Date A Live (Japanese: デート・ア・ライブ, Hepburn: Dēto A Raibu) is a Japanese light novel series written by Kōshi Tachibana and illustrated by Tsunako. It has received multiple anime adaptations since 2013, each handled by a different studio, with a fourth anime season currently in production.
The series begins with a strange phenomenon called a "spatial quake" devastating the center of Eurasia, resulting in at least 150 million casualties. For the next 30 years, smaller spatial quakes plague the world on an irregular basis. In the present, Shido Itsuka, a seemingly ordinary high school student comes across a mysterious girl at the ground zero of a spatial quake. He learns from his adoptive sister Kotori that the girl is one of the "Spirits" from different dimensions who are the real cause of the spatial quakes that occur when they manifest themselves in the real world. He also learns that Kotori is the commander of the airship Fraxinus, crewed by the organization Ratatoskr and its parent company Asgard Electronics, and is recruited to make use of his mysterious ability to seal the Spirits' powers thus stopping them from being a threat to mankind. However, there is a catch: to seal a Spirit's power, he must make each Spirit fall in love with him and make her kiss with him. Shido's intelligent classmate, Origami Tobiichi, is a sergeant of the AST (Anti-Spirit Team), a special unit designed to suppress the threat posed by Spirits. As Shido successfully keeps sealing more and more Spirits, he gains allies to help him with his dates with other Spirits. Shido also increases the competition among them for his attention and affection, much to his chagrin.
Date A Live began as a light novel series written by Kōshi Tachibana with illustrations by Tsunako. The first volume was published on March 19, 2011 under Fujimi Shobo's Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Twenty-two volumes have been released in Japan.
A manga adaption of Date A Live with illustrations by Ringo began on April 16 of 2012. Due to Ringo having health problems, the manga was cancelled after 6 chapters. The adaptation ended covering only a part of Shido's first date with Tohka. A new manga adaptation began serialisation in the January 2014 issue of Shōnen Ace, this time with illustrations done by Sekihiko Inui. The third volume of the manga was the last.
The anime adaptation was directed by Keitaro Motonaga and produced by AIC Plus+. The series was streamed in lower quality on Niconico, with each episode available a week before its TV premiere. The first episode was streamed on March 31 and aired on Tokyo MX on April 6, 2013. The final episode was streamed on Niconico on June 16 and aired on Tokyo MX on June 22. The opening theme is titled "Date A Live" (デート・ア・ライブ, Dēto A Raibu) sung by sweet ARMS, a vocal group consisting of Iori Nomizu, Misuzu Togashi, Kaori Sadohara, and Misato. The series makes use of four ending themes: "Hatsukoi Winding Road", by Kayoko Tsumita, Risako Murai and Midori Tsukimiya; "Save The World", "Save My Heart" and "Strawberry Rain" (ストロベリーレイン), all three by Nomizu.
Following the TV broadcast of the final episode of the first season, a second season was announced, which was set to air in April 2014. The opening theme is sung by sweet ARMS titled "Trust in You" and the ending theme is sung by Kaori Sadohara titled "Day to Story". The animation production was held by Production IMS. An unaired episode was bundled with the third volume of the Date A Live Encore short story collection was released on December 9, 2014.
The first and second season have been licensed by Funimation for streaming and home video release in North America and by Madman Entertainment in Australia.
In his Twitter account, Tachibana announced Date A Live would get a third new anime series. Animation production was held by J.C.Staff, with the cast and staff reprising their respective roles from the previous seasons. The series aired from January 11 to March 29, 2019. The opening theme is sung by sweet ARMS titled "I Swear", and the ending theme is sung by Erii Yamazaki titled "Last Promise". The third season ran for 12 episodes. Crunchyroll simulcast the third season, while Funimation produced a simuldub. In Australia and New Zealand, AnimeLab simulcast the third season.
On September 17, 2019, a new anime project was announced. It was later announced to be an anime adaptation of the Date A Live Fragment: Date A Bullet spin-off novels. Tachibana announced via his Twitter account that apart from the spin-off adaptation, the main series would get a new anime as well.
On March 16, 2020, it was announced that the series would get a fourth season.
An animated theatrical film was announced via the official Twitter account of the television series as the airing of the second television season concluded. On the event of "Date A Live II", the staff unveiled that the movie will be titled as Date A Live Movie: Mayuri Judgement and premiered in August 22, 2015, with an original story supervised by the original light novel author, Koushi Tachibana. Nobunaga Shimazaki, the voice actor of Shido Itsuka, introduced a silhouette of the new title character, named Mayuri (万由里, Mayuri). During the events of "Tohka's Birthday" on 10 April, Sora Amamiya was confirmed to be voicing Mayuri.
A video game named Date A Live: Rinne Utopia (デート・ア・ライブ 凜祢ユートピア, Dēto A Raibu Rinne Yūtopia) produced by Compile Heart and Sting Entertainment released on June 27, 2013 for the PlayStation 3. A promotional video was shown at Anime Contents Expo 2013. The game features a new original character named Rinne Sonogami (園神 凜祢, Sonogami Rinne), voiced by Kana Hanazawa. A PlayStation Vita version of the game was released in on July 30, 2015, and features new characters and scenarios.
Another video game, titled Date A Live: Ars Install (或守インストール), was released in June 2014, featuring another new character named Maria Ars (或守 鞠亜, Arusu Maria), voiced by Suzuko Mimori. A new installment for both PlayStation 3 games, named Date A Live Twin Edition: Rio Reincarnation (デート・ア・ライブ Twin Edition 凜緒リンカーネイション, Dēto A Raibu Tsuin Edishon Rio Rinkāneishon) produced by Compile Heart and Sting Entertainment was released on July 30, 2015 for the PlayStation Vita. It is a de facto sequel with new characters and new scenarios. The game features the Yamai Sisters, Miku Izayoi, Rinne Sonogami, Maria Ars, as well as Marina Ars, and a new original character named Rio (凜緒, Rio), voiced by Ayane Sakura. A promotional video was shown at the events of Date A Fes II. An English version of Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation has been released on PS4 and Steam platforms.
A fourth video game produced again by Compile Heart, titled Date A Live: Ren Dystopia (デート・ア・ライブ 蓮ディストピア, Dēto A Raibu: Ren Disutopia), was scheduled to be released on July 18, 2019, in Japan. In addition to the standard addition, which will cost 7,776 yen at retail and yen via download, a 9,936 yen limited edition is also planned. The limited edition includes a Tsunako-designed box, special books (Koushi Tachibana-written short story, etc.), and a drama CD. Due to various reasons, the release date has been pushed back to sometime in 2020.
The first volume of the first anime season placed eighth place amongst Blu-ray sales in Japan during its debut week within the Oricon charts. The PS3 game Date A Live: Rinne Utopia sold 23,340 physical retail copies within the first week of release in Japan. By October 2015, the series as a whole had sold over four million copies.
On June 12, 2015, the Chinese Ministry of Culture listed Date A Live II among 38 anime and manga titles banned in China.