Let’s face it – Da Capo wasn’t a very good anime. Revolving around a magic cherry blossom tree that granted the subconscious wishes of the female inhabitants of an island, it featured some very silly ideas (like a robot replacement for a girl and a cat that had become a human) and put in terrible filler like lengthy songs for each girl and stupid side-stories about dreams. Despite this, there was an interesting love triangle at the heart of the show, and here, it succeeded.
The second season shows us what happened next: Jun’ichi and his sister continued their incestuous relationship (though they weren’t blood-related), but she left to study medicine, and Sakura (the third point of the triangle, who finally accepted the siblings’ love) disappeared. However, there is a new arrival on the island – a young, naïve mage called Aisia, who thinks Jun’ichi is a great magician. When she sees that the rest of Jun’ichi’s harem have been disappointed by his choice of lover (and since the show is based on an H-game, the harem is extensive!), she decides she’ll bring back everyone’s hope by restoring the magical tree. Plot devices ahoy!
The series pulls off the magical idea by presenting it in a realistic context. There’s magic, but the characters are all ordinary teenagers, living normal lives, and the magic is peripheral to their everyday existences. No more robots or cat-girls, making the whole thing rather easier to watch. It still has its faults – the plot meandered along for a long time in the middle, with too many extraneous plotlines that amounted to nothing, and too many characters who Jun’ichi could no doubt pursue in the game but were totally superfluous to the anime and existed only for the fans – overall, though, it was a much less frustrating experience than its predecessor, and Aisia and Sakura were both extremely adorable girls!
And hey, Nemu was quite a sweet person, even if the entire fandom seems to want to tear her limb from limb…I really don’t understand the people complaining because the show ends more or less as it began, without Jun’ichi deciding that actually, he loves someone else entirely. It was the journey that mattered, and the show IS called ‘Da Capo’!
(originally written 15.4.06)