The complete series of Mystic Archives of Dantalian has just come out on DVD! While going through the show, we became interested in the many books showed off. Since many of these books have amazing backstories, we want to showcase some of the cool books in the show!
In the real world: This is one of the first popout books, otherwise known as a harlequinade or a metamorphosis. It was created by Robert Sayer in about 1765 and remained popular for a good 50 years.
According to The Conveyor:
“A harlequinade (known also as a metamorphosis, flap-book or turn-up book) is composed of two single engraved sheets. The first sheet is folded perpendicularly into four sections. A second sheet is cut in half and hinged at the top and bottom edges of the first so that each flap could be lifted separately. The sheets are folded into four, like an accordion, and then roughly stitched with a paper cover.”
In the anime: this book releases a myriad of animals and beings that wreak havoc, including a dragon!
Liber de Nymphis
In the real world: this book comes from Paracelsus, the father of modern toxicology and medicinal chemistry among other fields. He was also known as an alchemist for his views into the occult and mystic. The Liber de Nymphis detailed the elements by comparing them to mystical creatures such as pigmies and gnomes!
In the anime: this tome contains magic spells that allows the reader to use powerful elements as needed. In episode one, a dragon’s flames are repelled with wind and it is burned to ashes with fire.
The Book of Styx
In the real world: This is actually not a real book, but it is part of Greek mythology. The Book of Styx belongs to Charon, the ferryman of the Underworld. Those that pay Charon a fee (those that are buried with a coin in their mouth) are ferried across to the world of the dead, whereas those that cannot pay (the unburied) are to wander the shores for 100 years. Deities that made oaths in this region were bound to them.
In the anime: this book makes an impenetrable shield that the strongest enemies cannot break!
The Clay Tablet of Ugarit
In the real world: there are real clay tablets that were found in present-day Syria that detailed the gods of the kingdom of Ugarit which thrived in ~2000 BC. One such god of the clay tablets was Baalshamin who was a supreme god of the sky that controlled thunder.
In the anime: this book creates powerful lightning that takes down powerful foes!
Book of Wisdom
In the real world: This is a possible reference to the biblical texts that were banned in the early days of Christianity (Book of Solomon/Solomons Wisdom)
“Several other books that are now in Catholic Bibles were once banned — books of “The Apocrypha”. Those were and are part of the Greek Septuagint of Alexandria, literally the Old Testament of the early church (including the book of Judith, others women, also Tobit books of Maccabees, and some very important books of Wisdom). The original King James Version of the Bible in English published in 1611 contained those other books, but now they have largely disappeared in the Protestant world”
In the anime: this Phantom Book grants the reader absolute knowledge. Perhaps too much for mortals to have…
Book of Soul Exchange
Asclepius was a doctor also referenced in The Odyssey (of the staff with the helix snakes). He was elevated to the status of a god of medicine in Greek Religion/Mythology. The book in the show insinuates that his ability was great enough to resurrect the dead. However, in the show in order to resurrect someone, you must offer another person’s life (similar to what happens in Fullmetal Alchemist) and the body can only last a day or two before it begins to rot.
Hopefully this convinced you that books are truly magic! If you want more mystic books, be sure to pick up The Mystic Archives of Dantalian now on DVD!