Saturday, October 14, 2017

Diabolik Lovers Review

Diabolik Lovers Review

Warning: The following review may/will contain spoilers for the first season of Diabolik Lovers. If you wish to stay clear of what happens in the show's story, please exit the tab, and join me once you've watched said show. Or, you know, you can take that warning with a grain of salt, and still read on anyway. Whatever floats your boat.

Anyways, with that said, thank you, and onto the review:

Inner Ranter: Okay. Dazz, I have a question for you.

Of course, Inner Ranter. Do proceed.


Oh, child, please calm down. We wouldn't want you to turn into Subaru, now do we? I'll explain everything once you do that. Here, have a chill pill.

Inner Ranter: *breathes slowly a few times and takes the offered chill pill*

All right, so this has been another long journey for an anime series I heard about, but didn't make an effort to watch for a while. Like Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai, this show stood out because it's, again, trashy. But unlike the aforementioned show, this franchise has existed for much longer.

I caught murmurs of this when it was airing in the fall of 2013, but the first time I heard about it was from 42believer, who uploaded a video titled 42 Things Wrong with Diabolik Lovers (shameless plug), a parody of Cinema Sins in which she jokingly (well, probably not for this one) goes over items that bothered her in a specific anime series. This video was over the first half of DL, and that's where the unholy poop came from the cloudy sky and fell into my lap.

Eventually, I would take the opportunity to sit down and watch this show. Why? I'm #trash for pretty boys and reverse harems, and even though this sounded hella sketchy and hella problematic, I would be here for the good times. Aside from unexpected enjoyment and maybe needles in the haystack, I should never give up on them. The Spice Girls taught me that.

Fast forward through a dub announcement, a second season, and Dub Talk podcasts discussing this show at length (with many iconic lines, here's another shameless plug), I was sold. How did I get this show in my hands? San Japan, where me and Luke purchased it on an impulse.

Why did I get a show I haven't seen with money pulled from the bank thanks to my income from working when I haven't done it before? Well, there were two factors.

1. Chris Patton, the English VA for Ayato, was a guest at the con, and after going to his panel and seeing more of his wonderful personality, the two of us figured we should get something for him to sign aside from our giant Sentai Filmworks pre-registration bags and our programs.

2. We decided that we should really, really watch this anime because we heard so much about it from the internet, our friends, and from our minds that we knew it would be an entertaining thrill ride.

Ready to rumble, we set off on our journey into the diabolic paradise that awaited us with-

Oh, wait. That's the wrong show. Okay, rewind.

Ready to rumble, we set off on our journey into the house of hellish vampires that were hungry for our blood.

So, what did I think of this trash can gem? Did it satisfy my craving, or did it give me a little more than I asked for (in a good way, mind you. I wasn't expecting a lot to begin with anyway)?

Well, Diabolik Lovers gave me exactly what I wanted. Aside from its good parts (the animation and OST), I managed to get such a kick out of everything that happened in this anime that it basically became a joy to watch. The story may have been flimsy as a shoelace and the characters may not have been developed well in the slightest (more of their backstories are on Wikipedia, but knowing me they'll be here as well), but I was still incredibly enthusiastic about digging deeper into this show.

In the end, this was a beautiful masterpiece and catastrophic travesty all in one, and I couldn't have been more fortunate to watch it. You know, despite me reacting like this:

And this:

It's one of those series that's more memorable because of what's wrong with it. But there's so much joy to be found in here.

What kind of joy? Well, let's clarify:


Yui Komori, on request by her father, is delivered to a mansion in The Middle of Nowhere, Japan. The latter, being a priest, has work overseas (or so is claimed), and since Yui is still too young to live on her own, the move is planned. Once Yui arrives, it starts to rain, which only serves as foreshadowing to the dark underbelly of the beast she has fallen into.

