English Dub Review: Date A Live “Demon Queen of Descending Darkness”

You’d Bet!

Overview (Spoilers Below!) 

Origami knows that Nightmare’s angel can control time, but she asks if it would be able to send someone to the past. Nightmare admits that her power Yud Bet could do it; Origami explains that she wishes to return to five years ago to save her parents. Nightmare wants to test Yud Bet out on someone before using it herself, so she agrees.

Shido offers to grab food for the Spirits in the hospital. He tries to answer Yoshino’s phone while Yoshino is asleep, and Natsumi believes Shido is trying to do something scandalous.

Origami falls through a bright blue sky five years ago. Air sirens sound as Origami spies the Spirit that killed her parents. She fires on it to no prevail. Phantom speaks to her pleasantly, wondering why Origami is attacking her and speaking of her “wish.” Phantom claims that she didn’t kill Origami’s parents. Origami suddenly realizes that her mom and dad are still dead—and the Spirit that her past self vowed to kill was actually Origami herself.Isaac congratulations Ellen on her victory and discusses Origami’s transformation. Nightmare hopes that Origami will succeed. A dark shadow slides over the moon, and Kotori tells Shido that an inverse Spirit is attacking. Blasts rain down on a building; the inverse Spirit hovers above it. It’s Origami.

The Spirits express their belief in Shido. They work together to protect him from Origami’s power and fly with him to her side—but Ellen attacks them midair. Shido goes to kiss Origami’s lips, but he’s shocked by her withered face and falls to the ground. Kotori appears in Fraxinus to help out, but Origami bombs the ship. Nightmare prevents Shido from leaving the ground, claiming that no one’s voice can reach Origami now. Nightmare shoots Shido.

Shido wakes up in bright daylight. He can’t believe that Tengu City’s buildings are all intact. He finds Tamae, but she doesn’t recognize him. Nightmare’s voice tells him that he’s back five years ago, where he must deal with Origami to avert the calamity in the present. Nightmare doesn’t know why Origami went inverse—that’s up to Shido to find out.

Our Take 

This episode keeps the thrills going from start to finish. There are intense battles, high emotional stakes, and lovely visuals. Yay!

We open on the rooftop conversation between Origami and Nightmare, which is underscored by smooth jazz that gives the scene an appropriately old-fashioned vibe. And honestly, some of my favorite things about this show are the contrasting costume designs—Nightmare’s red and black gothic lolita ensemble and Origami’s big white skirts make the scene feel all the more epic like these girls exist outside of time itself. It’s intriguing that Nightmare is being so generous—despite the immense danger she poses, she doesn’t come across as a bad person here, and she even blushes at Origami. Perhaps there is redemption in store for Kurumi Tokisaki yet.

The time travel plot is intriguing here—it’s satisfying that things come full circle, and Origami actually is the bright light she saw so many years ago. It perfectly underscores the tragedy of Origami’s revenge—in dedicating herself to murdering Spirits, Origami mostly ended up destroying her own life, so it’s fitting that the person she wants so badly to kill is indeed herself. It’s also perfectly fitting that the past opens on Origami dropping from the air, a literal angel falling from grace. The brilliant blue skies are an odd backdrop for a battle, so they make the scene between her and Phantom seem even more ironic. And I love the glitchy way Phantom is animated—she’s so fun and delicately snarky.

The battles here are genuinely exciting, accompanied by Go Sakabe’s perfectly creepy score. It’s lovely to see all the Spirits working together and using their unique talents. But… sigh. The sigh of sighs. I love all the big poofy dresses that the Spirits wear when they transform. So why does the inverse Origami have to be naked? It’s not just sleazy, it’s downright boring costume design.

Additionally, I’m a little confused about the fate of Fraxinus. Kotori makes it sound like she’s hiding in an underground bunker because Goetia destroyed her ship, but then she shows up in it not five minutes later. I’m not sure why Shido never ended up kissing Origami when he had the chance, or how he survived a fall of that height. And while Alexis Tipton is suitably creepy as Kurumi, Michelle Lee is still disappointingly monotone as Origami. I guess it fits the character, but I’m hoping for more emotion in one of the most intense moments of Origami’s life.

It’s not a perfect episode by any means, but fans of cute girls battling—and fighting through emotional turmoil—will not be disappointed.

Score
8.0/10

Bodie Shanis

Bodie is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia. You can often find him in odd costumes, either because he's at an anime convention or performing in a musical. He's currently working on his first novel.

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