Battle of the Lolies: who’s livin’ lolita loco and who is the loli loser?

Okay, this post isn’t going to be quite the blood bath battle royal that the title might indicate. Sorry, there won’t be any ruffly lace clad carnage, dapper gentlemen throwing punches, or even hellish butlers dominating the battle field with cutlery. There also won’t be any pervy loli moments. Don’t lude the loli! What I am going to be doing is comparing three anime that I’ve watched recently and I’ll pick my most and least favorite with some explanations.

pink hair loli with sparkles in her eyes
Livin’ lolita loco

I recently had a loli anime-a-thon featuring “Gosick”, “Shadows house”, and “The mystic archives of Dantalian”. I really didn’t mean to, it just kind of happened that way. First I started watching “The mystic archives of Dantalian”. Then “Gosick” showed up in my recommendation list, so I watched that. Then I was browsing on Funimation and noticed they had “Shadow house” the anime, and I loved the manga, so I watched that. See, I didn’t plan to look like a lolicon, it just kind of turned out that way.

When I first started watching these series, they really seemed similar. Like actually the exact same anime. Two of the anime in particular had main characters that looked basically interchangeable. All three of the series had cute, unusually short girls with long hair and frilly dresses as the main characters. All of the series were set in a Victorian gothic style setting. Although, one series (Gosick) took place at an old school in Europe while the other two took place on country estates. All of the anime were set in roughly the same time range of late 1800’s to early 1900’s. All of the series had indulgent young gentlemen along side the lolies as their sidekicks/heroes. And, all three anime had light paranormal mysteries to solve.

But these superficial elements are where the similarities end. Once you really get into the stories of the anime, they are surprisingly different. I think these three anime are a great example of “You can’t tell a book by it’s cover”. I have to admit, I was delighted to see the similarities fade away to reveal very different and complex story progression and character development.

In case you haven’t already watched the three series, here’s a quick summery of what they are about.

Gosick which is spelled in katakana as Go-Shii-Ku and was probably an attempt to spell “gothic” (there’s no “th” sound in Japanese) is about a Japanese foreign exchange student (Kazuya Kujo) who transfers to a boarding school in Europe in the 1920’s. He quickly gains the nickname “The reaper that comes in spring” by his classmates due to one of many folktales that are well known in the local community. Getting annoyed by his unwarranted bad reputation and in the local folktales he heads to the school library to learn more. That’s where he meets Victorique, the loli sleuth of the series. Instead of going to class, she spends her time reading books on the top floor of the library and gobbling down sweets when she isn’t solving unsolvable mysteries. As the story progresses it starts to focus more on Victorique’s serious family issues. Like, that her father is a Marquis, an extremely powerful political figure next to the royal family, and an occult nutcase that thinks the more he torments his daughter the better she will be at predicting the future.

Gosick characters sitting on luggage
Gosick characters with logo

The mystic archives of Dantalian is about a young pilot (Hugh Anthony Disward “Huey”) that just returned to England from the First World War. He’s notified that his grandfather recently died and that he has inherited his grandfather’s country estate and it’s huge rare book collection. When he goes to check out his inheritance, he finds a sharp tongued loli (Dalian)in the library making a mess of all the books. It turns out that this girl is the guardian of the library which includes magical books that will run a muck if they aren’t properly guarded. Soon after meeting the girl, Huey is enlisted to help her hunt down and capture other magical books that are causing trouble throughout Europe.

Shadow House is about a strange country estate in the mountains. The main character (Emiliko) is a cheerful loli girl who has been told that she is a “living doll” and that she must serve the Shadow’s House as a personal maid to Kate. Kate looks like a 3D shadow of Emiliko. As a shadow, Kate emits soot constantly, and Emiliko eagerly works all day to clean up the soot, always finding something to be happy about. At first Kate seems kind of cold toward Emiliko, but as the young maid’s cheerfulness wins Kate over Kate starts revealing more and more of the Shadow estate’s dark secrets to Emiliko. Kate’s cool headed intelligence helps the duo uncover many of the estate’s mysteries, but it’s Emiliko’s cheerful personality that gains the duo some important allies and friends.

Out of the three anime, the one I liked the least was probably Gosick. Sadly, it was actually one of my favorites when I began watching it. The series really did start out pretty good, but the ending was just so bad that it kind of ruined earlier episodes for me. Gosick went from a fun light paranormal mystery series to an angsty political tragedy that was so historically inaccurate that it was kind of hard to ignore. Inaccurate like World War Two started 14 years before it was supposed to. Oh, and there were a bunch of vehicles driving around that didn’t exist in the 1920’s. What can I say, I’m a history nerd and that kind of stuff was really distracting to me.

Shadow House characters standing in fancy room
Shadows House characters with logo

Limping in at number two was The mystic archives of Dantalian. Again, this series started out really promising, and most of the episodes were really good, but the ending just kind of felt taped on. There was no lead up to the last episode, the series just went along at a constant pace, and then surprise! the last episode seem to come out of no where. It was very jarring. Now, I’m not saying that any series that does this kind of ending is bad (I’m looking at you “Cowboy Bebop”) but it definitely lowers my opinion about the whole series.

Coming in at number one is Shadow House! I loved the manga and I’m not surprised at all to have thoroughly loving the anime version. The characters are just as charming as they were in the manga and the mysteries about the shadow estate are just as creepy. I think the only complaint I have is that they trimmed down the story too much and it didn’t have nearly enough episodes. And they totally cut out the part where Emiliko wrestled with the giant soot sucking vacuum. I loved that part! I can’t believe they didn’t include that into the anime.

So, have you watched Gosick, The mystic archives of Dantalian, or Shadow House? What did you think? Did you love the series? Hate it? Please leave a comment below!

I’m currently watching:

  • My hero academia
  • A lull in the sea
  • So I’m a spider, so what?
  • Zombie land saga R
  • Welcome to demon school, Iruma-kun
  • I’ve been killing slimes for 300 years and maxed out my level
  • Tokyo revengers
  • Dragon goes house hunting
  • Pretty boy detective club
  • Shadows house
  • D. Gray-man
  • Snow white with the red hair
  • Bungo and alchemist