12 Days of Anime #5: Dantarian no Shoka


Another Link!

Sorry, this post is late, but yeah….I am really sorry….

Dantarian no Shoka, also known as The Mystic Archives of Dantalian, or Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian is a light novel based anime that aired in Spring 2011. The anime inspired much discussion, and people were discussing it long after it was over. People still debate on whether Huey is prounounced Huey or Huey.

Okay, that was a lie. Dantalian inspired very little discussion and no one seemed to be interested in it. That doesn’t mean it was bad or anything. I thought it was a great little anime, nothing ground breaking per say, but in it’s own way, it was innovative, experimental, and in my honest opinion, underrated.

I would once more like to apologize for my lack of suitable images, but once more, I did not have access to my anime files. I however, did download a low resolution episode 9 just for this post…so be grateful! I looked on Pixiv, but I could not find many images due to my lack of skill. 😦


Episode 9’s awesome animation

A good deal of people might complain that Dantalian was not consistent. That, although some episodes were great, others were not so good. This, wasn’t that much of a problem simply because Dantalian was episodic, so a bad episode did not mean the whole series would suck. This format, as Mushy so eloquently put it, allowed the creators to experiment. Episode 9 was  not only a great episode, it was also an episode where a good deal of visual experimentation was carried out. Did the experiment work? Hell, Yes. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS EPISODE’S VISUAL DIRECTION.

It was so well done, and what was just as incredible was the contrast between the book world and the real world. When Dalian and Huey went back to their own world, the world was colored normally again. This wasn’t an arbitrary experiment where the animators decided to make the entire episode a shade of gray, no, they decided that they wanted just the world inside the book to be different.

You can’t pull of an animation change like this mid-season in most anime. You needed the flexibility of Dantalian’s episodic structure and an excuse like entering a book to pull it of. Even if you have excuses like that, most episode anime (like FMP Fumuffu) don’t really try and pull such drastic changes.

A story in a story

I was really happy to see changes like this in Dantalian. It was a pleasant surprise, and I really appreciate the effort.

As you might have noticed from above, I know absolutely nothing about animation, but occasionally I like to pretend I do.

Animation wasn’t the only reason I liked this episode though. I also liked the story presented, actually I liked most of the stories Dantalian presented. They were interesting stories, with many(all?) of them actually being to real life myths. If you want to look at more of the myths and stuff behind Dantalian, read the posts Draggle wrote on it.

I would also like to note that if the quick look I just gave the episode is correct, the music for this episode was also a bit different.

The story was well presented( I like how it ends with Dalian reading the book and commenting on her return!), and the overall feel of the episode was great. What a great episode.


Other Memorable Moments

Episode 11-The flying scenes

Episode 11 was a roller coaster of emotions. All along, the series had been hinting at Huey’s past as an air-force pilot and his accomplishments, but up until this point we actually knew very little about him. What also made it more compelling was that Huey was quite a likable character, sure he wasn’t that special, he didn’t do much either, but you know, screw the haters, I liked Huey.

Huey was calm and collected most of the time, he seemed to possess a decent sense of wit, and he wasn’t a reckless twit like a lot of male leads. Sure, there was nothing too much to his personality, but what little of it there was, became quite apparent thanks to this episode.

This episode was quite emotional. At first, I felt happy watching that awesome bromance play out, then I felt sad seeing the betrayal, even more sad after the old friend’s plane was shot down, and finally another gurge of sadness when the truth about Las gets out.

This was an excellent story, and it was very well told. Dantalian really shined this episode.

Other random quirks

There were some other slightly memorable things, like Dantalian’s love of bread, the girl inside Dantalian (that story kind of felt sad), the other characters like Armand who had no luck with women, and Camila who was quite an interesting female character to.

You know what I really liked? The OST. Dantalian had an incredible soundtrack. The opening was splendid, and so was the main theme.

All in all figured, I really enjoyed Dantalian.

Maybe it’s because I like books, and I know the feeling of getting lost in those books. Dantalian was sort of like that, it was about books, although it didn’t always feel like that, it was no doubt about books.

One of the ways I judge anime, is by quite simply asking the question: “Did the creators enjoy making this?”. In Dantalians case, I got the impression that they did enjoy making it. This anime had heart.

Dalia is Tsun-Tsun


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  1. #1 by Mushyrulez on December 19, 2011 - 2:38 am

    I was going to laugh at you for the whole ‘lots of discussion’ but then I saw what you did and now I’m laughing at myself laughing at myself lamlamlamlamlamlamlam. 😦

    I think it’s not as much ‘this anime had heart, and the creators put ALL THEIR EFFORT into it’ as much as

    Gainax guy 1: ‘hey guys here’s some good weed want some’
    Gainax guy 2: ‘you sure you’re supposed to be doing this we’re in the middle of animating an episode’
    Director: ‘dunworry bro this shit’s delicious’
    Gainax guy 2: ‘you sure you can direct while stoned?’
    Director: ‘direct? yeaaaah this weed goes DIRECTly to your brain man’
    Gainax guy 1: ‘better than shrooms try some’
    Gainax guy 2: ‘I don’t know man, nothing’s better than this mush-y-shroomz I’m on’
    Gainax guy 1: ‘woah your stoned to’
    gainax guy2:’ yueah mann;’
    gainx guy 3: ‘ewasspu bros
    director ‘lets fininsh tis shoka episosdoe 9 thign’
    gainax t23 : ‘yaa anow uhhh wow colors teverywwhere
    gainax2 ;prett cpool mn’
    direcwr im having so much funn right wnow
    gand;k wwheeeeee

    P.S. I know which subs you use



    • #2 by Reiseng on December 19, 2011 - 6:13 pm

      Just because they were high, it doesn’t mean that they put in no effort, they might still have been trying to reach new highs and stuff ( SEE WHAT I DID THERE!).

      NOOOO, you have discovered my secret :(. I must remember to properly title images next time. I started watching why(ne) subs, but they were too slow, so I gave up, switched to something else. I only got these particular screens from them because I downloaded that one episode.

      I like whining, it’s like winning, but easier.

  2. #3 by Mushyrulez on December 20, 2011 - 2:03 pm

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