Date A Live

(12 episodes + a bonus OVA)

What’s it about ?

Dating sim mixed with a sentai show. Adapted from a light novel series.

Characters

Shidou, our generic male lead. He’s exactly what you’d expect from a dating sim protagonist : a normal high school boy squabbling with his little sister, he’s got the mandatory perverted best friend, and he’s utterly oblivious about some pretty girls starting to stalk him. Oh, sure, there is some background noise about vast tracts of lands being levelled by “spacequakes” over the last 30 years, but that’s just colour setting, right ?

His life changes when he meets a Mysterious Girl In A Skimpy Outfit at the epicentre of the latest spacequake, which happened right down the block. It turns out that spacequakes are actually the result of MGIASOs landing on Earth, so obviously the authorities are hunting them down on sight. The MGIASO escapes in the confusion before they can catch her.

Origami, the school genius, who was stalking Shidou earlier, is one of the mecha-musume that are the frontline defense against MGIASOs, doing this because her family got killed in a spacequake 5 years ago. She urges him not to tell anyone about this side-job.

Kotori, Shidou’s sister, is actually the commander-in-chief of the local anti-MGIASOs defense force. No, seriously. That’s what her masochist adult subcommander says, so I’ll take his word. They’ve got a spaceship HQ hovering 15,000 km above the city.

The big twist is that the mecha-musume corps isn’t quite cutting it (the MGIASOs have way too much firepower), so our heroes have to resort to a new strategy : have Shidou romance them ! (Why him ? I have no clue.) Cue dating-sim training montage…

Production Values

It’s a bit hard to judge from the eyebleed-o-vision, but I’m not convinced this has much of a budget. The CG is obvious, the character designs are beyond generic, and the animation’s no great shakes.

What is clear is that the fanservice level is noticeably high. We get a bit too much focus on Kotori’s panties for my taste, and these aren’t the only buttshots in this episode. Also, the camera is very interested in the MGIASO’s breasts.

Overall Impression

Well, I’ll grant it that : for a show made exclusively out of stock clich├ęs, it actually manages to put them together in a way new enough to be distinctive. It’s a joke that gave me a chuckle.

Is it actually good ? Good lords, no. It’s impossible to take the rare attempts at emotional impact seriously, given how stupid the premise is. The characters are one-dimensional cardboard cutouts, and none of them look like they’ll rise above their archetypes. (Although I’ll admit the not-nurse is fun to watch.) It’s a show with one joke, and I can’t see it lasting for 12ish episodes without becoming tedious.

In another season I might have given this a bit more of a chance for the fun trainwreck factor, but I just can’t be bothered.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2013.

Published by

Jhiday

I've been kinda blogging about anime for years... but mostly on forums (such as RPG.net's Tangency) and other sites. This site is an archive for all that stuff, just in case.

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