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Episode 03

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「勇者3人!」 (Yusha Sannin!)
“The Three Heroes!”

Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Becky takes the stage! And boy, is it really necessary to make all the heroes seem so overpowered? Sure, Cinque and Nanami’s crest cannons can dish out some crazy damage, but they’ve got nothing on Becky’s multifunctional spellcards that churn out magic mines, thundergod’s wrath, and of course, even more magic beams. Not to mention, she’s barely spent more than a minute on that broom and she’s already dodging beams and magic missiles with the best of the top gun pilots. How much Ace Combat, Tohou, or Ikaruga did Becky have to play to get reflexes like that? Watashi Kininarimasu!

Granted, this lack of inhibition is definitely one of the show’s selling points. Half the fun in the Dog Days wars has always been to see what kind of crazy new ability or power the show would come up with next. Thanks to the whole bunch of new characters headlining these first few episodes, it’s been pretty damn entertaining to see the show serving this up in spades and showing something new to us every other minute – such as with Couver’s magic carpet and beam-spewing flintlock pistol this episode – to the point where the characters from the first season are constantly being overshadowed. Leo won’t take this standing down though, and she steps up to a game of magic-beam chicken with Couver that shows exactly why she remains the most badass amongst the cast and why she’s still my favorite character in Dog Days, by literally splitting Couver’s attack in half and taking her out in the process. After a scene like that, was there really any question Galette would come out on top in this war?

You know what could’ve made the whole thing more entertaining? Pseudo-war tactics! They were there to some extent in the first season, but asides from the occasional cut to the battlefield map and unit countering here and there, (such as with Rico’s anti-air units) we’ve hardly seen any tactical play from the armies. Sure, people might be happy with the all-stars battle royale we’re being presented with, but why be content with letting the armies hang around as mere cannon fodder? I want to see the generals act like one at times and maneuver their forces just like an actual commander would, instead of always acting like some invincible dynasty warrior.

With the war over by the episode’s midpoint, Dog Days’ makes a return to its other half, one of a lighthearted fantasy slice-of-life. Honestly speaking, it doesn’t appeal to me as much as the show’s warring half, but at times the show can delivers some really great banter between the cast, such as with Becky and Cinque. There was a poignant moment of introspection where she questions the permanence of trio’s friendship, before attacking Cinque about his romantic interests. You gotta love Becky’s forwardness with the issue! But girl, why’d you conveniently leave yourself and Nanami out of the equation? You two are as much part of Cinque’s harem as the rest! Or is the show hinting that Cinque has a thing for furries? OH GAWDS!

I wouldn’t be surprised though, as the hero trio seemed completely unperturbed about treating the Flonyard natives as pets. Just look at these eyes as she fondles with Couver’s ears. Those desires they have. Yep, I think I know just where their interests lie.

Full-length images: 10, 28, 32.

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Episode 04

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「ビスコッティ夏合宿!」 (Bisukotti Natsu Gasshuku!)
“Biscotti Summer Camp!”

What kind of battle fantasy show would it be without a proper training episode? We’ve come from the sweeping playgrounds of the war to focus on the crack party of Cinque, Yuki, Eclair, and Noir as they go about their riverside training camp in order to learn the ways of the monster hunters. Whatever you want to say about Dog Days’ as a derivative fluff piece, there’s no denying the fact that Seven Arcs understands what its audience wants. They’re not looking for drama, deep plots, or complex characters. Oh hell no. That’s not what anyone watching this show is after. What they– What WE want, is Yuki in a swimsuit. Unlimited Eclair Blush Works. Hanazawa Kana’s character getting more screentime. More magic beams. And by god, Seven Arcs will deliver on these services or die trying.

I honestly got to give them some credit here, because there isn’t any other show I can think of in recent memory that is so unpretentious about what it offers and so straight in its delivery, outside of screwball comedies like Nichijou or Daily Lives of Highschool Boys. (Even if what Dog Days’ delivers is incredibly basal.)

It really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see a HanaKana character getting a greater focus here given her fan popularity. Some might begin to tire of her omnipresence throughout the industry and dismiss her roles, but the semi-deadpan delivery as Noir here is hilariously spot-on, and the character makes for an entertaining foil to Eclair. It’s somewhat surprising to find out that these two characters had a history together, to the point where their rivalry is verbally compared to Cinque and Gaul’s, making it likely that we’re going to be seeing more of Noir than ever before in this sequel. It’s also incredibly funny when you start to consider the other show Taketatsu Ayane and HanaKana were in, voicing characters that were also at each others’ throats. There’s just no denying that the two of them have an incredible chemistry going on between them. Hmm? A hint about this other show? Let’s just say it involves a Kuroneko as well.

