So anyway, after a whiplash-inducing quality swing the last two weeks, we got an episode here that was somewhere in the middle. I have a complicated relationship with Joukamachi no Dandelion, no question about it – there are things about this show that really annoy me, but I also feel a good deal of affection for it. It’s definitely too mired in modern anime cliche for its own good, but there’s a warmth and directness that’s sometimes able to break through and make its presence felt.
The first half is definitely the better this week, as we find Akane trying her darnedest to face her fears and campaign, and Aoi hers to help his sister (I get why Aoi doesn’t want to become king, but just why she’s so fixated on Akane doing so I’m not sure). She gets a brainstorm to have Akane pose as a superhero and do good deeds, then reveal herself just before the election – a dubious plan for which she elicits Kanade’s help.
The gag here is a good one – Kanade says she’s made “Jamming Glasses” to hide Akane’s identity, but I don’t think even Aoi believes it for a second – in fact, no one except Akane believes the glasses are actual magical items. But the entire kingdom plays along with the gag as Akane goes out and performs as “The Scarlet Bloom” (I might have chosen a name that doesn’t sound like something you take antibiotics for). Akane even rises to second place in the polls, and while she may be royally gullible, I at least give her credit for realizing that rising in the polls before she reveals her identity doesn’t make much sense.
After that things sort of peter out, and the B-part doesn’t deliver much either in terms of laughs or feels. The whole Haruka-Misaki thing annoys me, because she says she only wants to be king to get him to notice her, and his insistence that he shouldn’t actually try to win himself is just dumb. And Aoi’s 18th birthday celebration is kind of flat from a narrative standpoint – I just don’t get any emotional traction out of her little friendship circle. It’s not a great way to finish an episode and I’m a bit worried about next week too, since we’re looking at another idol episode and those have been pretty awful so far.