Saturday, February 28, 2015

Black History Month with Anime

Anime Girl Dark Skin

Today is the last day of February, one of the shortest months of the year, and one that is filled with two holidays. Since I've already addressed Valentine's Day, I thought I'd take the time to talk a little bit about Black History Month. As you may or may not know, Black History Month is a holiday that is present in North America. It's a way to remember, celebrate, and appreciate the history of African-Americans. Instead of doing the normal way of celebrating, I thought I'd combine anime with this holiday as a way to bring awareness, and to share a few of my thoughts as well.

I've done a post on diversity in anime before, and discussed a few of my thoughts on race and physical differences when it comes to characters. Since anime doesn't necessarily list off the races of their characters, it's a little hard to celebrate a certain ethnic group using anime. Although others have found ways to do that, one featuring African-American themed cosplay, I would like to talk more about the presence of dark-skinned characters in anime, and the roles that they play.

The thing that I really love about anime is that a lot of dark-skinned characters don't fall into stereotypes that may be present in western television. In some of our television shows and programs, many are portrayed as being the funny man, or the clown of the group. Others are shown as not being as smart or intelligent as the rest. Some may even be heavily shown as inferior to the other cast members, or even forced into a stereotypical role.

Unfortunately, these downfalls are not limited to those with African-American descent. Other races and even genders may be subject to these stereotypes and displayed inaccurately in media. Children media may attempt to cover these acts and they may not be done as heavily, but others tend to go all out. Many of these attempts are done for comedic purposes, but they can still cause harm to those watching, and those similar to the characters that are represented.

Although anime isn't free of stereotypes, it simply has a different take on things such as race and skin color. Anime can do the opposite of western animation or media, putting dark-skinned characters in powerful roles and positions. The interesting thing though, is that unlike many other incarnations, these characters are usually treated equally and their success comes without mention of their heritage, but their personality and self.

Killer Bee Naruto

When I think of such characters, there's a few that come to mind. One of the most notable I can think of is Killer Bee, from Naruto. He is a character who takes a little bit of the western perception and is combined with the eastern one.  At first glance, he looks like a stereotypical African-American male character. He sports a large build, has a tattoo, a somewhat stereotypical hairstyle, and wears sunglasses. Even when we learn more about him, we find out he enjoys rapping and rhyming, and is somewhat loud and noisy. Many people would just see him as a character built on stereotypes.

The thing is, as we see his development along with his interactions with Naruto, he turns out to be a very interesting character. Not only is he renowned as one of the strongest ninja in the series, he shares a tailed-beast like Naruto. Now we have to remember that only Naruto and Killer Bee are the only ones alive with a beast at this time. The other were hunted and captured, and their beasts were stolen from them. The only way to escape such a fate, was to become strong enough to defeat those who would come after them. Naruto was forced to do immense training for protection, so we know that Killer Bee is definitely the real deal since he's still alive and well.

We also can note that Killer Bee is intelligent in many ones. He has wisdom when it comes to life, and intelligence in the shinobi arts. Before long, he becomes Naruto's mentor and friend, teaching Naruto how to control the Nine-Tails power. He is also above certain minor influences that work on other characters such as Naruto's Harem jutsu. From the beginning of his appearance to the end of the story, Killer Bee remained an important character. He may look like another cookie-cutter member of the cast, which is how many Naruto characters can appear, but he is actually a very well-written and realistic character, that destroys the stereotypes built by his appearance.

So no, I do not think that anime is completely free of racial stereotypes or any other bias, using Killer Bee as a single example. However, I feel that it's more fair to characters of different ethnic groups, portraying them in more realistic ways than stereotypical assumptions. Either these stereotypes are completely avoided, or they are taken and twisted.

