The Spring 2014 Anime Preview Guide Date a Live II
Rating: 2.5 (of 5)
Review: Date A Live offered an amusing (if exceedingly ridiculous) variation on the standard harem set-up: the male lead has to literally go out on dates with various Spirits (who of course appear as pretty girls) in order to seal their powers and prevent them from being dangers to everyone; in other words, Funimation's cheesy rip-off advertising slogan “Date The Girl, Save The World” is pretty accurate. Its first series ended with most immediate threats settled but with Kurumi (aka Nightmare) still at large and a lot of the Big Picture still left to be explained. Based on its first episode, the second series looks like it will delve into all of that as well as offering the promise of several new Spirits popping up.
Events pick up about a month after the first series ended, with Shido spending a lot of his time running emotional damage control with Tohka and Kotori. Origami has finally gotten her punishment – a two-month suspension from the AST – and seeks to speak to Shido about what happened. Tohka dramatically misinterprets this on multiple occasions (she keeps trying to make parallels between a soap opera she has been watching and real life), with Origami not helping on that point, and Shido has to get her calmed down. Meanwhile Kurumi is gathering power for some reason involving the original Spirit from the catastrophe 30 years ago and a mysterious man whose right-hand woman is supposedly the most powerful of all Wizards has discovered that Princess (aka Tohka) has been masquerading as an ordinary high school student since her power was sealed and has taken a personal interest in investigating.
The first episode of this series definitely gets off to a better start than the first episode of the first series – although admittedly that isn't saying much since that first episode was awful. It definitely has its humorous moments, actually generates just a little drama, and throws out all sorts of intriguing hooks. The mediocre technical merits have not improved, and the fan service is still surprisingly limited given the concept (although the next episode looks like it will feature S&M-flavored Spirits), but the character dynamics from the first series remain intact and seeing Shido get more confident about handling things on his own is welcome. The concept is still shaky and demeaning, but anyone who was a fan of the first series is unlikely to be disappointed by how this one starts.
Date A Live II is currently streaming on Funimation.com.
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