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Date A Live: The Complete First Season (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

June 28, 2014 by  



datealive

“Date A Live” is a fun sci-fi harem anime series based on a Japanese visual novel.  Those wanting over-the-top fan service may feel that this series is a bit more subdued compared to series such as “Heaven’s Lost Property” or “Sekirei” but it’s an entertaining and fun anime series none-the-less, thanks to its characters and the various crazy situations featured on each episode.

Image courtesy of © FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Date A Live: The Complete First Season

DURATION: 12 Episodes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: FUNimation

RATED: TV M

Release Date: June 10, 2014

Originally created by Kousi Tachibana

Directed by Keitaro Motonaga

Series Composition: Hideki Shirane

Music by Go Sakabe

Original Character Designer: Tsunako

Character Designer: Satoshi Ishino

Art Director: Hiroshi Ito

Mechanical Design by Mika Akitaka

Anime Production: AIC+

Featuring the following voice talent:

Marina Inoue/Michelle Rojas as Tohka Yatogami/Princess

Nobunaga Shimazaki/Josh Grelle as Shido Itsuka

Anri Katsu/Nick Haley as Hiroto Tonomachi

Asami Sanada/Alexis Tipton as Kurumi Tokisaki/Nightmare

Aya Endo/Barrett Nash as Reine Murasame

Ayana Taketatsu/Bryn Apprill as Kotori Itsuka

Iori Nomizu/Tia Ballard as Yoshino/Hermit

Kaori Sadohara/Anastasia Munoz as Tamae Okamine

Misato/Felecia Angelle as Mana Takimiya

Misuzu Togashi/Michelle Rojas as Origami Tobiichi

Takehito Koyasu/J. Michael Tatum as Kyōhei Kannazuki

Ao Takahashi/Caitlin Glass as Ryōko Kusakabe

Kayoko Tsumita/Leah Clark as Mai Hazakura

Kotono Mitsuishi/Alex Moore as Narration

Midori Tsukimiya/Monica Rial as Mii Fujibakama

Risako Murai/Jamie Marchi as Ai Yamabuki

In a world devastated by mysterious Spatial Quakes, Shidoh isn’t what you’d expect in a hero. He’s an average Joe who gets bossed around by his adorable little sister and mocked by the popular girls at his school. You’d definitely pick him last for dodge ball, but when it comes to saving the planet from imminent destruction, Shidoh’s got one thing going for him: intergalactic hotties can’t keep their hands off him!

When the secret to stopping the Spatial Quakes turns out to be romancing the extraterrestrial Spirits responsible for all the chaos, Shidoh the loveable loser becomes the hero of all humanity. For every Spirit he makes out with, mankind breathes a little bit easier. Kiss the girls – save the world. That name of the game is driving the space babes crazy, and nobody does it better than Shidoh!

An exciting sci-fi harem anime series that has won over otaku in Japan, finally makes its way to North America!

“Date A Live: The Complete First Season” is an anime series based on the 2011 Japanese light novel series written by Koshi Tachibana and illustrations by Tsunako.

With a second season of “Date A Live” having aired in Japan and a theatrical film adaption recently announced, the fan service driven series is now available on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of FUNimation.

“Date A Live” is set thirty years after a space quake devastated Eurasia and killed over 150 million people.  Since then, smaller quakes have continued.

For teenager Shido Itsuka, life is rather normal…to him at least.

Shido and his foster sister, Kotori are very close.  To the point that it freaks out his classmates at school.   But as the two have promised to meet with each other at a diner after school, the space quake alarm goes off and people panic and run off to shelters.

But for Kotori who is concerned about his younger sister, Shido leaves the shelter to find Kotori and a huge space quake occurs.  And that is where Shido comes face-to-face with one who is responsible for the earthquake, a Spirit named Tohka Yatogami, who is about to attack him and thinking he is an enemy.  But Shido tells her that he would never kill anyone.

Shido watches the Spirit fight against an AST (Anti-Spirit Team) and finds out that the most athletic and smartest girl in school, Origami Tobiichi is a member of AST and not sure why the two are fighting each other.  But their fight leads Shido to be knocked out.

When he awakens, he finds himself in the headquarters of the organization known as Ratatoskr and he is aboard the Fraxinus and is being treated by a sleepy medic named Reine Murasame.

He learns that his foster sister Kotori is a member of Ratatoskr, a secret organization that tries to resolve issues of Spirits and the space quakes through peace.    But most importantly, Shido Itsuka is the key in saving the world from the Spirits who are responsible for the space quakes and that he is the only person that can seal the power of a Spirit.

But in order to do this, he must build trust and affection with each of them. Even if it means going on dates and kissing them in order to seal their power in his body.  But will Shido be prepared to handle these powerful Spirits?

“Date A Live” features the following main characters:

Shido Itsuka – A teenager with a kind heart but also seen as weird and a guy with a sister complex because he and his foster sister Kotori are extremely close with one another.  Shido is the main protagonist and a man who has the power of sealing the powers of a spirit in his body with a kiss.  But he must do all he can to build affection with a Spirit and make sure they don’t lose trust in him or else their power returns.

