DOG DAYS’ – 08
「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.