"This is a tale of heroes and princesses, of ears and tails, of hopes and dreams!"
The Republic of Biscotti and the Kingdom of Galette are at war, a literal battle of cats and dogs. Biscotti needs to tip the odds in their favor, and so they decide to summon a hero. That hero turns out to be 13-year-old Japanese-Britishmiddle-school student Cinque Izumi. While trying to cut class and practice for an upcoming athletic meet, Cinque ends up somersaulting into a magic portal that takes him to the magical land of Flonyard, where he is the hero. Now he has to learn to be one.Oh, and don't worry. It turns out that battles on Flonyard are completelynonlethal. The worst that generally happens is a loss of clothing, or getting turned into a cute little bouncing ball of fluff if you're actually wounded. In fact, war to them is literally more of an intense sporting competition, something that a kid like Cinque excels at.Dog Days is an Anime First series by Seven Arcs, better known for their work on the Lyrical Nanoha series, which first debuted as part of the Spring 2011 Anime lineup.The season was followed exactly a year later by Dog Days' (Dash). Cinque returns to Flonyard, this time bringing Rebecca Anderson, his only contact to Earth throughout the first season, and Nanami Takatsuki, his cousin (who was summoned by Galette). A complication arises when the Duchy of Pastillage (squirrel-people, if you must know) decides to turn the Biscotti-Galette war games into a three-way tussle, taking Rebecca as their own Heroine.A third season titled Dog Days'' (Double Dash) has been scheduled for the Winter 2015.American viewers may legally watch both seasons on Crunchyroll.Not to be confused with the Kane and Lynch sequel. Or with Dog Day Afternoon.
Tropes in Dog Days include:
100% Adoration Rating: All the leaders in the show are both loved and adored, not only by citizens of their own kingdoms, but by the entire country.
Abdicate the Throne: Leonmitchelli originally planned on abdicating in favor of Gaul once he comes of age. However, due to a prophecy of Millhiore's death, she decided to stay a little longer and launch an attack on Biscotti. Should they win, she would finally step down and take the two sacred swords somewhere secluded and hope the prophesied date will pass without incident.
Affably Evil: The Demon King. He's more of a pervert who uses his powers to peep on baths and lift skirts than an actual villain.
Aloof Big Sister: Throughout Season 1 Leonmitchelli, once Millhiore's Cool Big Sis, suddenly became this by the time Cinque is summoned. Subverted come Dash, when she has no longer any reason to put up a Jerkass Façade and simply enjoy the war games.
Affectionate Parody: Of various fantasy tropes. The two kingdoms at war? They're playing a sports competition. Summoning a hero from another world? A valid special action in the aforementioned sports competition. Kidnap the princess? She gets a nice room where she can watch the resulting battle on a viewing screen, and maybe catch up with some old friends. The prophecy of doom? Bluntly states nothing can stop it — not that it stopped Leonmitchelli, Cinque and Millhiore from subverting it, though.
The princess sings for her subjects? Not unusual, fantasy princesses sing all the time. But the princess is an Idol Singer (and later Badass Princess)? That's... different.
Season 1 Episode 5, during Eclair's description of Brioche before the attack on Fort Mion in Yukikaze's hot springs.
Season 1 Episode 11, during Millhiore's concert.
Also in Season 2 Episode 2, when Becky transforms into the Heroine of Pastillage — complete with a mecha-witch-broom and a creepily fanserviced Transformation Sequence.
Ascended Extra: Rebecca, Cinque's only contact in Earth for the first season, and his cousin Nanami, a Last Episode New Character, gain much bigger roles come Dash, once they enter Flonyard and are drafted as the Heroines of Pastillage and Galette, respectively.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In episode 6 of season 2, Couvert tells Cinque a little about the demon king, Valerio Calvados, and some of the evil things he's done. When the demon king is accidentally released moments later, the first thing he does is steal some power from Cinque and Couvert. He then immediately goes off to peep at some of the female characters in the bathhouse.
