Warning this review may contain spoilers-
Another amazing review for you all to read...lucky you. This time it is for the dark magic girl anime Daybreak Illusion, this anime is a dark version of your typical Magic Girl show and was displayed quite well. It is based around a girl called Akari who's mother died (I think) and has been living with her aunt and uncle, also she works as a fortune teller, this leads to her story beginning. The story for a start was put together quite well but honestly it wasn't the best. The story was slightly rushed and ended quite badly. The story wasn't the best but it was quite enjoyable. There was drama and small action with added to the story. The animation was like your typical Magic Girl show, big eyes and slightly Moe. So yeah...
The music...Well the opening....it's kind of obvious...I loved it as soon as I watched the series, I bought the song...Well it is LiSA. The ending was meh, it was pretty average and the voice actors were good for the characters that were involved. The characters were pretty simple both in design and personality, but most are pretty loveable in most ways. I really enjoyed this anime. The detail in the slightly horror scenes though...Well there was quite a bit of blood.
In conclusion, I seriously need to write longer reviews...Well anyway this anime is get at if you like dark magic girl with a dramatic moments. I enjoyed it and you would also probably if you watch it.
This show wasn't great and it wasn't horrible. It was forgettably average, which is a shame because a lot of the plot elements were interesting and deserved further exploration.
- Things I liked -
The four main character
Each of the four girls had her own backstory and personal motivations. We had a chance to get to know each of them and understand what makes them tick. They got genuine character development, learning from their experiences and reevaluating their beliefs as they were presented with new information. None of them were above realizing their own flaws and weakness and they all worked to rise above them. Akari and her friends were also fun to watch interact with each other once they resolved their differences. I particularly enjoyed the episode of the group hanging out and having a good time together.
The "tarot" aspect
While the use of cards in anime is certainly not original, the use of tarot card in this show didn't feel old or stale. Little things, like Akari's ability to unconsciously make plants grow because of her affinity with the Sun card, were nice touches.
Luna's confession about her lesbian crush
Always nice to see characters who can admit their feelings for a person of the same gender without protesting or making a lame statement about the other person being the same gender. I'm so tired of hearing it that I feel like Luna's honesty about how she really feels deserves recognition.
- Things I disliked -
Cerebrum and the corrupt politician were simply not interesting. Being one-note characters, their actions were hardly surprising and there was nothing to them other than doing some random evil thing most of the time. By the time Cerebrum decides to "go big" toward the end of the series, I had long since stopped giving a crap about him.
Unfortunately, the series crammed too many plot elements into 12 episodes, leaving viewers with a lot of unanswered questions because there wasn't enough air time to wrap everything up. We learn, for example, that one character has a twin sister who went missing years ago. The show does absolutely nothing with this information, which feels to me like a waste. The girl is not found, nor is she even searched for during the show. We never even learn why exactly she went missing in the first place. Another example: a person in the show randomly comes back from the dead. If they are able to do this, is it possible to help others who have died under similar circumstances? Yet another thing I wanted to know was why Etia and Laplace have "restrictions" placed on their abilities. The unanswered questions go on and on, leading me to believe this would have been better as a two-cour show instead of just one. There was certainly plenty of material to work with.
Inappropriate remarks and fanservice involving the pre-teen characters
When a twelve year-old character is transformed into a demonic wolf-girl, her bare breasts and crotch are exposed. The only clothing on her body is a sort of corset on her stomach, and as a result, she spends a few episodes looking like a prostitute roleplaying for a client. I really didn't think this was appropriate given the age of the character. Someone also tells a different twelve year-old that he "wants to mate with her" which was a total cringe factor for me. She's twelve years old, freak. Go away.
- Final Comments -
Something I strongly I disagree with is the number of people calling this show "a Madoka Magica rip-off". The only things I think Daybreak actually has in common with the show is being in the same "dark magical girl" genre and a few minor story elements that are found in multiple anime franchises. It seems to me that Day Break Illusion and later members of its ilk (such as "Yuuna Yuuna Is A Hero" and "Magical Girl Raising Project") all suffer from constantly being compared to what is currently the most popular show of its genre, which drives people away from even giving it a chance. Does it mean I think these shows are amazing? No. Each had its own unique strengths and weaknesses. But anime that is merely average (or even plain mediocre) can resonate with the right viewers if they are willing to try them. This current cycle reminds me of a similar pattern around fifteen to twenty year ago, when every new magical girl series that came out was immediately compared to Sailor Moon - often called a rip-off by people who hadn't even watched the show! And those that did would find very generic elements to point to as a reason for this comparison, such as "They both have magical girls!" or "They both fight new monsters every week!" A weak argument at best, and while Sailor Moon was certainly a global phenomenon, it is certainly not the FIRST magical girl show ever created. Nor was Madoka Magica the first "dark" magical show ever created.
In the end, if you like dark magical girl shows you may want to give Day Break Illusion a chance. If you don't enjoy this particular genre, however, then don't bother- this isn't the right show for you.
