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「エスナート芸術音楽祭」 (Esunato Geijutsu Ongaku Sai)
“Esnart Art and Music Festival”

I’ve been seeing various complains from the season one aficionados that this season of Dog Days has been veering off far too much into the service-pandering side, so I’m thinking that this episode, which focuses more on character introspections (code for love talk) and the “human” side of the show should be right up your alley.

Taking up nearly a third of the episode, the talk between Millhi and Becky might’ve been edging on the needlessly long side, but it thankfully never overstays its welcome. It was endearing to see the two character conversing with such an earnest honesty about their relationships with Cinque, and their true feeling shown to be heart-warmingly innocent when they agreed on not wanting the status quo to change for now. We see confirmation of the characters having these feeling both through talk and action before, but even up till now everyone is surprisingly amiable about it, which hasn’t ceased to surprise me, especially coming from a show where the protagonist has a web of relationships this extensive. Even when bare feelings are laid out, there is never anything inherently bad or negative in Dog Days‘s world, and I suppose this childlike purity of the characters and of the show itself is one of the things that makes the characters this likable in spite of their trope personalities.

The plot with the jewel stealing cat god in this episode never gets as balls-out loco as some of the stuff we got from the previous episodes, but it did serve to give us some really eye opening scenes. Uh huh, you people who’ve seen the episode should know what I’m already talking about. No, I’m not talking about Becky somehow getting the single best weapon I’ve yet to see in the show, an honest to god beam rifle, though yes, it does look hella cool. I’m talking about the other one. Yes, that one. Alright folks, pack your bags. Cinque’s (lips) virginity has finally been taken. Show’s over, nothing else to see here, go home. I’m surprised they didn’t make a bigger deal out of it, though I can’t say I would’ve particularly liked it had Eclair gone all stereotypically tsundere and punched the crap out of Cinque either. It was also pretty surprising to see that bishie Cinque wasn’t a one-off thing, and we’ll probably see him and Gaul in the mode a fair number of times before the series is up. I guess for some of you out there, score!

Of course, it wouldn’t be the titular music festival episode if Millhi didn’t give us one performance. If you care to remember, there was a similar performance back in the first season as well, commentating the end of the war, but the quality of that particular performance wasn’t what I’d call all that great. Thankfully, Seven Arcs seemed to have stepped up their game this time, and while it didn’t quite have the pomp and flair I would’ve liked (I think AKB0048 had more of an influence on my taste than I’d care to admit) it at least had some really decent animation going along with the J-pop fare.

I do wonder if they’re ever going to go anywhere with the demon hunting party though. Thus far, every time it seemed like the show was building up to something, such as with this episode’s cat god or last episode’s sealing case, it turns out being a part of a self-contained plot that gets resolved within the episode. I’m not really bothered by this; in fact, I’m liking this the episodic approach to Dog Days’, and I honestly feel that it serves the show’s light fantasy nature much better than the singular story. But with another war likely to be starting between the three countries next episode, it probably means we’ll see them less than ever, and I wonder if they’ll ever serve any significant role in the show’s final few episodes.

Full-length images: 08, 13, 15, 18, 19, 20, 23, 26, 27, 36.

End Card

DOG DAYS 2   08   End Card
August 31, 2012 at 12:13 am
21 comments »
  • August 31, 2012 at 12:19 amDdadain

    I was looking forward to the “violation” animation again for the concert :3 Alas, it was not to be so.

    I’m looking forward to more plot though >;3 Me needs more hero-action.

  • August 31, 2012 at 12:31 amSinan Çevik

    As one of the Cinque x Eclair shippers, this episode made my day!

    • August 31, 2012 at 2:13 am†Croos†

      right on my friend

  • August 31, 2012 at 1:33 amVaan

    While Becky and Milhi are being in neutral grounds for Cinque. Eclair left them behind with one solid kiss that leaves me and other CinquexEclair fans squealing with joy. Oh thank you cat god!

    • September 1, 2012 at 2:16 amX

      Man and I thought the lap pillow scene was the best one! This just beats it!

      I have always been a Cinque X Eclair shipper since first season ep.2, and I still hope they will end up together! I dont know why, but the two seems to have really really great chemistry together, it just fits. I know Eclair is a tsundere and all, plus Cinque is still a bit young to think about love but still you gotta admit that they really look good together.

