Dantalian no Shoka Wiki
The Mystic Archives of Dantalian
Light novel cover 1
Cover of the first volume

Written by

Gakuto Mikumo

Illustrated by


Original run

April 2008 - April 2011
November 1, 2008 - July 1, 2011


Mystery, Fantasy, Gothic fiction, Magic, Adventure, Supernatural




35 (+ 15 special chapters)

For the first adaptation, see Manga.
For the second adaptation, see Anime.
For the titular library of the franchise, where Phantom Books are sealed, see Dantalian's Bookshelf.

The Mystic Archives of Dantalian (ダンタリアンの書架 Dantalian no Shoka) or Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian is a light novel written by Gakuto Mikumo and illustrated by G-Yuusuke with 8 volumes and 35 story arcs, excluding special chapters.

It was serialized by Kadokawa Shoten from April 2008 to April 2011 in The Sneaker (ザ・スニーカー Za Sunīkā), a Japanese light novel magazine. The complete volumes were released by the same company between November 2008 and July 2011.

The light novel was adapted into manga and anime. It also spawned a spin-off manga and a yonkama manga. A 9th volume was planned as a special issue in January 2012, but it was cancelled, as announced in September 2011. It would be released as a regular edition and as a limited edition which included the OVA.[1][2]

Initially, the author planned to write only twelve stories, one per month during one year, but he got carried away. Another plan was to release only three volumes. Due to the success of his work, he changed his mind and decided to write a total of seven volumes. However, his editorial department needed more stories for the last issue of The Sneaker, so he also wrote the chapters included in volume 8. Later, they asked for a new extension of the series, but the author told them that he couldn't handle it. Kadokawa Shoten ultimately accepted the author's decision and suspended the series. There are no plans about publishing new chapters.[3][4]


Hugh Anthony Disward inherited the old mansion of his late grandfather with one condition: he must take over the Dantalian's Bookshelf, a depository of forbidden knowledge sealed inside an apparently young girl called Dalian. Hugh must act as her key-keeper and solve the cases involving Phantom Books, artifacts that provide its readers with the power of demons.


In The Mystic Archives of Dantalian universe, there are books containing forbidden knowledge. These Phantom Books can bless its users, but also curse the unworthy readers and corrupt their souls. There's also depositories of Phantom Books sealed inside women known as Biblioprincesses. The guardians of these Biblioprincesses have the keys which grant access to these libraries, so these men are referred as "key-keepers".

The light novel shows moments of mystery and suspense, with occasional comical situations caused by the exchange between the dual protagonists. According to the author, it's a dark fantasy with occasional violent endings. In general, the stories can be read in any order. Elements of fantasy happen especially when the characters interact with the Phantom Books. However, the world of The Mystic Archives of Dantalian also has fantastic creatures, magicians, witches and other magical features unrelated to Phantom Books. Most of the stories take place in England, right after World War I, although the main characters Dalian and Hugh also visit Iceland, Africa and other locations. The setting is heavily inspired by British society and history, but Japanese culture is noticeable nonetheless. Although the work is written in Japanese, the characters speak in English. The chapters present references to authors, history, fairy tales, religion, scientists and others.

Usually, there is at least one illustration per chapter. The chapters are divided into parts. The introductory part often shows the point of view of the culprit or the victim. The other parts usually show the point of view of Dalian and Hugh. The chapters are labelled with an episode number, indicating its position in the series chronology. Unnumbered short-stories are referred as "fragments". Extra episodes, which the author refers as "gaiden", are stories centered around other Biblioprincesses and key-keepers other than Dalian and Hugh. Each volume has 280 pages, on average. The last pages of every volume have the author's afterword. The volumes have revised and improved chapters, and original stories never released in The Sneaker magazine.