After one of the mansion's doors opens on its own, no one seems to be there to greet her. Confused, Yui turns right, only to discover a beautiful young man on the couch...with no pulse. Worried, Yui tries to call for someone, but a hand clasps her pink flip phone. It turns out the man on the couch is actually alive, but why? After all, he has no measure of living, right?

Well, once Yui meets five other bishies, it turns out that the lot of them are half-brothers called the Sakamakis. Yui was delivered to their door in order to become their next "sacrificial bride," because after Yui trips and scrapes her knee, it turns out that the Sakamakis are actually vampires. Horrified, Yui tries to find a way to escape, but to no avail. With no way to contact the outside world after Subaru broke her phone, she is stuck in the mansion, has to go to night school, is relegated to a push-over who can do squat, and becomes a chew toy for 6 hot yet troubled boys.

But there are still secrets steaming under the surface. Why Yui over another mortal girl? Does Yui's father know where his daughter is? And better yet, why these sudden chest pains? As Yui explores the pool of men and learns little snippets from their childhoods, a distant relative returns to use Yui as a vessel to awaken a former lover, who just so happens to be one of the boy's mothers. Awkward.

Will Yui be able to get out of this hell hound? And will at least one of these boys treat her semi-nicely, my god?

Well, no and no. The episodes for this show only run for over half the length of a typical episode, so anything deep, meaningful, and regarding development only runs surface level. While the plot line regarding The Awakening is pretty interesting, it has no pay-off and ends in an anticlimactic fashion because the writers don't really flesh it out. After all, we have a bite scene quota to fill for most of the 15 minute run-time!

Okay, I kid. They're not in every episode, but most of the time, they just pop up and it's like, "Well, we don't really have anything else to pad into this episode, so here. Let's let Guy C bite Yui in her bedroom. Marvelous!"

This story is so incoherent that it's hilarious. While we have foreshadowing to the second half and sinister undertones, the show, because it's a reverse harem, decides to focus on the boys one by one because that's why we're really in over our heads. All of them have some sadism or masochism inside of them, but the writers don't dig deeper into why they're this way aside from subtle hints you can only catch if you've read up on each boy's backstory. It's incredibly weird when the show switches from the SC (series composition)/head writer to the other writer because the material dumbs down even further, so much so that Episode 6 has a weird transition from the end of Episode 5 that it gave me whiplash.

It also doesn't help when your protagonist is as spineless as Yui is. She's not written badly when the show starts, but as it goes on, she gets progressively worse. It's like the fact that she's a plot device couldn't get out of the heads of the writers and so she becomes such. I mean, good on them for establishing that from the beginning (I couldn't say the same for Ritsuka), but it's still annoying to see her constantly make really bad choices.

Back to that build up, it's at least constant and the tone never shifts from its dreariness (compared to Sin: Nanatsu no Taizai), and there were moments when this show had me on the edge of my seat, such as when Cordelia was starting to give Yui more hints that she was emerging by showcasing the past of our 6 love interests and the latter starting to get heat pains and headaches. But I never got a full pay-off in between blood-sucking scenes and times where this show SLOGGED. Because despite the shorter run-time, that did happen. And that was sad.

Now you're probably wondering through all of this serious rambling where the good elements of this story come in. After all, where would they be, since I just spent 5 paragraphs bashing the hell out of this plot?

WELL, YOU'RE IN LUCK! Because here they are, right here, right now. 

Simply, and I'm sure you've guessed this from a mile away, I was highly entertained throughout the entire run of this show. I even re-watched all of the episodes (plus sat through the boring recap) to make sure I didn't miss anything while watching this series, because there were so many moments that were absolutely AMAZING.

Let's go over some of the highlights that I wrote down on the Notes app in my phone. The section is titled Points of Amusement in Diabolik Lovers.

