I am sure many of you have seen (or at least heard) of the previous Da Capo seasons. This fall brings us the third installment in Da Capo anime series – Da Capo II. As such, it is pretty clear what to expect of the series – comedy, romance and drama, wrapped up with a little bit of magic.
The episode kick-starts with a confession scene. Yoshijuki (the male lead of the series) is standing near a large sakura tree (looks like the thing is still up and running … if the first two season is any indicator, this magical wish-granting piece of flora is going to cause some ruckus later), facing a girl whose face we can not see, as she is confessing her love for him.
Now… seeing this is Da Capo, chances are this scene is a dream. We will have to wait for a bit to find out, since the OP kicks in at this point.OP:
(Personally, the biggest joy for me was that Sakura’s presence was confirmed in the OP, and it looks like she hasn’t aged one bit. Now, since she is my favorite Da Capo character from the previous two seasons, this is very good news for me ).
A little bit of side information regarding Da Capo II – the story takes place 50 years after the previous events, essentially involving what would be the old cast’s grandchildren.
Moving on … Yoshijuki wakes up in his room and realizes it was indeed just a dream. Next thing he notices – crap, it is late! (Why do they always have alarm clocks in anime, yet always manage to be late ? ^^). As such he quickly gets up and rushes out of his room, almost running over his ‘sister’, Yume, who had, apparently, come to wake him up. Before he gets to leave he is stopped by Yume, who complains she is hungry. (Ok, so maybe the reason she came was not to make sure he wasn’t late, but to demand some breakfast).
Yoshijuki says she should ask Otome (Yume’s sister), but it appears Otome has already left due to the school festival. (One would ask why doesn’t she make anything herself … well … lets just say that all living things have survival instincts ). Since Yoshijuki doesn’t have the time to cook anything, he uses ‘magic’ to create wagashi (a type of japanese sweets) for her. (The same ability was shared by Yunichi, the protagonist of the first two Da Capo series, as the ability to see these weird dreams. Any possible connection between the two ? )
(Overall i would have to say that Yume is pretty cute. Some drama is bound to come later, but i don’t expect to be nearly as obnoxious as the drama queen Nemu. Lets hope this granddaughter has not taked after her obaa-san in thi regard, as i couldn’t stand Nemu in Da Capo (albeit she earned some points in D.C.S.S)).
Now that his little sister has been fed (i suppose this is as good time as any to tell that Yoshijuki is not an actual brother to Yume and Otome … no, not telling – you will have to wait for the anime to reveal their connection), Yoshijuki is about to leave …or not. His phone rings and he picks it up. It appears the one calling is Sakura, and she asks him to bring some documents she left home. We also get to see the new mascot … the hell! I demand Utamaru back!
They arrive at the school, and we are immediately introduced to Yoshijuki’s classmates. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Koko has a thing for Yoshijuki. (Given that her appearance largely resembles Miharu, i was dreading she would be like her … fortunately, Koko is nowhere near as ditzy as Miharu, and is not a scatterbrain. Overall through the episode she left a very positive first impression as a somewhat shy, timid and polite girl who is Yoshijuki’s childhood friend). Koko gets teased about this by her friends and Anzu (the white haired loli) pushes Koko towards Yoshijuki and she instantly blushes and starts to stammer. Well … whatever she was about to say gets interrupted as the class rep arrives (the character archetype of the class rep being a stingy, ‘angry’ and forceful girl sure is popular, huh) and wants to force some work on Yoshijuki. Fortunately for him he has an excuse to escape – he must deliver some documents to Sakura (who is the schools principal). As such pushes his bag in Koko’s arms and runs away.
He arrives at Sakura’s office, but she is not there. The place is a mess though, so Yoshijuki starts to clean up a bit while grumbling about this. He picks up some pillows from the floor and puts them in to the closet, but notices something – a stairway hidden inside the closet, leading downwards as far as he can see. (Now … i have to wonder what kind of lair has Sakura set up for herself in the school ^^).
