Type: Loli Witch and Spirit-Punisher
Synopsis: This 2019 entry into the Date A Live franchise–record scratch–this thing was made in 2019!? Why? Who asked for this?? That’s five years after the last season, and the animation still looks the same. I get that light novels adaptations tend to be a predictable market, but really? Out of all the other anime that should get a second season, this gets a third. I’m not even mad at Date A Live. It’s a solid show for what it is. I’m just surprised at some of the series that get multiple seasons.
Pros: Again, this season is not bad. Heck, the reasons I watched it is because I knew it would require low energy, be somewhat entertaining, and predictable. And predictable is nice sometimes. Anyway, this season focuses on two characters: the new spirit Natsumi and Origami. The Natsumi Arc, the whole season in general, is really good at building story tension. The Natsumi Arc revolves around the spirit slowing making the main characters disappear until Shido can win her game. Towards the end of the Natsumi Arc, the show shifts into the Origami Arc. This arc finally has Origami have her “Majin-Vegeta” moment, or the moment when the reformed villain reverts back to an antagonist to accomplish their main goal. What follows is a 6 episode time-travel saga where Shido tries his best to save Origami from herself. This arc was unique in that it’s the longest time the series has ever focused on one specific character. We finally get to see the origins of Origami’s intense hatred for spirits. There’s also a twist in this that worked really well, at least for me. This arc does a good job showcasing all the sides of Origami. Her anger towards spirits, her desperation at achieving her goal, and the lengths she’s willing to go. This is an arc where we see a long time supporting character turn against all her friends, abandon her love interest, and ultimately betray herself for revenge. She literally becomes the worst version of herself. This makes it all the more compelling when the main character tries to save her. Because he’s not trying to save some random spirit of the week, he’s trying to save his friend. (Plus, we get to see Shido work with Kurumi again, and that’s always entertaining).
Cons: First, the Natsumi Arc feels a little short. I mean, compared to the other arcs in the series this is relatively normal length, but the Origami Arc consumes a lot of the subsequent episodes. This makes Natsumi feel more like a tag along than a new supporting character. The Natsumi Arc is also used to make a lot of Loli jokes, which I was not a fan of. I should also point out the Nastumi now makes the show have 3 underage girls to ogle. So….yeah. Second, while I praised the Origami Arc for it’s character work, I do have to criticize it for it’s use of time travel. Half the arc has Shido go back in time to help Origami, and then other half has Shido interact in an alternate timeline. This is where the show gets confusing, because Shido basically dies in the past, but is still alive in this new timeline, and despite changing the past all the other story arcs seemed to have happened the same way. The only major difference that the show explores is that the characters never met Origami until the events of the new timeline. And everyone, including Shido, go back to business as usual after effectively becoming time refugees. I say this as someone how loves time travel fiction; unless your narrative conceit is specifically about time travel, be very, very, very cautious about using time travel because once you use that device, you can never take it back. From now on, no matter what happens in the show, in the back of my find I’m ganna be asking “why don’t they just go back in time then?
Watch it: Probably the best arc of the entire series (4/5)
I hate you!
Best Episode: “Demon King of Descending Darkness” (p.s. We get a cameo from the the mysterious “Phantom” this season. Turns out, also a teenage girl).