Volume 1 Release date: November 1, 2008
Cover Chapters
Light novel cover 1
Chapter 1 Gastronomy Worship 美食礼賛
Chapter 2 Pedigree 血統書
Chapter 3 Book of Wisdom 叡智の書
Special Chapter 1 The Dictator's Book 独裁者の書
Chapter 4 Turn-Up Book 仕掛け絵本
Special Chapter 2 Book of Lifetime 天寿の書
Chapter 5 Libricide 焚書官
Volume 2 Release date: January 1, 2009
Cover Chapters
Light novel cover 2
Chapter 1 The Briar Princess 茨姫
Chapter 2 Queen of the Night 月下美人
Special Chapter 1 The Lovers 恋人たち
Chapter 3 Book of Equivalence 等価の書
Chapter 4 Book of Fetus 胎児の書
Special Chapter 2 Winning Strategy 必勝法
Chapter 5 The Mystic Archives of Rasiel ラジエルの書架
Volume 3 Release date: May 1, 2009
Cover Chapters
Light novel cover 3
Chapter 1 Book of Soul Exchange 換魂の書
Chapter 2 Book of Oblivion 忘却の書
Chapter 3 Book of Twilight 黄昏の書
Special Chapter 1 Book of Sleep 眠りの書
Chapter 4 The Magician's Daughter 魔術師の娘
Special Chapter 2 The Beautiful Woman's World 美女の世界
Chapter 5 Book of Atonement 償いの書
Volume 4 Release date: January 1, 2010
Cover Chapters
Light novel cover 4
Chapter 1 Book of Gap 間隙の書
Chapter 2 Phantom Score 幻曲
Chapter 3 Book of Relationship 連理の書
Special Chapter 1 Book of Hypnosis 催眠の書
Chapter 4 The Perfumer 調香師
Special Chapter 2 The House-Elf's Rough Time 屋敷妖精の受難
Chapter 5 Phantom Book Thief 幻書泥棒
Volume 5 Release date: May 1, 2010
Cover Chapters
Light novel cover 5
Chapter 1 Timetable 時刻表
Special Chapter 1 Waterside Flower 水辺の花
Chapter 2 The Cat and the Biblioprincess 猫と読姫
Special Chapter 2 Book of Fools 愚者の書
Chapter 3 The Logbook 航海日誌
Special Chapter 3 The Observer 観測者
Chapter 4 Book of Connection つながりの書
Volume 6 Release date: December 1, 2010
Cover Chapters
Light novel cover 6
Chapter 1 The Template Book 雛形の書
Special Chapter 1 The Working Man 働く男
Chapter 2 Book of Coffin 柩の書
Special Chapter 2 The Real Me 本当の私
Chapter 3 Book of Humanization 人化の書
Chapter 4 Paradise 楽園
Volume 7 Release date: April 1, 2011
Cover Chapters
Light novel cover 7
Chapter 1 Disaster and Temptation 災厄と誘惑
Special Chapter 1 Catalogue 型録
Chapter 2 Book of Wisdom II 叡智の書II
Chapter 3 The Girls' Long Night 少女たちの長い夜
Special Chapter 2 Book of Imitation 模倣の書
Chapter 4 The Key-Keeper 鍵守
Volume 8 Release date: July 1, 2011
Cover Chapters
Light novel cover 8
Chapter 1 Phantom Book of the King 王の幻書
Chapter 2 The Last Book 最後の書
Chapter 3 Vignette of Eternal Twilight 永き黄昏のヴィネット

Featured covers[]

During its publication, The Mystic Archives of Dantalian was featured three times in the cover of The Sneaker magazine, always with an illustration of Dalian. The first time occurred in 2009, during the chapters corresponding to volume 4. After that, the series was featured in the August 2010 issue cover, with chapters that later would be part of volume 6. This time, Flamberge and Rasiel were also shown, next to Dalian. The Black Biblioprincess appeared in the cover of the second to last issue of The Sneaker, before the magazine ceased publication in April 2011. The last chapter of volume 7 was released on that occasion.


  • The moon is often mentioned in the series, including the blood moon. The reddish color of the moon is seen during a lunar eclipse. Several cultures have myths related to lunar eclipses or allude to the lunar eclipse as being a good or bad omen.[5]
  • The cover of volume 1 shows Dalian holding the libretto by German writer Friedrich Kind for the Der Freischütz, an opera by German composer Carl Maria von Weber, premiered in 1821.[4][6]
  • The books seen on the cover of volume 4 are titles of tragedies and comedies by English poet William Shakespeare such as The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, etc.[4]
  • To promote the anime, volumes 1 to 7 of the light novel were released with new covers depicting the character designs from the adaptation.[7]
New Covers

The light novel covers promoting the anime.

