While watching Dog Days, something came into my mind for another topic to write about from Anime regarding escapism. Although I analyzed Iyashikei’s escapism along with friendship and healing last far, of course adventure/fantasy shows such as the one I have mentioned and Sword Art Online has many elements of escapism though it’s setting, characters and their abilities. I’m just fascinated how they accomplish this aspect for these genres in general, which want me analyze them and share some thoughts about it focusing on a fantasy world called Flonyard. (Image Source)
It’s clear that everyone enjoys entertainment as it takes the stress from a day of work or a pile of schoolwork away. Depending on the show, there is a varying degree of escapism In particular, I think the adventure and fantasy genre tend to stand out the most as it takes place in a completely different world. Majority of these shows draw elements from various Japanese RPGs such as Final Fantasy and Tales of series. I noticed this especially in some of these adaptations like Shining Hearts and Tears to Tiara where the setting feels medieval or renaissance like with magic and little technological advancement. In a sense, these elements makes one feel that they are actually in that world.
If you notice, the world of Flonyard incorporates a lot of these elements to make it looks like an entirely different place. Besides the fact that the sky is purple, the building in the cities definitely has a distinct feeling that it came from a different era. You can see it with the microphones, cameras and weaponry along with the castles of the respective kingdoms. If you compare Biscotti, Galette and Pastillage, some of their architecture has some differences. It’s more apparent with their castles as they are rather unique in style. For instance, Biscotti having a traditional castle, Galette being a bit more militaristic and Pastillage, it looks like a building that came from the renaissance.
On the other hand, the setting is not only the thing that contributes to the escapism, but also the characters and their abilities. In these worlds, the main characters tend to act more like heroes and have a range of abilities such as sword fighting, use of projectile weapons and magic. To me, the way that the characters fight on the field through their sword fighting and creative uses of magic is what makes the battles exciting. Watching them fight against their opponent is always satisfying and action packed. In addition, there are usually other races besides humans such as elves. They usually have more abilities compared to humans such as magic or other skills to aid them in battle.
While Dog Days have some flaws, especially when they attempted to insert some serious moments in such a light-hearted show, I find the idea of a recreational war between dog, cat and squirrel people rather interesting. Although the action and excitement is still there, it feels like a sport compared to the battles in other series like Tears to Tiara where it’s high stakes. Still, the uses of seal magic are rather awesome for the endless possibilities. The surfboard that Shinku summons and demon sealing magic he recently learned is one of the core examples. Still, I’m quite curious what possibilities they can come up with Nanami and Becky since that territory hasn’t been fully explored yet.
Although Dog Days is a pretty mediocre show, the thing that what makes this and other adventure/fantasy shows exciting is the amount of detail in creating another world. I liked how they laid out Flonyard with dog and cat-eared people. Since it’s not limited to Earth, it opens a closet full of creative ideas. It can apply to other shows that take place in the future as well. Aria series shows this perfectly though it’s gorgeous scenery of Neo Venezia on Aqua. Even so, its fair to say that Anime in general gives us brief sense of escapism, but each genre accomplishes it differently to give a unique story to experience.