English: Day Break Illusion
Synonyms: Gen'ei wo Kakeru Taiyou, Il Sole Penetra le Illusioni, The Sun Penetrates the Illusions
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 6, 2013 to Sep 28, 2013
24 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 6.691 (scored by 6732 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisSince ancient times long past, this world has been ruled by two tarot cards.
Diablos Tarot—The tarot of the devil that feasts on the souls of living humans and uses that nourishment to bring countless pain and suffering.
Elemental Tarot—The tarot that draws its energy from the power of nature in order to oppose the Diablos Tarot.
Girls chosen from 22 different bloodlines become the wielders of the Elemental Tarot, plunging themselves into this secret battle. To maintain the balance of this world, while carrying unbearable guilt...
Are they executioners? Or saviors? This is the story of the long, long battle fought by girls who cannot escape the fate they bear.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou
Prequel: Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou: Fumikome nai Kokoro
Characters & Voice Actors
Alright, let's face it. After the ever famous and successful "Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica," a want and increase in demand for dark magical girl shows have been prevalent in the anime community. Now, I'm not going to be comparing this show to Madoka 24/7, because trust me, this show is bad on it's own, but I will be using Madoka as a basis for what a dark magical girl show should try to succeed, and what it shouldn't.
Day Break Illusion is, absolutely, what it shouldn't.
If the promotional art and the opening wasn't a dead giveaway, it should be well-known that this show is going to be pretty dark. And well, it definitely is. The story pretty much revolves on young tarot card users who fight against "Daemonia" - demons created when humans contract with them and eventually succumb into despair after the daemonia pretty much takes over their mind. The Daemonia causes what appears to be natural disasters around it, and its up to the tarot card girls to fight against it.
You know, I wouldn't mind the story. I wouldn't mind it even if it was almost an exact replica of what Madoka did. Here's the thing though -- the story is insanely try-hard. By try-hard, I mean it does so, SO much to try to remind you of how dark it is, of how grim and bloody things get. Let's take how we're flashed back with Akari's dead cousins' bloody corpse at least 5 times throughout the show. Or how when a painter girl becomes jealous that another painter criticized her, she made sure that both her and the boy that the critic liked were KILLED. Or turning the twelve (yes, twelve) year old girl into a wolf demon. Yes, a wolf demon.
I wouldn't mind these story elements either that much if they were, gee, I dunno, foreshadowed? The sudden and grimdark death of Akari's cousin happens within 10 minutes of the first episode. 10 minutes. You hardly know anything about the cousin or why she dies. A revelation that occurs later on that almost guarantees death of major characters just.. happens. Why? To make the plot get gritter and darker. Nothing is ever at least foreshadowed a little bit, not even once. There were no hints whatsoever that a tarot card user could combine with a Daemonia and create some weird demon, nothing.
Basically, the show does whatever it can and goes out of its way to remind you of how dark and edgy and grim it is. You know, I have people that complain about Madoka being dark and edgy, but at least Madoka foreshadowed it. Maybe it had issues with shock value, but just so you know, shock value isn't just tricking the audience. Shock value can be randomly killing off a character in a gorey way in the first episode. Shock value can be deciding at the end of an episode to change one of the characters into a demon wolf. It doesn't matter if the show is already proclaimed as dark, if it happens without foreshadowing, it's shock value.
Now you're probably wondering, well, do the characters at least save the show? Oh, I wish. I really, really wish. Hopeful protagonist, cold girl with dark past, sisterly lesbian, and energetic one. That's really what they all are, and honestly.. they're not that good. Namely our protagonist, Akari. I get it -- I get that she's only twelve years old and couldn't kill things that easily. But you know what? When I see another character go up and kill someone she knew personally and loved to free him out of his misery, I'm going to be annoyed at her actions.
The characters range from cliche to boring to downright DISGUSTING. The main villain, who we know almost nothing about, decides late in the series that he wants to mate (he literally says mate) with Akari. Akari is twelve. Twelve years old. He basically does this sick shit in order to completely destroy her mind and heart so she doesnt care about silly things like consent anymore and, I quote, "becomes a mother."
Playing the rape/sexual card in a story is NEVER a good sign, unless it's absolutely relevant to the plot or was foreshadowed/absolutely needed. But you know what? These girls are twelve/thirteen. We have one girl walk around evil and demonic with her tits literally bouncing out of her chest. We have another one being nearly forced to give into consent with pretty much a demon. Do you see the issue here? I hope so, because none of this is mature, or deep, or good. It's honestly really sick and unnecessary.
