Date A Live anime fans have good reason to rejoice. Not only is Date A Live Season 4 likely being produced, but a second new Date A Live anime project has officially been confirmed to be in production… and it’s focused on Kurumi!
Yes, the Date A Live Fragment: Date A Bullet spin-off series will receive an anime adaptation. The timing of the Date A Bullet anime announcement just happens to be about a month before Date A Live Volume 21 comes out in Japan.
The Date a Bullet anime will have voice actress Asami Sanada returning to voice her character Kurumi Tokisaki. Presuming that production is already underway, it’s possible the Date A Bullet release date could be in the spring, summer, or fall of 2020.
Better yet, series creator Koushi Tachibana teased everyone on his Twitter account by stating that a “new Date A Live project is underway” in addition to the Date A Bullet anime. Since the pictures he included show off both Nia Honjou and Mukuro Hoshimiya it’s very likely that he just indirectly confirmed Date A Live Season 4 (keep in mind the new anime project’s format wasn’t confirmed so it could be a Date A Live movie that covers those two story arcs).
— 橘公司 (@KoshiTachibana) September 23, 2019
On September 17, 2019, the initial announcement was made from the official website for the series. The announcement said the November issue of Monthly Dragon Magazine will include a special feature with the creators of the Date A Live light novel series. The special will also include a discussion with the creators of the spinoff novel series, Date A Live Fragment: Date A Bullet.
More details about the two anime projects were released in Monthly Dragon Magazine. We should also expect to hear more details during Fantasia Bunko Festival 2019 (Fantasia Bunko Daikansha-sai 2019) that’s scheduled for October 20, 2019.
Dragon Magazine November 2019 cover with new “Date A Live” anime announcement pic.twitter.com/YO5H3AfxNY
— moetron | pKjd (@pkjd8I8) September 17, 2019
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 an eight-year anniversary, the series is up to Volume 20 as of March 20, 2019.
The Date A Live Volume 21 release date is scheduled for October 19, 2019. Historically, new light novels tend to publish around every spring and fall (in recent years it’s been March and August).
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.
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.
The author’s notes of Volume 20 says that it is not the final ending. Without getting into spoilers, it seems like Volume 20 is setting up Volume 21 to be the ending of the entire story. If that’s the case, the final two volumes might be best adapted as a concluding Date A Live movie.
Date A Live Season 4 release date: 2020 possible?
As of the last update, neither J.C. Staff or any company related to the production of the anime has officially confirmed the Data A Live Season 4 release date. The production of an anime sequel has been announced, but this anime project has not yet been confirmed to be Date A Live Season 4.
Once the news is officially confirmed, this article will be updated with the relevant information. In the meantime, it’s possible to speculate about when, or if, the Date A Live 4 premiere date will occur in the future.
Assuming that the Date A Bullet anime adaptation is being produced at the same time as the second anime project, it’s possible that both anime could premiere in 2020 at the earliest. However, if the Date A Bullet anime is produced first and then Season 4 it’s likely that the fourth season probably won’t happen until at least 2021 at the very earliest.
Date A Live 4 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!