Dog Days’ (S2) – 1

Unlike the first season of Dog Days which illustrated the tale of a single hero who saved Biscotti and brought peace to the realm of Flonyard, the second season of Dog Days will narrate the adventures of three heroes.  With the inclusion of Becky and Nanami as the new heroes of Pastillage and Galette respectively (though Becky still has a ways to go right now), the anime will need to shift its attention and perspective to include three focal points instead of the standard one.  It is already apparent that this will drastically alter virtually every aspect of how the story of Dog Days’ is told, so let’s examine what changes we can expect with the new trio of heroes, Shinku, Becky, and Nanami.

What we expect as the most apparent change in the anime is a shift in attention and the amount of time we spend with each character.  The first season of Dog Days hovered primarily around Shinku, accounting for him and his actions through most of the series besides a few cutaways to Galette’s denizens or the assortment of battles.  With Becky and Nanami being promoted from simple shadows in the background to potential main characters, they’ll be stealing some of this attention and time from Shinku in order to develop their characters and describe their stories.  Likewise, we can expect a parallel between the soldiers and citizens of Biscotti, losing some of their screentime in order to show the citizens of the other kingdoms with their new heroes, either Becky or Nanami.  What this means is that some characters will need to see their roles reduce and their screentime subtracted in order to tell the story that Dog Days’ wants.  If you were paying careful attention in the first episode, you may have noticed Brioche and Rolan, two characters with rather significant or sizable roles in the first season, being demoted to guest commentators in the first battle of this sequel.  Though their presence is still felt in the anime, their screentime will be slashed and their impact may be downgraded as a means to budget other characters in the series more.  We should even see this in some of the major characters as well, perhaps even some of the beloved ones like Ricotta, Eclair, and even Millhiore.  However, how this redistribution of focus and screentime affects the characters has yet to be determined.

Another change we can expect that would differentiate this season of Dog Days from the original will be how the story is told.  Though the nations of Biscotti and Galette are peaceful and friendly, the tone of the first season pitted the two kingdoms against each other through wars of aggression and misunderstanding.  This type of story is ideal by having it one-on-one with the hero and his nation combatting a perceived enemy.  That method of storytelling is now rendered obsolete with the inclusion of two other heroes and the improved relations between Biscotti and Galette.  The story may begin with either nation opposed to Pastillage, especially if they attempt to kidnap Becky or something seemingly sinister, but due to the relation of the three heroes and presumably the three princesses, we can gather that the story of this season will not be the same as the first season.  Instead, the story should involve the three nations playing roles in combination with each other and working together toward a common objective.  The first season hinted at this style toward the end of its story, which is another reason why we can anticipate a similar story for this season, perhaps tailored to the nation of Pastillage since all its characters are new and Becky seems timid about becoming a hero.  And like the previous point, this is all speculation, and the true outcome of this change cannot be concluded at this point.  However, what we can be certain of is a change in how the story of Dog Days will be depicted for us.

The perspective of Dog Days is yet another aspect of the series we can expect to be altered between the two seasons.  By perspective, we don’t mean who the camera is followed (addressed in the first point) or how we see the world through the camera (though I expect this season to have a higher animation budget and production values), but how the characters influence our views of the anime.  Perhaps the best way to describe this is by using an example of the first season.  The original Dog Days focused primarily through the eyes of Shinku, Millhiore, and Biscotti, which seemed to embrace the concepts of friendship and happiness and, as a result, the atmosphere of the anime was tilted in that direction.  The nation of Galette, however, always seemed more aggressive (Leonmichelle especially) and playful (Gaul and Génoise) than Biscotti, and the mood of the anime was dissimilar whenever the camera was pointed at them.  The same is true for the characters, especially depending on their emotions and personalities.  You can tell a difference from the scenes whenever Shinku, Becky, or Nanami are interacting with the various characters of Flonyard.  And while this seems basic or inconsequential, the perspective of the series can easily influence the scene and the audience as a result.  With the time expected to be shifted to account for the other characters and the other nations, we can expect a change in the feeling of the anime, not only from scene-to-scene but the big picture, too.  How it ultimately affects the anime, whether consequential or not, is something we’ll just have to wait and see.