In terms of the art.. it's... ehh... I mean, the animation honestly is pretty good. The fight scenes, attacks, all of that look pretty nice. But the show is very obviously lolicon-ish. The girl, all of them, look so stick thin and skinny and tiny that when these terrible things happen to them, it feels so out of place and awkward. It feels honestly awkward seeing a scrawny 12 year old girls' eyes turn into tiny dots and scream at the top of her lungs. It looks awkward, and the artstyle makes it feel awkward too. It really feels like it's trying hard to appeal to the lolicons with its artstyle.
Not only that, but the artstyle and character designs in general aren't all that good. The eyes are all really huge, they're usually misplaced too or sliding off the characters face. The bodies in general look really unproportional and just weird, and the hair seems really choppy and cheaply made. Not really an appealing design, at least for me.
If one thing can be said good about Day Break Illusion, it's the soundtrack. I have to admit, aside from Akari's seiyuu, the voices are pretty good and solid. Not to mention the OP and ED themes are pretty great and catchy too. The OST isn't honestly all that stand out, but I can definitely say that the sound is a really concrete part about the show.
And here's where I talk about dark magical girl shows in general. You can skip the next three paragraphs if you don't wanna hear it, I just feel it's kind of needed.
Look, what I believe made Madoka successful in it's darkness wasn't that a girl got her head chopped off or another had to watch her friends die again and again. That's not where I saw success. I saw success in how the show dealt with the psychological breakdown of the things that happened to these characters, and even how their issues could be applied to real life. I feel, personally, that it did an excellent job with showing many different character archetypes in these situations and pretty much breaking them down, showing the affects that it has on them. But that's for another day.
I feel like studios seem to think that if they just add in some death and gore, that it'll be a success. But that's not how it works. It really isn't. I hate to break it to you, but just showing characters die doesn't guarantee success! It really, really doesn't. A solid story, solid characters, good foreshadowing and writing, and a good breakdown of these things are what make it so great. I don't think the show being open about its dark nature is what makes it unpopular either. There are plenty of shows that were shown to be dark from the very beginning that were successful. (Psycho-Pass, Attack on Titan) I'm not calling these objectively good, but they were overall well-received. Essentially, the fault for Day Break Illusion of not being a big hit despite having cute girls in grim situations isn't really because it was already dark from the beginning, but it just does a very bad job at doing what it tries to do, which is, again, be dark.
I guess I enjoy this anime, I mean, it doesn't bore me or put me to sleep like other shows, but the enjoyment is really just mediocre for me. It's enjoyable to watch weekly I guess, but not something that I can say I actually "like" watching, you know? I guess it can be fun for people who like watching anorexic lolis kill things and get killed though.
Overall, Day Break Illusion is a prime example, in my opinion, of how people SHOULDN'T be trying to make dark magical girl shows. Go ahead, make more! It's what people want! But making them so grimdark, adding in things like wanting a 12 year old to give birth to pretty much a demon child, killing off side characters like there's no tomorrow -- that's not what we want. A good story, a solid one with good character that happens to have a darker or more serious twist on the genre, is what would be good, really. But this? Not this, please no this.
Magical girls are about cute girls doing cute magical things, not awkward lolis being slaughtered in blood. read more
FEW SPOILERS AHEAD.
PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Many people consider this to be an almost blatant rip off of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica.
Which, lets be honest here, it's easy to see; there's malevolent animal beings that seem to not give a rats ass about the people who they work with, physically or emotionally. Lapalace and Kyubey seem really similar in that sense.
There's 4 girls who turn into stronger versions of themselves and fight in an interdimensional space against evil beings, one nice one, one bad ass one, one that's more set in their own goals, etc.
However a few things set them apart.
1: The main character Akari Taiyou willingly accepts her powers, although she seems to be upset by what her actions entail (killing people who've turned into Daemonia - the enemy who takes over people's hearts). Madoka was horribly indecisive about becoming a magical girl until the very end. Not saying either route is a bad one, but it's a good difference.
