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Dog Days’ Episode #01 – 13 Anime Review

6 min read

It’s back to Flonyard for more adventures, battles and fun with friends.

What They Say:
Following Cinque’s wild adventure in the Flonyard – an alternate world where its inhabitants look like humans but with animal ears – he is summoned back once again! However, this time he is joined with childhood friend Rebecca and cousin Nanami to become Galette’s Hero as the war wages on the battlefield and in desperate need for an end to the fighting…”

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After a first season that went over well enough to get a second season, Dog Days’ arrived this summer from studio Seven Arcs, though it brought in a new director with Junji Nishimura as Keizo Kusakawa did not return. The first season, airing in the summer of 2011, was not simulcast but this one got a Crunchyroll simulcast in 2012. I didn’t get to see the first season but ended up marathoning this one, which pretty much tells me that I don’t need to see the first season. The show is one of those that does come out every season where there’s really very little to it and it’s all just lighthearted fluff without any real substance. But it is, I will say, the kind of lighthearted stuff that can certainly have its appeal in the right mood and frame of mind.

Dog Days’ has a pretty simple design to it so that within the first few minutes of the first episode, you really do know all you need to know. We’re introduced to Sink, a thirteen year old boy who is half Japanese and half British. He’s in Japan getting ready for a trip with his classmate and longtime friend Becky, though she’s unaware of where the trip will be. At the same time, his slightly older cousin named Nanami is in London getting ready to join them as well. The trip is an interesting one in the end though because it moves them though space to an alternate world where there’s plenty of similarities to Earth, but it’s certainly not Earth. The main difference is that the population of this world is entirely humanoid in nature, but they have certain attributes to animals, such as dogs, cats and a few other animals that make their way into things.

What’s readily apparent is that everyone here is generally young and there’s a real playfulness about it, especially since Sink is well known from his previous visit where he became a Hero for the country of Biscotti. Within the world of Flonyard, the various nations fight through sports-like competitions where it’s all about the harmless fun, raising money for each nation and excelling at what they do. Sink is Biscotti’s Hero while Nanami is the Hero for Galetii, where it’s much more cat-like. Becky, completely new to things, ends up being scooped up by the nation of Pastillage, though that’s done in rather friendly form since all the young leaders get along with each other. It’s the kind of show where there’s almost nary a mean word said between anyone and all misunderstandings are fixed with just a smile. There’s a quaintness about it that works rather well at times.

With a simple setup, what kind of hampers the show early on, and for a good chunk of its run, is that it just wants to do things because they’re fun. Which is all well and good, but the show opens with the trio landing in Flonyard, quick hellos and joining their respective sides and going right into battle. Which lasts for three episodes. Three episodes. No real exposition, though there are some minor character moments to flesh things out a bit more, but nothing substantial. The show is highly superficial. After it finishes that and we get Becky set to join Pastillage of her own volition while still doing stuff with everyone else, the group basically spends all of its time together doing all sorts of simple things. Visiting some very Japanese style parts of the nation, bath time and more. You can watch these episodes, smile at the simplicity of it, but definitely not feel fulfilled by it.

With the first thee episodes dealing with one war festival and the several before the finale doing the same with the Union Fest and its post-event fun, everything in between is pretty superficial. Where it does change things up a bit is when the princess of Pastillage, Couverte, takes Sink with her to show him some of the historical parts of her nation. It’s here that the two end up deactivating the seal on a Demon King from ages past and he’s glad to be out of sleep mode, especially since the Hero King of his time, a woman named Adel, is still sealed. He’s basically a nice kind of guy with a pervy nature about him that’s a bit in overdrive after being sealed up for so long. There’s plenty of mildly naughty material here, but it becomes more fun once Adel is unsealed and they find a middle ground for a bit. It’s especially useful since the sleep program is broken and it’ll take quite some time before the two of them can be sealed back up again.

While the show is beyond feather light when it comes to substance, it does have a good deal of style to it that works well in its favor. Seven Arcs has some very detailed and fluid action sequences here and it’s filled with a ton of variety and seemingly freeform approach to doing what it wants to do. The character designs have a lot going for them and they reminded me a lot of how Magic Knight Rayearth looked early on with its costumes and general world design. There’s a lot to like here if you’re just looking for the pretty but empty side of things, especially with the way the action is just so playful and happy. Since there’s no death, anger or real destruction going on here, the action keeps to the light colors and bouncy feeling.

In Summary:
Dog Days’ is a series that I missed out on the first season of and that made me skip watching this in simulcast form. Catching up on the thirteen episode run over a couple of days in marathon form, I definitely didn’t miss anything. If anything, I would have dropped it after the second or third episode because of the structure of the series. The show definitely does have a certain charm about it and it’s the kind of series that I can see really appealing to a particular age set and those that are looking for something simple and empty to enjoy. In a way, I really hate disparaging the series because its charms are definitely there, but it’s the kind of show where while watching it, it became more and more of an effort to get through it, even while appreciating the positives that it does have.

Grade: C-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.