be the beginning of the real story, not the end of the series. If Gainax is hoping for a sequel they have certainly laid the groundwork.
Still (ignoring the half-complete Mawaru Penguindrum) I think this was my favorite series of this summer. The stories are original, the artwork is excellent and it is refreshing to see a shounenanime series with a strong, self-confident and competent hero.
I’m really enjoying The Mystic Archives of Dantalian (Dantalian no Shoka). Sure, it has lots of implausibilities, but I’m willing to overlook them. In the gothic-horror genre, style and atmosphere always trump plausibility.
However there’s one thing that keeps bugging me. Dalian has a verbal quirk: she constantly says “Yes” in English when confirming someone else’s statement. That’s not unusual in that lots of anime girls have distinctive quirks in their speech.
Except that…even though the dialog is in Japanese, the story is set in England, so presumably everyone is really speaking English. What would be the English equivalent of saying “yes” when speaking Japanese?
Could it be that she is actually saying “hai”? Or more likely, given her tone of voice, “sou desu”?
That wouldn’t be totally unreasonable. She shows a great deal of familiarity with East Asian literature. In the 1920s that would probably imply that she can at least read Chinese or Japanese.
I would be interested to know what Gakuto Mikumo, the author of the light novels, really had in mind.
Fans of Gosick who are wondering where to get their weekly fix of moe gothic horror would do well to check out this new show from Gainax.
It seems fashionable now for a series to have more than one title. The original title is displayed in Japanese characters as Dantalian no Shoka (“Dantalian’s Bookshelf”) but also in Roman characters as Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian. Crunchyroll and niconico are taking their lead from the quasi-French title and streaming it as The Mystic Archives of Dantalian.
There are a number of similarities to Gosick. Both are set in Europe in the 1920s and both feature imperious gothloli heroines. However Gosick‘s naive and floundering hero can hardly be compared to the dashing and confident hero of Dantalian. Continue reading →