Kotori Itsuka – The foster sister of Shido who has a secret.  She happens to be a member of Ratatoskr and

Tohka Yatogami – A well-endowed spirit who is very tough but she puts her trust in Shido.  She cares about Shido and loves Earth for its food and she loves going on dates with him.  But she is not sure why she has emotions of anger (jealousy) towards other Spirits.

Origami Tobiichi– The most popular, athletic and smartest girl in school.  Seen as beautiful, she finds herself wanting to be close with Shido.  She is also a member of the Anti-Spirit Team who wants nothing to kill Spirits.

Yoshino/Yoshinon– A young spirit who uses a puppet named Yoshinon on her left hand to communicate with others.  Her Angel is Zadkiel, a gigantic rabbit puppet which she controls with her right hand.

Kurumi Tokisaki– A brutal spirit who has no problems killing people.

Reine Murasame  – The head analyst for Ratatoskr onboard the Fraxinus.  She is a medic who looks sleepy all the time.

Mana Takamiya – A second Lieutenant of the AST and may have a secret connection to Shido.

Hiroto Tonomachi – Shido’s friend and classmate.  He prefers to have a 2D girlfriend.

VIDEO:

“Date A Live” is presented in 1080p High Definition and is a very colorful anime that is quite vibrant.  The series also employs quite a bit of CG, so CG elements and animated elements look very good.  Another plus are the backgrounds adn that the characters are shaded and line detail is sharp.  Picture quality for “Date A Live” is fantastic overall!

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Date A Live” is presented in English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0.  As one can expect, the English soundtrack is much better for the better use of surround channels and the fact that for an anime that showcases a lot of mature content and fan service, you are expecting a little perversion and sexual humor.  So, it’s great to see the English voice acting leaning more towards that style of dialogue, slightly different from its Japanese counterpart.

But both soundtracks feature crystal clear dialogue but with a 5.1 soundtrack, the English dub is much better!

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Attack on Titan: Part One” comes with the following special features:

  • Episode 4 Commentary -Featuring audio commentary by Joel McDonald (ADR Director) and voice actresses Tia Ballard, Michelle Lee and Michelle Rojas.
  • Episode 13 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by Joel McDonald (ADR Director) and voice actors Josh Grelle, Brynn Apprill, Felecia Asia.
  • Promotional Video – (3:14) A promotional video for “Date A Live”.
  • Season 2 Teaser – A short teaser for the second season of “Date A Live”.
  • Textless Opening Song “Date A Live”
  • Textless Closing Song: “Save the World”, “Strawberry Rain” and “Save My Heart”.
  • U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer

EXTRAS:

“Kill A Live” features both the Blu-ray and DVD version.

A fun sci-fi anime harem series that may not be to extreme on fan service or raunchy humor but appreciated by those who feel that they need a series that feature fun characters and not so over-the-top humor and fan service.

When it comes to harem sci-fi anime, there are anime titles that lean towards the fan service and sexual humor, while there are those that have it but are much more milder.

So, if I put the anime series “Heaven’s Lost Property” (Sora no Otoshimono) and “Sekirei” on the more extreme end of mature humor and fan service, “Date A Live” would not be in that level of raunchiness.  Yes, you do have the well-endowed woman, you have your perverted scenes in which the main protagonist keeps getting caught by the naked woman in the bathroom (which is a common banal scene) and you also have the hint of sister-complex between both Shido and Kotori.

But “Date A Live” was rather fun as the characters are enjoyable to watch and the creators tend to incorporate that video game decision-making into the overall animated series.

The series appeals to those who want more story than seeing the over-the-top fan service that series such as “Heaven’s Lost Property”, “Sekirei” and “Ikki Tousen” are known for.  “Date A Live” is much more story-driven but you also get a few taboo situations as Shido is very close to his sister and there are scenes in which he must seal a spirit who may be old but her appearance is of a young girl.   That’s pushing the limit for a certain amount of viewers, especially those who are critical of seeing those things on anime, so if you are sensitive to this, this anime is not for you.

The Blu-ray presentation of the series is vibrant, as colors, background, CG elements and characters look fantastic on Blu-ray.  The lossless audio is much better for the English soundtrack as it receives the lossless 5.1 treatment but also for the way the English dialogue was handled.  It has a bit more bite in terms of slang and stylistic use of conversation that works for this style of anime series.  Not to say the Japanese is much lighter but the English is a bit more edgy than its Japanese counterpart.

The Blu-ray release features two entertaining audio commentaries and you get a few other special features included as well.

Overall, “Date A Live” is a fun sci-fi harem anime series based on a Japanese visual novel.  Those wanting over-the-top fan service may feel that this series is a bit more subdued compared to series such as “Heaven’s Lost Property” or “Sekirei” but it’s an entertaining and fun anime series none-the-less, thanks to its characters and the various crazy situations featured on each episode.

 






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