If you haven’t gotten your fill of fan-favorites Yuki and Eclair from season 1 since Dog Days’ started, this episode that’s almost entirely devoted to their hijinks should’ve been an absolute delight. Eclair even got a heart-to-heart scene with Cinque that was so sweet I swear it could’ve given me diabetes. Character interactions in Dog Days always had this innocuous air about it that makes it incredibly charming to watch, and it’s honestly hard not to go all d’aww at scenes like this.

So yes, this is merely a training episode in name, even if they did come out with a new ability by its end. Through a fight between Eclair and Noir, we are introduced to what is likely to be the next staple in the Dog Days‘ magic arsenal, the bright power. Hmm, Shaman King vibes, anyone? Sure, they make it sound like an exclusive power right now, but I bet half the cast will be wielding it by the show’s end, if they don’t already possess the ability.

Apologies for the delayed post! I wanted to get on this right after Campione!, but it’s been one hell of a hectic week, which is why you’re only seeing this now.

Full-length images: 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 23, 24, 29, 33.

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August 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm
26 comments »
  • August 4, 2012 at 3:34 pmShadow74

    I can only say that I will be satisfied with the episodes:
    -Yuki in yukata and bikini
    -Noir in pajamas and new technique (wonderful)
    -Becky had a fantastic presentation as hero
    -Leonmichelli cherished as a pet by Nanami, lol XD I also want to scratch her head.
    I expect more action and better techniques to the next.

    • August 4, 2012 at 9:09 pmGarve

      I like how Nanami is working her way up. First the guards, then the prince, and next up, Leo-sama. ^_^

  • August 4, 2012 at 3:42 pmShadow74

    What happened to the end of the first season, as overlooked that “Shinku and Millhi” confessed :(

    • August 4, 2012 at 7:30 pmMasterDragonKnight

      Oh, I’m sure they still both remember.

      Even Becky said that Cinque was all lovey-dovey with Millhi, and Cinque himself blushed when he was interrogated about it.

  • August 4, 2012 at 3:48 pmmac65

    There was lots of petting in this episode (4) – some of it heavy!

    They seem to be going more for the service this season than in the 1st.
    I’m waiting for the actual story to start, but it started fairly last
    in the first season, so I’m not too apprehensive.

    I like the light-heartedness of this series – thanks Asobi for covering.

  • August 4, 2012 at 4:28 pmZannafar

    Well, instead of Nanoha, it seems like Becky is more Marisa (with Cou-chan helping out with the Master Garnet Spark).

    • August 6, 2012 at 8:27 amElvenAlchemy

      Those were my thoughts exactly.
      1. Broom
      2. Spellcards
      3. Dodging skills
      4. They sparked with a giant laser

  • August 4, 2012 at 4:41 pmSilivious

    I wish that through all of this, he’d get with Yuki. XD
    The way they interact with each other is just priceless.

  • August 4, 2012 at 5:17 pmFlareKnight

    Definitely some fun episodes and agree the series knows exactly what it has to deliver and does it well.

    No doubt that Cinque and Eclair scene in episode 4 was just damn cute. Just a nice moment between the two of them. Maybe the best part being the demand for Cinque to let Eclair pet him XD. One of those rare moments when these characters turn the petting back on the heroes. Throw in the Cinque falling asleep on her lap and it’s all good.

    Looks like we can just enjoy some lighthearted fun in this sequel.

  • August 4, 2012 at 6:31 pmDa5id

    • August 4, 2012 at 7:17 pmMasterDragonKnight

      A tsundere (voiced by Ayana Taketatsu) who has a cool older brother shares an intense rivalry with a black cat (voiced by Kana Hanazawa) with a snarky attitude.

      Now which series am I watching again? ^^

  • August 4, 2012 at 7:25 pmMasterDragonKnight

    What WE want, is Yuki in a swimsuit. Unlimited Eclair Blush Works. Hanazawa Kana’s character getting more screentime. More magic beams.

    I cannot agree more with you.

    The way Yuki is so cute, but so seductive at the same time is absolutely criminal!

    Some might begin to tire of her omnipresence throughout the industry and dismiss her roles

    You can never have enough HanaKana! Never!

