In this next show I’ll be reviewing there are quite a few characters in it. You could arguably say that there are nine protagonists, though it’s more like six. Still with so many characters, I didn’t want to bore you to death by introducing them all as well as their super powers. If you want to know more about the many characters in this show and their abilities either watch the show, or hit up MAL (My Anime List). Trust me though it’s a show worth watching, but don’t take this introductions word for it. Instead read the following review of…
Castle Town Dandelion
I wasn’t sure about “Castle Town Dandelion” at first, but the comedy elements mixed with the seldom serious ones made for a pretty good show. Both the opening and the closing themes to the show were catchy, and each new episode brought a couple of storylines that let you delve into the multiple characters of the show. Over the course of this 12 episode adventure you get to really know the different princes and princesses, and this endears you to them in a way that some anime miss completely with only one main character. It’s a comedy slice-of-life anime with some dramatic elements that will leave you satisfied, even if it doesn’t get another season. As fans of anime can attest, an anime that leaves you satisfied with its ending is rare indeed.
This tale of super-powered royals begins by introducing us to the world they inhabit. In this small country (city-state maybe?) those of royal blood are gifted with super human powers, each one different in their own way. The current king (Souichirou Sakurada) has been VERY busy with his wife, and has produced 9 heirs to the thrown. With all these super powered kids, the king decides to allow the people of his nation decide his heir apparent by way of a vote that will take place in a year. To facilitate this the king has cameras set up throughout the capital that follows his kids around, so that the people can get a glimpse into the life of the royalty they’ll be voting on in a years. The main character (mostly) is Akane Sakurada, who is currently the 4th heir to the throne, and a girl who hates being the center of attention. With all the cameras around town Akane decides to try to become king, to remove the ever vigilant surveillance cameras, though failing to realize that becoming king will put her in a much bigger spotlight.
From this point forward the anime follows around the multiple siblings as they bid for votes, and thus the throne itself. Some of the siblings start the show uninterested in becoming king, while others have nothing but enthusiasm for the prospect of ruling a kingdom. Each episode is comprised of two parts, often focusing on different siblings at a time. This allowed the writers to develop the 9 main characters in only 12 episodes. Admittedly the youngest two siblings (Teru and Shiori) got the least amount of air time, but at their ages (6 and 4) there’s not a whole lot of development happening with them mentally. It was pleasantly surprising to see that they even allowed time to give a backstory for the king and queen’s meeting, and what led to such a large royal family. To tell you the truth I wasn’t expecting this level of character development from this show in the beginning at all.
Spoiler Alert! The ending for me was the icing on the cake so to speak. The last episode takes place on the day of the election, when all the siblings are to make their final speeches. Aoi (the oldest of the royal siblings) announces that she will be dropping out of the election due to her power. About mid way into the series we find out her true power is kept a secret, because it is the ability to command absolute obedience from anyone. Seeing how her power could call into question any royal edict she might make, she gracefully steps down from the election in one of the most touching scenes in the show. After this a potential accident involving a zeppelin creates a situation where all the siblings work together to calm and save the people. After this the people elect Shu (the eldest son), due to his stirring speech in the zeppelin, as the heir to the throne. After this we are informed of what each sibling did after the election, and you get a sense that they all developed and matured in their own way over the course of the show.
“Castle Town Dandelion” does spend quite a bit of time on Akane’s character, but she is the most interesting of the siblings with her fear of publicity. If I did have one gripe about the show it would be the unrealistic relationship between the siblings. I myself have 9 siblings (including step-siblings) and if there were an election between us we would probably fight constantly. The siblings in this show mostly get along, and help each other out. Maybe the difference in class or ethnicity is the main factor to my incredulity of their relationship. People of… Latin persuasion tend to fight amongst themselves without being the focus of an election, so it’s entirely possible that that is where my problem lies. I’m getting off topic though, the point is that this anime was nearly flawless in its execution.
Slice-of-life comedy anime will very seldom win a “best of season” award, and “Castle Town Dandelion” isn’t an exception here. There were better shows this season, but I would be remiss if I did not say that I looked forward to each new episode of this show. If not in my top 3, then this show most certainly made my top 5 for the summer 2015 anime season. There are times when the characters are nauseatingly kind to one another, but you’ll soon forget about that in your enjoyment of their quirky antics. For anyone who enjoys a good laugh, excellent character development, and an interesting plot line you really can’t go wrong with this show.
Arigatō my fellow BrOtaku!