After reading synopses of this anime, I was expecting a typical magical girl/harem show: main character who’s awkward yet somehow manages to attract all these magical girls to him, with maybe a few magical-girl dilemmas along the way. I definitely wasn’t expecting ecchi in the first two minutes. But the first shot we see of a character is a girl with red hair dancing in a short skirt—meaning plenty of pantie-shots—to wake her brother up.
Great opening sequence. If you’re into that sort of thing, that is.
After the first two minutes, I continued with the expectation that panties will be a common occurrence in this anime. Clearly, this would be more about T&A than anything else. Fortunately, aside from that opening scene, I only noticed one more blatant attempt to showcase girls’ underwear. Not bad for one episode; better than other ecchi I’ve seen, at any rate.
Herein lies the typical first-episode run-through of the cast of characters, establishing the storyline, and creating drama that causes the ordinary main character to get involved in the shenanigans caused by the magical girls and mech pilots.
Finally, the “twist” at the end of the episode, the plot for the entire series to come: main-character Shido is enlisted (against his will) to begin training on a dating sim. The goal? To teach him to get Spirits to fall in love with him so they won’t cause spacequakes anymore. I’m not entirely sure how getting Spirits to fall for him will get them to stop causing spacequakes…but I’m sure this will be explained later. Right? …right?
So far, this anime seems like a mix between Strike Witches (girls in mech suits fighting otherworldly creatures), The World God Only Knows (guy uses dating sims to get girls to fall in love with him in order to protect the world), and High School of the Dead, Rosario + Vampire, or any other ecchi (T&A, man, T&A). The plot seems rather tedious and at times contrived. It’s a repeat of dozens of other harem/magical girl/ecchi anime (in many ways it seems a dead ringer for Rosario + Vampire) with the same character tropes and only a slight tweak to any story we’ve seen before in these genres.
That being said, the story isn’t so terrible that I won’t continue watching Date A Live. To say I was underwhelmed would be accurate, but perhaps the series just needs to get up and running before it can “wow” anyone.