Episode 1 Impressions: Dance with Devils

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Tied by fate, the daughter of Maria may be the key behind the Grimoire that evil seeks out. The beautiful and mysterious men of the student council may be the only ones that can help her, but with an evil aura around them, could they be trusted?

e1dancewithdevils01Synopsis
Ritsuka Gakuen bids her mother goodbye one morning, just as she always does, just after having her necklace charm inspected. Though she thinks her mother is superstitious, her mother deems it very important.

After a pleasant walk to school, Ritsuka is greeted by her frantic friends who notify her that she’s been summoned by the renowned student council. Full of men that every girl drools over, Ritsuka approaches them at the desired location of the third library.

Once before them, the president Rem confronts her about an allegation of breaking school rules and seemingly attempts to place some sort of spell upon her unknowingly. However the pendant around her neck breaks the spell and Ritsuka takes her leave. An event that only spurs the interest of the council.

After school, Ritsuka heads home only to find it ransacked. Gate destroyed, plants destroyed, and even through the window she can see her furniture rummaged. Not only that, but there seems to be a group of men searching around and her mother lays injured on the ground.

e1dancewithdevils05After attempting to call for help, she returns with police to find the place untouched and her mother gone.

Thoughts
While I’m not a big fan of the more shoujo pretty boy type shows, I was sort of drawn to check out Dance With Devils after seeing a very interesting PV that was released before the show’s airing. Featuring beautiful presentation and music that was seemingly sung by the protagonist herself. As well as some decently dark tonal shifts throughout it.

What I ended up experiencing in the first episode was both promising and disappointing at the same time. The more interesting of these experiences is that the show had a sort of musical element sprinkled throughout it.

Opening the episode was a sort of opera style ceremony involving the protagonist. Following this was a beautiful song about walking out on one’s old self, departing from a mother’s care. Then the final sequence was an introduction to the male cast with an all too familiar shoujo routine with dark undertones.

Shockingly, each of these songs were striking one after another after mere minutes e1dancewithdevils06of standard interactions and day progression. But just when I threw the label of musical on the show after the shoujo introductions, it just stopped and the remainder of the show was just a show. So I’m puzzled as to if this will be a regular thing going forward or if it was just me over thinking things.

Outside of the musical elements, the show was semi-interesting. Granted the protagonist is beautiful and the attack on her over the grimoire (which, let’s face it, is inside her) which cost her her mother is a bit intriguing. Anything outside of that was just standard shoujo fare. Shoot, we even got the layout of shoujo archetypes which are just as annoying as harem female character archetypes.

It visually looks good, there’s an interesting element inside here, the protagonist is strong-willed, and a possible musical twist might be cool. So it’s worth a glance if anything I’ve said peaks your interest, but I won’t say it’s a solid suggestion quite yet. Especially with its very shoujo’esk description.

This show is currently streaming on Funimation.com!

Episode 1: Depravity and the Forbidden Quadrille

NOT BAD, BUT NOT GREAT..

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Good with Uncertainty

Pros:

  • Good visuals
  • Unique musical element
  • Decent plot introduction

Cons:

  • Shoujo archetypes
  • May fall into standard shoujo fare

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.