(Note: this review contains spoilers. If you do not wish to read them, stop at ***. Otherwise, proceed with caution.)
A girl moves into a house with six brothers. All of whom just so happen to be sadistic vampires. As is typical of reverse harems, in this otome game adapted anime, it’s one girl, maaannnnnyyyyyy guys.
Staying true to koekara, what initially piqued my interest was definitely the cast. Featuring the beautiful voices of Kondou Takashi, Konishi Katsuyuki, Toriumi Kousuke, to name a few, this fangirl was a little more than eager to watch this series. However, contradicting as it may sound, expectations were not high, especially not after the previous season’s Brothers Conflict – let’s just say kiseki really doesn’t have the patience to sit through all that fluff & what not. Hence, I was pleasantly surprised to find that each episode was only 15 minutes long. However, that’s where the pleasantries end. Despite being shorter than a normal full-length episode, 15 minutes really was a tad too long.
The entire series consisted mainly of our protagonist, Yui, being attacked by the brothers. Sadistic as they may be, vampires as they are, they conveniently treated her as a living, breathing blood bag. In practically every single episode, we would have one scene in which Yui would succumb to the fangs of one brother – and sometimes even more than one. How that girl managed to replenish all the blood in her body in such a short period of time is beyond me. Moreover, what really got on my nerves was the degrading manner in which the brothers treated her. The terrible nicknames they called her by *cough bitch-chan cough* were cringe worthy.
As this anime was adapted from an otome game, each character had their respective background stories. Watching as someone who did not play the game, I obviously wasn’t aware of what his or her stories were beforehand. While the anime did give us several flashback scenes, they were very brief and did not provide sufficient explanation. In my opinion, there were many opportunities for story development, but the series fell short in that aspect. For instance, I would have loved to see what happened with the triplets (Ayato, Kanato and Laito – played by Midorikawa Hikaru, Kaji Yuuki, and Hirakawa Daisuke, respectively) for them to hate their mother as much as they did. The Yui-Cordelia switch-a-roo could have been very interesting if expanded on, but again, we did not get much information. What resulted was an abrupt and choppy ending, with so many questions left unanswered.
Yup, exasperation was this series’ take away – repetitive sighing ran concurrently with the viewing of each episode on my part. Throughout the series, I’d wonder.. Why is she so submissive? Why are the boys so mean? Really, people find that attractive? For crying out loud Yui, do something already! Seriously, they’re sucking her blood AGAIN? Goodness, why in the world am I still watching this?!
I shall leave the plot bashing and move on to what really mattered for me, so much so that I actually persevered and completed it~ Other than the pretty but occasionally played music, what made the series almost bearable was most certainly the voice acting. Putting aside fangirling about the male seiyuus just this once (I know, how can kiseki do this when it’s an otome game adapted anime with male seiyuus & fanservice!!), I’d like to draw attention to the seiyuu who played our protagonist, Yui. In her first ever voice acting role, Suegara Rie did a commendable job. As Yui, she was weak, timid, defenseless *cue fangs*; but as Cordelia possessed Yui, she was overbearing and obnoxious. Her transformation from meek to overconfident was certainly quite remarkable. Hence, even though most fans would’ve watched this for the boys, credit goes to Suegara Rie for delivering a convincing performance in her maiden role.
Okay, I know I mentioned earlier that I’d put fangirling about the guys aside. However, I’ve changed my mind. On to the fangirling! As much as I LOVE Toriumi, the one person whom I thought was really worth watching Diabolik for is Kaji Yuuki. That boy does psychotic sadistic vampire, in a very enticing way, like no other seiyuu I’ve ever heard before. He has such amazing voice control, being able to evoke so much emotion in just one word – the way he would go “teddy” sent shivers down my spine. Creepy doesn’t even begin to describe Kanato. Contrasting this role with other roles that he’s had (Eren in Shingeki, Konekomaru in Ao no Exorcist, Wataru in Brothers Conflict, etc.), we are given yet another variation of Kaji Yuuki’s voice. It was a very impressive performance on his part. And for that, he gets my vote for best Diabolik vampire brother.
Diabolik Lovers has received mixed reviews. Admittedly, even in this review, my views on this anime are pretty conflicted. While not entirely bad, this series certainly wasn’t very good. Is this a series worth watching? Maybe, maybe not.. Well, if you are a huge fan of the seiyuus, if you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, or if you’re very bored, then you might want to consider watching this. However, even if you give this series a miss, I’d say you’re not really missing out on much.