Dantalian no Shoka 02 — Golem! Use Tackle!

The best mysteries are the ones that don’t turn out the way you expect. For me, this episode fell into that category.

At first, I thought that the cousin seemed to be the most suspicious person. I shared Dalian’s theory that he was having an “immoral relationship” with the woman. But I began to doubt this theory when Dalian suggested the same thing, and it was clear that her biggest reason for suspicion was jealously (more on this later). After the golem appeared, my next theory was that the woman controlled it to kill the people who tried to make her leave. But this was wrong too.

I only figured out the role of the golem after Huey explained it. It’s nice to have a character who is intelligent for a change. Huey even figured out the way to stop the golem before Dalian (although his implementation left much to be desired).

I was also fairly confident that this was what had happened to the servants. Also (thankfully) proven wrong.

I really like how the creators have chosen to develop Dalian and Huey’s relationship: it isn’t completely over the top, but comes across in their banter when you least expect it. There were one or two moments where I only caught Dalian’s implications after the fact because of Huey’s reaction. I’m glad to see a series where the characters understand each other as well as (if not better than) the viewers.

In terms of references, I was disappointed by the golem story. It didn’t really have much to do with the original golem legend, aside from the general idea of a mute lifeless body coming to life. No approaching a feeble imitation of God by breathing life into clay (the golem was made of metal even!), no mention of protecting anything (except secrets which shouldn’t be kept hidden), no betraying its master. Pretty much the only thing they got right aside from the general idea was that the first golem was made by a rabbi. And for a show about books, I was surprised they ignored the part where the golem came to life through written words inscribed on it in favor of something about bells. No idea why the 72-letter name came into this, or how that turned into music either. In the usual story, truth (emet) is written on the golem’s forehead, and a letter is rubbed out to make met (dead). (more info here) It seems like this story about the power of the written word would be more relevant in a show about a library.

But whining aside, I don’t really care. The mystery is great, and the characters are great. I’m just nitpicking about the details now. I do hope though that we get to see some kind of overarching story line in the future. The individual arcs are great, but I’d prefer something with continuity.

Also, I’m still doing Penguindrum, but I won’t get around to it until tomorrow.

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