I'm a real fan of magical girl anime. This show really hit home with me on some parts because it really made you feel what the characters were feeling during turning points and crisises in the story line. Mainly, the thing with Fuyuna. I love how at the ending the two of them finally got to talk it out, and they both recieved some sort of closure. I feel like the story is incomplete though, as per usual with seasonal anime. Hopefully the series gets a season two, because I feel like more things should be explained. Like Akari's mom's past, and I would like the rest of the tarot users to be introduced into the storyline some how. Anyway over all, for it's magical girlness, and cute art style and theme I give it a pretty high rating because I enjoyed watching it even though I still have some questions unanswered. It reminds me a lot of Madoka and I really hope there's more to both series.
Welcome everyone to what is universally conceived as a Madoka rip off..For the sake of my mental health,in case anyone gets offended by words on the internet bugger off cause i'm gonna shoot the F word like a AK47 from hell..Or Russia,which is the same thing really!
Now there is certainly a reason i started with the Madoka ref cause this anime is very much like Madoka in almost every aspect.But that won't keep me from giving this a fair shot and review it for what it is.
And let's start with the opening sequence,shall we?It was a bit bland and very much forgetable.It's also the thing i would expect to hear in cute girls-doing cute things type of anime,which is strange to me given the tone they wanted to give the anime.Imagine for example watching a splatter movie and the soundtrack was Britney Spears..Doesn't work does it?
With that outta the way let's see what this baby has storywise..DBI follows Taiyou Akari,a tarot cards fortune teller.After some shit went down,she gained special powers related to the Sun arcana,becomes a member of an organization called Sefiro Fiore,which specializes in recruiting girls who can see the so called Daemonia,and having them fight those pesky bastards with their tarot cards.
So DBI starts all guns blazing,unlike Madoka which gave the characters a headstart before going nuts.As a result of that there's no real tension,no build up.
Other than that the format is simple..Too simple if you ask me..It starts off with the boring monster of the week format where a person gets corrupted by Daemonia,our character agonises over having to kill them and there's always something lurking behind the scenes.But the biggest flaws this anime has is that during a great shitstorm,it plays the outtamyass card to resolve everything.
Sure there are plot twists,there are many great moments where the anime could take off but instead decided to take a nap,no explanations given.My feel was that the plot twists were there to serve as a reminder that this is a "dark magical girl anime",but that's all they were in the end..A reminder and nothing else.And plunging them in a sea of suffering just for the sake of suffering felt very contrived.
Then there's the worst thing of all..The damn rape card..Now i need to remind you that the girls here are 12 at best,so why on earth did they decide to throw such a thing in there?To be more dark?But even then the whole thing seems like an afterthought.Which is the case with every storyline with this anime..Just a general idea of where to go and build it from there..Thing is they decided to take into account every suggestion made and there weren't enough eps to pull it through..Maybe if it was 25 eps or so or if it had a 2nd season,maybe things would be better,but as it now stands......Big no..
Then there are the characters themselves.We have the cute and kind Mary Sue MC,the ice cold bitch who later on becomes a docile puppy,the energizer bunny girl who is always on meth,and sure as hell the rich girl..So far they're characters we've seen countless times before,and their backstory doesn't help things get any better..The rest of the cast are underdeveloped one trick ponies..And as for the bad guys?Well basically they're pedophiles..
Worse than that DBI does absolutely fucking anything to make us care about its characters,and when they do try to make us care about them it feels too damn cliche,boring,lazy and forced as fuck.Oh it tries to be somwhat original by throwing in some Tarot shit,but it doesn't even do anything with them other than them representing certain characters,that's it.
Animation was 10% some very good moments and 90% total fucking airborne disease that melts the eyes.It looks weird to say the least.The characters' legs look so freakin skinny,you'd think they could snap like pencils at any given moment and they have huge eyes and even more huge heads..Background was just a background..Nothing stood out.As for the side characters?Well they looked like they couldn't even bother to draw them properly.It's like someone drew the characters in a hurry and then did some scribbles on his Ipad and that was the side characters done.
Music was ok for the most part and there were some moments were i was properly astounded by the combination of music and tone.The VA's were as wooden as a wooden plank of wood.
To conclude,it was a bad anime..Was it the worst i've ever seen?Not in the slightest cause there's always anime like Aika and Burn Excess.But it was definitely dull,the story didn't grab my attention,most eps were fillers and once the final eps kicked in i stopped taking it seriously altogether.It did have potential to be something better than total horseshit but it didn't have the balls to do it and relied instead to a faux shock factor and too many Deus ex Machinas.
Day Break Illusion Review:
In all seriousness, do you think just because two animes are extremely similar for what they were doing means one is a ripoff of another? Now, I think it’s pretty rare for there to be a ripoff in the anime industry. Now I’m not saying that is anime we’re talking about today is a ripoff of the obvious Madoka Magica; I’m just saying a lot of people think that and I want to get into the details why. So, let’s use our tarot cards to transform and review Day Break Illusion!
Day Break Illusion is a 13 episode long anime + an OVA released back in 2013 done by Studio AIC. It was originally a light novel written by Michiko Ito that was adapted into a manga than an anime.