  • The Mystic Archives of Dantalian is compared with the Gosick series, also published by Kadokawa Shoten. Both are set in Europe after World War I and have dual protagonists, including a rude girl with a doll-like appearance that spend her days reading difficult books and that eventually shows a warmer side.
  • An artbook by illustrator CHANxCO was published in May 2018. It includes illustrations of popular characters, including those from The Mystic Archives of Dantalian.[8]
  • As part of the afterword, the author always affirms that the work is a fiction with nothing to do with real individuals, organization and historical facts.[4]
  • In the winter of 2010-2011, a lottery was held for the readers who bought the first volume of Dalian Days, the first volume of the manga by Chako Abeno or the volumes 1 to 5 of the light novel. The prizes included illustrations by G-Yuusuke.[9]
  • According to the author, the light novel was released in at least eight countries. He received the Vietnamese version in September 2020.[10]
  • The author refers to Dantalian no Shoka as "DS".[11]
  • The author continued to work on Asura Cryin' while writing The Mystic Archives of Dantalian. His subsequent work is Strike the Blood.[12]
    • G-Yuusuke is also the illustrator of the Shinza Bansho series.[13]
  • In the afterword of the last volume of Asura Cryin', the author mentions his work in The Mystic Archives of Dantalian, although the novels are from different publishers.[14]
  • In February and June, 2012, modern art museum parabolica-bis in Tokyo, Japan presented the music theatre Labyrinthine cage, composed and conducted by Ken Namba. The performance was based on Dantalian no Shoka and included vocals and players of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, sheng and serpent. In this tribute, performers used costumes provided by Japanese Lolita fashion boutique chain Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, the same company who contributed with the anime costume designs.[15][16]
Labyrinthine cage

Photo taken right after the rehearsal of the Labyrinthine cage performance (Credit: S.H.web).

See also[]


  1. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian. (2020, August 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:39, November 14, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Mystic_Archives_of_Dantalian&oldid=974591871
  2. ダンタリアンの書架. (2020, September 29). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:07, October 15, 2020, from https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/ダンタリアンの書架
  3. 三雲岳斗. 「諸事情」について. In mikumonographica. Retrieved 19:39, November 14, 2020, from https://gact.info/archives/325.html?fbclid=IwAR3EqP6S196CafrxNjxm9bnZ2rzy5vshGhcfwxqvPCxA4NJt61AMuT1Q_Ks
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel.
  5. Lunar eclipse. (2017, February 12). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:17, November 17, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lunar_eclipse&oldid=765073716
  6. Der Freischütz. (2020, March 31). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 18:05, April 6, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Der_Freisch%C3%BCtz&oldid=948329839
  7. 『ダンタリアンの書架』 やっぱアニメのキャラデザ受け入れられんかも. In Reshinanidayo. Retrieved 16:07, October 15, 2020, from http://blog.livedoor.jp/reshinanidayo/archives/40687011.html
  8. 好評発売中【5月新刊】多彩なコンテンツを“ちびキャラ”化する大人気イラストレーターCHANxCO先生の初商業作品集が発売となります!! (2018, April 13). In Pie Comic Art. Retrieved 18:05, April 6, 2020, from http://pie.co.jp/news/4838246/
  9. 「ダンタリアンの書架」原作・コミカライズ連続刊行祭り. (2010, November 9). In ナタリー. Retrieved 20:08, October 13, 2020, from https://natalie.mu/comic/news/40230
  10. @mikumo. (2020, September 5). In Twitter. Retrieved 19:41, September 22, 2020, from https://twitter.com/mikumo/status/1302228883052265472
  11. @mikumo. (2010, March 9). In Twitter. Retrieved 19:41, September 22, 2020, from https://twitter.com/mikumo/status/10203861039
  12. Gakuto Mikumo. (2019, September 20). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:21, November 17, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Gakuto_Mikumo&oldid=916798602
  13. Gユウスケ. In Twitter. Retrieved 20:21, November 17, 2020, from https://twitter.com/gyuusuke0601
  14. Asura Cryin' light novel, volume 14.
  15. General. In Ken Namba. Retrieved 19:41, October 14, 2022, from https://www.ken-namba.com/general-1
  16. 02/19 Labyrinthine cage. (2012, February 19). In S.H.web. Retrieved 19:41, October 14, 2022, from http://www.shinyahashimoto.net/blog/2012/02/0219-labyrinthine-cage.html
Previous N/A Light novel Next N/A

Volume 1

Gastronomy Worship - Pedigree - Book of Wisdom - The Dictator's Book - Turn-Up Book - Book of Lifetime - Libricide

Volume 2

The Briar Princess - Queen of the Night - The Lovers - Book of Equivalence - Book of Fetus - Winning Strategy - The Mystic Archives of Rasiel

Volume 3

Book of Soul Exchange - Book of Oblivion - Book of Twilight - Book of Sleep - The Magician's Daughter - The Beautiful Woman's World - Book of Atonement

