Da Capo: The Second Raid

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Fumoffu, etc. as the D.C. train chugs along. It may be a bit dated but there are more of me out there who look for information and recommendation on series from times past, so, uh, this post is for that horde then, as it is.

Now that I've got the memes and random in-jokes out of the way (it's what having Marisa Stole the Precious Thing looping does), Da Capo Second Season is actually a pretty timely watch, as with the anime of the visual novel sequel, Da Capo II (set forever in the future, technically), hitting this fall, it's a good time to be watching a lot and a lot of D.C.

Unless of course Second Season turns out to be a pile of junk. With second-season-eroge rivals such as Shuffle! Memories however there's always going to be something worse out there.

But still I find a 2-years-late sequel to a rather concluded anime to be strange - I would like to think that the main character Jyunichi would remain, well, attached to his love of the last season, but it doesn't seem quite so at the moment.

There's obviously some plot-related reasons why the centerpiece of last show dissapeared but it just seems like an excuse to open up the field again; D.C.S.S. is fairly newbie-safe and requires very little knowledge of the past season.

Overall D.C.S.S. appears to be a lot of the same from D.C., in that the first few episodes are going to be delightfully slow, bordering on ridiculous. In typical fashion I wrote the preview based solely on the first episode so expect it to be wildly inaccurate, but I do it just to see how opinions change over the course of a show. It's a strange changwe that happens to all of us; but it's completely normal...

Spoilers, whining, preview, etc, jump.

Speaking on that somewhat double-entendre-ish note, D.C.S.S. is largely the same as at least the early moments of D.C. in that it enjoys messing with your head, although I don't think a lot of the moments were established quite as well as the first season. It might just be, perhaps, that I'm getting used to being faked out.

Miharu - not Nemu - waking up Jyunichi in the morning was a good, and it pulled one over on me, but my God, that had to be the world's biggest lens flare/whiteout of camera thing ever.

Likewise, Jyunichi's "I'm totally going to make out with you now" shove of Kotori against the wall - to actually protect her from a passing car - was a good idea...maybe if I viewed Kotori as an actual contender.

Which I imagine I'm supposed to be. Kotori gets a huge amount of focus, at least in the first episode, which seems to set her up to be the main heroine of this series; at least discounting any important new characters, to be touched on later. It seems that with the plot-tacular disappearance of Nemu, Kotori has swept in to become Jyunichi's new escort, and certainly the two of them spend a lot of time together, going shopping, to the beach, etc; it would certainly take someone as dense and/or blindly ignorant as Zetsubou's Kafuka to not figure out that Kotori is all over Jyunichi.

Logically this falls into place with the last series as well, with the minor fact that she technically already had a confession there, even if it wasn't half-hearted. In any case, she is taking a second chance to shed Nayuki Status in this season, and I'd like to say she has a shot. Certainly it's an interesting dynamic in that Kotori has already been turned down, but continues to fight. In that sense, if D.C.S.S. can capitalize on that fact for Kotori, and maybe even the return of Sakura - not to mention the past arcs that all the other returning cast shares with Jyunichi - it will be very interesting to watch.

But logically, I think faithfulness is usually rewarded more and although Kotori likely has been that for the last two years, Nemu's been with Jyunichi approximately forever, and since they already swapped kisses and perhaps a lot more in the first season, I highly expect Nemu to swoop out of nowhere in the latter half of the season and snatch Jyunichi again.

This series is hard to gauge so far, however, in relation to how plot-ful it's going to be relative to the first half of D.C.; there are even more open ends than the beginning of D.C. brought up - aside from finding out just what Bad Thing happened to Nemu, there are many new characters that are highly unexplained, from the Hiyori-type meganekko (whoever invented the rule that female doujin artists in anime have to have glasses (exception: Najimi Osana (let's see how many nested parentheses now? (that's a total mood-killer (shut up. -ed)))) is a very smart person), to the one who addresses Jyunichi as a -sama, to a purple-hair underclassman (likely a quiet type), shrine girl Tamaki, and a bunch of other ones that don't stand out...yet.

Oh, and the one that flopped through his door right when Kotori was ready to get it on with him. A bit of a stretch but the series is resorting to a lot of fanservice early; although Miharu and Jyunichi's reenactment of the banana joke was somewhat amusing, it was rather creepy as well - almost makes you wonder if RoboMiharu is back, considering the density that she showed before she caught on.

At least she's not curious about what a wang is.

In addition we get lot of Kotori servicey stuff, whether it be her out in the rain or her taking a bath (in Jyunichi's house, natch). Luckily Jyunichi seems to be a little embarassed by this as well and so we avoid the Itou-vision closeups but it really drags the show on a bit.

Arguably there's already enough to discuss in terms of foreshadowing so I can't fault the series too much for taking it slow; being one of them time-conscious Americans I like things to keep up a constant pace, and so I tend to criticize things if they take too long to get going.

Nevertheless D.C.S.S. does show a lot of promise in its characters, although it does bother me trying to figure out how to keep an even harem fight (well, he does still have a lot of girls, I must say) when technically Nemu's already the absentee winner.

Or is she? We can never tell - well, 90% of the time, we can, but I also adhere to the horribly optimistic rule of "It ain't over until it's over," and there certainly is possibility for at least Kotori among others to come close...

Wishing for more dynamics between Mako and Suginami