The central theme of Dog Days is that of friendship. Through every episode, the characters enjoy their magnetic relationships, comprised of delightful conversations, enticing groomings and pettings, and satisfying, light-hearted combat that leaves every character feeling safe and with a smile on their face. In the off chance something “bad” is happening, it’s usually a simple conflict between friends that quickly resolves itself with each side realizing their errors, understanding each other, and strengthening their bond to an even greater level than before. It’s how Dog Days’ remains so cheerful, charming, and peaceful all the time. So consider myself overjoyed for the appearance of the Demon King, a selfish, perverted renegade who does not care about friendship or anyone’s feelings and came to disrespect everything about friendship and those considerate, compassionate impressions in Dog Days’. Finally, someone brave enough to challenge this theme and provide that spark of conflict which can allow for Dog Days’ to change or progress.
Valerio, or as he would like to be called, the Demon King Calvados, is just the type of antihero this series needs. His predominant design is to be an affront to the whole theme of friendship and sympathy in Dog Days’. While everyone is being pleasant and thoughtful of others, Valerio exists to fulfill his gluttonous cravings without considering the effects of his actions on others. His obscene, brash, and unfriendly personality conflicts with everyone else in the cast of Dog Days’. He also seems to be the only character with a real sex drive, too, actively pursuing girls in their underwear or less. If left unchecked, he’d simply wreak havoc in the world, draining the life-forces of everyone around him and sexually harassing underdressed women. And when confronted, he simply used his brute strength to knock out his competition or forcibly strip them of whatever clothes remained. In essence, he’s the anti-essence of Dog Days’.
What makes Valerio an amusing and enjoyable character is not simply just because he is the opposite of everyone else thus far in Dog Days’ but because of what he brings to the anime, changing things up and shifting the series dynamic around. Whereas before, everyone was having fun playing war-games with each other and grooming their nation’s leaders, now we see a character who derives his pleasure from stealing the energy of people and generally being an asshole about it, too. Whereas before the fanservice was innocent, with character being striped to their panties, covering up in embarrassment, and moving on from there, we now have a character who actively seeks out girls in their underwear and asking them directly to show him their naked bodies. If not, he’ll produce a gust of wind for some instant pantyshots. And instead of having that insert of comedy or lightheartedness that keeps Dog Days’ relatively harmless, Valerio produces scorn and anger among its vulnerable and naked characters, having them fight back with an intent to destroy which is harsher than how they feeling in battles. And throughout all this, he’s never thinking about everyone who he’s taking advantage of and feeling remorse. Actually, he’s usually laughing about it and having a fantastic time.
Why these changes are beneficial to the anime is that it breaks the monotony of the series and provides something new. Though brutish, perverted characters are nothing new to the anime community, someone like this is unheard of within the Dog Days’ universe, a realm which everyone is friends with everyone else and their thoughts and feelings are given considerable care. Now that there is a character who’s against these morals, it puts the characters and their ideals to the test, a challenge to see the resilience in their friendship. Not only that, but this one of the few opportunities where the heroes get to display their chivalry and protect their princesses and their people from a legitimate threat. Not only that but there’s finally a character who’s willing to take risks for his own personal benefit, not for that of their friends or the community. And though the episode ended with his personality changing slightly, having more self-control now with the presence of his personal ass-kicker, Adel, we can still expect Valerio to go against the grain and cause more chaos and conflict whenever he’s around in Dog Days’.
Everything about the integration of Pastillage, its people, its nation, and its stories, has been a huge success for Dog Days’. Besides adding another landmass, culture, and army to the series, the characters of Pastillage have been a fundamental addition to the anime, especially with the relationship dynamic that has been created. Not only is there a place for Becky to stay and be a hero of a nation, but it also has allowed for Millhiore and Leonmichelle’s relationship to open up and become a triangle with Couvre. It’s taken a bit of the intimacy out of the relationships but created a more social and less serious dynamic for the characters to be a part of. Not only that but having three nations participate in war games will reduce the dreariness that would follow from two nations fighting each other without end. Beyond that, there’s also the fact that we can get a break from certain characters now, switching back and forth between parties rather than relying on the same supporting cast over and over, episode after episode. It has been a boon for the series, essentially allowing the series to expand without being too little or too much. It’s just right for what the anime needed.