Dog Days’ Review

This is review number one hundred and nine. It’s part of the Summer 2012 lineup. It’s the second season of Dog Days. It’s that show where the main character is named Sink. I enjoyed the first season so here’s hoping the second season is better.

I would also like to say that someone sent me a malware in my inbox. I was stupid for trusting the dude and clicking on the link but you just don’t do that. It’s mean and super petty. I fixed the problem in less than three hours so no harm done. Still though, I know my reviews are good but it’s not reason to sabotage me. XD You go in your corner of the internet. Go review anime with the first few lines going “I hate this anime because….” and then smear it with your subjective ideas. I don’t’ care. Leave me alone. I’m having fun writing about anime I enjoy and not act like an elitist cry baby b*tch. Try doing the same. : )

Anyways, it’s Dog Days season two. It’s a thirteen episodes about Sink returning to the other world but with a few extra baggage. Let’s read on.

Story

This anime is about Sink Izumi who became a Hero after being transported in another world. It’s summer once again and after returning to Earth, he promised the people of Biscotti that he will return to be with them once more. He isn’t alone though as he brought his childhood friend, Rebecca Anderson, and his rival, Nanami Takatsuki along with him. They are welcomed with open arms and Nanami was even asked to become the Hero of the neighboring country, Galette Lion Dominion. Nanami isn’t as fighter so she just sat back as the other two are enjoying themselves in the battlefield. The country of Pastillage wanted to join the war though so the princess of Pastillage decided that she will ask Nanami to become her country’s Hero.

Taking the Pants Off

This is the second season of Dog Days. The first season was about this guy named Sink being sent into a world where the inhabitants are people with fluffy tails and cute ears. He was summoned by a princess so he can save her country from being taken over by the neighboring country. Except the whole thing was iffy because the princess is asking Sink to join a war where no one dies and in order to win, you must collect points by beating some soldiers and captains from the opposing country. I did love this concept of the anime but it was also a weird one. The anime is like a slice of life/action anime where the characters go balls out in the battlefield but they are close friends outside of it. The war is like a sports event that even normal citizens are welcome to join in. The whole thing is built on friendly rivalry and good sportsmanship. The anime was a bit dull though when a war isn’t happening and the whole Slice of life (SoL) aspect dragged the pacing of the anime. The first season ended with Sink being sent back to his Earth and he is so excited to return with his childhood friend and cousin/rival.

A season two of this anime is inevitable. The first season was good and it clearly teased another season but I was not looking forward to the pacing of the anime going fast on war scenes then slow on the SoL scenes.  This anime is an Original Screenplay though. It wasn’t adapted from a manga. It was an original anime that came from the author of Magical Nanoha Striker. One of the advantages of an O.Screenplay is that everything is original so the creators can tweak the faults of the first season to produce a better second season. This anime did exactly that. All the small things that flawed this anime on its first season were all noticeably fixed in this season. It’s much better.

I’ll be spoiling some of the things in the first season as I compare the two so if you haven’t seen this anime yet then beware of the spoilers. I also believe that the anime can be better much appreciated after you saw the first season but it’s optional. You can enjoy the second season without seeing the first and the only downside is that you’ll miss the relationship established between previous characters. It’s not that big of a miss, to be honest.

The first thing that the anime clearly improved on is the battle scenes. The anime still had Sink going Dynasty Warriors on the enemies and only characters with an actual name has more importance in battle. The introduction of Nanami and other new characters gave the battle scenes a lot more flare though as new characters clash with old characters, it was truly an enjoyable sight. The battles take place in land, sea and now, it even happens in the air. The introduction of the Principality of Pastillage debut soldiers riding flying birds and they focus on bombardment. Seeing Sink and the other characters try to fight in the air adds a lot of excitement in the anime. They also introduced magic type soldiers in battle which makes the war scenes a lot more exciting. The first two episodes of the anime immediately cut to the chase and had the characters fight in the war activities. It was the perfect way to open the anime. Nothing beats an opener with the best element of an anime.

The second thing the anime improved on is the SoL episodes. After the war, the characters would spend time together doing their normal everyday stuff. In the first season, we got too much of Sink and Milhiore playing catch that it easily got repetitive. This was easily fixed by the expanded cast. There are two new characters added and the anime also follows their SoL adventure. Just when you think you’ve had enough of seeing Sink training with his old friends, the anime would switch to the other two humans being introduced to their respective country. It was nicely balanced. The once boring scenes of the anime were given a breath of life and I honestly didn’t feel bored watching the second season.

The third thing the anime improved on is having some actual conflict in the anime. Wait, that’s not right. The anime has no conflict that tie the episodes together but there are some in the non-episodic ones where the characters get into some form of trouble. It’s a nice break to the SoL and action balance of the anime though it’s not really groundbreaking. There are episodes where a cat thief steals a bunch of things, the characters accidentally switching bodies and the characters going demon hunting. I was actually glad that the anime finally mentioned the demons but they aren’t what I expect them to be. In the first season, the demons live in places where the spiritual energy is low and if they hurt you then you will die. They must be super menacing creatures as opposed to the cakes and butterflies kind of creatures of the anime. I did not expect them to be more like pests though or nuisance. I’m glad the anime utilized the demons but damn it, they should’ve done more.

The last thing the anime improved on is the fan service. It’s still limited to clothes bring ripped off but there were a lot of them. The anime tried to sneak as much naked scenes as humanly possible. In fact, instead of important characters turning into pet balls when they’re defeated, they simply get their clothes ripped off. More fan service, more happy viewers. I love those scenes because it was also an effective method of making sure no scenes were boring.

