Down the Homestretch: Da Capo

What is eternity doing tonight? has become Mega Megane Moé. For the latest posts, please change your links accordingly. The gears start to wind as the oldest anime being watched this summer lurches into motion coming to the two-thirds mark.

If there's one complaint about this series it's that it's horribly, horribly slow. It was said by a commenter on my last D.C. post that the series essentially starts at episode 16; even the anime backs this up at episode 15, saying that "ahead there is no more moe, only tears".

Somehow I wish things had started maybe a bit earlier as for the first half of an entire 26-episode series to be pretty much write-off-able is kind of unforgivable. The ending is shaping up to be vaguely interesting if something ends up happening with all the loose ends that have yet to be resolved.

To be honest, it's a lot of loose ends, as there didn't seem to be much of, well, direction with the characters up until when the plot officially started.

Spoilery whining after the jump.

The strange thing about Da Capo so far, is that it hasn't really had 'arcs', per se, which is odd for a harem-type anime. Even in Shuffle, an anime with an equally worthless first half (although, somehow, Shuffle actually did have vague miniplots, I believe), had minor arcs in the beginning with Sia.

Da Capo's simply stuck to two rounds of character episodes and two recaps and that took care of the first 16 episodes of the series. Character episodes haven't always proven to be a bad thing in the past, but with Da Capo, it just seems like the characters weren't really even built up in a fashion similar to how other shows did their character episodes.

I enjoy having likable or at least in-depth characters in anime, and Da Capo's just feel a bit...well...empty. There are plenty of interesting devices in Da Capo; Miharu being a robot; Kotori reading minds; and well, Sick Girl and Cat Maid - but there hasn't been any real capitalization on it outside of humorous potential as of yet.

This might be because D.C. has a huge focus on it's two female leads, Sakura and Nemu, who faithfully move the plot forward with lots of flashback fun. Episodes 16 and 17 certainly felt like they were trying to catch up with lost dream sequence time; it's good that we get to see a bit of their past but there hasn't been a whole lot - yet - that's question raising.

We got to see the same dynamics between Jyunichi, Sakura, and Nemu that exist today, with Sakura being hyper and Nemu giving up annoyingly easily. Additionally, why Nemu's always been Jyunichi's non-blood-related (emphasis on that) sister was revealed, in that her parents got in a Deadly Car Crash.

Not to rip on the series entirely - there were one or two interesting things to take note of, such as Sakura casually mentioning Kotori's and Yoriko's powers. I'm not sure why she would know this but Sakura continues to be the biggest (ironically) and most interesting mystery of its show.

It seems the majority of Nemu's backstory has been revealed and so it will probably soon be Sakura's turn in the spotlight. She has plenty of things left untold - for example, the infamous Third Promise from episode one, the reason why she's so short, her connection to the sakura tree, etc. It's definitely an interesting question that she brought up at least, that if she had matured at the same rate at everyone else, would Jyunichi like her more? Not to mention her talk about her talking about Jyunichi "giving her a kiss to break the spell" - it's tacky and might just be figurative but I'm a conspiracy theorist and it definitely seems that there is Something Up with Sakura.

Nemu seems to have the victory all but locked at this point but there are some aspects that make me worry that Sakura might steal the win at the last minute. Although Nemu and Jyunichi did both Willingly Kiss each other, what annoys the Despairing Conspiracy Theorist is that 1) the kiss was offscreen and 2) we haven't gotten the confession in words from Jyunichi yet.

Naturally a logical solution would be that they're saving that moment for the very end of the anime (see: Cardcaptor Sakura: Sealed Card) but for the sake of making Da Capo a more exciting anime, it's not over until it's over.

In the end D.C. is not really as bad so far as I've made it sound; it's a personal taste as to how much lighthearted comedy one can stand and for me I prefer to leave that to the dedicated anime (Azumanga, etc.) or at least have the light parts balanced by heavy - or at least useful - parts in the same episodes. Da Capo takes a different approach in that it seems to get all the funny and the fanservice out of the way in the beginning, and now coming into the last part of it it's taking out its big guns and kicking into gear.

One can only hope that the post-confession era of episode 19 on will keep the pace going and resolve some of the issues of...well...the rest of the harem. Certainly the second level of the harem (i.e. those who don't address Jyunichi as Nii-san) hasn't recieved a lot of attention so far, and it will be interesting to see if they play any role in the end.

Not to mention, what the end will be itself.



The show has its moments in the first half (2,4, and 10 being my favorites) but the meat of the show is in episodes 16-20.

The Third Promise is revealed in 20, and brings more light to Nemu's flashbacks and the true nature of the relationships between Jyunichi, Nemu, and Sakura...

Enjoy the finish; and I'd advise you to watch Canvas 2 and Gift ~ Eternal Rainbow if you're looking for similar shows...

Having just watched 21 I'm kind of afraid that you mention the good part of the show has just ended.

I would agree that the show really kicks into gear here; especially in 20 it definitely had strong points (it's quite strange watching that episode and School Days on the same day; two different confrontations or conflicts-to-be on the roof...) - hopefully it will at least coast to the finish.

And, I must say, I'm very relieved that for once we get to hear a Third Promise.

As far as Canvas 2 and Gift; I might look into the former (although I spoiled myself on the ending, I think I forgot by now XD); but isn't Gift licensed? Can't find it on AnimeSuki at any rate.

Thanks for the suggestions and comments anyway. ^^ 5 to go...