- Release Date
- Spring 2014
- No. of Episodes
- Production IMS
- Light Novel
Date A Live II is a 2014 Sci-fi Romantic Comedy anime series from a Japanese animation studio founded by members of the AIC, the now-defunct Production IMS. While the title alone marks that this series is a continuation of the anime franchise Date A Live, the previous studio is not a continuation. Can a new studio bring a better level to this franchise? Though one may assume that since the studio is no longer around, they did a terrible job creating anime, which could be a fair point, but who knows why they went out of business. The real question can this studio add anything new and exciting to an already established anime series and give it something that not only the fans will enjoy but also remember?
Three decades ago, more than a hundred million people fell victim to an unprecedented disaster that came to be known as a “spatial quake.” Since then, humanity has built countermeasures to mitigate the damage from future catastrophes, such as instantaneous evacuation methods and immediate rebuilding of any architectural damage that may have happened. Of course, the government has created multiple outlets to ensure the damage is contained as much as possible. By doing so, they have found out that the cause of these Spatial Quakes is caused by beings known as “Spirits.”
Spirits are otherworldly entities with immense power, capable of creating vast rifts of destruction whenever they appear. One way of dealing with them is through brute force, killing them… or making them fall in love and sealing their powers. Having sealed three Spirits, Shidou Itsuka continues his mission with Ratatoskr to locate more spirits and date them to ensure the world’s safety from further destruction. However, this time around, their problems will not be limited to just Spirits as a more imposing threat seems to have taken notice of their activities.
As with any continuation of a franchise, the story tends to take a hit compared to its predecessor. The story is an adaptation of volumes five through seven, so there is little room for creative freedom when it comes to Date A Live II. One of the more substantial parts of the story is that it is a direct continuation of the first season, which is quite good when fans who just finished the first season will be eager to continue. Finding a starting point may be difficult for some writers because they have a certain level of expectation fans may expect that was not there within the first installment.
However, after looking back at the first season’s review, there are unfortunately barely any other positives that are to be said about the story. While some viewers may enjoy that nothing has changed within the story and characters from the previous season, the series took a year to come out with another season instead of just having a more extended season is a bit of a letdown. The pacing within Date A Live II is a mixed bag ranging from being decent one-fifth of the time to nonexistent the rest of the time. The formula has stayed the same, so it leaves a significant question: Why the change of pace? Don’t expect much of the story if anyone can follow along with the plot if there is one?
When it comes to the art style of this series, Date A Live II is rather quite enjoyable. The art style is done exceptionally well, just like the first season. The tones are decent, and the characters’ designs are fun, but the show does not add any extra pizzazz, just more normalness. However, the first season’s art style performance was unexpected and rather exciting. This is nothing new. The art style is still beautiful to look at, but it lost the newness that comes with having the first season.
Though the animation production in the opening is better than expected, the animation is better than the first season. The song appropriately titled “Trust in you” is done again by sweet ARMS, which is lovely. However, the best is the ending animation; the flow and overall appearance are just better. While the production value did improve during this season, it still is nothing to write home about. There is a slight difference in appearance compared to the previous season, but nothing major that would turn longtime fans away. As mentioned before, the best part is the ending sequence, so take that information as you will.
Shido Itsuka is the main protagonist of the story. He is best described as an average young man who initially had no interest in the opposite gender until being forced to be by his little sister. He possesses a strange power that allows him to steal the powers of a Spirit in his body with a kiss. Shido is a very kindhearted person who can sympathize with others and works exceptionally well with his new role. He is somewhat possessive and has a solid readiness to forgive others, but in the end, he will help anyone he sees having problems.
Tohka Yatogami is one of the leading female characters and was the first Spirit saved by Shido. She first appeared on Earth on the 10th of April when she came under attack by the AST. Before being saved, Tohka had a cold and emotionless demeanor. She was very wary of humans due to her being consistently attacked by the AST. Now she can develop and express her feelings and experiences of her life on Earth. Since she is new to everything, including her emotions, she has a very cheerful and child-like personality that quickly makes her come off as naïve, emotional, energetic, and even gullible. However, she can seem to be a bit nagging due to her not understanding basic human emotions.
Kotori Itsuka is another one of the main female characters. She is Shido’s sister and secretly works as the commander of the Fraxinus airship. She is best described as a master of manipulation as she has three different personalities she uses depending on what the situation is needing depending on her ribbons. When she is wearing white ribbons or not wearing any, she shows that she is a delicate sister who is very dependent on people. When she is wearing black ribbons, she is a stronger person whose charismatic and “sometimes” dominating. Regardless of their personality, she still understands how small and weak she is compared to her peers and acts more masculine whenever she gets scared.
Origami Tobiichi is another one of the leading female characters of the season. She is Shido’s classmate, famous for her performance in schoolwork, athletics, and beauty. She is also a Wizard of the AST whose determined to avenger her parents by killing any Spirit she sees. Origami is the type of person that rarely openly talks with other people unless needed, with only a few exceptions. She is not a shy person, but more of an unsocial type of girl who is very blunt and forward. She can also be a bit reckless and aggressive if she has a goal or purpose to fulfill: she is also willing to put other people’s lives in danger to achieve them.
While the above characters and ones not mentioned have all been in the series during the first season, the newest additions to the Date A Live franchise is a little interesting. Yamai Kaguya and Yuzuru Yamai are identical twins and spirits, and they have orange hair with long strands on each side of their heads. Despite being twins, their personalities are contraries. However, they still have some things in common, like displaying a playful attitude and a mutual love for competition.
When it comes to continuations within any series, the viewer should know everything about an anime without spoiling the good parts regardless of the genre or season number. However, this season was rather dull and not as stunning as one would hope to see when it comes to Date A Live II. If viewers enjoyed the last season, they might like this one, but they wouldn’t miss anything important if they didn’t watch it. One of the most significant negatives that this series must be known for was that the writing was unjust, but for whatever reason, they had characters in the series that did absolutely nothing.
Date A Live II is an author’s worst nightmare of taking the love and passion of their work and creating a cold hardshell with moving parts. The story is nothing to write home about, the artwork is decent, but the viewer has most definitely seen better. But the experience is what kills it for not only the viewer but the season in general, and please skip this season unless you enjoy torturing yourself.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.