Dantalian no Shocker Episode Three
The shock being that this episode was very, very enjoyable. There’s definitely some thoughtful people behind this series and I do hope it keeps showing as it goes along.
The episode really consisted of two half-episodes, a format that I used to think was ridiculously short but have gotten very used to since I started watching all the 15-minute shows on Adult Swim. Here it worked really well. The two stories were short and to the point.
In the first one, a bunch of kids read from the Book of Wisdom and become terribly smart. The adults are terrified that the children are going to turn into criminals or try to take over the world or do something crazy or other, but instead they decide just to hang out. They are so smart that they’ve realized all is vanity. Honestly, I read that Book of Wisdom when I was a kid. It’s called Ecclesiastes. I even memorized the opening!! But then I forgot about it. Yup, I became a silly adult.
The second story is about a mimic plant called the Queen of the Night that can make its leaves look like book pages so as to lure explorers into its carnivorous grasp. Again, this might have failed as a full episode but it worked really well in the short format.
ubiquitial had mentioned to me earlier that this episode carried on with Daoist references that I had pointed out in the first episode and if it weren’t for that comment I wouldn’t have noticed Dalian’s allusion to the characters of the famous Chinese novel Journey to the West. It’s one of those allusions that are really obvious to those acquainted with the work, but Dalian just rattles it off so quickly that for those not as familiar with the original work (like myself who’s never read it) it’s easily missed.
What is the meaning of Dalian’s constant deployment of Daoist lore?? Might we actually find out later on that she originally hailed from China?? That’d be kinda cool for a Japanese show about British people!
Anyway, the art and lighting were really nice in this episode as well. And I found Dalian’s obsession with certain pastries very funny, possibly because I suffer from the same plight.