Dantalian no Shoka
Released Year : July 16, 2011 to October 1, 2011
No of Episodes : 12
Genre : Action,Historical,Mystery,Supernatural
Plot : Hugh Anthony Disward inherits an old mansion and a personal library from his grandfather. In the basement of the mansion, he meets a mysterious girl, Dalian. She is a Dantalian and a gateway to "Dantalian's bookshelf", which stores the prohibited books of the demons. "Gensho (Illusory Books)", the prohibited books, endanger the balance of the world, but people are fascinated by the taboo. Hugh and Dalian solve the cases involving Gensho with their ability to access the Dantalian bookshelf.
Our Review : Updated to Final Episode.
I personally had this anime recommended to me by a friend, saying I might like it. (He had read the novels I believe.) So I came into this show knowing nothing at all since I had decided not to try to get any background on it to be unbiased about it.
I was reasonably surprised by how good I actually found it to be.
Personally I normally don't like dark atmosphere anime, yet this one does it in a way that I wanted to keep watching since it kept pulling me in to want to know more about the story and these Phantom Books.
Ok, after episode two I find myself mildly lost. At first I thought that the Phantom Books were going to be a tool of destruction in the hands of people who could not control them. But if I understood correctly Huey used two in the episode as weapons. Guess they can be used as tools in the right hands.
With that said, the story feels a little rushed since there isn't continuity between the two episodes, so it looks like theres an overall theme, but different scenarios that don't continue on. Hopefully this doesn't persist and they take sometime to explain some more concepts or the anime is going to suffer with confusing concepts and butchered story telling.
Well, they never slowed down one bit the entire anime, they just kept on chugging by without taking the time to explain concepts. They decided to go on an episodic route, which I had hoped they wouldn't, since a good linear story would probably have made more sense for this series. But I still liked each episode for what it put out, each being interesting and unique in its own way. The finale was especially well done, making up for some of the confusion along the way.
Very neat realistic backgrounds. Pretty well designed cars and items from the time period the anime is set in. The backgrounds never cease to amaze me in this anime, they are extrordinarly well done, it looks very realistic for an anime that's for sure. The character designs go well with the backgrounds and settings. Huey has a nice design, and so does Dalian. Not much else to say about it.
The background music so far is very appropriate to the scenes it is used in. It doesn't seem out of place and just fits with the anime in general. With episode two I saw the opening, they did use it in episode one, but without the opening sequence. I think the opening is very appropriate for the anime, it goes with its theme of being a dark mysterious anime, which the opening reflects with its mellow somber tune. I stand by my perspective of episode one; the ending... IS strange, the music was creepy and the video is just really really creepy, I didn't particularly like it one bit. So for me the opening and background music is appealing, very appealing.
Huey's character seems likeable to me. Seems like the kind of person that has an interesting past to say the least. Also seems to be well rounded, such as his knowledge with books and firearms, and piloting experience as well. Dalian, was enigmatic to say the least. She seems to be the kind of character you will learn more about slowly as the plot progress, but from what I've seen so far she is somewhat reserved and was brought up in a somewhat pampered state. I mainly say this because of the manner she bosses Huey around and her posture she witholds the air of someone that had been pampered or sheltered.
I oddly enjoyed the first episode much to my surprise. At first I had thought that I might be a bit bored since this isn't typically a type of anime I would try. But I said what the heck and watched the first episode. This was a decision I do not regret since I am already hooked on the story, and want to know more about it. And I honestly enjoyed the comedy between Huey and Dalian in each episode since it is played out nicely and just works into character development well.
Overall, I am mighty pleased that I picked up this show since it looks quite promising, I'm hoping that it doesn't disappoint me somewhere along the way. If the story picks up and pieces together some loose plot holes I still think this anime will be a fantastic watch. Sadly it didn't fill up every plot hole along the way, with certain things remaining murky. This seemed like the kind of anime that needed another 12 episodes to round itself off into what it could be. Hopefully a season 2 comes out to explain the loose ends, and instead of being episode by episode they chain it together into something that flows better.