Da Capo II

July 12, 2008

I wouldn’t have really guessed that there would be a sequel to the Da Capo series. It never actually crossed my mind. So when Da Capo II came out, it was a surprise to me. I must be thinking that the series must have been quite popular for the producers to produce a sequel. However despite it’s name, this anime is actually the 3rd instalment of the series. Yes, not the 2nd instalment, but the 3rd.
 
One reason why they decided to name it number 2 instead of 3 is because that this series takes place 50 years after the original Da Capo series. Meaning that, you’ll see a bunch of new characters. For those who have watched the original 2 seasons, you would have known that everything has already ended there and then. Right on a happy note.
 
According to my research on sites like Anime News Network and Wikipedia, I find that the storyline is somewhat totally different from its synopsis mentioned. I mean, after watching finished the series, I was left wondering where this particular storyline comes in. You see, the plot is about a boy named Yoshiyuki Sakurai, who was born when Sakura Yoshino was feeling lonely. This Yoshiyuki guy is supposed to be the son if Junichi and Sakura were to get married. But that didn’t happen in the last season. Furthermore, the returning characters are Sakura and Junichi only. So the plot is about the characters who have to make a decision to either save the island that they live on, Hatsunejima, or Yoshiyuki, by undoing that magic from that great big sakura tree. In the anime, it didn’t even come close to this. Perhaps this is the setting for the pc game or adult visual novel, which the anime is adapted from.
 
But rather than fretting on little minor stuffs like that, let me just move on to the other things. In the anime, the sakura trees on the island of Hatsunejima still blooms all year long. And well, another reason why I decided to watch this series besides being a fan of the original Da Capo series was because of the beautiful people. Uh huh. The people behind the series still have the touch and what it takes to make the characters and the sakura petals gorgeous and stunning.
 
Since this is a sequel of the original series, there are a bunch of new characters as mentioned. However I kinda find that some of these characters have somewhat a similar look to the original predecessors. Like Yoshiyuki is supposed to be to new main male protagonist for this instalment as with Junichi in the previous. Koko Tsukishima looks like a cross between Nemu and Miharu, Nanaka Shirakawa reminds me of Kotori, Yume Asakura has that uncanny resemblance of Nemu, Otome Asakura a little like Moe but less dreamy and blur, and Minatsu Amakase share similar traits from Miharu like she’s a robot and must eat bananas (though she hates them, she has to). Sometimes I feel like they’re rip-offs from the original but sometimes I feel that if they make a totally new character, then I would miss the old one. Speaking of which, I wonder if the Suginami here is the same as the Suginami back in the original series. That’s because he looks and sounds the same. Not to mention his character too. Urm… Probably he’s some magical deity who lives forever? Nah! Or maybe the characters are descendants of the original characters and you can guess it by their surnames.
 
So episode 1 starts off with Koko confessing her feelings to Yoshiyuki under a sakura tree. But that was just a dream. We see Yoshiyuki living in his home along with sisters Yume and Otome. Just like its predecessors, though they’re siblings, they’re not related by blood. An excuse for incest? But in this season, you won’t have that lover’s relationship between siblings which happened between Junichi and Nemu. Phew. Yume here is more serious in reprimanding her bro while Otome plays a more big sisterly role here. Well well, how ironic. Yume doesn’t know how to cook and wants Yoshiyuki to fix something since Otome has left for school early. At school, we’re introduced to the new motley crew of this series. We have Koko’s best friends, the busty Akane Hanasaki and the monotonous looking Anzu Yukimura, the popular school singing idol, Nanaka, and of course Yoshiyuki’s pals, Wataru Itabashi and Suginami. Also a mean and always-have-that-suspicious-look class rep, Maya Sawai. Since Otome is the student council president, we’ll always see her vice president, Mayuki Kousaka, always next to her in school. Since Mayuki is more serious and has that ‘intimidating’ look, many students won’t want to mess with her and would get out of her way when she comes by. Note that she’s not a bad person. It seems Sakura Yoshino has become the headmistress for Kazami Academy and though she still looks young and petite, but I guess her dressing now makes her look a little more mature. And she has a little furry pet dog called Harimao (probably named after a tiger in Malay). Looks cute but hey, what happened to that cat Utamaru? Maybe cats don’t live that long. Haha, just kidding.
 
Anyway Koko is trying to ask Yoshiyuki to spend time with her at the school festival but since that guy is too busy, he and that press club member Suginami remembered that he has some chores to do for Sakura and quickly whisks away to her office. Since the duo didn’t find her there, Yoshiyuki spots an underground staircase hidden inside the closet. Before curiosity can kill the cat, Sakura returns to hand him some papers. Thus the rest of the day sees Yoshiyuki busy for the festival. Akane and Anzu are trying to play matchmaking for Koko and Yoshiyuki and sets up various events to get Koko to confess to him. It’s evening and the day is coming to an end. We see the gang leaving Koko and Yoshiyuki alone together at the sakura tree. Deja vu? Yeah well, Koko finally manages to confess to him. It’s like a dream come true, literally. Not wanting to break this cute girl’s heart, Yoshiyuki agrees to be her boyfriend and go out with her, making a very emotionally happy Koko to tears as they hug.
 