*clears throat*

All right, so in the first episode, when Yui first encounters Ayato, he pulls her up on the couch with the intent of sucking her blood after she notices that something is different about him. He then says, "I'm going to take you." Where exactly, I don't know, but he's clearly talking about some debauchery-filled paradise while he gets some of her red juice, not sex. Didn't stop my brain from piecing together stuff in that vein, though. That got a snort out of me.

Two episodes later, we get the famous scene of Shu taking a soak in the bathtub while fully dressed, listening to imaginary music in his earbuds because he gives no f**ks. After Yui touches his wrist (because she's a special snowflake and magical), he pulls her into the bathtub (also fully clothed, mind you) with the intent of also getting into her neck. When noticing how pale her skin is, he remarks, "I bet if I bit through it, it would spurt bright red blood like a geyser." This got a laugh from me, because I'm pretty sure blood psychics don't work that way.

Then in Episode 4, we get more of a taste of Laito's character, whose bloodlust is already clearly established along with a nickname he's christened Yui with (which I'll talk about later). When Yui goes up to the roof after Kanato places her bag up there (because she was under the impression that Kanato wanted something other than her blood for a drink), she overhears Laito rehearsing some monologue. She stupidly hides behind a corner after he senses her presence, and he decides that she needs to be punished. He then asks her where she wants it. And by it, I mean fangs. I at first thought this was kind of funny, but then re-watching it made it even more funny because he also grips her neck and she wheezes out that she can't breathe.

I know it's not polite to laugh when someone's getting choked, but how her seiyuu said it near Laito's lines had me nearly crying at 6 a.m. in the morning. I still don't understand it.

The last one I'm going to share is from Episode 5, when Yui and Kanato visit Cordelia's grave in the graveyard. Kanato gets angry that Yui wants to escape because she's selfish/conceited blah blah blah...She's stupid and pathetic because she tripped blah blah blah...He hits the roses he brought against the grave because he acts like he's 9 and consumed with rage blah blah blah...

He follows this by pinning her to the ground after she trips and decides to bite her. Because after all, we're in a graveyard, and nothing can be more romantic than a passionate biting session here!

Logic, wherefore art thou? You're not this show's strongest point, are you?

Kanato then asks to himself, "If mortal women aren't given a kiss before being pleasured, do they become angry?" Aside from reminding me of quotes I've read in online stories, does it really matter when she clearly shows she doesn't want it? Unless, like what I've heard around, Yui secretly wants to be stepped on and used. But I don't think that's the case. There'd be more inner monologues if so.

ANYWAYS, Kanato kisses Yui and she gets her first kiss on land stolen and then he sucks her blood and then he sucks it again probably on the juncture where her neck meets her left boob. I can only assume that because of his positioning, but it's funny because of what I mentioned above. He then says while he's getting his fill, and I quote, "You're so delicious."

Not only do these words come out of his mouth, he says them so ravenously that I can't take them seriously whatsoever. When I was watching the recap, I almost started heaving. I just watched the English dub of it while writing this because it was on YouTube and couldn't stop smirking the whole time (even though Yui's literally stating that IT HURTS and she WANTS KANATO TO STOP). The whole scene is so comical, what with the tone and Kanato's teddy bear, that I will never be able to watch it with a straight face.

Which brings me to why I enjoyed DL so much more than I possibly would have: If you don't take it seriously, everything about it isn't as offensive anymore.

Sure, there will be scenes that will test your limits and make you uncomfortable (as well as potentially aroused). But aside from dialogue, there are things characters do, settings that make this #uberedgy, and someone's overdramatic death that are on display and it's amazing. This show just takes itself WAY too seriously, so it's best for others to watch it with the opposite stance in mind because there will actually be something to love amidst everything else.

And in the end, that's all I can say. Aside from all of the problems included in this not so pretty package, I still found myself enjoying the hell out of it. There's so much fun involved in sexual dialogue and Subaru punching walls. Times it by infinity, and this is the most fun I've had in a long time. Who knows what the future of this show will entail? All I know is that I'm expecting a lot more cheese and salt.