Dark Skin Anime Collage

When it comes to appearance, we see a lot of variety. We have dark-skinned characters with blonde hair, blue hair, white hair, black hair, brown hair, orange hair...the list could go on. They have all sort of unnatural colors and it actually doesn't look bad on them. In other aspects, they may contain facial features that reference to their ethnicity, or they may not. Killer Bee looks a little average, but other characters in the same anime, such as Fuu, look completely different. Anime has some sort of way that it makes every character look attractive or appealing, no matter their race or gender.

I think anime could be used as a way for more people with similar skin pigments to feel better about themselves. It can show that they aren't limited to stereotypical behavior, fixed appearances, or other such things. They can be anyone they want, have any views or values that they want, and do anything they set their mind to. Even though the majority of anime characters are light-skinned, I don't think that takes away from the presence of their dark-skinned partners. If anything, it makes them more well-known to the masses.

So with February ending today, Happy Black History Month! Even if you're not from an African-American background, what do you think of the holiday? What do you think about the variety of characters in anime, and the roles that dark-skinned ones occupy? Do you prefer the western representation over eastern ones? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

If You Could Rediscover Anime

Dog Days 3 Heroes
Seeing the Dog Days heroes back in action, really makes my day!

Do you remember your first anime?  Have you thought of the time when you found a series that captured your heart? If you could wipe your mind clean of anime, just to see it again for the first time, would you do it? Many people would answer yes in a heartbeat, but I think it's a question that you really have to think about. Would you really want to start over, or would you like to continue the way things are now?

For me, I don't think I would exactly chose to start over. I think the way I was introduced to anime was great, so the chances of that happening again are very slim. When I started anime, there was less control over what I could watch. Series such as Dragon Ball Z, Yugioh, Digimon, and even Sailor Moon were shown via TV and sold as video tapes, but it wasn't easy to find others outside of this list. Many were also edited and removed of many hints to Japanese culture or language.

As I got older, I found more anime and started watching ones in the Japanese language. I'm the type of person who likes both dubs and subs, so I don't really mind either, but it was a completely different experience watching in Japanese. I started with Naruto and later branched over to a series known as Vampire Knight, getting a taste of both Shonen and Shojo at the same time.

Suzuka Anime
Suzuka was a Funimation favorite of mine!

Funimation eventually became a TV channel, and most of my anime watching started to come from them. I would see anime when I was in bed, when I woke up, and when I was getting home from school. I had a constant intake of different genres on a daily basis and it was great. The series would also constantly change over time, with a few leaving the network and others being added. Not only did this get me used to anime, I got to experience watching a large amount of dubs, which made me more open-minded towards the whole dubs vs subs debate. 

Most importantly though, was the fact that a lot of anime related to things that were going on in my life. When I think about those old series that started my anime career, I picture fond memories that go along with each one. While those memories were not always good, they are precious memories that I can fortunately recall through a common medium. 

So I do not think I would like to rediscover anime again. We live in a different time now, even though it's just been a couple of years, anime is much easier to access in the western world now. In fact, you can pick and choose whatever anime you wish, as I mentioned in my article regarding our control of what we watch.

Still, I can understand why someone would want to start things over again. Perhaps reliving an old series again with no prior memory of the plot is an appealing offer. Others may want to make new memories of a series if something came along the way and ruined the one that they currently have. There's many reasons, more than I can think of.

Goku Spirit Bomb
Many anime fans have the memory of Dragon Ball Z and Goku's Spirit Bomb. Imagine if we lost that memory!

So while this is focused a lot on my thoughts, I would love to hear yours as well. If given the opportunity, would you give up your knowledge of anime and the memories you have associated with it, just to rediscover it in a different light and time? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Also, I would love to get input on posts like this. Instead of examining a topic, I thought it'd be nice to do a post on a question, and my response to the question. Not only is this a good idea to get my opinion out, you all can share your opinions as well. If you want to see more posts like these, again, let me know!

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Anime Lessons on Love

Lucky Star Valentines Day

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! As you may know, love is everywhere, especially in anime. With both romantic and non-romantic expressions of love in anime, we can learn quite a lot about the meaning of the word. So maybe if your day isn't going so great, or if you're upset over your relationship state, please keep reading as it just might cheer you up!

