Shido Itsuka, who used to be a normal high school student at Raizen High, meets the first Spirit, Tohka, and awakens his power to "seal the Spirit's power". Though they may be feared and hated beings due to their immense power, Spirits were always alone and knew only combat and death. Shido, the only one in the world with the power to seal the Spirits' might, hurls himself into life-threatening dates with the beautiful Spirits in order to save them.
A series based on dating. Date a Live wastes no time adapting this concept by having Shido Itsuka date various girls/spirits, earn their feelings, and kiss them to seal the deal. As a harem show, you’d expect all the girls drooling over him. While that’s partially right, it also adds additional elements because those so-called girls aren’t actually normal as part of society. Instead, they are spirits, born with supernatural powers who are viewed as a threat to their world. Date a Live II continues directly after the events for season 1. It continues to mush around its formulation of dating and turns it into some gimmicky show – dating becoming the solution to save the world.
Based off the light novels written by Koishi Tachibana, one noticeable attribute to this adaption is the shortened length. Rather than a full one cour show (the typical 12-13 episodes), this sequel only focuses on 10 episodes adapting volumes 5-7. The main concern is rush and this should be expected. I confess to myself that the sequel is disappointing when it comes to adapting faithful material. The show decides to omit various parts to get more time for the main actors and actresses. In this case, it’s the spirits. After all, Date a Live II is a stardom for some new characters such as a pair of twins, new AST (Anti-Spirit Team) members, and even a rising idol. The catch is that some of the focus on other character are scrapped to replace their stardom.
The sequel is essentially divided into two halves although the first arc has slightly less material than the second. Still, Shidou remains the focus of the show as the bachelor as he tries to save spirits and the world. The first episode has mostly anime original material but this comes off as disappointing. There’s harem antics thrown in your face fused with a whirlwind of misunderstandings. To make matters worse, the show decides to add elements from classic soap operas to appeal to these misunderstandings to somehow make them more amusing. And this comes out as dishonest as Tohka falls for every single scenario she feasts her eyes on. Neither does the initial set up show any improvement with other characters as they still want to get into Shido’s pants such as Origami. On the other hand, Shido himself has become more confident. He finds adjustment to his new lifestyle now that Tohka, Yoshino, and Kotori are living together. His relationship with these girls/spirits almost feels like a family as they give him the same pleasure as he gives them. And while the show is still regarded as a harem, the feelings the characters show are more honest and innocent especially in the case for Tohka.
Comedy is indulged in this series with some welcoming aspects. While a lot of it seems repetitive, there are also other more refreshing parts such as a little gender bender not previously seen from season 1. The characters behave the way they should be with various personalities. Origami for instance is still her usual self and tries every single moment to get close to Shidou using some questionable yet amusing methods. Then, there’s the classic Date a Live gimmick: the multiple choice. While it is featured once again as a strategy to deal with runaway spirits, it has less prominence with some of the questions lacking flavor. Yet, it isn’t really what’s being asked that shows the humor but rather Shido’s way of responding. It flirts with the idea of how Shido pretends to get attention of the spirits while methodically see how they react to them. While it makes its point effectively, it still falls under the wish fulfillment and generic tropes. By this time though, it should probably be something the audience should expect from Date a Live. Emphasis on the date.
Director Keitaro Motonaga crafts his ideas from behind the scenes. Known for some of other series in the harem genre such as Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka, Majikoi - Oh! Samurai Girls, and the first season of Date a Live, one might question the direction of this sequel. This can come as a hit or miss especially for fans who are familiar with the material, specifically from the light novels. As mentioned before, the pacing suffers with certain elements omitted whether it would be part of the plot, humorous gags, or even character cameos. But an important factor to take notice of is the way characters are depicted. For instance, while the Yamai twins retain their personalities, the focus on them seems to be shortened with other characters. Even though Shido is the main protagonist, the subtle relationships he develops with the spirits can feel crude and stereotypical. It doesn’t even attempt to hide itself whether it’s be the fan service (such as the classic beach episode) or the seductive poses characters throw into Shido’s face. In essence, Date a Live makes the show looks itself more like a mission, to accomplish a purpose and move on. This at least applies to most of the supporting characters in the form of conquests for Shido. It doesn’t necessary develop his character or even express his personification in any ample way.