Time to talk about the characters.


One girl, six boys, and don't forget a few distant relatives. There isn't a ton to talk about here, because we all know who's important.

Yup, basically everyone except Gretchen Wieners Yui Komori. Speaking of Yui, let's get her out of the way first:

This is what everyone talks about when watching this anime. They complain about how Yui is spineless, drone about how idiotic she is, and basically facepalm whenever she doesn't do something the viewer knows is logical. She's basically the archetype of female protagonists Jenna Moreci labels The Girl with No Agency.

And...yeah, I think so too.

Compared to any other RH protagonist who at least has a role in their story (or tries to), Yui doesn't really do anything to help her situation. Not only is she incredibly naive, but even when the opportunity to escape from the mansion is given to her on a silver platter, she doesn't take it. Because after all, the truth is far more important than her personal safety!

On another level, Yui is pretty much like Maria without the growth in devotion. They have the same timidness, the same repetitive dialogue, and the same instinct to not really think about what they're getting into. And while Maria doesn't have the same comedic value as Yui, at least she does become useful in some way.

After moving into the Sakamaki mansion, Yui finds a dairy and a photo of her father and her when she was a baby in an abandoned room. Even though she could be thinking of ways to escape (such as jumping out a window), she looks through the diary to find a bombshell that will mean nothing in the story arc: she is adopted. Because she wants to know what caused this, she stays with the Sakamakis, despite the threat of blood-sucking everywhere she roams. After all, she's starting to get chest pains as well. Might have to find the source for that, as well.

In a sense, I can't help but like Yui. Yeah, she's completely useless and lets others walk all over her for their own satisfaction, but there's a spark to that uselessness that gets me every episode. Whether she trips, doesn't fend off getting bitten (even with signs that she doesn't want it), runs around, or simply says, "I'm so thirsty," everything about her is a comedy, just like this show. Sure, it would be nice to have characters with greater agency in situations like these, but despite her obvious problems, Yui is one of the many ways this show provided quality entertainment.

Time to move on to the boys, starting with the triplets born from Cordelia:

So I'm going to use some outdated/mostly used in Lizzie McGuire slang here. Here's the 411 on the Sakamaki brothers. Though not born from the same mother, Karlheinz, their father, had 3 different wives. So Cordelia, one of the primary antagonists and the worst wife, is the mother of this set. Beatrix, Karlheinz's second wife, conceived children first (the two being Shu and Reiji, which makes sense as they are psychically older). Finally, Christa, the mother of Subaru, and Karlheinz's third wife (did he marry them all at the same time?), conceived her son through sexual assault.

Just to give a fair warning (and because I do want to stress this): Despite the boys having rough pasts, it doesn't excuse the fact that most of them treat Yui like a push-over and a vessel from which they can gain blood from because she is special. It may have been ingrained in their heads since birth, but unless they take steps to redeem themselves more by showing that they actually care about her (and I do believe Ayato and Subaru (in a sense) do), they can't gain my fullest sympathies. That over, it doesn't help their dialogue from being over-the-top and ridiculous to the point of hearty laughter. If it was a more serious anime, I'd care more for sure.

Ayato is the third brother in terms of ranking, and was raised to be the very best, like no one ever was. Compared to how Beatrix treated Shu (the current head), however, Ayato was treated like absolute scum by his mother, Cordelia. Forced to study rather than play with his two brothers, Ayato would get abused by his mother if he didn't follow through with her orders. She even went as far as to throw him into a lake! Bad mother alert!

Because of this, Ayato believes that he is untouchable and #thebest, referring to himself as Yours Truly (translated from ore-sama, which is used when the person views very highly of his/herself) and acting cold towards Yui (he first calls her Pancake (chichinashi) due to her flat chest), extracting blood from her with no rhyme or reason other than, "SHE'S MINE, YOU FOOLS! MINE!"