However, despite all these changes, the heart of Dog Days will remain the same.  Dog Days is an anime that embodies the spirits of fun, adventure, friendship, and enjoyment which is why the anime is such a refreshing and relaxing show.  Even with the alterations of screentime and attention, the new characters are sure to fulfill this spirit as we saw from our favorite characters in the first season.  Not only that, but those cherished characters will still be around to share in the moment while these new character are elevated to the spotlight.  The change in storytelling shouldn’t alter this treasured aspect of the series either and, depending on how it’s used, may even enrich the experience for the characters and the audience, too.  We can still presume that even with a change in perspective that Dog Days will continue its lighthearted and delightful adventures without sacrificing any characterization or inconsistencies.  Plus, there is room for the anime to explore a diversity of atmospheres and themes given the larger diversity of characters and nations present, each of whom seem to share in this commonality of fun and friendship.  So even with the new season’s changes already upon us, we can expect Dog Days’ to still be the same enjoyable, delightful, and amusing anime that we remember from yesteryear.

I’m still rather amused by my prediction last year after the finale of Dog Days about how there would be a second season and what the second season would be about.  It’s surprisingly accurate though arguably vague.  It also reminded me that I tried predicting the finale, too, after episode 12 which also came out rather well despite getting a few details mixed around.  Looking back on it, I see that the plot of the first season was simple and ultimately predictable, a fault I berated time and time again as a glaring weakness of the series.  That aspect, however, looks to be changed given the new complexity of the series by adding in new characters, a new nation, and hopefully a new set of obstacles for which to challenge the characters and for them to develop as a result.  This would solve my biggest qualms about the original in that the story was very linear and derivative.  Dog Days’ is already off to an excellent start in terms of its plot this season though it still has the chance to be incredibly basic or even down-right stupid.  But still, I have high hopes for the plot in this sequel as it has more room for which to work with since we already have established the world and the characters.  The rest can be left up to whatever assortment of fun and amusing adventures Dog Days’ has planned for us.

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  1. #1 by Tzaphqiel on July 8, 2012 - 10:55 AM

    Thanks for writing the review! I can’t wait to see it (and will probably be disappointed if I can’t), because it sounds really cool!
    I am a little disappointed to hear that Brioche’s role will likely go down a bit (she’s my favorite character), but I’m not too surprised by that, given the new characters and the additional emphasis on Galette and Pastillage. However, I am surprised to hear you mention Becky becoming a summoned hero for Pastillage, because that was one of the farthest things from my mind.
    That being said, I’m also experiencing some disappointment, if only because the new season means a divergence from (or a series of substantial edits to) my little “personal fan-fiction”, but not only should that be expected, it’s really shouldn’t be too disappointing (and it isn’t). Just like with the changes in the main series, the new episodes don’t completely remove the characters from the original, but instead help to flesh out the series as a whole.

    Great review, and thanks for the information. I hope to find a way to see this series soon, so that I can enjoy it myself.

    • #2 by avvesione on July 8, 2012 - 1:05 PM

      I hope you’re able to watch the episode soon since I did find it to be pretty enjoyable and a good indicator of what to expect this season.

      As for the point about Brioche, I’m not exactly sure how her character will be affected, but I think she’ll see a reduced role this season. For one, her pupil, Yukikaze, seems more capable and independent now, so I figure we’ll see the two together less than the first season when they seemed joint at the hip. She provided commentary for the fight instead of participating in the fight, so it might also be a hint to her having a limited role in combat, too. However, we don’t know what the story will be like this season and how she’ll fit into it, so it’s hard to say right now. She could very well have a larger role this season if everything goes correctly.

      Anyway, hope you enjoy Dog Days’ whenever you’re able to watch it.

      • #3 by Tzaphqiel on July 8, 2012 - 5:30 PM

        I haven’t seen the episode yet, but I did finally see the opening sequence, and that gives me some relatively high hopes for Brioche’s involvement, if only because one of the people towards the end (whose faces were not shown) had hair similar to Brioche’s, making me think that they might be a long-lost relative.
        That being said, I’m still a little worried because, in the really unlikely event that one of the characters gets killed off, Brioche would be one of the most likely characters to fill that role.

        • #4 by avvesione on July 9, 2012 - 12:30 AM

          I don’t believe anyone will die in Dog Days. Not only because of the magic that prevents anyone from receiving damage but from the fact that it isn’t the style of the series. It’s lighthearted fun, so I wouldn’t worry about it.

          As for the opening, you might be correct. I actually didn’t pay attention to it at first but I just looked over it and you could very well be right about that mysterious character being related to them. If so, then I guess I’d be wrong about Brioche having a reduced role this season.

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