Dance with Devils at a Glance

 

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Coming to a store near you – Where’s Tsundere?, a fun book for the whole family!

It was with a fair bit of trepidation that I started the first episode of Dance with Devils. Sure, I’d been looking forward to it, as it had seemed promisingly trashy, but as the airdate drew nearer, I’d felt increasingly uneasy about it. The premise was worryingly reminiscent of Diabolik Lovers (and, indeed, was originally developed by the same gaming studio that brought us that series, Rejet), with vampires swapped out for devils, and this type of show has a fairly poor record more generally – lots of terrible boys, and dull heroines who are treated badly by those terrible boys. So a tale featuring a girl trying to dodge a pack of demons? Hmm…

An opening musical number featuring the heroine walking mutely down the aisle of a church in wedding-type attire with a black veil as male characters look on from the shadows didn’t do much to dispel my concern. Imagine my surprise, then, when the next scene featured a heroine who actually speaks words and in full sentences, and who seems to be competent. Even better, our heroine ends up standing up for herself a few times during the episode, and isn’t dazzled at all by the handsome visages of her harem-to-be. Sure, some shadowy villains try to kidnap her at one point, but, hey, the girl does pretty well for herself on the whole given that she’s surrounded by supernatural creatures who think she knows where an important book is.

One thing in particular I liked in this episode was the relationship established between Ritsuka and her mother, Maria. Mother and daughter have a strong relationship, and are also both allowed to be capable people within their own spheres. Anime really loves to give us semi- to wholly-useless parents, so I liked that while Maria was permitted her foibles, she isn’t consumed by them. Interestingly, the mother-daughter bond is positioned as the most important one ultimately in the show. It’s the charm Maria insists the skeptical Ritsuka wears that protects her from a bout of devilish hypnotism, while Ritsuka’s driving motivation ends up being the search for her mother when Maria is kidnapped by mysterious figures.

Honestly, I was impressed with this episode. It has several cheesy musical numbers (which wasn’t quite what I’d expected), but it’s a really solid opening episode, and not in the sense that I tend to assess otome-y reverse harem shows (“otome-y” since this technically isn’t a game adaptation, although a game company came up with the concept, AND a game was announced for it in the past couple of days). Uta no Prince-sama is a great goofy-ass, over-the-top otome adaptation. Dance with Devils at the moment is a pretty decent anime series. I just really hope that it stays that way.

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4 Responses to Dance with Devils at a Glance

  1. SStefania says:

    I was really surprised to like it as well, especially the main guy who was cold, but not a douchebag, as the rich and aloof guys usually are. The heroine is nice as well, I am just afraid if she will retain her personality, as I’ve seen to many anime where the MC (guy or girl, doesn’t matter) has some hobby or goals in the first episode, only to forget about them after they get their harem.
    The staff here is very good, the screenwriter lady is a veteran and wrote for many nice romances like Kimi ni Todoke, UtaKoi, UtaPri or my favourite otome adaptation, Kamigami no Asobi. And together with the director here she wrote Ao Haru Ride. So, basically, if I researched this season before its start, like your husband usually does, I wouldn’t be afraid of this anime, rather anticipate it.

    • A Day Without Me says:

      I’ll admit that had I done research prior to season, I still probably would’ve felt some trepidation, as out of those various shows, I’ve only really enjoyed UtaPri (granted, Kimitodo seemed fine, just not really my thing; ditto Utakoi).

      I hope that Ritsuka gets to keep her personality and goals, too, since I think without them this show will quickly become directionless. Knock on wood, right?

  2. Artemis says:

    Welp, I certainly wasn’t expecting not one, but two anime musicals this fall! Is it watch one, get one free season or something? Regardless, I was also… well, maybe impressed isn’t quite the right word, but pleasantly surprised by how not appallingly bad this episode turned out to be. That our main character appears to possess not only some common sense but also an honest-to-god backbone came as an unexpected delight – though to be honest, I’m guessing any anime would make a favourable impression compared to Diabolik Lovers. So long as nobody refers to Ritsuka as ‘Bitch-chan’, it’s going to be at least a tolerable show simply by default.

    • A Day Without Me says:

      I think if someone did try to call Ritsuka ‘Bitch-chan’, she’d have something to say about it rather than looking sad and frail and making some distressed sounds, which is a good sign… although not as good as if no one calls her that at all!

      My favorite musical portion was the over-the-top, melodramatic music in the opening sequence, although the flailing around the library by the devilish boys was pretty close.

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