An off-kilter show about a lucky guy kissing and saving Spirits. Sounds tame, right? Think again. It holds nothing back as the story goes on, especially as it takes advantage at the very character-driven plot.
- The very first scene of Date A Live was extremely dark and frightening for an anime has a reputation for being a very funny anime franchise. Anyone who first watched the first scene of the anime wondered if the franchise was actually a harem comedy due to this bizarre introduction. After all, the first scene of the anime has entire cities being eradicated and millions of people being killed in a second. Well... Koushi Tachibana gave all views an optimal introduction.
- To elaborate, the very concept of Spacequakes can send shivers down one's spine. Imagine a nuclear-blast level of destruction suddenly occuring out of freakin' nowhere, and annihilates you alongside everything around you. Luckily they can be detected In-Universe...
- What the Spirits undergoes through. Best described by Tohka, who literally has no idea why everyone she has ever met wants her dead. Even more so when you realize that most Spirits are just young girls at heart, and they are all hunted just for existing.
- Shido's first death, especially from Tohka's perspective. Up until this point, you have enjoyed yourself alongside a boy who not only does not attack you, but tolerates you and wants you to be around and safe. And suddenly he gets a large hole in the chest, due to protecting you from a sniper shot...
- Her popularity aside, there are very good reasons why Kurumi is codenamed Nightmare. Up to that point, Spirit is essentially invincible to anything humans can ever throw at them, with absolutely unstoppable power when they truly cuts loose. And then Kurumi is introduced, a Spirit who actively, regularly, and brutally murders people for both necessity and enjoyment. Everything about her in her arc becomes terrifying when you put yourself in the shoes of other characters.
Kurumi: Everyone unfortunately exists to be my food.
- Let's see... Shido watches a video in which Kurumi murdered a group of would-be rapists in a dark alley (pictured above). Then he gets a nice treatment as he watches AST and Mana (his Long-Lost Relative) decapitated Kurumi, onscreen. And then Kurumi comes back the very next day, like nothing happened. Even Origami is disturbed.
- Then at the end of her arc, Kurumi reveals her true powers: Time Master. She has not been coming back from the dead, she has been using temporal clones. And all her power comes at the price of ridiculous mana consumption, which forces her to kill people to absorb and restore her life. The worst part? She claims to enjoy this.
- Fridge Horror: Kurumi's eighth bullet. On first view, it is a gamebreaking ability that allows her to create numerous copies of herself with her gathered lifespan, each has weakened ability but with full combat experience of the original, and the memories of each clone return to the original even upon death or expiration, until one realize the memories including each clone's own demise. For each clone's death, the original Kurumi will gain a piece of the memory of her own death sequence. The worst part? Not only Kurumi claims she enjoys it, her clones commit suicide by cop and often die en mass during fights.
- Kurumis shadow manipulation means that she she can pop out of ANYWHERE. At any moment, she or her clones could be spying on someone, ready to suck out their lifespan.
- The first appearance of Phantom on security cameras during the Great Fire five years before the series starts. When Kyuohei reproduced the local security tapes where Kotori was standing and looking at "something" in front of her that seemed to "TV failures". Shido somehow knew that "thing" was a "person", and soon after he inexplicably passed out.
- During the Great Fire again. Phantom turned Kotori into a Spirit, and because of that, Kotori understandably lost control of her new unknown powers and caused a massive fire that caused terror and panic throughout Tenguu City. During the fire, a reporter even mentioned that the event looked like the hell on earth.
- Try to imagine your parents being vaporized right before your eyes. Horrible, isn't it? That's what Origami had to go through during the Great Fire above as well.
- Inversion is introduced to the story with Tohka, who crossed the Despair Event Horizon from being Forced to Watch as Ellen almost kills Shido. We're treated to a haunting remix of the Spirit theme as Tohka slips into another personality who not only doesn't recognize Shido, but actively tries to kill him herself, going as far as gouging out a good chunk of the city with her Sword Beam just to get rid of him. The stark contrast between the cheerful girl we've come to know and love and her Inverse form is jarring to both the characters and the audience.
