Just like with Haruhi, there’s something a bit sad about finishing a series off after writing about it semi-regularly for almost an entire year. But here we are, with the Date A Live S3 review.
As this is the third season of Date A Live, there’ll be spoilers.
If you’ve seen previous seasons, you already should have a good idea of what to expect in another season.
Very Brief Synopsis…
Date A Live continues off from where the second season left off. Once again, you’ve got Shido, the spirit’s he’s sealed in previous seasons, DEM Industries, Origami, Ratatoskr, et cetera. What this season does is introduce new spirits and plotlines, as you’d expect.
I’d say the overall tone of the anime was very similar to the second season of Date A Live.
I’ve covered each individual episode of this season as I watched through it, as well as previous seasons. So you can find the links to all of that here:
- Date A Live S1 Review
- Date A Live S2 Review
- Date A Live S3
- S3 E1 – The Witch Spirit
- S3 E2 – Disappearing Act!
- S3 E3 – Well, That Was Unexpected
- S3 E4 – More Natsumi Pls
- S3 E5 – Revenge of the DEM Industries
- S3 E6 – This Just In…
- S3 E7 – Revenge-Crazed Lunatic
Two Arcs + 1
This season is primarily comprised of two arcs: the Natsumi arc, and the Origami arc. I’m going to do things a little differently here and write about what I thought about the individual arcs of this season, as I’ve already reviewed Date A Live two times before and the general formula hasn’t changed very much.
Of course what this means is that if you’ve read my episodic posts leading up to this, you basically already know what my thoughts are on the arcs!
First off we had the Natsumi Arc.
I really loved it, for several reasons.
First, Natsumi introduced a different paradigm to the usual spirit sealing process. Normally Shido has to contend with raw power when dealing with untamed spirits, but with Natsumi, he had to deal with trickery. The way Natsumi played games with Shido, invoking a guessing game from him, was great.
I really loved the guessing game. In fact, I would have been content if this was stretched out to be the entire season – just Shido dating all of the spirits + some girls from school and trying to figure out which one was an imposter. It would have made for a very interesting season, taking the usual formula and turning it on it’s head by creating a mystery season.
I think that would have worked really well, but regardless, what we did get was still very enjoyable, and I liked Natsumi’s character quite a bit. She felt like a great addition to the cast.
Overall, this was a great arc.
The Origami Arc
The second-half of this season was the Origami arc.
Like the Natsumi arc, this one didn’t follow the typical formula that we’d seen in previous scenes when it comes to Shido winning spirits over. However, it wasn’t as unique as the Natsumi arc I’d say.
The Origami arc, while containing some eye-opening twists, reminded me a lot of the Miku arc from last season. It contains a similar sort of build-up into a moment of hopelessness, with Kurumi appearing at the last moment to help Shido out. Both arcs were like this, the only difference being that Kurumi’s appearance in the Miku arc WAS the twist, whereas in the Origami arc, the twist is something else.
I think that the story for this arc was really well done, however as you all know I did get a little tired of Origami. The problem I had was that we’ve just seen so much of Origami since the first season, and it’s frustrating to watch her character completely flip all the way back to how she was in the very beginning. All of Origami’s character development over the first two and a half seasons just erased in a single moment.
I didn’t enjoy that, because it didn’t feel believable.
Regardless, I think that the arc was exciting enough and introduced some interesting clues for the future (Phantom). It also ended in a nice date between Shido and Origami, although a different Origami.
Good arc, but Origami’s character shifts didn’t feel right to me.
The Shido Arc
I won’t spend too much time on this because I just wrote about it, as this arc is just one episode. It’s all crammed into one episode.
The general idea is that the sealed spirits’ powers within Shido become unstable, and it’s up to the spirits and Ratatoskr to win Shido over and seal them. It’s a good premise that would have been interesting to watch had it not been so rushed.
It’s Date A Live
Aside from the arc specifics, like I’ve mentioned a few times this is another season of Date A Live. While sometimes anime can change drastically across seasons, Date A Live for the most part has been a real steady series with not too much deviation between seasons.
I’d say that this season has much more in common with the second season of Date A Live though, in that it gets more creative with the story and focuses on a fewer spirits. Unfortunately this also means that there is less dating.
I’ve said it more than enough, but I’ll say it one last time here: my favourite aspect of Date A Live is the dating. While I appreciate how the series gets creative in the later seasons, I really wish we’d get more of the goofy and fun dates like we saw in the first season.
I’ll give Date A Live S3 a 7.5 / 10.
I enjoyed it but still can’t help but think that the first season was the best. Maybe it was just because everything was fresh and fun, and I really loved all of the dating that we saw that season. Even still, this season managed to get real creative and I did like the way the story went overall. Even if the final episode was a real shame, it had good potential had it been handled right.
Plus, Natsumi was a great addition.
Remember Mana? Me neither.
That does it for this review of Date A Live S3, and the Date A Live series.
It really is a good and fun series to watch, filled with great ideas and moments. I wouldn’t say it’s the best at anything in particular, but I would say that it’s a very solid series. And one that has 3 seasons at that, something that I don’t think we see too often in the harem genre. Or in general, really.
And in addition there’s another Date A Live related season on the way, with Date A Bullet, a spin-off season featuring Kurumi.
I’ll keep my eye out for it, and hopefully whenever it comes out I’ll be in a position to write about it, because I would like to.
Until then though, this is it for Date A Live.
Until next time,
Thanks for reading!