Yoshiyuki and Koko starts dating in episode 2 but it’s not like they’re being lovey-dovey with each other, rather shy shy blush blush. So leave it to Anzu and Akane to spice things up and make the right setting for them. Yume and Otome finds out why Yoshiyuki managed to get up so early this morning. Yeah, it’s because of a girl. Can’t hide that embarrassment from their faces. Other than that, it seems Suginami decides to drag Yoshiyuki into 1 of his investigations on the school’s mysteries when the latter mentions about that hidden staircase in Sakura’s closet. Should’ve kept his mouth shut. The dark passageway leads the duo to find a girl their age sleeping in a transparent capsule. Yoshiyuki accidentally presses a red button. The alarm is set off and the sleeping girl soon awakens from her slumber. This girl, Minatsu, just like any other person who wakes up from the wrong side of the bed, gets grumpy and angry. She wants to know why she has been awakened from her beauty sleep. Yoshiyuki tries to explain that it’s all an accident when Minatsu tells him that there are 2 things she hate the most in this world. Banana and humans. Banana? Anyway, she proceeds to give Yoshiyuki a good punch in the face. Ouch. A group of scientist then enters the room to calm Minatsu down. The head of the pack, Mizukoshi explains to the boys that Minatsu is a robot (yeah, how life-like. Is this how the future technology of robots will be like?) and wants them to forget what they have seen. Hey, isn’t this Mizukoshi that Mako girl back in the original Da Capo series? She looks more grown up, wiser and mature, unlike her tomboyish behaviour back then. Wait a minute. It can’t be her. It’s 50 years already. So must be her descendant.
 
But it’s going to get worse because the next day, Minatsu is seen as a new transfer student in their school. Upon spotting the person who woke her up, you can tell that she doesn’t really like him. At Mizukoshi’s office, she tells Yoshiyuki that due to circumstances since it turned out like that, he has to keep it a secret and gives him a thick operations manual. I guess something advanced has lots of technical stuffs to operate. It’s no child’s play. Because Yoshiyuki is so engrossed in reading and understanding how Minatsu works, he misses lunch with Koko. Uh oh, not good. Anzu and Akane spot him and think he’s reading something perverted. So as punishment, they suggest he treats Koko to some crepe. Being the good boy he is, he does but not with lots of those blushing encounters. Later on their way home, they spot Minatsu with Yume. Minatsu figures out that they’re both siblings from the way they talk but she soon starts to panic when she can’t find any bananas. Minatsu then starts to malfunction and smoke can be seen coming out from her ears. Yoshiyuki too panics and quickly brings her away, leaving Koko and Yume to wonder what’s going on. Hiding behind some bushes, Yoshiyuki realizes that bananas are Minatsu’s power source (weird. Why banana? Perhaps her predecessor Miharu loves it so much so the creators decide to take after her) and frantically tries to find some. Akane and Anzu are eating some choco banana (yeah, perverted guys may get the wrong idea if they see they way they ‘eat’ them) when Yoshiyuki comes by and snatches it away from them. Minatsu recovers after eating the choco banana (another scene which can be misinterpreted as something perverted) and we find out that even though she hates bananas, a chocolate covered one makes it less sickening. How ironic for one who needs to depend on banana power and to hate it at the same time. Perhaps she ate too much of it. Minatsu reluctant thanks Yoshiyuki for his help. Just then, Yume, Koko, Akane and Anzu come by to see them both in a compromising position. Grilling time.
 
Yoshiyuki tries to tell his sisters than Mizukoshi had requested him to keep an eye out for Minatsu without blowing her cover in episode 3. But of course, Yume remains suspicious and there are holes in his words. Koko on the other hand is pondering about Yoshiyuki’s relationship with Minatsu but seeing his troubled face, Koko decides to just trust him. Meanwhile, Nanaka is seen rejecting some confession of some poor guy. During recess, Yoshiyuki goes out early to buy bread when he heard a familiar breakdown sound. Yeah, it’s Minatsu alright. It’s either the robot or the bread. And so it’s the robot. He helps give Minatsu some of her bananas, in which she failed to eat in time, causing her breakdown. Yoshiyuki resumes his bread quest but finds that the place is being overcrowded with an unruly hungry mob. But then Nanaka arrives and offers to help him. We see her part the crowd like what Moses did to the Red Sea, but with her popularity charm. She gets the bread for Yoshiyuki before leaving. While Yoshiyuki wonders how she knows his name, we see a group of jealous boys with an equally deadly aura of jealousy. It’s hard being a silent fan of Nanaka, then comes a stranger and she gets so friendly with him. How not to burn with envy? Later Yoshiyuki meets up with Koko at the music room and finds out that she and Nanaka are best friends. It seems Koko is part of the band and plays the bass. While Wataru is on the drums, Nanaka is the vocalist. After hearing them perform, Yoshiyuki notices that a guitarist is missing. They tell him the band had initially 1 but that guy wasn’t putting his heart and should into it and was thus ‘fired’. Yoshiyuki picks up the guitar and starts playing. Sounds good. In no time, they invite Yoshiyuki to join their band and he agrees as they continue their jamming session.
 
