Dantalian no Shoka Ep. 10: Twilight has left me in despair!

Other bloggers are too nice. Oh Mira of hachimitsu, this episode was not almost good. It was flat out terrible from start to finish.

Déjà vu
Remember when the sixth episode was all about a city run by dolls?

Well, this week is about a doll that can play music, but there’s a twist: Christabel has a soul.

Remember when the seventh episode was all about perfume being addictive?

Now, it’s music that is addictive.

And remember all those other times Hugh and Dalian got themselves tied up or imprisoned…

…while people died hopelessly before them?

Yeah, I remember. Is this show even trying? Has this show ever tried?

No.
This should have been obvious from the start with the anime’s phoned-in visuals and generic soundtrack. This episode, however, takes laziness to another level. At the nineteenth minute mark, the anime pretty much gave up on, well, animating. No, seriously, a cartoon stopped being a cartoon. I may as well have opened a picture book. Nodame Cantabile treated us to nothing but static shots of the orchestra, but Dantalian no Shoka doesn’t stop just there. Oh no, our bibliomaniac and biblioprincess are too hardcore for that. Their show couldn’t even be bothered to animate the duo’s escape from the collapsing music hall.


Animation in my anime? Don’t be preposterous!

As if the episode wasn’t shitty enough, the last couple of minutes consisted of Hugh and Dalian engaging in grade school level dialogue.

Hugh: “What’s happening?”

The place is shaking. I dunno, maybe you should run.

Dalian: “This is Baldini’s violin sonata.”

Whoa, really? I thought Christabel might’ve been playing “Friday.”

Dalian: “This is the other piece, the destructive Phantom Score that leaves an audience wallowing in despair.”

Hugh: “Twilight?”

*snicker*

Hugh: “The audience members all survived.”

Y’see, they had a list of every single audience member in attendance.

Dalian: “They must have heard the message we heard.”

No shit?

Hugh: “Before Christabel played ‘Twilight,’ she played a message.”

Good follow-up, Watson.

Hugh: “A warning telling us to escape.”

Oy vey…

Hugh: “That’s why everybody got out in time.”

Dalian: “However, the warning only reached those who could hear her.”

We’re at critical levels of stupidity here.

Hugh: “That’s right; Kendrick and his men were in a soundproof room. Why did Christabel perform ‘Twilight?’ Kendrick ordered her to perform ‘Utopia.'”

Brilliant work, Watson. Just brilliant.

Dalian’s a heartless liar
Remember when Fiona of the seventh episode was fatally injured the first time, but Hugh and Dalian saved her life through the use of magical, Phantom Book powers?

Remember when the duo allowed Armand to burn to death at the end of the eighth episode because they were secure in the fact that they could revive him?

So when Dallaglio got shot, everything’s cool, right? Dalian and Hugh will just revive him… right? Nope:

Christabel: “What happened to Dallaglio?”
Dalian: “That man is about to die.”
Christabel: “Die…?”
Dalian: “It means he’s going to break down.”
Christabel: “Dallaglio broke? Who will fix him?”
Dalian: “Nobody can fix him. Once a life has been broken, it can never be restored.”

That’s a lie — a contemptible lie! Some of you are gonna be like, “Gainax is just trolling you!” Or, y’know, the anime just sucks.

Your moment of zen

Dalian: “She is so amazing that I almost choked on my bun.”

I wish you had, Dalian, I really wish you had….

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5 Replies to “Dantalian no Shoka Ep. 10: Twilight has left me in despair!”

  1. Thanks E Minor, for a second there I was starting to think I was being to hard on Dantalian no Shoka! Maybe I’m being too nice to most of the shows I’ve seen so far, or rather too forgiving of a show’s prevalent flaws just because I happened to enjoy a more recent episode.

    To be fair though, this was the first episode to make me feel sad for the two side characters, they’re pretty much the only characters I’ll remember aside from the guy who gets burnt to a crisp by his jealous lover once this show is over.

    That’s a lie — a contemptible lie! Someone of you are gonna be like, “Gainax is just trolling you!” Or, y’know, the anime just sucks.

    That and Dalian is possibly the worst character in the series, what a terrible biblioprincess.

    By the way, it really bothers me how most of the non-main characters (aside from the ones in episode 9) all look alike. That’s just lazy character design.

    1. I apologize for the small novel of links and text below, but I think Dantalian warrants special mention…

      It’s actually worse than you think – having read a chapter of the manga before this series was animated, I can tell you that they actually deliberately revised what were previously varied and interesting designs to instead look, well… utterly generic. A lot of the side characters such as the girl from the fourth episode went from being a variety of ages and social classes to a forgettable dozen of upper class 30-year-old women wearing identical crinoline dresses and over-elaborate hair styles. Hell, Hugh and Dalian are no exception.

      What the anime also fails horribly at is composition and plain old visual interest. Not that the amount of effort simply drawing one panel in black and white is comparable to animating an entire series, but it really shows just how inept (or simply uninspired) the people making the series are when viewed side by side. Notice how just from this one image it’s obvious that manga-Hugh gesticulates with his hands while talking and clearly enjoys striking poses. The guy looks closer to HOOOUOUIN KYOUMA than he does his own animated equivalent. His personality and habits are apparent at a glance, without a word being spoken. Hugh in the anime doesn’t even have this characterization – he’s completely dull and visually sterile with practically no personality in any sense of the word. The only thing you can infer from watching him is that he’s boring.

      Character designs aren’t the only place the anime dropped the ball. Simple scene composition like posing the characters, lighting, and filling the scene is a hundred times better in the source (?) as well, and it’s black and white for god’s sake!

      1. I never knew there was a manga! The black and white adaptation certainly has more vitality to it compared to the anime, Dalian and Huey’s character designs aren’t exactly innovative but they’re more interesting than the ones we see in the anime. I’ll probably give the manga a try once the series is over.

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