The characters are very much the same as they were in the first season. The new characters aren’t really that much different. They have the same bland personality as the older ones. I do love Rebecca’s reaction when being transported to the new world. She was actually weirded out and going “huh? Were the hell am I?” as opposed to the “Yeah. I’ll be your hero puppy dog eared stranger” reaction of Sink and Nanami as well. There is a large cast of characters so naturally, not everyone gets some deserved screen time. The Genoise trio doesn’t appear that much except for the black haired girl. A lot of Gallete characters were shoved to the side for the Pastillage characters to get some screen time. There isn’t a lot of character development in the anime because it doesn’t really have a plot. The characters stick to their generic personality as the anime progresses.

There were some romantic teases though. In the first season, a lot of Sink’s interaction with the girls of the anime was a little bit childish. In the second season, some of the girls actually confessed to being in love with Sink and they often talk about it when given the chance. I am a huge Sink/Éclair fan because they kind of go well together and the anime was able to give us a satisfying romantic tease between the two. Milhiore was also given some romantic moments with Sink. Their innocent play of catch actually had a more subtle meaning to it as the anime progresses. The anime was missing some love triangles though to make the romantic teases more exciting. A lot of the girls would just go “Oh, really? I love him too. Yay, Sink” despite the other girl revealing her love.

The anime still have some major flaws though despite being able to fix it’s glaringly obvious ones. The lack of conflict in the anime is really prominent. You can feel it. The idea of having no antagonist in an Action/Slice of Life anime just doesn’t feel right. The anime introduced the demons but they were tame. Not even a good betrayal, love triangle, petty disagreement, clashing point of views or beliefs, the desire to kill the strongest to become the strongest or a character’s personal conflict is ever highlighted in the anime. If the slight hint of conflict does arise, then the power of friendship and camaraderie will fix it. I mentioned that the first season was childish for not having a good conflict and the second season still possess it. Heck, the idea of the Kings of all Demons being friends with the heroes makes me want to cut myself. Ok, that was me joking. I think the creators intended the anime to be like that. In a way, an anime without conflict despite being an action genre does sound impressive but also lacking of what makes the genre.

The anime being an original screenplay also hurts it a bit. The plot has no cohesion. Since there is no actual plot, the anime can just throw things at you and it’ll work. Let see, one episode where the Demon King gets unsealed without any build up. Yeah, let’s do that. Oh, let’s also give Sink the ability to transform into an adult just for the heck of it. Wait, I got it. Let’s also have giant babies swimming in the ocean that creates thunderstorms. F*ck yeah!!! They should hire me as a writer for the third season. The plot can go in just about any direction and the anime just goes with it. It makes all those random plot elements combine with the no-conflict theme of the anime though. The random progression of the plot did make some of the SoL scenes be more interesting so I guess the ends justify the means when it comes to the plot progression.

It did have me asking though exactly what the anime was about. Is it about the journey of a boy towards his goal to become a true hero? Is it about countries in peace having sports activities in place of war? It didn’t make sense and it did slowly start to bother me. (As you can see, I was never bothered by it when I saw the first season. o.0) I know that the term “Dog Days” is about the hot days of summer. It’s something about the star Sirius or the Dog Star bringing heat down to Earth. Basically, it’s about summer. I think this anime is about Sink enjoying his summer vacation. He spends it with his friends. They do fun things that they’ll never forget. They experience and learn new things as they spend their days of summer. Summer vacation is about having fun. No conflicts. It’s about travelling to a place to relax and have fun. It makes sense, right? It was hugely exaggerated though and mix in with that 90s theme where a boy becomes a hero in a new world. If you look at it that way, Dog Days is a pretty charming anime, right?

Sight and Sound

The character design is the same like the first season. I did enjoy seeing some grownups in this anime. I’m talking about the typical shounen characters that are tall, have nice physique and menacing looking as oppose to the kid-like appearance of the regular characters. The one thing the anime improved on in terms of character design is the pet balls. There are a large variety of pet balls in the anime now. There are the typical round ones with cat ears or dog ears but there are also fluffy ones, hairy ones and ones with whiskers. It makes the battle scenes more diverse as well. The no named soldiers that have dotted eyes are done away with. All the characters, with a name or not, has the same standard anime eyes.

The animation was slightly improved. The fight scenes now have some storytelling in them so it’s much more exciting. The use of different camera angles and the nice use of effects was a nice addition to the battle scenes. It’s a lot more intricate compared to the first season’s fight scenes but they are also relatively shorter. There was one stand out scene in the anime in terms of animation and it was Rebecca’s magical girl transformation. There are many words to describe it. It was CG, colorful, flashy, suggestively dirty and awesomely awesome. There was no other scene like it in the anime. The animation could use some effective lighting though. Some scenes could’ve been better if the anime was able to add in some depth or make it more edgy. It’s a minor complain though because the fight scenes are still amazing in their own right.

The OP is “FEARLESS HERO” by Nana Mizuki. It’s a nice song that fits the anime but it’s really nothing special. It’s as forgettable as the OP in the first season. The opening sequence is the same. It introduced all the characters, all of them, but it’s also a bit forgettable. The anime’s ED is “Natsu no Yakusoku” by Yui Horie. It’s also a generic song but it is nice. Yui Horie’s voice is pretty good but, I dunno, it does nothing for me. The ED sequence is pretty good as well. It featured pictures of some the characters then a chibi form of all the characters running across the screen. It’s cute.

Overall Score

5/10 “It’s clearly better than the first season but it sadly shares the same flaws.”

This is a nice anime. I appreciate the improvement that makes the experience a lot better but I think the creators weren’t sure who they’re target audience is. This is a mixed bag of a lot of things that may or may not appeal to you. It’s a lot better than the first season though and the positives did outweigh the negatives. I recommend it.

Thoughts~

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s