Ever have that feeling when you go into a series with high expectations only to get halfway through and feel extremely disappointed? For me, this was D-Frag! summed up.
Brian’s Base, the producers of D-Frag!, have without a doubt created some of the best anime out there; Durarara!!, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru and this season’s Cheer Danshi! just to name a few. After finally completing D-Frag! yesterday, it starting off as a series we marathoned during a Society event, I don’t see how anyone could class the series as being anything good.
The series is based around Kazama Kenji, a delinquent teenager who is practically forced to join a club made by four girls at the same school called the “Game Creation Club”. The series then follows the Kenji and the club in a series of events which then causes the Game Creation Club to clash with another club, which just so happens to have practically the same name.
I’m not going to go through an episode-by-episode briefing for this series. To put it in perspective, I first started this show in April – four months ago. A lot of it, I’ve forgotten due to time, a lot of it, however, I’ve also forgotten simply because this show is just, well, forgettable. There’s a lot of ‘battling’ that goes on, in fact – that’s probably a feature in more or less every single episode, but the characters and their personalities don’t make it exciting. Not in the slightest.
The characters, or the majority of them, are just there to fulfill their purpose – to make sure there’s some sort of mild variation between them all. Kenji, the protagonist, can be seen to be the tsukkomi (the comedic straight man) but in all honesty, his so-called jokes are rarely funny. Roka, the short, blonde girl, who is also the main girl in the provisional Game Creation Club, fulfills the need of a not-so-cute-but-also-very-cute character, as shown by her normally quite childish mannerisms and her ability to ‘fight’ against others. Other tropes that are featured in D-Frag! are the otaku, portrayed by Naganuma, the patient one who’s in love with the protagonist, portrayed by Takao, and of course, the aloof dark-haired girl, portrayed by Azuma, as well as quite a few others.
Similarly to Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru, I find that this series does not end well at all. There is no clear conclusion – if there was, perhaps I would have rated it higher. The viewer is left not knowing what happens to any of the characters shown in the last scene. The advantage to this, arguably, is that it has opened up an opportunity for a sequel to be made. The manga is still being published and it proves to be a popular series (for what reason, I can’t see myself) so a second season is perhaps a possibility in the future. Will I watch it to see what happens? Eh, probably not.
D-Frag! is without a doubt a parody series. The storyline is not too serious, and in my opinion the melodramatic tones within the series, particularly the music, feel completely out of place. In hindsight, however, that is probably just the producers way of parodying the dramatic series that we all seem to love. At certain times, Roka’s personality changes, seeming to parody the characters from more romance-inclined series. Set in a school, you can probably also argue that it also parodies anime that are set in schools; I feel as if the fact that Roka’s club is known as “The Game Creation Club (Provisional)” is infact a way of taking the Mickey out of the unusual school clubs that feature in some series.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a prude when it comes to anime. I just think that someone (whether it being the mangaka in making the original source of it, or if it’s the producers over at Brian’s Base) was trying way too hard to make this series appealing and funny. I know this is a popular series, but I can’t figure out why it is. Perhaps I stand alone on that front, though, I’m not entirely sure.