Let’s be honest, we all wanted to watch Date A Live. The series got streamed last Sunday in horrible quality and that was pretty bad in my opinion. Not only did it not look good, but serious subbing groups were having none of that which resulted in odd translations, but I still watched a few of them. I guess I am mostly upset because I had to wait five days for the real release of an episode that I already and then another week for the second episode. That is a flag when it comes to determining my opinion regarding this episode. I was actually very scared at first. The oddly perverse and incestuous nature of Shidou’s relationship with his sister was going to make me drop the series. I hate incest, but that cooled down towards the end which saved it for me. This was my first round draft pick in the 2013 Spring Anime Season Draft. I did not want that to be wasted on something that I planned on dropping. Oh well, back to what actually matters. The world has been taken over by spacequakes which are “natural” disasters with deadly implications. Shidou starts the new school year greeted by judgmental girls, a possible homo, and an odd beauty that knows more about Shidou than he expected. When Shidou ended up outside during a spacequake, he finds a girl that looks like she is ready to cosplay at a Soul Calibur tournament. Shidou gets accused of trying to kill this odd girl, but they get interrupted by a group of girls from Strike Witches. I am only kind of kidding. Tobiichi Origami ends up being one of the Strike Witches which adds a whole new level of confusion into the mix. I say this, but waking up after being knocked out during the fight between the cosplayer and the Strike Witches has brought Shidou into a floating fortress that holds a tired physicist, a masochist, and his little sister with an entirely new personality. Finding out that Kotori is actually the leader of an anti spirit organization was a very good thing for me. Her tough personality has really taken out the incest route and that has saved the series for me. If that wasn’t enough of a save, the fact that Shidou has to seduce the Spirits like they are from The World God Only Knows is going to make this series the harem that I wanted.
We actually met quite a few characters in the first episode of Date A Live. Not only did we get to meet our main character, the first “bad guy” character, and the members of the AST, but they have basically left the door wide open for a bunch of important characters to be introduced in the future. Shidou Itsuka is our main character. He seems like a fun-loving guy that may be a little too friendly with his sister, but that’s not really the best way to describe him. Shidou is the main character in a harem, so expect him to have the ability to charm the ladies without even trying. Shidou will probably end up being a very kind character as well even though it seems like he is the lazy type. Kotori Itsuka is Shidou’s little sister. Although she started out the episode as a loving little sister, she quickly turns into a condescending leader. I guess you could say that the latter is her real personality, but you can never really tell. That may be her work personality or her real demeanor could be some odd mix of the two. Regardless, expect Kotori to no longer be the loving little sister character. Origami Tobiichi is the top of her class and quite the beauty. However, this is kind of balanced out by a cold personality. She seems to be familiar with Shidou, so you can expect there to be some oddly sweet moment that occurred between the two in the past. Possibly in response to Origami losing her parents. The girl is serious about her work as a spirit exterminator for AST and that could complicate Shidou’s mission in terms of wooing these women. Reine Murasame is a scientist that works for AST. She seems to be perpetually tired with crazy bags under her eyes and this is reflected in her speech and tendency to collapse. Although we don’t know a lot about her, I can see this higher up in AST being very important in aiding Shidou as she has taken a position at his high school in order to help him out. Tohka Yatogami is the first spirit that Shidou encounters. She appeared to be tough when she fought against Shidou as a possible threat and the agents of AST, but there is a look in her eyes that says she is more than some monster. We may not know a lot about her character, but Tohka is listed as a main character on myanimelist which means that we will be getting to know her very soon. I can assume that we will see more classmates from Shidou’s high school and members of AST as unimportant side characters, but that won’t be our source of newcomers. The nature of the series suggests that we will meet quite a few more spirits along the way and Shidou’s effort to woo them will result in us finding out quite a bit about each of them.
Current Opinion of the Show:
I think that Date A Live could easily become my favorite series from this season. The obvious creative ties to The World God Only Knows and things like Strike Witches and Infinite Stratos are interesting. A lot of people are describing this series as The World God Only Knows with action and I think I am alright with that thus far. I personally described it as a mix of Strike Witches, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and The World God Only Knows. Evangelion is kind of a stretch and I have never watched Strike Witches, but the girls have an aesthetic similarity and I think you should understand what I mean when I make these comparisons. I am a big fan of romance and I definitely like action, so Date A Live has a lot of potential in my eyes. I just hope that the execution holds up because the story, art, and characters are already piecing together a quality series. I honestly think that this would be a watchable romantic comedy at the worst, but we are only on episode one. Let’s all hope that this series continues to be as entertaining as it already is.