Dantalian no Shoka 05 — Heroic Suitors of Light

Dantalian no Shoka certainly has a penchant for keeping its viewers on their toes. The directions this show takes are just downright bizarre. Two weeks ago, we had evil geniuses who were too lazy to do anything and villains who randomly got eaten by a cactus. Last week the victims of a phantom book evolved to gain immunity from death. This week we have a set of suitors who look like they’re cut out of a cheesy soap opera who end up becoming the five heroes of light. The direction is bizarre, but aside from last week’s ending, I love it. It’s just the right mix of absurdity and profundity.

Last week I had trouble with Dalian and Huey impassively observing a killing spree, but this week I had no problem at all with them rolling their eyes by the sidelines. The whole setup looked like it was taken out of a bad play filled with incompetent actors. The humor the creators used in this situation was top-notch as well. I was eagerly awaiting Dalian’s kick to Huey’s friend, and the interruption by Huey in favor of an even stronger kick was unexpected and delightful. Fortunately Dalian got her turn later on. I enjoyed Dalian’s retelling of the story of princess Kaguya just to get in a jab about how men are so stupid to get twirled around the woman’s thumb.  I also liked how corny the ending fight scene was. Viola’s final choice of suitor was the icing on the cake.

We did get a little more development of Huey and Dalian, in particular with the flashback to the mystical library, but the show could bear to put more of the focus on its main characters. I’m starting to wonder if this is part of the series’ charm, though: by not becoming intimately involved in each of the mysteries, Dalian, Huey and the viewers are able to view the unfolding events as cynical outsiders. Which leads back to the scene in the mystical library: Dalian, Huey and the viewers have seen all there is to see about each of the short stories, but have they really experienced them by remaining as outsiders? Dalian claimed to know about sleeping in a warm bed by reading a book. The two could say they know about love by observing the suitors in this episode and the couple in the last. But do they truly know love?

As for this week’s phantom books:

  • The Salamander’s Tablet. This may refer to the Book of Mormon, or, as is more likely, is fictional. The salamander is believed to have powers associated with fire.
  • The Anthology of the Burning, Golden Pearls. Apparently one way to tell if a pearl is authentic or fake is by putting it in a fire- real ones won’t burn. All I could find about golden pearls were references to jewelry and a quote from some crazy Frenchman who intended to summon Nessie at Loch Ness: “Nessie will breathe golden pearls for all the children from the earth, this endangered innocence that badly needs air.” I wouldn’t attach much significance to that.
  • The Sage’s Lithograph. Couldn’t find anything about this.
  • The King’s Codex. This one looks like it’s an actual book. I haven’t read it, so I’m not sure how it relates to healing.
  • The Manuscript of Nagarjuna. Nagarjuna was a Buddhist philosopher who thought about existence and non-existence, so the power to revive those killed by illusions is both pertinent and convenient. The book is most likely the Mūlamadhyamakakārikā.

7 thoughts on “Dantalian no Shoka 05 — Heroic Suitors of Light

  1. I liked it a lot and i agree with you one never knows what this show is going to do or where it’s going to go. I love the quote from the Frenchman.

    As to the King’s Codex, it says on that link that there is more than one text called that, so it’s difficult to figure out if a specific work is intended, and if so, which one.

    1. Yeah, it isn’t clear exactly which text they’re referring to, but it’s probably something Icelandic in origin. The New Testament manuscript seems unlikely. To be honest, I have my doubts that the creators thought things through enough to be referring to a specific book at all. 🙂

  2. Was not pleased by this epsiode, but the magician might seem to play a part later on….maybe.

    As for the phantom books:

    The Sage’s Lithograph- I could not find any information, but the books in question resemble a lilograph which was used in the before times as appending text/images to stone. Has something to do with a earlier form of typesetting.

    The King’s Codex- heard of it before, but not exactly sure what it deals with it. Think it also has more mentions in the bible’s New Testament as well.

    1. Yeah, lithography is a printing method where you etch the image onto stone or another surface. No clue what specific lithograph (if any) this is meant to refer to. The King’s Codex isn’t mentioned in the New Testament, but there was an old copy of the New Testament found that’s been called the King’s Codex.

  3. I happen to love legends that involve books. Thus, I am aware of the biggest of them all. “The Sage’s Lithograph.” The Sage’s Lithograph is…well this may sound crazy but information on it could be found easily on the internet a year ago. Now all of the information seems to have dissipated. I have no idea why this information is gone but it is. Too much off topic. “The Sage’s Lithograph” has nearly nothing to do with lithography. It was believed to be a legendary set of stone tablets that when the information within is utilized correctly, one could have near infinite power. On the anime one should note the colors of the auras around the characters and the order. I could say more but that would ruin the fun.

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