Dog Days’ (S2) – 2

Despite being an anime comprised of intense fighting and prolonged wars, Dog Days’ manages to maintain its fun and lighthearted personality.  Though one would figure that these various battles and conflicts would detract from this dominant theme, the wars play a positive part in supporting this atmosphere and are a principal aspect in promoting the enjoyable, good-natured spirit between the characters.  So how is it that something so heinous and brutal as war is so entertaining and beloved in Dog Days?

The greatest factor in determining why the wars in Dog Days are so pleasant is based on how everyone views these battles.  The attitude and emotions toward the wars in Dog Days are positive and constructed in such a way that everyone has an enjoyable time despite the high number of casualties (turning into those fluffy animal balls, which really doesn’t look all that bad either) among the foot soldiers.  It is akin to sporting match among friends where there is no animosity or bitter history among the competition sides.  The rules are lax to the point where cheating is minimal and there is good faith among the sides to not do anything petty to gain the upper-hand in battle.  The goal of the fighting, besides proving your nation’s superiority, is hosting a festival or concert or whatever that is free for anyone to join and celebrate.  With all this in mind, it’s simple to understand why everyone looks forward to and enjoys the fights in Dog Days.  Nanami embraced this personality as soon as she entered the battlefield, telling Shinku how much fun she was having during her fight despite decimating a squadron of soldiers not moments before dueling against her younger brother.  The attitude of all the combatants is an essential element in influencing the wars in Dog Days to be enjoyable and fun for everyone involved.

Another significant aspect of what makes the battles fun are the variable environments the soldiers fight in.  Whereas most battlefields fought in this manner are your typical biomes or structured fortifications, the settings for the battles in Dog Days are constructed like a TV game show with unpredictable obstacle courses and arenas for the warriors to combat each other in.  There’s the constant presence of safety, too, with the medical personnel intermingled with the warriors ready to transport the cuddly animal balls out to the appropriate site.  In addition, the camps are well within the vicinity of the battles and designated as areas for the teams to rest without fear of being assaulted at any time.  In fact, they appear to be outfitted with adept maids, delicious cuisine, and changes of clothes, armor, and weaponry so one can be reequipped and return to the battlefield without having to waste time.  Though inconsequential the plot of the anime or even the scenes at hand, the design of the battlefields in Dog Days does play a role in how it is perceived and supports the friendly and fun nature of the anime.

An obvious factor that plays into making the battles in Dog Days enjoyable is the absence of death and injury from these fights.  With the worst possible consequences of the war for the adorable-earred soldiers is a safe removal from the battlefield and a return to normal after a matter of time, it makes sense that there’d be a similar absence of fear, anxiety, dread, or other negative emotions that stem from wars and battles alike.  Likewise, the hatred and bloodthirsty mentality, while perfectly conceivable to still exist in friendly competitions like this, are lacking from the soldiers of every nation among those fighting in Dog Days.  Instead, the societies collectively feel that these battles are for amusement and that hacking and slashing their friends is alright since nothing truly terrible will happen (this was touched upon earlier).  But having this deathless combat be a prominent feature in Dog Days plays an crucial part in making the wars so lighthearted and amusing.  If this feature weren’t in place due to the magic that is bestowed upon the citizens of this realm, then the wars would likely cease to exist or just be replaced with softer foam weapons and be littered with judges determining point totals.  And while both would be safe alternatives, too, they just don’t have as much fun as seeing warriors use metal weapons and magic beams to defeat these powerful forces.  Yes, the lack of blood and death is necessary for maintaining the lighthearted and fun spirit of Dog Days.

In addition to these main points, there are other factors of the war that play into the cheerful and enjoyable nature of Dog Days.  These are merely the major aspects of the war that influence the events themselves and determine the overall personality of these fights and the setting they live in.  Any meaningful changes to these wars would otherwise undermine the lighthearted and fun atmosphere that this anime survives and thrives on.  These wars are a major aspect of the plot, too, especially considering the entire season thus far has been focused on this one brawl.  And with the Kingdom of Pastillage joining the battle, it expands this perception of fighting beyond the familiar borders of Biscotti and Galette.  With that in mind, we can understand why the wars in Dog Days are so enjoyable and entertaining and why they play a positive role in affecting the friendly and favorable personality of this anime.

