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Da Capo III – 01

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「サクラサク」 (Sakurasaku)
“The Blooming of the Cherry Blossoms”

The “Official” Newspaper Club has taken up a challenge against the “Unofficial” (yet more popular) Newspaper Club: explain and investigate the sudden blooming of the sakura trees, which haven’t bloomed in decades. Shrouded in mystery to most of Hatsunejima’s youthful population, the Official Newspaper Club, whose charge is lead by their leader Morizono Rikka (Nitta Emi), seeks to unravel the mysteries that surround the undying sakura trees. From text messages dated in the past to mysterious legends of wish-granting that no one wishes to divulge information about, the newest generation of Hatsunejima will soon find out the mysteries they investigate are much deeper and dangerous than they initially thought.

Under Rikka, Yoshino Kiyotaka (Ono Yuuki), who is bound by the red string of fate, seeks to decipher the mystery together, though less to beat out a fellow club and more for the actual mystery. Yoshino’s relative and roommate Charles (Miyazaki Ui) also joins in on the fun as a fellow club member. When not stripping or sleeping by accident, Hinomoto Aoi (Kaiho Erika) also joins in on the fun, as well as the osananajimi of Kiyo, Katsuragi Himeno (Sasaki Mikoi) and the hard-working genius Rukawa Sara (Ousaki Chiyo).

Da Capo stays true to its VN nature, for better or worse, holding firm to the formula it’s adopted for five seasons. The animation, no longer produced by feel, is acceptable and an improvement after five years, but is lagging behind current animation standards. Nothing really stands out in terms of the animation design other than the pretty portrayal (and quite damn pretty, I’ll admit) of the magical sakura trees. The cinematography and view angles lacking (though the pans make for many full lengths). The color scheme isn’t much, though the faded memory scenes are a nice touch. Primarily the scenes in the first episode tended to focus either on full-length pans, random shots of the girls’ hair accessories, or random shots of their breasts. While this may be in good taste with other shows, here the constant reminder the show has well-endowed girls who tie their hair up is jarring.

The quirks of each character and their dialogue don’t really stand out, leaving the story and fanservice so far to carry most of the interest. The main protagonist is absolutely plain, an unfortunate VN stereotype, while the females all have their standard cute flaws that no one could ever truly dislike them for. I mean, I like how Aoi randomly strips as much as the next guy, but that was practically it for anything interesting the characters had to offer this episode, other than the mysterious “red string of fate” that connects Rikka and Kiyotaka together.

Now, don’t get me wrong Da Capo fans, I’m not saying this is anywhere near bad, but the 5th iteration so far hasn’t much to offer that’s good or a hook. If you’ve followed this series all the way up to the 5th season, then you should definitely see how Sakura will affect the new generation (and how she’s still possibly alive) and the tragedies that will undoubtedly fall these naive students due to the curse. However, for those who are looking for a new romantic comedy drama to follow…keep in mind that this series was designed to continue the story for Da Capo fans and not attract new people. While you don’t necessarily need to know much backstory from the other iterations, much of the significance of certain scenes will be lost, and the value of the series apart from the continuing story.

However, if you happen to have a guilty pleasure for wish fulfillment where all the girls already have a hankering for you, then maybe give this a try. Already have the girls all wished for the protagonist to be with them in some shape or form (it was heavily implied), with Charles already trying to make a move! If you’re a fan of this traditional formula of a bunch of girls chasing after a clueless male and you’re willing to put up with the above mentioned traits, go ahead! As I say though, you’d probably be better off quickly reviewing the lore of Hatsunejima so that the story has more meaning.

I apologize if I came off a bit rough, but Da Capo is a series that was truly meant for its existing fans. While the mystery could come off as something good, since that requires a long-term investment without much in terms of short-term enjoyment, I would say that interested parties not already acquainted with the series should hold off for now, until reviews of how the story is received comes out.

Full-length images: 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 19, 22, 29.

 

ED Sequence

Da Capo III   ED   01 Da Capo III   ED   02 Da Capo III   ED   03

ED: 「会いたいよ」 (Aitai yo)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼

Preview

Da Capo III   01   Preview 01 Da Capo III   01   Preview 02 Da Capo III   01   Preview 03
January 8, 2013 at 1:22 am
31 comments »
  • January 8, 2013 at 1:38 amukato

    I can’t get over how Sakura isn’t voiced by Yukarin (despite Hitomi being her “real” VN seiyuu).

    Also, is that Otome-nee I see in the ED?

  • January 8, 2013 at 1:39 amDerprito

    worth starting this series?

    • January 8, 2013 at 7:47 amhaseo0408

      I think it´s worth give it a shot, at the very least it will be an enjoyble ride through Hatsunejima.

    • January 10, 2013 at 3:33 amvrr4141

      Can I just start watching this? or should I watch from the DC I & 2 first? thanks

      • January 11, 2013 at 2:47 amCJ

        While there are certain details you might not understand without watching or reading about the previous seasons, individually it should be able to be watched without them. i would recommend watching them though.

  • January 8, 2013 at 3:20 amFlameStrike

    Hm I thought DC III was an alternate universe as opposed to a direct sequel? Though I could be wrong.

    I’m really curious as to why Oto-nee is in the ED. If DC III really will have meaningful ties to DC II I might check it out.

    • January 8, 2013 at 10:46 amMarina2

      Actually, many characters from DC1 and DC2 are in ED during the long shot of sakura tree, you can identify them if you have a good eye.

