Thursday, October 6, 2011

[Ended] Dantalian no Shoka: Good Story, Bad Execution

I liked the story, I liked the characters, I even liked almost every single episode as an arc by themselves, but somehow I just couldn't bring myself to like the anime as a whole. There seems to be some critical component missing to bring all the well crafted pieces together to form a good story overall.

The entire story is rather cryptic, cryptically artistic, or at least it's the impression it's giving me. They never fully explained who yomihimes are and exactly how they relate to each other. On top of that, who exactly is the Dalian's "Other self" that lives inside her bookshelf? What exactly happened in the last episode where Hugh was going back and forth between the two Dalians? There are way too many unexplained things to have the series end here. 

Come to think of it, the way Dantanlian no Shoka ended is actually very similar to the way first season of Asura Cryin' ended: it got cut off right around the time the story got interesting. In case you're not aware, the original author of Dantalian no Shoka is also the author of Asura Cryin'. It may not mean much to many people, especially since Asura Cryin' was not very well received by the mass, but personally, I was very fond of it. So, if they are in fact planning for a second season, it may still have a chance to redeem itself.

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 77 (Extremely slow)
Comedy: 74 (Not very funny even when it tries to be)
Action: 78 (Not much)
Art/Animation: 81 (I'm pretty fond of its style)
Sound/Music: 93 (Love the theme songs)
Character: 85 (Mysterious)
Plot: 70 (Incomplete)
Ending: 60 (Premature)

Re-watch value: 68 (Maybe catching more second round)

Overall: 76 - Far from complete

Recommendation: Dantalian no Shoka has a interesting concept, a pretty well constructed storyline, and some interesting characters. But it lacked greatly in terms of execution. If there is a second season to fill in what's missing, it may still turn out to be a decent series. As it is right now, C is the best grade I would give it.

No comments: