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Da Capo If
[score: 72% = "Watch+"; similar (but better) alternate game path extensions: Clannad Mouhitosu no Sekai Tomoyo Hen, Kimi ga Nozomu Eien - Haruka Route]|
There's a big problem with these "what if he had chosen the other girl?" anime - there's no suspense. So these OVA are only for the fans of the original series who want to know more about each and every character (even more so if she were the most plausible choice but failed to 'win' in the series). Da Capo IF provides a rather simple solution to this: It begins with a scene years later stating the (obvious) result, and then shows the path that led there as a flashback narration.
With the audience knowing all this, the narrator has to artificially create problems in order to make this path interesting at all. Episode 1 had a logical sequence of events, a nice development in the beach scene, then the coffee cup incident leading to a plausible (but short-sighted) decision - only to end with a surprising cliffhanger that looked rather unmotivated. Well, it's an OVA release and they had to give the audience something to debate about until the next episode was released months later... but this? Kimi ga Nozomu Eien - Haruka Route had a similar problem and barely managed to explain it later; "IF" went as far as reducing the whole issue to a simple communication deficit: Had Asakura discussed his plan to 'wipe out' Nemu's memories from his apartment with Kotori before "rallying the troops" she would have stopped him, which she couldn't do any more after others were involved. That was disappointing for me, and the well executed finale (with two nice 'cherry surprises') didn't completely make up for it.
Technical parameters are like the series this is based on; both songs aren't that great despite the nice cue of the howling guitar in the OP song. Using insert songs isn't that special in anime; having a lead character (not seiyuu!) sing this beautiful romantic ballad as part of the story (i. e. this being animated in the show, having her express her troubled thoughts loudly) was a first for me. Though I didn't particularly care for most of the side characters they were all still present in my memory 15 months after watching the TV series; none of them was able to shine but they all worked together as a team in order to clean up the mess that was caused by both leads' stupidity.
Last updated Sunday, August 29 2010. Created Sunday, August 29 2010.
Da Capo If
I was thinking that this must be the first episode of a new Winter 2009 series until I read this; why was my fansub labelled "01" if this is all there is? On the one hand this show was modestly amusing and presented a sweet, innocent view of life and teen romance. On the other, it didn't really go anywhere--it had a hard to describe Da Capo feel to it; a sense of mild strangeness which moves slowly and is easily forgotten afterwards, almost as if you were dreaming the whole time. I was surprised by the implication that high schooler Kotori will be getting married (to Asakura?)--or did I misunderstand the subtitles?|
Oh, I get it--there were two OVAs, and I just watched the first one. But the second one would be meaningless to me unless I first rewatched number one, since I've forgotten virtually everything (I was surprised to find that I had once composed a partial review here). That seems a high price to pay for something that will in all likelihood be of similar quality, so I'll pass.
Last updated Monday, August 30 2010. Created Friday, January 09 2009.
Da Capo If
HONORABLE MENTION ANIME WINNER - Most Powerful Multi-Season|
"The road that never ends" continues with a page from Kotori's book of "would be" romance...
This alternate story telling takes place right at the start of Da Capo Second Season, but this time, Aisia (God bless her), doesn't appear at the doorstep and only one year has passed (two years originally) since Nemu's sudden 'trip'. Now it's just the main lead and Kotori together. I felt like the writers went out of their way to make the viewer feel right at home with the characters and their unforgettable signature behaviors. Kotori still says Chiwasu, the slow-speaking "ever-blissful" Moe-senpai is still as wonderful as ever, and Miharu still loves bananas (the whole crew is there and nothing has changed). I was extremely relieved to see that the gang returned unchanged after all this time and that only made this OVA more valuable to me and to anyone (appreciatively speaking) who saw the first two Da Capo seasons.
As for the title itself, it was regular (but not to be taken lightly by any means) with tears here, drama there, and love to rule them all in the end. The first ep was rich with getting the viewer to recall all the characters again (very special moments for me) and seeing how far Kotori's relationship has progressed with the main lead. A disagreement results in the end of all the fun and the pain begins from there. I loved how the first ep ended with Kotori crying (wishing?) at the accursed sakura tree. It's a shame that the story didn't take the predicted path after that scene.
The second ep was slow to progress with lots of regret and deep soul searching. That didn't last long though as Sakura (!) makes her appearance and plays the "big sister" role in making the main lead understand his situation (she still carries that TREMENDOUSLY mature atmosphere despite her stature even in this side story and only fans of the series will understand/appreciate her). Kotori's beautiful big sister does the same with her and the two love birds find each other in the same place that started their romance. After a melodic "mood-setting" song, the truth about their feelings is brought to light and its a real "tear jerker" to those sensitive to it. It all ends with a stunning display of events (Kotori was so happy, it put a smile on my face as well) and the good ole "happily ever after" routine. The formula for love is so simple and yet it still works so well.
All in all, even with the terrible track record OVA's usually have with superior titles, this one turned out great and I love every moment of it. I agree that it could've been a little better, but like the top of my review states, "Da Capo is the road that never ends" and with that said, you'll notice that the road to get this far is reason enough not to regret any of it. Da Capo is an astounding series to behold!
Perhaps this may be the end of the road that we've walked for so long, but I know I can look back with a smile and incredible memories to last a lifetime. (clapping hands): I love Da Capo!
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Last updated Tuesday, February 23 2010. Created Sunday, September 07 2008.
Da Capo If
We can guess who will be looking forward to this episode.......
Last updated Monday, September 08 2008. Created Saturday, September 06 2008.