First Look: Castle Town Dandelion

dandelion_1

Alternative titles: Joukumachi no Dandelion
Manga Adaptation by Production IMS
Streaming on FunimationMondays 5:00 pm EST

Premise

The Sakuradas are a normal, loving family that goes about their business every day like any other family… except they are all constantly under surveillance for a reality TV show. Also, they are royalty. Also, one of the children will be voted in as the next King by the viewing audience in a few months time. Also, they have super powers. This show is weird.

Jel’s verdict: You Are All Fired

There are a lot of ideas going on here, but strangely enough the most unique thing is seeing a story about an entire anime family, parents and all. Sure, Akane is the star but it’s pretty interesting to see all 9 siblings get their moment in the spotlight. Even more impressive, none of them seem to be in love with each other (yet)! Some of the powers are pretty neat as well, particularly Kanade’s ability to materialize any object she can afford to pay for. I’m not really clear if the TV show is an actual competition or if it’s more of a Big Brother style voyeurism, but should there be more challenges like episode 1 we could get some pretty cool scenes out of it.

That said, this is really about Akane and her struggle to reconcile her shyness with her desire to be King and I’m not sure they did a good enough job getting us emotionally invested in that. She seems very determined, but does she have any other motivation besides just being shy and wanting to shut down the system? If anything I’m more interested in the question of whether their method of choosing a ruler is valid in the first place, which by normal logic seems pretty crazy. I suppose this was just the first episode and we can’t explore all those questions right away, but I’d be much more interested in watching more if they had focused on that and saved introducing all 9 kids and their powers for later. Instead, I’m now left feeling indifferent. There’s plenty of directions that Dandelion could go, but I’ll need further convincing it’s going to go in a good one.dandelion_2

Marlin’s verdict: WELL MAYBE YOU SHOULDA WORE SOME FRIGGIN’ PANTS

That sums up my thoughts on this show pretty well. No amount of cute Kana Hanazawa dialogue can take away the fact that the contrived “oh no I’m going to reveal my panties” shtick gets old after the first time, let alone the fifth. The premise seems fun enough, but this main character is absolutely infuriating. It’s not fun to watch someone flail around constantly, it just gets grating because it means all her dialogue seems to revolve around the same like four sentences. I’d be way more interested in learning about literally any of the other kids. They all seem to be fun, or at the very least have their own motivations. Kanade’s motivation is dumb because it literally makes no sense, and there’s no reason why she can’t just ask whoever becomes the next king to get rid of the security cameras, as it doesn’t seem like everyone is dead-set on this being something they’re going to do for the rest of time. Overall, it makes for a real tough pill to swallow, as the idea that they all have powers that will instead be used on goofy games could be fun if it took the time to respect its own characters enough to let us get to know them.

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