On the way home after their practice session, Yoshiyuki somehow invites Koko over to his place. I guess most viewers are anticipating something ‘steamy’ would happen between this 2 since both his sisters aren’t in. What a great setting for 2 lovers to be home alone. Okay, they’re still quite shy of each other. Until Yoshiyuki stood up and accidentally trips because his legs are too numb after sitting in that position. Thus, falling on top of Koko. If Yume and Koko were to walk in right now and see this, they’ll blow their top. Speaking of which, Otome just opened the door. Too bad people, it seems the duo have managed to regain their composure in time. Otome asks Koko to stay over for dinner. Meanwhile, Minatsu is roaming in the streets, learning more about the human culture when Yume spots her. She too invites Minatsu for dinner. Thankfully, the dinner went well and nothing big really happened, though Yoshiyuki and Minatsu are surprised to see each other here (well, Yoshiyuki does live here). Minatsu is enjoying the curry meal and want seconds when Otome says how it’s made of banana… Are you loving it, girl? Once it’s time to go home, Yume suggests that Yoshiyuki accompany them. But Minatsu doesn’t need his help and rushes off on her own. So it’s back to Yoshiyuki and Koko alone. While walking her home, Yoshiyuki tries to apologize but can’t seem to find the right words. But Koko is understanding and feels happy now that he has joined the band. Yeah, she can see him more often and be closer to him.
 
Episode 4 begins with yet another 1 of Yoshiyuki’s dream with Koko. No, it’s not some wild fantasy but it might suggest so because Koko is blushingly asking him to make some memories with him! Woah! All dreams must come to an end as Yoshiyuki wakes up to find he’s running late for school again. He’s got to stop having such dreams. This episode is the school sports festival and we see everybody taking part. At the field, Nanaka is addressing her team mates when she spots Yoshiyuki and calls him. Hmm… I think Nanaka seems to like him and probably there’s going to be more than a girl which Yoshiyuki has to tend to. Now, that’s what I look forward to in a harem anime. Anyway, we see those loser boys staring at Yoshiyuki with their piercing eyes. The event starts with a well… double three-legged race. Yoshiyuki is being paired with Koko and Anzu but they tripped when the race starts. Since Yoshiyuki got his face in Koko’s boobs, Anzu cheekily pushes his head deep into it. Then it’s some borrowing race in which every paper poor Minatsu picks seem to say ‘banana’. Haha, it really does piss her off. Yume has to find a pair of gym shorts for her borrowing race and hastily tells Yoshiyuki to strip! After forcing his pants off him, Yoshiyuki is left half-naked in embarrassment in the middle of the track. Harassment! This prompts Otome to say "Sexual scenes are forbidden!". I don’t know how he got his shorts back but it seems Yoshiyuki’s private time with Koko is once again interrupted when the others join them for lunch. Anzu and Akane even suggest Koko to feed him lovers style. If she was so embarrassed, why did she obliged? Anyway everyone is really enjoying watching them do it.
 
The race resumes after lunch and Suginami hands Yoshiyuki a remote. Upon pressing it, some large net appears and flings the girls up in the air. When they land, they seem to be in some very suggestive positions. Next up is a 100m race but Suginami too has rigged Yoshiyuki’s shoes with some rocket blaster. So instead of reaching the finish line, he reached for the sky. Later, Koko is seen taking a slightly wounded Yoshiyuki to the infirmary. But their lonely time together is interrupted again when the P.A. speaker calls for Yoshiyuki to meet Yume. At the infirmary, Yume is interrogating Yoshiyuki on his relationship with Koko but that guy doesn’t want to say much and that it’s none of her business, causing jealous Yume to spray some painful disinfectant on him. Once the sports festival is over, Koko wants Yoshiyuki to follow her to the store shed. She then wants him to make some memories with her. Could this be another dream come true? Well, it’s natural for guys his age to conjure up something perverted. Not wanting to miss this chance, I guess he’s ready to accept it when Koko pulls out a camera. Yup, her intentions were to take a photo of them both. Well, memories last longer that way. Before they could take one, they are yet interrupted again by Akane, Anzu and Wataru who excitedly wants to take a group photo. See the trend? Looks like these 2 will never have a peaceful time alone. But it ends with Akane instructing Wataru to take a pic of the lovebirds together.
 