He doesn’t have time to investigate though, as Sakura returns. Yep – she hasn’t aged one bit in these last 50 fifty years, and is still the blond haired loli with pigtails we all (well, i at least ^^) love (Sakura in obaa-san mode = do not want!). He gives her the documents and is about to leave, but Sakura starts teasing him about whom he is going to spend the time with on the festival. Otome ? Yume ? Being a spoil sport, Yoshijuki says that he is going with his friends – Suginami and Wataru, to which Sakura responds “how boring”. He leaves laughing as Sakura wishes him to do his best, then walks to the window and looks outside where Koko is walking together with Akane and Anzu and says “do your best, girl”. As usual, looks like Koko’s crush is perfectly clear to anyone , minus Yoshijuki himself. (Since Sakura is present, it is fairly safe to assume she is going to be related to the main plot somehow, especially considering that ‘her’ magical sakura tree is alive and kicking as well).
Meanwhile Anzu and Akane keep pestering Koko about Yoshijuki and that she should finally take a step (confess). They note how many couples there are walking around, at which Koko is amazed. Anzu tells her than nothing is going to change at this rate.
They also notice Shirakawa Nanaka from the looks and name, she is obviously related to Kotori from Da Capo, likewise, she is the school idol … which shows, as she is surrounded by a pack of boys, relentlessly trying to ask her out. Unsurprisingly, she is not exactly thrilled though.
The three girls find Yoshijuki and his two friends and since all of them are ‘dateless’ end up spending the time at the festival together. Anzu immediately insists Yoshijuki should look after Koko, to which he agrees, since it might be dangerous. Koko rumbles something about her not being a child, but no one is listening to her complains ^^
Of course, Akane and Anzu don’t fail to remind Koko once in a while what her ‘objective’ is ^^ Akane even asks Yoshijuki a question what type of girl he likes (Getting Koko all worked up) … well, the answer sure was an obvious one – no preference in particular. This gets Wataru complaining that it is all because he gets pampered by Otome and Yume at home.
Yoshijuki brushes it off, telling him they are siblings. Speaking of the wolf … Otome is walking by, with a bunch of followers. From the first second it is clear she is the calm and collected ladylike girl, projecting an air of maturity and grace about her. Which, of course, changes the second she notices Yoshijuki ^^ She hurries to him, then enters her ‘sisterly’ mode and starts straightening his clothes. Wataru cries in jealousy Unfortunately scene doesn’t last long, as Otome gets dragged away (literally) by one of her friends with a fading scream “Otoutou-kuuun”.
Meanwhile Yume is watching through a window, somewhat sad look on her face.
The day comes to an end, and everyone cleverly scatters (minus the oblivious Wataru who simply gets dragged away), leaving Koko alone with Yoshijuki. (insert ‘just as planned image here’)
As this is her chance, Koko asks Yoshijuki to come with her. They go to the big sakura tree in the park, and Yoshijuki notes this is the place they have visited ever since they were kids. Then he asks Koko whats up, because she doesn’t look like her usual self. Koko stands by the tree facing him, and starts to stammer. “I … i … “. This is where Yoshijuki realizes this is the same as the dream he saw, and the girl in the dream had been Koko. True enough – Koko confesses (holy cow, thats some fast development in 1st episode 0_o), leaving Yoshijuki dumbstruck. He ponders how to respond … the two have been together forever, and she is a very important girl to him … but … is it truly love ?
He takes some time thinking over this, keeping silent. He has a little change in demeanor as he is thinking, and Koko is on the verge of tears as she notices this. Yoshijuki is still thinking it over, but the second he notices tears in Koko’s eyes he accepts. He walks up to her and puts a hand on her head, saying she shouldn’t cry like this. Koko is, obviously, happy and hugs him.
End of episode. The ending theme shows stills of all the girls in black and white, the new mascot, and an unknown black haired woman that catches a sakura petal in the end.
Now, this was a fairly nice first episode. They sure are jumping in to the thick of it straight from the bat. The confession was certainly not something i would expect from the first episode. Unfortunately, i am certain that Koko is going to get her heart broken sooner or later. He seemed to accept her confession partially based on the fact she was about to cry. Given the fact she is his childhood friend and he has the idea he should look after her (the festival), the acceptance seemed to be influenced by those, not actual love. I am going to shew off my shoe if it is not Yume (more likely) or Otome (less likely, but possible) in the end. But we shall see