Dantalian no Shoka 06
OMG, this episode opened up and I literally thought I was looking at the wrong show. I double checked and triple checked, then the OP kicked in and I assured myself this was Dantalian. It’s amazing how those two characters at the beginning looked like regulars from another show (any other show) that I don’t want to be watching right now.
All the voice actresses playing men in anime have got me really confused. I really don’t know if feminine characters with funny voices are supposed to be men who look like women or women pretending to be men. In this case, it’s neither! Flamberge is a woman that’s supposed to be woman, but they’ve gone and given her the type of voice that male characters played by female seiyuu in shonen anime have, so it’s plain baffling. Flamberge even grins in the shonen style (i.e. toothily).
I think the general setup of this new pair (Hal/Flamberge) makes for an interesting contrast with Huey and Dalian. Hal’s distaste for books is a very reasonable outcome of contact with so many evil tomes, and his keeping Flamberge chained up is a nice touch. However, IMO the characterization of the two is awful. We’ve seen the cold, methodical fellow and his sarcastic sidekick bit too many times, and the fact that they keep sparring with the same accusations and even the same insults makes this even more boring. I enjoyed the story in this episode but I found myself wishing it was Huey and Dalian working the case and not these two.
The lore elements were awesome as always. Once again we have a Daoist motif with the doll-making book, but what really surprised me was the reference to the Norse mythical giant Surtr at the end. That Hal somehow has gotten a hold of Surtr’s staff is silly in the extreme, since the whole point of the tale is that at the end of Ragnarok Surtr burns the whole universe with it, so the staff should have been destroyed as well. But I love Norse lore so the fact they mentioned Surtr is cool anyway.
All in all, it was a good episode and I applaud Dantalian for once again defying all our expectations: who would have thought they’d suddenly spring a whole episode without Huey and Dalian on us? And though I missed them, the story was strong enough and Hal and Flamberge (despite it all) were colorful enough to make it work.
Now, what would I do with this phantom book? Easy. I’d raise about 100 people first, have them work really hard to earn us lots of cash. With that money, I’d buy a whole lot of land. There, I’d raise 900 more people and build a town. I’d call myself King, mint my own coins, the whole works…