This is review number one hundred and seven. I’m in the Spring 2011 lineup now. There are still some anime I haven’t seen in the Summer 2011 lineup but screw it, I want to see this lineup now. Besides, it’s not like I can actually close a lineup. It’s all worthless effort. Haha.
Anyways, the anime I’ll be reviewing is Dog Days. It’s an anime where a guy named Sink is fighting people with dog ears and they turn into cute pet balls when they’re defeated. Yeah…sounds nice. Let’s read on.
The anime is about Sink Izumi who is an ordinary high school kid. He is very athletic. He enjoys jumping off windows and scaling buildings. One day, out of nowhere, he suddenly got transported into another world. It’s a world where people have cat ears/dog ears and fluffy tails. The princess of the Biscotti Republic actually tried to summon a hero to help her land win against the neighboring country’s invasion. She believes Sink is the perfect guy to do the job. Sink is amazed but he wanted to return home. He decided to have some fun while he waits though.
Taking the Pants Off
Dog Days is a nice anime. There’s nothing remarkable about it and it’s a bit heavy with cliche but the anime had some good sides to it. I’m writing this review just mere minutes after I finished the anime though and I’m still darned on what to write about it. For starters, I do like the premise. When was the last time you saw an anime where an ordinary boy got sent into another world? The last one I saw was a good decade ago. So I appreciate that part of the anime.
The anime has a really nice premise that, although a bit clichéd, certainly had some potential to it. After all, a boy being sent to another world and fighting people is so 90s but it’s an effective premise. This anime is very clichéd though. Sink is good at fighting despite being a normal kid and he’s apparently very strong. I’m alright with that because if they stuff so much cliché in the anime then I bet they’d have Sink face off against an over the top villain that we can all laugh at it. Sadly, the anime doesn’t go there and it takes a a somewhat unusual route.
The anime is not only is littered with 90s cliché, it also very childish. I’m not talking about an anime catered for kids. This anime kind of had a mindset of a child. Sink doesn’t seem to mind being in a new world and he just goes with the flow. No one in the anime dies because the war is apparently a form of sports event or something. The villains aren’t actually bad even if it’s a menacing demon sealed away for thousands of years. Seriously, everything about this anime is cake and butterflies. I feel a bit offended that the anime doesn’t try to be edgy or gritty or even good. It’s all nice and fair that seems so very childish to me. A war were people are happy? That doesn’t seem right. You basically just have to find the good in the anime yourself because it has it’s downsides are pretty noticeable.
The story of the anime is really plain. I’m saying plain because it’s not really good and then again, it’s also not bad. The problem with the story is that it’s too straightforward and very predictable. I won’t spoil the story but I can sum it up in four words. THE GOOD GUY WINS. It also seems to be content with its straightforward story that it doesn’t even present any decent twists or surprise to brighten up the anime. After a couple of episodes, you can basically predict how the rest of the anime will go. I dunno. A simple straight forward story like that may appeal to some because there really isn’t any glaringly bad element to it. I’m trying to be impartial but I love story in an anime above anything else and this one just didn’t work for me. Nothing in the anime grabbed my attention. The fight scenes are alright but too predictable. The conflicts are too simple and they dragged on as the anime progress. The ending was too shallow.
The characters are pretty one dimensional. I always say that cliché characters are alright because they serve something to the story but the characters in this anime didn’t really do anything worth praising. Some of them are bland that they don’t do anything to improve the story. The main character himself isn’t all that interesting. He seems to have no personality at all and he just goes with the flow of the story. I mean the fact that he just smiled and said “yeah I’ll be a hero” despite being transported to a world he doesn’t know is very concerning. My biggest gripe with the characters is the fact that everyone is “not really bad”. Like I said before, the anime is childish and almost everyone in the anime is good. I loved the villain in the anime but she suddenly turned into this person you couldn’t hate. Deep down inside, all the bad guys in this anime are injured puppies and that pisses me a lot. There’s no evil in the world even if two countries are going to war.
