The pacing in Dog Days is way off… that is if this is indeed a 12-episode anime. We are now a third done with the season and we’ve barely spent a more than a full day in this world. And at the rate the series is going, there aren’t going to be enough plots/development/battles for everyone.
Let’s guess on how the next few episodes will play out. The fifth episode will be focused on the various conflicts in the fortress, with Shinku squaring off against Gaul, Eclair going against the combined forces of Noir, Jaune, and Vert Far, and Brioche d’Arquien battling Godwin. Predictably, the Princess will be saved by Shinku (or someone) and things will be happy for the sixth episode. Then we’ll have some more development on Shinku’s return home and maybe some comedy or ecchi moments followed by some development on the relationship between Leonmichelle and Millhiore. By then, we’ll have reached the halfway point and only seen each character fight in one battle, except for Shinku and Eclair.
That’s basically six episodes all revolving around the same day with an introduction to everything except a clear plot. What’ll happen in the second half of the series will need to provide some sort of closure between Millhiore and Leonmichelle, a resolution between Shinku and the entire cast, including Millhiore, Eclair, Rico, Gaul, and whoever else connects with him on an emotional level, a concluding battle involving everyone that solves whatever problem the main plot decides to be, and Shinku’s return back to Earth. Compare that to what happened in the first half and the pacing between each will seem like night and day.
And that’s what I’m worried about. The series has been lethargic and lackadaisical in the first half while the second half will need to bear the burden of a plot, character development, and conflict to satisfy what the series has presented itself to be. And in order to do that, the series will need to budget its time efficiently to include everything, queuing up plot-relevant events like soldiers marching in line. I’m surprised we’ve only seen 2 battles so far and haven’t seen any indication of a real plot beside Millhiore wanting to be friends with Leonmichelle again. I’m praying the second half will have 3-4 battles (and need to find screentime for all its characters to fight) and provide shallow character development for everyone besides Shinku, Millhiore, and Leonmichelle. But the only way to do that is to shift gears into overdrive and hope they can get everything in. Otherwise, with the pacing the way it is, I can’t see the series being complete or very satisfying
I’m hoping the pacing begins to gain speed during the next episode but not at the expense of the battles being cut short. The fighting is one of the redeeming aspects of Dog Days, putting a serious flavor in an already light-hearted anime. If the pacing doesn’t pick up, I do wonder what area will be suffering the most. I’d gamble and say character development will be the one aspect to suffer but it’s hard to say at this point. With the cast numbering over a dozen now (with the formal introduction of six new characters in this episode), it’ll be quite the accomplishment to develop each character into more than an obstacle in Shinku’s path. Hopefully the pacing picks up soon, otherwise I have a dismal prediction about the end of Dog Days.
Either that or it can turn into a 24-episode anime. That’d pretty much solve everything, too.