Dec 24, 2015
Benienma (All reviews)
Dance with Devils is a great example of a "reverse harem" done right. I will admit that going into Dance with Devils it doesn't appear to be much different than the average, but this was easily the biggest surprise of the season! No it's not perfect by any means, but if you're looking for something unique in the genre, then you've come to the right place!

~Story: 7/10~
The story follows a girl named Ritsuka and her run in with the members of her school's student council, who aren't exactly who they seem to be on the surface... Ok let's be honest given the name and synopsis it's already obvious they're all devils/demons of some sort, and something special about Ritsuka draws them all to her. One of the elements of Dance with Devil's story that's very refreshing is the surprising lack of forced romance in the first part of the story. A fault many seem to have with reverse harems like this is the main female's sudden and undeveloped affections for the love interests, but Ritsuka shows little to no romantic interest in anyone for majority of the show. That said eventually romantic development with the "winning man" (and yes, she does pick someone at the end) does occur before the finale, albeit a wee bit more development between them would've been very welcome.

The story outside of the romantic elements is also quite well done. Since there wasn't tons of wasted time throwing senseless romance from the MC in our face, the show had a bit more time to focus on the other story elements. A few pieces of the puzzle seem to be missing by the end, but nothing major that takes away from the experience too much or creates massive glaring plot holes. It isn't the most original story ever conceived, but not dreadfully generic either.

~Art: 6/10~
This would definitely be the weakest factor of the show. Nothing really stands out as amazing when it comes to the art and animation. There's nothing jarring about it either, and it does it's job as well as it needs to. What keeps me from giving this category a 5/10 however is the animation during the musical sequences. Speaking of which...

~Sound: 9/10~
If you were not aware, yes Dance with Devils is a musical. Each episode has at least one character song that lasts about 2-3 minutes long, and I must say they are some of the best parts of every episode! It's apparent that a lot of effort went into each song, as each one has a different and unique sound from the last, ranging from sad and somber to fast and full of adrenaline. These moments are generally used to express to the viewer how certain characters are feeling or their motivations, just like that of a traditional musical or rock opera. And don't worry, all the effort that went into the music was not spent on just these moments. The score of the show is just as strong, with a variety of music with all sorts of tones and styles. By far one of the best soundtracks for an anime I've ever experienced!

~Character: 7/10~
Another complaint often directed at reverse harems is that the main girl tends to lack in character depth, and is far too much of a blank slate and a push over for the love interests to have their way with. Well I'm happy to tell you this is another problem Dance with Devils does not suffer from. Ritsuka has a refreshing amount of character depth to her, and the reasoning for her actions and emotions make sense. There are a few moments sprinkled in that may seem a little questionable, but as her character develops they do end up all making sense... mostly.

As for all the love interests, while two stand out much more than the others, they all have their own unique characteristics from one another that keeps them from being carbon copies of one another. Each have their own somewhat trope-ish feel, but not to the point that they're completely uninteresting. Unfortunately like many reverse harems, as well as regular harems for that matter, Dance with Devils does suffer from under-developing some of it's characters simply due to not having enough time to give everyone a fair share of the spotlight.

~Enjoyment: 8/10~
While Dance with Devils undoubtedly has it's weaknesses, it's strengths make this an extremely enjoyable anime! The story and characters keep you invested in what's going on, the music does well to add the right amount of emotions and suspense to the scenes it needs to, and getting to the character songs in every episode is a major highlight to the overall experience. If you're a fan of reverse harems already, or maybe a bit skeptical about the genre and want a strong entry into the genre, Dance with Devils is exactly what you're looking for.

~~OVERALL: 7/10~~