Dantalian no Shoka 03

As Huey brouses in a bookstore he makes the mistake of ignoring Dalian, who then proceeds to spoil the ending of each book he picks up, and through the scene they make Huey also bumps into an old friend of his, Camilla Sauer Keynes.

And while Camilla is friendly towards her Dalian acts coldly until promises of tea and scones with jam are brought up. So because of this they head over to Camilla’s villa where we learn that she’s just returned from the America and that a friend of hers who runs a small school has stumbled upon a Phantom Book, one which gives the reader absolute knowledge. Dalian recognises this as the Book of Wisdom but is more concerned with the scones that Camilla mentioned earlier, however Huey is worried about the effects the book has had and they instead head over to see Camilla’s friend, Mildred.

She informs them that the book and the children who read it are in the building around the back so they head in and to get it, as had been mentioned earlier, the children themselves are acting strangely and while they believe they could take over the world they also think it would be a waste of time, and so allow Huey and Dalian to take the Book of Wisdom. Following this Dalian reaffirms why there was nothing to worry about, as the truly ‘brilliant’ would be put off by the risk of failure and wouldn’t try. Of course she still wants those scones, and as this story ends Camilla affirms why she prefers bad students and Huey burns the book, as an original copy already resides within the Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian.

In the second half of the episode Huey learns that his grandfather has been keeping a rare cactus which Dalian has been taking care of, and after thirteen years it should finally bloom. The two of them then go off for tea only to hear the doorbell ring and meet two men at the door after his grandfather. However while it appears that they don’t pose much of a threat at first, one of them lashes out at Huey while the other takes Dalian hostage, revealing that their intentions are to take one of his grandfather’s books, the Queen of the Night. Because of this the two of them are tied up and one of the men stomps on one of the books while the other eats the Swiss chocolates that Camilla dropped off, infuriating Dalian. Huey then remembers where the two men are from, the Gladstone Company which acts as a middle man of sorts between thieves and the rich, and as they continue their search one of the men lashes out at him.

They then hear a scream so the one interrogating them moves in to investigate and finds the Queen of the Night in the garden, and so after escaping Huey and Dalian try to make it in time but arrive seconds too late. Dalian then explains that the cactus is the Queen of the Night, a carnivorous plant which lures in its prey with a flower shaped like a book. During the epilogue Camilla comes over and while Dalian acts coldly again, she bribes her with some biscuits and Dalian herself feels no pity for the men from the Gladstone Company, they damaged one of her favourites after all.

Thoughts:

It seems like this show can almost read my mind, last week I was uneasy about how the cast really only came down to Huey and Dalian but this week we were introduced to another character, Camilla who looks like she’ll be a recurring character so far. However it may just be due to the episodic nature of the show so far, the way some things were executed bothered me slightly.

I mean, there were some interesting ideas, a book which grants the reader “absolute knowledge” and after that a carnivorous plant that lures its prey with a flower shaped like a book. However with the former it didn’t exactly feel like there was any closure, the kids were creepy and all but in the end Huey and Dalian effectively just walk in and take it, and walk off. And Huey may have burned the book but unless those kids return at some point nothing has really been resolved. That said the primary focus of this half of the episode really only seemed to be introducing Camilla, so everything else would have come second to that anyway.

In the latter half I will admit that I found the idea of the Queen of the Night kind of interesting, a plant like it is hardly believable in the slightest but it still gives a feeling of the unknown. Of the time that the world was still being mapped and there were still quite a few mysteries that abounded in it, when the truth wasn’t entirely clear and the stories the explorers brought back were extremely elaborated or completely made up. It was a nice feeling, however at the same time it didn’t exactly feel as if there was much to it all, the story pretty much consisted of some burglars breaking in and paying the price for their curiosity with Huey and Dalian arriving a moment too late. Overall I guess the problem that I have with these episodic stories is that there’s no lasting effect, sometimes characters are introduced but there’s no overarching plot that connects them in any way so far.

Finally if there was one thing that had bothered me last week it was how the cast essentially only consisted of Huey and Dalian, characters may come and go with each story, but for them to be the only recurring characters just feels kind of empty to me. So it was because of that I loved how Camilla, voiced by Mamiko Noto, joined the cast. So far it doesn’t exactly appear like there’s much to her character other than being Huey’s childhood friend and occasionally changing outfits, however because of that I’m wondering whether her character will be built on/developed in later episodes. On the side it’s also a lot of fun to watch her take advantage of Dalian’s sweettooth, it’s almost as if she fully knows about it and carries around sweets simply to distract her while she hangs around Huey.

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