With that being said, let us continue! We've seen many different takes on love in anime. Love is sometimes used as power, and a way to conquer the evil outside and within. Other times love is the main focus of the anime as we watch the protagonist struggle to make a relationship work, or simply as an attempt find the right person. Lastly, we've seen stories that consist of a single or multiple conflict of struggle, void of romance to a certain extent, that still seem to work love in the picture, but not in the way we'd usually expect.

Now although these first two scenarios are somewhat easy to understand, a simple summary of them isn't enough. I'd like to take a look at each one, and then see how we can learn and apply the lessons in our lives right now.

Love Is Power

Heart Aino Arcana Heart
Heart Aino - Arcana Heart 1/2/3 Uses love as her main weapon.

Yes, at first this representation of love might seem a little silly. This is probably one of the most common forms in anime, and it's usually not taken that seriously when it comes to other fiction or real life. However, I believe that love is a powerful thing. Especially when it's in the hand of a protagonist. 

In anime, love is may be used as a weapon in various ways. Some characters have enough love in them to share with even the evilest of villains and touch their hearts. In some cases, you have characters that will actually fight you head to head with their love. In others, we see love build willpower that keeps anime characters fighting until the bitter end. Although these characters may be seen as weak, cheesy, or even girly, (if they are male.) their mentality usually helps them rise to the challenge no matter the obstacle, and we see them victorious in the end. 

So what about when it comes to our world and our lives? Although we may not be able to use love to manifest weapons and magic, love is a superpower that every human has. The ability to feel such a powerful emotion for another person is usually a sign that we are human. We do not necessarily need to have love for someone of the opposite gender, (or the same gender.) but a general love for people. The kind you would have for a friend or a family member. The kind that makes you feel like everything will be alright, and lastly, a love that will make you do anything to protect that person.

The Romance Genre

Sakura Trick Anime
Sakura Trick, a nice simple anime about romance that could be considered yuri. 

Like other works, there's a lot of anime that revolve completely around romance. I have to say there's something exciting about this type of series. Even if you're not interested at all in romance, it's fun to watch another person take the journey themselves.

Usually with these anime, there's a focus on the trials and complications that take place when there's a relationship at hand. Unlike a lot of other media, they sometimes give us insight on what happens after the partnership blossoms, instead of just giving us a cut off to a happy ending. While this may not always be an easy road, it's a bit more realistic and again interesting to see. Other times we see character development through a relationship, which may end well or end badly. The same applies to romance in real life.

What can we take away from this sort of story? Well, looking at the characters, along with learning more about themselves, they tend to learn more about other people as well. Romantic love is process that allows a person to grow and discover more about their true likes and dislikes, and what they find attractable in other people. This is usually the case even if the relationship doesn't turn out to be in their best interests.

I think the main lesson to take away from this genre, is that you have to be careful about the person you chose. Sometimes, you may think someone is nice and they are not. Other times, you may miss the person who cares the most about you, so it's always good to keep an open mind when it comes to relationships. Of course with that, we have to remember that we shouldn't give up ourselves when it comes to a relationship, else we may not be truly happy.

Thoughts on Valentine's Day

Anime Girl Valentines Day

Like I usually say, anime is packed full with lessons. Even when it comes to the topic of love. I would now just like to give a few of my thoughts on this holiday, in relation to anime and just love in general.

Unfortunately, today is a day when many people unhappy. They might feel lonely, they may not have anyone to call their Valentine, or they may have had a bad experience on this day. I think that's it's completely okay for someone to feel sad for those reasons, because the holiday is made out to be taken in such a way.

For me, I see Valentine's Day as more than a day where couples celebrate and romance flourishes, I see Valentine's Day as one where love should be shared with anyone, no matter what race or gender they may be. At first I didn't think that way, but thanks to anime I learned how powerful love is. I think it's power is heavily underestimated in compared to being tough, strong-hearted, and physically fit. 

