D.C.if ~Da Capo if~

By bluemist on April 6th, 2009

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I’m probably one of a few handful of people who still cares about Da Crapo, although I’m admitting that this bishoujo thing is slowly starting to wear out on me. And yet the series may still matter, after all, it was a remarkable anime that put bishoujo games into the anime map. One thing that ticks me off in ALL the anime counterparts of Da Capo (and even Da Capo II) is that the best girls always gets the worst parts. That girl is the lovely lovely Kotori Shirakawa (and her descendant Nanaka). While Kotori had a decent arc in the first season, the second season was of failed promises. I thought that she will be the main character in that season because Nemu and Sakura were gone. Alas, the two returned anyway, while Aisia stole the entire show not too long after. And so the prospect of having this D.C.if OVA almost 3 years after the last Da Capo anime gives me the giggles. It’s Kotori, and it’s Da Capo all over again!

Episode 1
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“Da Capo if” seems to be an “imaginary future” anime that ignores whatever happened in Da Capo Second Season and dares to continue down a certain Kotori-goodness path. We see the still-lead character Junichi idling around while Kotori cooks him food and probably does some household chores too. I guess he’s REALLY worthless with Nemu not around. Imagine that, the girlfriend visits him “nightly” into the house to be a maid. Yoshiyuki will not be impressed. Anyway let’s just go with the flow. One day he realizes that he needs to move on, and so his first mission was to clean up Nemu’s room. Aah, so he enlists four of the Da Capo girls to help him clear the room out of its Nemu-ness. Then Kotori goes emo and runs away. Junichi follows and tries to confess his feelings, but Kotori… dumped him (YOU ARE WIN KOTORI-CHAN!). Then she goes totally emo and runs to the already-withered sakura tree crying… in a scene that rivals the cheesiness of Otome when she cried “OTOUTO-KUUUUUUN!” in Da Capo II Second Season.

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See? I told you.

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I should say… “if” this were released shortly after any of the earlier Da Capo animes I would have forgiven it for being so campy. Sadly, it’s 2009, and my taste for anime has grown a bit more mature. Two different things matter to me now in an anime… characters and story. Give me either one and we’re fine, heck give me both and you’re awesome. D.C.if has neither character nor story, and the only thing that kept me going watching this are the fond memories of the animes and games. Sure, the characters are still lovely, but do I really need to see Mako going tsundere, Moe going nabe, and Miharu going bananas all the time? They’re mere shadows of their formal selves, Kotori included, and there’s nothing interesting about them in this anime anymore aside from their classic bishoujo archetype.

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The only scene that intrigued me is when Junichi visited a grave… I mean, “WHOSE GRAVE IS THIS? NEMU? IS SHE DEAD! HURRAH KOTORI FANS, SISCON IS DEAD!” Nah, I’m really not sure if it’s Nemu, so who the hell is that on the grave? Can anyone decipher this kanji?

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Also, the first scene in the anime has her with some wedding preparations… somehow that doesn’t make me happy, especially if it’s gonna be a loser like Junichi.

Episode 2

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Okay, this is worse than I thought. The whole episode was spent with both Kotori and Junichi in deep thought about their relationship. They were somewhat avoiding each other. Then everyone else in Da Capo world tries to pitch in their say, the major ones are from Kotori’s sister and someone else who is “awesome” enough to not mention her yet. Then all of a sudden both young lovers got enlightened, Kotori sang on the withered sakura tree again, Junichi came and confessed again… then the wedding! With an unbelievable miracle in the end!

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Need I elaborate more? Mako is still tsundere, and Moe still cares about her nabe. At least Miharu isn’t fussing about her bananas, but that means she does nothing else. I like though how Kotori’s best friends try to support her. Tomo-chan and Mik-kun’s limited airtime struck a chord at me wanting sidestories of them. So, as Kotori is wavering around, her sister Koyomi enters the fray, and says magic words like “If you really love someone, it will resonate soon enough”. Okay, now we enlightened Kotori. On Junichi’s side, he still needed a bashing from Suginami on why he cleaned up Nemu’s room. As he himself wonders why, an awesome character appeared out of the blue…

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…it’s Sakura!!! So, Sakura served as the enlightener for Junichi by saying that he’s an idiot for being too indecisive, too kind and worrying too much about other people. This sort-of cameo just took me by surprise, and is the best scene of the whole episode, by mere Da Capo nostalgia. Sakura’s just too wonderful.

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Then we see Kotori go back to the withered sakura tree, saying how she met Junichi there, how she loved him, blah blah, and then she sang. Then by complete non-twist of fate Junichi is there, apologized for a lot of things, and confessed again. This time, Kotori accepted. Yay.

