Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Date A Live Review

Date A Live Review

Warning: The following review may contain spoilers. If you wish not to know some events in the story, or simply don't wish to find out what happens in the series, please leave the page, since I don't want to damage a watching experience for you.

Also, a section of this review will be dedicated to talking about my reaction to Date A Live 2. So please don't get confused when I jump over to that section.

With that said, thank you and onto the review:

During the spring, besides watching Karneval, I was interested in starting other anime after finishing it, or something to watch alongside it. This show caught my eye after finding it on the June release schedule on FUNimation's website, and it came out on the same day as Karneval. And when the English cast reveal came out, I was interested in perhaps starting. So one Saturday afternoon, on April 12th, I was getting very bored. So, I decided to pick up this show.

While this show did provide a interesting story, and some interesting characters, the show never seems to fully impress, leaning toward the negative side with its uneven pacing, a somewhat stereotypical lead, and a character who doesn't really do anything but fill the gap. Though, if you look pass all the bad qualities, you'll find something likable.

Let's start off with one of my favorite parts to this anime:


30 years prior to the story, the world was struck by a weird disaster called a spacial quake, killing at least 150 million people in the Eurasia area. Now, these types of disasters are becoming wide known through-out the world, and no one knows what they're caused by.

Shido Itsuka is a typical high school boy (sigh, not these again), and he isn't the most well-viewed kid in school. After running outside during a quake to make sure his sister isn't harmed, since she was waiting at a restaurant and all, he encounters a mysterious girl known by the name Princess. After a attack goes on between her and one of his classmates in a robotic suit. Then, he is rescued by the ship Fraxinus, and later finds out that his little sister Kotori is the head captain of this said ship.

Kotori explains to Shido that Princess is in fact a spirit, and they are the reason why the spacial quakes are happening. They have a goal to try and save the spirits, unlike the rivals AST, who think that the only good way to get rid of spirits is to kill them. Meanwhile, Shido is discovered to have a mysterious power that can seal a spirit's power, so they don't cause mass destruction. However, he must do this with a kiss. As more spirits appear in the world without ringing the alarm, and more mysteries pop up, what will happen to Shido?

I thought the story for this anime was mainly well executed. I liked getting to know more about the spirits, and having all of this mystery surrounding them, and the AST. Shido's power was a bit weird at first, because it's hard to know where he keeps all of that power in the first place. But the spirits all managed to play some role in the story, which works out well in most cases.

HOWEVER, there are some issues in regards to the plot that had me kind of scratching my head afterwards, mainly with the plot progression.

This is partly screwed up because it takes a couple episodes for characters other than our main leads to show up. And also, It takes 4 episodes for Yoshino to appear before being tossed to the side, Because since she's SOOOO young, you can't let her be the love rival, correct?

Also, my favorite spirit Kurumi doesn't appear until episode 7, and after in which she reveals her plans to Origami (who?), you realize the show only has 5 episode left.

So, does she get development?

Well yes, in a mere rushed 3 and a half episodes, she does.

The characters in Date A Live are very diverse when it comes to personality. However, some of them can involve "OHMYGODTHISCHARACTERISSOAWESOMEKSLFJLAKSJFLSKJDLSAKJFLSAK!" to "What in hell's name where they thinking?"

Let's start off with our main protagonist Shido:

Without his interesting power that can cause him to seal spirit's powers, Shido is just basically your typical main male protagonist. and everyone knows just how much we love those, much like all of those clueless female protagonists in paranormal romances.

Shido's power in this series actually came from Kotori 5 years ago, after he rescued her, and sealed away her recently given powers after accidentally starting a fire a killing Origami's parents. (Who?) Thus after that, Kotori was taken in by Shido, and has actually taken good care for her, as well as himself, since he was abandoned by his parents when he was young. He also has a biological sister, but she's the weakest character. More later.

The only thing interesting about Shido is his power, and the fact how he protective of Kotori. Besides that, he isn't really memorable, and is probably one of my least favorite protagonists. NEXT!

Let's go to Tohka, or her spirit name, Princess:

When she first arrived on Earth, she mistook Shido to be someone who would kill her. In episode 2, Shido convinces her otherwise, and later after giving her the name Tohka, and going out on a date with her, she then gains his trust, and therefore falls in love with him.

