Mamoru MiyanoMinako KotobukiAsami SetoTetsuya Kakihara
Dog Days: Season 1
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2011
Director: Keizou Kusakawa
Writer: Masaki Tsuzuki
Actor: Ai Orikasa, Ami Koshimizu, Asami Seto, Ayana Taketatsu, Daisuke Ono, Kana Asumi, Kana Hanazawa, Mamoru Miyano, Mana Hirata, Minako Kotobuki, Mikako Takahashi, Nana Mizuki, Noriko Sakura, Norio Wakamoto, Sakura Tange, Takahiro Sakurai, Takehito Koyasu, Tetsuya Kakihara, Yoko Hikasa, Yoriko Nagata, Yui Horie, Yukika Teramoto
Keywords: Dog Days, anime, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 13 episodes
Website category: Anime early 10s
Review date: 12 October 2016
It's set in a fantasy world where most of the cast are about thirteen, where you can't get hurt and where everyone wants to be your friend. Oh, and the nations are all animals. Cats, dogs, etc. Hence the title. They'll look like cute girls, but they'll have animal ears and a tail. Admittedly it's also a world of incessant war, but we're talking about family-friendly warfare that's more like a cross between a festival and a sports day. No one gets killed, or even injured. Instead, the losers temporarily turn into cartoon balls with faces, which bounce around good-naturedly until their friends come to collect them.
All this is sustained by a magical field. Admittedly this field can weaken and let through gods, demons, etc. that can break the rules of non-lethality. In practice, though... no. A demon will appear at one point, but this gets solved with the power of love and the poor misunderstood demon becomes yet another best friend.
It's by Masaki Tsuzuki, the creator of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, so of course I was expecting it to be worthless. To be honest, it is. I wouldn't recommend it. There's little point in watching it. However it's also so nice and good-natured that it's a comfortable, pleasant thing to sit in front of. You wouldn't seek it out, but you wouldn't turn it off either. It's okay. I'll probably watch the later seasons.
It's a children's show, effectively. Nanoha is aimed at an adult male audience, despite its genre. This is cuddlier and nicer.
As in Nanoha, the show loves empty fighting. Here, though, the pointlessness is the point. Pseudo-war is the national pastime and there's no significant difference between it and a TV game show where everyone's given a rubber chicken and has sixty seconds to avoid the gunk tank. It's even televised. They take it seriously, but in a light-hearted way. "I'll rescue the princess and make it back in time for the concert!" Oh, and all these countries are monarchies, where the princess is beloved by all and the greatest celebration in the world is the princess's live idol concert. She sings, you see.
The hero is a boy from our world called Shinku. He's ridiculously athletic, which is why Princess Millhi chose him, and he's too friendly and positive to have much of a personality. He's nice, though. I liked him. He becomes quite popular with the girls, but everyone comes across as too young for this to be going anywhere yet. It mostly just means they're all friends, although I'd guess that the romantic pecking order in a few years might go (in order) Millhi, Becky, Eclair, others. It's hard to rank Becky, since she stays on Earth throughout and is thus mostly an occasional cameo, but she's Shinku's closest friend and they're very important to each other. It's hard to say that she'd trump Millhi, though.
There's some harmless pseudo-fanservice. (I say pseudo-fanservice because it would feel almost kinky to get anything from this inoffensive cartoon nudity. Some of the girls have big boobs, though.) Shinku and Millhi see each other naked quite often, which always makes them both start apologising.
You'd have to be psychotic to have any expectations for the storyline, but even so Masaki Tsuzuki's taking the piss. 1. Shinku can't get home and can't even contact his loved ones! 2. Except that he calls them up on his mobile phone, in the very next episode. 3. Eventually it's revealed that he can go home after all, but afterwards he'll never be able to return to Dogland. Tragedy! And he'll lose his memories! 4. Hang on, aren't there two more seasons after this? Somehow I suspect they'll find a workaround. 5. No, they were just kidding. He will be able to return here again, but only if he's done a bunch of random arbitrary things (which he's already done) and made lots of heartfelt but lying promises (and he's done that too). I particularly disliked that last one. The script eventually makes the promises come true, yes, but only by changing the rules yet again. What a load of hogwash. Masaki Tsuzuki's saying whatever's convenient at the time, without bothering to follow what he'd been saying before.
Oh, and Shinku thinks he'll lose all his memories but still remember everyone. No, wait.
It's nice. That's it, really. Lovely people have lots of happy wars, then afterwards all have a big celebration together. It also has Norio Wakamoto making me laugh with his overacting in ep.8. The art style is simple. The plot is almost entirely without merit, but the Shinku-Millhi romance is quite sweet and I appreciated the compassion that's shown even to demons.
"The mass production of weapons seems to be finished and is even ahead of schedule!"