But for someone like Shido, responsibility becomes part of his life. When there’s trouble, he needs to be prepared. While the first arc didn’t give Shido’s impression of this, the latter half sees an improvement with his strategies. He isn’t just more confident but also fights for beyond the scope of the mission. In retrospect, he becomes more mature and takes his job more seriously with even some admiration to see how far he goes when trying to save a friend. After all, the spirits gets stronger and his life becomes more in jeopardy. For the spirits, they offer diversity. We see a sharp contrast in their persona when comparing the first and second half of the story. Shido has to respond accordingly and think outside the box in order to prevail. He does get a little bit of help though from an unlikely ally, and one that fans adore from the first season with her yandere tendencies.
Taking in the account of action, the show doesn’t cease to make this its way whether it’s aerial battles, ground level warfare, or even a battle of psychological integrity. Shido finds himself in moments of despair and desperation as events become more jeopardizing to peace. Even Kotori finds herself outmatched in some circumstances. And with new characters introduced such as Sir Issac and Ellen from the DEM industries (a military corporation for developing mecha units), you can expect a bit of clash of egos. Not only has that but characters such as Origami also found herself on the edge and in trouble throughout the season as she battles against her adversaries. Despite the mecha gears looking more suggestive though, there is credibility to the action with high caliber weapons in operation, superhuman maneuvers courtesy of the spirits, and even Shido’s risky moves.
As the majority of the cast returns to the sequel, you should be familiarized already with their personalities. Unfortunately, their development lacks in terms of characterization as the show focuses more on sealing the spirits and less so when Shido isn’t on dates. Furthermore, the fan service never ceases as the first arc is saturated with ecchi. But again, this is Date a Live we’re talking about a – franchise that pokes at fun the concept of dating to add its own ‘save the world while you get to date girls’ trite.
Artwork remains generally the same as characters returning from the first season hardly goes undergoes any significant physical changes. In other words, it still remains generic as hardly anything stands out with Shido’s character design. On the other hand, the new spirits such as the Yamai twins and the idol Miku has some attractive figures. Background visuals remains stale although more lively and natural when the series takes on a beach setting. But remember that fan service never ceases whether it’s be the traditional swimsuits or the libidinous camera angles. It doesn’t cease to hide the teasing either and tires honestly to appease itself with stupidity. There are some cute moments though and decorative outfits in particular with the show’s second half that is more colorful. But overall, it’s still lacking.
Although soundtrack isn’t a powerhouse, it does improve more in this sequel whether it’d be the action scenes or emotional scenarios. The bittersweet moments are focused more intensely to bring out some credibility to character relationships. Some of the dialogues may also seem cheesy but offer humor with their speech mannerisms (i.e. the contrasting tones of the Yamai twins). On the other hand, Miku’s voice feels egoistic, lacks serenity, and in general aspect sounds like a spoiled brat with annoying tones. The song she sings aren’t attractive either with her soft but squeaking style. Thankfully, the OP and ED songs has more features that makes the franchise what it is.
10 episodes and that’s how Date a Live II decides to adapt the second season. The disappointment of story development in terms of a more accurate adaptation puts a stain on this show. At the same time, the fan service is like a bed bug that infests itself at any opportunity it has the chance. The first half of the season focuses on this exclusively with the twins while the second part tries out a little different with a bit of gender bender. But still, the comedy can be pleasant if you’re into the show’s gimmicks. The characters also offers something new; contrasting greatly between the two arcs but still refreshing. There’s even a favorable character that makes her ultimate return with great anticipation. But if you’re anticipating to watch this sequel, just be ready for another journey of dating sim and shenanigans. read more
Once again, the momentum of an ambitious premiere carries itself into an undermining follow up. Although my expectations were reserved heading into this sequel, I still had anticipated more than ten episodes of disgraceful nonsense. In short, Date A Live II strayed away from the merits that propelled its opening season into relevance, such as the unmistakable charms of the vivacious heroines or remarkable humor drawing from a spectrum of dating simulator choices. It was just yesterday that an udon shop launched an eventful assault on the main group (en route to a local hot spring). It was just yesterday that Shidou fought against true adversity, juggling a number of demands with everything at stake. It was just yesterday that players were ripe with presence and not confined to atypical restrictions for a dismal cause.
