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?