      • January 9, 2013 at 11:24 pmukato

        *goes back and watches the ED fullscreen*
        Holy !@#$, I just shat bricks

    • January 11, 2013 at 2:48 amCJ

      That was just a rumor before the game was released. This is a proper sequel to DC2

  • January 8, 2013 at 3:40 amYuu

    DCIII should be the world that Junichi chose Sakura instead of Nemu, if it was a direct sequel of DCII it should be in the far future, and I haven’t yet seen any hooverboard…

    I was playing the VN but dopped it ‘couse i felt disjointed from DC e DCII, and Sakura’s presence would is weird.

    Sakura was/is eternaly young because she wanted to be forever the way she was with Junici, a loli, if Junichi chose her why would she be still young, and alive after Junichi is, presumably, dead?

    • January 8, 2013 at 4:58 pmHelvetica Standard

      -Junichi chose Nemu, otherwise DC II and sevaral of it’s characters would not exist.
      -This IS a direct sequel of DC II, (50 or so years in the future)
      -If you played DC II straight to the “Da Capo Chapter” you’ll know why Sakura is there and what she actually is (If you don’t, then think of her as a Yuuko)
      -Yes, Junichi is pretty much dead (you’d know if you played DC II and completed Otome’s route)
      Though he does not explicitly die, it is heavily implied that he did.

      • January 9, 2013 at 11:36 amYuu

        The problem is that every info I got on the game said it was a direct sequel to the first DC a parallel word in which Junichi chose Sakura.

        I don’t know I played a bit of the VN and there was nothing to indicate otherwise…

        P.S. But Otome being in the ending does give me some hope, I may have been duped but I would be happy.

      • January 11, 2013 at 2:51 amCJ

        The anime said that it had been 20 years since the sakura tree died.

  • January 8, 2013 at 5:28 amAnza

    Ugh The last series of this left such an awful taste in my mouth, I think I’ll wait to see if it turns out to be any good before I watch it.

  • January 8, 2013 at 7:50 amhaseo0408

    I didn´t know you were going to blog Da Capo III Zanibas, It´s good to see this show it´s going to be cover by the site.

    • January 8, 2013 at 9:59 amPerlaNemesis

      I don’t think it’s going to get covered here. DCIII is placed in Snapshots category where all introductions of uncovered shows go.

      • January 8, 2013 at 5:09 pmHelvetica Standard

        Though I agree with you, I also wonder why is Da Capo listed on the current reviewed series section.
        :/

      • January 8, 2013 at 9:05 pmhaseo0408

        Maybe they just decided to cover the show after all.

      • January 10, 2013 at 12:57 amStilts

        We’re not planning on covering this. It just appeared along the side because Da Capo already had a tag (from the last time RandomC covered a Da Capo series), and that list is automatically populated.

        Just a reminder: any changes will be noted in the schedule post, so check that if you’re wondering.

  • January 8, 2013 at 8:37 amDrunkenVeggie

    I loved DC too death. I was sort of ‘meh’ with DC II. After watching the first episode of DC III, I find myself confused by the fanservice. I mean yeah, it was present in the other shows but not to the point that half the show seemed filled with boob shots.

  • January 8, 2013 at 9:33 ammocha

    does the male friend in the club never die?

    • January 8, 2013 at 5:02 pmHelvetica Standard

      he’s not the same “male friend of the series” there’s supposed to be a different Suginami for each season, His first name is never revealed though, making this a conventional assumption.
      Otherwise, yes he might be immortal.

      • January 11, 2013 at 2:54 amCJ

        SUPPOSEDLY he’s not the same. lol

  • January 8, 2013 at 1:19 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    ….is it wrong to admit that I’m mostly just watching this for the beautiful girls? <> lol

  • January 8, 2013 at 4:32 pmSortedevaras

    Damn now I have to go play the games again. :/

  • January 8, 2013 at 6:01 pmJason Isenberg

    Ohoho I love this series

  • January 9, 2013 at 12:13 amdarkpaladin

    I’m just dissapointed that CooRie didn’t sang the ED.

  • January 9, 2013 at 2:43 pmalec613

    Is there anything new to this anime?
    First watched the S2 of Da Capo 7-8 years ago, then watched the first 13-15 episodes of Da Capo and then dropped it, because, having watched the S2 first, I know whom Junichi would end up with, and that wasn’t fun — Yeah, I was rooting for Kotori, but it can’t be helped. In my point of view (watched S2 first), Nemu just came out of nowhere. Not to mention, I usually root for the underdog.

    Then Da Capo 2 came along. I watched the first 3-4 episodes, but I dropped it, because I realized that animes like don’t interest me anymore.

    And now Da Capo 3 is here. Man, they just wouldn’t let the franchise become a fond memory

  • January 9, 2013 at 3:03 pmalec613

    After seeing the girls in the game OP, I know whom I would root for at first site : the blonde-haired girl. And it seems like she’s the main heroine, so I guess I won’t have to worry about the anime leaving me a bitter aftertaste.

    I’ll watch the first 2-3 episodes of the anime.
    I’ve a feeling I’ll drop it, but I hope the anime is interesting enough for that to not happen

    • January 9, 2013 at 4:00 pmHelvetica Standard

      If you feel like it, you can read the original visual novels, that way you can choose your favourite girl and make the story go YOUR way. Plus, they are infinitely superior to their anime counterparts.
      Google: “Eroge download” click and enjoy dear sir. :)

  • January 14, 2013 at 10:08 pmPtolemaios00

    After the second episode, it feels too much like ToHeart.