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Date A Live

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Warning! This article is NSFW!

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WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

This article may reveal major plot points, especially considering the episode, season, or series had either been released recently or not in specific countries yet.‎

Date A Live
Date A Live poster.jpg

Date A Live II poster.jpg
Date A Live III.jpg

Now, let our date (battle) begin!
Genre: Sci-Fi
Harem
Comedy
Romance
Mecha
School
Running Time: 25 minutes (for each episode)
Country: Japan
Release Date: April 6, 2013 – present
Network(s): Funimation
Created by: Kōshi Tachibana
Starring: Nobunaga Shimazaki
Marina Inoue
Ayana Taketatsu
Misuzu Togashi
Iori Nomizu
Asami Sanada
Maaya Uchida
Minori Chihara
Ayumi Mano
Seasons: 4
Episodes: 34 + 2 OVAs


Plot

The series begins with a strange phenomenon called a "spatial quake" devastating the center of Eurasia, resulting in at least 150 million casualties. For the next 30 years, smaller spatial quakes plague the world on an irregular basis. In the present, Shido Itsuka, a seemingly ordinary high school student comes across a mysterious girl at the ground zero of a spatial quake. He learns from his adoptive sister Kotori that the girl is one of the "Spirits" from different dimensions who are the real cause of the spatial quakes that occur when they manifest themselves in the real world. He also learns that Kotori is the commander of the airship Fraxinus, crewed by the organization Ratatoskr and its parent company Asgard Electronics, and is recruited to make use of his mysterious ability to seal the Spirits' powers thus stopping them from being a threat to mankind. However, there is a catch: to seal a Spirit's power, he must make each Spirit fall in love with him and make her kiss him. Shido's intelligent classmate, Origami Tobiichi, is a sergeant of the AST (Anti-Spirit Team), a special unit designed to suppress the threat posed by Spirits. As Shido successfully keeps sealing more and more Spirits, he gains allies to help him with his dates with other Spirits. Shido also increases the competition among them for his attention and affection, much to his chagrin.

