Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Anime Review: Date A Live II

As you know, I had been pretty emotional for the past few weeks because of the whole ClariS thing, but I sure am glad my copy of their latest album flew to me all the way from Japan. Don't worry, I won't be talking about ClariS this time, but rather the latest anime I watched because it's my study week and finals is two weeks away. Good anime always come out at times like these. Anyway, I am talking about a new season of Date A Live, arguably among the best anime ever and also one with the weirdest title ever which, surprisingly, kinda make sense. Well, it's Japan we're talking about here. Who gives a damn about grammar?

Notice there's no Yoshino in this picture?
Title: Date A Live II

What is it about: Erm... Spirits. Much like the first season except with more annoying spirits.

My review: To start things off, I really enjoyed the opening sequence of this anime. I find the introduction pretty hilarious and I do remember laughing a lot. I really enjoyed it, and perhaps because of that and the season before it, I kind of had quite a high expectation for this anime. So the first episode was pretty entertaining, but it wasn't before long that Date A Live II (Henceforth shall be known as DAL 2) took a downfall, beginning from no more than the second episode itself right when the Yamai sisters are introduced. The enjoyment curve of DAL 2 has a funny shape really, but let's talk about the Yamai sister for now. My goodness they are annoying. Their fights are cool and all, but when they took their battle suit off, they instantly became a nuisance especially around Shido. For one thing their storyline doesn't even make sense, much less their motive for battle and the way Yuzuru speaks... Did they actually find that amusing? Because I find it nothing but annoying. On the bright side, we get to hear a Japanese Australian seiyuu in action. Not that you can tell anyway.

So, the Yamai sisters are new characters introduced in the second season. I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is how they are capable of turning DAL 2 almost into another anime. And I got lots to talk about this. I hated it when DAL 2 seems to be heading to a different direction which unfortunately one I dislike. It seems that their focus now are the worst possible attempts to make us laugh: cheap meaningless humor. At this point Shido kept falling into super ecchi To Love Ru accidents like the idiotic-girls-got-the-main-guy-character-in-deep-naked-shit cliche. Not funny if you ask me. I'm actually getting real tired of this crap (Maybe also because I was watching Nisekoi at the same time. You can read all about it in my review.). The part where both of them tried to seduce Shido to determine who is more erm... seductive. Kinda reminds you of Kiss X Sis don't you think? Don't know what Kiss X Sis is? Well, there are things in the world that is better off not occupying your brain space. This is one of them. Good news, these annoyance lasted only for about 2 episodes before we are introduced to something new. Bad news, this new character we are introduced to is even more annoying than the Yamai sisters. I swear I seriously hated the first few episodes of Date A Live. Anyway, this new character I am talking about is Miku, codenamed Diva. If it sounds familiar to you, you are not alone. Also, she has blue hair. The only problem is that she is voiced by Chihara Minori, not exactly my favorite seiyuu. Worst off, I really don't enjoy her songs, but DAL 2 couldn't resist the urge to make her super popular by making background character fall in love with her songs for the sake of the plot. Oh, did I mention that that is her power as well, to use her voice to make people like her and obeys her? Honestly, she is a really annoying character from the beginning, then she has to transform herself into a somewhat-failed tsundere character after having involved with Shido. What pisses me off the most in the entire crap is the fact that Yoshino and the Yamai sisters are being controlled by Miku. I don't care about the Yamai sisters, but how dare they make my kawaii Yoshino Miku's puppet! Someone needs to kick Miku's ass real hard. Fortunately, we do have the perfect person for the job. Introducing... wait for it... *drum roll*... Kurumi! Yes, Miku is so very toast! XD

Ever since Kurumi showed up, DAL 2 all of a sudden became drastically interesting. All the good stuffs and good characters appear at the same time. What amazed me most in DAL 2 is its ability to make characters I previously didn't care or downright disliked, awesome. They even managed to make that idiot Kyouhei Kannazuki awesome during a spaceship battle. Yeap, spaceship battle. You are now watching a more idiotic version episode of Gundam Seed. Also, Shido is able to summon Tohka's Sandalphon using brain power now. Oh, didn't know I'm watching Fate Stay Night. Shido, Shiro, geddit? Nevermind. At least Shido is way more useful and less annoying than Shiro is. Speaking of Fate Stay Night, Tohka kind of reminds me of Saber. As I put it, Tohka is basically a moe moe kyun version of Saber >.<

By the way, DAL 2 manages to make even Tobiichi Origami awesome, a character I previously hated to the max. She is so awesome it is looks like she came straight out of  Infinite Stratos minus all the uncoolness. We now have some epic Infinite Stratos-style human-in-robotic-suit partly-Gundam style mid-air battles, thanks to Origami from AST, some new villains with similar power from DEM the new villain organization, and not forgetting the most badass definition of kawaii character ever, Mana. By this time I was wondering where in the world did all the original characters went, but nobody cares anymore. Mana is really cool, but too bad they didn't show much of her this time. Her combat scenes are really worth the watch. Also we have some pretty nasty villains from DEM.

So until now, Miku is getting a buttkick from Kurumi, Mana and Origami is having an Gundam-cum-IS war, oh... Minor spoilers ahead... Tohka got kidnapped by DEM. This is where DAL 2 is at its peak and the storyline gets really interesting and full of suspense. It's a torture you know, waiting a week before I can watch the following episode. Then, at the end of episode 9, more spoilers ahead, Shido got stabbed right in front of Tohka, provoking Tohka to go berserk. (YES!!!). So now we have the best thing ever, something everyone fan of Date A Live has been waiting for, Tohka going berserk and Shido had to fight her. Shido had Sandalphon but Tohka had a much more powerful (and huge) weapon. This is in episode 10 and please prepare yourself for some bad news. Episode 10 is the final episode of DAL 2. I kid you not. The first season has 12 episodes and I was expecting season 2 to at least double that considering its good storyline, but nope. So, this berserk Tohka... Well, prepare yourself for yet another bad news. From the moment Tohka summoned her most powerful weapon which can destroy half the city, to the moment the battle ended, it lasted no more than 4 minutes. Not to mention the entire 4 minutes is merely to showcase Tohka's power. That means there's not even a single swordfight between Tohka and Shido at all although both of them had swords. Heck, it wasn't even a fight. That is arguably the greatest letdown in the history of me watching anime.

So what is Date A Live II? It's like To Love Ru / Kiss X Sis / Fate Stay Night / Gundam / Infinite Stratos and possibly more anime you can make reference to all jumbled-up together, but it's a disappointment really. I wonder if this anime is going through an identity crisis. The last few episodes before the final one are really nice actually, much better than the previous season. I highly recommend you to watch them. Maybe you should watch from the beginning just for the sake of context. Other than that, it's really a letdown because some characters are pretty much ignored to give emphasis for the development of other new or more important characters. Yoshino hardly appeared in the anime at all. Kotori and Reine, well, they had became significantly less important. It needn't be this way if they haven't squeeze everything into 10 episodes. They could have easily done better and done more. On the bright side, a movie is on the way, but it won't arrive anytime soon. Hopefully I don't have anything big going on at that time. Meh, I doubt it... But I'm watching it anyway... For Yoshino!! Yoshino, please come back to me!!! \(>.<)/

Rating: 6.5 / 10