Castle Town Dandelion[1] is a charming show about the superpowered[2] Sakurada family who are also the local royal family. For some reason the patriarch of the family has decided to hold an election for who will be the successor to the throne, and the series is about the good-natured competition between the siblings.

Part of the charm is that the competition is good-natured. There’s nothing in the way of dirty tricks, or deceptions, going on here. In fact one of the characters in particular has a superpower that would be an ethical and moral nightmare… and she basically spends the entire series trying not to use it and worrying about whether her friends really are her friends.

The Sakurada’s also live in the community and go to normal schools which is a nice touch. Unfortunately for the horribly shy main character Akane (the fourth child, and third princess) this also means that there are surveillance cameras everywhere to keep the royal children safe. To make matters worse footage from these cameras is also fed to the TV shows that follow the antics of said royal children.

I get the distinct impression that for all that he deeply cares for his family Sōichirō, and to a lesser extent his wife Satsuki, are enjoying the hell out of trolling their kids.

Castle Town Dandelion was adapted from a yonkoma, and this is reflected in the anime with most epsiodes having 2 or 3 shorter sub-episodes each with its own title. This works well, and enables the focus to shift between the siblings in a manageable fashion.

Keeping track of the various siblings is helped by the quite fun OP which conveniently names them for you[3].

Castle Town Dandelion delivers solid character work along the way and most of the siblings get a decent moment or two. Obviously much of the focus is on Akane overcoming her fear of being in public, and this is handled fairly well.

Castle Town Dandelion isn’t perfect however. The fanservice. Oh god, the fanservice. 5 of the royal children are girls and the youngest one’s superpower is to increase or reverse the growth of a living being for 24 hours. Including herself so you’re getting intermittent fanservice from an elementary school kid[4]. ICK[5]. Plus there’s the inevitable beach episode.

I really can’t in good conscience recommend Castle Town Dandelion to anyone with a low tolerance for fanservice. I only picked it up because the Summer 2020 anime season is basically dreadful[6].

Otherwise Castle Town Dandelion is a fun show that’s well worth your time and that builds to quite a satisfying conclusion.

[1] Literally Jōkamachi no Danderaion, and note that Jōkamachi is a term that refers to cities surrounding a feudal lord’s castle.

[2] And super large: 9 kids, including two sets of twins.

[3] Shades of Baccano! which used (and also needed) a similar device.

[4] OTOH various hijinks do mean that you get adorable Smol!Akane every now and then.

[5] And I’m very carefully not mentioning episode 4.

[6] I’m watching three (?) shows and one of those is the 3 minute episode Umayon spinoff from Umamusume.