YMMV / Date A Live

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: "Is Kurumi Cute and Psycho or Yandere" is a question of interest to many fans. Recent events in spin-off material and the novels have suggested she might just be an exceptionally deadly Tsundere, considering she's always being standoffish most of the time.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Origami. Some dislike her because she constantly pursues Shido, her hatred of Spirits makes his mission more difficult than it already is and being among the weaker characters. That said, a lot of people genuinely like Origami and want her to be with Shido anyway, not to mention she becomes a Spirit and her story is further expanded.
  • Complete Monster: Sir Isaac Ray Peram Westcott is the Director of Deus.Ex.Machina Industries and the driving force behind all evil in the franchise. Having summoned the First Spirit to Earth, resulting in an explosion that killed 150 million people and allowing more Spirits to enter the human world, Westcott used the ensuing chaos to set his plans into motion. Said Spirits, invariably teenage girls, are regularly attacked by Westcott's Elite Guard: soldiers, some of whom are children, that Westcott brainwashed into becoming fanatics of his cause, while also performing painful experiments on them that, while upgrading their abilities, shortened their life spans by decades. Showing no regard for his own troops, Westcott regularly sends entire squadrons on suicide missions, has the limbs of those who doubt him sliced off, and kills any who outlive their usefulness; he even "tested" his Dragon after a Spirit, keeping to himself said Spirit's weakness, just to amuse himself. Hoping to capture a Spirit attending a concert, Westcott orders an attack on the concert populated by hundreds of families, and orders his soldiers to kill as many innocents as possible for fun. Desiring to awaken the Inverse forms of the Spirits by driving them into despair-induced insanity, Westcott attacks them, kills their loved ones in front of them, and, in one case, tortured a Spirit for 5 years, wiped said torture from her mind, then forced all of the pain back on her at once to drive her insane. Westcott then plans to rip out the Spirits' Inverted souls, use them to make himself all-powerful, then remake the world in his image. Though putting up a polite, friendly exterior, Westcott is a psychopathic narcissist who despises all that is good in the world, while relishing any and all forms of wickedness humans are capable of.
  • Creepy Awesome: The franchise hold Minerva Liddell, Kurumi Tokisaki, Marina Arusu and Rinne Sonogami.
  • Evil is Cool:
    • Inverse Form Tohka is much more dangerous than her base form, and has so far displayed the greatest destructive force of all Spirits. It says something when she obliterates the majority of the belligerents and nearly levels the city during Volume 7's climax (end of second season). With just one swing.
    • One upped by Metatron, and later her Inverse, Satan. Who happens to be Origami as a Spirit, and who vaporizes the Fraxinus and half the city before Shido changes the timeline.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Compared to the rest of the spirits, who are chaste and innocent, Kurumi is openly seductive and quite frank and comfortable with her sexuality. She knows the effectiveness of her eroticism on men, and not shy about using it to her advantage.
    • Pre-Heel–Face Turn Miku is a glamorous girl-loving Evil Diva with Bastard Girlfriend undertones.
    • Ellen Mira Mathers. Between the sensual design of her CR suit and her Sexy Secretary looks, topped by her insatiable lust for battle, she gets to rival all of the above with unrelenting gusto. Wescott is such a lucky bastard.
      • Starting from Volume 12 onwards, Artemisia Bell Ashcroft joined Westcott's rank as his loyal subordinates, complete with a revealing CR suit at par with Ellen's. While Westcott's harem is far less numerous compared to Shidou's, the two member's sensual style certainly makes up for it, as exemplified by this picture.
    • Tohka's Superpowered Evil Side's Astral Dress is noticeably more revealing than her normal Astral Dress. Seems to be the defining characteristic of Inverse Astral Dresses.
    • Minerva Liddell from the spinoff: Very evil, but look at her outfit!
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Shido with Kurumi, initially. Then Miku caught up in Volume 7, and is firmly in the driving seat as of Volume 8. It helps that she's supportive of his goal to build up a harem (probably not for her own desires, though).
  • Friendly Fandoms: There is a good chance that a Date A Live fan is also a High School D×D fan. It also helps the fact that both series are from the same publisher.
  • Growing the Beard: Not that the series wasn't entertaining beforehand, but the introductions of Kurumi and DEM are what made Date A Live stand on its own.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Get past the silly Excuse Plot and you'll find a story that deals with apocalyptic beings, as well as those looking to use their powers for nefarious ends, so as the series takes a dark turn, expect fans to freak out.
  • I Am Not Shazam: A weird case here; the title of Volume 7 has led some fans to think that the Spirit on the cover is Miku and that something happened to her, when it's actually Tohka's Superpowered Evil Side. Also inverted by other fans who recognise the Spirit, but get the title wrong as a result.
  • Idiot Plot: The first episode of the second season. Fans and anti-fans both disparage the episode due it being ridiculous and boring plot.
  • Iron Woobie: Shido. He puts himself in danger to protect the Spirits, either from their own unstable powers or people who wish to take advantage of them; but that never stops him from enjoying life with the Spirits at his side.
  • Inferred Holocaust: The military forces of Deus.Ex.Machina Industries and the frequent torture and termination of its own officers according to Isaac Westcott's will.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Some fans admit that they're only interested thanks to Tsunako's designs. That, or Kurumi.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Miku and Natsumi. The former is Broken Bird who pretty much lost all hope in humanity before Shido came along, and the latter is extremely self-deprecating, taking on a fake appearance just for shallow praise.