Awesome, but Impractical: Seal Cannons. They're great crowd-clearers, but they tire the user out afterwards, and more skilled opponents can deflect them with their shields and armor.
Badass Adorable: So many to choose from in a world where war is a light-hearted affair. All three Heroes — Cinque, Becky and Nanami — certainly count. On Flonyard's side we've got Millhiore, Eclair, Noir, Vert, Jaune, Couvert and even Adelaide.
Beam-O-War: In season 2, Cinque and Nanami firing competing seal cannon beams at one another.
Subverted twice in season 2. Becky and Millefiore fire at one another and the attacks go right through each other and strike home. And the same thing happens when Couverte and Leo fire at one another, though the result isn't the same.
Beware the Nice Ones: Adelaide is very sweet, but she has a vicious streak a mile wide (at least when it comes to Valerio).
Beware the Silly Ones: Calvados is powerful enough to be threatening, but would much rather peep at girls in the bath or throw up their skirts with wind.
BFS: Brioche uses a rather exaggerated one against Nanami in episode 10 of season 2. Nanami's Oh, Crap look is quite appropriate for it.
Brick Joke/Hypocritical Humor: When Valerio appear nude after being unleashed, Cinque cover Couvert's eyes and she said she can't see anything. When Adel is unleashed and is nude as well, Nanami cover Cinque's eyes and he said he couldn't see anything.
Bullet Catch: Valerio does this in episode 6 of season 2 when he's caught peeping on some women changing and they attempt to shoot him.
Cerebus Syndrome: Episode 9 really hammers it in. Ultimately subverted when the show returns to its light-hearted mood on Episode 11.
See also S2 E06, Where an ancient Demon Lord is accidentally awoken Nope, subverted again when he turns out to be a huge pervert.
Child Prodigy: Ricotta invented a machine that allows long-range communication when she was five years old. And it's being used all over the world.
Clothing Damage: In an intense event, it's bound to happen. Leonmichelle, ending up in beach-wear, takes it in stride. Not so much with Eclair, who ends with nothing but her panties.
Though it does seem to happen more to important characters than to nameless ones.
It may be part of the protection magic. High-ranking fighters lose their clothes. Everyone else turns into a furball. A pretty blatant example of this happens in episode 9 of the first season. Vert Far Breton shoots a magical arrow which hits Ricotta while she's flying above them. Ricotta loses all of her clothes except her panties, and then a magical spear hurled at Vert's troops knocks them all out, but only strips her armor/clothing off.
Color Failure: Cinque suffers from one in episode 3 of the first season after Eclair reads the tiny fine print with the summoning circle. She reads the warning that if you jump into the summoning circle, you can't go back to your homeworld. Cinque immediately lashes out at her, since he wouldn't have been able to read that in the first place, and the seal kind of appeared under him while he was landing back on Earth.
Debut Queue: Both Nanami and Rebecca get an episode early in season 2 to showcase their various talents and abilities.
Defeat by Modesty: Double-subverted — after a Cinque/Eclair combo blows off her outer clothing, Leonmichelle simply shrugs it off. Given the nature of the war games, this may have happened to her before. She still however surrenders, but not out of any embarrassment on her part.
Played straight during the first episode of season 2 with Genoise.
Double-Subverted again with Nanami, who gets stripped to her underwear (more like a swimsuit, really). She decides "This much is okay" and keeps going, Later, after even that gets blown off, she's had enough.
Enemy Mine: When Pastillage gatecrashes the war in Season 2, as the start of a three-way battle royale Biscotti and Gallete cheerfully team up to fight off the squirrels together.
Evolving Credits: Those people with their faces obscured in one way or another in the Season 2 opening and ending credits? Yeah, you'll see 'em clearly once they appear in the show proper.
Notably, the star that appears in Dash's opening is eventually shown to be another character's Wingding Eyes.
Eye Poke: Adelaide does this to Valerio in episode 7 of season 2 to prevent him from looking when various female characters return to their normal state after having their power stolen and turned into young girls.
