Da Capo II Second Season is the follow on from Da Capo II, 13 more episodes of this romance anime, with themes of magic and the supernatural in the usual SoL high school setting. Once again, I disclose my personal dislike for harem, ecchi, fake romance that goes nowhere, etc. Though the first season had zero actual harems involved, this seems to continue that. Season 1 was just setting the scene, the real story is here thankfully. And boy what a plot, all those questions you might have, expect some answers from this season. In addition to a more serious story, it’s capable of some serious feels. Of course, even though the first season isn’t all that great, it must be watched before one watches this second season. And if you haven’t read my review of that first season, I suggest you do here, since I’ll refer to things I said there.
While this second season, made in 2008, no doubt continues with the recognisable aesthetics of the Da Capo anime series, the animation quality was actually a bit better. I got this in 720p and it’s not always clear, the scenery seems to be a bit blurry. But the improvement in visual fidelity is noticeable with the characters, the lines are much more clearly defined and the colours are bright, vibrant and unblemished. The HD quality does wonders here. It got me wondering why the first season didn’t look as good, when it was made just a year earlier. Perhaps 2008 was the big turning point where anime quality starts to take a turn for the better in general (though some 2008 anime I’ve watched and reviewed still lack good quality, even the ‘HD’ versions)? The bad news was that about halfway through, the quality of mine dropped to 480p as the original source was changed. The difference was as clear as night and day. Watch it in HD!
For more details please refer to my review of season 1.
The intro music was rather pleasant, I liked it. And the outro was also beautiful too. Throughout the anime I noticed a hint of nostalgia s they use the same sort of music from the original Da Capo, while also incorporating high quality instrumentals like some wonderful guitar strumming. For all the rest, including voice actors, please refer to the season 1 review.
A few minor things I noticed that might have changed from season one, or I never noticed them. The Asakura sisters don’t actually seem to live with Yoshiyuki. Or anymore at least, they also have their grandfather Junichi Asakura living with them. You heard that right, Junichi who was the main protagonist of the first Da Capo, returns here as an old man looking after his grandkids. And boy what a character, he tries telling the stories of the weird things that happened in his old days and his grandchildren dismiss the likes of the magic cherry tree as the ramblings of an old man. Junichi is quite a strong character here, since Nemu is presumably dead (from old age), he values the happiness of his grandchildren the most.
Suginami is mischievous and crafty, with dodgy motives behind his behaviour. There’s some reshuffling of characters, for a start, there’s no more Minatsu Amakase, her story ended in the first season. Koko Tsukimiya isn’t as much of an important character this time around and Anju is promoted to a more main character, as are the Asakura sisters. Of course, we get no info on the parents of these characters, not even the parents of the Asakura sisters.
We get more about Anzu Yukimura here. She’s a smart girl, who has excellent memory and can remember things after reading them once (heard of that one before). Thus she gets good grades and is good at games like poker, where she can remember people’s hands. She was abandoned by her parents at a very young age and was raised by a kind old woman, grandma Yukimura. Unfortunately, grandma died a few years back and now Anzu is living on her own in a large house. Most of this is newly revealed here, no clues to it in season 1, where it would have made more sense, what with introducing the character and all.
Since there’s isn’t much else new to write about here, I’ll ramble about one small detail that seems to convenient and could possibly go as a plot hole. The Asakura sisters are definitely Junichi’s descendants and Junichi is their grandfather on their father’s side. Since Junichi’s son would retain the family name when he got married, he’d also pass the Asakura name down to his daughters. That makes sense. But the descendants of Kotori Shirakawa and the Mizukoshi sisters, Nanaka and Maika respectively, retain the surnames. As I mentioned in the previous review, it’s traditional in Japan and the rest of the world for the wife and children to take the husbands family name. If those characters from the original DC had kids, surely their kids would have inherited the father’s name to pass down to these characters. The only other explanations are these characters being related to those original characters and not being their direct descendants, instead being direct descendants of male individuals of those respective families. That or the characters from Da Capo were single parents/had divorces for their descendants to retain their family name. And the next generation along were guys in order to pass down the family name or were single mothers. It’s fairly likely if one considers most anime, where single mothers seem to be the norm, then of course there’s the issue that those original characters had feeling for Junichi. Could Junichi have gone around impregnating those girls way back when? Considering my cynicism, I feel like Koko Tsukimiya could be a descendent of Miharu Amakase, if either Miharu’s husband or son-in-law (Koko’s father) had the Tsukimiya surname. At least that’s more legit than the direct reference characters. It’s obvious I’m nit-picking at this, but even small details like this are enough to break the immersion and mess up the nice fan-service (not the ecchi kind) they set up by referring to the original Da Capo. Feel free to ignore this last paragraph if you want.
