Back in its time, Da Capo was one of those animes that probably instigated the new wave, a sudden outburst of the popularity of bishoujo games being converted into anime. The game was made by a company named Circus, and I can only imagine how big the Da Capo franchise is to them. With already 7 games (maybe more) composed of rehashes, fandisks, after stories and console versions, Da Capo is huge on the games front. Not to mention all those singles, drama cds, and manga serializations. Da Capo is as big as any Dengeki G’s series such as Futakoi.
The anime is equally big. This is the very first bishoujo game based anime series that ever had a full season run of 26 episodes. And with 26 more on the way on its second season this summer 2005, it will very well be the biggest bishoujo game based anime franchise in history. Well that’s saying much, but how does it fair really?
Da Capo is not too bad, but it had its share of little faults here and there. For the first 7 episodes, the main episode is actually short in length, in favor of having a music video of a girl’s seiyuu after each episode. Those music videos were average, some horrible, but nonetheless a part of the Da Capo fandom. I have no complaints here, some seiyuu were popular and cute anyway. Many other episodes have a side story part focusing on a character or number of characters, which eats up the main episode’s time as well. While some of those side stories are interesting, others are just annoying. The recurrent figure in these side stories is a certain mysterious cat guy, but it never adds any coherence to the side stories nor does it add up to the main Da Capo story at all. Furthermore, there are two recap episodes in this anime. So much for 26 episodes you think?
Well, the latter half is where this series shines. The tone slowly changes from filler-comedy to pure classic drama involving the magic of the sakura tree. The characters in Da Capo actually live in a town where a mysterious power exists within the cherry blossoms. Because of this, our characters actually have some sort of magical affinity as a result. For example, one of the girls can actually read people’s minds, while another girl is actually a cat transformed in human form. These unique but weird traits haunt them somehow throughout this series, and is where the dramatic parts explode into. I tell you, the drama here is powerful, and that is definitely a treat.
And my favorite girl? Mako! She rocks!
Of course, getting the good stuff like this requires you to go through 15 or so episodes of comedic and mindless filler, but the result will not leave you disappointed. Try out Da Capo. You may be disappointed with some parts, but in general I hope you will like it eventually. Besides, the second season is up for you to anticipate as well.