Over time, Ayato does begin to care for Yui in more than a Let Me Suck Your Blood way, especially as she gets entangled in a plot used against her.

Kanato is the fourth brother (and probably the youngest; kid doesn't look like he's matured past 9) and also looks like the one in most need of a good nap. As a child, Cordelia would often neglect him except when she wanted to hear him sing (probably Scarborough Fair if Episode 6 is any indication). She even referred to him as a literal songbird (canaria, which brought back vivid memories of Qualidea Code). Because of this, he would often play alone with his dolls and become deeply attached to them, but not as much as his precious teddy bear. This bear will appear everywhere no matter the situation. It's like Kanato's version of Linus's blanket from Peanuts.

Other side effects from Kanato's abandonment include violent outbursts, slamming roses against a grave, or bitch-slapping coffee out of Yui's hand. Despite this, he stills does have affection for Yui, but how pure that affection is is morally questionable.

Laito is the fifth brother and the most infamous out of the bunch. He is a SEXual Deviant, sex being capitalized. Constantly being in a state of semi-arousal, he shamelessly flirts with Yui and will stop at nothing to get a taste of dat thigh doe. He also calls her Little Bitch (bitch-chan), a pet name that isn't cute or sexy. If anyone called me that in real life, the following response will be this:

Yup, hope you have better luck next time, Ass.

But his sexual tendencies come from a dark place. Cordelia sexually abused him when he was a child, to the point where he stopped viewing her as a mother. When she broke the news that he was only being used for her pleasure, he was shocked and has looked for sexual gratification ever since. It's the most morbid out of the backstories (aside from how Subaru came to be) and there's a subtle hint in the flashback episode that you will probably now look for now that I've told you.

Hint: It's the episode where Ayato and Laito bite Yui at the same time.

So, the triplets. Well, they're iconic, pretty much for the wrong reasons. But there was still something to find in them that I enjoyed. Shocking, I know. But at least they're not flat, like other boys I've experienced in this kind of show.

First up is Ayato. He pretty much breezes onto the screen with the name tag Main Love Interest. And yeah, it's understandable as to why. He's the only one who starts treating Yui more delicately, even if it's little by little. He starts off by sucking her blood in the middle of night school, getting a taste in the family pool when he should be saving her, and leaving hickeys on her skin to show who she belongs to. But by the end, he does notice when she's in actual danger, doesn't immediately go in for the kill, and even refers to her by her first name. Progress!

So, he's on my Naughty but Kind of Nice List:

Now for Kanato. Oh, my poor dear, I could never take you seriously. Sure, you may be cute in that childish innocent kind of way, but oh boy. No matter what you did, whether it was talking to your Teddy, throwing a temper tantrum, or just being a whiny little s**t., you didn't seem threatening to me in the least. You could literally be yanking Yui's arm to prohibit her from escaping the temple of Dead Wax Brides, like so:

And fail miserably at taking it in an "Oh no, not more blood sucking," kind of way. It was more like, "Oh, ha ha, Kanato, you're so cute and adorable when you get possessive and angry!"

Every single scene he's in dials up 100% in comedic value because how can you take this with a grain of salt? He goes from 0 to 100 like it's nothing, throws fits at the drop of a hat, and it's done so abruptly that every single time it happens I laugh. The scene where he stabs a banana snowball at the monthly family dinner is pure art since it happens out of nowhere:

Best Comedy Moment for me this year. Sorry, nothing else can compare.

Kanato, you shall be christened with this:

But hey, you're still cute. So I did end up liking you a little bit aside from your cracks. You're on the Almost There List.

Laito's last. What did I think of him and his shameless eroticism?

Meh, he was fine. Every single time he called Yui Little Bitch amused me, but the fact that he doesn't really know the word "no," quite more so than his brothers, didn't. He has one of the saddest backstories in the game, so I do feel pity towards him. But man, change your ways! You don't have to go through life hitting on Yui non-stop and calling up her thigh when you need your fill of precious blood. He was a mixed package, and one I wished I would have understood more.

