Dog Days’ (S2) – 12

Considering the inflated cast of Dog Days’, one that currently has well over two dozen characters present and interacting with each other, it becoming increasingly difficult and surprisingly noticeable for the anime to appropriately budget the screentime for these characters.  As a result, characters are being swapped, flipped, mixed, and traded in this anime in order to make sure everyone’s favorite characters, at a minimum, appears, if not fortunate enough to play some capacity in whatever episode of Dog Days’.  Trying to accommodate every character does have its advantages but it has also instigated some setbacks for the show, too.

With the first season focused intently on the two warring nations and the select members of its royalty and armed forces, Dog Days was able to develop some level intimacy and personality from its characters, not to mention forge new friendships and highlight the strength of existing bonds.  The characters appeared in the series according to their hierarchy within the story, especially near the end with Shinku, Millhiore, and Leonmichelle in the spotlight.  This set-up worked brilliantly for the anime, especially with its story at the end, and was able to wrap up every character’s storyline before the end when Shinku returned to Earth after his adventures in Flonyard.  The budgeting of character screentime felt appropriate considering their roles in the story; the main characters received the most time by default and the minor characters appeared and performed as necessary per their part.  In the end, if felt like we were watching the story of a boy partaking in fun adventures and resolving a bitter war in a magical land of dog-earred and cat-earred people.

The second season, however, has ballooned its cast to include two more summoned heroes, a couple of kings who were sealed within an obelisk, and an entire new country with characters of its own among others.  Given this increase in cast size, there are now more characters to show with roughly the same amount of time to show them in.  As a result, certain characters with similar roles or other minor characters have seen their screentime reduced, especially with a discernible shift from the characters of Galette to those in Pastillage.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing nor is it a wrong thing either, just a result of the story shifting from Galette to Pastillage, too, as more of the episodes have occurred within her borders than being situated in Galette.  As with the first season, the screentime focused on the characters who were more involved in the story, and that’s exactly what’s happening here, so it’s something we should expect considering how this season is different than the first.  However, it is a bit disappointing to see less of Leonmichelle, Gaul, Jaune, and Vert as a result seeing how successful and fun they were in the first season.

As a method to counteract this change, though, as well as the reduction in Biscotti characters, the characters have begun to be mixed and matched, especially with Noir joining Eclair and Ricotta on different occasions.  It also helped with the heroes switching nations, too, helping create some amusement by displaying differing costumes and putting these characters in different relationship dynamics.  And with the new cast members joining the adventures and fun too, additional bonds are being formed and revealed, showcasing the extent of how interwoven these friendships are and how connected these characters are to each other.  These moves by the series have helped break-up the monotony that the first season created, showing the individuality of the characters by pairing Noir up outside of Jaune and Vert or with Nanami joining up with Galette’s military like she already belonged.  It’s been a huge positive for the series, helping diversity the cast and allow for minor characters to receive more development and screentime but this also, and unfortunately, comes with some consequences as well.

The one drawback to how Dog Days’ had appropriated the screentime for the characters this season in comparison with the first season is that we no longer received that level of intimacy or development with these characters.  With trying to make sure everyone gets some bit of screentime, the characters are becoming more and more shallow in their presentation, effectively only doing enough to advance the current events but do nothing to advance themselves.  Although we’ve seen it a few times with Eclair, Noir, and Yukikaze, there’s been nothing for the remainder of the cast including the most of the main characters (unless you consider the subplot of having friends and feeling sad something noteworthy).  We saw so much more of the cast in the first season of Dog Days, a huge positive for an anime where having a fun cast is essential to the enjoyment of the anime.  Now, without any structure to the story and a reduction in the capacity of the characters, this sequel has seen its depth virtually vanish.  And this issue is rooted in the fact that the series has been working hard on giving every character enough screentime to make sure their presence is felt.  It’s an apparent trend in the anime and something sure to continue so long as all the characters are present and together.  Whether it’s ultimately good or bad really depends on your opinions, however, so while I see this as an issue with the first season, you might very well be in disagreement with me considering how it benefits your favorite character.  Well then, good for you, you lucky dog (haha, puns).

The stars-for-pupils in Adel’s eyes have always caught my attention as a unique and distinguishing characteristic for her and was curious to the origin of how they appeared.  Well, turns out that this mystery has been answered now with the addition of a Demon God Crystal.  After seeing Becky use this new crystal and turn into adult Becky with the stars-for-pupils, it becomes clear that something similar happened to Adel, who ultimately provided the Hero Crystals to Shinku and Gaul.  It doesn’t directly address the issue or explain why the pupils are now stars, but it does raise up a few new questions about Adel and Valério’s past and their relationship with each other.  I suppose that after Adel subdued and defeated Valério, he bestowed her with that crystal to make her into the form we see now, the all-powerful Hero King.  Makes you wonder if she’s still a young, teenage girl with awesome powers behind the smiling, yet imposing young lady we see before us now.  Perhaps we’ll see some developments with this later, should this anime receive yet another sequel after this.

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