Da Capo

TV (26 eps)
3.276 out of 5 from 6,517 votes
Rank #4,742

On an island where cherry blossoms bloom all year-round, love seems to always be in the air. It is in this magical atmosphere that Asakura Junnichi lives, and when he dreams he travels to the dreams of others, rather than have any of his own. In everyday high-school life, he is accompanied by his adopted sister, Nemu, and an eclectic group of friends including a j-pop idol-in-the-making and a girl they knew from their childhood. Promises, and magic, and love -- Junnichi seems to dream about every girl he knows, but which girl dreams of him...?

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StoryImagine, if you will, an end to conflict, a world of peace, a universe where seldom a cross word is exchanged, much less an utterance of aggression. Truly, this would be a wonderful place to live - but watching it for 26 episodes? My, does it ever drag. Da Capo crawls unapologetically from the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" school of harem anime. In this school, a generic male lead is pursued by a series of improbably acquiescent girls, who differ from one anime to the next solely by virtue of having their hairstyles and personality hooks randomly reassigned. As a rule, the next step is to introduce a novel setting, to plot an interesting story or perhaps to thread the characters into a comedic tapestry. Unhappily, Da Capo doesn't seem to have read that far into the instructions booklet and dismisses every one of these suggestions, instead including... nothing. Going back to my first paragraph, this series fails principally because it is entirely free of any kind of friction. There is no adverse force to challenge the characters; there is no conflict between the characters themselves; there's not even a personality clash worthy of note. It just feels like one ceaseless bombardment of fake smiles, like an eternity spent in Starbucks. Supposedly, more than one of the girls is attracted to the unpardonably prosaic character of Junnichi Asakura, yet - aside from a handful of trivial scuffles between the two primary love interests - none of them seem to care enough to do something about it. In fact, Junnichi could have saved everyone a lot of time by just drawing up a rota and leaving it at that. At only two points in the series does Da Capo threaten to excite in any way, shape or form, and these embers of drama are abruptly extinguished. What seem to be a dark ploy and compelling character shift turn out to be an accident and a misunderstanding, and the series returns to its irenic, monotony. Perhaps conscious of the mass-boredom being left in their wake, the later episodes finish early to be augmented by a five-minute "side episode". It is a small mercy, however, as these comprise a few sequences of unfunny nothingness and dull arthouse surrealism, two moments of mild and stylish intrigue and then one final burst of soul-destroying pointlessness. As was the case with the body of the show, a single good idea is diluted with blandness, and then struck down before it dares to captivate the viewer. AnimationThe animation is passable, but far from spectacular. The lighting is done well, and nothing is truly awry. However, while some of the up-close animation is pleasing, there is no outstanding attention to detail. Indeed, there is nothing at all that is striking or memorable, aside from some face-distorting conceits which are as unfunny as they are overused. Certainly there is nothing in the animation which compensated me adequately for the way in which the story numbed my mind.Sound The soundtrack is actively annoying. Each "funny" scene flaunts one of a selection of irritating, whimsical ditties as though they are some kind of license to amuse. Instead, they make the scene's failure to gratify all the more obvious and maddening. As for the main themes, whoever wrote the opening and ending tunes somehow managed to marry generic with irritating, giving rise to the pair of cacophonous lovechildren which bookend each sorry episode. Most of the voices are tolerable but, predictably, those that remain in the consciousness are the truly annoying ones. It's not enough that Moe Mizukoshi falls asleep every few seconds; apparently her spaced-out nature must also be emphasised vocally, by stretching out every blasted sentence to the point where fingernails on a blackboard would be blessed relief. Although she is the worst offender, other characters also manage to do this. They repeatedly use their voices to reflect their superficial personalities and drive them home with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.CharactersUninspiring. Unoriginal. Uncommonly nauseating. These are just some of the "un-" adjectives which describe the majority of the show's cast. In a romance anime - or a romance anything, for that matter - it's pivotal that the characters be interesting and worthy of sympathy. In Da Capo's case, half of them invoke feelings of idle hatred, whilst the other half incite nothing but indifference. What little plot is offered depends quite heavily on the viewer's emotional involvement with the protagonists. You need to care about each individual in order to care about their insignificant backstories and minor plights. It's hardly a surprise that this involvement scuppered by the fact that there is no reason to care. Those last few words may sound somewhat nihilistic but those are the depths that watching this meritless dross has brought me to. OverallIn truth, there are no real redeeming features to this anime. It is simple, it is unadventurous, it is dull, and it is a black hole of humour so dense that not even light jokes can escape its pitiless pull. More than anything, though, it is entirely devoid of any element which might rouse emotions or engender the slightest hint of a confrontation. To put it simply, Da Capo digs its own grave, without anything so controversial as a whispered complaint. It then lies there, staring up with a grotesque plastic smile upon which I am only too happy to shovel dirt until the sun bakes my flesh dry.


Asakura Junnichi lives with his sister on an island where the cherry blossoms bloom all year around. Is there magic in the air or is this a natural phenomenon? Either way it brings a romantic setting to locals all year around. Asakura does not dream but has the unique ability to explore other people’s dreams instead. Each night Asakura seems to visit a dream of a girl that he knows. What does this mean for Asakura and what does he learn from his dreams? Da Capo just appeared to be another harem anime on the surface but it turned into something beautiful. For the first 12 or so episodes it was very unimpressive. Da Capo just followed the usual formula, introduce each new character one by one until you had the whole cast and then the whole group would go a group event. Even though it’s a harem there is an over powering love triangle which is certainty a strong focus in this anime. Magic seems to be important part of this anime however it not really. This anime is definitely a slice of life/romance anime. There are hints of comedy which adds a nice touch but the main focus is on the daily lives of each of the characters. The concept of Asakura exploring the dreams of the girls he knows was interesting because it allowed character development through a vehicle other than flash backs which was a nice change. The characters were very well done. They had hints of the stereotypes which commonly plague harem anime but they were no means the stereotypes. I viewed each character as an individual not a representative type of character and the audience also gained a connection with the characters. The audience really felt for the characters and really understood them. Da Capo took an interesting turn when the male lead made up his mind about which girl he wanted about two thirds the way through. I found this every interesting because it allowed them to show some aftermath of his decision. Instead of just finishing abruptly with everyone happy as Larry, it displayed a more realistic finish of jealousy, reason and explanation of why he chose the particular girl. This added great depth to this anime and I applaud Da Capo exploring this usually untapped area. The animation was pretty standard in this anime but the music was really good. Not only were they good song but they matched the anime and situations extremely well. I loved to listen to these anime songs again because they were just really well done coupled with the video scenes in the back ground. Overall Da Capo was genuinely well done. Even though it starts off a little slow it worth watching the whole thing because the slow start sets Da Capo up for a strong and interesting finish.  

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