Tohka is probably the most naive spirit in the human world, often confused on how things work. But besides this, she does have a sense of feelngs for Shido, often getting mad when Shido meets a girl, and gets a bit too close for her tastes, or misinterprets a scenario, which she does quite a lot. She later develops a rivalry towards Shido with Origami. (Who?) But after learning that Yoshino is a spirit like herself, she then manages to support Shido in the cause, and manages to fight in a few battles.

Tohka is my second favorite spirit, due to the fact that she just has this sense of innocence in her. I love her curiosity, and her strength for Shido not to die is very believable. There are ways that this type of character could go wrong in a anime, but Tohka makes it work.

Now onto Origami. (Who?) The reason as to why I put those next to Origami's name is due to the fact that she's just not that memorable in the show for me. Besides some of her stalker techniques and her back-story, that was all that was interesting. Besides that, I just felt she was a generic one note robot who rarely seemed to have any emotion, and her stalking Shido as a bit
unsettling, though there was some funny moments.

Let's talk about Shido's adoptive sister, Kotori:

Kotori was a spirit five years prior to the story, and was saved by Shido before he took her in. Though, there are no memories of this event until Shido seals Kotori's power again during her fight with Origami. Her spirit's name goes by Ifrit, and can't handle her spirit powers long before she goes out of control, becoming insane. During thse time lapses, she doesn't remember what happens as well, due to the powers consuming her.

That aside, Kotori is 14 years old, and is shown to be another little sister cliche so bad you might feel as if you want to bash your head in. However later on in the first episode, she is found out to be the captain of the ship Fraxinus, and has a more bratty, and bossy type of personality. This was really funny to figure out, and her captain side was shown more in the series, which was a relief, since I enjoyed this personality a whole lot more.

In fact, the reason for this switch is actually due to her ribbons on her pigtails. When they're white, she becomes the cute, and irritating little sister. When they're black, she becomes the more arrogant, bossy captain. But once again, you're going to see the black ribbons a whole lot more. Another signature trait of hers is to have a Chupa Chups lollipop in her mouth. Yay, merchandise!

Kotori is a example of the typical younger sister stereotype broken just by her ribbons alone. If your reaction goes from this:

 To this:

Then that's called a winner.

Now onto the next spirit, Yoshino:

Yoshino is a spirit that looks like a young girl, and is perceived to be around Kotori's age. Her name is Hermit, and like every single little girl character, is perhaps the apple of the ye in a sea of ADORABLE anime characters.

However, what sets her apart is the hand puppet on her left hand named Yoshinon, who perhaps made the show's entertainment much more interesting. Let's be honest, who doesn't want a talking puppet on your hand? Without even you having to do a thing.

Yoshino is a very shy spirit, that when the AST first attacks her in episode 4, she doesn't respond at first. However, when she loses Yoshinon, she feels a bit of a emptiness in her, simply because Yoshinon is her main confinement.

Yoshinon is the opposite of Yoshino, as she is constantly peppy, and makes some of the best remarks of the show. She is a rabbit, with a eye-patch over her right eye. 

Yoshino may seem like the stereotypical shy little girl stereotype of anime, but Yoshinon made her a new character entirely. I really like how the creator of this series gave her this unqiue half of her personality, and hope in more works he does, breaks other walls.

I would talk about Kurumi here, but she's more entertaining kept secret, because you will be blown away by how many twists she had. So instead, why don't we talk about my least favorite character, Mana:

Mana is supposed to be a secondary lieutenant of the AST, and comes from a branch in England. She is supposed to be Shido's actual sister, but doesn't have any proof besides a picture. She is also supposed to be a strong fighter, which is why she came into Japan. Of course you wouldn't be able to guess that just by seeing in her action. Why? BECAUSE SHE IS F**KING USELESS!

*sighs* Trust me, this is going to take a while. And this girl is the level of the angriest Toshiro face I've found. But still, it scares the complete jeepers out of me. So this Kagami face is a bit better.

I thought she'd add a rivalry to Kotori to see which sister he liked more. NOPE! I thought she would be a great asset to fighting off the spirits. NOPE! I thought we could find out more about her past, and why she was separated from Shido. NOPE! All she ever does is kill Kurumi two times, but since Kurumi can go back in time to retrieve new clones, it's rendered to have to kill her over and over.