He'll go on the Naughty List because is there anywhere else to put him? I think not. We'll just leave it at that with added marveling on how Yui is a miracle. Bye bye.

Now time for the duo, AKA Reiji and Shu:

Reiji is the second brother who loves rules he self-made or are written in the stars. Though he appears very formal, there is a darker side to him, one that comes out when orders aren't followed (primarily in Yui's case). Because Shu is more withdrawn and laid-back, the former has had to take on the duties of the mansion head, much to his chagrin. In his spare time, he likes experimenting in his laboratory, where he makes drugged tea and potions.

In his childhood, Reiji was accidentally ignored by his mother as she was too busy looking after Shu, who was raised to be the head of the family (though Cordelia also played a role, as she harassed Beatrix for conceiving children first despite being the second wife). As such, he took his anger out by setting a village where Shu's friend, Edgar, lived in on fire, and when that didn't cause anything to happen, he got a vampire hunter to murder his mother (who's apparently Yui's father. That's going to be an interesting discussion at the family reunion). He eventually regretted it because Beatrix was relieved in death, not only by finally being free of Cordelia's prodding, but by seeing her sons grow up into the young men they are today.

Shu is the eldest brother and the head of the Sakamaki mansion. While lively when he was younger, the attention given to him by his mother was overwhelming to the point where he was highly pressured to impress her. After Edgar's death (caused by Reiji), Shu began to withdraw into himself, now in his current state of IDGAF. He typically likes to lie down in various places of the house, whether it'd be a couch or in the bathtub fully clothed (because this does actually happen). While he does this, he wears earbuds, but what music he listens to will forever be a mystery. I'm guessing it's something rock.

Though his "spineless" self doesn't do jack about the state of the mansion, Shu has a surprisingly dirty mouth, describing Yui's blood like it was something else (as mentioned above), calling her a dirty girl, insinuating that she actually enjoys being subjected to the thrill of the Sakamakis, and that he gets worked up with just the right amount of special human blood. His train has no breaks.

Now time for thoughts, and I'm again mixed. Not as bad as with the triplets, but we have one character that I'm just eh on, and another that is nice to look at, is sort of nice to Yui, but also has his bad moments, such as, "We're all vampires. We all want you for the same basic necessity. Don't come crying to me when you suffer enough blood loss that will cause you to be dead in the next hour. LOL."

Up first is Reiji. If I had to describe my feelings on him (though I gave a preview above), it'd be eh. It's partly due to the fact that he shows up the least out of the brothers, but I never really grew to his character as well as I would have liked. He's nice to look at, but his only memorable moments are his tendency to interrupt when Ayato wants to get frisky (hence why the Dub Talk ladies refer to him as the Fun Police), and his promises to punish Yui thoroughly with whips or just sucking her blood (hence why me and Luke refer to him as Daddy). I mean, when the glasses or gloves (hell, even both) come off, you know something's about to go down.

There was also the part where Cordelia in Yui's body shamelessly flirts with him because of his eyes (they reminded her of Karlheinz) and kisses him. This is kind of gross if you think about it, because they could be in a sense/actually incest. But moving on from that, I think as a viewer, I would have benefited from seeing Reiji more, because I think I would grow to him as a character aside from being kind of bored with him. His past is interesting because of his jealousy, but that's about it.

Reiji, here's where you'll go: the Naughty but Needs More to Him List. I know you expect perfection, but you're not going to get it from me.

As for Shu, I had no idea he was as dirty as he was before starting this show. I knew that he wasn't really energetic, and I knew he called her a slut in the More Blood dub, but damn. Just seeing more than half of the words come out of his mouth had me shook AF.

