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.