I have no idea why I decided to give Dance with Devils a try. Hell, I’m not even sure I asked for this to be placed into my monthly Madman review box… Maybe it was some sort of “Erik crate” mistake? But either way, I decided since it was sent, I should review it. Now I don’t mind stories with Devils and their infatuation with winning innocent hearts, but Dance with Devils is just so boring and nothing like what I expected.
Title: Dance with Devils
Genre: Harem, Demons, Supernatural, Romance, Vampire, Shoujo
Details: 12 episodes
Release Date: November 8, 2017 (Australia)
Languages: English 5.1, Japanese 2.0
Subtitles: English subtitles
Number of Discs: 2 (DVD)
Runtime: 300.0 mins (23mins per episode)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen Full Height Anamorphic
Distributor: Madman Entertainment (DVD)
Special Features: None
Rating: MA15+: Strong animated violence
Ritsuka Tachibana has always been a good student, so she is completely shocked when she is suddenly summoned by the student council. Even more, they seem to think of Ritsuka as a troublemaker. Led by the handsome Rem Kaginuki, the student council—also consisting of Urie Sogami, Shiki Natsumizaka and Mage Nanashiro—tries to question her, but it soon becomes clear that they have ulterior motives.
However, this is only the beginning. When her mother gets kidnapped, her life is turned upside down, and Ritsuka gets drawn into a world of vampires and devils. Both groups are searching for the “Grimoire,” a forbidden item allowing its owner to rule the world. The return of her brother Lindo from overseas gives her hope, but even he appears to be hiding something. In a world filled with secrets, Ritsuka questions whom she can trust in this dark musical tale, while the handsome and dangerous members of the student council compete for her attention.
Ritsuka Tachibana (立華 リツカ Tachibana Ritsuka)
Voiced by: Himika Akaneya (Japanese); Dawn M. Bennett (English)
A sixteen year old second-year attendee of Shikō Academy. She lived with her mother in Shikō Town before Jek ransacked their house and kidnapped her mother. She is, in fact, the forbidden grimoire, leading the demons and vampires into a competition to obtain her. She wears a pendant containing potpourri given to her by her mother, which was intended to mask the scent of the grimoire.
Rem Kaginuki (鉤貫 レム Kaginuki Remu)
Voiced by: Sōma Saitō (Japanese); Garrett Storms (English)
A high-ranking devil and the head of the academy’s student council. He is the heir of the Arlond family. At first, he only sees Ritsuka as a ‘pawn’ in order to find out the location of the grimoire, but over time, he starts to care for her. In episode eight, it is implied that he has developed feelings for Ritsuka.
Lindo Tachibana (立華 リンド Tachibana Rindo)
Voiced by: Wataru Hatano (Japanese); Gregory Lush (English)
Ritsuka’s cousin, born a year before her. His real mother, Marta Tachibana died when he was young, and Maria Tachibana raised him and her daughter, Ritsuka as siblings since then. After being charged by their grandfather to protect the Tachibana family, he traveled to England to become an exorcist, returning after their mother’s kidnapping and enrolling at Shikō Academy. He is very protective of Ritsuka, due to his feelings for her that go beyond family affection. When he is enraged, especially regarding someone threatening Ritsuka, his eyes will turn red and his fingernails transform into claws. It is revealed that he is a dhamphir, half-human, half-vampire.
Urie Sogami (楚神 ウリエ Sogami Urie)
Voiced by: Takashi Kondō (Japanese); Aaron Roberts (English)
A womanizing devil (incubus) who serves as the vice-president of the student council. While he is not equal to Rem in status, they are closely matched in power. He is an elite dream devil who is known by people all throughout the devil world. He is also quite flirtatious and is very popular with the ladies.
Mage Nanashiro (南那城 メイジ Nanashiro Meiji)
Voiced by: Subaru Kimura (Japanese); Ricco Fajardo (English)
An athletic and self-confident devil who serves as the student council’s secretary. Mage starts off as an arrogant and self-centered devil who lives impulsively—and still is pretty impulsive—and used to be quite a sadist. However, he is also shown to have a softer side, but he only showed it to Ritsuka, while they were watching the sunset and during his fight with Lindo. When he and Lindo prepared to kill each other, and Ritsuka cast herself between them, he pulled back his attack in shock and horror, keeping it from striking her.
Shiki Natsumezaka (棗坂 シキ Natsumezaka Shiki)
Voiced by: Daisuke Hirakawa (Japanese); Seth Magill (English)
A masochistic fallen angel who serves as treasurer for the student council. Shiki comes off as a strange, aloof person to most of the student body, and many claim that he’s rarely seen at school, even during the student council’s mass announcements.
Azuna Kuzuha (葛葉 アズナ Kuzuha Azuna)
Voiced by: Risae Matsuda (Japanese); Katherine Bourne (English)
Ritsuka’s best friend at school. She cares for Ritsuka and is always worried when her friend gets caught up with the Student Council whom she doesn’t trust nor like. In episode six, she is revealed to be an exorcist.
Dance with Devils is something that is going to appeal to the romance lovers in anime, which is fine since those types of fans don’t really get catered to outside of Doujinshi or Tumblr. The fight for the heart of Ritsuka should be something of interest here, not to mention that the other reason she is fought over is because she contains, is, or is able to get to some all powerful book. I’m going to be honest here and say that there is nothing really interesting here, at least for me. I was expecting a lot more and what I got was nothing near any expectations that I or anyone else would expect from a series like this.
When it comes to thing I didn’t like about Dance with Devils, it’d be the fact that after three episodes I turned the series off and really didn’t want to revisit it at all. What I thought was going to be an interesting mix of romance and drama ended up being along the lines of a musical done by people with ADD. Everything was off from step one, there’s no emotion in the characters or their expressions, the landscapes are dull and lifeless, the plot jumps all over the place and frankly it’s just all around unappealing to watch.
I’m not sure what I was going to get with Dance with Devils, but I expected more than what I got. What I got was nothing short of a mess of a plot that didn’t know if it wanted to be a demon story, a romance story, or a magical story. This bundled with characters who appear once with no explanation or reason, then either die or disappear for half the show just leaves me with nothing to connect to. Sure I could have tried to connect with the main character, but she has the personality that would make a brick wall jealous.
Copyright: © Room Grimoire/Dance with Devils Project
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Dance with Boredom
Dance with Devils doesn't know what it wants to be and it shows: Badly. The characters are flat, unemotional, and frankly just uninteresting. The animation is minimal with a color pallet that needs more than just drab grey and cream. It does ramp up a bit with battles here and there, but at the same time get changed into musical numbers for no reason at all.