Summer 2011 – First Impressions (Manyuu Hiken-chou & Dantalian no Shoka)
So here we are at last, the final two shows of the season! Now all I have to do is decide if I can actually blog anything this season……….Anyway, first let’s get dazzling censor-bars and magical books out-of-the-way……Manyuu Hiken-chou & Dantalian no Shoko are our final shows of the summer season.
Right, as there seems to be no sign of an uncensored webcast in the near future, I had to make do with the extremely clumsily censored TV version. I swear there was absolutely no point to having this series air on TV if this is the way they’re going to censor it – would have been a much better idea to just let it go straight to DVD, or better yet just make it a hentai show. I really can not see anyone watching a show whose entire plot revolves around boobs, yet refuses to show even a hint of boob jiggle on the screen…….I mean what the hell is the point in watching if you risk being blinded by dazzling white censor bars every time the main plot point is on-screen!?
The show itself is utterly bizarre anyway. The way they take everything so hyper serious is somewhat hilarious given they’re talking about boobs, but there is a really disturbing element involving molestation and slicing off women’s breasts that I just found really uncomfortable. Is meant to be titillating to the viewer? I just felt ill and I think it was worse that stuff was censored as my imagination probably made things X10 worse than anything the show could have shown me!
So Manyuu Hiken-chou isn’t worth anyone’s time (and eyesight). If you really must watch this abomination, wait for the uncensored BD releases.
Dantalian no Shoka
So this is another show that kind of has the Gosick vibe going on. Where Kamisama no Memo-chou takes the Gosick formula and sets it in the modern-day, Dantalian no Shoka stays in the period setting of between the World Wars, but tweaks the characters and adds in more supernatural elements to make it a much more immediately interesting series. For me the most interesting aspect of the show is the dynamic between the characters. Hugh isn’t a typical Boring Male Lead – he’s got personality, was a pilot during WWI and has definitely got a very cool head for being in an extremely unusual situation (hello lions and dragons and alternate dimensions inside a loli’s chest!?). Dalian is also an interesting character – not as adorable as Victorique, but also not helpless and constantly needing to be looked after like her either. Dalian has a strong personality that doesn’t overwhelm Hugh’s even though she’s clearly the one with the greater intellect in this situation – the result is a very even relationship, I can see them being good partners.
The animation is very well produced – for a change the use of real life images in the backgrounds really works well, and I liked the action scenes quite a lot – for a fight that was basically reading aloud, it was really visually interesting. The ED was completely live action & was actually a bit creepy (but nowhere near the nightmare fuel that is the Nyanpire ED), which added an interesting vibe to the end of the show. The voice acting is simply excellent – I’m already a big fan of Daisuke Ono and Miyuki Sawashiro, but they both seem to be perfectly suited to their roles here. Ono bring just enough confidence and carefreeness to Hugh without making him look like a cavalier idiot, and Sawashiro brings dignity and force of will to Dalian, while still giving her a cute side.
Definitely interested in this show, will be keeping it on.