Dantalian no Shoka – First Impression
First Impression – Episode 1
This is another late first impression of a show, but seeing as to how I have been in bed the whole weekend doing nothing much and being sick, I finally decided to watch Dantalia no Shoka. Here is my impression of the show along with a plot summary.
Huey inherits an old mansion as well as a personal library from his Grandfather who was known for being eccentric and had an obsession over books. In the basement of that mansion, Huey meets a mysterious girl named Dalian.
Dalian is a Dantalian and a gateway to “Dantalian’s bookshelf” which stores the prohibited books of the demons. After recognizing Huey as being worthy as her Keykeeper, they sign a pledge and Huey is handed a book, a genuine grimoire.
These prohibited illusory books endanger the balance of the world, but like all things that are dangerous, people are fascinated by what is taboo. Huey and Dalian solve the cases involving these books with their ability to access the Dantalian bookshelf.
This anime is produced by GAINAX who brought us anime such as FLCL and Neon Genesis Evangelion, hopefully this would be another note worthy anime under GAINAX’s belt.
Lets start with the plot, this may not be the most captivating plot line so far but the concept is interesting. The idea of taboo books which can bring to life the demons that are captured within does sound mystical and fascinating. The main characters as yet reminds me too much of Gosick. It is not just the doll like female lead and the “overprotective” male lead that is similar, there is also the fact that there are similarities in the mannerisms of the characters and the dynamics of their relationship. The good thing is that Huey is not as weak as Kazuya and Dalian is not as whiny as Victorique.
I like the world that this takes place in, the olden days setting does come forward more believable in Dantalian than it did in Gosick. One of the reasons would be the way in which the atmosphere is built up. The scene of Huey traveling in his car at the start of the episode coupled with the music sets the tone and pace for the rest of the episode. I also did like the slightly depressing/dark atmosphere of the anime where the whole episode essentially focuses on just the two main characters and their connection with one another.
The animation is in this series is also nicely done. The fluidity of the fight scenes makes the show more interesting to watch and is one of the charming factors of this anime. One scene that I felt was over dramatic was the scene when Huey was announcing the pledge and Dalian had a keyhole in her chest and Huey essentially stuffs his hand into her chest. That was slightly disturbing even though it was pretty to watch.
There is an odd thing about this show that I just have to mention and that is the odd soundtrack. The music is suiting and nice at times but other times it seems like the music is running the show rather than the animation and that reminds me of Disney’s Fantasia. It is not a bad thing for the music to over empower certain scenes seeing as to how sound is one of the most effective yet subtle ways of creating an atmosphere, think of how scary the classic JAWS scene would have been without the music giving you forewarning thus building up the anticipation. But even so, the lack of consistency got to me. There were too many moments of silence which just brought made scenes seemed empty when those scenes would have been a lot better if they had added some background music to them. I just hope that the later episodes will iron out these issues.
So far, I am not jumping out of my seat wanting to know what happens next, but the episode itself was a nice watch and a nice way to introduce us to the world of Dantalian no Shoka because despite the high amount of conversation scenes between Dalian and Huey, the short action moments helped to change the mood and prevented it from getting stagnant. That coupled with the nice animation and soundtrack means that you would want to see what is going on in the episode rather than leave it on in the background whilst you are busying with other things.
First Episode Rating: 7.5/10
I am not too certain as to what sort of anime this will turn out to be after only seeing the first episode, but I like what I am seeing so far even if it has a few issues.