A Dark Rabbit Has Seven Lives Print
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Monday, 31 October 2011 11:51

A Dark Rabbit Has Seven Lives

Every so often, you get a series where the easiest way to review it would almost be to copy'n'paste the review of the creators' previous work. A Dark Rabbit Has Seven Lives is one of those shows - and that's never a good thing...

Kurogane Taito is an ordinary high school student who keeps having a dream about a mysterious girl who says that she loves him - just after biting him, injecting him with a 'poison' that will bind him to her forever. One day, he's on his way home from school when he sees a truck barreling down on Andou Mirai, a fellow student at Miyasaka High School. Jumping in to push her out of the way, he finds himself being hit by the truck himself - but surprisingly, that's not the end of his life...

The girl from his dreams is Saitohimea, a vampire / sorceress who fell in love with him, and his 'dream' is actually reality - he just doesn't remember it happening, until events lead to him being reunited with Saitohimea (Himea for short) and everything becomes clear. Yes, she bit him - but he was a willing participant, having strong feelings himself for Himea. Her 'poison' also has the useful side-effect of making him just about immortal - although, as the title suggests, there are limits to that: if he's killed & regenerates more than seven times in a 15-minute period, it's curtains for him.

Along with Himea, Taito has to deal with the affections of classmate & childhood friend Haruka, who would do anything for him; while Student Council leader Kurenai Gekkou and his demonic sidekick Andou Mirai are fully aware of Himea's true nature, and of the trouble that her re-appearance is about to bring to those around her.

Sounds rather Kore wa Zombie desu ka?, then, and on purely first impressions, there's a lot to like about it: varied cast of characters, some very nice visuals and music, and a story that sets out as a promising mix of comedy and gory action. "What's not to like?" is the obvious question, to which there are two answer: first, it's fanservice heavy, but with the "buy the Bluray" censoring turned up rather high - a pet hate of mine. Two, source material comes to you from the same people who were responsible for Legend of the Legendary Heroes. And that's where the ability to copy'n'paste reviews comes in. Here are a few choice passages from that show's review:

There's almost nothing worse than wasted potential, but sadly Legend of the Legendary Heroes has more wasted potential than just about any series I've seen in the past few years. Take interesting characters, an intriguing setting, and a battle for the fate of the world, and you think you'd be on to something - but here's 24 episodes of how not to use them...

I went into Legendary Heroes positively wanting it to succeed - we need a good new fantasy series, and this had the ingredients to be that show. But it's been a battle almost since the start to work up the enthusiasm to watch each new episode, out of fear of just how it was going to disappoint me this time. There are moments where it clicks - usually when someone is having a "moment of awesome", if you like, but they're few and far between and not worth wading through the rest of the dross for.

I could copy more, but you get the picture. If there's an over-arching story here, the series does its best to hide it. Taito creates problems for himself in the way that he simply fails to deal with some of the problems around him (example: Himea and Taito are openly a couple even before the first episode of the series is over - but the series then spends the entire run with Haruka making repeated pitches for Taito, with him refusing to simply say "Sorry, but you know I'm already with Himea". How hard can that be..?). Some characters are outright offputting (Gekkou). Fanservice is over-the-top - even with TV-editing, I could do without having demons burst from between Mirai's legs, thank you. Things just happen, with little rhyme or reason and you're constantly left to wonder why - and very, very rarely are you ever given answers. (Sorry, copy'n'pasting again there...).

Once is unfortunate. Two shows from the same creators with the same basic flaws, no matter how much promise the settings of those shows may have, raises a bloody great red flag. I wanted to like Dark Rabbit, but the flaws were just too many and too obvious to make that possible. Pretty to look at, but that's about it.

Rating - **

1 - 900 Seconds of After School (Part I)
Kurogane Taito is an ordinary high school student who keeps having a dream about a mysterious girl who says that she loves him - just after biting him, injecting him with a 'poison' that will bind him to her forever. One day, he's on his way home from school when he sees a truck barreling down on Andou Mirai, a fellow student at Miyasaka High School. Jumping in to push her out of the way, he finds himself being hit by the truck himself - but surprisingly, that's not the end of his life...

This won't hurt a bitWave your ass in the air like you just don't care

2 - 900 Seconds of After School (Part II)
Taito has remembered his promise to the ancient vampire magician Saitohimea - just in time to see her run through by Gekkou, an act that triggers a fierce fight between them. They're interrupted, though, by the arrival of Gekkou's twin brother Hinata - the one responsible for separating Taito and Himea nine years earlier. And the brothers don't exactly like each other...


