Many years pass until the white-haired girl meets Huey again, but before this can take place Huey and Dalian are shown looking into a strange article from London about a man who didn’t die after being shot multiple times, which Dalian deduces must be the result of the Book of Atonement.
I really should have typed this up sooner…
So they head to London straight away with Dalian mainly interested in an ad for a bakery she saw, and once they get there it doesn’t take long until they find some zombies attacking a paperboy, the very papers he’s selling being a mass-produced version of the Phantom book. Leading them to the printing press where they find the zombies operating the machinery and bump into of all people the Professor, who seems to know quite a lot about him. And when he takes them to his office for some tea they meet the Red Reading Princess, Rasiel, who doesn’t get along with Dalian at all. After which though, the Professor starts to ask some questions, being surprised by Huey’s reason for being a Keykeeper and shooting him soon afterward.
However as he begins to talk about speeding up progress and making knowledge available to the public, turning his gun on Dalian this time, Huey shoots it out of his hand with his revolver and takes off with Dalian. And as his wound continues to bleed out he attempts to put as much distance between them as possible, asking Dalian to open the Gate once more so he can save that girl, the reason he had. Which she agrees to as long as he promises to come back, and so we find ourselves at the point that the episode began on, where he offers the white-haired girl his hand and tells her that his wish to save her hasn’t changed at all. Once more running away with her while similar events carry out in the real world, however with the end in sight they find themselves up against the library’s warden while Huey loses consciousness in the real world. Leaving him in a state of limbo as Dalian pleads to him to wake up, confessing that she liked all the things that they’ve done together and wanting to do more, at which point her wish and the white-haired girl’s one coincide, and Huey meets a younger version of himself who helps him find the way out.
Also passing onto him the Phantom Book he needs to undo the effects of the Book of Atonement, seeming to read of Dalian and the white-haired girl’s pasts as the latter assures him that they’ll she’ll leave sometime. However even with this done there’s still the copies that have already been printed, which are conveniently burnt by Hal and Flamberge before they help Huey and Dalian get out. And in the end, Huey wakes up with Armand and Camilla at his bedside and Dalian poorly attempting to cover how glad she is that he’s alive, assuring him that there’s still quite a few Phantom Books missing while the Professor is happy with the result they got.
A rather nice end to this season, it may have been pretty sudden and a bit rushed but as a way of concluding things in a way that brought everyone together it was pretty nice. Being a point where all the paths of the three known Keykeepers and Reading Princesses briefly met.
Which is something I always like to see in stories where there are multiple points of view or where you can effectively pick out three characters and label them all as mains. In this show being decided by those that were Keykeepers and accompanied by Reading Princesses, Huey and Dalian, Hal and Flamberge, and the Professor and Rasiel. These meetings don’t have to be long or have them working side by side, it’s even probably better if they’re unaware of each other, but it’s always something that I think is interesting to see, as we sometimes get a glimpse of what they think of each other and a passing moment that somehow connects their otherwise unrelated stories.
What’s more it was even interesting to see how some of them interact due to their differing beliefs or how amusing it would be, such as Dalian and Raisel’s catfight, and once more we even got better idea of what the Professor’s goals are. In a way justifying them as well. In order for progress to be sped up, he feels that the so called forbidden knowledge contained within the Phantom Books should be made free to the public, showing that despite how much chaos he spreads his goal is still somewhat good in the end. But most of all, it also presents us with three views on what should be done with potentially dangerous knowledge, we have one that feels it should be stored away, one that it should be destroyed, and another that feels that people should still be able to access it regardless of what it could cause.
Finally and more prominently however, what I probably liked the most about this episode was how it incorporated the seemingly last piece of the story between Huey and the white-haired girl into the finale, it just goes without saying that it not only made for a befitting endng to the show but an awesome one as well. Starting with Huey coming face to face with her after so much time had passed, and despite a bullet wound in his side telling her that his wish hadn’t changed at all before attempting to lead her out in a way that coinceded with what was happening with Dalian at the same time, no matter what got in his way. And on the side we even got a glimpse of a few of the things that happened in Dalian’s past along with what could be the origins to the Reading Princesses. It all just made for an awesome ending to this plot, being followed by Dalian’s tearful confession of how much fun she’s had, and it even being implied that the white-haired girl would find her way out in the far future. It was just a great finish to a good show.
I may have had a few gripes about this show along the way but in the end I’m fairly confident in saying that this was an enjoyable show, it had an amazing setting and atmosphere, some great characters, and some pretty interesting ideas on top of all of that. Not to mention some amazing animation as well.
The only real problem that I think I had with it was the nature of the stories themselves, I just thought that they tended to fall flat from time to time, and while you could attempt justify it with a somewhat deep reason sometimes I just didn’t find them all that interesting. At times they were even quite predictable as well.But perhaps this may have even been due to the episodic nature of the show, it wasn’t that much of a bad thing but most of the stories were dealt with quite quickly and just didn’t have much time to do it, the themes and characters for them could have been better developed if they had more time to do it.
That said the characters were great as well, Huey voiced by Daisuke Ono, as an English gentleman with a nonchalant shoot first ask questions later attitude, made for an undeniably awesome protagonist and for the heroine Dalian voiced by the amazing Miyuki Sawashiro was absolutely adorable. There was even some interesting and fun side characters on the side as well, ranging from the likes of Camilla and Armand, voiced by Mamiko Noto and Takahiro Sakurai to the likes of Hal and Flamberge (who really could have done with some more screentime/episodes), the latter voiced by Ami Koshimizu, and the Professor and Rasiel. And along the way there were even some good side characters for the episodic stories, with the likes of Fiona (still one of my favourite episodes) coming to mind, however I must admit that it was disappointing to see them killed off at the end of the episode most of the time. Sure you could put it down to the curse that holding a Phantom Book weighs on them, as soon as they picked it up their fate was sealed to end in destruction, but sometimes it would have been nice to see some of them get a somewhat happy ending as opposed to the usual bittersweet.
Finally if there was one thing that I absolutely loved about this show it was the setting, just how often is it that we see an anime set in early twentieth-century England? From the views of the british countryside to the sights of London and any of the other cities that the characters ran into, the art for it all was simply beautiful. And not only that it had an atmosphere to match, it could be relaxing and lighthearted when it needed to be, but could also tense and somewhat dramatic as well. The soundtrack was also great to accomplish this, and aside from the tracks used to do that there was also a rather creepy yet compelling ending theme, and a nice opening theme, sung entirely in Latin.
In all it was just a great show that seemed to have it all, and if it weren’t for that one problem I had with the execution for a few of the stories that the episodes told it would have been near perfect. But yet, as a one cour show, I think it’s safe to say that this was a fairly solid one, with a nice style and amazing voice cast, and that it’s one that can be looked back upon as being good as well.