Fountain of Youth/Overnight Age-Up: Both occur in Season 2 Episode 7. The former is actually a malevolent effect caused by a demon, while the latter occurs when Cinque and Gaul use Adelaide's Hero Stones.
Ham-to-Ham Combat: Invoked occasionally when some of the main characters talk while in combat, usually Cinque and whoever he's facing off with at the time.
Harem Genre: Briefly teased in S2 E03, showcasing Cinque's relationship with Flonyard's resident, where almost all the girls showing affection to him to various degree. Becky then ask him which one he likes the most... forcibly, much to his horror.
Subtlety was thrown out of window in the very episode after that....
Hero of Another Story: Brioche and Yukikaze are samurai/ninja hunters of "abominations" — monsters and demons — such that Fronaldo barely hears of them; they also do not talk about what they do.
Yukikaze is also a minor deity. Brioche is "mortal but lives longer than others" for undisclosed reasons as revealed in episode 12.
Highly-Visible Ninja: Played with. The Galette infiltration team make a big, firework-accompanied entrance in garish outfits... but only after they've completed their mission and are ready to declare an official battle.
Same goes for Brioche and Yukikaze, who try to introduce themselves after their attacks.
Dash is also considered to be Lighter and Softer in comparison to the first season as well. Why? Because in the first season there was the possibility of death especially with the prophesy and the monster. Here? It is mainly focused completely on the competitions.
Little Bit Beastly: The denizens of Biscotti and Galette, and presumably most of Flonyard.
Loophole Abuse: In episode 9 of the first season, Millefiore tells Cinque and Eclair that she wants to go up to meet Leo alone via elevator. Later, Cinque finds a way to climb the tower on the side, and states the princess never said they couldn't go up the wall.
Magitek: In keeping with the show's Final Fantasy-esque setting. May also border on Schizo Tech, as video phones, giant floating televisions, and elevators exist in Flonyard but completely mechanical transportation does not.
In Season 2, Adelaide has an item that can start a video chat with the other Heroes.
Cinque gives several items to various people in Flonyard as keepsakes, amongst which are his wristband to Eclair, a cellphone charm to Yukikaze, a four-color ballpen and portable speakers to Ricotta, and his pocket watch and note to Millhiore.
Cinque regains his memories of Flonyard when Millhiore sends Tatsumaki to give Palladion to Cinque.
At the end of Dash, Cinque, Becky and Nanami are given keepsakes of their time in Flonyard, as a way for them to return: Nanami's war games trophy, Becky's crystal pendant, and Cinque's alarm clock.
Apparently Millefiore was unaware that summoning heroes was a one way trip for them, which is something Ricotta said she should have known being the princess.
Couvert causes Cinque to inadvertently release Valerio Calvados, the demon king, in episode 6 of season 2. Fortunately they also release the Hero King, Adelaide, to whom the demon king is a Butt Monkey to, and promptly reins him in.
This only applies to the battlefields, towns, and basically any civilized land. You can still die if you're attacked by monsters in the wilderness or roads. Cinque himself can still get badly hurt, since he cannot change into an animal ball, but he does fine since he's Made of Iron. He has yet to be sufficiently injured anyway.
This can also change depending on local conditions, such as the presence of an evil entity.
Official Couple: Subverted. Episode 13 of Season 1 seemed like it was setting Millefiore and Cinque to be this, but Cinque's use of 'Daisuki' (which implies great affection that is not neccesarily romantic) in response to Millefiore's confession cast some ambiguity onto it. Come Dash!, and it's confirmed that the series's romance isn't anywhere near resolved, with Cinque getting metric tons of Ship Tease with most of the girls in the cast once again.
OT3: The end of Episode 13 of Season 2 pretty much reaffirms what happened between Cinque and Millefiore last time, had a similar scene between him and Rebecca. Of course given that season in relation with season one, Eclair may get her shot in season 3...
Offscreen Moment of Awesome: At the end of Episode 10 in Dash Adelaide joins the battle...and all we know when the next episode starts is that Pastillage is now ahead in points.
Oh, Crap: Rico, just before Rebecca and Couvert blow the crap out of her artillery unit.
