Dandelion has the biggest nonsense premise of anything I’ve watched so far this season. It’s less plausible than Shimoneta, and that’s a show that’s trying to be absurd.
For the sake of fairness, though, I’ll start out by first listing the things I liked about Dandelion.
All right, done.
So Dandelion is about a normal-looking family, consisting of two parents and nine children. Psych! They’re actually a royal family. The father is the King, but he decided his family should live as normal a life as possible. Psych! They don’t actually have a normal life, because there are cameras on every street corner, and their every moved is televised in a morbid display of celebrity worship. But apart from that, they’re pretty normal. Psych! They’re not normal at all, because each of the siblings has a unique special power! Oh, you think that’s it? Psych! The King also organized an election for his successor which consists of the siblings playing games on television in a huge popularity contest.
It just keeps piling on the nonsense until you’re not even sure anymore what it’s actually about. Look, a comedy show doesn’t need to have a plausible setting. I’m not going to complain that Nichijou is unrealistic. But Dandelion seems to want to do so many things at once it just turns into a mess. It’s also about what it’s doing with the premise that bothers me, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
The actual main character is Akane, one of the nine kids. Her gimmick is being incredibly shy and disliking attention. The convoluted setting seems to be designed for the express purpose of making her uncomfortable. Her special power is manipulation of weight, which lets her fly. Of course this leads to multiple ‘jokes’ about her panties showing while flying. In the defining moment of the episode, her brother accidentally teleports away her skirt, and her panties are shown on national TV. Everyone cheers, Akane is horribly embarassed. Lovely.
So, all nine kids have their own special power. Most shows would take their time introducing them. You know, scene or a little story arc where someone’s power is relevant and you get to know the person. Dandelion doesn’t have time for that, so instead you get tedious exposition as each of them, one by one, explains what their power does. All in the context of a television contest where half their powers are blatantly overpowered.
The jokes are also not funny, even by anime standards. The only time it made me laugh was unentional. At the end of the episode, Akane is understandably depressed by the shitty exploitative environment she has to live in, and wishes there was something she could do about it. But then she discovers… that all she has to do is win the election and become Queen, and then she can just order it to stop! And so she finds the determination to participate in this horrible, horrible game.
First Episode Rating: 3/10
What would it take for me to watch another episode? There’s no way in hell