Date A Live

Title:Date A Live
デート・ア・ライブ (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , , , ,
Notables: INOUE Marina
Thirty years before a strange phenomena called a "spacequake" devastated the center of Eurasia, claiming the lives of at least 150 million people. Since then, smaller spacequakes plague the world on a irregular basis. Shidō Itsuka, a seemingly ordinary high schooler comes across a mysterious girl at the ground zero of a spacequake and learns from his sister Kotori she is one of the "Spirits" who are the real cause of the spacequakes that occur when they manifest themselves in the world. He also learns that Kotori is the captain of the airship Ratatoskr and recruits him to make use of his mysterious ability to seal the Spirits' powers and stop them from being a threat to mankind. However, there is a catch: to seal a Spirit, he must make her fall in love with him.
(Synopsis courtesy of ANN)

12 episodes
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2705#628]
(Six episodes watched):

WTF? This show goes from an account of a 150 million dead 'Spacequake' to ass flaunting fanservice in the blink of an eye. Blatant, shove-it-in-your-face ass fanservice. That's not a good sign; few shows have both assservice and quality writing or jokes. A personality-less guy with a personality-less sister runs into a personality-less girl (unless looking 'despondent' counts as a personality) in the opening scene or two. But this show is clearly about T&A, not personality development. Some pretty weird twists to this guy's previously ordinary life come about in this opening episode, but I guess if the characters are undeveloped and uninteresting even those won't summon much enthusiasm from me. If you try to lure me in with assservice but won't give me even one character who registers in my mind as a human being with an identifiable character, I won't bite. Or maybe I spoke too quick: I was about to write this show after one episode, but the twist at the very, very end about the guy having to get this spirit woman to fall in love with him piqued my interest. Falling in love and showing off your ass are two different things. As a result, I decided I would give this show a second chance with episode two.

Episode two was actually fairly funny and had none of the panty flashing of episode one. The bit where Shido gets some romance practice by making a come-on to Tobiichi, a schoolgirl, was especially funny. The team of experts that coach him, and the way things were played as a dating sim when he met 'Princess' Tohka for a second time were fun too. This show may be OK after all. It is kind of hit-or-miss, with good jokes now and then, and otherwise a pretty dull storyline. Why, in the name of heaven, did it not occur to Shido when he ran into another girl in an extravagant costume (episode four), that she might be a 'spirit', like Tohka? And why hasn't he, or anyone else, asked Princess Tohka where she came from? She could at least have amnesia. Yet Tohka's silly personality is endearing. I'm a little embarrassed to still be watching this show, but I am. I still feel that I can count on it for some modest but reliable amusement, no matter how messed-up the plot is.

It looks like this show will be a series of two or three episode arcs in each of which a new 'Spirit' appears and Shido must romance her to cancel out her destructive powers. In the process he will collect a harem and must tread carefully lest his actions with new Spirits make the old ones jealous. But arc two was distinctly boring; the effort to make us sympathize with this lolicon Spirit fell flat, and the complicated plot was uninteresting. I think what this show should have done was stick with the romantic triangle of Shido, Tohka and Tobiichi, rather than add more and more undeveloped characters. Perhaps once the novelty gives way to a basically repetitive cycle of events the show loses much of the charm it briefly had. And this show is getting too predictable; there was a scene where Shido is alone with the new Spirit girl and seems to be kissing her, and the thought occurred to me 'I bet Tohka will burst into the room and draw the wrong conclusion', and indeed she did. About all I can say for episode five is that there was one joke which made me actually laugh rather than just smile. I'll watch one more episode before I decide whether to quit Date or not.

I don't know what the hell to make of episode six, in which everybody decides to go to an Onsen at once. But rather than the usual leering at nude girls, the episode was almost entirely about the journey there. But whereas my theory of comedy is that it happens when you get an unexpected answer to a question which nevertheless makes sense in an unexpected way, here everything was unexpected without making much sense at all. The confusion made my brain hurt. As a result, I decided to abandon Date A Live.

Last updated Monday, December 01 2014. Created Wednesday, April 10 2013.

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