Anime openings are often used as indicators of a title’s quality. The interest sparked by said openings in animation, music, and depiction throughout is used to gauge whether or not a show is worth viewing.
In high school, my best friend, Ginger–remember her from the Ouran Watch Alongs?– and I had silly nicknames for each other based on our personalities (Somehow it just happened?); strong, independent, competent, feminist, take-no-prisoners Ginger was known as “MegaWoman,” and innocent, girly, weak at the knees for bad boys, highly emotional Shoujo was considered (I kid you not) “Princess of Darkness.”
Yep, my best friend christened me “PoD.”
Why am I telling you this? I want you to consider the latter nickname above as you watch the (ABSOLUTELY SO COOL) anime OP below; consider, knowing this smallest little tidbit about me, why I’d be absolutely enamored with a title such as “Dance with Devils,” a musical about an innocent girl swept away into a world of vampires and demons. I’m laying out my bias and weakness for mystical, misunderstood, bad boy bad@$$es right now, so if this type of character/ relationship dynamic doesn’t appeal to you, you’re probably not going to find a favorite title in “DwD.”
Unless you really like musicals for the own sake.
Oh, my gosh, but I love it so much. ❤ .･ﾟﾟ･(／ω＼)･ﾟﾟ･.
Now, on to the review!
As the song Mademoiselle states, “Now, soon, dance with devils.”
Welcome to the “Labyrinth of Depravity.”
[Yes, Shiki just sang, “Poor little lamb, I’ll break you gently.” So, we’ve found our sadist. Pain… excites him.]
[Oh, my gosh. They are the forbidden flower garden. Oh, my gosh. Okay. Calm down, girl. Don’t ship anyone yet. You need to be writing a review.]
It’s time to traverse the world that a friend once laughingly called “Dark Ouran” after watching the clip above!
Ritsuka Tachibana is a normal 18-year-old attending a private academy with a secret. What is that secret? Why, it’s the (poorly justified in their long-term placement) Student Council of the 3rd Library! And her brother! And her mother! And her best friend! And her whole life! Well, those last few bits aren’t school-related, but the point is made. Sarcasm aside, Ritsuka’s very existence has always been something distinctly “other” than her peers, and it takes the introduction of a few demons and the revelation of a vampire relation to bring everything Ritsuka’s family has been hiding into the light.
I am not about to lie to you and call this anime a pinnacle of its genre plot-wise or even in execution, but it does something unique in its musicality. It’s not an idol anime, but it incorporates frequent musical numbers into its retinue and, even without dubbing the songs, transitions seamlessly into its numbers. In example, one might take “Checkmate” (below)*. Each main character has their own solo character song in addition to the show’s frequent group numbers, and it’s well worth a watch for this reason alone. The voice actors sing beautifully.
Dance until the hour of your doom.
*I discuss the song “Checkmate”
and Ren’s bad@$$ery in posts of their own.
You can find them at the click through links.
Additionally (Gah! I keep scrolling back up to watch the OP and freaking out about how cool it is. Please forgive.), the show features moments of absolutely-unintentional-but-no-less-funny hilarity to balance out its darker premise! I mean, I know I keep linking you YouTube clips, but I need you to click play on the link below and then close your eyes, simply listening. Don’t watch it; just listen. The song is intense, so beautifully sung. It’s sweeping choral introduction and pop transition are stirring. After you finish listening, open your eyes, press play again, and watch the video that goes along with that beautiful number.
Yep. That’s right. A glorious Pomeranian choir. You’re welcome. Day made, right?
Moments like this are scattered throughout, and I love it so much! I mean, when the only English lyrics in a song turn out to be “EMO LIAR,” you know you’re getting into something hilariously good.
However, these moments of true joviality should not take away from the honestly talented voice actor’s performances (both in dub and sub), and neither should the plot holes detract from what I consider a showboat of reverse-harem character typing. Solidily upper level two-lower level three bishies in the house, you know? We have:
the big brother type, Lindo…
the leader, Ren…
the romantic one (I mean, is he not this title’s Jinguji Ren?), Urie…
the sadist/masochist/psycho, Shiki…
and the jock, Mage…
as well as the beautiful brown noser (and/or subservient one, depending on how you want to view him), Roen…
And we also can’t forget the sexy/sleek gothic bad boy, Jek!
I mean, J. Michael Tatum even makes an appearance as the reoccurring role of Lord Nesta, ruler of the vampires, so Tatum-ites unite?
Stay tuned for the touching moments of backstory and subtle indications that the story is far from over in gearing up for the new movie to be released this year (and on which I’ll be writing soon), “Dance with Devils: Fortuna.” A well executed movie has the potential to boost our plot and bishies to level three status, but I’ll be happily watching this season one sequel no matter what!! ❤
I highly suggest that interested parties give this title a chance! Viewers with preferences similar to my own won’t regret it!!
AND THERE’S A STAGE MUSICAL. GONNA HAVE TO WRITE ABOUT THAT, TOO.
Until next time,