For those of you who don't recall what the plot is to Date A Live, because it's been five years since the last season, allow me to refresh your memory. A boy buy the name of Shido with the power to never die gets recruited to go "seal" the power of spirits that cause events known as space quakes, he does this by enlisting the help of an invisible spaceship manned by a crew of dating experts who are more or less about as helpful as a sack of potatoes. Eventually his antics will involve showing kindness or warmth to these sprits, who have only ever known fear and hate, leading to a of spirits all gunning for this dudes D forming around him. However humanity thinks they can still win by force and uses a bunch of scantly clad girls in exosuits to ruin Shido's dates, prolonging the inevitable kiss Shido will have with the spirits. Oh, and there's also some douchebag who wants to use the spirits power for himself, often turning them evil in the process. With that out of the way, let's talk about season 3.
We begin with a brand spanking new spirit by the name of Natsumi, who is by far the most mature appearing of the bunch, however just as Shido is beginning to put the moves on her the cockblocking AST show up and ruin his chances. Things get even worse however as Shido sees "something" he shouldn't have in the ensuing battle, and so Natsumi declares that his life will be over for good as she takes off like a witch on a broom. Turns out this statement was directed at Shido's social life, as Natsumi takes on Shido's appearance and sexually harasses every one of his classmates and teachers. Brilliant.
Thankfully Shido convinces his harem that it wasn't him, which upsets Natsumi who makes another decree, claiming that everyone near and dear to Shido's heart will disappear. Basically she goes into hiding again as someone he knows, and states that if he can't figure out who she is then one person a day will be taken. This part actually had me kind of excited for the possibility that this whole season was just going to be a murder mystery, with Shido playing the luckless detective, attempting to uncover who Natsumi was disguising herself as. Like a game of Guess Who? but without the nitpicking questions.
Sadly this is not the case, as this arc wraps up rather quickly and Natsumi joins Shido's harem. However what came next wasn't exactly bad, but it was, as I felt, too little too late. You see season 2 of Date A Live was, more or less, a waste of time with little story progression. It added some spirits, waifu-bate as it were, and gave us a new bad guy to call a douchebag, but lacked any explaining to the baseline story. This season attempts to fix that, giving us that story we could have used four years ago, but it just doesn't do enough and leaves almost as many questions as it answered.
At least we learn of the entity that started it all, the one who gifts the powers to young girls, and how she ties into Origami Tobiichi's past. It's not a bad twist in terms of writing, and finally gives those Origami naysayers something to chew on. There's even an Avenger's: End Game level of time line breaking that happens, though as cool as this plot device was, it ended up making me question if Date A Live understands the butterfly effect at all. And because this is the kind of show it is, we can't just end on a plot point, no, we need ecchi filler! Albeit amusing filler, covering the fact that Shido is really pent up thanks to the girls around him, and that this leads him to become a super powerful playboy who goes as far to kiss the second in command of the enemy. I guess ultra blue balls turns you into Lex Luthor.
Well I guess this season could have been worse, it was certainly better than the second season, but it took a bloody long time to get here. What they could have done was reduce the messing around they did with Natsumi's introduction, because the first season shows us you only really need a single episode to bag a spirit. Sure you might need to go back to give them some head pats and hugs later on, but Shido was adding spirits to his harem like wildfire in the past so what's the big deal? Oh, but I do gotta give bonus points for young Kurumi. That was nice.
Genres: Harem, Romantic Comedy, Science Fiction
Animation: Likely due to the backlash season 2 received for the significant drop in quality, due in part to the studio changing from AIC Plus+ to Production IMS, we get yet another change, this time to studio J.C. Staff. These are the guys also behind works like Shokugeki no Soma, Witchcraft Works, and the controversial One Punch Man II. I think the quality did increase, especially with the big battles, but it still doesn't hold a candle to season 1.
Voice Acting: Ehh, I got nothing. Looks like everyone has continued to reprise their roles, oh, except Shido. Who, get this, has bee replaced by an actual male VA! Holy shit Japan! Have you been listening to me? Because I could tell, thinking back on it now, that the feelings give life by the actor's voice weren't superficial. As an added bonus, the actor's name is pretty cool, Nobunaga Shimazaki.
Favorite Character: Nope. Kurumi was only around long enough to cocktease her fans, and everyone else is more or less fluff in my eyes. Though many of the girls did make some strides, becoming way more aggressive in their wooing attempts with Shido. Good on you girls, finally taking some initiative.
Date A Live III gets a 7.0 out of 10