Please refer to the season 1 review for more info.
While DCII told the story of the failed relationship between Yoshiyuki and Koko, as well as the whole android debate with Minatsu Mizukoshi, we didn’t get much of an explanation of the important things like Yoshiyuki and how he is related to Sakura Yoshino, who his parents were, etc. It all comes together here. The intro and outro provide a lot of the initial plot surprisingly. The intro is the reminder that Yoshiyuki doesn’t live with the Asakura sisters and is instead living with Sakura. The outro shows a bit of backstory, little Yoshiyuki meets Sakura under the undying cherry tree, he is taken home and meets the Asakura sisters who he gets very close with. We learn quite a bit of the backstory of these characters, the surprising thing is that Junichi was around when these characters were kids and Yoshiyuki is thusly well acquainted with him.
Of course there’s a lot of overall plot going on. It starts off a bit slow, but the undying cherry tree becomes an important factor once more. This season is less of a romance and more of a supernatural drama. There are an increasing number of disastrous events and accidents on Hatsunejima, with unknown causes behind them. Houses crumbing for no reason, newly installed pipes breaking, the sound of sirens in the air becomes fairly common place. There’s something going on and Sakura knows it, she often mentions that these are happy days but they won’t last. What could she mean? The romance is thrown out of the window in favour of a more serious story, one with lasting effects and a capability to invoke emotion in the viewer.
Considering the plot of the original Da Capo, the plot here is much more rich and in-depth. Perhaps that’s because it has the events and things of the original Da Capo at its disposal. The story takes an unexpected turn and developments are unpredictable, despite the many clues left in the earlier episodes. The foreshadowing is strong in this one and that plot mechanic is well used here. Except there wasn’t that much foreshadowing in season 1. Where were all the accidents back then, cos I don’t remember many?
One last minor gripe, the trope ‘kids getting drunk from non-alcoholic drinks.’ At least there’s no actual consumption of alcohol, though there are some characters who are of age to do so. But it just doesn’t make any sense, heck one of the adults repeatedly mentions there’s no alcohol in the drink while the kids behave drunk. So much for being the voice of reason. The only other complaint is that the very end is broken. I know this anime is about magic and all, but it kinda just ignores the entire plot, since they weren't confident enough to conclude it any other way. I was a bit disappointed at the 'convenience' and lack of realism there. One small thing is enough.
I guess this story is all about wishes. Some people have positive wishes and some people have bad wishes. Whether they come true or not is random and mostly up to the person themselves. Simply wishing and hoping for something won't make it happen. There are no miracles in real lfe, the good things come about because of our sheer will to make it so, but only within the constraints of reality. If one wishes they could fly unaided, that wish will never come to be. But if one wishes to fly witrh wings like a bird, then all they have to do is to work at it. Even if it never comes to pass, the journey itself will be enjoyable and leave behind great memories.
So this second season surpasses the first and it quite possibly surpasses the original Da Capo. Zero bullshit, they don’t even mention the word boobs or anything. Though the original Da Capo did have the bonus of being serious on the romance angle too, this anime leaves that to the first season mostly and focuses on a supernatural oriented, serious narrative. And it’s for this narrative that you’d want to watch it. I don’t recommend this to fans of romance, since such folks would be disappointed by the lack of said romance. Yes, at times it tries to come back, but it’ll never be as fulfilled as the romance plot was in the original Da Capo. Anyone who likes slice-of-life, since there is some and anyone who likes mildly supernatural plotlines with the potential to perhaps induce tears would like this anime. Heck, if anime can make you emotional at all, give this a try. Of course, precede it with the lacklustre season 1 of DCII, but that’ll help one enjoy this all the more. I liked it and that’s cos this anime was able to give me a serious lump in the throat. I would have given it an 8, but the slightly predictable and unrealistic aspect of the plot let it down.
Family-friendliness Rating: 2/5 nothing much besides fake underage drinking (lower is better)
Overall Rating: 7.5/10 (higher is better)
Everything you ever watched in the past Da Capo and Da Capo II has been for this season. Everything comes together to give you an emotional drama that you never see coming. I was amazed on how BAD Da Capo II season 1 was. I was so horrified by it that I refused to see this season at all.
I'm glad I changed my mind. This is a much watch drama
If you saw season 1 of Da Capo II and was pissed off at the direction it took then fear not~! The sisters finally get a ton of air time and they waste it not!
I actually found myself tearing up and fighting back sobs near the end of the season.
Best Part: They finally start killing off people :)