With the summer season almost entirely wound down and the fall season starting with a bang, and by bang I mean Fate/zero and HunterxHunter, I was prepared to leave the overwhelming mediocrity of summer behind with the heat stroke and sunburn. Just as I donned my loose autumn jacket and plopped down in front of my laptop with a cup of hot tea and a cat on my lap, ready to blog about the overwhelming dialogue that comprised the entirety of the first episode of Fate/zero, I noticed that there was one last episode in my “To Watch” queue of something that I had been purposefully “forgetting” to blog about the past few weeks: Dantalian no Shoka.
With it eyeing me suggestively and making subtle nods toward my keyboard, I grimaced and plunged right into blogging the final episode with enough trepidation to sink a world class cruise ship. “There weren’t enough things to mention the past two episodes for me to blog about,” I thought to myself with a large sigh. “How the hell will I do this?” As if to answer my prayer, Dantalian did a little burlesque song and dance number in front of me, advertising the zombie apocalypse for London. My heart rose somewhat before realizing that instead of this:
I’d end up getting this.
Then my heart joined all the trepidation on that cruise ship, sinking it into the briny deep. There were no survivors.
Yeah, I really don’t want to be writing this. There are a million things to blog about, and by a million I mean Fate/zero, but instead I have to give myself closure by going out with a bang with one last Dantalian no Shoka episodic. Right, so zombies attack London. Except instead of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost channeling drunken violence into wacky zombie killing antics as they attempt to save friends and family most dear, we have two smirking Aryans and two feuding girls with locks in strange places.
The only thing that I found interesting about the episode was how all three arguments for how to implement the Phantom Books were brought to the forefront, represented by all three (apparently) main Biblioprincess/Handler pairs. Huey and Dalian represented the “Keep the books locked up and out of harm’s way” argument, Pretty Boy and Cyclops represented the “Use the books for evil purposes and fuck the consequences” argument, and Priest Dude and Flamberge represented the “Fire fire! Ehehehe!” argument.
They weren’t elaborated on past that, but it would have been pretty damn cool if each side were elaborated on more, then thrown into the arena to fight it out like they kind of did here.
Okay, I lied, there was one more thing that I found pretty cool: Pretty Boy and Cyclops were almost like a James Bond villain team. Aside from being evil just for shits and giggles, they also escaped from their failed plan in a zeppelin. This brings up a very good question… Why weren’t these two made the stars of the damn show? I would’ve much preferred to see two psychopaths attempt to unleash a plan Batman villain style using Phantom Books, only to be foiled each episode. Seriously, somebody has to green-light that, or I have lost all hope in humanity.
So yeah, it was a decent end to a series that averaged out to be pretty decent. There were ups (The Misery-inspired episode and the first), the downs (The two parters and the one focusing on Priest Dude and Flamberge) and the in-betweens (The animation shift in the storybook episode), but it still had that cool OP/ED combination that made for a (usually) interesting watch week to week. Again, I would have liked to see more elaboration into general points of view regarding the Phantom Books, but for a thirteen episode series comprised entirely of stand-alone episodes, I wasn’t terribly disappointed.
Ultimately, Dantalian no Shoka will sink into the dregs of the year as it’s swiftly forgotten for more memorable, better executed fare. What started with some decent promise fell into a very deep trap that it couldn’t dig itself out of, oftentimes neglecting to deepen the plots in favor of squeezing more unnecessary points in. While nowhere near as bad at this as Blood-C and Kamisama Dolls were, particularly since this didn’t even pretend to have anything but a framing device, it nonetheless falls into the category of Entertaining, but Forgettable.
I’m sick of writing this post now, so I’m going to top it off with (a link to) more Shaun of the Dead. Enjoy.