      I would really really love to know what the other girls reaction would be had they find out that Cinque already kissed Eclair or I guess already stolen his first kiss and went a step ahead than all of them lol, that would be an amusing episode to see.

  • August 31, 2012 at 2:33 amAnimesetsuna

    Cinque x Eclair ^^

    • August 31, 2012 at 4:28 amAnimesetsuna

      I knew people are going to dislike so here in the deal. For Cinque… he loves everyone. So “Renai Circulation” for everyone.

    • September 1, 2012 at 3:34 amAnimesetsuna

      Okay, I give up. Can I listen “Renai Circulation”? Because I miss this song so much.

  • August 31, 2012 at 3:45 amKyral

    While I’m also in the Cinque x Eclair camp, I try not to get my hopes up.
    Cinque pretty much seemed to erase the kiss out of his mind a few seconds after it ended. xD
    To quote Becky: “Cinque loves everyone.” sooo… harem end? ^-^

  • August 31, 2012 at 4:11 amTakuma

    meh…pink haired always in my heart xD

  • August 31, 2012 at 5:54 amSaturo

    Cinque x Eclair ftw
    but hey, it’s a harem-anime. Everyone loves him and he doesn’t care

  • August 31, 2012 at 7:06 amDCLXVI

    Woah, woah. Finally some decent character interaction! And ravu-ravu?? Dog Days has surprised me yet again.

  • August 31, 2012 at 12:27 pmzorogou

    “… but the quality of that particular performance wasn’t what I’d call all that great”
    I can’t disagree more with that statement and wonder if you actually remember last season’s as it had the ‘pomp and flair’ that you wanted.
    Both the song (imo) and animation in last season’s was much better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBRTNOyFZYM
    Season 1 had fireworks, clothes changing during the performance, great dance animation and the fox spirit’s magic. This season’s only had ribbons and hearts floating around whilst Millhi waved her arms around most of the time.

    As for the episode and series itself, I’m really enjoying it but it’s been lackluster. They’ve introduced some good things but then decided to not follow up on them. Even if the demon last season, and then the requirements to come back, weren’t the best story ever but it was still a story that I enjoyed.

    • August 31, 2012 at 1:56 pmWanderer

      You may want to check which version of last season’s concert you saw. I saw the DVD version, but I am told that the version which originally aired was much poorer in quality, and that they’d spruced it up considerably for the DVDs. It’s true that the version I saw would not be considered inferior to the one in this episode. I’m not so sure about the original.

    • September 1, 2012 at 10:53 amAsobi

      I won’t deny that season one’s performance is the more pompous of the two, but please don’t mistake my preferences for the actual quality of the animation. The originally aired concert in season one suffered from very badly drawn key frames, and (from my perspective) jerky animation. Just as Wanderer mentioned, the BD/DVDs had the entire scene redone in much higher quality, but it wouldn’t be fair to compare the spruced up versions with season 2′s broadcast.

      Here is a shot-for-shot comparison between the two versions.

      With season 2′s performance, the drawings remained relatively consistent as you can see in my screencaps, and while somewhat simpler in execution than season 1′s, the animation also feels much smoother in motion, thus my opinion is that this performance was a step up.

      For the record, I also want to say that while the songs served their purpose as pop concert pieces, neither struck me as particularly good or catchy songs. They’re both average to me, which is why you don’t see me comparing the two.

      • September 5, 2012 at 5:20 pmzorogou

        Well… I take back what I said. I didn’t watch the first season when it aired (which I regret because I love it) so I only watch the BD version. I had no idea it was so badly drawn in the TV broadcast I’m actually a little disappointed.

  • August 31, 2012 at 1:58 pmWanderer

    While I am a steadfast Cinque x Milhi supporter, Cinque x Eclair is second place. I think Cinque x harem is the only way to go, though.

  • August 31, 2012 at 10:11 pmThe Moondoggie

    Eclair just went ahead of the harem! XD Nice! But an accidental kiss always mean that you’re the wild card in any harem anime so…

  • September 1, 2012 at 12:04 amsrghs

    I’m a straight guy. And even so, adult Cinque makes me all giddy like a school girl.

  • September 1, 2012 at 9:34 amacolyte

    So many Cinque x Eclair supporters.. I prefer the princess/ninja >.<

    • September 1, 2012 at 10:33 pmAnimesetsuna

      I prefer Yuri.