Does Date A Live deserve a second season?

Seeing as Date A Live has now been greenlit for not only a second season, but a 2-cour second season, I feel compelled to whip up a quick post detailing my thoughts on this. I’d love to hear from any readers if you guys have an opinion on this topic as well, so feel free to jump in on the comments section.

In a nutshell: I don’t care for Date A Live and it’s probably the last anime of the Spring 2013 season I’d like to see get another season. Why? I’ll tell you why.

While Date A Live’s narrative was hilariously unpredictable – you could rely on a whole bunch of things to show up in just about every episode. This makes the show boring and predictable by nature. Every week there were explosions and loads of fanservice. There were also a bunch of Otaku references amongst other hit-and-miss gags. Guess whats on the cards for season 2? Exactly the same thing.

Why on earth do people want more of this?

The saddest fact is that Date A Live knew that it could not sell itself on substance alone. The narrative was tacky and nonsensical, and there was nothing really new or inventive to be found in the script, so it had to rely on fanservice and overly stretched action scenes. Basically the same formula as a lot of Hollywood films – ‘safe’ investments that pander to a large, mostly male audience that will lap it up allday… simply because it looks good.

To its credit though – Date A Live was obviously self-aware to begin with… although this totally fell apart before long. In its first couple of episodes Date A Live showed us that it was pretty much totally satirical in nature, and was poking fun at itself and the clichés of the medium. Every character was an obvious stereotype of the most hopelessly tired character archetypes known to man – the bossy imouto, the jealous classmate, the helpless moe girl, tsundere – and it actually made me laugh a couple of times. After all, the whole thing was just a joke.

However – by the end of the show, Date A Live foolishly attempted to ask for empathy and make us feel connected to these characters. And judging by the sales figures, it actually succeeded. But wait a second… weren’t these characters just walking parodies of themselves? Why are we supposed to care about them? There’s no reason to. Together, they make up the most painfully generic, hopelessly dull cast to be seen in years. There’s nothing else to it.

The worst part of Date A Live’s renewal is this: other studios have taken notice of what Date A Live has done and will probably attempt to mimic it.

This means we’ll be seeing more generic characters, less risk-taking in writing and direction, fanserivce becoming more normalised and being used as a cop-out tactic to secure sales, and a decline in the things that make anime fun and exciting.

This is just bad for the industry as a whole in my opinion. What do you think?

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6 Responses to Does Date A Live deserve a second season?

  1. *yawn* says:

    Looks like you hate fan service. ^_^

    The fan service wasn’t that bad tbh, it was actually kind of mild, I mean just look at HighSchool DxD, now that’s fan service. If you haven’t watched that then you should go take a look. First episode is almost all about fan service, compared to DAL’s few panty-shots and the AST’s so called “battle armor”. And it’s a harem, so fan service should be expected.

    Anyway, I agree with most of your points, although the characters are rather stereotypical, they still somehow managed to catch my attention, and I honestly enjoyed the decent comedy, romance and action.

    And you didn’t even mention the show’s biggest flaw, it was horribly rushed. They tried to cram 4 novels into 12 episodes with one of those 12 being a filler episode. They emitted a lot of good parts from the LN, and replacing it with fan service.

    I think you were expecting too much of Date A Live, expecting it to be a near-masterpiece. But this anime was just more of a turn-off-your-brain-and-just-go-with-the-flow kind of anime. And I think that you should be really in that mindset to be able to enjoy the show.

    Anyway, I’m actually kind of excited for S2, call me retarded with no taste for anime, but it’s what I feel.

    These are all just my humble opinions and perspectives, and I could fully understand where you’re coming from, so good day, sir/ma’am.

    • I don’t hate fanservice ^_^

      Although it is kind of pathetic when used as a ploy to secure sales because you have no confidence on the show selling itself on it’s own (non-perverted) merits. It doesn’t have to be a “near-masterpiece”, and I wasn’t expecting it to be. It would be a mistake to aproach a show like Date A Live expecting something that uplifting.

      Regarding the characters, your opinion is totally valid so I shall respectfully disagree. Feel free to be excited for S2 as well – at least you can recognise that its sort of like a guilty pleasure for you though.

      I know what you mean about that turn-your-brain off style of entertainment and I do enjoy a lot of shows like that… But for this one I could not do it, the flaws were too jarring.

      • *yawn* says:

        Well it sounded that you hate fanservice in your blog XD.

        “Although it is kind of pathetic when used as a ploy to secure sales because you have no confidence on the show selling itself on it’s own (non-perverted) merits.”

        I actually see what you mean and strongly agree with this, there were a bunch of times that it did seem that way. The story was decent actually for me, but there were a lot of flaws in the execution. I think the show has some potential though, it just did a lot of wrong things this season. Maybe season 2 can will be better? I don’t know, but for some reason I still had a fun ride with the show.

        Don’t get me wrong, I know fully well, that objectively, “average” is the highest you can give DAL compared to other Spring 2013 animes, after all you can’t tell me that this year’s spring wasn’t a good season.

        Good to hear we’re respecting each other’s opinions 🙂

      • Hah, fair enough man. You’re right – Spring was totally excellent this year and to be fair DAL did have a bunch of shows towering over it and making it look worse in hindsight.

        You raise a valid point about the execution too. The one thing I actually really liked about DAL though was the hot springs episode… that didn’t actually end up being a hot springs episode at all. I think it may have been episode 5 or 6. Was actually pretty clever.

        I still think the narrative was kind of bad despite the cluttered pacing, but that was the thing that really tipped it over the edge. I’d imagine the LN’s are probably much more sound and give the story some proper development.

        Anyways, thanks for your input. Please comment again anytime 🙂

      • *yawn* says:

        Also, I don’t really consider it a guilty pleasure, since I don’t really care much about the fan service. Anyway, I think that one of the main reasons I enjoyed it was because I’m a big fan of the LN, so I was really glad that it was animated.

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