This anime is rated TV-14 for gore, dark themes, and some sexual innuendos here and there. Thus, viewer discretion is advised.
The story of Day Break Illusion is quite similar to Madoka Magica, but has its own twists here and there. The story is about a girl named Akari who has a fortune telling skill and later learns she is the new user of the Sun Tarot Card, which her deceased Mother originally possessed. Because of this, Akari can turn into a magical girl and fight the Daemonia, creatures who take over certain human beings in dream-like worlds (very similar to Madoka Magica). Akari tries to learn to accept her fate as she meets new friends at her new school dedicated to teaching and helping students who possess the tarot cards.
Now since I just explained the basic premise, you’re probably thinking, “MADOKA MAGICA IS WRITTEN ALL OVER IT!” Well actually, not necessarily. Day Break Illusion may have a similar premise, but that doesn’t mean it’s a blatant ripoff of Madoka Magica. If you are saying it rips of the magical girl deconstruction, then that's quite a stretch there. Technically, the first Magical Girl deconstruction is said to be Magical Lyrical Girl Nanoha, an anime I have not seen yet. And funny thing is, it was released back in 2,000 FREAKING 4! Now let me tell you this and this may confuse you; a ripoff can be done good if it has enough creativity to stand alone and walk a little bit without the original source material, however a ripoff of a ripoff will never be able to take its first step. I’m not saying Madoka Magica blatantly ripped of Nanoha, Nanoha is a little more lighthearted as far as the deconstruction is concerned. I’m just saying that if another ripoff comes again that uses the deconstruction of what Madoka Magica and Day Break Illusion had, it won’t be very good. For example, imagine a magical girl anime called “Heart-Trail Break” (Yeah I know I’m great with titles) that just finished its airing today and had the exact same elements as Madoka Magica but also uses the exact same elements of Day Break Illusion, which is considered the ripoff! Heart-Trail Break would not be able to work because a ripoff of a so-called ripoff cannot work!
But anyways, sorry to confuse you! Day Break Illusion’s story can hold up on its own but it can be a bit too similar to Madoka Magica.
Now the characters of Day Break Illusion can definitely be understood as to why this anime is considered a ripoff. Not that they are awful, just very obvious cookie cutters is all. For instance:
Akari: Madoka (Main Character, Sort of Too Nice For Their Own Good)
Seira: Homura (Cold and More Secretive)
Luna: Mami (Lonely, Shy, And Sweet)
Ginka: Sayaka and a tiny bit of Kyoko (More Eccentric and Adventurous except with more girly-edge to her)
If you get the chance to watch this anime, you’ll easily notice this! The characters are interesting, but they have a bit of trouble sometimes holding up because of their cookie cutter personalities. What I really like about this anime in particular is the fact that it doesn’t really have that one character. You know what I’m talking about, the magical creature that gives advice to our main hero and their powers and help them fight evil. Guess what, they don’t have them! Sure they have talking animals, but that’s not their job! Actually, it’s really the teachers of the academy that take on that role and/or the heroes themselves, which is what I think is awesome! No Kyubey, No Senketsu, No Luna, NONE!
The thing that irks me the most about the characters is some of their designs. Sure they are creative, but some of them are really hard to look at (*cough* Priscilla *cough*).
Btw, Cerebrum (you’ll meet him later) is freaking sexy. Now if only his personality and intentions were changed a little bit (SPOILER ALERT: He’s kind of a rapist)
Not much else to say, cookie cutters really.
Something that may definitely surprise is that in my opinion, Day Break Illusion’s animation style actually works way better than Madoka Magica’s! Why? The style for this anime is a lot more girly, bright, and sharp so it makes the deconstruction work a lot better and make the anime look more misleading. For Madoka Magica, you can actually see the animation even in the first 3 episodes that it could have enough potential to become a really gritty series in the first place. For Day Break Illusion, it looks like a show for kids ages 7 and up! That’s actually a really good plus for a deconstruction of a magical girl anime. Madoka Magica did fight scenes a bit better by a landslide though. But still the animation is actually not bad at all.
The soundtrack for Day Break Illusion is not all that significant. Sure the opening and the ending are pretty good and maybe to say even great (the opening has to be my honest favortie from LiSA), but I don’t remember ANY other OST of any sort from this show. And that mostly might be because this anime wasn’t popular enough to get over a million uploads of the same thing over and over unlike Madoka Magica’s fanbase (Sis Puella Magica has probably been uploaded at least 600 times!).
Not much to say here, not very well.
The similarities are obvious, but Day Break Illusion is 100% capable of standing on its own. If Madoka Magica never existed, my guess is this anime would get all the hype. Personally, I thought it was fine, even a bit enjoyable. Yeah it can be stupid and ridiculous and even cringeworthy, but all in all it’s a harmless anime for a deconstruction. If you liked Madoka Magica, there’s a 90% chance you will think Day Break Illusion is ok or even good.
Next Review: Sola
(If you have any questions of corrections about this review or Day Break Illusion, contact me! :D)