Dog Days is a 13 episode anime produced by Aniplex and Seven Arcs, and aired during the Spring 2011 season. As you can probably guess from the title, Dog Days is an anime that involves dogs, but they’re not your ordinary dogs. The story is about a boy named Cinque who is dragged into the kingdom of Biscotti in the magical world of Fronyaldo. He was summoned by Princess Millhiore in order to act as the kingdom’s saviour in a war against the neighbouring kingdom of Galette. After his arrival, however, Cinque notices something strange: all of the citizens of Biscotti have dog ears and tails.
Indeed, the main selling point of this anime is that all of the characters (minus Cinque) are anthropomorphic. While the Biscotti people are all dogs, the Galette people are all cats. There are also a few other animals thrown into the mix such as a fox and rabbit. Anyone who loves human-animal hybrids in anime will certainly love the characters in Dog Days.
The plot is rather simple. Cinque turns from a normal school kid into a hero by appearing in another world. There, he fights the kingdom’s enemies and rescues damsels in distress; regular hero stuff. What’s interesting about this story is that no one actually dies during a war. According to the rules of engagement, killing is prohibited and medical attention must be provided to those who need it. A war in Fronyaldo is essentially a big competition rather than a war, which takes out some of the excitement from the anime.
In addition to lacking any bloodshed, there is also a lack of a real antagonist, a basic element to any story. Enemies regularly speak with each other as if they were old friends, and even play jokes every now and then. Just as much time was spent on Cinque getting close with the ladies as going off to fight in wars, making the anime seem more like a part of the harem genre rather than action.
None of the characters, except perhaps Leo, the princess of Galette, has any sort of depth to them. Cinque is a happy-go-lucky guy that fights because it’s fun, Millhiore is the stereotypical mother hen that worries about everyone, Eclair of the imperial knights is a run of the mill tsundere, and Rico of the research academy is just there to churn out new inventions. At least in Leo’s case, she has to worry about saving Millhiore without her finding out the truth, win a war, and keep her kingdom running smoothly.
The animation style is vibrant with the use of bright colours during magical attacks and for the characters themselves. The quality of the animation was also a step above average. Battle scenes presented some wonderful action poses, and Millhiore’s concerts were a visual treat. In the end, the only thing Dog Days has going for it are cute anthropomorphic girls that have some canine and feline tendencies, and good animation. The story is weak and the characters fail to leave a strong impression. Unless you really like dog and cat girls, then I would not recommend this anime.