A common miscalculation with many anime is that the ending is a disappointment. Some end up being rushed, forgoing major details in storytelling in order to wrap up the show in the limited time given while others feel incomplete, leaving holes in the plot that could potentially be fatal to an anime. Dog Days, however, allotted two full episodes to tell its conclusion, which is an intelligent move since it can now try to avoid these mistakes. So how is this anime using its wisely budgeted time?
The eleventh episode of Dog Days returned to normal with the relaxing, non-threatening, and cheerful atmosphere the series has strived on. After slaying the demon sword, the environment brightens signaling the end of the menace. With that, Leonmichelle sees no point in continuing with the war since the soothsaying turned out to be incorrect and Millhiore is alive and healthy. And that calls for a celebration with everyone coming together and having a good time, including all the major characters from both kingdoms.
While lacking in excitement and stimulation, the episode began the long process of saying good-bye. There were some relationships that were likely concluded, such as the one between Shinku and Rolan, as well as some final moments together, such as between Shinku and Eclair, spending time together at the matsuri/festival. We also see everyone gathered together which is highly recommended, nay a requirement, for simple anime like these. It just reinforces the already dominant themes of friendship and lightheartedness.
I see this as having a positive effect on the conclusion of Dog Days. Seeing these characters together is ideal in the sense that you see their relationships continue naturally, or Shinku, perhaps end. I’m glad the anime is taking the time to have the characters interact with each other like this rather than simply forcing them to say their farewells and then rush onto the next agenda point before the screen goes black at the 24th minute. And having scenes like this is appropriate for Dog Days, too. Without these somewhat uneventful or meaningful scenes, the relationships would begin to feel stale and forced, unlike what we’ve seen in Dog Days so far. It’s nice to see an anime take its time and cover all its holes before it finally reaches the end. The anime has been able to avoid a rushed or incomplete ending, although there are still the details remaining about Shinku’s return home (which we had foreshadowed with Ricotta) and the relationships between Shinku and his two crushes, Millhiore and Eclair.
The eleventh episode of Dog Days presented an impressive sakuga scene full of lively animation and thorough motions. Only recently have I started to learn about and understand sakuga, with almost all the credit going to Washi for his devotion toward the subject, so I was excited to see a sakuga scene near the end of this episode. The distinctive scene selected for this beautiful work of animation happened to be Millhiore’s concert, featuring numerous different shots involving complex choreography and lighting effects. While some people may dislike these scenes due to the awkward, or at least different appearing art style (initially, that’s how I felt about some sakuga scenes), I absolutely loved what they did with the kinetics and cinematography during this scene, including the panned shots of our favorite characters in the audiences viewing this spectacular show. I would have preferred something like this for serious battle sequences but using it for the concert was an effective way to use a scene with animation at this caliber. This scene will end up being one of the more memorable scenes in Dog Days due to the remarkable animation used to convey all that movement, and above all, life.
And while I praise the animation of one particular scene, there was also another that happened to be the low point of the episode. As you already know, one of the leading (and best) characteristics of Dog Days is the cast of characters featuring kemonomimi and tails. In fact, when people see it, they’ll be immediately aware of whether they should watch this anime or not. I mean, it’s like the first thing you notice when you see screenshots of Dog Days. Well, there happened to be a shot where none of the girls had their tails drawn in. Yeah, and it wasn’t like they were hiding behind their bodies, either, they were just completely omitted. Their ears were there, so it’s not like they were drawn as humans for a scene or something. But still, that’s was a very evident error by the production staff of one of the main qualities of this anime. I wonder how many other times during the series they’ve made a similar blunder like this.
The foreshadowing with Ricotta at the end, with her alone, crying in the forest, certainly piqued my interests for the finale next week. I had expected the series to find an uncomplicated path for Shinku to return home but now, not so much. Perhaps Shinku will indeed be trapped here forever, unable to return home to see his family or Becky ever again. As sad as that would be, I’d welcome that ending in a jiffy. Anything that holds open the realm of possible sequels for Dog Days is fine with me, especially since we barely scratched the surface of this unique and wonderful setting and all the characters that populate it and give it life. Hopefully this next episode is not farewell.