  • Les Yay: Miku aside, there's loads of this between Origami and Mikie in the AST. The two of them have an entire spinoff dedicated to this, until its very own Knight of Cerebus appears and turns it into the darkest work set in the verse to date.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Special mention goes to Sir Isaac Ray Peram Westcott. Developing a gambit to throw Tohka over the edge of the Despair Event Horizon and invoke her inverse form that he's been trying to harness after thinking up several ways to get her to do so, including Cold-Blooded Torture... That should give you an idea that he's probably becoming one of these.
  • Memetic Molester: DEM Industries but mainly Isaac Westcott is seen as one by fans.
  • Memetic Mutation: Mikimoto saying "Mahal kita." (Tagalog for "I love you.") People posting comments on forums talk about it a lot.
  • Moe:
  • Moral Event Horizon: Both Ellen Mathers and Isaac Westcott crossed this by murdering Shido in front of Tohka, leading her to cross the Despair Event Horizon and transform into the Inverse Form they try to harness.
  • Narm: Shido receiving instructions through his ear-intercom can be hard to take seriously when it should be incredibly obvious to the person opposite Shido that he is talking to someone on the other end of the ear-piece. Especially when they are just standing around doing nothing as Shido reacts to the ear-intercom.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: The series is really good at doing this. A single volume/episode can cause the fans to go from hating a girl to loving her. Case in point: Kotori, Miku, both of which started as unlikeable, but Character Development skyrocketed their popularity back to an acceptable level, if not more. It remains to be seen whether Origami will receive the same treatment following The Reveal about her parents death and the Spirit who killed them.
  • Signature Scene: Shido protecting Miku from Inverse Tohka.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Kotori used to be this due to the her really annoying Dominatrix commander mode (and the fact that people were starting to get tired of Shana Clones). Then episodes 9-10 significantly improved her popularity.
    • Ai, Mai and Mii — but especially Mii. Their only purpose so far has been an unfunny Running Gag where they interpret Shido's (and sometimes other people's) actions in the worst way possible, and fans find Mii's constant "gross" (changed to "That's so lame" in the FUNimation dub) — her only line — to be incredibly grating and unfair to Shido.
  • Second Season Downfall: The second anime season usually gets called out for this due to the rushed pacing of the Miku / Dark Tohka arc. The animation wasn't exactly top-notch at this point either.
    • This was partially due to the production being handed over to Production IMS instead of AICPLUS+note . Though it seems the Blu-ray / DVD version of the Second Season may have fixed these issues to some extent by correcting frame errors such as the one linked above and adding about 40 minutes of additional footage that was cut from the TV Broadcast. Whether this fixes the second season's overall pacing remains to be seen.
  • Stoic Woobie: Origami. The girl's parents were killed by a Spirit, yet she dutifully carries on as an AST soldier, silently waiting until she gets the chance to get back at the murderer. Then she finds out that she was the Spirit.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The second OVA turns out to be this. Remember the Kurumi clone that was killed by the original when Kurumi was first introduced? She is briefly Back from the Dead for this episode and decides to go on a date with Shidou. Throughout the episode Kurumi knows that she only has a bit of time of left before the original finds her and kills her, so she makes sure that Shidou, the only person who genuinely reached out to her, won't forget her, to the point that the two are pictured in wedding attire. And so, when that time does come and this Kurumi is gone for good, it really does feel like a loss for Shidou. This clone of Kurumi really did want to live a normal life and be remembered by those she truly loved, only for her to be Killed Off for Real in the end.
    • The movie's final act, as well. To stop the out-of-control Kerubiel, Mayuri must kiss Shido; but doing so will end her life because she is an entity formed from the other Spirits' energy. Despite her own feelings for Shido, she does it anyway to save him and the city. As she and Kerubiel disappear, she professes her love for Shido one last time, and Shido can only scream in anguish.
  • The Untwist: Kotori's eyes have whitened pupils just like all spirits (sans Kurumi) have, so it's as easy as seeing the first episode or light novel to realize she's also a Spirit.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Subverted with Shido, who avoids the pitfalls of a regular harem protagonist by having an interesting backstory and evolving as much as his haremettes.
  • What an Idiot: Origami again. Oh, sure, it's a good idea to attack the commander of a rival organization with a new weapon intended for someone else (and without permission) just because you think she killed your parents (which turned out to be false). Who in her Superpowered Evil Side state doesn't mind beating the crap out of you. People get demoted or discharged for pulling this kind of shit. It took a timely intervention by the managing director of the company that produced said weapon to prevent her discharge, and that was only because she was actually able to use it. And she still got put under house arrest for 2 months.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The ridiculous premise and low-key fanservice of Date A Live make it seem like a good candidate for a Shounen-oriented audience, but then we are reminded that this is a Light Novel published in a Seinen magazine. Suddenly, the appearances of the murderous Kurumi and the decadent Deus Ex Machina Industries are more than appropriate for the setting.
  • The Woobie: The Spirits in general, but Yoshino fits the description best; a Shy Blue-Haired Girl with Power Incontinence who doesn't even want to fight back against the humans who intend to eliminate her regardless of circumstances? Yep.
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