Yet, many anime display love in such a different way from the norm, to the point where I started to think about love more. We have stories where love brings light to the darkness. Stories where love changes the hearts of villains, and ones where love is found in unexpected ways. There's anime that exist now, such as Dog Days as an example, where characters throw around "I Love You" without any sort of romantic meaning to the word. Dog Days has such a wonderful and colorful world, that it makes me wonder if people acted similar to the characters in that anime, would the world be a brighter and happier place?

All this thinking for me, started with anime, and it changed my thoughts on Valentine's Day. I went from completely not liking the holiday, to loving it. It's one of my favorites because I'm reminded of the wonderful people around me, and I get to openly express my love to them. Like most of my newly learned lessons, it all goes back to anime.

So what do you all think about Valentine's Day, love, romance in anime, or anything to do with this holiday? Let me know in the comments please!

Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What Makes An Anime Popular?

Asuna Sword Art Online

While there are many anime that exist in this world, very few reach the ultimate level of popularity. We have anime such as Dragon Ball Z, which is known and liked even by celebrities. Other newer examples include Sword Art Online and Attack on Titan. These anime are immensely popular, and have seemingly amassed their popularity out of nowhere. Examples like these then raise the question: what in the world makes an anime so popular?

Although there are many reasons, there is no clear cut answer, mostly due to the fact that anime is so immense. There's definitely a lot to consider when looking at animation, as its a project that consists of many different parts, each being very important. There's voice acting, graphic design, character design, and more. An anime's popularity could be made from any one of these important pieces of the final product. So instead, let's take a look at a few general similarities we can find in popular anime!

They Take Stereotypes and Twist Them

Naruto Shippuden

A good way to generate a large fanbase and following is to do something that no one else has done before. That does not necessarily mean you have to be completely unique, but it can be as simple as projecting an old stereotype in a new fashion. It's easy to repeat the same ideas over and over with little deviation from the norm, but it's hard to take a leap of faith on an idea that may or may not click with the audience.

I can think of three popular anime that actually do this, Naruto, One Piece, and Full Metal Alchemist. They all take three common roles in media, Ninjas, Pirates, and Alchemists, and take them to new heights. While I haven't experienced as much with the latter two, Naruto definitely brings a new twist on ninjas. Naruto Uzumaki himself is a character that goes against most of the ninja stereotypes; he's not someone who works in the shadows, he wears bright colors contrary to the typical black, and his moves are somewhat flashy. This makes the anime a lot more interesting, compared to the numerous ninja tales out there.

The stereotypes also do their part in attracting viewers. There are people who will simply watch the anime because they love the idea of ninjas, or they're into One Piece because they are a pirate fanatic. So they aren't necessarily all that bad, because they will attract an audience that loves the particular role the characters are in. 

Their Style Is Unique and Noticeable

Kill la Kill Ryuuko

There are many anime out there with characters that don the common school uniform. Even if they aren't in a traditional school system, the uniform has found it's home in various genres. When you bring into account an appearance for a character that's unique, it brings people who are not only attracted to the story, but those who appreciate the beauty of character design. This goes in hand with outfits, symbols, or other such things that become a representation of the anime. 

Kill la Kill is a good example of an anime with a unique style. The whole anime itself revolved around magical clothes and basically fashion in general. We don't see many series with talking clothes; so while it is weird, it is also interesting. Other notable mentions include Attack on Titan, with it's stylish but practical uniforms, which are highly sought after and frequently cosplayed. Fairy Tail can even fall under this category, not necessarily for fashion or character appearance, but for the tattoos that are used to represent their guilds. They've become a big symbol of the anime, to the point where anyone who sees one can pick up the reference.

Lastly, style is not limited to clothing. Animation style or art style can make an anime stand out from the crowd. Certain anime companies are more known for their unique way of doing anime, such as SHAFT. Others focus on designing characters a certain way, such as creating characters with bigger eyes or smaller lips, and specialize in whatever method they chose.

