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Date A Live Season 4 release date: Date A Live IV anime sequel delayed to 2022 [Trailer]

Date A Live key visual
Both Date A Live Season 4 and a Date A Bullet anime adaptation were confirmed to be in production. Pic credit: Tsunako

The Date A Live Season 4 release date has been delayed to 2022.

The Date A Live IV anime was originally scheduled for October 2021, the Fall 2021 anime season.

The announcement was made via a Date A Live Season 4 trailer in September 2021. The video only states that the delay was due to “various reasons”.

Director Jun Nakagawa (Date A Bullet) is helming the project at Japanese animation studio Geek Toys, which has previously worked on the 2020 Plunderer anime, the 2018 RErideD, and the 2019 Hensuki: Are you willing to fall in love with a pervert, as long as she’s a cutie?

Writer Fumihiko Shimo is handling series composition. Artist Naoto Nakamura is the character designer. Composer Gou Sakabe is creating the music.

Not only is Date A Live Season 4 confirmed with the title Date A Live IV, but a second new Date A Live anime project has already been released by the same team… and it’s focused on Kurumi!

Yes, the Date A Live Fragment: Date A Bullet spin-off series already received an anime adaptation. The timing of the Date A Bullet anime announcement just happened to be about a month before Date A Live Volume 21 came out in Japan.

(See below for more details on the Date A Bullet movie anime.)

The Date A Live anime TV series has also announced that there are various projects planned to commemorate its 10th Anniversary, which is on March 19, 2021.

Date a Live Season 4
The 2021 Date a Live Season 4 anime key visual. Pic credit: Studio Geek Toys

The Date A Live Season 4 anime was teased early on by series creator Koushi Tachibana. On his Twitter account, he stated that a “new Date A Live project is underway” in addition to the Date A Bullet anime.

Since the pictures he included showed off both Nia Honjou and Mukuro Hoshimiya it was pretty obvious he was referencing Date A Live Season 4. However, some fans had hoped the new anime project’s format could be a Date A Live movie that covers those two story arcs, but alas, it’s not to be… yet.

Date A Live Season 4 has anime fans both welcoming and dreading the prospect of the future DAL sequel. After all, with the way the third season ended, how bad could the fourth season be?

The anime series has suffered from a tumultuous production. Way back in 2013, animation studio AIC Plus+ produced both the 12-episode first season and a Date A Live OVA episode. In 2014, the anime switched hands and studio Production IMS created both the second season and the 2015 Date A Live movie.

Production IMS eventually declared bankruptcy so once again the anime series was hot potato-tossed to J.C. Staff. However, many of the key staff members from the earlier projects returned for producing the third season, including director Keitaro Motonagam, producer Chiaki Kurakane, character designer (formerly key animator) Koji Watanabe, and series composition writer Hideki Shirane.

And now the anime has switched hands once again, but at least this time it’s the same main staff and studio that created the Date a Bullet movie.

The third season also had all of the main voice cast return.

  • Nobunaga Shimazaki as Shido Itsuka
  • Marina Inoue as Tohka Yatogami
  • Misuzu Togashi as Origami Tobiichi
  • Ayana Taketatsu as Kotori Itsuka
  • Iori Nomizu as Yoshino
  • Asami Sanada as Kurumi Tokisaki
  • Maaya Uchida as Kaguya Yamai
  • Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Yuzuru Yamai
  • Minori Chihara as Miku Izayoi

Date A Live Season 4 will need new cast members for new characters Artemisia Bell Ashcroft, Nia Honjou, and Mukuro Hoshimiya.

In the past, FUNimation has provided the English dubbing so it’s likely the English voice cast will return for the Date A Live Season 4 dub. Crunchyroll is streaming previous seasons and will likely stream the fourth season.

What was the reason for the long five-year wait between seasons?

There’s been no official explanation, although in 2014 the anime had already adapted about two-thirds of the available source material. But what is truly puzzling is what happened to DAL Season 3 Episode 12 since it basically butchered the source material.

  • Updated September 11, 2021: Date A Live Season 4 delayed!
  • Updated March 19, 2021: Added Date a Live Season 4 trailer.
  • Updated March 7, 2021: Date a Live Season 4 release date confirmed for Fall 2021.
  • Updated February 1, 2021: Added news leaker update.
  • Updated October 11, 2020: Added Date A Live Season 4 release date rumor.
  • Updated July 13, 2020: Date A Bullet release date confirmed!
  • Updated March 20, 2020: New Date A Bullet anime key visual and info.
  • Updated March 16, 2020: Date A Live Season 4 confirmed.
  • Updated October 4, 2019: Added Date A Bullet promotional video.
  • Updated September 23, 2019: Date A Bullet anime confirmed. Second Date A Live anime project confirmed.
  • Updated September 17, 2019: New Date A Live anime confirmed! Added Volume 21 release date.

