Castle Town Dandelion
by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 3 of
Castle Town Dandelion ?
By the third episode of Castle Town Dandelion, our nine protagonists have fallen into a comfortable but entertaining routine. The term “slice of life” seems out of place when you consider that the cast is all royalty with super powers, but it's the most fitting descriptor for the show so far. This week has the siblings completing chores, running errands, and spending time with friends—with their powers always taking center stage.
The first vignette, “I Want to Be Popular,” stars a sibling who is the polar opposite of camera-shy Akane. Hikari is an elementary school student who couldn't be more thrilled about being in the limelight. In order to garner even more attention, she plans to use her superpower—manipulating growth—to give herself big boobs. So when she sees a cat stuck in a tree, she ages herself up so she's tall enough to rescue it. (When asked why she didn't just shrink the tree, Hikari has no answer.) Of course, her clothes don't fit after that, and in order to maintain decency, she shrinks down Akane so they can swap clothes. It's pure fanservice, giving us a glimpse of sexy grown-up Hikari and adorable tiny Akane for no reason. It's wackiness for the sake of wackiness.
The next story, “First Errand,” stars the two youngest members of the family, Teru and Shiori. Shiori is my favorite because she has the best power out of anyone—the ability to communicate with any animal or inanimate object. Whenever Shiori communicates with something, the voice acting creates an instant personality for a dog or even a grocery list. Teru is the strong but dumb type, eager to overcome the “trial” of grocery shopping while kindergartener Shiori proves herself to be the more capable one, though in the end it's Teru who saves the day. This is the best of the three parts, since it comes the closest to telling a complete story.
On the other hand, “Life as an Idol” starts on a premise without much logic and quickly concludes the same way. There are parts of the plot that could be attributed to Hikari's airheadedness, but other parts evade reason. Why does the other idol immediately dislike bubbly Hikari, for example? And how does nobody recognize her, as a princess seen daily on Sakurada Family Television? All the entertaining parts come from Hikari's well-established character. “The times just can't keep up with me,” she sighs. She also names Maria Theresa (more commonly known as Marie Antoinette's mom) as her favorite ruler.
Each of this episode's three stories feels like an appetizer, intriguing but incomplete. Cute art and a quick pace keep me entertained for the whole half-hour, but when it's over I'm not sure there was anything I could take away from it. That said, I feel like Castle Town Dandelion has barely scratched the surface of its full potential, with nine interesting characters, each with their own fascinating superpower. I'm eager to tune in next week.
Castle Town Dandelion is currently streaming on Funimation.
Lauren writes about anime and journalism at Otaku Journalist.
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