Why It Rocks

  1. Noticeably beautiful animation that manages to be very smooth and stunning to look at.
  2. The voice acting is great in both the sub and dub. Shout outs have to go to Nobunaga Shimazaki (Japanese)/Josh Grelle (English) as Shido Itsuka, Misuzu Togashi (Japanese)/Michelle Lee (English) as Origami Tobiichi, Asami Sanada (Japanese)/Alexis Tipton (English) as Kurumi Tokisaki, Minori Chihara (Japanese)/Jad Saxton (English) as Miku Izayoi, and Ryōtarō Okiayu (Japanese)/Alex Organ (English) as Sir Isaac Ray Pelham Westcott.
  3. The backgrounds for the show look simply lovely. Even some of the more seemingly mundane ones like the ones used for the general town that the show takes place in are still very detailed and colorful.
  4. Lovable, deep, and complex characters with amazing powers and interesting personalities and backstories. And while some of them aren't safe from the typical harem tropes, they manage to take advantage of those tropes to be interesting and likable characters.
    • Shido Itsuka (born Shinji Takamiya) is one of the few harem protagonists that manages to be interesting and not just a talentless and inept foil to a bunch of flirty girls. He's a kind-hearted and sympathetic young man who possesses a strange power that allows him to seal the powers of a Spirit in his body with a kiss; however, the seal will only work if the Spirit holds enough trust or affection toward him to allow it. This ability allows him to seal and contain 99% of a Spirit's power. After sealing a Spirit's powers, there will be an invisible link connecting him and the Spirit, through which a portion of the sealed power will flow back to the Spirit if said Spirit's mental state becomes unstable, and back to Shido once the Spirit's mental state stabilizes.
    • Tohka Yatogami is the first Spirit saved by Shido. She generally has an upbeat and cheerful persona, in spite of her initial ignorant of the ways of the world. Due to Shido being the first person to ever show kindness and acceptance towards her, Tohka develops a strong bond and sense of protection towards him, which she initially has issues expressing or understanding as demonstrated when she got jealous after seeing Shido accidentally share a kiss with Yoshino. However, upon learning that Yoshino is a Spirit like herself, she instead makes the decision to support Shido in his cause to save other Spirits such as Kurumi rather than act envious towards them. She not only participates in several of the battles involving the other Spirits, but also provides as much comfort and emotional support for Shido as she can whenever he's facing an issue or predicament. But eventually, Tohka comes to fully realize that she does indeed love Shido.
    • Kotori Itsuka is Shido's foster younger sister. She's the Commander of the Fraxinus. Her personality is very inconsistent as it literally depends on the ribbons she's wearing: as she acts perfectly normal and sweet when she's wearing white ribbons, but switches to a Dominatrix personality when she's wearing black ribbons. She can be aggressive at times and is often seen sucking on Chupa Chups lollipops. Nevertheless, she still cares deeply for Shido as is much less both physically and emotionally harsh towards him here than in the manga.
    • Origami Tobiichi is a highly intelligent and stoic classmate of Shido. She's mostly described by her peers as being atheletic, "beautiful", and has a large amount of popularity among the other students in Shido's school, who for unknown reasons seems to hold deep feelings for him. But what none of her classmates know is that she is secretly a member of the the AST (Anti-Spirit Team) and holds rank of Master Sergeant within it. She has vowed to killevery single Spirits as the result of an incident in her childhood where one of them supposedly murdered her parents. But she comes to become very conflicted in her feelings about the depowered Spirits after getting to actually know them. Upon realizing that she was the true murderer of her parents (albeit by accident), she learns to let go of this hatred.
    • Yoshino Himekawa is the second Spirit to appear. She's very shy and timid, dependent on her hand puppet, Yoshinon, in order to communicate with those around her. Her powers cause it to start raining wherever she appears, as her powers as a Spirit are to be able to control the three states of water (mainly through the usage of cryokinesis). She's a very friendly, if insecure, young girl at heart and gains more self-confidence as the series goes on.
    • Kurumi Tokisaki is the most dangerous Spirit that appears in the series. She's a new transfer student in Shido's class in volume 3 and even outright announces to her classmates that she is a Spirit. She is quick to show attraction towards Shido from the very start, becoming envious of Tohka and Origami for their stronger bonds with him. However, Kurumi soon reveals to Shido that the reason she even transferred to Raizen High School in the first place was for the purpose of killing and eating him (specifically the power that he has within him) to gain a large amount of life. It's here where Kurumi's true colors show; a psychopathic and mad serial killer whose steals the time of those she kills in order to travel back in time and prevent the birth of the First Spirit (Mio Takamiya), whose spacequake killed 150 million people and was the cause for the births of other Spirits.
    • Yamai are the fourth and fifth Spirits saved by Shido. They consist of a pair of identical twins named Kaguya and Yuzuru, even being described as "clones" as they were both created as the result of the same Yamai Spirit (the reason for said split along with the original Yamai's personality both being unknown). Although they are two different, independent individuals, strictly speaking they are still overall one Spirit, Yamai. The two siblings also have very different personalities, with Kaguya being more outspoken and rowdy of the two while Yuzuru is the cold and passive type, especially when compared to her sister. They are well known to people who know about Spirits as well as the general population due to causing a major atmospheric change when they duel while having a significant amount of witnesses. However the spatial quakes they cause have few to no casualties due to them manifesting high up in the sky. They both often bicker and fight about who's the real Yamai, but are still loyal towards each other nonetheless.
    • Miku Izayoi is the sixth Spirit saved by Shido. She is introduced as a student of Rindōji Girls' Academy who is incredibly arrogant and resents humankind, especially men, while treating women as her personal servants. She also works as a very famous and popular idol singer. Shido's initial approach with Miku ended badly, so he cross-dresses as a girl called Shiori to get close to Miku until she finds "Shiori" is unaffected by her angel Solo and really becomes curious to have "her". Shido finds Miku annoying for not understanding fairness and people's well-being. After Miku challenged Shiori to a performance bet at Tengu Square and lost, Miku still refuses Shiori's general friendship only to get greatly shocked from discovering Shido's true gender and causes all eyewitnesses to fall under her voice control (except Tohka) to forcefully see if men like Shido can truly care about others than oneself.
    • Natsumi Kyouno is the seventh Spirit to be saved by Shido. She's incredibly cynical and often assumes the worst in those around her. Shido's the first non-AST person she met. Things were going well in his attempt to seal her powers. Then she sneezes, causing a flash of light, and her getting angry at him because he saw something about her that she didn't want him to see (he actually didn't get to see anything). She takes the form of Shido and makes advances on all his acquaintances in school before being found out by Tohka and Origami, after which she escapes and issues Shido photos of 12 people close to him, and challenges him to find her out before they all disappear.
  5. Amazing and creative character designs, especially for the Spirits' Astral Dresses. Just by catching a single glimpse of the, you can easily tell that each one is simply amazing and incredibly detailed and creative.
    • Tohka's for example is a pink and purple armored ballgown.
    • Origami's resembles a wedding dress with a crown and a large amount of gold accessories to it.
    • Miku's is a blue and white dress with ruffles, and several flower and moon-themed accessories.
    • Kurumi's is a long dress made out of crimson and black frills, giving her the appearance of an elegant Gothic Lolita.
    • Natsumi's is a witch-themed outfit with a dress covered in star patterns and several gemstones and a pair of bat wings accompanying her hat.
  6. The story, while no short of extremely weird and nonsensical, is very expansive and actually grows and becomes darker and more serious as the show goes on. New plot points are regularly introduced in order to grow the overall story and bring it to new levels. It's because of these attributes that it manages to execute it's otherwise ridiculous plot well and make it into a complex, progressive story.
  7. Very natural pacing between both the individual episodes, and the events within the episodes.
  8. Awesome action sequences. Including the battles between Kurumi and Kotori, Origami and Tohka, and Kurumi and Mana. The fact that the spirits have all their powers and abilities only contribute to how epic the fight scenes become.
  9. Funny moments like Shido "confessing his feelings" for Origami in the second episode of season 1 and the spirits making a stew for Shido by throwing in each of their favorite foods (along with the events that end up following them presenting the meal to him, and the ones that happened before it).

Bad Qualities

  1. As previously mentioned, the plot (basically Shido having to date alien girls in order to keep them from destroying the world by sealing their powers within his own body via a kiss), as expansive and well-executed as it is, is still undoubtedly weird and nonsensical. Not to mention the "him stealing the other spirits' powers when they fall for him" plot point can arguably put some people off from watching the show.
  2. The series isn't safe from all of the traditional harem tropes such as Shido constantly needing to act like a parental figure to the spirits, which can get pretty annoying after a while as well. Though they all are still likable characters.
  3. Kotori, Origami, and Miku were arguably rather unlikable initially. But thankfully, they all end up getting their respective developments as the show went on.
  4. Season 3 is easily the weakest season so far.

Reception

Date A Live received generally positive reviews from both critics and audiences alike. Who praised the story, characters, action, and writing. MyAnimeList rated it at 7.19/10, IMDb has a rating of 7/10, and Crunchyroll gave the series a 4.2/5.

Videos

Trailers

Reviews

Comments

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