You thought The World God Only Knows was ridiculous? You saw nothing yet!
In a nutshell, this show is basically a parody of date sims and various other otaku culture trademarks. The very setting can best be described as a date sim version of Neon Genesis. You have the world being invaded by alien beings with angelic-themed names, a slutty imouto in the role of Gendo Ikari and the Magi computer being a galge. There are supposed to be tremendous explosions occurring all over the world, that kill millions but that is presented as dramatic as boogies hanging from your earlobe. We never see anyone getting killed or even giving a damn about their houses being demolished in every single episode. Yet this is literally the objective of the story; the protagonist must prevent the genocide and the mass destruction by dating the aliens. Yeah, he is dating aliens so people who don’t give a damn about all that won’t die; stop trying to reason it. But see it this way; at least the show is honest in telling you right away what a silly fan catering joke it is instead of pretending to be a serious action / survival of the likes of Sword Art Online.
As you probably have guessed, these aliens all have the forms of hot girls with sexy outfits and an IQ of around 50. The hero is almost actively aware that he is inside a date sim and needs to win their affection in order to protect the world. Man, what a tragic mission his slutty sister forced him to take part in. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE HOT GFs IN ORDER TO SAVE THE WORLD!!! So the way he is managing to make them friendly enough is by using cheesy pick up lines that never work in real life but are fine in date sims. And you even have the secret organization giving him possible replies to further make the whole thing feel like a game. Do these lines work? OF COURSE THEY DO; THIS IS A VIDEOGAME WORLD!
And yeah, exactly as it happens in all harems he needs to constantly seduce more girls and have them living with him, constantly going through all those overused jokes where he enters a room when they are naked or having to explain why he can’t just pick one of them and have some sex for Pete’s sake. And they typically get so jealous at the drop of a hat and fight each other for whom gets to spend an evening talking to a guy with the personality of a goldfish. Don’t ever mind how he is in reality just forced to pretend that he cares about them or the city squares they obliterate each time someone goes tsun over bubble gums. It’s like anyone gives a damn anyway. And no, there is no real danger of some jealous girl going School Days on the boring dude, since every time he gets killed, he just gets a CONTINUE, revives, and keeps seducing girls like the bland harem lead he is. Nothing of importance was lost champ; you just got killed for a few seconds before loading your last saved state. It’s not like the show ever tries to be interesting or something trivial like that.
Just like all parodies it is good only when you get the jokes and only if you can shut off your brain for long enough to actually find this entertaining. I personally couldn’t since parodies can’t stand on their own two feet and rely solely on earlier shows to work instead of being stand alone productions. Also, not many can find pleasure in a show that trashes their favourite titles like that. Even Gintama does it better since it acts like a two-timer. It mocks the stereotypes on one occasion while embracing them on another. Date A Live is a lot more basic in its approach as it is purely about breaking the fourth wall and directly telling you this is all a farce to the point the immersion breaks immediately and you are just looking at a vulgar anecdote that trashes stereotypes. It doesn’t feel funny for more than 10 minutes and the mediocre production values make it even more passable than it already is. It would at least be interesting if this was an orgy hentai but no, the creators were dead set on making a show nobody will like or care for.
Bottom line: No real plot, no real characters, mediocre production values, retarded from the get-go. One of the worst shows in recent memory.
Minor spoilers ahead!:
Story - In Date a Live, our hero Shido-kun's world is constantly threatened by dangerous spacequakes that destroy their surroundings and threaten those in the immediate vicinity. The cause of these spacequakes are "Spirits", powerful girls from another dimension. After encountering one of said Spirits, our hero Shido-kun is beamed up by an invisible aircraft and told by his little sister that he has the ability to <a >save these Spirits by going on dates with them and sealing their powers with a kiss.
As a bit of a foreshadowing of the essence of the series, Shido shows little to no reaction to the fact, and doesn't even attempt to inquire why or how his little sister is in charge of an elite, teleport-capable organisation dedicated to overseeing dates with otherworldly beings .
Date a Live's top dog
I can't decide if Date a Live's plot has stumbled off a steep, rocky cliff, or if it's rolling down the slope just as planned. Heroines' backstories are presented rather gravely, a stark contrast to the show's whacky nature. It's as if the series can't remember which genre it's playing for, with seriousness oftenplace overiding the consistent ridiculousless of this series. Whereas some series can successfully juggle silly and solemn(Trigun, One Piece), Date a Live falls flat. Somber scenes ends up feeling a bit counterfeit, almost as if Shido and the girls are about to fall over laughing as soon as the <a >camera pans off the screen.
Of the subject of Shido's "power", it's never explained, and there's no answer given as to this existence of the Spirits, or the fact that they look and act like teenage girls(??), but most other questions are eventually answered. The story rolls on, uncaring to the viewer's disbelief, and other than Kurumi's arc, there is hardly any suspense to this show, since it's difficult to take seriously. However, Date a Live succeeds in being very funny, and is an entertaining comedy once you get in knee deep.
Animation - Nothing to complain about here. Date a Live has very solid animation, everything looks nice, and the show is distinct with it's colour palette.
