Castle Town Dandelion
by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 5 of
Castle Town Dandelion ?
Episode 5 of Castle Town Dandelion, and we're already at the beach episode? For a show this quickly paced, it hardly seems out of place. This episode brings us three more fast, fun stories that introduce the two Sakurada family siblings we are least familiar with: fraternal twins Haruka and Misaki.
The first of the three stories, “Summer Vacation,” is narrated by Haruka. While the siblings prepare to have some good, clean fun splitting a watermelon, Haruka uses his statistics ability to calculate who is most likely to split it. Though this sketch is about Haruka, it actually tells us a lot about Kanade. Wearing aviator glasses and a sly expression, she's still in Student Council mode as she vows not to let Haruka's prediction that she'll lose come true. Of everyone, Kanade seems like she could become the most dangerous and capable ruler, and we've also been told that Shu will do anything to keep her from becoming the next king. The siblings can each have cookie cutter personas at times, which is why Kanade's ambiguous alignment is so refreshing.
In the end, it's Shiori who steals the show. Her ability to communicate with animals and inanimate objects is consistent comedy gold. This time, she has a meeting of the minds with the watermelon, who has a peculiar accent that shapes his personality in just a few lines. "It's the first time anyone's ever said anything kind to me,” the watermelon says to Shiori, while dripping water as a stand-in for tears. The absurdity of Shiori's conversation with a watermelon—and her thoughtful grave seen later on—is exactly the kind of surreal humor I wanted to see from a show about fantasy powers.
“Online Secret” is the weakest of the three sketches for several reasons. First, it relies on poor communication that doesn't seem true to life. When Akane and Haruka are talking back and forth, their banter sounds artificial, more like a performance than a meaningful conversation. Secondly, it dumps on Akane even more than usual, indicating that not only her family or school or town—but the entire internet—has seen her panties. It's hard to imagine how Akane's embarrassing situations could escalate from this point. “I always feel for Akane,” one of Misaki's clones says later on. So do I!
In “Eight of Misaki,” we get to know Haruka's twin sister, a pink-haired 14-year-old who hasn't had much screen time until now. It's a (now-rectified) shame since Misaki's ability to clone herself seven times is fabulously entertaining. They each have different hairstyles and eye colors as well as voices, which brought this episode to life with “new” characters. The best part is that each of her clones has a special ability based on their embodiment of the seven deadly sins. The gluttony clone is a master cook, the wrath clone is great at sports, and so on. Certainly the stand-out clone is the lust clone, who makes things awkward for Misaki by hitting on her twin brother. Misaki worries that she's too normal, but this is a fantastic thing for her to be. She does exactly what I'd do if I had clones, which is be in eight places at once, and then call them all back so I have a willing audience to listen to me vent about my problems.
I'm all for watching Akane blush through life, but Castle Town Dandelion has a lot more material to work with than its redhead lead. This episode highlighted some of the lesser-seen characters, who proved to be just as entertaining as the siblings we already knew. I already knew that Castle Town Dandelion could dish out fanservice, but this episode was a great showcase for the many kinds of bizarre humor it also has to offer.
Castle Town Dandelion is currently streaming on Funimation.
Lauren writes about anime and journalism at Otaku Journalist.
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