「四月一〇日」 (Shigatsu Ichi Rei Nichi)
The official start of one of the more anticipated series of the season (according to the RC poll) is finally here, and suffice to say, it’s a tale of two halves. Indeed, the thing most people will come away with following this first episode was the rather drastic difference before and after the eyecatch—as the first half was ended up quite typical (how about that kick?) in terms of introductions, and the latter ended up escalating things quite quickly with a variety of sci-fi, action scenes. As such, Date A Live’s premiere ends up being something that seems like it’ll be a hit/miss depending on your preferences—as some may consider the first episode slightly rushed—but I feel as though it does enough to warrant some of the hype it’s been given, as well as a continued watch.
And for me, a large part of that belief comes from the feeling that there’s definitely something here to work with. For one, the animation seemed quite fluid throughout—lending itself to some pretty flashy scenes that are arguably worth watching the series for alone. Some aspects seemed somewhat grainy at times, but it seems like it’s more of something that came from the raw source itself, rather than reflective of the series’ production values. In addition, there’s a decent balance between the comedic and serious elements here—though the less serious elements were definitely more prevalent this episode. A proper mixture of the two could really make or break a series, and for now, it seems like Motonaga Keitarou’s doing his usual in terms of that aspect—though this doesn’t end up particularly surprising, as you’ll remember that I noted his superb adaptation of Jormungand possessed this aspect as well.
Moving on, it seems like there’s also a fairly large cast to work with as well—and subsequently a fair amount of side plot lines to go along with the whole spacequakes (150 million dead to start things off!), spirits appearing and needing to be eliminated plot lines we were given this first episode. It remains to be seen if this ends up developing well or not, and whether or not it’ll just end up being another type of Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai, which it seems to share some similarities with. Though I suppose, even if the latter ends up being the case, it’s not quite a bad thing… considering how well received that was.
Looking forward, the general impression I get is that there’s definitely something worth watching here. Hearing some things from LN readers about how they seem like they’re going to rush through the novels has me slightly apprehensive, but I do love the rather distinctive style the series seems to have (especially the occasional sci-fi elements incorporated within). Of course, it also helps when you have someone like Itsuka Kotori leading things as the commander of an anti-spirit organization—as her 180 through the first episode was quite entertaining, and she’s voiced by Taketatsu Ayana too.
Full-length images: 22.
Series Note: Due to various changes in the coverage schedule (more on that at a later time), some authors will be changing series. As such, it is unconfirmed whether or not Date A Live will continue receiving coverage past this episode. The schedule will be updated in the next week to reflect these changes.