Now that the twelfth episode of Dog Days has aired, all that remains is the finale to air next week. There will be two distinct outcomes, either Shinku stays with everyone in Flonyard or returns home with the possibility of never returning. So, can we tell what the outcome will be from foreshadowing in this episode? It’s always worth a shot.
The whole episode revolved around Shinku understanding the circumstances for returning home, explained thoroughly by Ricotta, and then spending time with everyone before his farewell speech. Shinku spent time with every major grouping of characters, which showed more scenes of how much they value their friendship with Shinku. Everyone had prepared for Shinku’s brief departure before another return, so everyone was happy this was just a temporary farewell. In fact, when Shinku was with everyone, he always remained open to the possibility of returning to see everyone. But as you know, that may not be true.
Through Ricotta’s research on sending Shinku back, she discovered certain conditions that must be met in order to return home. One that Shinku never told anyone, because of how painful it might be to all his friends, is that he can never return home. Another major one was that Shinku would not be able to take anything from Flonyard with him back to Earth, be it physical objects or memories. Obviously disturbing Ricotta, she returned to the library to see if there was some way around these senseless conditions while Shinku spent time with everyone, enjoying their final moments together, before perhaps never seeing them again.
The next episode, titled “Promise” will likely feature one of two conclusions, either Shinku stays in Flonyard or returns home. Either path remains open to the possibility of a sequel (which seems very real at this point and I figured they wrote this anime with additional ones in mind) by either keeping Shinku around for more adventures or Ricotta finding a loop hole to exploit and resummons Shinku and his friends, such as Becky, to Flonyard.
And now time to attempt to predict the finale of Dog Days through simple foreshadowing. What I see happening is that Shinku goes through the most of the ceremony to return home but, with the worry of never returning, stops the ceremony and tells everyone the truth and his true feelings. Then we see a sad ending where Shinku chooses to stay here over returning home, even though that means never seeing Becky and his family again. After a heartwarming (my opinion) and tearful decision by everyone at the event, Ricotta arrives up the steps with news that she’s found a way so that Shinku can travel between worlds safely and with unlimited trips, meaning he’s always open to the possibility of return. Oh, and keep his memories, too. After that, Millhiore sends Shinku back home and then we’re left with the very real possibility of a sequel in the near future.
So why do I think this is the ending we’ll see? From the foreshadowing, it seems very real that Shinku will return. Not only did he choose to leave the possibility of return open to all his friends but he did so knowing very well he was lying to everyone. Dog Days doesn’t have the doggedness (haha pun) to have everyone’s hopes and friendships shattered by Shinku that he’ll never return once he’s gone. It completely clashes with the whole light-hearted, fun images the show has embodied for the entire season. Not only that but I see a sequel in the future. There were too many additional layers of the setting of Dog Days that never was examined within this short 13-episode series. All the demons and monsters that Broiche and Yukikaze were talking about seemed like foreshadowing of a future catastrophe that would require everyone to fight again, this time against these demons rather than each other. I also see that Becky will likely be summoned to the world of Flonyard, likely to foster a love-pentagon between the girls who like Shinku by adding a close friend to the equation. That and the four conditions that were mentioned in this episode seem like devices used to create false tension. It just sort of appeared, sounds unnecessary (Why exactly 16 days? What happens on the 17th day?), and was used to create the both happy and sad farewell scenes only to be overcome and return to the lighthearted style Dog Days is expected to have. But those are only predictions and I know more often than not that I’m usually miles from the correct answer than not. Hopefully by writing this I don’t jinx this ending because I would really enjoy this sort of conclusion. But we’ll see in just a week what happens in the finale of Dog Days.
If there is a sequel, there will be new characters, but what new types of kemonomimi will they have? So far we have various types of dogs and cats and Vert, the one bunny-eared girl, so what would be next? I’m sure there will be new breeds of canines and felines used (wolves, jaguars, dingos, ocelots, there are quite a bit left to choose) and possibly more bunnies but what other nations do you think exist out there? If I go back to Utawarerumono, there might be some bird-type characters. There could also be other mammals used, such as bears, which would seem to be a logical choice. There are other possibilities, too, like mice and horses, but there really is no point in trying to speculate before the first season is over and with no solid hints or clues at a sequel. But maybe we’ll find out in the next episode of a possible sequel to Dog Days.