Volume 4

Book of Gap - Phantom Score - Book of Relationship - Book of Hypnosis - The Perfumer - The House-Elf's Rough Time - Phantom Book Thief

Volume 5

Timetable - Waterside Flower - The Cat and the Biblioprincess - Book of Fools - The Logbook - The Observer - Book of Connection

Volume 6

The Template Book - The Working Man - Book of Coffin - The Real Me - Book of Humanization - Paradise

Volume 7

Disaster and Temptation - Catalogue - Book of Wisdom II - The Girls' Long Night - Book of Imitation - The Key-Keeper

Volume 8

Phantom Book of the King - The Last Book - Vignette of Eternal Twilight


Light novel - Manga - Dalian Days - Dalian-chan's Bookshelf

Anime (OpeningEndingOVADrama CD 1Drama CD 2OST)
(Introduction ShowTalk EventDalian & Huey NightDJCD)


Dantalian's Bookshelf - Phantom Book - Phantom Book Egg


Dalian - Hugh Anthony Disward - The Girl in the Bookshelf
Flamberge - Hal Kamhout - Rasiel - Professor


Dalian - Flamberge - Rasiel


Hugh Anthony Disward - Hal Kamhout - Professor

Recurring characters

The Girl in the Bookshelf - Wesley Disward - Kamilla Sauer Keynes - Jessica Elphinstone - Shura Irmania - Armand Jeremiah - The Perennial Wisdom's Owner - Oliver Grosseteste - Mithril - Hugh's mother - Hugh's father - Natalia - Hal's beloved - Miss Roedean

Creatures and machines

Atlantic Rim - Automaton - Beast of Ashwell - Book of Royal Power - Branches of Relationship - Broken Wings - Dantalian - Dead Book - Ghost train - Golem - Guignols - Guillemot - Heath - House-elf - Kasuruhau - Logbook - Loge's giant - Musical automaton - Pioneer Plant - The Harlequinade's creatures - Ras Alhague monster - Scarlet Robe - Sea devils - Steam Giant - The Queen of the Night - W Machine - Winged women - Wooden dolls - Zombies

Dalian Days

Priscilla Riley - Cecil Patreina - Margaret Manschwell


Male Characters - Female Characters
Phantom Book Users - Deceased Characters
Phantom Books
72 Sacred Notes of the Shem-ha-mephorash - Atargatis Scripture - Book of a Thousand Sorrows - Book of Adventure - Book of Atonement - Book of Avalon - Book of Equivalence - Book of Fairy - Book of Fetus - Book of Gap - Book of Humanization - Book of Hypnosis - Book of Lifetime - Book of Relationship - Book of Styx - Book of the Eleusis Ritual - Book of the House-Elf - Book of Imprint - Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking - Book of Oblivion - Book of the Outer God - Book of Paradise - Book of Royal Power - Book of the Sage - Book of the Salamander's Seal - Book of Sleep - Book of the Descendant of the Mist - Book of the Feast of the Dead of the Windowless Hall - Book of the Flatterer - Book of the Jealous Girlfriend - Book of the King's Coffin - Book of the Ritual of the Migratory Locusts - Book of the Silver Well - Book of Those Who Want Beauty - Book of Twilight - Book of Wisdom - Catalogue - Collection of Visions - Crastinus Dies Nunquam Sciat - Decorative Plywood of Merneith - Depiction of Mountains and Rivers - Divine Encyclopedia of the Yin Kings - Divine Pattern of Floating Silk - Faceless Book - Fata Morgana - Go in an Instant - Hezār Afsān - Hymn of Hel - Logbook - John Wilkes Booth’s Diary - Kairos’ Dynastic History - Loge - Memories of That Day - Old Bradshaw’s Timetable - Pioneer Book - Phantom Book of Resurrection - Phantom Score - Rahōto Reihō Kaigen - Ritual of Reality - Template Book - The Aggregate of Burning Golden Beads - The Clay Tablet of Ugarit - The Dictator's Book - The Great Queen Poem - The Harlequinade - The Nāgārjuna’s Manuscript - The Ophiuchus Manuscript - The Pedigree of All Creations - The Sage's Slate - The Scent God's Scripture - The World - Vignette of Eternal Twilight

Phantom Book Eggs - List of Phantom Books
Phantom Book Eggs
Book of Connection - Book of Division - Book of Imitation - Book of Warmth
Book Which Fools Cannot See - Ilas' Collections of Poems