In episode 5, Koko is worried about where her relationship with Yoshiyuki is heading. Even though they’re spending more time together at band practice, but that’s just it. It’s not like they’re going out like lovers do. As expected, Koko’s concerned buddies (more like busybodies) Anzu and Akane decides to give Koko a little push. And since Nanaka overheard their conversation, she can’t help but to join in as well. The next day with Nanaka faking that she’s too busy for band practice, this gives Koko and Yoshiyuki the opportunity to go out together. Poor Yoshiyuki he has to endure another round of interrogation from Yume but he still manages to leave her in stitches. During their outing, Koko notices what couples do like holding hands but she herself is too shy to try it out. Then at the movies, Koko is surprised when Yoshiyuki grabs her hand. Could this be it? Nope, he was just reaching for the popcorn. Darn. Meanwhile Anzu, Akane and Nanaka are shopping together when they spot Wataru spying from outside a cafe. It seems that guy is spying on Yoshiyuki and Koko who are patroning that cafe. I guess they want to join in the ‘fun’. Probably with many people hiding behind something flimsy isn’t a good idea as their cover is quickly exposed. Yoshiyuki then puts on a serious and disappointing face which sends guilty conscious to those stalkers. But he was just kidding and in a jiff, he grabs Koko’s hand and runs out of the cafe. Yeah, pretty slick move. Now their real date can start with no more interruptions.
 
While the duo are sharing an ice cream on the bench, Koko wonders if this could be an indirect kiss when a lost kid is seen crying for his mama. Koko calms him down till his mom is found and Yoshiyuki notes that Koko will be a good mother, making her blush. When they’re walking home, Koko is trying desperately to hold his hand but can’t find the courage to do so. Yoshiyuki notices this and takes her hand. But then a dog starts barking at them. As Yoshiyuki pulls Koko away, she holds his arm out of fear. After the owner calms its dog down, Koko realizes that she’s holding his arm and wants to stay like this a little longer. The next day at school, Anzu and Akane are apologizing for intruding on her privacy but still had the cheek to ask how the date went. Koko mentions how her dream came true. Her pals think she and Yoshiyuki finally did a passionate kiss but to their disappointment, her dream was just to hold his hand. *Sigh*. I think viewers too feel their disappointment.
 
After Minatsu was ‘absent’ from the previous episode, I guess episode 6 has the spotlight on her before everyone starts thinking that this series is going to be Yoshiyuki-Koko show. Yoshiyuki is still wondering how he should go about taking care of Minatsu since Mizukoshi entrusted her to him. Another irony is that, human hater Minatsu seems to be making friends with Anzu and Akane already. Later at the park, Yoshiyuki spots Minatsu playing friendly with a dog. He approaches her and says how he’s happy with seeing her like this and invites her over for dinner but Minatsu isn’t pleased seeing that her number 1 enemy has seen her soft side. They leave each other after a short quarrel. Back home, Yume isn’t pleased to hear that since she had bought lots of stuffs for dinner and commands Yoshiyuki to patch things up with Minatsu. The next day as he’s walking to school, he spots Minatsu walking in the opposite direction reading a book on world domination! Woah! This girl is serious! They bump into each other and Yoshiyuki picks up that book before Minatsu snatches it back. It seems Minatsu is pleading for him not to tell anybody this. Yoshiyuki gets an idea… he blackmails her. Well, can’t be the good guy forever. At first looks, Yoshiyuki seems to be dating a reluctant Minatsu! Why, he even ditches Koko and the band practice just to be with that robot. Very worrying trend here. So the rest of the day sees the odd pair on their outing through town and it’s ironic for a robot to be fascinated with ‘advanced human technology’. I guess that’s what happen when you’re sleeping for too long. Rip Van Winkle? They even tried playing a video game at an arcade in which Minatsu overheats due to the intensity.
 
Minatsu comes to and finds herself resting on Yoshiyuki’s lap. She wonders why he’s doing all this. He replies that he just wants to get to know her better, and is his friend regardless of whether she’s a human or robot. We then learn something about robots and why Minatsu hates humans. I don’t remember all that blabbing but what I understand is that humans tend to abuse and mistreat robots (heck, even if there’s no life creatures, humans can still take it out on machines! Those savages!). Another irony is that humans are the ones who created robots and in time when robots became smarter due to artificial intelligence, humans perceive their existence to be a threat! Thus robots like Minatsu have been put to sleep. WTF? So what happened to all those modern conveniences and technology? Are they against it? Yoshiyuki feels pity and apologizes on behalf of all humans (if only everyone is like him) and says that Minatsu’s waking up isn’t a bother as she’s able to learn things. With that, Minatsu feels better and gladly accepts his invitation over to dinner. Back home, we find that Yume and Otome have cooked up a banana feast! Even Sakura’s there to join in. At the end of the day, Minatsu acknowledges that Yoshiyuki and co aren’t so bad after all and that it’s okay to be their friends.
 
