A lot has changed in how critical I am in reviews in the last year. My viewing of anime has changed. Now after revisiting a show I have seen several times, and labeled as one of my favorites. It is time to see how much of my view of it has changed in just one year.
Date A Live is based on the Light Novels writing by Koshi Tachibana. The twelve episode anime aired back in Spring 2013. Funimation has licensed the series for an English release in North America. For this I will be focusing on the mix of dub and sub. The series itself is a harem, romantic comedy, and science fiction fantasy.
It tells the tale of Shido Itsuka one day comes across a mysterious girl. This girl came from the bizarre phenomenon known as spatial quake, which causes great destruction. Learning that she is a “Spirit” from his sister Kotori he sets out to help her and others from the organization that wants them dead. Shido soon learns that he has the mysterious ability to seal their power is the only one who can put a stop to it. But in order to seal their power he has to make them fall in love with him and kiss them.
The first season covered the first four volumes. With each volume focusing on a new “Spirit,” this helped being part of the harem genre so all the characters where not introduced at once. Having the characters come in one at a time allowed for more character development to happen. For example Tohka is cold in the first three episodes. However following the remainder of the series she becomes more outgoing and curious of the world. She even matures from the slight childlike view of the world. Shido is similar; where he played more of a reluctant role for a majority of the series towards the end he became more willing and aware of the situation. Character development in harem series can always go one of two ways. It is both not enough since a lot of girls were introduced at once and it seems a little generic of their backstories when they do get focus. Or in this series case it still introduces some of the main female characters, but still spreads their character development and backstory out long enough to make it not have as much as the generic harem backstories.
Harem series a vast majority are generic and use the same plot device in order for the series to be a harem. There are also shows that do things different as well. There are very few where it is sort of forced on them to make the girl fall for them due to various reasons. The World God Only Knows is the only real one that comes to mind. But even then this still sets apart from it. At times there are the tropes that would be found in most harem series, “the little sister” (in this series case there are two), “the stalker,” and a few more that could be found, although it could be argued. So, this does play a little bit into the characters and the plot.
Art and Music I always consider the least important unless there are glaring issues. Music for this series, although it does have other forms, the more obvious is hearing the instrumental of the opening theme. It does however have several ending themes, which is rather surprising. The art style there was no glaring issues and obvious problems. The direction in which some scenes where shot were well-played and made sense in the comedic aspect such as the constant reaction faces that are all over this review for pictures.
Now watching it sub or dub for me, especially as someone who watched this now five times, I rather enjoy both. So, it really comes down to the person’s personal preference. The dub will sound a little weird for those that seen the sub.
One thing that I worry about this series, in terms of reviewing it that is, the fact I do label it as one of my favorites. It has been a year since I last saw it. I still have to defend the fact I still rather enjoy this series very much. When reviewing a favorite series it is hard because you could be bias. At the same time I can clearly see the flaws. Some can stem from the small generic details that are always used in harems in terms of one-liners “Even if the whole world is against you, I won’t be.” At the same time although it appeared towards the end of the series it does open a mystery aspect that is very rare in anime in general since it is something that is always being a focus for answers.
Date A Live does something. Like any show it does have flaws. Nothing can truly be the greatest show ever because everyone will think otherwise. As a harem series it does set itself away from the norm and make something different happen, so anyone who enjoys watching those types of series should consider checking it out at some point.
Score: B (No change at all even being critical)
The show is available to stream legally sub only on both Hulu and Funimation. I personally own the series on DVD and Blu-ray, and would only really recommend buying it if you are an absolute fan and love physical copies.
Random Personal Likes
Favorite Episode: 3 or 8
Best Girl: Tohka so fight me Kurumi and Miku fans
Fav ED (since there are 3): Save the World
As always I hope you enjoyed. If you have any thoughts, ideas, or anything you would like to see here feel free to comment. If that does not work try to contact me through social media.
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Again, I hope you enjoyed and see you next time.