Calloway while Cinque and Nanami are closing in on him up in the air.
Cinque and Nanami just before Becky's bombs hit.
Valerio Calvados, just before Adelaide crunches him with a building-sized morning star.
The rogue landgod catgirl when her telekinetic attack against Cinque bounced
Rico and Couverte just after Rebecca and Millefiore fire finishing moves at each other, resulting in a monumental explosion.
Godwin, seeing who his next challengers are in the arm wrestling competition.
Older Than They Look: While preparing to seal the possessed sword in Episode 11, Yukikaze mentions that she and Brioche have been doing this sort of work for a hundred years. That would explain their dated language ("sessha", "de gozaru"...)
On the other hand, in Dash it's revealed that for most of her life she was kid-sized. She was a childhood playmate with Millefiore, Ricotta and Eclair, and only decided to grow up when they began to grow up.
One-Man Army: Most of the generals, but special mention goes to Brioche, who managed to make it up to the enemy general by herself.
Starting to be reversed, as Millefiore started calling Cinque by his name at his request. Gaul and Jaune also start referring to him by his actual name in episode 7. One of the commentators uses his name in episode 9. Yukikaze sort of used his actual name in episode 11.
Paper-Thin Disguise: Adelaide simply wears a eye mask and scarf when she participates in the Union Fest in episode 10 of season 2. Several of the characters notice its obviously her, but they play along and call her "Hero mask" instead. A few scenes later, she doesn't even bother with the disguise any longer, although she probably wasn't fooling anyone by that point anyway.
People Puppets: The main power of the young cat-god that appears in Episode 8 of Season 2, which she uses to great effect.
Poor Communication Kills: Non-lethal but still... Leonmitchelli could have simply told Millefiore, who still trusts her despite both belonging to warring nations, of her vision of the latter's impending death; as such, they could settle for a peaceful weapons exchange while letting the appointed time pass by without incident.
Subverted. It's mentioned that if she tried to tell Millefiore it would actually make things worse.
The Promise: Cinque makes promises to several characters before he heads back to Earth in episode 12 and 13 of the first season that he would return. He also leaves items for them as a way to remember him by. Later, Rico finds out that he can in fact return to Flonyard if a couple of conditions are met, such as having made the promise to at least three people besides the summoner, and leaving them items, preferably from the lands the hero originated from.
Read the Fine Print: The portal Cinque accidentally jumps into has fine print around the edges stating that anyone who enters becomes The Hero and understands that return travel may not be possible. Defied for it was in dog script coupled with the fact that he was falling.
Red Oni, Blue Oni: Eclair is red to Cinque's blue. While Cinque sometimes shows signs of being a red, Eclair almost always tops him seconds later.
Nanami form an even better dynamic with Shinku, has similar skillset and attitude, yet contrasting color and elements as well as attitude toward fanservice.
Schizo Tech: As Dash goes on, the tech level becomes more and more confusing, especially in Pastillage. Kind of reaches the limit with gigantic cruise liners in ep 12 of Dash, apparently made with steel hulls and no signs of sails or masts. But they also have video phones, and the seals on the hero tomb (ep 6), the demon cave (ep 7), and the vault (ep 12) seem to be computerized.
Screw Destiny: Leonmitchelli's ultimate goal is to avert Millefiore and Cinque's death. Turns out she needn't go through all the trouble: both took care of themselves just fine.
Actually, the final scene seen in the anime is actually an already twisted version of Millefiore's death. In the original prophesy, Millefiore was supposed to die alone. Later on, the prophesy became Millefiore and Cinque dead. Near the end, the prophesy became Millefiore dead while Leonmitchelli cried over her bloodied corpse (Cinque lives, progress?). FINALLY, the prophesy manifested with Millefiore near-dead but magically swallowed by a demon. Ultimately, its suggested that all of Leonmitchelli's interference DID pay off since Cinque ends up saving Millefiore in the end and he would never have been summoned in the first place if Leonmitchelli hadn't pushed Millefiore to do so with her extremely aggressive wars.
