Review: Dantalian no Shoka


Anime: Dantalian no Shoka (Dantalian’s Bookshelf/Library)
Animation Studio: Gainax
Number of Episodes: 12
Length per Episode: Approximately 24 minutes

So I got about an hour of sleep last night trying to get my speech ready for class today. I was running out of time and rushed as much as I could and got a bare-bones outline done. Then I was late for class so I ran for dear life to get there in time.

Just to find out the teacher was stuck in traffic so class was cancelled.

So all that panicking for nothing. Typical. Anyways, that’s why these next few posts are coming out later than expected. I figured I’d have time to write them after being done with class and didn’t have any more work to do (at least nothing due on Tuesday), but I forgot to account for lack of sleep. In fact, I’m writing this pretty late at night too. I’ll probably only write a portion of it then finish it tomorrow before 10:00am so it’ll come out on time.

Just like with Kamisama Dolls, I’m not sure what to make of Dantalian no Shoka. I enjoyed what I saw, but on the other hand I wasn’t entirely sure I understood what I saw. I mean, I pretty much got the point of each episode (except the poem/book/whatever they were references), but the entire package as a whole is just… this blob.

As a whole, the show didn’t really seem to have any significance or overall message to speak of. It wasn’t even until the last episode that we found out about Huey’s motivations behind what he’s doing. And even then, it isn’t really explained, so a lot is left unanswered. There were a few flashes of scenes from the past so you could try and connect the dots, but even then it’s not enough information to truly understand it.

But I did enjoy Dantalian’s episodes as they were on their own. As I said in a previous post, I especially liked them starting with the third episode, when it broke off from a standard formula that had started forming.

…I’m not really sure what else to say. There was no real overarching story to speak of (until the last episode somewhat connected thing), and each episode had a similar feel to it, so there’s no specific moments or attributes that I can point out. I was hoping this review would help me give the show a rating, but now I’m even more unsure of what to give it.

I guess what it comes down to is: is it okay to sacrifice overall consistancy and story for individual episodes that contain everything within themselves? And now that I think about it, yeah, that’s perfectly acceptable. It’s not like an overarching story is a requirement or anything. Personally I enjoy them more than individual episodes, but I suppose that’s just a personal thing.

So if you need to know whether or not to watch Dantalian, just ask yourself whether you’re willing to sacrifice a consistent, overarching plot for individual episodes.

RATING: 8 out of 10.


8 Comments on “Review: Dantalian no Shoka”

  1. feal87 says:

    If it wasn’t for Dalian’s “Yes”, this series would have been really bad…:P

    • Riyoga says:

      Eh, I enjoyed it for what it was. I liked the messages in each episode. The third episode was my favorite, probably.

      But yeah, I did like that they used “yes” since they were in England.

  2. Ritsuioko23 says:

    You call this a review? Seems really half-assed to me. Busy schedule or not :/

    • Riyoga says:

      ( ゚∀゚)アハハ八八ノヽノヽノヽノ \ / \/ \

      It’s about as long as my other ones, and there was much less to cover since the plot was episodic. Plus I had no idea what my overall thoughts were when I started writing this, so I just kinda went with it and formed my opinion after about halfway through.

      Nice to see you back, though. Thought you had vanished on me for a bit there.

  3. Ritsuioko23 says:

    How could your biggest fan leave you?~

  4. awyeah says:

    Personally I would’ve liked to see the roles of the other 2 biliotecha’s expanded more, like destroying books and creating books. Idk I just felt like they could’ve done more with them. Overall i enjoyed the episodes, just as you said, by themselves.

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