They Embody Realistic or Familiar Situations

Big Windup Baseball

Maybe getting stuck in a virtual world isn't that common of an experience for most people; but many people have the memory of playing video games. Even if an anime takes a plot and goes wild with it, it doesn't mean that the audience can't relate to it. Since anime is naturally based on the thoughts and ideas of real people, it's only natural that the plot is sometimes based on everyday events. People with military experience may relate to an anime based on similar combat. Others who have lived a normal school life might feel more drawn to a high school based anime. Then there's always the sports anime for those people who love that kind of thing. 

There's many popular anime that do this, but Sword Art Online is the first one I can think of. Although the plot of getting trapped in a virtual reality game is common, it's something that gamers can definitely relate to it. There are other anime like Kuroko no Basket, which can serve as an inspiration to the aspiring athlete.

So yes, people may say that anime is not real. That however, doesn't mean the lessons and situations in anime aren't real to the viewers. When it comes to almost anything, a good way to get someone motivated about something, is to find out what they like. If you can bring what they like into another form, such as anime or manga, you will surely grasp their attention.

Their Characters Are Fantastic

Angel Beats Girls

No, this does not necessarily mean that they have characters who have over the top and amazing character development; the cast may only have development where it counts. By this, I'm referencing series where we have a clear distinction between the main cast and the other supporting members, but each gets proper treatment and screen time. Not only is this great for the plot, it's even better for the audience. It creates those moments where anime fans can go wild about their favorites, even if they don't enjoy the leading roles that much. I think it is very hard to write a story where the focus isn't always on the protagonist and antagonist, so series that accomplish this also fall into that eccentricity that was mentioned above.

Almost every popular anime I can think of has a wide cast of colorful characters. Naruto delves into almost every character's back story, and at some points, the "villains" get more screen time than the actual heroes. From what I've heard, Bleach also is similar in this sense, giving minor characters important battle scenes and conflicts throughout the series. The list could go on, but this is a commonality between most well-known anime.

It would be great if we could say that the popularity of certain anime comes down to these four simple reasons, but it's not that easy. As I mentioned before, anime is something that is made up of many different parts. Every anime is unique no matter how similar it may be to another, so it's difficult to pinpoint a single cause of popularity. The most common reason I can see as of now is the uniqueness that an anime may embody.

Still, I want to hear your thoughts and opinions. How do you think certain anime become popular? Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Importance of Voice in Anime

Hatsune Miku Voice

What is it that makes an anime character so memorable? We know there's a lot of effort that goes into creating anime characters. A single character is somewhat like a project; an end goal is reached, but it is built up by many parts. There's the artists who construct the characters, and the writers who build their personality. Lastly, and maybe most important, are the voice actors who bring the character to life.

When we watch anime, we don't really think too much about what's going on. When we indulge ourselves in an anime we like, we tend to forget the different aspects that have brought the series together. That beautiful scenery that fills the background was created by someone. That battle music that sends chills down your spine was done by a composer. Every part of an anime has been done by another person.

Now imagine a character that you love moving around the screen, their mouth is moving but there's no sound that follows. If you're watching with subtitles you can see the words they're saying, but they are somewhat mere words on a screen which isn't as appealing. Wouldn't anime feel weird if we had to watch it in such a way?

Now there are different forms of media where a voice isn't as meaningful. In some visual novels, many characters don't necessarily have a voice. In manga, we experience a similar situation. In a normal novel, we are basically forced to create everything with our minds, instead of given a clear picture. That seems somewhat easy right?

Imagine how different K-ON would be if no one had a voice!
Yet for some people, it's hard for them to form a picture of what's going on without them having it in front of them. This can make reading a little boring, visual novels can seem empty, and manga can seem lesser than an anime. The key similarity between all these three is not that they don't have sound, as visual novels usually have background music and effects, but the fact that there is no voice that is predetermined for the viewer.

