“Take my hand! I promise it’ll be all right this time!” – Shido Itsuka
Chris’ First Impression:
Date A Live…oh how I’ve missed you silly-sweet antics…
In Date A Live II, every fan of the first season will find the traits and gimmicks that we loved the first time around reintroduced and major plot points once again reaffirmed for our viewing pleasure. Immediately we see Shido rushing around after Tohka and Yoshino and I once again fell in love with the show. Date A Live is the dessert to my lunch filled with greens – it’s not necessarily ‘good’ in the literal sense of the word, and by comparison to many of the shows airing this season it should probably be overlooked and ignored, but I can’t! It’s like candy – it’s not good for you but it’s delicious all the same. It lacks substance and yet I found myself engrossed for the full 24 minute airing. Date A Live II episode 1 is so bad, so full of cliches, so predictable, and yet… Yes, Date A Live II episode 1 was great!
To be quite frank, not much happened in this first episode. As I said, we were reintroduced to the main characters, the main plot points left over from last season, and we were introduced to some new faces to mix things up a bit. The first ‘real’ morsel of plot we recieved this season came in the guise of Shido and Origami’s bathroom exchange (hard to believe though that is considering what almost occurred…). What is Shido? This question has been posed since episode 3 of season one when Shido was shot and killed by Origami, then only to be revived by ‘mysterious means’, and Origami brings it up once again after she is pardoned (or, at least, suspended for two months) for the…let’s call it last seasons ‘White Licorice incident’. Now obviously we receive no answers in this first episode, but it does provide a clue to where this season may be heading or…well, it might’ve simply been an excuse for the viewer to see Origami’s pristine panties…either way, I proffer a hearty thumbs up.
The other piece o’ plot came from Tohka’s ‘misunderstanding’, a TV drama polluting Tohka’s Spirit mind with the idea that a suitcase is in fact a lovers “goodbye box” during passionate break ups…yeah. This results in Tohka, after being first prompted by Origami and then afterwards having a pseudo-Schizophrenic episode in which she imagined Shido informing her of his imminent departure, to steal the “goodbye box” and regress back into her Spirit form, almost causing a Space Quake in the process. Luckily, Shido is on hand and, after an amazing instrumental rendition of sweet ARMS’ ‘Date A Live’, he reaches out to take Tohka’s hand, then kissing her…’twas a beautiful moment for us all. Seeing Tohka and Shido back in action brought a smile to my face and seeing Shido act without the assistance (or hindrance (I’m looking at you Kyouhei) of Ratatoskr reminds us that he’s not totally incompetent and that he knows how to handle his woman! It was nothing that we haven’t seen before and I feel as though it was only really here to ease us viewers back into the show after a year without it and so I’m fine with the way it panned out. It was the same old blood rush with a new touch – and I liked it!
What I didn’t mention earlier when talking about Origami’s two month sentence however, was that a ‘mysterious white haired male’ intervened and made sure to lessen the extent of her punishment. We didn’t see much more of this man until the very end of the episode when he made mention of Ellen Mira Mathers, the world’s strongest Wizard, and the fact that they needed to ‘deal’ with ‘The Princess’ (or, Tohka). I’m interested firstly by his link to Origami. I would appear that Origami does not know this man and so I’m lead to believe one of two things: it is possible that Origami and this male are related, their hair color being the indicative factor… However, should this not be the case, it’s also possible that this allusive man intends to use Origami as a means of observing Tohka. I think the latter is probably the more likely scenario, but we shall see.
Finally, I’d like to talk about the artwork… Did it seem off to anyone else? For example, I found it to be lackluster even from small distances… Characters didn’t feel rendered properly or well drawn at all, and only when we received close up shots did any of them even look remotely as I remembered them… I mean, sure, the artwork and animation were always a little bit flat, but…this? I chose to overlook the issue because I was enjoying the comedic aspects of the show too much to let it bother me a great deal, but it did break the immersion at times and I found it to be more often then not jarring… Just a small gripe.
To conclude, episode 1 of Date A Live II was exactly what you’d expect from you’re average episode of Date A Live – hell, even the title seemed to imply banality. That said, it was a nice, funny, and smooth reintroduction back into the series that left me wanting more with the mention of the mysterious ‘First Spirit’…also, I’m just eager to see those twins from the promo posters…don’t let me down episode 2!
Possibility of Watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of Blogging: Uncertain – waiting three episodes to gauge ‘blog-ability’