Sunday, February 17, 2013

Anime Review: Dog Days

Okay, what the hell Nintendo? It's been two weeks since Fire Emblem Awakening has been released and yet I STILL can't get my hands on a copy? Yes, I know that it is available for digital download, but I much prefer having a physical copy as appose to a digital one (Partly because I'm a collector, and also I don't want to get into a position where I lose my entire gaming collection because of a misplaced SD card). Anyway, if you like catgirls and pretty much any form of animal eared anime characters, then I have a series for you. If you don't, well you might as well not bother clicking on the "Full Review" link below. This is Dog Days.

"Please legendary hero, help our nation win this sporting event."
Sink Izumi is just your average Half-Japanese, Half-English, Junior High School super athlete, well at least as common as that can been. He spends his time with his childhood friend Rebecca, training, and competing in large scale sporting events. However, right at the start of his first spring break of his Junior High life, Sink is summoned to the world of Flonyard by a beautiful princess who has dog like ears and tail. This princess, Princess Millhiore, has summoned Sink in order to be the hero to her nation of Biscotti in their war against the neighboring nation of Galette. Well, war isn't an accurate term, it's more like a massive sporting event, complete with commentators and spectators, except with swords. But no one gets hurt, they only turn into small furballs when they are downed (Think Rabbites from Secret of Mana, except replace the ears and tails). Thinking this is fun, Sink agrees to fight as Biscotti's hero and turns the tide of battle. However, during the aftermath Sink (as well as the Princess) learns that a summoned hero cannot return home. What will Sink do, and what is the real reason behind Galette's constant wars? Watch Dog Days to find out.

War has never been more adorable.
Dog Days is a series that I can call "fun." It is lighthearted, easy to watch, and at times funny and charming. The entire "war is a spectator sport" may seem silly and unbelievable... which it is, but it is also given enough detail about how it works and how it is functional for the nations participating in it that the audience can suspend their disbelief enough to accept the concept. The actual action is well done, with smooth animations, and some really over-the-top supermoves. Characters also fall into well established archetypes which is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good is that they all fit well with each other and there isn't a unlikable character among them, bad because well there isn't much originality on that front (Although, the evil Demon King being less of a monstrous destructive force and more of a Peeping Tom was an amusing twist).

Is this really the way to treat a princess?
Of course the series isn't without it's problems. As stated with archetypical characters, there isn't a whole lot of characters that truly feel unique. The main character is particularly troublesome because he is basically a Mary Sue character, he is a little too damn perfect in many cases. This doesn't make him unlikeable, but it does make him a little boring and unrelatable. The second season suffers from far more problems than the first as it not only suffers from cast overload (they introduce so many new characters that it is hard to focus on not only them but also pre-established characters) as well as having absolutely no conflict. The first season had two major conflicts that has to be settled, one was the reason behind Galette's war, and the other was Sink returning home, and while I think the pacing of the two conflicts could have been better, there was actual stakes involved and characters where in actual danger. However, in the second season, we have nothing. Returning home wasn't an issue, and despite the fact that they had the tools to create a good conflict they never used any of them. This made the events in the second season feel less important, almost as if the entire season was nothing but filler. And finally, if you don't really care for cute Kemonomimi (Literally: Animal ear) characters, then this series really doesn't have much left going for it in all honesty.

So why is this series recommended when I bashed on in my negative comments section? Well, the thing is that I did enjoy the series. The best way I can describe it is that it is harmless fun. It's not deep or complicated in it's narrative nor in it's characters, and it doesn't intend to be. If you are looking for something challenging, with a complex plot and deep characters who evolve either in positive or negative ways throughout the story... then this isn't the anime for you. But if you are looking for something that is easy to digest, and offers simple lighthearted fun, then Dog Days does fit that bill. I mean, some people really like it, after all it apparently getting a third season. Over all, it is recommended.

Until next time.

-Crescent, The curse of having a harem.

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