Dantalian no Shoka – Masters Following Students

Dantalian no Shoka has been great fun, and watching it inevitably makes me think about Gosick, another light novel-based anime set during the 20s starring a goth-loli. In turn, it also makes me think about the creative voices behind these two adaptions. This post is entirely speculation and fun on my part. It is neither my goal to interpret what the creators of these shows intended, nor to compare the shows in terms of quality.

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Awesome EDs, ~2011 Edition

A couple of years ago I posted my “top 10 unskippable EDs”—titled that way because I used to skip EDs a lot of the time. Now I don’t do that unless it’s really bad. Anyway, all the embedded videos are broken in the old post and I watched a *lot* of anime in the past two years, so here’s a new list of memorable EDs.

TO BE ON THIS LIST I had to like the ED as a whole, meaning song and video both. There are some ED songs that I liked where the video is unmemorable (think Mawaru Penguindrum’s “Dear Future”—amazing song, boring vid). Some also might be awesomely bad.

These videos are alphabetized by the shows they came from. And no, I have absolutely nothing better to do, and yes, I’m very tired right now.

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Paperclip Millionaire – Dantalian 8 and Japan’s 1920’s Europe

The first half of Dantalian episode 8 revolves around Camilla’s quest to obtain a rare and expensive teddy bear through a sequence of trades made possible by a phantom book’s guidance. The half-episode is titled “The Straw Millionaire,” after the Japanese folk tale on which it is based (and which Camilla verbally alludes to in the episode).

Interestingly, the sequence of trades begins with a red paperclip that Camilla takes off of Huey. This is an obvious reference to the One Red Paperclip project, wherein Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald obtained a house through a series of internet trades beginning with a red paperclip—a real-life, modern enactment of the folk tale.

I learned about the red paperclip project from researching the straw millionaire story, but what caught my attention in the first place was that the last place I’d encountered this folk tale was in the JRPG Shadow Hearts Covenant. Early in the game, there’s an NPC who tells you that he became a millionaire from a series of trades beginning with a piece of straw, and then gives you one so you can try it for yourself. Throughout the game, you can make trades with NPCs which eventually lead to obtaining a secret weapon. This is noteworthy because Shadow Hearts Covenant takes place in Europe in the time after World War I—the same period and setting in which Dantalian takes place.

Why on Earth does this story come up in two different tales of 1920s Europe? It would make sense for this to happen if the Japanese folk tale had somehow achieved popularity in Europe during that period, but I can’t find any evidence to suggest this from my minimal google research. Still, it’s way too weird to be a coincidence. What gives?