This article provides everything that is known about Date A Live Season 4 (Date A Live 4) and all related news. As such, this article will be updated over time with news, rumors, and analysis. Meanwhile, let’s delve down into what is known for certain.

Date A Live Season 4 release date predictions

As of the last update, neither J.C. Staff or any company related to the production of the anime has officially confirmed the exact Data A Live Season 4 release date. The production of Date A Live IV has been announced, and it’s been confirmed the fourth season is coming out in 2022.

Once the news is officially confirmed, this article will be updated with the relevant information.

It seems that the Date A Bullet anime was produced first by the same staff, which meant Date A Live Season 4 couldn’t happen until at least 2021 at the very earliest.

Anime news leakers were previously claiming that the anime would come out earlier in 2021. On October 11, 2020, anime news leaker Spytrue claimed, “Date A Live IV TV anime for Spring 2021.”

Obviously, if that was the plan then the fourth season was delayed once, and then delayed a second time. Considering the timing of the delays the most likely culprit is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted Japan with multiple waves.

Date A Light light novel series/manga compared to the anime

The story for Date A Live Season 4 will be based on the light novel book series by author Koushi Tachibana and illustrator Tsunako. Celebrating the end of the light novels, the series finished with Volume 22 on March 19, 2020.

Started in 2012, the Date A Live manga adaptation suffered an early death. Mangaka Kakashi Oniyazu released up through Volume 4 but the manga series was canceled due to the mangaka suffering from health problems.

There’s been no sign of another manga artist picking up the story from where it left off. Needless to say, that means the manga adaptation is far behind the story of the anime.

The biggest problem for anime fans wanting to read ahead in the story is that an official English translation of the Date A Live light novel series has never been licensed by any publisher.

English-only readers can’t even turn to any fan-made translation projects since book publisher Kadokawa served them DMCA takedown notices years ago.

The last fan project stopped in 2015 with only part of Volume 13 translated. The download page for the main project is now a dead link, but other sites still host all 13 books.

Perhaps the announcement of two new Date A Live anime projects will result in a North American publisher picking up the book license?

Unfortunately, the unofficial English translation is only slightly ahead of the anime adaptation. The first season adapted the first four novels, the second season adapted Volumes 5 through 7, and then J.C. Staff hit the gas by adapting five books (Volumes 8 through 12) with the third season.

The reason that’s a problem is due to the third season essentially rushing through Volume 12: Itsuka Disaster.

The first 11 episodes adapted the story arcs for Natsumi and Origami that were two books apiece. But then for Episode 12, J.C. Staff made the baffling decision to summarize the entire “sealed spiritual power within Shido running rampant” story arc in one episode, which made it feel more like an extra OVA episode rather than a proper ending to a full season.

Even characters like Mana Takamiya were struck from the anime’s story entirely even though she appeared in Volumes 8 and 12. More importantly, the introduction of Artemisia Bell Ashcroft was skipped and she appears in Volumes 12 through 17, replacing Mana as DEM’s Adeptus 2 in the new timeline.

Artemisia plays an important role in relation to another major character whose introduction in Volume 12 was skipped by the anime. But that new character is directly relevant to the story of Date A Live Season 4, so if you want to know read the spoilers section below.

Light novel fans are used to anime versions condensing the story, but this was the first time the Date A Live anime reduced an entire book down to one episode. It almost feels as if the third season was arbitrarily forced into ending with a 12-episode format.

A better way to have handled the story would have been to extend the Origami story arc, added an Episode 13, or simply ended with Episode 11.

With any luck, Date A Live Season 4 will take a hint from the first episode of High School DxD Hero (see our article on High School DxD Season 5), and retcon Episode 12 to fix all the gaping problems. Even if that doesn’t happen, English-only fans can still find Volume 12 online and read everything that was skipped.

The good news is that the light novels currently provide plenty of source material for Date A Live Season 4. Better yet, the story from the light novels is set up in such a fashion that only Volumes 13 through 15 (and perhaps some skipped parts from Volume 12) will be adapted.

Volumes 16 through 19 (which have a large focus on the popular Kurumi character) will likely be reserved for Dave A Live Season 5 since these books’ story arcs are interconnected and conclude with a huge climax.

So, does that mean Date A Live Season 6 will adapt the final ending from Volume 22? Without getting into spoilers, Volume 20 began setting up conditions for the entire story. The final three volumes might be best adapted as a concluding Date A Live movie (preferably two).