- Holding up your hand, realizing that it's not there because it got cut by a laser blade. Thank you for that, Westcott and Ellen.
- When Westcott mutilates the arms of directors of DEM after trying to dismiss him from the post of director. The scene was so horrible and gore that the author described it as a "painting of the hell of Pandemonium" after pints of blood covered the conference room where they were at the time.
- Origami goes through very unpleasant events in Volume 10. She refuses to tolerate Spirits any longer, and joins Westcott in order to gain the necessary equipment to combat against sealed Spirits. She is so close to killing them that it's not even funny, but just as she thinks she can win, she was handily defeated by an unsealed Tohka, but not before her equipment damages her body so much that she literally cries Tears of Blood.
Kurumi: I don't know how hell looks like... but it certainly cannot be much worse than this.
- And that is just the beginning for Origami's journey to suffer through, and become a nightmare fuel herself. Phantom passes by the dying Origami and turns her into a Spirit. With Metatron giving her powers over light, she is now powerful enough to match Tohka. Heck, when Tohka and the other Spirits see her at this state, they are terrified. Origami herself is utterly disgusted at what she has become, and keeps her burning hatred for Spirits by vowing to kill all Spirits in existence, ending with herself. Their battle afterwards are one of the most brutal ones in the story.
- It gets worse for her. After her battle is interrupted by Shido, Origami retreats to seek Kurumi, wishing to be sent back five years ago to try and kill Phantom, whom she believes to be responsible for her parents' deaths. After Kurumi grants the request (using Origami's Spirit mana), Origami begins her crusade in the past. She then successfully finds Phantom and manages to drive it away with her newfound strength. Her joy about it so great, that she is reduced to tears from the sheer happiness at the thought of saving her parents. However, a few moments later, after seeing her younger self, she then realizes that it was one of her own stray attacks that killed her parents. Cue Sanity Slippage and Skyward Scream, and she Inversed.
- And finally, as Kurumi's time travel bullet's effect ends, Inverse Origami returns to the present. Origami then shows us just how nightmarish Inverse Spirits can be, by unleashing her Demon King Satan to utterly demolish everything in Tenguu City with rains upon rains of dark light. With the help of the other Spirits, Shido manages to approach her, but her condition is so bad that Shido even mistakes her for a corpse, attacking everything in sight without even being conscious. After swatting Shido away, Origami then shoots down the Fraxinus, presumably killing everyone in it. Even Kurumi finds this irreversible, and decides to send Shido to the past to try and fix the situation. Kurumi puts it best in Volume 11:
- One of the first scenes of Date A Strike shows Tohka Yatogami as a Spirit kiler without heart or soul. In the first few scenes of the spin-off, you can see Tohka destroying entire cities, killing thousands of people while she is sitting on hundreds of human skulls with a Slasher Smile. Of course, this is just a vision Mikie of how she sees the Spirits, but it is nonetheless something scary as hell for an innocent character like Tohka. Then again...
- In Volume 14, Mukuro Hoshimiya casually mentions that she could easily and instantaneously stop the earth's rotation. This is what would happen if the earth's rotation was stopped in an instant.
- In Volume 15, Shido wakes up to find out that nobody remembers him due to Mukuro's powers. It ranges from significant, from the Spirits, to even everyday people like his classmates.
- In Volume 16, Ellen lives up to her threat as we see what happens when DEM takes things seriously. Shido would have been ambushed and killed numerous times while in his daily life if it weren't for Kurumi using her powers.
- In Volume 17, it is revealed that Mio was the first Spirit ever to be asked on a date by Shido's previous incarnation. Then he was chased down and killed by Westcott during the date.
- As if that wasn't enough, it also make her realize how fleeting Shin's lifespan was, giving Mio a disturbing resolve to restore him at all costs.
- In Volume 18, we learn exactly how powerful Mio is, when she personally kills each and every single one of the spirits effortlessly. When Kurumi said she could never kill the First Spirit, she is not kidding.
- In Volume 19, Westcott becoming the Second Spirit of Origin.