Imagine if Misery were an anime aware of a sliver of its viewership and their hang-ups. Now, imagine if, instead of forcing the author to finish a book about a man having a run in with a bee worshipping tribe of aborigines, it were about the author being forced to make the kidnapper’s preferred couple get together, regardless of how canonical it actually is. If you can imagine all that, then you have a good handle on the central premise of this episode of Dantalian.
On its own, it’s an episode that easily surpasses last week’s yawn-worthy affair by introducing two items into a winning formula: A crazed fujoshi, and an intentionally half-baked Necronomicon. However, I interpreted it as a commentary on being happy with what the author decides, and not letting feelings and firearms get in the way of them doing with what they do best, whether it be penning gay love or popular young adult fiction. Because not only will this result in a return from the afterlife for the disgruntled author, but it’ll eventually cause them to meld with their lover to utterly destroy the fujoshi in question.
But fret not, for we have a good example of one who’s not nearly as obsessive in Dalian who represents a far greater population of the yaoi-lovin’ community. I mean yeah, she didn’t like how the book ended up, but she didn’t try to harm the author repeatedly over it; just finish it how she assumed it should’ve been finished through promises of half baked fanfiction that likely won’t come to fruition.
The moral that I noticed in the story is to ignore side characters in book trilogies, because investing in their relationship with the main character will only end in heartbreak and a possible hostage situation. And that deranged fans in favor of one couple getting together probably shouldn’t be in charge of the direction of your manuscript, lest it be total shit.
Oddly enough, the Misery references don’t end there. I mean we have an isolated residence up in the mountains, with a loony fan keeping a close eye on the author to make sure that he gets the job done that she wants. He even gets his leg smashed by a bit of metal going at mach speed, though in a different way. And, of course, he ends up killing her horribly in a final act of desperation that’s both satisfying and just a little bit odd.
All silliness aside, this was a pretty entertaining episode of Dantalian no Shoka that succeeded in painting a gripping narrative with elements that allowed for small flights of whimsy. The plot twist with the Phantom Book wasn’t all that surprising, though it was executed in an interesting enough manner to let the predictability slide.