This blonde boy also didn't appear as much as some of his siblings, but I do think he was more memorable than Reiji was. Aside from the dirty talk, I think Shu did treat Yui at least kind of like she wasn't trash. His second bite scene has him literally biting her more than twice (and not just in her neck, because her blood is so HOT AND FILLING JUST YES MORE PLEASE), and he does make comments in the general range of "Yeah, no," but his nature can also be kind of soothing. I don't think he's as spineless as Reiji claims he is, because he seems to be pretty knowledge on the family ranking and had the information he was contacted with about Yui in the first place. Someone who doesn't have the passion to do anything whatsoever wouldn't bother with being that memorable.

So, where do I put Shu? The Naughty but Kind of Nice List works best, I believe. Because jeez. Sometimes you'll need to get that bar of soap ready, because the dirty will keep flowing like a river unless you stop it from time to time. Or it'll go into our fanfictions.

Last bur not least, we have our lone wolf, Subaru:

Subaru is the sixth brother and the Angst Lord. There is literally nothing that Subaru does that isn't filled with angst. Whether it's punching the wall and leaving a cracked dent, snapping Yui's pink flip phone with his fist, and slashing the pretty blue roses in the mansion garden with his arm or his special silver knife gifted to him by his mother, which can kill vampires with a pierce to the heart. Compared to his brothers, Subaru would rather be alone and only starts to show interest in Yui once she randomly finds him in the house. He was also the one who told her to get out and she didn't, but hey, at least she ended up using the knife.

Okay, okay, she used it on herself. Whatever. It still counts.

The reason why Subaru is so withdrawn and angsty is because he was never able to have a good relationship with his mother. After Christa and Karlheinz got married, she was raped and locked in a tower that she could never escape from. As such, the reason why she gave the knife to Subaru in the first place was to kill her because she couldn't stand being in a cell anymore. It was driving her mad because she knew Karlheinz would never release her, since he only viewed her as a experiment. It is unknown whether Christa's still alive, but Subaru blames himself for his own birth since he never got the chance to save his mother from her fate.

I figured Subaru would be my favorite before I even watched the show, not only because he looked hot, but I figured he wouldn't treat Yui like trash left on the side of the road. I guess my intuition was hella strong again, because I was right!

I have amazing ESPN! The best!

But let's back those brakes a bit. Subaru does have a bit of a possessive streak, as seen in his bite scene (and the one in two more episodes), but he doesn't have a heart of steel. He's more tender to her because he does wants her to be safe and not scared for her life, but in the end, he is still a vampire. And his fangs should be allowed to enter her...always.

Yeah, I loved Subaru if you can't tell. Aside from being kinder to Yui, he also has a lot of general hilarity. He's so angsty and no matter what he does, it's always a treat. Whether it's just being himself or trying to fight his uncle, Subaru can be a badass mofo, and he'd be the one that I would trust the most if stuck in a situation like this. I wouldn't mind giving up my neck or shoulder area so he could suck my blood. Not like I would have any say in the matter.

Oh, oops. But it's true though. Sorry not sorry.


Other characters include the mothers in flashback (though Cordelia comes back in Yui's body in the present), and the family's uncle, Richter, who is the big bad and also a bad person.


The animation for this series was produced by Zexcs, who have also worked on shows such as Chrome Shelled Regios, Cuticle Detective Inaba, and Omamori Himari.

For a show that's this trashy, the animation is quite pretty. For a show that has slightly over half-length episodes, the animation is quite pretty. All of the boys look gorgeous, the dark atmosphere is potent AF, the production is incredibly consistent, and a few still frames that I caught on Crunchyroll are fixed from broadcast to DVD. A show that's this short and rooted in quality entertainment doesn't need to look this good. It's easily the best production from Zexcs that I've seen to date.

Not much else to say outside of good job on you, studio. I'm sure the animation will only increase from here and look even more beautiful in its second season, while still having the charm that we got here.


The score for this series was composed by Yuki Hayashi, who is also known for his fantastic work on series such as Death Parade, Haikyuu, and Kiznaiver.