Does Dog Days have a vendetta against clothes or what?  Though it is the norm in anime for men to show damage through bleeding and women to show damage through loss of clothing, Dog Days seems to like having its characters in semi-nude situations where they’re left in their underwear, underarmor, of even less.  We’ve already seen seven characters lose a significant amount of their clothes or armor already and in just the first two episodes.  And while the fanservice was prevalent in the first season of Dog Days, it never seemed to be a prominent aspect of the series besides certain jokes.  Now, in the second season of Dog Days, it seems like it is the goal of every fight: get your opponent naked so they have to stop.  This really isn’t a complaint of the series, more an observation, but it surprising to have three separate events where a character’s clothes are shredded to nothing (Yukikaze, Shinku and Nanami, and Rebecca) and another event where Noir, Jaune, and Vert are walking through camp naked looking for new clothes.  Perhaps the series is taking the fanservice to a more dominant role or it’s more comfortable with its characters in embarrassing situations.  Either way or whatever the reason, it looks like the increase in clothing damage is here to stay, for better or for worse.

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  1. #1 by Marina on July 16, 2012 - 2:18 PM

    How about Becky’s transformation sequence, yeah? Talk about erotic magical girl overtones :p

    • #2 by avvesione on July 16, 2012 - 5:59 PM

      Yeah, my final paragraph was mainly about that, but I expanded it to encompass the increase in fanservice the past two episodes. I don’t know anyone who didn’t feel either uncomfortable or awkward by that sequence. Was beautiful animation and really descriptive of what’s going on but that naked imagery with those flailing appendages plus the pantyshots and clothes ripping were way too much. The anime would’ve been better off without that sequence at all. But hey, at least it’s over!

      • #3 by Tzaphqiel on July 16, 2012 - 6:22 PM

        Yeah, the comments on Crunchyroll (who are awesome for acquiring streaming right for this series) about that sequence were pretty focused on that scene, which made me pretty nervous. I still haven’t seen all of either episode (but I have seen the first half of the first episode, at least), but I did check out that sequence out of morbid curiosity. I sincerely hope that the transformation sequence was a one-time-only bit. It was too disturbing and way too close to erotic spoofs of the stereotypical transformation sequence for comfort.
        That being said, I will get myself to watching the full epsiodes, even if I have to turn away for a bit to deal with the fanservice.

        • #4 by avvesione on July 16, 2012 - 11:18 PM

          I’m almost certain this was a one-time deal with the transformation since it seemed geared toward understanding Becky’s body and adapting to her, kinda like a fitting for a uniform or something. I’m sure every point from here onward will be a normal transformation sequence (if that) and be rather quick and plain and not as special. This sakuga sequence seemed exclusive for this scene, so thankfully, we won’t be seeing something this ecchi again for a while (or, in case of Dog Days’, hopefully forever).

          As for the fanservice in Dog Days’, besides the whole Becky sequences, it’s played for humor and Yukikaze’s was barely any service at all (I’m sure many would even go to call it a disservice since it took off her awesome robe). And when it happens to Nanami, it’s played off as a simple joke, mirroring her personality to Leonmichelle’s of the first season when she had her fanservice joke in the first season. Actually, I kinda liked how they did that.