Milhi's armor in episode 9 looks a lot like Saber's armor.
At the end of the 13th synopsis video, Cinque quotes a lyric from PHANTOM MINDS.
Episode 3 of the second season has references to Bullet Hell games, along with one character turning into a witch and another firing a beam with the name Garnet Spark. Much like the Cute WitchMarisa Kirisame's Master Spark.
Cinque's activation of the Hero Crystal by screaming HENSHIN is already bad enough... and then he starts referring to his Older Alter Ego as "Hero Time" Cinque...
Leonmitchelli's armor is essentially Subaru's armor, only with a midriff-baring bustier and a black cape.
The Japanese Blu-ray discs have English subtitles and even they don't stay consistent. Eclair's big brother is sometimes Loran and sometimes Rolan, for instance. However, the BD is consistent in using "Millefiore".
Leonmichelle or Leonmitchelli?
Pastillage's princess should be logically called "Couvert" (see Edible Theme Naming above), but subtitles call her "Couverte" or "Couvre". She was also called "Kübel".
Spoiler Opening: As the opening of the second season reveals, Becky, personally brought by Cinque with him upon his return to Millhiore and Biscotti, ends up representing Couvert and Pastillage with a Magical Girl setup.
Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Invoked by Millhiore and Leomitchelli in episode 5 of season 2. When Nanami, Jaune, and Vert are investigating rumors of highwaymen robbing people in the town of Ayase, they manage to knock out several of the bandits. Their boss then attempts to make a break for it out of town, only to have the two princesses show up and defeat the boss. They make a spectacle of it as well, literally including a spotlight, fog, and some confetti when they take it down. Nanami later laments that she wasn't able to do anything heroic at all that episode.
Statuesque Stunner: Brioche is very tall compared to any other female in the cast roster, though many of the adult males are still taller than her.
Stealth Pun: Pastillage is full of squirrel people and specializes in aerial troops. Thus, this is a nation of flying squirrels.
War for Fun and Profit: Quite literally, the prize money one gets for successfully participating is enough to make a decent living out of it and, of course, the whole thing is more of an elaborated sports event anyway.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Leonmichelle's harsh, militaristic international policy is part of a gambit to avert the prophesied death of her childhood friend Milhiore, as well as her Hero, Cinque.
What the Hell, Hero?: Eclair gets called out on this when she makes Rico cry in episode 10 of Season 2, after the latter tells the former that she's holding back her feelings for Cinque, but refuses to talk to anyone about it.
White and Grey Morality: In any other show, warmongering Galette would be pretty clearly evil, but given that "warmongering", in this case, means "healthily appreciative of sporting activities", we've just got a bunch of friendly, polite Worthy Opponents instead.
Wistful Amnesia: Cinque regains his memories of Flonyard after receiving Palladion from Tatsumaki.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: The hero-killing demon is actually a cursed earth spirit, stabbed with an evil sword twice the size of his body, forced to eat his mother and kill everything around him, and in terrible pain to the point of wishing, at the time of the show, for nothing more or less than the peace of death.
The Worf Effect: Brioche, Adelaide and Valerio get their life force drained and are reduced to little kids in episode 7 of season 2.
Before that, Becky beats the two highly-skilled human heroes effortlessly in a battle, despite them teaming up on her. Granted, she was in the air and had ranged attacks, But neither of the two were helpless against air opponents if they used certain moves...which they did not.
World of Badass: These people love war so much they turned it into a sport!
In ep 12, Roland explains that the wars also serve as live-ammo training for the knights and the militia, who occasionally have to go out and fight for real against monsters and demons.
You Can't Go Home Again: Cinque learns in episode 2 that, as a Hero, he can't return home, much less communicate with family and friends. This is why it isn't done very often. Although the communicate bit is subverted in episode 3, since Ricotta builds a machine that allows him to call Rebecca.
And as the series goes on, Ricotta also finds a way for him to return, but with conditions. He will forget all memories and experiences of his time in Fronaldo, and he'll never be able to come back. Oh, and he can't bring anything either.