For this very reason, I think many people tend to gravitate towards anime over these other mediums. Of course there's other reasons, but I feel that voice has some importance over them. Although  this doesn't mean every voice is a good fit. There comes a time when we can classify voices for characters as good and bad. So in a way, the role of a voice actor is very powerful, yet somewhat dangerous.

Almost everyone has heard bad voice acting, and really good voice acting. When we hear a character with a voice we find "bad" or "annoying" we sometimes can belittle the character and not take them seriously, even to the extent of ignoring the content of their words. On the other hand, we can have characters that aren't very important, but simply attract fans due to their "cool" voice. That silly sounding character may be indeed very serious, and that cool one may be the craziest of them all.

For examples such as these, a voice actor can make or break a character. Not just with good or bad voice acting, but the voice actor themselves also have their reputation and name behind the character. For famous voice actors, certain people will simply watch an anime because they are apart of it. Even though they have nothing to do with the anime, they can build the fanbase or drive away the fanbase. Although it seems like an simple job to voice a character, there's a lot that can go wrong...but also a lot that can go right.

Anime Girl Microphone

So in summary, I feel voice plays a big role in anime. Voice helps shapes a character and lets us connect with them more, but bad acting can drive us away from the character and the anime. I think voice is something that brings more people towards anime than other forms of Japanese media. The fact that anime character are colorful, vast in personality, and voiced by real people, makes them come alive and feel more real than other members of fiction.

With this, I feel voice is important in anime, or even one of the most important things to consider when it comes to a character and their creation.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Dog Days Season 3: Initial Overview

Dog Days Rebecca and Nanami

Dog Days is a magical anime with a world full of kingdoms, epic battles, and a wide cast of characters with animal traits and accessories. I've been following Dog Days for a while now since season one released, and I absolutely love it. Now that I've seen the adventures of Cinque Izumi in the first edition of Dog Days, and the inclusion of two other heroes in season two, what else is there for this new series of the anime? Let's find out!

As a heads up, this post will try to avoid any spoilers for those who haven't seen season one or two. The only things that I might mention are the characters that were introduced. So if you're someone who is looking for a new anime to try out, or just a curious soul who stumbled around and found yourself here, please keep reading as you might actually like this anime!

"If you've seen the other seasons of Dog Days, you can skip this tidbit!"

Dog Days Heroes Heroine Princesses
The Heroes/Heroines and Princesses. From Left to Right: Leo, Millhi, Cinque, Rebecca, Cou, and Nazumi.

With all that clear, let's delve into Dog Days with a quick look at the realm. The series takes place at a setting where anime characters with animal accessories do battle against each other for the sake of fun. Starting with the first season, we have simply two main kingdoms, one is known as Biscotti Republic. Biscotti could be summarized as the kingdom of the dogs, and is known for it's beautiful princess by the name Millhiore. Voiced by Horie Yui.

The other kingdom consists of cats, along with a few other stray animals such as rabbits. The kingdom is called the Galette Lion Territory. The princess is called Leonmitchelli, and is mostly referred to as Leo in the anime. Although she is older than Millhiore, she acts more like a younger sister to the dog princess. Voiced by Koshimizu Ami. There is also a prince who is younger than Leo, by the name of Gaul. Voiced by Kakihara Tetsuya.

Lastly, during the second season of Dog Days, squirrels were introduced into the mix of animals. Their kingdom is known as Principality of Pastillage. Couvert is the princess, but she's currently in-training to learn what it takes to be a ruler. She is commonly referred to as Cou throughout the anime. Voiced by Yuuki Aoi.

These three kingdom do battle with each other for fun and glory, but the special trait of their combat is that no one is fatally harmed. The battles are decided by destroying the weapons or armor of the opponent, which forces them to surrender. Other warriors are simple reverted into the cute chibi animal-like forms after their defeat. 

