DOG DAYS’ – 03, 04
「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.
「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.