Dantalian no Shoka 5-7

This season Dantalion no Shoka premiered late, almost as an afterthought, which partly explains why I have fallen three episodes behind. But when I do remember and sit down to watch I’m reminded that this is one of the most fun to watch shows running. Even if the stories are often silly, it is always great to look at.

Come on, this could be a scene right out of an opera.

Episode 5’s title is “Traviata,” but apart from having a courtesan whose name sort of sounds like Violetta there’s no other connection. After introducing us to Viola and suitor #1, a tool named Armand, we move to the action, full of dramatic sayings and gestures and another fabulous light show. Viola always sounds like she’s an actress speaking her lines on stage a little too melodramatically. The evil count is much the same. This isn’t the first time this show has reminded me of something you’d see on stage, a major, over-the-top extravaganza with ridiculous lines and overacting—and a HUGE effects budget. The final confrontation is dazzling to look at. And of course, all this wild talk and action makes Dalian’s snarky asides all the more effective and welcome.

Episode 6 veers away from Dalian Huey and introduce us to Hal and Flam. Since they’re in the OP we were bound to meet them sometime. From their appearance in it I figured they were going to be bad guys. But rather, they seem to be fighting on the same side as Dalian and Huey, but they’re not as nice about it. And they’re looking for our main couple. There’s gonna be a showdown, but not this episode. Here, we learn about the characters and their weaponry, and their rather more disgusting phantom book retrieval scene. Hal and Flam are a cheerful contrast to Huey and Dalian. Hal is quiet, serious and brave, while Huey is brave and a little dull. Flam might be great fun. It looks like she’s up for any sort of nasty behavior, but can also get along with a little girl if the need arises. She doesn’t try to do Dalian’s low-key snark, but simply says whatever she happens to be thinking, embarrassing or unpleasant though it be. This episode’s story wasn’t bad. The dolls were creepy and the mystery interesting, but there was nothing special to it. It felt like a first episode, where the creators introduce us to the characters. Which in a way, it was.

So, I’ve mentioned that the show’s ideas are interesting, the stories awkward, but usually great to look at. Episode 7 is more of the same. Fiona, thanks to her phantom book, has the ability to create scents that not only flatter women but create general happiness. The world’s first aromatherapist. But she’s an artist, so she says, and doesn’t agree with her father’s desire for profit … until we discover that she does. The fact that she can also create powerful, addictive narcotics and paralyzing drugs, and can sense people’s hidden moods by sniffing them, makes her an interesting and formidable character, whipping out this spritzer or that depending on her need. But the plot falls apart in the final scenes, all exposition, and trivial compared not only to her abilities and potential but to the episode’s immense body count. People were dropping like flies this episode. Also, she did a shitty job of running away.

But, once again, good to look at, if not as flashy and stylized as episodes 5 and 6. Damn, this show can be so much fun to watch. I wish they’d work harder on the scripts. It’d be a great series.

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