Although the kingdoms were doing great on their own, Biscotti was having trouble in their battles against Galette. In order to even the odds, they requested the help of a hero. That hero turned out to be Cinque Izumi, (Voiced by Miyano Mamoru) a young boy summoned from his world to their's. Although his arrival was quick and unexpected he quickly joined the battle and proved to be a massive help with his new-found powers and weapons. He tends to rely on a staff to fight, along with fire magic. 

Later, the others wish to have their own heroes as well. So Cinque's cousin Nanami (Voiced by Mizuki Nana) arrives in order to serve the role as Galette's hero. His best friend Rebecca (Voiced by Takahashi Mikako) also makes her way there as well and is quickly made the hero of Pastillage. Nanami being physically fit and athletic fits in quite well and becomes a master of a boomerang, as well as water magic. Rebecca on the other hand isn't too great at such things, so she becomes master of magic and fights similarly to a wizard or witch. The three battle it out in the war games and the audience is treated to a good amount of exciting fights.

Season 3: Quick Look 

Dog Days Season 3 Sharu
Sharu, the Dragon Priestess. Voiced by Uesaka Sumire.

So let's move on the season three shall we? This season starts with the three heroes again, similar to the last. Only this time, something goes wrong with the summoning. While Rebecca makes her way to her respective kingdom safely, Cinque and Nanami aren't too lucky. They get sent to a jungle far away from the other kingdoms. 

Unfortunately their rings which give them the power to transform into heroes were in their luggage, which was misplaced upon their arrival. So for the first part of episode one, the heroes are forced to fend for their lives against the seemingly wild conditions of the jungle habitat. We see a good amount of animals and creatures that are unusual for our world, such as dinosaur like creatures (which are described as dragons?) and giant carnivorous plants. 

The kingdoms realize something is wrong when the two haven't arrived and send out search parties in order to find them. Meanwhile the two encounter a girl by the name of Sharu. She is skilled with a bow and at first she doesn't believe that Cinque and Nanami are really heroes. When they find their bags and transform, she is then proved wrong. Later she explains to them that she is a Dragon Priestess. Her goal is to maintain balance of Flonyard's environment, which is the area where they reside. 

As of now she's been trying to stop the demons from attacking the innocent wildlife and dragons, but it's a hard job for her on her own. After a bit of downtime between the action, the other characters appear and the second episode ends with a large amount of demons appearing, ready for battle.

Season 3: Thoughts

Dog Days Ricotta
Ricotta enjoys this anime, and so do I!

So for my thoughts on this season so far, I really enjoy it. The animation seems a little different compared to the other ones, but I don't have any complaints with it. I like how the new season gives the audience a fake expression of a repetitive story, but quickly changes things up. It also answered my questions of how a third season would be different from the others and it's very pleasing to watch as of now. 

I also like how this season is focusing more on the whole world that the kingdoms reside. We were never given a big global look of the world, but mostly just the interactions between the three major areas that existed near each other. I hope this season gives us the opportunity to learn more about the Dog Days world. 

Another thing that is pretty cool is the fact that character development seems to have carried over into the next part of the story. There are many anime where a character will develop, their personality will improve, and they'll become more likable, and the next season will work to ruin that. So far one of my favorite characters, Eclair, hasn't become a victim to that gimmick. I hope things continue the way they are going now. Please check out my post on the tsundere Eclair, and her amazing character development.

Lastly, it's nice to see everyone working together on the same side instead of being in opposition. It makes me wonder how powerful the new oncoming foes will be in order to stand against three heroes together, and it makes me wonder how far the extent of their powers will grow. I would also like to see even more characters introduced to the already wonderful and colorful cast. Even if we don't get any more than Sharu, it would be nice to see a few lesser characters have more involvement in the story as well. 

With that said, I'm really liking this season of Dog Days, and I think it's done very well so far. I encourage anyone reading this post to check Dog Days 3 out, and if you haven't see the prequels, definitely take this time to watch them!

As always, thank you all for reading and continue to love anime! Let me know what you think of the new anime so far, and tell me which ones you are watching now!