The Summer of Love II: Final Thoughts on Date A Live

The Summer of Love II comes to an end this week. It’s been another wild ride, but all things must come to the end. After the cut, let’s get into the final thoughts and opinions on the series: Date A Live.

Date A Live Poster

Spirits, Mysterious Girls appearing from another world.

To Fight against their pure strength with weapons, or to address them with love.

Now mankind must choose.

At the start of this journey, I, as always, asked a simple question.

“What makes Date A Live one of the best B-tier harems?”

Since then we’ve discussed every seasons, the companion film, the central characters, the music, everything I could think. After all that, and having a long though about the series in general, the answer I have come to is quite simple.

Date A Live is the ultimate B-tier harem, because it tries just enough.”

One of the surprising things about this re-watch, now my fourth time with the series, is how much my opinion on it didn’t actually change. Unlike last year, where my re-visit of High School DxD shone a light on just what makes that series the masterpiece that it is. This re-watch of Date A Live didn’t do that for me, but it also didn’t have me seeing the series in any worse light.

All of the praises that I have levied on this series are still true. It is an anime that has an iron-clad commitment to it’s premise, that takes the concept of dating the girls to save them, and never lets it fade away into the background. It is a show that lets its main male character be an active force in the story, and not the usual doormat that too often defines an harem lead. It has cool and interesting powers, with one of the most unique and creative uses of time magic seen in the entire medium. And it is a show that constantly moving forward, not content to keep to a status quo.

However, Date A Live is not without its flaws, and with a show that never really touches the ceiling of greatness like it’s fellows, they are more noticeable. The cast is at times too big, leading some of the girls to fall by the wayside. The character of Mana Takamiya remains a large question mark of “Why is she here?” that the series never answers, and strips away resources that could have made Origami a more rounded character. Some gimmicks and quirks of the girls are never really used, as with Kotori’s personalities. And the constant change of animation studios, leads to a noticeable drop in quality as the series goes on.

Still with all of that, and probably because of it. Date A Live really does feel like the perfect example of that B-tier harem series. It is always trying, and never slacks off, but it’s attempts are never the constant home-run hits that other series have benefited from. It’s flaws are there, and sometimes noticeable, but they never damage the series, and the 100% devotion it has to its world, concepts and characters. It never reaches greatness, but it never falls to the pits of trash either. If there someone who wanted to get into harem and ecchi anime, and was put off by the fanservice of shows like High School DxD, then Date A Live is the series I would recommend, without question.

Guys, I love Date A Live, from the bottom of my heart I do. It remains one of my favorite harem/ecchi series, and something I probably return to sooner rather than later. And as we look ahead, with the Date a Bullet spin-off film, and the upcoming fourth season. I have full confidence that Date A Live will remain a well loved and popular series that is beloved, not because it is some hidden gem, but because it does exactly what it says on the box, and does it pretty damn well.

The Summer of Love II has been another great project, and something I’ve really glad I did. It has been fun to step back, for the fourth time into this world, and revisit this series. As always, I hope these posts have been informative and fun to read, and maybe convinced one or two of you to give the series a look. With that, there is only one final thing we need to do.

Play us out, ‘Date A Live’.

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