Dantalian no Shoka 12 — Huey Does Something!

What a pleasant surprise! This actually turned into a nice ending, although it was rushed. They could have easily used up an extra episode or two on this or the last episode, especially given how repetitive the later arcs became.

Huey is Awesome

At least when he does something besides sipping tea and standing by helplessly. Even I’ll admit it: he was pretty cool in this episode, what with getting shot, shooting the gun out of the Professor’s hand from a puddle of his own blood, and jumping out the window with Dalian. He even attempted to save the girl from the library and stop the plot to zombify London. But then Dantalian goes back to its own tricks, and…

Someone Else Saves the Day

I liked this plot device at first. It was something new, unexpected, and cynical. Huey and Dalian get caught up in all these adventures, but no matter what they do it’s all more or less useless. Things happen, and they have no control over it. But it did start to grate on my nerves after ten episodes of our heroes being useless.

In this episode the twist was really well done though. Since Huey was actually trying to stop the phantom book owner for once, it was actually a tense scene. The Professor is showing off his trucks full of zombification newspapers, and mentioning how his plan is now unstoppable. Then out of nowhere, Hal’s flamethrower bursts all the trucks into flames. I had the same face as Rasiel and the Professor when it happened:

So this anticlimax was effective, because:

  1. Our lead characters actually cared about what was happening, and were still powerless to stop it.
  2. The viewers actually (sort of) cared about the people who saved the day.

The lesson is that indifferent characters tend to make for indifferent viewers.

The conclusion didn’t resolve much of anything, which fits in perfectly with the show’s themes, but still managed to tie everything together and come to a good stopping point. They even managed to bring in the other biblio-princesses.

The Girl in the Library

Honestly, this whole subplot didn’t appeal to me. We have a childhood friend who’s trapped in a library, who Huey makes a promise too. This is what motivates Huey to this day, twenty years later. Boring.

Still, I did like the scene where Huey and Dalian were running away, and the two worlds merged. It was nicely done. Same with the scenes of Dalian and her alter ego’s past / present / future. I’m not going to speculate much, since endless Penguindrum speculation has reduced my enthusiasm. But I did notice what looks like Dalian with Joan d’ Arc, and a toga-clad Dalian opening Pandora’s box. So she’s pretty darn old.

I especially liked the scene where Huey and the Dalian in the library hold hands. Usually Huey is wearing his gloves, but here his hand is bare and stained with blood. The girl reaches out to Huey, then pulls back, but Huey grabs it.

Phantom Books

  • Book of Atonement — This is a nickname for the book of Leviticus. And I guess it’s fitting this episode should air a week before the Day of Atonement.
  • The Professor’s book — A note written by a fugitive who assassinated a president of the new world. Most likely the diary of John Wilkes Booth. It doesn’t seem like the whole thing is available online, unfortunately. I’m kind of puzzled as to why the Professor claimed Dalian would never have heard of it— it would have been pretty famous. Perhaps this is just because it’s more recent? It’s power was lame anyway— he could have used an actual gun just as easily.
  • Crastinus Dies Nunquam Sciat — This is the title on the spine of the book Huey takes from Dalian. This translates (very roughly, I don’t even know Latin) to “tomorrow is never known.” Given what Huey is saying at the time, the meaning seems clear. As far as I can tell this book is fictional— perhaps it is the story of Dalian herself.

Further Thoughts

  • Could this guardian be Dantalian? He has “all Men’s and Women’s faces”, and this face seems to fit that description.
  • I cracked up when they showed the Germans riding the zeppelin.
  • I love how everyone says the middle name but only for Huey. Still, a marked improvement over calling someone “Setsuna F. Seiei” out loud. *facepalm*

Oh, and I said I’d be late with this post. Sorry, I lied. Boring trip. Have some angry Rasiel and Dalian pictures as an apology. Their fight was pretty cute.

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6 thoughts on “Dantalian no Shoka 12 — Huey Does Something!

  1. Actually, an actual gun would have been much better, since the bullet in this thing is obviously not very powerful. I was expecting Huey to bleed to death at any point and he just kept on going!!

    I like the idea of Dalian vs. Raziel as England vs. Germany in the two wars period. You could do some epic stuff with that (though i guess the novels don’t)..

    I was just as bored as you with the trapped princess thing. Essentially, Huey falls in love with an older girl when he’s a boy; now he looks older than her (but at least she seems mature). While he tries to rescuesher, he hangs out with this beloved’s alter ego loli Dalian, who acts and looks very young. So it all comes down to Huey trying to get this princess out of the library because Dalian looks to damn young and if he starts dating Dalian he’ll end in prison..

    I did take the demon to be Dantalian.

    Dalian, Raziel and Flamberge (and respective handlers) are pretty neat. Too bad there wasn’t more of a fleshed-out story. It could have been epic.

    1. True: Huey seems to have an infinite supply of blood. Perhaps it is the power of a phantom book…

      I agree, they definitely could have done more with the setting between England and Germany. They had some tantalizing tidbits thrown in like that flag from the last episode and the reconstruction conference from this one, but didn’t actually go anywhere with it.

      And yeah, I think Huey will end up in prison either way, they both look like little girls. I thought at first that the age of consent laws back then may not have been too stringent, but it was raised from 13 to 16 in 1885. So Huey’s in trouble. Maybe the girl inside the library could pass for 16 though.

  2. I enjoyed this ending, and in general most of the anime as well, it was quite fun, I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had quite all the references to mythology and classical books, I guess I really should read more.

    Going back to this episode, Huey was awesome this time, and the episode had a really nice pace to it.
    I didn’t mind the childhood friend with librarian thing too much.
    As far as little loli’s go, I actually like Dalia, sure, she had some of the stereotypical tsundere traits, but she was pretty fun to watch, and at times, quite cute to.

      1. I had to look up the V.A (I don’t know any of the hardworking people who make my anime, I am such a bad boy!) and yes, that is pretty much exactly the fear I would have had at the beginning of the anime.

        1. I don’t really follow many of the people either, she’s pretty much the only one I know because she annoys me to no end.

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