Second in the Summer Vacation Anime Marathon, I watched Dog Days, a fantasy adventure original anime made by Seven Arcs, the studio known for their work on Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. While people find the story to be pretty shallow, I have actually enjoyed this show because of characters, the lighthearted feeling, and various Eastern RPG elements incorporated in the story (Image Source).
When I watched the first two episodes, the battling between the dog and cat boys/girls was very reminiscent to MMORPGs and RPGs, mostly influenced by “Final Fantasy.” Some of this influence is shown through the birds that look like Chocobos, the fact that nobody can die, a focus on friendship and some of the powerful seal moves that resembles limit breaks. For players of these games, this show makes it feel like you are inside the world of Fronaldo. In addition to these elements, the show takes a few cues from other animes such as Princess Millhiore singing (Macross Frontier) and of course her outfit in Episode 9, which looks similar to Saber’s dress from Fate Stay Night.
As expected, the overall premise of Dog Days is mostly light-hearted. Millhiore summons Shinku Izumi, a young male middle school student as a hero to help her defeat the Kingdom of Galette in a friendly war. After he arrived and become a hero, he was flattered for taking part of the war. Also, he made friends with other dog/cat girls while building romantic feelings for Millhiore. While the setting and overall premise is interesting, the story was half-baked. This primarily has to with the lighthearted nature of the show, which makes it difficult to take the battles and specific scenes seriously, especially with Leonmichelle’s ominous star reading at the end of Episode 6. Nevertheless, I felt that Millhiore’s and Shinku’s effort to remove the demon sword from a fox god was the height of the story as there was so much suspense with the possibility that she might get killed.
While the story is average, most of the appeal for the show comes from the characters themselves since the girls are really pretty and some of them, badass. This is true particularly for the princesses, especially for Leomichelle since she has a hot outfit and pretty hair while being amazing in battle. The same could be said for Brioche since she can essentially take out a demon without any difficulty. Out of the whole cast, I find Ricotta and Yukikaze as my favorites. Ricotta is simply an adorable genius scientist even though I am no lolicon. Also, Yukikaze looks pretty, mostly for her appearance, outfit and amazing fighting skills.
To a certain extent, most of the characters’ charm comes from the casting with famous seiyuus. If you have watched a lot of anime, you might recognize many of the voices off the bat. Even though I haven’t watch enough to easily recognize them, the voices of Eclair’s and Verte’s were fairly detectable off the bat since they sound like Mio (MM!) and Tsumugi (K-ON!) respectively. While it’s a gimmick, the casting has made the characters appealing to the overall story.
In short, Dog Days is an enjoyable fantasy adventure despite its flaws. Sure the fanservice and clothing damage was gratuitous, I felt that the story could have been a bit better. The shallow character development, especially with the interesting characters like Leonmichelle, Brioche and Yukikaze was disappointing. Still, the productions values were excellent as the animation and scenery was eye-catching. Also, I liked the ending theme. If there is ever a second season, they should focus on developing the characters further while maintaining the allure it currently has to become a more enjoyable experience.
Overall Series Rating: 7.6/10, C, Good