Date A Live’s strengths permeated well through the lively bunch which headlined season one, but there were no vibrant designs to help distinguish this second coming. The Berserk twins were pure lighter fluid, fueling one of the most staggering wastes of time I have experienced in anime of this genre. Was it too much to ask for more from these yin-yang personalities serving no other means than to get Shidou hot? As for the Diva, it was a shame to see her unique sexual preference and tastes wasted on a foully variable and one-sided personality.
Collectively, the premise for this sequel was sorely lacking in soul and impact. Most of, if not all the battles, were saturated with cheap, reckless chatter among combatants stirred with a high concentration of pretentious artificial drama. The most obvious misunderstandings were blown greatly out of proportion while new rivals and antagonist powerhouses made their appearances out of thin air. School events and concerts did little to further the effort or lighten the atmosphere.
I hope the upcoming movies, OVAs, and TV sequels play their part to inject some Live-liness back into this series. Otherwise, may every bit associated with this series R.I.P. (rest in pieces). Nonetheless, the signature trademark of the glasses schoolgirl accurately sums up this installment. It really was that lame!read more
Still new at reviews but here I go. Date A Live 2, continues the story about Shido, who is a boy who has the ability to seal spirits, thus preventing them from doing large-scale damage, through dating them and eventually kissing them. In this second season, the story is slow to start, but it introduces the Twins spirits and the Diva spirit, along with an inverse version of an earlier spirit (no spoilers here lol).
I enjoyed Date A Live because of the unusualness of the plot. I mean, I haven't heard of a show where a person dates someone, and then kisses them to seal their powers before, so of course it had my interest. Season 2 has been a disappointment for the first few episodes, but finally it has gotten back to what it was known for, which is spirits fighting, mecha suit girls fighting, dates occurring, and other things of the sort. The art style of the show is nice because it keeps things light-hearted and not too deep, although there are a few sad moments in the show, but those few moments, are kept short and are many of the times, resolved.
Sound wise, the music is great. It's not 10/10 masterpiece by any standards, but its fitting and just sounds great, especially the opening theme. The characters are easy to remember special in there own way. Between the twin spirits, the Diva, Shido, the other spirits, etc. they are all memorable and in my opinion, likeable. Personally, I like Kurumi because of her craziness and time control ability, but they each have their own little niche that they fill in character development.
As I said before, the story is unique in it's own respects, and I've enjoyed it, even though this season was much slower at starting than the previous one. Since the show has picked up the pace and has shown more action, I've enjoyed it more and more, although when comparing this to the light novel, the anime is flying through the story, much faster than the LN ever did. To some, this is an issue, while for others, it helps to cut the small details and get the main story. I'm split on this but the LN is a good reads.
All in all, if you liked Date A Live, then you will like this but just hang in there if you think that it is slow. This season was largely about introducing new characters and revealing new things about older characters. If you haven't watched DAL and think that this show is weird, bad, confusing, etc. then give DAL a shot firstread more
There comes a time while watching anime where you get this kind of 'itch' that can only be scratched by a very specific genre of show, for some people this itch could be an over-the-top action show like Black Lagoon. for others it could be a good mind-fuck show like Serial Experiments Lain or Evangelion. But for me and my easily-satisfied outlook on anime, this 'itch' is most commonly a dumb harem show with beautiful girls and a dash of action! So when I found out that one of my favourite harem was getting a sequel? Well that was all gravy for me!
Story - 7/10:
I've got to be honest, the story really isn't the strongest part of this show; which is pretty standard for the genre its from. It continues from shortly after where the first season left off, Shido is still the Spirit Pimp, Tohka is still annoying and the rest are just...there.
