I love it when an anime I enjoy gets a second season. Such things are so rare when it comes to this genre, that any chance to step back into the world is more than welcome. With anime moving almost completely (with the exception of a few series) a season to season watching formula, I’ve always loved knowing that new installments of the shows I love are coming back. So let’s not waste any time, and after the cut let’s take a dive into Date A Live, Season 2.
Now many people would look at Date A Live and think that it is a harem series when in actually it really isn’t. Yes, it has harem aspects, most notably having a bunch of girls and one guy as the main cast. Yes, there is a degree of ecchi fanservice (though that is rare at best), but that is where it ends. Shido’s relationship with the other girls in the series isn’t one of romantic interest, not all the girls are in love with them (though some are) and the battle to win his affections isn’t central to the overall plot. It’s there, it’s used for comedy, but the main story of Date A Live is still about the idea of dating the girls in order to seal the powers. A premise that even in the second season is still ironclad in it’s commitment to.
Of course with a new season comes new girls and both the Yamai sisters and Miku Izayoi are good additions to the case that help increase the variety of female cast member in the series. Unlike last season where the character of Mana Takamiya felt completely superfluous to the plot, the Yamai sisters and Miku feel like natural additions and are used wonderfully. While Miku’ storyline (which composes the latter half of the season) does drag on a bit, her fears, and motivations make her a great ‘mini-villain’ for the series. Hearing Miku’s backstory and the struggles she had in becoming an idol is surprisingly heartwarming and endears her to the audience.
As for the rest of the cast, Tohka and Origami do well, with Tohka having more development that is expected of the main girl. For the rest of the cast like Kotori and Yoshino however, they tend to take a back seat this season as most of the focus is on the new girls. Even Kurumi, despite having an episode OVA to herself, only really shows up at the end of the season which is a shame considering how great of a character she is. Like I said in my last post, Date A Live can sometimes feel like it’s trying to do too much in a single season, which harms it in some regards. However, this season benefits from having most of the groundwork already laid out, which allows it to further explore the lore of the world and set up things for the upcoming third season.
All in all, Date A Live Season 2 is more of what makes the show great, and more of what makes it still just a B+ show. Once again this is an anime where the writers and animators show up to play, but there is still plenty of room to take their work further. I loved the second season just as much as the first, but viewers who didn’t latch onto the show the first time won’t find much here to change their minds. Absolutely check it out if you dug the first season, and if you are thinking of giving the show another chance, know that Date A Live II continues to maintain a steady course.