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The wedding! DCSS ending all over again, except with the better girl. Seems like the reception is at school, them cheapos. So, what was the unbelievable miracle? Look closely, there’s cherry blossoms in the background! In an instant, all those green trees turned pink for Kotori! The entire town of Hatsunejima has sakura again. And to top it off, Kotori exclaimed, “Nemu-san”. Oh gawd, even the original Da Capo wasn’t this cheesy. No, please Kotori, Nemu isn’t in the heaven’s weather control room. Can’t they just be surprised how green trees can turn pink in a matter of seconds? Bah, I give up.

Despite its shortcomings, I think I should give props to the animators for this, because at least they bothered to revisit the Da Capo universe once again. It is still a looker, with nice animation and art. I loved how the opening song is from the original Da Capo game, while the ending song is none other than CooRie’s “Sonzai”, still the one of the best sentimental anisongs out there. Also, Hocchan returns in this OVA voicing Kotori, so fans will definitely enjoy this. For Episode 2, there’s a new image song by Kotori and it’s quite good, although I would argue that if she sang Soyokaze no Harmony it would be have more impact for me. The ending song is… whoa, Sakura Saku Mirai Koi Yume, the first Da Capo anime OP.

All in all, a disposable, but decent watch. Hopefully there’s a Nanaka special too someday. Moving on.

29 Comments

Posted By: Sailor Enlil On: January 02, 2009 At: 11:22 pm

>The only scene that intrigued me is when Junichi visited a grave… I mean, “WHOSE GRAVE IS THIS? NEMU? IS SHE DEAD! HURRAH KOTORI FANS, SISCON IS DEAD!” Nah, I’m really not sure if it’s Nemu, so who the hell is that on the grave? Can anyone decipher this kanji?

Well if logic was to come into play, that would be a reason for Junichi to “move on” and clear out Nemu’s room. Someone else who blogged this speculated that Nemu did not survive the “punishment” that the Unwilting Sakura tree did to her (i.e. make her sick and cough out Sakura petals) for getting together with Junichi since it went against Sakura’s wish for the same.

As for the wedding – best guess is likely to be Junichi.

Posted By: Stripey On: January 03, 2009 At: 12:01 am

Hmm, I think a distinction needs to be made between the best bishoujo of the show and the best girl for the boy. In DCI, Kotori is undeniably the top bishoujo but Nemu would be the right girl for Junichi. It’s not so much the siscon but the love and bond they share. None of the haremettes can challenge the Nemu-Junichi relationship save for Sakura and she’s not even close. In fact after Sakura, I’d say Mako and not Kotori has a better shot at Junichi given that they have a strong foundation as friends.

On DCif, I’m surprised it you didn’t like it 😛 Because it had what you were looking for – story and character development. As I mentioned on a forum, every pause, failed confession, faraway look all pointed to Nemu’s grave. It’s a well crafted story about how Junichi moves on with life to forge a relationship with Kotori. And it’s not just about Junichi. The end of this ep shows Kotori’s struggle as she comes to terms with having a relationship with Junichi in view of the tragic history.

On Junichi, he’s actually likeable here. Unlike in DCSS, he actually reciprocated Kotori’s affections but held back because of his past with Nemu. His aborted confession at the gate and near kiss at the beach shows this conflict. His confession at the end is a mark of his overcoming the past to move on with Kotori with the unexpected result of Kotori fleeing.

Oops sorry for the late comment, I’ll probably follow up with a post on my blog. 🙂

Posted By: bluemist On: January 03, 2009 At: 12:29 am

I see, so I guess I can confirm now that in this imaginary future Nemu died.

In that context, this episode does make sense, and is actually decent. But that’s just about it for me… decent. Are my expectations too high that I wasn’t taken in by the story? Or too low meaning I don’t care about DC or Kotori anymore?

@Stripey
I read your blog post about it and the comments just now. I may call ‘burnout’ again on myself with all my siscon and da crapo hate lately. You guys may be right, it is actually a better OVA than how I described it to be.

Posted By: relentlessflame On: January 03, 2009 At: 12:48 am

“I may call ‘burnout’ again on myself with all my siscon and da crapo hate lately”
– bluemist

No kidding. Over the last few years, the tone of your writing has changed completely. Is this really the same guy who did the Summer of Bishoujo project and spoke so enthusiastically about the genre? Now, it’s all heavy, and sarcastic, and hateful. Even using “Da Crapo” is just about the oldest and most pathetic rip-off title ever — “It’s cool to hate!” I guess it’s burnout after all.