It’s Nanaka’s turn in episode 7 after being left out in the previous. Here, we see ever popular Nanaka rejecting a popular football member guy’s confession. Because of that, lots of jealous fangirls of that guy are badmouthing her behind her back. Though Yoshiyuki wants to tell them off, Nanaka says that it isn’t necessary. But the girls continue their verbal abuses and Yoshiyuki can’t stand it any longer and lashes at them. Before this could turn ugly, Otome and Mayuki arrive to see what all the commotion is about. Remember, don’t mess with Mayuki. Later Nanaka thanks Yoshiyuki for standing up for her but unknown to them, an unknown assailant takes a pic of them with the handphone. Looking at it, you can say they’re quite ‘close and friendly’ with each other. Oh oh. That photo lands in Koko’s shoebox locker but Koko’s trust on Yoshiyuki isn’t wavering. She still believes him. Well partly she knows Nanaka’s her best friend and wouldn’t do something like this behind her back. Akane and Anzu approaches Yoshiyuki to find some answers but Nanaka takes him away quickly. Though she apologizes for the troubles she has caused him, Yoshiyuki says that it’s nothing. Nanaka then hugs him. Now, does she really have feelings for him? I know being the main guy in a harem anime is a must. Even later at band practice when Yoshiyuki compliments on Nanaka’s singing, they stared at each other’s eyes as though as some spark of chemistry has ignited and Nanaka making him confess that he likes her! Well, her singing actually.
 
After the practice, Nanaka stays behind to help out. Due to an impending storm, everyone else leaves early. With the music room lock, Nanaka has no choice to head to the rooftop to do her practice when the storm arrives and shuts the only exit lock. Now she’s trapped. So cliche. Yoshiyuki is back home and remembers he left his book at school and decides to retrieve it even if there’s a storm. At school, he hears Nanaka’s handphone ringing in a classroom (which she left behind) but to his surprise finds Koko on the other line. Koko is worried that Nanaka hasn’t come home yet when the handphone batteries died (so cliche!) and Yoshiyuki thinks she may still be in school and goes searching for her. Nanaka is soaking wet and cold on top but luckily Yoshiyuki manages to find her and breaks down the door. While he gives her his coat to keep warm, she apologizes again for causing more trouble. Of course, he says never mind all that bla bla bla. Then it occurred to Nanaka that she now understands why Koko is in love with him. But his kindness and gentleness can be a double edged sword as it could also hurt others. Nanaka suddenly hugs Yoshiyuki but realizes that this feeling/confession of hers is just of friendship, nothing more. As they head downstairs and out of the school grounds, she tells him to always cherish Koko when speak of the devil, Koko comes rushing in worried about them. Nanaka cheekily pushes Yoshiyuki towards her as the trio walk home. Well, if you’re hoping to see any love chemistry from Nanaka for Yoshiyuki, don’t get your hopes high up. This is the most it’ll turn out to be. Nothing more. *Sighs*. Reminds me of Junichi and Kotori’s case…
 
With the upcoming school field trip, everyone is getting excited in episode 8. Minatsu seems to be part of Yoshiyuki’s circle of friends and wonders what a field trip is like, though she won’t be coming along with them since she’s in a different year and class. So the coming Sunday, the gang head to the supermart to buy necessary stuffs for their trip. After finishing their shopping, the gang part ways and this part feels like some cursed horror movie because the screws of a billboard on a building starts to come loose and soon is going to fall on Yume and Minatsu. It really did crashed on Minatsu, as she pushed Yume out of harms way. Yoshiyuki and Wataru rushes over to the commotion and fears that the billboard may have collapsed on Minatsu. With the help of the crowd, they lifted the billboard only to find Minatsu unscratched and in perfect health. Everybody is surprised. Well, she soon starts to malfunction. An ambulance arrives at the scene and whisks Minatsu away. At the hospital, Mizukoshi arrives to take Minatsu back but tells Yoshiyuki that the situation may have start to worsen. So he leaves Yoshiyuki to explain it to his pals. Back at home, Yoshiyuki is finding it hard to tell everyone that Minatsu’s a robot but eventually manage to spill the beans. Sakura and Minatsu then arrive to further explain that robots with emotions and feelings were subjected to controversial debate (like those gene cloning research) and its research was put on indefinite suspension. So as not to stir the hornet’s nest, Mizukoshi had instructed Yoshiyuki and Suginami to keep this a secret since they were the ones who stumbled upon it. Minatsu and Yoshiyuki apologize and the latter pleads for his friends to keep this a secret. However, Wataru goes up to him and grabs his shirt. He tells him off not to look down on them as they would’ve done so even if he hadn’t said so. With everyone agreeing, Yoshiyuki is relieved that this is settled. The next day at school, everyone is having their usual lunch together when Maya looks upon them with growing suspicion. Another problem creeping up.
 
