Dog Days – 2

The abrupt addition of fanservice to Dog Days was the biggest surprise of the second episode.  It just sorta came out of nowhere, without expectation.  But that fanservice overshadowed a much more important feature that was present throughout the course of the episode.  And that’s the all the action Dog Days had.  All that intense fighting and brilliant animation gave some much needed substance to Dog Days as a series.

There were a lot of things I liked about the second episode of Dog Days that really complimented the first one.  With no new characters introduced, we were able to focus on the battle and the characters introduced in the first episode and build upon the foundations from the previous episode.  But this episode did more than build upon the last one.

What Dog Days lacked in the first episode, it made up for in the second by featuring a battle between warriors of the two kingdoms.  First, more mechanics of the world and their warfare was explained, mainly focusing on what Shinku can do as a participant.  That really helped since the explanations in the first episode seemed to only be relevant on a much larger scale than on individual warriors.  Secondly, we finally got to see warriors actively battle each other in a glourious and decisive battle.  Shinku teamed up with Eclair to battle the rival princess, Leonmichelle in a winner-takes-all skirmish.  Here, the potential of Dog Days was shown through its detailed choreography and magnificent animation portraying a delightful and entertaining scuffle between super-powered soldiers.  It was by no means the most glorious fight I’ve seen in an anime but there are two things that put this one favorably in my opinion.  It was paced so it didn’t become too exciting or too boring and came at the right time in the series.

The battle between Shinku, Eclair, and Leonmichelle was paced very well.  From when Leonmichelle decided to join the battle to the eventual conclusion, the tension gradually rose and faded, never jerking itself to full-throttle and then crashing when it ran out of energy.  Sure, the fighting between those three was rather tame (any series where warfare casualties are fluffy animal-things will always be considered light-hearted) but it still was a critical battle for the characters involved, as shown by their expressions during the fight.  The atmosphere was just enough so you knew it was crucial to Eclair, Princess Millhiore, and their kingdom but not enough to get away from the light-hearted nature of the series.  Additionally, the battle’s placement in the series was another strength of the action in Dog Days.

The first episode gave us a twist when we saw that the warfare between these two nations was simply a prolonged athletic competition with rather safe meleeing.  It featured comically bland soldiers attempting their best at an obstacle course and failing at close-quarters combat.  From these select scenes, it was apparent to not expect too much in the way of action in this series.  It wasn’t until Shinku entered combat that the action actually materialized.  It came at the right time in the series.  The encounter between Shinku, Eclair, and Leonmichelle showed that this anime has some tangible material for which to draw a story from.  Instead of being entirely light-hearted and smiley animal-faces, there is some actual aggression and urgency in the anime.  The insertion of these emotions provided a much needed dimension to the anime, giving it a new characteristic of importance.  And the second episode provided that.  It also went above and beyond by adding in the fanservice aspect, too, with ripped clothing and striped panties.

Okay, I’ll admit, I was expecting some fanservice in Dog Days.  Leonmichelle does wear those short shorts with her thong sticking out and has pretty visible cleavage, but I thought that was it.  But it seems like other characters aren’t immune from this characteristic as well.  I am actually pretty surprised how much fanservice there was in this episode, twice showing clothes/armor ripping off, a groping scene, and Eclair getting dressed.  With the complete absence of fanservice in the first episode, I wonder if the series will spend most of its time fanservicey or not fanservicey.  I guess we’ll have to wait and find out, but I’m thinking most of this was done for Eclair and Leonmichelle to develop feelings for Shinku.  Maybe not Leonmichelle but I think Eclair will develop a tsundere relationship with Shinku after this episode.

One of the more prominent features of Dog Days has been the depiction of casualties.  Whenever one of those featureless soldiers falls in battle, they instantly puff into a colorful cloud and fall out as an adorable animal-like furball.  But I’m wondering what will happen to Shinku if he gets injured in the line of duty.  Will he bleed, with the obvious possibility of death, should he be stabbed, sliced, or impaled by these friendly weapons?  Do these citizens have adequate medical knowledge to treat the potential wounds and infections Shinku may suffer?  And what happens to the general population should they become sick, like getting the flu or other respiratory tract infections?  Is that animal-transformation a defense mechanism employed solely for these wars to prevent combat casualties or can it prevent things like infections or high blood pressure?  Shinku should really steal this technology and bring it back home and save our world from health related catastrophes and become a true hero.  But whatever, Shinku is too obsessed about obstacle courses and doggy princesses to realize the phenomenal technology around him.

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