  2. #5 by Tzaphqiel on July 17, 2012 - 7:52 PM

    Now I’ve finished both episodes, and I’m glad to get back into the swing of things with this series.
    As you said, the fanservice was relatively minimal and played for laughs (especially the Genoise accusing Godwin of being a pervert, though Nanami teasing Shinku was pretty funny as well).
    If anything, I’m amazed at the sheer amount of power many of the characters possess, such as Shinku and Nanami’s Emblem Cannons as well as Rolan’s Barrier and Barnard’s Cannon (I will say that it was awesome to finally see those two in action). If anything, it makes me start to wonder how powerful both Brioche (whom I hope will end up with some fanservice in the future) and Leonmitchelli really are (though Leo’s fire cut attack definitely gave me a better understanding of it).
    And, of course, Leonmitchelli had to mention the variety of fish dishes that are available in Galette. It’s all too appropriate that the main city in a nation of cat-eared-people is a port town.
    I will say, though, that they did pack a lot more action into this, which makes me wonder when the break is coming (by episode 4, hopefully). I like the battles, but the rest of the story is nice as well, and I hope this won’t just be an action series.

    • #6 by avvesione on July 18, 2012 - 10:17 PM

      Yeah, it is quite amazing to see how powerful everyone is when they’re fighting on the battlefield. Compared to the average soldier who’s participating in these events for fun, it makes sense why they look up to Shinku and the rest as ‘heroes’ of their land and why they revere them so much. Hopefully we get to see everyone in action this season but I’m a little curious under what circumstances we’ll see them in this season.

      Yeah, I caught that, too, that Galette is renowned for its seafood cuisine and it is inhabited by cat-earred people. Makes sense that they’d spend their time focusing on fishing if they’re cats. Makes you wonder if Biscotti is superior in beef or Pastillage well known for nuts or baked goods or something.

      As for your final comment, I like the battles, too, but I happen to like them more than the non-battle aspects of the anime. I’m hoping we see a bunch of battles this season, though I’m not sure what the story will be yet or who each side will be fighting.

      • #7 by Tzaphqiel on July 19, 2012 - 6:53 AM

        It will be interesting to see what other techniques (and bits of magitech) appear throughout their series, if only to see both what feats they are capable of, how many abilities combatants have on average, and any other advantages they can have. Especially with the magitech, because I remember seeing Ricotta’s artillery from last season and wondering if they even used standard shells or were strictly powered by Emblem Cannon power (and I had the same question with the guns she was using, which was answered quite nicely this season). The miniature screen that Couvelle (I really don’t know how to spell her name properly) had was also pretty interesting and made me wonder if they have more advanced tracking technology, which, if it was exclusive to Pastillage, would give them a massive combat advantage beyond what they already have with what is probably the only substantial air force in Flonyard.

        Interestingly, the magitech also seemed to bleed into aspects of lifestyle in Flonyard a bit. Specifically, I noticed that there was ice in the glasses when Millhiore was pouring some tea for Becky, which shows that they are either close enough to harvest useable ice from a natural source (maybe the mountains nearby) or have some sort of freezing/cooling technology available. It may seem like a small point, but I was actually wondering about that sort of thing since the last season. I was also interested in other food sources, of course, such as your suggestion of Biscotti having superior beef (which also makes me wonder if they have dairy cattle in Flonyard), as well as what their opinions are regarding using Celukuls as food (Celukuls are relatively close to Emus and Ostriches, so the possibility is there). And, sadly enough, I was also curious as to whether or not chocolate was consumed anywhere in Flonyard. I do remember seeing onions being eaten last season, but I’m not as sure about how onions affect dogs as I am about how they affect cats, so that might be a moot point.

        And, admittedly, I do really like the battles. Especially because it shows all the different ways to approach combat given everyone’s different skill sets. Not to mention, the characters foreshadowed in the opening sequence (whose faces were not shown) seem like they might be powerful opponents who appear later on (possibly to add some drama later on in the series), so it will be particularly exciting to see them enter the fray. That being said, several of the characters shine a bit more off the battlefield, and some out-of-battle time would give them a chance to do so.

        • #8 by avvesione on July 24, 2012 - 11:49 PM

          You seem to have both a passionate and curious mind toward the setting of Dog Days, going between technologies, food supply, and the potential for new forms of combat and fighting. Seeing as I cannot answer these right now, I only hope the anime provides you with some answers later on this season. And since you pointed out these things, I’m becoming curious myself.

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