What They Say:
Huey is playing a broken violin in the park when a strange pair, Dallaglio and Christabel, arrive and easily repair the violin. Dalian and Huey are enthralled by Christabel’s beautiful performance. However, Christabel is apparently famous enough to draw a crowd, and Dallaglio quickly takes her away as if to conceal her presence. Huey and Dalian find one of Christabel’s pamphlets at the used bookstore they frequent and learn that she will be holding a recital to play one of the difficult violin sonatas that are known as Phantom Scores. The two of them immediately head to the site of the recital…?!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One of the enjoyable things about the Mystic Archives of Dantalian is that it can jump to very different things easily enough and work within the context of the show. This episode wants to have some fun with music as we see Huey at the start of the episode playing a violin, though he’s not able to play it at all even though it’s supposed to be a very good one and he just doesn’t realize that it’s actually broken. What saves the day is the arrival of a pair of people named Christabel and Dallaglio who are able to put it back in working order in short order for Huey. The difference is significant to say the least and it produces a beautiful sound, one we don’t often get in anime either.
Christabel, it turns out, is a fairly famous violinist and Dallaglio hurries her off before they garner too much attention. But for Huey and Dalian, they do find out who she is and it gets them to head off to London to see her latest recital where she’s going to play something that catches their eye; a piece called the Phantom Scores. With the pair being so sensitive to all things Phantom Book in nature, they head off quickly but just as quickly find themselves caught up in a trap of Christabel’s nature where she’s got them roped against a column and forced to listen to her play for them. But unlike what she did in the park, it’s far more dangerous.
What becomes interesting is that we get to learn about how the score is the type that can drive someone mad, almost like a drug in a way, and it’s something that’s being manipulated by someone above Christabel that will cause people to want to keep coming back like an addict if played well. There’s beauty to the music to be sure, but a dark side as well that can be taken advantage of. It’s an idea that works well, though a lot of what happens here is just extended dialogue that feels like it has no point when they should just be dealing with things as they stand. Trickery is indeed involved and it goes in predictable fashion when Dallaglio finds out the truth of it all, but it has a good flow overall and tells a fun little story.
With the standalone nature of the series, some episodes are going to work better than others and the musical nature of this one is definitely appealing, particularly since violins aren’t exactly in fashion in the anime world. The manipulations that are at work here aren’t all that impressive, but the fun comes in the form of Christabel and Dallaglio here as they both play well off of what Huey and Dalian do and the problems they face. Christabel has a nice design to her and is well utilized here for the role that she has. But like most episodes of the series, there is no greater depth here than a mystery of the week, one that isn’t all that mysterious when you get down to it, and it plays out as you’d expect. The fun comes from the execution itself, the great animation and the mood of it all. This episode once again succeeds there, though it is an empty calories sort of show.
Streamed By: Nico Nico
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.