A high school boy gets involved in the affairs of a secret military organization in the first episode of Date A Live. Shido begins the first day of a new term at school by taking care of his younger sister Kotori. After promising to meet up for lunch at the local family restaurant, he goes off to school where the mysterious Origami introduces herself to him. As one of the spacequake disasters is declared in the city, Shido goes off to rescue Kotori only to be confronted by a powerful, yet sad spirit. A battle erupts and Shido is taken onto an airship which is captained by Kotori. He is then given a mission to try to save the world.
This was the most exposition heavy of the first episodes this season so far as the audience was subjected to lengthy exposition not only in what the spacequakes are and how they have altered the world in the 30 years prior to this setting, but in the ending animation which explained Shido’s mission. That mission, to make the spirits fall in love with him by taking them on dates, is where this episode has to be examined.
There are plenty of other shows that have had ridiculous premises and Girls und Panzer immediately comes to mind here. What matters in shows like this is my ability to suspend disbelief. Make it seem like it’s ridiculous within the universe of the show itself and present me with some characters I like and I can definitely appreciate it. Too often, the ridiculous concept takes itself too seriously.
So as far as the characters in this show are concerned, there were a number of good points. Shido doesn’t really standout beyond being the typical MC-kun, but Kotori’s character did an excellent job of pivoting from standard younger sister type to hard-ass commander. I was willing to go with it because the perverted stuff disappeared once that happened. As for the rest of the cast, Reine was entertaining enough. My only problem with the cast was actually Origami. The whole ending where she was deadly serious about the spirits killing her family didn’t work as well. I know they are going for dual angles on the situation; one serious conflict against the spirits and the silly dating plan, but Origami seems the wrong character to be linking the two.
As for production quality in this first episode, it was very good. Lots of time and effort went into making this episode look good. It’s probably the best looking harem series since Infinite Stratos, which will be the primary comparison with this show. I did like the way the ending was used, but it wasn’t particularly musical in nature. I would expect a proper OP and ED next week, though I’d welcome exposition being used in those parts more.
Reasons to Continue Watching: High quality action scenes and Kotori
Reasons to Drop: Weak main character and absurd premise
My Verdict: It’s giving me the same vibes as Infinite Stratos, and I thought that did an excellent job. I will be continuing this one.