The school field trip begins in episode 9 and before Yoshiyuki leaves, Sakura gives him a pendant which looks like a USB port. On the train, Yoshiyuki is too tired because he spent last night listen to Otome’s ‘advice’. While Koko’s pals once again try to give the lovebirds some time together, Wataru and Suginami quips how for those 2 it seems more of a honeymoon rather than a field trip. So the gang did the usual sightseeing various places and fun on the trip like feeding deer and taking pictures. A funny part includes Akane getting stuck while trying to go through some small pillar hole as good luck. Sometimes being busty has its down points. Later as the girls are dipping in a hot bath, Koko laments that she hasn’t got to spend much time with Yoshiyuki. Though Koko brushes off those passionate romantic ideas from her pals, they decide to help her get closer with Yoshiyuki. The boys have also finished their bath and the usual and obligatory must-sneak-into-the-girls-room ideal. Yoshiyuki is against the idea but before he knows it, Wataru and Suginami wrap him up in a mattress and bring him there. The girls too had a similar idea on Koko but were stopped by holier-than-thou Maya. Soon the guys come barging in and drops Yoshiyuki right in front of Koko. Koko’s bag of panties accidentally opened and fell on his head. This causes her to be embarrassed and slaps him. Even if he’s not at fault. While the gang wants to leave the lovebirds alone, a robot staff comes in which prompts Maya to say how she despise robots and life would be better without them. So now we have a robot hater. This statement upsets Yoshiyuki very much and they both had a little argument. Though Maya leaves, it doesn’t look like she’ll change her mind on her grudge. Because so, Yoshiyuki is spacing out and thinking about it and not focusing on poor Koko. Even when they go buy souvenirs, Koko has been ignored by him. When they go back to the inn, Koko meets up with Yoshiyuki and asks him if he wants to go to the shrine together alone. A legend states that couples who write their name there will forever be together. Yoshiyuki agrees and promises with a yubikiri. We see Anzu, Akane, Wataru and Suginami spying on them. But the funny part was Suginami and Wataru disgustingly trying to imitate and replay that promise Yoshiyuki and Koko made. As everyone goes in for a bath, Yoshiyuki receives a call from Yume. From the looks of his face, it looks like trouble.
 
Due to that billboard incident, Minatsu has gained somewhat an unwanted popularity throughout Kazami Academy in episode 10. It’s like the students couldn’t believe that a robot is studying among them and subjects her to their teasing. I know it makes me wonder why a robot needs to attend school but those heartless students are too much. They’re treating her like an alien. Another irony, a robot with emotion and feelings but humans without one. Also rumours of her are spreading across the island like wildfire. Luckily Yume is there to stand up for her, though Minatsu doesn’t mind being ridiculed and such. Back at the field trip, obviously Yoshiyuki is being bugged by Yume’s call about the spreading of the rumour. It must be tough being a robot because students even come up to Minatsu to touch her just to have a feel how close she is to a human. Even if Otome and Mayuki steps in, but it’s just a temporary reprieve. Otome and Mayuki are discussing about this issue at the student council room when Otome feels a little dizzy before collapsing. Yoshiyuki gets another call from Yume about Otome’s collapse. Without thinking further, he decides to rush home but didn’t say anything much to Wataru about his sudden departure. Koko can only look on with disappointment.
 
Otome is recuperating in the infirmary and a flashback during her younger days when Yoshiyuki promised her how he’ll come to her rescue if there’s any trouble. True enough, he’s there when she open her eyes. But of course he doesn’t remember the promise and this was just probably out of instinct and concern. Yoshiyuki asks Mizukoshi if there’s anything that could be done to quell this problem but she mentions that not everyone will accept robots. Sakura comes by and takes the pendant from him and welcome him back. Back home, Yoshiyuki remembers his promise he made with Koko. Oh oh. So he rushes to school to find everyone has returned and dispersed. He finds Koko and on the way back tries to apologize profusely but Koko angrily told him back that even though he had to leave in a hurry, that was fine with her. As long as he told her beforehand. With that, she runs away in tears. Pitiful. The next day in school, looks like it’s Koko’s turn to give Yoshiyuki the cold shoulder. Not forgiving him yet? During recess, Maya bumps into Yoshiyuki on the rooftop and she tells him that if the rumour about Minatsu being a robot is true, she’ll not hesitate to take action to get her expelled from school. Because of Yoshiyuki’s body language, she thinks that the rumour is true and proceeds to the student council room to have Minatsu expelled. Yoshiyuki relays Maya’s plan to Mizukoshi but the latter understands Maya’s feelings and explains that Maya’s dad was the creator this robot technology. Since it wasn’t well received by many, he got the blame for everything. Soon he committed suicide due to the immense pressure. I can’t believe all those heartless monsters and their unruly protests. Because of that, Maya has been living a life filled with pain. So can we blame her now?
 