2: The so far "end goal" of Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou is also unique. Instead of saving the entire world and everyone, which is (honestly) played out a bit. Sure, the end goal of Genei/Taiyou is awful, but it's unique and the way the artists play out facial features among other emotional cues is incredible and adds depth to it.
With that out of the way, I'll go on to say why I like this anime.
1: The story is neat. Tarot cards being the basis of their powers is a neat new theme i've personally not run into so far. I also like how violent some of the fights are, even though its between monsters and 12 year olds. The only thing I don't like too much is simply how easily Akari accepts her new role, which may seem hypocritical after I've stated the similarities between this and Madoka Magica, but nevertheless. This show is -almost- as good of an emotional rollercoaster as MM, but it falls just short of greatness as there's no -extremely- sad moments. (yet)
2: The art style. I didn't care for it at first and lets be honest, Seira looks like she was beaten with the ugly stick by a mean daemonia, but it grew on me. I think Akari is adorable, which adds even more emotion to the current horrible setting. Luna and Ginka are relatively unique, I've never seen a power like Ginka's in an anime. And again, the battles are very well animated.
3: The characters are a tad basic but they do their job well. There's the determined bad ass one who simply wants to exterminate, the caring supporter, the defensive character who's always around to help cheer up the group, and the protagonist who seems to be flawless in her love for her friends and family. The enemies/daemonia are very uniquely drawn out, and some of them are the epitome of evil. I've never hated an antagonist as much as Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou's.
4: I can't say too much about the sound. The background music helps to pump up the action during the fight scenes, the characters voices are done well, I find it funny that some of the voice actors also worked on Kodomo no Jikan together. Overall I feel the characters were voiced perfectly.
Overall. I really like this anime and can't wait for the next episode. It truly has me on the edge of my seat.
I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys magical girl genre, action genre, or just looking for a good anime with cute girls fighting evil.
Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou has a very similar atmosphere. Both have magical girls fighting something like a monster.
Both darker Mahou Shoujo animes with deep storylines
In both series, there is the concept of magical girls doing battles against the supernatural. The girls themselves have abilities that allows them to fight against their foes using sources of energy.
Both series has a darker atmosphere than the traditional 'magical girl' theme series. There's that familiar feeling of sorrow and despair surrounding the characters. Meanwhile, they also incorporate some cute moments but most times are clouded by the darker tones.
There's also some sort of destiny to be fulfilled and the girls tries their best to accomplish it despite the odds & consequences.
Both are unusual mahou shoujo anime where despairing people are turned into surreal monsters. A group of very cute girls have to fight these monsters while they suffer tragedies.
One episode of Genei Taiyou and two episodes of Madoka (and of course thousands of spoiler posts on Tumblr) has already led me to believe that the atmospheres of both are very similar. They both start out as a cutesy show and then it just turns super dark.
I don't know the characters too well yet, but they seem very similar personality-wise.
Similar dark themes of a magical girl genre.
Both are a story about girls with magical powers
both have a deep plot
both are entertaining and exciting
Both get really gritty and throw you off because of it
Both have dynamic characters with their own reasons behind their actions and personalities.
Both use the concept of mahou shoujo in a dark setting. Happy girls born with a power and a "destiny" to protect the world are because of this suddenly forced into a life filled with sadness and despair.
A dark and refreshing twist to a cliche setting, while keeping a lot of the colorful and "cute" theme that comes with being a mahou shoujuo, creating an interesting contrast with the dull and gory world that is painted around them.
Both have magical girls, magic, transforming and battling monsters, but at the same time deals with dark themes. Main girls awaken their powers.
Deceptively cute at first but shows how dark it can be. The art in Genei seems to take the cuteness farther than Madoka though since it doesn't have dark backgrounds and the characters are very moe. However, Genei also shows in the first episode that it even has some horror elements while Madoka waits longer.
they both have magical girls who fight monsters in a similar dark atmosphere
Opening Theme"träumerei" by LiSA
Ending Theme"-Mirage-" by Natsumi Okamoto (岡本菜摘)
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Related ClubsOriginal Anime, Mahou Shoujo Appreciation, Day Break Illusion fan-club, Tanezaki Atsumi [Kiritani Hana] Fan Group, Anisong Grand Prix Anisong Singers, Kitamura Eri Fanclub, The Garbage Connoisseurs, Touyama Nao Fanclub, Hayami Saori Fanclub, Mature anime & manga for mature people, Daisuki Appreciation Club
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