Date A Bullet Anime Key Visual Movie Theaters
The Date A Bullet anime key visual that was released in March 2020. Pic credit: Studio GEEKTOYS

Date A Bullet release date: Anime set to premiere in movie theaters

The Date A Live Fragment: Date A Bullet anime will be released in Japanese theaters as part of theatrical event screenings. The story will be released as a two-part Date A Bullet movie.

The Date A Bullet release date is scheduled for fall 2020. For more details, please see our related story.

Date A Live 4 anime spoilers

As previously mentioned, the beginning of Date A Live 4 will need to return to Volume 12. Even if the fourth season doesn’t outright retcon the ending of the last season, a return is necessary to pick up on some much-needed details, especially the introduction of certain main characters and villains.

Otherwise, Date A Live Season 4 will return to the formula of introducing new Spirits and have Shido go on a date with them to resolve their personal problems. The ninth Spirit is named Nia Honjou, but she happens to be called the Second Spirit because Nia happened to appear on the Earth after the First Spirit.

Nia’s Angel or special ability is a book named Rasiel that gives her only factual (not subjective) information on anything in the world. Everything written in Rasiel becomes reality, although Nia prefers to draw manga art and not simply describe future desired events with text.

Because of this omniscient ability, Nia also has information about the First Spirit. Using Rasiel, Nia is able to discover the truth of her own origins. Nia also becomes disheartened because she’s able to know everything about anyone she meets, including their inner motivations and malice.

Having lost faith in humanity, Nia falls in love with the 2D world of manga and video games. She reintegrates into society by becoming a manga artist but she also sequesters herself, hiding behind a mask and preferring to pretend people are just NPCs in a game.

DEM eventually realized this successful manga artist was actually a Spirit and Ellen Mira Mathers managed to capture her alive. Fans of her manga knew that she disappeared but mistakenly believed an argument between Nia and her editor caused the disappearance.

Fast forward to the present in Volume 12 and Nia is being held in a DEM facility in the Pacific ocean called Neryl Island. Known only as Material A, Nia is being guarded by the new Adeptus 2 aka Artemisia Bell Ashcroft as she is being relocated on a DEM transport.

Kurumi attempts to rescue the captive Material A, but Artemisia is capable of decimating most of Kurumi’s clones in mere seconds. Regardless, the aircraft is shot down, but when Kurumi inspects the wreckage no one is found.

Shortly after Christmas, a starving Nia is found by Shido after she collapsed on the side of the road. The problem with dating Nia is that she’s a huge otaku and can only fall in love in the 2D world. Shido must figure out how to make Nia fall in love with him using stereotypical otaku antics.

If that’s not enough problems for Shido, DEM is able to trigger Nia to invert and unleash her Demon King Beelzebub. Worse, Artemisia and DEM director Sir Isaac Ray Pelham Westcott are ready to pounce!

The events from Volume 14 and 15 are out of this world; literally. It turns out a Spirit named Mukuro Hoshimiya is floating around in space. The tenth Spirit is discovered when a meteorite comes crashing down to Earth.

DEM had sent spacecraft to retrieve Mukuro, but she easily defeats the war machines since her Angel Michael can seal away functions of a target, including machinery, memories, and emotions. Mukuro can also create wormholes to teleport… and to drop meteorites down on the Earth in retaliation for the attack.

Shido attempts to communicate with Mukuro long-distance, but she strongly rejects him. Mukuro believes he is a hypocrite because he seals the Spirits, thus making them weaker and vulnerable to capture by DEM.

Things get even spacier when Westcott launches a surprise attack on the Ratatoskr and uses an ability stolen from Nia to transport Shido and the Spirit girls into a fantasy world based on fairy tales. Everyone must fight back using new fantasy forms.

The battles eventually shift to space by using the Sprit-powered Fraxinus EX. While Shido is eventually able to restore Mukuro’s emotions, the problem is that she’s exceptionally obsessive and clingy about her new love.

In fact, Mukuro desires that Shido swear to never see the other girls again and even seals away all the other Spirits’ memories of Shido! It doesn’t take too long before emotions erupt and some of the girls begin to invert into their dark forms.

Unfortunately, anime fans will need to wait until the Date A Live Season 4 release date to watch how Shido resolves these conflicts. Hopefully, fans won’t have to wait too long for the story arcs of Nia and Mukuro. Stay tuned!

7 thoughts on “Date A Live Season 4 release date: Date A Live IV anime sequel delayed to 2022 [Trailer]”

  1. Information is a bit false, as when i am writing this, 21 out of 22 volumes of Date a Live and 5 volumes of Date a Bullet are fan-translated to english.

    Reply

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