Of course, this is your blog, and we’re here to read your opinions. But you do appear to be a case study in what happens when someone loses their passion and keeps on blogging about it anyway. If you ask me, I think it’s sort of too bad. *shrug*

As for the OVA, not saying it’s wonderful by any means (how much can they do in a two-episode IF project anyway), but I think most D.C. anime fans will probably enjoy it.

Posted By: bluemist On: January 03, 2009 At: 12:56 am

@relentlessflame
Well told, and me well pwned! I’m very grateful that you’re still reading my blog despite the hate posts lately. I certainly hope though this is just an passing thing and not a real burnout. I genuinely loved the new scenario I played in DCII Plus Communication by the way, so there is some “night is dark before the dawn” flag there lolz. Thanks again for the reality-check.

Posted By: relentlessflame On: January 03, 2009 At: 5:40 am

^^; Well, that was definitely too harsh, but *shrug*… I guess I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t noticed/wondered. I’m glad you liked the new scenario in D.C. II P.C., but most of all I just hope you find a passion for something again, even if it’s something completely different. Sometimes you do just get bored or tired of something, and maybe you will get it back or maybe you won’t. But I think the important thing is still to have a passion for *something*, whatever it is. Of course, half of the time, people posting online just seem more sarcastic (or serious, in my case) than they are in real life, so it’s hard to say…

Anyway, sorry for being needlessly harsh. Hope you find something that brings the joy and passion you used to have back. 🙂

Posted By: Taiyaki On: January 04, 2009 At: 12:05 am

“Then she goes totally emo and runs to the already-withered sakura tree crying… in a scene that rivals the cheesiness of Otome when she cried “OTOUTO-KUUUUUUN!” in Da Capo II Second Season.”

Then you should be thankful this was done by ZEXCS and not feel. Or else it’d have been much worse. *shudders*

Posted By: What happened to Kotori (Da Capo) fandom? at Hontou ni Taihen desu On: January 05, 2009 At: 1:46 am

[…] this date, there has been 3 entries on animenano about the OVA and 23 users who have rated the series (very high average btw) on […]

Posted By: noname On: January 05, 2009 At: 11:20 am

That kanji means grave and is called ‘haka’ in hiragana.

Posted By: newbie_tuner On: January 06, 2009 At: 12:45 am

did juni’ichi visited nemu’s grave?

maybe that’s the reason why nemu is gone in Da Capo II.

has anyone here played the Da Capo White Season?

Posted By: endlezz On: January 06, 2009 At: 6:46 am

Wow, it was soooo nice to see Kotori, Miharu, SUGINAMU (FUCK YEAH!), Utamaru (FUCK YEAH!) and co. again. Gave me nostalgic feelings, as Da Capo was one of my first anime and the one that hooked me up to the bishoujo-genre. The only one I really missed was Sakura.

Posted By: bluemist On: January 06, 2009 At: 8:51 am

@newbie_tuner

FYI, Nemu is gone in Da Capo II because it’s 50 years later. Also, this is an alternative universe anime.

Posted By: lawls On: January 06, 2009 At: 6:01 pm

and before you know it, Nemu/Sakura (dunno) is reborn in front of Kotori and everyone lives happily ever after. (or some other cheezy ending like that)

Posted By: Clead On: January 07, 2009 At: 11:17 am

Hmm, you know, it seems too normal to think that Kotori will end with Jun-ache-of-a-person, even so, the atmosphere gives off that sensation that nemu is reeeeeeeeeally death, if it was the sakura tree, is normal that sakura doesn’t appear at all, I mean, YOU FUCKED KILLED MY SISTER, WITH ALL THE SISCOM THAT IMPLIES!!!! (not really like that, but you understand me, dont you?)

bluemist got a point, it doesn’t add nothing new to the chars, their gags are a little overexploited (banana, nabe…), but I think that being 3 years late, it doesn’t give that bad of an impression, even if I remember the chars, it doesn’t mean that a quick review is something to be angry about.

I wanted to ask, there would be a second OVA? I mean, weeding, confession, grave… add ULTRA KAWAII Kotori and even if you leave it like that you can join the points and see the ending (TWGOK rulz xD).

Posted By: Find Niches Online On: January 10, 2009 At: 12:03 pm

Excellent content here and a nice writing style too – keep up the great work!

Posted By: Counter Arts On: February 10, 2009 At: 4:44 pm

Oh great… sooo late to this post. I just wanted to make a point quick.

I’ve been surfing around about the reactions to this OVA and it seems like some people don’t understand why Kotori acted like that.

To me, it seems like there is a simple answer.

It seems like Kotori will always try to do what she thinks is the “right” thing to do. This applies even if it means giving away the guy she likes to someone else or being left out in the end.