The second season covers roughly volumes 5-7 of the Light Novel which means the introduction of two new Spirit types; the Hurricane Twins, Yuzuru and Kaguya Yamai and the Diva AKA Miku Izayoi. Of course the formula of 'Kiss the girl, save the world' doesn't change, but the story managed to break away from the formulaic first season thanks to the personalities of the two new additions.
Art - 5-8/10:
I had to look this up to see if it was actually a Gonzo show because the art and animation varies so much its unbelievable, the first episode looked awful in regards to art style and the character styles in the OP urked me to the point i skipped it, i mean, what the hell was up with Kurumi? Nevermind. It seemed they focused their budget solely on the second half of the series once the new spirits where introduced and we could get into the real meat of the story. The fight scenes looked absolutely stunning with the wide range of colours creating some of the most satisfying and complimenting action scenes i have ever witnessed in a harem show (or is that not saying much? I don't know) however in the less interesting parts of the show they pulled an Evangelion and skimped wherever they could during scenes of dialogue. Another part that annoyed me was the lack of quality during Miku's live performances where her mouth wouldn't even come close to matching the sync of the song being played, its not that much of a problem as the song's themselves were amazing, but it was noticeable enough for me to mention it here.
Sound - 9/10:
As a Japanese speaker myself, i can openly and happily say this dub was pretty strong, Kurumi's voice actress was brilliant at nailing her slightly Psychotic yet simultaneously adorable personality, where she could switch between the two on a whim. The OP sounded beautiful despite somewhat cheesy lyrics and the ED was also pretty strong if albeit containing nothing particularly noteworthy to mention. Miku's songs made specifically for this season were a nice treat as her final song in episode 10 was one of the best songs i've heard from within an anime show.
Character - 7/10:
The biggest strength and biggest problem of this show was the characters; the one's who got a lot of screen time were developed nicely despite the shortage of episodes, Miku's tsundere personality and view on men was a whole was a nice touch and amusing thing to watch considering what Shido must do to seal her powers. The Yamai twins were also great, with one having an unmoved, somewhat 'Rei ayanami/Yuki Nagato' personality- often submissive but very calm and collected, contrasting to her abnoxious and loud twin sister who is often very reckless.
The characters who weren't developed at all or any further, however, was a HUGE problem for me. The most abvious lack of development was that of the character 'Jessica' who's motives and ambitions would have completely gone over my head if i hadn't already read the Light Novels, she was so poorly developed that i was becoming rather impatient that she was still a 'thing' almost 4 episodes after she was introduced. Another example of poor development was that of the fan-favourite loli, Yoshino, who spent the entire first half of the season at home, irrelevant, watching TV dramas that just so happen to either match the situation going on with the other characters or predicted the future. Finally, the antagonist of the story, Westcott, was also poorly developed, but considering he is probably going to be the antagonist of the recently-announced Date A Live movie, i can kind of forgive it and respect that they didn't rush him.
Enjoyment - 8/10:
I consider a Date A Live franchise as one of my guilty pleasures, i'm aware that there's nothing really special to make me want to watch it, but I watch it anyway because its just pure mindless fun. The second season doesn't necessarily to as good a job as the first season but that all depends on what you expected from this show in the first place, at the time i watched this, i wasn't in the mood for anything thought-provoking and it was there to satisfy me. The character arcs were incredibly fun to watch, throwing in new twists to the typical 'win them over and kiss them' formula that was rather refreshing and i respect Tachibana-san (the mangaka) for not rehashing the same archetypes over and over again. the ending was slightly rushed but that's what I expected after the plot twist in episode 9 so its not really affected me - especially knowing more is to come.
Overall - 7/10:
It wasn't a clean-cut show, in fact its pacing and execution of the arcs were poor, however, like every harem, its the characters that matter; the characters that you can really get behind and root for and the second season did the job well for the ones it did bother to develop. The music and voice-acting was on point and the story was above average for the genre its from if albeit a little too ambitious and convoluted for a 10 episode series, the show does indeed scratch the itch of a dumb fun show, and really, what more could you ask from it?read more