Nearly a year since its conclusion, Dantalian no Shoka’s OVA has arrived – however, it’s not a question answering affair, nor a series revival, rather, it seems to be simply to satisfy those who love the anime.
This series is distinct for many different elements – and the OVA is little more than a collection of them all piled together. The story present within the episode is not anything in particular – however, it does meet the core basics of what makes an escapade in the lives of our two leading characters.
One will note how the tale feels almost humorous in how quickly and abruptly it transitions – and that’s as again, it truly just stacks the definite traits of Dantalian no Shoka on top of one another in an effort to achieve the experience.
And it does succeed – this chapter certainly isn’t extraordinary, or anywhere near, although it is solid, and it does contain the lovable innovations which make the atmosphere and premise of Dantalian no Shoka. Despite the overall ride not being anything more than decent, the animation and aesthetic quality is stunning at many points, as is the sheer abstraction of it all – thus, the episode is indeed something to be recognized, even if only as an exhibit of the possibilities of what Dantalian no Shoka could be if it were ever to expand beyond its first season.
Now as for how it all unfolds, our characters trudge through a forest – this is the start of the story as the protagonist pair are in search for a Phantom Book. As they walk along, the episode delivers one of the most beloved characteristics contributing to the uniqueness of this series, the continuous sharp-tongued wit of the cute gothic loli.
Yet of course, such is merely the beginning – the antics are cut short as the two characters find themselves drifting into a deeper level of adventure. Their escape leads them to the home of a herbalist in a village – and from there, to a manor which they believe will contain what they seek.
Reaching this point, the entire ordeal moves rather quickly – and already, it cycles through much of Dantalian no Shoka’s personality. When a series establishes its own attributes and mannerisms, it has achieved its own style – and aside from the already unparalleled visuals, the series doesn’t forget about Dalian’s fetish for gourmet edibles, her occasional proclamation of “No” in English, or any other similar facet of expression.
These sort of finer details devise a liveliness and truly embed some vitality into the series.
Likewise, whilst the episode transpires in typical Dantalian no Shoka fashion, meaning our pair are attacked and then respond with a Phantom Book to the rescue, followed by a learning of tragedy, the developments remain most fascinating. There is, for instance, a scene holding a face-off between our characters, and a female gone insane – the sentiment is expressed quite masterfully through the mere arrangement of the scene.
To put it most simply, this series captivates like no other – breaking boundaries as it brings the viewer into its own realm, a world with a separate set of rule and opportunity.
That being said, a final mention, one can see how above all, the episode forgets not to end without placing a possible hint towards Dalian’s sorrow felt towards how Huey is seemingly oblivious to her love. Indeed, it’s an a world which isn’t necessarily full of sorrow, but simply the inability to ever be fully complete.