Original Run: April 6, 2013 - June 22, 2013 Number of Episodes: 12 Genre: Action, Comedy, Harem, Romance Based on the Series Created By; Koushi Tachibana and Tsunako
***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Date A Live II. Reader discretion is advised.***
Shido Itsuka (voiced by Nobunaga Shimazaki) is adjusting to his new role in life. The world remains in danger of the next spatial quake caused by Spirits.
A Spirit’s power is serious business. If left alone, the damage a single Spirit could cause is unimaginable. Thus, it is up to Shido to seal away that power.
However, doing so is easier said than done. Shido must win the hearts of these powerful beings, something he has done many times now.
But what he is about to face is unlike anything that has come before. All the while, outside forces continue to spin their own agendas.
Shido must be careful, for exceeding his limits could be deadly.
Let’s jump right in; I had a better time with Date A Live II than I did with the original, but not for the reason you might expect.
One of my most significant issues with season one was its inability to commit. The season couldn’t keep a tone for long. As a result, the show felt sloppy and jumbled. Had the Date A Live I picked a direction, it would’ve been much more robust. Date A Live II proved I was right – to a point.
Season two wasn’t all over the place. It was clear what it wanted to do and what type of series it wanted to be.
Like its predecessor, Date A Live II was a harem comedy. Unlike season one, though, this installment went more all-in with the fan service. Or, at the very least, season one wasn’t as ridiculous as this was. Except, that ridiculous-factor played into why this season was much more enjoyable.
Expanding on that, a harem anime needs strong characters to work. Fortunately, this is something Date A Live has proven to be quite good at delivering. Season two went a step further by adding even more fantastic characters to its roster.
First, there were the twins, Kaguya and Yuzuru Yamai (voiced respectively by Maaya Uchida and Sarah Emi Bridcutt). Their arc proved to be my second favorite of the entire franchise. The two played off each other well and were a lot of fun. Also, it was thanks to Kaguya and Yuzuru that this season reached the levels of ridiculousness it did.
Next was Miku Izayoi (voiced by Minori Chihara). Now, at first, I didn’t like her. The beginning of her arc came off as dull and repetitive. But as we learned about Miku, she became much more likable.
So, with a combination of the old and new, if there ever is a season three, this cast would be one of the two reasons I would get excited. Naturally, the other reason would be – Kurumi Toiskai (voiced by Asami Sanada).
Kurumi’s unpredictability was alive and well. She wasn’t as big a villain as in season one, but she remained untrustworthy. It was hard to tell what she would do or how far she was willing to go to see her goals fulfilled.
To give you an idea, all this show needed was just a shot of Kurumi standing in a crowd. She didn’t say anything, didn’t do anything, and the shot of her lasted for maybe, two seconds. But those two seconds were enough because I didn’t care about what was happening. All I knew was that Kurumi was on her way.
I love this character so much.
As I said, Date A Live II was more focused than its predecessor. It chose a path and stuck with it, electing to follow a more comedic path. Plus, there was a more considerable emphasis on the series’ harem and ecchi elements. Due to this commitment, season two was more enjoyable than its predecessor.
However, Date A Live II needed to sacrifice a few things to do that.
One such thing was, thankfully, the dating sim aspect. I know it was a central pillar of season one, but it never worked. And although season two used it occasionally, Shido had more freedom to work on his own.
Sadly, Date A Live II did suffer in two glaring areas.
First, and maybe I’m misremembering the first season, but I thought the fights used to be more exciting.
This is a series where combatants used bright, beautiful colors in their combat styles. So why in Date A Live II was every fight so dark and gray?
The worst part was that this season showed it could use color. Yet, what did the show do instead of using pallet variety in the many high-energy fights? It used it for a freaking battle-of-the-bands segment.
I wish I was making that up.
Second, the story. As in the ten minutes we got of it.
The majority of this season added nothing to the main play. That big devastating quake that was the catalyst for this entire franchise, yeah, we got a reminder it happened, but nothing else.
- Where did the Spirits come from? Still a mystery.
- Why were organizations hunting the Spirits down so hard? No idea.
- What is Shido’s role in all this? We only got the tiniest of hints.
And that was the problem; all the hints.
Date A Live II provided the smallest nuggets of information. Just enough to leave you wanting more. Except the season did this in the most middle-finger sort of way imaginable.
When I said we got ten minutes of story, eight of those minutes were in the show’s final moments. This season was all like, “Revelation, bye.”
That was such an underhanded way to build excitement – info-dumping at the last possible second. This would be a different situation if Date A Live II had only sprinkled this information throughout its run. We could’ve gotten more invested in what was going on and not sucker punched while walking out the door.
This is a series that’s enjoyable enough. Are there problems with it? Yes, but the show packages them well.
While it changed many of the problems of the original, this season didn’t get around to fixing the original’s problems. There’s a lot of stuff you still need to just accept.
Granted, that’s easier to do when there are characters to like. So, even with all this series nonsense, its cast is a beacon.
Too bad there wasn’t much story added this time, and the action was lackluster, so that was a shame. But as pure enjoyment, this is where season two overtook its predecessor.
Therefore, Date A Live II has still earned a recommendation.
But these are my thoughts; what are yours? Have you seen this show; how would you advise Date A Live II? Leave a comment below because I would love to hear what you have to say.
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