But the bullying and torment for Minatsu continues in episode 11. Yoshiyuki and co are having a hard time trying to fend of those bastards. It’s amazing to see how Minatsu who was once a human hater has gradually learned to be more tolerant of it all. Yoshiyuki feels that since all this was his fault when he first brought Minatsu back to life, he thinks of going it alone. Even if Koko offers to help, but he doesn’t want to get her involved anymore. Jerk. Did she already forgave him the last time? Sakura also comes up with the idea that Minatsu should live with Yoshiyuki for the time being. By the way, where did she live previously? Sakura or Mizukoshi’s place? If so, what’s wrong of staying put there. You can obviously tell that their relationship is on the rocks when Koko too skips band practice, avoids seeing Yoshiyuki at school and even lied to him so as not to trouble him. Koko must be feeling more and more distant. Meanwhile Otome is resisting a protest made by the PTA. As Yoshiyuki and Minatsu went out shopping, they bump into Maya. Will we see sparks flying? No. Yoshiyuki tells Maya that he understands her situation but Maya is still adamant, saying that he doesn’t know what it’s like to lose a family member. Minatsu also realized that she herself was once like Maya. Bitter, cold and hatred towards the other race. Well I don’t think Maya needs a sympathy from a robot. The stand-off could’ve go on if not for Maya’s little brother, Yuuto, appearing. Maya then left with Yuuto. At the same time, Koko is skipping school and Nanaka decides to check on her at her home. The duo had a heart to heart talk when Yoshiyuki rings her doorbell. Koko doesn’t want to answer it. After Yoshiyuki has left, Koko continues to emotionally blurt out her confused feelings. She also mentions how it’s painful being beside Yoshiyuki each time and worries what will happen to them if this continues. Nanaka lends her a shoulder to cry on. Well, Koko cried in her arms actually. Good thing she’s also there to provide an ear to listen. That’s what best friends are for.
 
Koko continues to skip class in episode 12 while robot haters up their cruel pranks by hiding Minatsu’s shoes. Good ol’ Yoshiyuki decides to help finding her shoes and eventually finds them in the incinerator. Can they just buy new shoes? But that’s not the point. The pranks have gone way out of control. You can’t help feel sorry for Minatsu and I’m sure Yoshiyuki’s blood is boiling and would’ve bring those responsible to justice if not for Minatsu’s I-don’t-really-mind-about-it attitude. Later Yoshiyuki bumps into Maya again and another I-hate-robots argument ensue. Maya says how not only robots killed her dad but it ruined her family, thus she can’t accept them. Now this is the turning point. Maya spots Yuuto across the road outside school as he rushes to greet her. Yuuto should’ve remembered his road crossing rules because whenever you’re not looking left or right, some speeding car who doesn’t know how to slow down at pedestrian crossings will quickly zoom by. That’s what will happen if Minatsu didn’t quickly dive in front of the van and shield Yuuto out of harm’s way. It could’ve been fatal but life is full of surprises and ironies. Now how will Maya feel that the 1 thing she hates most saved the 1 thing she loves most. Confused? Definitely. Though Minatsu once again comes out unscathed, Mizukoshi notes how they can no longer hide this.
 
The next day, everyone welcomes and gives Minatsu a standing ovation! What a turn of events. Now she’s a hero. So let me get this straight. Billboard falls on robot girl, nothing happened, everybody hates her. Speeding van coming, robot girl saves kid, everybody loves her. Doesn’t make sense, right? And both are dangerous life threatening situations. So do people need a human factor there? Maya has a change of heart and tries to apologize and thank Minatsu. She’s in an awkward position so I can understand how she feels. Minatsu of course accepts it whole heartedly. After this, Maya doesn’t hate robots anymore and even have lunch with the gang. Maya and Minatsu have a heart to heart talk and the latter wishes for both humans and robots to live in harmony. But this isn’t the end of their problems yet. Yoshiyuki, Minatsu and Yume are being called to the principal’s office and Mizukoshi explains that the school board directors have decided to expel Minatsu. Horror! Just when things are going right. Yoshiyuki tries to find Sakura but she’s nowhere to be found. On the way, Yoshiyuki bumps into Koko. To cut short that emotional speech, Koko wants to break up with Yoshiyuki! Double horror! Her reason is that she wants to go back to they way it was when they were just friends. I guess it feels that they were much closer then.
 
