Summer Anime Season 2015
Anime Studio: Production IMS
|Princess Kanade and Princess Akane|
The story of Joukamachi no Dandelion centers on Akane Sakurada, the fourth eldest child, and the third princess in a family of nine super royals. Her father Soichiro is the King; the King wants the next King to be elected by the people of the nation. At the behest of his son, the first prince, the royal family lives in an average middle class house in the middle of town, but due to the king’s paranoia, there are cameras all over the city to watch over his children. Not only are the Sakurada kids Princes and Princesses, they are also gifted with unique super powers.
|Princess Akane being shy|
While this could lay the groundwork for a vicious rivalry for the throne that would make Game of Thrones blush, the story is firmly planted in the comedy and slice of life genre. The siblings see each other as rivals to be King, but they all love each other and try to help each other succeed. They all have different motivations to be King, but in the end, they see each other as family and they help each other. With its origins in a 4-koma manga, an episode is split into 2-3 separate storylines, similar to how Azumanga Daioh did it in the past. This allows each sibling’s story to shine and develop. While Akane is the main character, the show gives plenty of development to the other siblings so that they all have a piece of the limelight.
|The standard beach episode|
I do like the interesting modern take of “big brother is watching you” by having the royal siblings who are the center of attention by virtue of camera equipment everywhere. In the world of the anime, it doubles as security for the royal family, while feeding the Royal family-obsessed media who reports every little detail (kind of like how we are with the British Royal family). What I love is how siblings view this intrusion into their private lives. Akane views the cameras as a personal intrusion and she is scared to death of them, yet paradoxically, those same cameras are why she is extremely popular amongst the public. Her sisters Kanade and Hikari sees them as tools to be used to get voted in as King, so they try to create a public image separate from their private ones, with different levels of success.
If you are looking for deep storylines with plot twists and wonderful character studies, Joukamachi no Dandelion is not for you. If you want a cute slice of life anime about siblings with fun powers trying to cope with fame and popularity, you should give Joukamachi no Dandelion a shot. It came out of nowhere and became one of my favorite anime of the summer 2015 season.