More gullible than the entire front row of an X-Factor audience
Sound - Pretty inelaborate in terms of OST, tracks that serve their purpose, nothing more. OP is average, and the ED's are catchy. Voice acting is polished and fits the cast like a glove.
The Usual Suspects
Characters - Pretty cookie-cutter. Shido is a reactant and has no distinct character traits. You can just about hear the marbles rolling around in Tohka's head. Yoshino's the shy ventriloquist. Reine feels as if she drove up to set from a CSI crime lab. Kotori's the resident tsundere, and along with untamed factor Tobiichi, often are the catalysts for a lot of the show's hilarious moments. Kurumi is a refreshing break, as a pretty clever, unconfined character, and is Date a Live's standout.
Thoughts -This series was funny, but it's predictability takes away memorability. The fact that many aspects of the show are not explained, but rather just taken for granted, is bothersome as well.
Enjoyment - If you like off-the-rails, action-packed harem anime, you'll have a great time with Date a Live
love the music but the characters were poor. But then again it is a harem anime so it is hard to manage characters. The plot is very unique and provides a new genre into harem animes.
Date A Live opens with Japan’s favorite fetish: mass destruction. It then follows that with Japan’s second favorite fetish: little sister love. The anime’s opening episode introduces us to the idea of spirits and spacequakes. Spirits are…some sort of creatures that have super powers and aren’t actually explained all that well. Their appearance causes spacequakes. To combat spirits and the subsequent quakes, Japan has a ground defense force that employs young girls who wear battle gear that look more like Hyperdimension Neptunia armor designs than actual military armor.
Our main character, Shido, goes out during a spacequake to save his sister, only to magically survive the devastating encounter and meet a young spirit; a girl who doesn’t feel that she belongs. This first episode gives you the impression the anime has potential, but the second episode decides to throw that potential out the window and engage in typical harem antics with a splash of nonsensical and a few shakes of stupid.
It turns out Shido’s sister is really the commander of a space ship and the goal of the crew is to make the spirits fall in love with Shido so that he holds their powers in check and they become real girls. So Shido goes out on dates with cute girls while his sister tells him what to say through an earpiece.
Decisions on what he says are made through a dating game style choice system and from there I’m going to quit explaining and start complaining.
The series doesn’t have an exceptional plot. It borrows heavily from other, more entertaining series to create a watchable, but wholly unimpressive piece. There are some somewhat funny moments and some decent drama, but the problem is the series doesn’t understand what it wants to be. In a typical harem/ecchi you either choose to be funny or choose to focus on story or balance both. Date A Live does none of the above and teeters to both sides in an awkward and sometimes annoying way. It also doesn’t help that the anime doesn’t excel in either field whatsoever. The comedy isn’t that funny and the story is very predictable.
As far as story goes, Date A Live neglects substance in the hope you can look past that and just worry about the cute girls.
Yes, the girls are goddam adorable. The character design is good for some characters, boring for others. There are some very unique looking characters, especially Kurumi. The world itself is well animated and the fight scenes are very fluid and look good.
The opening song is actually pretty good, though the ending fails to impress. Music during the show is typical of the genre. Voice acting is good. There’s nothing impressive to be found here.
Date A Live doesn’t have bad characters, it just has generic characters. None of them particularly stand out except, once again, Kurumi. She’s an interesting character to have in a harem anime like this because of how batshit insane she is. Her power is also cool, as well as her eyes. But that’s not what the point is.
The point is that Tohka is the hungry, ditzy, doesn’t know much of anything character. Yoshino is the scaredy-cat loli. Kotori is the tsundere. Kurumi is the yandere.
And rounding it all out is Shido, a character who can do no wrong, protects a girl who violently murders people in front of him, and doesn’t have any problem with kissing his sister. He’s the same goddam character you can change out with half the harem titles on the market.
I’m sick of being sick of these characters because I’ve spent about one hundred percent of my reviews complaining about them. Aren’t there other tropes? Isn’t there something new, or at least a typical character that is developed to such depth that they become memorable?
I don’t hate Date A Live, in fact I wanted to like it. The plot could have been a lot better if it neglected the comedy and focused on the proper story. The story wouldn’t have benefitted much, but it would have made a much better product.
The thing about this series is that I can’t hate it. It’s not so reprehensible as to be unwatchable, it’s just another average series floating around the stagnant pool of harem comedies. There are much better examples of the genre, but there are, of course, much worse. Fans of the harem/ecchi genre will probably appreciate the series while everyone else will want to stand back and watch something with a little more depth. I enjoyed enough of it to warrant the rating I’m giving it, though you may find it a tad more underwhelming, or you may be pulled in by cute girls (if that’s your thing) and won’t be able to wait for the second season.
For me, it blew some time, and it kept me moderately engaged for four hours. It’s not a classic, but it’s decent enough.
My anime reviews are always simple, short and straight-forward and is 100% spoilers-free.
Genres: Comedy, Harem, Mecha, Romance, School, Sci-fi, Shounen
Additional Info: Dating multiple cats isn't good for your health.
Ending Rating: 90% (Movie)
Another progatonist surrounded by girls, yandere, tsundere, moe, are only some of them. This anime takes the romcom stage to a whole new level. The art is also something to be commended so its pretty much worth everbody's electric bills and laptop batteries.