I did love some of the character interactions in this anime. I particularly enjoyed the dialogue between the main character and the captain with green chair. They are always together and her tsundere personality works well with a bland main character like Sink. The characters also had their moment of brilliance when they fight. No character looks alike and everyone had a unique fighting style to them. That’s a great thing because we can enjoy the fight scenes a lot more.
The concept of war in the anime is very intriguing as well. It’s also childish but it did have me thinking. I’ve never seen a war with no bloodshed and human nature dictates that war should have blood. The war in this anime is more like a big sports event where the soldiers don’t die. They turn into pet balls instead. I guess you can still feel the pain but nothing fatal is done to you. The way the war wins is when your army rack up points and the one with the biggest points win the war. Before a war begins though, two countries must first agree to it. They will then collect money as a form of wager. The winner gets 60% of the combined winnings that is rewarded to the soldiers. The war is so “fun” that normal citizens are encouraged to join it to promote good living and get them a good exercise. The two countries abide to the rules of war to ensure that the participants have fun.
It’s pretty ridiculous, isn’t it? It’s a bit intriguing as well though because I asked myself if our society can really achieve peace to the point where war is considered a form of sports activity. I think we can never such a perfect notion of peace because the world is just too goofy to make it work. It’s still a nice concept though and I was a bit disappointed that the anime didn’t explore it fully. It could easily add depth to the story but I guess the anime was satisfied with a shallow predictable story.
The anime had a bit of a climax at the end of the anime. Even though the story is straight forward and predictable, it did have a steady pacing. The climax of the story hit when a menacing villain appeared and a final showdown ensued. It was a nice way to end the anime. I’ll say this again though. It was predictable.
Sight and Sound
The character design is one of my favorite aspects of the anime. The anime was able to take advantage of the medieval era and the various fighting attires in war. There is a wide range outfits in this anime ranging from the simple knight in armor to ninja outfits to Dynasty Warrior inspired clothing. No character looks alike (except for the normal soldiers) and they are flashy in their own way. The diverse cast is one of the best things about the anime. It was a bit disappointing though that not everyone gets some decent role in the anime.
The fight scenes are great as well. It’s a bit “hack and slash” inspired where no named enemies often get the worst of the exchange. I love how the way normal soldiers turns into pet balls whenever a character fights. It adds some awesomeness to them despite being one dimensional and having no decent role in the anime. It’s all good just to see them go crazy in the battlefield.
When two characters fight, the fight scene isn’t all that impressive. There is also no pacing to it and no intrigue because everyone is a good guy. The fact that Sink never loses also doesn’t really make the scenes that much impressive and suddenly befriending an enemy during the fight doesn’t feel right.
The animation is a bit plain at times. During fight scenes, the animation is a bit impressive. The quality drops during scenes where characters just talk though and you can see the animation is a bit shabby when the characters are from afar. Their facial features are all distorted.
There is also some fan service in the anime. Some girls get their clothes torn off their body by some impressive techniques of their enemies. There aren’t a lot of them and they’re mostly used for comic relief. They’re nice though because the fan service doesn’t cross the line. They’re all safe.
The anime’s OP is “Scarlet Knight” by Nana Mizuki. It’s a nice song and it captures the anime’s action appeal. The song is a bit generic though but it does remind me of those old school anime from the 90s with the same action concept as this anime. The OP sequence introduces all the characters and it also features some impressive animation.
The anime’s ED song is “Presenter” by Yui Horie. It’s the same as the OP. It feels a bit generic but I guess I just love Yui Horie’s voice. The song features the romance element of the anime. There isn’t a lot of it but there are some to add some intrigue to the anime. The ED sequence is pretty nice as well. It features the princess of Biscotti being all cute and all.
5/10 “Nice fight scenes but everything else is plain.”
It’s a nice anime. It’s not great and also not bad. It’s nice. If you want a simple anime with some nice fight scenes then this anime is for you. If you want some story to your anime though then don’t expect much from this anime.
It is a big letdown if you ask me. I assumed it was somewhat good because people recognised the characters but it appears they did so only because the characters have so many distinctive features.
Despite the Disney-esque ending, the show was most enjoyable and Leo was (and still is) pure, unadulterated love! Rock on Leo!