Episode 13 sees the whole school skipping classes as a protest on Minatsu’s expulsion. Oh now she’s a hero. Even Maya girl tries to get the higher ups to change their mind. Be careful what you wish for. Now that Maya has got more than she bargained for, looks like she can’t make a u-turn. Yeah, Maya is even leading the opposition group. This anime is so full of ironies. Just as in real life. If only kids can lead a protest against adults, that will be the day. Though Yoshiyuki manages to find Sakura, she too can’t do anything about it. Hey, what happened to that encounter with Koko? From the looks of it, Yoshiyuki may have accepted Koko’s decision. Probably there’s something more at stake. Losing their relationship or a friend. Well, Yoshiyuki chose. Anyway, with the help of Suginami and Nanaka, Minatsu enters the speaker room and announces throughout the entire school via P.A. system that she’s touched by everyone’s feelings. But she doesn’t want to trouble anyone anymore and thus wants everybody to allow her to live her final 3 days as a normal student. The students then bow their heads to plead for Minatsu’s final wish and I suppose they reached a deal.
 
The 3 days flew by like 10 seconds (which is true if you’re watching this series. Haha. Get it?). Minatsu has her last talk with Yoshiyuki on the school rooftop. She mentions how she’s lucky to have met him and thanks him. Because of that, she got to make friends and experienced the softer side of humans. Minatsu then took out her world domination book and tore it to pieces and it let be gone with the wind. Don’t need that anymore, does she? Yoshiyuki receives an SMS from Koko asking him to bring Minatsu to the hall. Upon arriving, the duo are surprised to find every student gathered in the hall for Minatsu’s mock graduation ceremony. Yoshiyuki finds out that it was Koko who had planned it all out and is later told to go backstage. After Sakura gives Minatsu her graduation scroll, we see the band of Yoshiyuki, Koko, Wataru and Nanaka playing a lively farewell concert to a teary and appreciative Minatsu. See, robots can and do cry after all.
 
Oh dear, the ending doesn’t really seem satisfying at all. Because of that, I still feel that the original seasons of Da Capo are better and I still prefer them over this one. But it’s not really over yet. Just before this series ended, I found out that there will be a second season called Da Capo II Second Season. So that will be the 4th instalment of this spin-off sequel. I hope things will get better from there and will be looking forward to it with much anticipation. No doubt that this season is a little disappointing, it won’t make me less a Da Capo fan. It feels that everything from the storyline to the characters were just sufficient for this season only.
 
Before I forget, let me say 1 thing. SO WHERE IS THE HAREM???!!! I mean, that Yoshiyuki guy got together with Koko at the very beginning but they both broke up in the end, which leaves the main male protagonist very much a single once again. We don’t get to see any fights over his attention as that particular Nanaka-focused episode was probably just a teaser. Mainly I feel this series is about Minatsu and the dealings about having robots within our midst.
 
The drawing, art and animation as mentioned are still as beautiful as ever, especially the sakura petals floating through the air. The voice acting is kinda okay and some of the seiyuus were retained for the same character they played in the original series such as Yukari Tamura as Sakura and Daisuke Kishio as Suginami. Yui Horie who was the voice of Kotori in the original Da Capo series, now voices Yume. Other seiyuus include Sayaka Aoki as Minatsu (Lisanthius in Shuffle, Kinu in Raimuiro Senkitan), Kaori Mizuhashi as Maya (Ai in Aria The Animation, Taeko in Ai Yori Aoshi), Kappei Yamaguchi as Wataru (Inuyasha in Inu Yasha), Minori Chihara as Nanaka (Chiaki of Minami-Ke, Aya of Tenjou Tenge) and Shizuka Itou as Mayuki (Wilhelmina of Shakugan No Shana, Hinagiku of Hayate No Gotoku). The others are relatively new voice talents or ‘not famous ones’ (because their resume isn’t that long. Sorry) such as Shintaro Asanuma as Yoshiyuki, Ayahi Takagaki as Otome, Yoshino Nanjou as Koko, Natsumi Yanase as Akane, and Tae Okajima as Anzu (Kotonoha in School Days).
 
Even the opening and ending theme songs have that Da Capo feel like its previous 2 seasons and once again Yozuca does the opening (Sakura Kimi Ni Emu) and CooRie does the ending (Yasashisa Wa Ame No You Ni). And if you listen closely somewhere in the lyrics, both themes have the word ‘sakura’ in them, just like the other openings and endings of Da Capo. I’ll say it again, it’s truly a sakura-themed series. The next episode preview at the end shows a still pic of a clock radio while the characters rant about something which has nothing to do with the next episode. At least that’s what I heard because they’re talking quite fast.
 
Having said that there’s a 2nd season for this 2nd instalment already, I’m wondering if they will make a 3rd sequel or a 3rd spin-off. Well anything is possible if you live on Hatsunejima. Just wish upon the sakura tree and they will come true. So I’m wishing that the next season I watch will be more interesting and hopefully more pretty kawaii bishoujos! And yes, the harem too!
 
Da Capo II

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