3 - The (Moon) Sways by the Poolside
Miyasaka High School's student council president, Kurenai Gekkou, has named Taito and Himea as student council members. Soon after, Taito learns about how Gekkou and Mirai first met, as well as the military which is secretly behind Miyasaka High School. Meanwhile, Gekkou reminiscences about his younger twin brother, Hinata. The student council members believed that the battle was finally over, but then a sinister red rain began to fall.

ExplanationsDay of death

4 - The Seraphim Yet Unsung
Taito and Himea run inside the school building to escape the lethal red rain. But the school doesn't prove to be much of a sanctuary, as once inside, Himea's body is possessed by a being from another realm. Gekkou, meanwhile, has been trying to figure out why his Spell Error was inneffective against his last opponent - and it's not long before be receives an invitation to fight again...

Yay for tentacles?Ba'alskra

5 - And the Seraphim is Sung
Gekkou passes through the dimensional rift to come face to face with the Seraphim, who offer him the power to kill Saitohimea. Meanwhile, Taito attempts to save Himea from yet another persona that's possessing her, this on the personification of her magic itself, and refuses to give up on her even though he's reaching his limit. Finally, a dark figure approaches Haruka. What is the prophecy that the Seraphim speak of? And who is Ramiel Lilith...?

Not innocent as she looksLookit that!

6 - (Extracurricular) Activities While Passing Each Other By
Keen to improve his skills, Taito's been reading up on black magic, hoping that with a bit more experience he'll be better able to protect Himea. When Himea asks him to go out on a date with her, though, he's reluctant to agree, believing he should be spending his time learning to protect her - and his reluctance ends up hurting her feelings as she misinterprets the reasons behind it. Meanwhile, Haruka is stepping up her attempts to work her way into Taito's affections, while new girl on the scene Aomi is taking a rather unhealthy interest in the goings-on of the Student Council...


7 - The Pop-Quizzing New Teacher
Taito has promised to become stronger so he can protect Himea, so he knocks on the door of the student council office to seek help from Gekkou. Gekkou opens a dimensional rift for Taito, inside which Edelka resides - she has the power to in. Will Taito receive the power to grant Taito's wish, but her help will come at a price. Meanwhile, a suspicious-looking man arrives in the Student Council office, claiming to be a new teacher...

Future fateKurosu

8 - The Student Council of Remedial Students
Kurosu has sent Himea, Taito, Gekkou, Mirai, and Izumi - the newest member of the Miyasaka High School student council - to a sunny beach. A beach armed with a barrier to keep away trespassers. His plan is to give the gang special combat training - and perhaps to teach Gekkou a little lesson on what his true standing in the world is, along the way. Himea, meanwhile, is quite enjoying not having to deal with constant competition from Haruka for a while - but less than impressed at the way Kurosu is "training" her beloved Taito...

Girls' playLover

9 - Dark Rabbit on the Beach
Haruka arrives at the student council training camp to provide cooking, and as Taito and Haruka get cozy together, Himea distances herself from them. Once Izumi sees what's happening, though, she comes up with a plan to help Himea. Meanwhile, Kurosu is keeping a watchful eye on his charges, wondering which corner of the love triangle will break first...

And who might these two be..?Someone's feeling sorry for themselves

10 - Classmate Spirited Away
On the day after the student council training camp ended, Haruka disappeared. The military's indifferent reaction to her disappearance, and Taito's disgust with how powerless he is, leave Himea feeling miserable - which is when the half-breed Serge Entolio - representative of the Spell Breakers - appears before her, and proposes a deal which will return Haruka to Taito. But is that what Himea really wants..?


11 - Summer Vacation Catastrophe
Taito's searching for Himea, and with a little help from Meowka he's making progress - although when he finds Himea's captors, he finds that his arrival isn't entirely unexpected. Back in the real world, Gekkou's had enough of Kurosu's interference and is taking action to get of the military rep - but when Kurosu threatens to kill Mirai, it emerges that Gekkou has a weak spot after all...


12 - Pale White Graduation
After saving Himea and Haruka, Taito is granted a brief respite, as the Miyasaka High School student council members gather together at a certain location for a break from their brutal experience. A location where girls can chat freely without any boys around. Meanwhile, the boys are engaged in a battle of pride...

PeekabooUp to mischief

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