Castle Town Dandelion
Episodes 1-2

by Lauren Orsini,

How would you rate episode 1 of
Castle Town Dandelion ?

How would you rate episode 2 of
Castle Town Dandelion ?

Did Castle Town Dandelion take the initial premise of The Brady Bunch and make it even wackier? Here's a story of an enormous family, with the number of children bumped up to nine, and oh yeah, everybody has a unique superpower.

As our shy, clumsy, and downright lovable protagonist Akane explains, the powers are “proof of royalty.” Dad's the king, but wants them to lead a normal life, hence the giant family with one bathroom to share between them. In case you thought we were done establishing this ridiculous setting, we're not—there's one more piece of the puzzle. Dad wants one of his kids to succeed him, but he's not sure which one, so he's going to use a very public general election to figure it out. How public? He's put cameras all over town to record his kids! The result is a royal reality show that puts Keeping Up With The Kardashians to shame.

At first glance, Castle Town Dandelion is a brightly colored, boisterous comedy with lively opening and ending music and an energetic plot that keeps its momentum thanks to the sheer number of main characters it can focus on. We already know these characters—from the student council vice-president to the glasses boy, these are personality archetypes that any experienced anime viewer has met before. Usually, it'd be tired to see them rehashed here, but with nine central characters, we need all the help we can get.

Another way the show helps out viewers is by focusing mainly on Akane, the fourth eldest Sakurada child. Unlike her siblings, Akane is extremely shy about the cameras all over town, concerned that they'll catch a glimpse of her panties. Her concern grows into obsession as the show continues, which can get a bit tiring but also a little nostalgic. Akane's focus on her panties is probably the show's attempt to portray the vulnerable feelings of a young woman. As self conscious as I was at her age, there might as well have been cameras everywhere in town. The emphasis on surveillance is an apt metaphor for what it's like to come of age in a time where the Internet has become an archive of everything we do. It's a bit of a stretch, but humor me.

As we branch into episode two, Castle Town Dandelion's 4-koma origins start to show at the seams. The second episode is divided into two loosely connected storylines, one featuring a girl not even in the Sakurada family (who has a crush on the eldest prince Shu). Laughs come at the expense of logic when new girl Hana assumes Princess Akane is Shu's girlfriend—hasn't she ever seen the royal family on TV? The next episode will be even more disjointed, divided into three different storylines in one half hour. Still, I do think this is a fast-paced half-hour that already shows a lot of promise. I look forward to seeing how the show doles out its enormous cast and outrageous premise into upcoming bite-sized pieces.

Rating: B+

Castle Town Dandelion is currently streaming on Funimation.

Lauren writes about anime and journalism at Otaku Journalist.

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