Oh, and in volume 6 of the light novels (which they've already adapted into the anime), she dies. SHE FREAKING DIES! I know she died from effects of the operation that they put on her, but C'MON! SHE WAS ONLY THERE FOR 4 EPISODES BEFORE SHE'S IN THE F**KING HOSPITAL. THAT'S RIGHT, F**KING 4! SHE IS PROVEN TO BE ABSOLUTELY USELESS, AND THEN SHE LATER DIES! AND SHE ACCOMPLISHED NOTHING! BEST SOLDIER FROM ENGLAND? BULLS**T!

*breathes* Okay, I'm good. But still, this character could have been done so much better. Boy was I wrong.

Other characters include Kotori's dating experts, the head of the AST. Shido's friend from school, and three gossip girls known as Ay, Mei, and Mii. The three girls are proven to be respectably hilarious, especially in the English dub. One even has a signature catch-phrase.

Out of the dating team, you will most likely find Reine and Kyouhei the most memorable. And Shido's friend might be too. But it's all in where you think humor is displayed the best.


The animation for the series was done by AIC PLUS +, which is a division of the anime company AIC. They are most known for the Tenchi Muyo franchise, Cat Planet Cuties, and Haganai. 

The animation for this series is very good, from the character designs, for the powers, and heck, even the settings are given a little glam. It may not be the best animation from AIC, but it's still a bit better than Haganai.

Ghee, I never have any complaints for animation, do I? XD


The score for this series was composed by Go Sakabe, which this series is actually his first time he's ever composed anything for a series besides openings. Majority of his tracks are interesting, but this one takes the cake:


The opening for this series is sung by a group called Sweet Arms, who is composed of some of the seiyuus from the show. This opening is a epic thrill ride, getting you pumped for another episode. I felt myself getting encouraged after every airing of this opening passed, making my experience more enjoyable. The three main ending themes, all sung by Iori Nomizu, are all mediocre at best, and aren't something you would give a award too.

The show's original Japanese is a breeze to go through, mostly because all of the seiyuus give there best performances to try and fit there characters. Some of them pay off more than others, but it works for the main cast.

Meanwhile, the English dub so far is a mixed bag. The quality is not FUNimation's best, but overall, we did manage to receive a lot of great performances despite this. But one of the most argued things that I've seen about the dub is the voice of Tohka. Michelle Roja's voice is a bit deeper then Marina Inoue's, especially during her naive and curious moments. I compare her voice to Steve Staley's as Toshiro, as I found both a bit too deep, and too mature for there characters. However, Michelle Rojas manages to work this to her advantage, making Tohka in my opinion, appear more wise and possibly mature than the Japanese.

Highlights in the Japanese include Nobunaga Shimazaki (Yes fangirls, he has other roles besides Haruka Nanase), Marina Inoue, Misuzu Togashi, Ayana Taketatsu, Asami Sanada, Iori Nomizu (Yoshinon only), Aya Endo, and Takehito Koyasu.

Highlights so far in the English dub are Josh Grelle (pwns like always), Michelle Rojas, Bryn Apprill, Alexis Tipton (also pwns like always), Tia Ballard, Barrett Nash, Jamie Marchi, Leah Clark, and Monica Rial.


Despite Date A Live's faults, the show does manage to keep people interested by it's unique plot, and somewhat interesting cast. The show managed to keep my interest, and I was looking forward to Season 2. Until I started watching it:

 I could only watch the Yamai spirits work out their issues before I put it on hold, and then eventually dropped it. Season 2 looks as if my problems with the plot pacing, and Mana's weak ass character development won't be fixed AT. ALL. And the fact that Tohka gets captured episode 6, and then gets rescued in episode 10 because of Miki? 

There's a reason why I rated the second season lower than Ikki Tousen: Great Guardians. While that at least has some re-watchability, this didn't. And this frustrates me, because I liked season 1.

But that aside, this show does have some good qualities that I can see some people enjoying. But if you liked the first season, I ask you not to even see season 2. it might leave you dissapointed.

I recommend this show to harem lovers who want a cool sc-fi and harem mix, but don't want too much fanservice.

Score: 7/10 (minus .5 if you count season 2)


Cool story.

Intriguing characters.

Great animation.

Voice work on both might impress you.


Plot progression moves too slowly.

Mana is worthless as f**k.

Some characters are heavily under-developed.

Season 2 isn't as good, in fact, is worse in some regards.

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