  • August 4, 2012 at 8:40 pmSteven Den Beste

    Re Becky and the broom: Becky’s broom is a manifestation of the magic ring Ex Machina (good name, that). It was established in the first series that there was something of a mental link between Shinku and Palladion, with it reading his mind and becoming what he wanted, nearly perfectly.

    The same thing is going on with Becky and Ex Machina. The buttons and levers don’t really matter; Ex Machina knows what Becky wants, and makes it happen.

    • August 4, 2012 at 8:52 pmMasterDragonKnight

      The ring Becky has is not Ex-Machina, it’s Mercurius. Ex-Machina is the Holy Sword that Nanami wields.

      For reference, these are the Holy Swords and their holders.

      Cinque: Palladion
      Nanami: Ex-Machina
      Becky: Mercurius
      Millhi: Excelide
      Leo: Grandvert
      Couver: Coumars

      • August 5, 2012 at 2:56 pmSteven Den Beste

        Oops. I realized last night I’d made that mistake, and was just showing up here to fix it.

  • August 4, 2012 at 10:01 pmSyaoran

    Shaman King vibes indeed. Thats the first thing I thought when I saw those new weapon forms.

    And I believe most anything they create like those weapons and Tornada (the board Shinku uses to fly) is made using bright power, so its not a new concept.

  • August 5, 2012 at 6:08 amillusion

    oh god Yuki is hot
    oh god Noir is moe

    • August 5, 2012 at 2:58 pmSteven Den Beste

      Yukikaze is doing a lot more gainaxing than last time.

      • August 5, 2012 at 6:16 pmWanderer

        Hmm… I’m not sure of that. I mean, I’m not trying to say that it’s not happening, but she’s always been very bouncy. Kind of odd for the ninja character, really. One would think she’d do something to keep those things from throwing off her balance.

  • August 5, 2012 at 7:52 amskylion

    Dog Days Dash? More like Dog Days Heavy Petting. ::pant pant pant::

  • August 5, 2012 at 6:24 pmWanderer

    there’s no denying the fact that Seven Arcs understands what its audience wants. They’re not looking for drama, deep plots, or complex characters. Oh hell no. That’s not what anyone watching this show is after. What they– What WE want, is Yuki in a swimsuit. Unlimited Eclair Blush Works. Hanazawa Kana’s character getting more screentime. More magic beams. And by god, Seven Arcs will deliver on these services or die trying.

    I don’t MIND getting at least as much drama, deep plot, and complex characters as we got in the first season (which really wasn’t all that much by anime standards), just so long as they give us a fair amount of the delightful pandering we’ve been looking for. I watch this series because it’s just plain fun, and as long as they keep giving me my fun, I’ll keep watching it.

    PS: OMG, why do the heroes all get to pet these adorable animal-girls and I don’t? NOT FAIR!

  • August 5, 2012 at 9:31 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    GUILTY PLEASURE TO THE MAX!!!…..and u know what? I don’t even feel guilty… fun episodes that highlight the minor characters NICELY! the voice actor that does VIOLET..WHO is THAT??? love that voice..i watch a LOT of freaking ANIME..i dont remember ever hearing it.

    • August 5, 2012 at 9:34 pmBROOKLYN otaku

      ooh yeah , and here’s a question. YEAH i know there HEROS and high ranking people…but IF they GET HIT…do they turn to puffy chibi characters like everybody else?????????

      • August 6, 2012 at 12:25 amSyaoran

        Nope, in Season 1 when Shinku and Gaul fought Shinku started bleeding when he rammed into a wall.

        He was also bleeding like mad during the “final boss fight” in season 1. So nope, the heroes don’t turn into animal balls, they’ll seriously get injured once their armor is shattered.

    • August 6, 2012 at 2:49 pmGalette’s citizen

      Sakura Tange. She voiced Crea in Aquarion Evol (with pretty much the same voice as Violet :)

      Now, Violet is my 2nd favorite character behind Noir. Hail Galette!

  • August 6, 2012 at 4:51 amThe Moondoggie

    This show has always been a bit slow when getting to the serious side of the story. I remember the 1st series being the same, with the serious part of the plot stretched like gummy rice cakes on a slow fire.

    That said, it isn’t like being slow is bad. Sure, for serious animes like Muv-Luv or SAO, being slow in the plot would be tedious and boring. But for an anime like Dog Days, it isn’t an issue. Take episode 4 for example. In most 1-cour season anime, they should be getting ready for the serious plot. Not here, no: they’re having a fan service episode.

    It’s welcome, but I wish they get to the serious bit already. Season 1′s was one of the best there was that season and I expect season 2 to live up to it’s predecessor.