Mar 29, 2019
Stark700 (All reviews)
Why is it so damn hard to make a proper harem sequel these days? Date a Live needs no introduction as the franchise had established its principle cast from the previous seasons. All we need really is some well-crafted storytelling with clever humor and this could have been a redemption of the catastrophe known as Date a Live season 2.

I’ll be a straightforward here. I only advise watching Date a Live Season III if you are absolutely curious about the continuation of this franchise. Regardless if you’ve read the light novel or an anime only viewer, this show requires knowledge from the previous season for a watchable experience. With that being said, there’s little to really praise about the show together when you see what they’ve set on the table.

Even before this aired, some red flags are raised regarding the technical elements of the show. The production quality from the previews seems to have taken a nose dive to hell. While the first episode made improvements compared to the online pre-air, the visual quality overall is at best be described as subpar. At worst, the third season would be a fine example of a plastic broken art piece. However, I am willing to look over this since Date a Live has never been known for its art style. It’s the standard generic harem with a cast of characters who all fall for the main protagonist eventually. The catch is that the show’s premise adheres to such genre with its dating elements.

Date a Live III returns with the familiar formula of main protagonist Shido Itsuka as he helps to seal Spirits into his body with a kiss. The new season introduces Natsumi, the seventh spirit who actually has two forms – a child and young adult. The first few episodes has her play mind games against Shido and his friends. Similar to previous seasons, she puts Shido’s life on a rollercoaster of drama. However, I felt like the first arc became more and more idiotic with each passing episode. Let’s start with Natsumi herself. She is an attention seeker and seems to throw fits like a child would when things don’t go her way. In her adult form, she’s prone to jealousy with pride and a bit of ego. To put it simply, she’s an irritating character to deal with. It doesn’t take long for Shido to realize this either with the childish games she puts them through. By the time this arc ended, I felt nothing for Natsumi and she became yet another harem member in Shido’s collection. Except in her case, she's an annoying little bitch.

Then, the second half of the show aired. Unlike Natsumi’s arc, the second arc adapts a more serious and emotional tone. The show takes a dive into Origami’s past while also reintroducing a popular character from the previous seasons. Oh yes, remember Origami? She’s the girl that has been trying to seduce Shido at every chance she gets. However, we see a side of Origami that people may not be used to. From this season, she shows a corrupted side of her character. She forsakes her friends while even attacking Shido as an enemy. There’s actually a more complex reason why she wants to change her past but the execution fails to live up to my expectations. Sure, there’s emotional content but the show never managed to convince me to like Origami as a character. Regardless what timeline she is in, Origami exposes the weakness of the main cast as a character who relies on others too much. In particular, Shido is someone she confides her emotions in although I never felt the two had a strong connection. Even compared to relationships with others like Tohka, she always felt like a background character. That being said, I don’t really want to devalue all the characters. The main cast returns with their mainstream personalities. While there’s not much character development, it’s still fun to watch their goofy interactions with Shido. It’s a harem after all and every girl wants their chance to be with him. The amount of witty dialogues and humor remains in the show that occasionally can draw out a few laughs. But be aware, you may quickly find most of it to be a snoozefest.

If the third season really wanted to redeem itself, it could have taken risks to try something different. Instead, it still relied on its usual gimmicks while focusing on a character that I never put faith into. Here’s a season that I can’t recommend and it’s a real shame. Because really, I wanted Date a Live to be something more special. Instead, it came out as a garbage harem that can be best described as atrocious.