So Kotori does not believe that cleaning out nemu’s room in that way is “right”. She probably didn’t think the idea itself was bad. She probably didn’t like Junichi’s attitude or reasons for doing that. He probably wasn’t appreciating Nemu’s efforts and that’s what bothered Kotori.

I mean… weren’t we all ticked off when all of Kotori’s efforts didn’t relatively benefit her compared to someone else? I think she would want her efforts to at least be appreciated and respected, even if all she gets is a dinky glass musical note.

Posted By: ZhangKhaiEn On: February 24, 2009 At: 5:09 am

actually, there’s a D.C.II I.F. manga, where, like, D.C.if, Shirakawa wins. It just got updated where Shirakawa just won:
http://www.finaleden.com/Type.aspx?id=5397

Posted By: Counter Arts On: February 25, 2009 At: 7:24 pm

Wait… does I.F. mean Imaginary Future?

I’ll be particularly ticked off if D.C.I.F. was all a dream. There will be much rage and agro against circus… at least from me.

Posted By: Counter Arts On: March 13, 2009 At: 4:07 am

Hey everybody! D.C.I.F. is coming to the PS2!

Posted By: red On: March 13, 2009 At: 1:45 pm

hey hey…

isnt nemu gone to abroad to study in Nurse’s College?
so she is not dead ya know!!

also in Da Capo second season Nemu came back

Posted By: Dody On: March 28, 2009 At: 12:35 am

So, Nemu is Dead??? The why she have a descendant??? Or this is a non-canon story????

Posted By: Michael On: April 05, 2009 At: 2:38 pm

The only thing keeping me watching this really is how pissed I was at Da Capo SS’s Nemu-tastic bullshit a few years back. Kotori got mega-stiffed, especially after the promising first few episodes.

In answer to the last commenter, D.C.if seems to be an alt take on D.C.SS a la the millions of Evangelion endings. ‘cept this one partially corrects the mistake and gives Kotori the props I wanted her to get back when I was 16 or so.

In answer to the question about the kanji, it just means grave. It’s meant to be ambiguous, but hey, I want to assume that DING DONG THE WICKED WITCH IS DEAAAAD!!!

Posted By: Taiyaki On: April 08, 2009 At: 6:02 am

Meh. Everything went downhill the moment they went and killed Nemu.

Posted By: boogiecat On: April 08, 2009 At: 9:50 am

Oh well the review and insights was great and at least he(Bluemist) gave his own views,thanks again Bluemist!!

O.T:

Its a must to buy this game:

http://www.play-asia.com/SOap-23-83-4jgc-71-43-77-c-49-en-15-D.C.-84-j-70-3885-43-99.html

Posted By: Kath On: May 30, 2009 At: 1:09 pm

Why di Nemu died?? I like nemu more than kotori~i mean nemu is not like kotori who is so sensitive!!! urghh stupid kotori

Posted By: GoldenSilence On: June 18, 2009 At: 7:57 pm

might that grave be the grandmothers?

Posted By: d3vlight On: July 13, 2009 At: 6:54 pm

I doubt it considering:
*Sudden fresh flowers for someone who died so long prior to the events for no apparent reason?
*Need to *forget/move past* your sister going to nursing school?
*Nemu’s bell on the tabletop
*The horribly over-the-top/cliche cherry blossom scene where Kotori whispers “Nemu-san…” (Did anyone remember her “if I could be reborn as a cherry tree..” letter in her ending?)

I realize the time constraint why did they find it necessary to merge anime with game instead of taking Kotori’s wonderful game arc and presenting us with an anime retelling?

Surely suffering from a bit of nostalgia is preferable to watching Kotori and Jun’ichi agonize over Nemu’s memory for 50 minutes.

That and all the little contradictions…
Assuming it’s from the events of season 1 and not something random like a car crash…

*Jun’ichi can talk normally with Sakura who killed his beloved sister out of spite/jealousy? (I know he said he wouldn’t hate her but really…)
*The cherry tree is dead anyways? (How indecisive they made you out to be my poor Sakura)

Oh well, at least everyone’s favorite girl got a happy ending for once.

Posted By: MasterFireSonic On: July 14, 2009 At: 12:01 pm

D.C. than D.C. S.S. than D.C. If.

Nemu’s Junichi wife.
Kotori’s Junichi 2nd wife.

Who kill Nemu!?
I miss Nemu..goodbye…

Nanaka’s Kotori granddaughter with Junichi.
Otome and Yume’s Nemu granddaughters with Junichi.

Nanaka isn’t Otome and Yume’s sister.

Junichi’s old 15,17(D.C.S.S.),18(D.C.IF).

good luck.

Posted By: Susan On: October 04, 2009 At: 8:13 am

No I want nemu and that guy together!!! WTF!

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