The episode begins with a writer known as Lenny Lents apparently being held hostage by a woman and being forced to write, as he finishes for the day she returns and picks up a knife next to what appears to be a Phantom Book.
On Huey and Dalian’s side of things the latter is angry for only buying the first two volumes in the “Crown of the Dog Days” trilogy, his answer the author died, throwing her into despair from being unable to know what happens to the characters, inadvertently revealing her to be a Fujoshi at the same time. However Huey happens to have a letter from the author Lenny Lents to his grandfather telling him he’s being held hostage by a mysterious book, so without a moment to spare Dalian leaps into action. And as it would turn out their search leads them to a villa where they meet a woman who is supposedly Lenny’s wife Paula who tells them that Lenny is currently working.
Despite being turned away though the two return later and follow a trail of blood into a storeroom in which they find Lenny’s dead body and a woman who claims to be his lover Leticia trapped and begs them to come back tomorrow and save Lenny. So they go back the next day and while they don’t meet Lenny at first, Dalian talks with Paula about Crown of the Dog Days, after which the two are led to Lenny’s study where they find him alive. And as he talks about how he’s working on the third volume, he secretly begs that they sneak in at night and save Leticia without worrying about him. So as he asked they come back where this time they find Leticia’s body, leading Dalian to believe that the Book of Soul Exchange is involved.
However before they can do much more Lenny and Paula, the latter having seen through what Lenny asked them to do, return and force Huey and Dalian into the cell. Just as she turns her gun on Lenny though Huey exposes Paula as being nothing more than an overly obsessive fan, to which she responds by telling them that what she’s doing is for Lenny’s writing, or to put it more accurately to make the story of Crown of the Dog Days go the way she wants it to. And after declaring this she shoots Lenny, activating a runic circle that revives Leticia, and continues to reverse it by continually killing them. The law that it abides by being a life for a life, so in killing one the other will be resurrected, however there are still flaws in this.
But as Paula continues to beat Lenny something strange happens as both Lenny and Leticia come back at the same time, to Dalian being the result of being forced to experience “death” over and over again on a daily basis. Evolving into something else and dealing with Paula before parting together. Following all of this in the epilogue, Huey and Dalian pick up Lenny’s original manuscript and Dalian can’t believe what he could do to one of her favourite characters.
Once again I won’t exactly say that I was impressed with this episode, however things are improving. I’m still not fond of the completely unrelated mystery/book of the week with no developments style, but as long as there’s more too them or I just grow more tolerant to it I guess it should turn out all right.
No new recurring characters may have been introduced and the story was still unrelated to any overarching sort of plot, but the tragic nature of Lenny and Leticia‘s (voiced by Satoshi Hino and Rina Satou) story made it a good one. Two people trapped in a tragic spiral of life and death, where at any one moment only one can live while the other must remain dead, and each selflessly wanting to save the other regardless of what the other thought, and in the end they both manage to transcend it and escape together. There was just something about the way that it ended that made the ending to it almost as nice as it had been tragic throughout, managing to at least end it on a nice note. It was almost enough to redeem this style for once.
Next to that it also seemed to poke at the obsessive Fujoshi type of fan base, the antagonist was definitely one who without a doubt took it all far to far, becoming deluded that what she was doing was right, even if it was forcing Lenny to write what only she wanted to read and given that she felt it was her duty as well, it was particularly messed up. Almost also seeming to over exaggerate how fans sometimes force an author is forced to write what they want and not what they originally intended, pushing the line between what the story was meant to be and what will keep the fans from throwing a tantrum.
Aside from that it was also nice to see a bit more done with Dalian’s character other than showing that she has a sweet tooth and throwing around more signs that she likes Huey, which usually come down to her acting jealous when he talks to other girls and doing and saying things that suggest it at the end. Even if it did come down to showing that she was something of a Fujoshi given the nature of Crown of the Dog Days and how obsessed she was with it. And alongside that she also turned out to be pretty cute in her winter outfit, the background for which reminded me how I love the setting and atmosphere of this show.