One thing that Hayashi hasn't done yet is make a score that fails to impress me. Each score of his has similar elements that manage to cross over, but at the same time, they have a quality to them that makes it that series. Same goes with Diabolik Lovers. While some elements of a few pieces make me think of the rustic quality that popped up in Death Parade, this OST is entirely its own. And once again, it's incredible.

The best thing that Hayashi captures here is the atmosphere of this series. It's dark, mysterious, brooding, even creepy at points, and the score manages to convey all of it despite a shorter number of overall pieces. They helped me get further sucked (hehe) into this anime despite its ambiguous content. It'll be interesting to see what will happen next season with a new composer (whose name is Saki. I'm not sure if she did the new pieces by herself or if she worked with Yuki Hayashi on them), but the fact still remains that this OST is a blessing and helps elevate this show with its much needed weight.

The voice acting is also pretty good. Rie Suegara, in her first credited role in an anime (I believe at least), opts not for a higher pitch, but rather for one that goes for the middle of the road, which doesn't make Yui as annoying despite how limited her material is. Plus, she is EXCELLENT when Cordelia takes control of her body. I wouldn't mind seeing her get more roles. The male seiyuus all sound like they're having fun and let out some pretty entertaining blood-sucking sounds (and moans). Cordelia's seiyuu was the only one I wasn't as fond of, since she sounded very porny at points, to the point where I couldn't take her seriously. It's not Akane Tomonaga's fault, as she's used to voicing in hentai and eroge, but she ends up playing Cordelia as a character from that field and not as someone from a reverse harem "trash heap." I prefer Monica Rial.

Speaking of the dub, I do plan on watching the full thing eventually, because it'll probably also be #iconic. What I've seen so far hasn't been too bad, even with the eh audio quality and pronunciation inconsistencies, but the main surprise is the first season being helmed by Sentai's Media Coordinator. That was something that probably no one expected, but with Christopher Ayres and Kyle Jones probably busy with other projects (and Steven Foster leaving Sentai Filmworks at this point), it probably was the only solution. But Ayres does direct the second season, which I predicted, and from what I've seen of that, the differences are already clear. Lots of ham and added honorifics, mostly. I'll talk about the dub and its actor highlights when I dig into it more.

Highlights from the original Japanese are Rie Suegara, Hikaru Midorikawa, Yuki Kaji, Daisuke Hirakawa, Katsuyuki Konishi, Kosuke Toriumi, Takashi Kondo, Jun Konno, Mana Hirata, and Yuki Tashiro.


Oh, Diabolik Lovers. While you're incredibly infamous and pretty bad in some aspects, you are just SO wonderful, and I'm always ready to come back for more. Your good aspects are quite good, don't get me wrong, but your entertainment value will be the star of the show for the rest of the year. Taking another look (or looks) at Qualidea Code's shite broadcast animation can't hold a crown to your prowess as an entertainment source. 

Ah, you're so much better than reality TV. Do you all see why I just watch anime nowadays than actual shows running on the big screen?

Anyways, this is another show that I don't think a lot of viewers outside of the target audience (reverse harem lovers) will like or click with, but aside from those who haven't seen it yet, if you want a good laugh from an anime that's not a comedy, please just put this on. I promise it'll be worth your while, unless you're too squeamish at Yui getting bitten too much.

I'm going to take a little break from all of these vampires and come back into the OVA and 2nd season with a fresh mind (and with the ability to take more notes). I have an actual comedy series I need to start catching up on.

Score: 7/10


ENTERTAINING AF when not taken seriously (beautiful and tragic at the same time).

Subaru treats Yui with slight respect.

Pretty animation.

Beautiful OST.

Voice acting is actually quite good.


Short episodes don't equal good development.

Plot is filled with holes.

Show's writing is a hit or miss.

Yui is too incompetent.

Most of the male characters don't treat Yui well and don't try to redeem themselves from their sad childhoods.

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