On the day of the Tanabata festival, Shidou Itsuka happens to meet the eerie Kurumi Tokisaki, who proceeds to ask him out on a date. Although nervous, Shidou accepts the offer. The two spend their time visiting to a planetarium, buying food at the festival, and trying out a mock wedding ceremony. Meanwhile, Shirou's friends—Tooka Yatogami, Yoshino, and Kotori Itsuka—are looking for him, while also enjoying the festival themselves.
As Shidou spends the day with Kurumi, he begins to notice an unexpected softer side of her. He knows that Kurumi is infamously called the "Worst Spirit," but the girl standing before him is a gentle soul. However, as the day draws to a close, Shirou finally begins to understand the truth behind it all.
The televised anime series ‘Date A Live II’ spins out a spirited OVA (original video animation), ‘Date A Live II: Kurumi Star Festival’. Revisiting Shido Itsuka and his extraordinary dating skills, the narrative arches to an elaborate plot that slyly fittingly fuses humor, high-school romance, and supernatural events. As we transition from the principal series, the intensity of impassioned relationships and extraterrestrial confrontations dwindles to give rise to a delightful school festival setting laced with heartwarming rom-com elements.
Kurumi Tokisaki, the antagonist from the parent series, stars at the center of this OVA. Yet, this time around, she is not hell-bent on disrupting world peace. Instead, she is keen on scoring a date with Shido, the main protagonist, during the bustling school festival. While the premise might seem straightforward, ace writer Hideki Shirane layers it with amusing twists and turns, keeping us captivated.
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of ‘Date A Live II: Kurumi Star Festival’!
The feature that catches your attention at first glance is the uncharacteristic portrayal of Kurumi. From being a feared Spirit touted to bring mayhem, she transmutes into a stereotypically shy high school girl, blushing and stumbling in her attempts to woo Shido. Yet, this humourously relatable transformation doesn’t strip her of her charm and enigma. If anything, it adds depth and versatility to her character, making you root for her quest for love.
The anime does a commendable job in not veering off into cliched romantization. Instead, it conjures a naturalistic atmosphere wherein relationships gently bloom amidst the school festival’s hustle and bustle. And all while it artfully dodges big reveals and dramatic plot advancements, taking care not to spill any vital elements from the forthcoming season.
Fans of the original series might worry that the star festival episode would lack the electrifying action sequences. But let me reassure you – this sidestep into “slice-of-life” terrain is just as engaging, albeit in a different, lighter vibe.
On the technical front, the artwork remains consistent with the series, and the vibrant color palette aptly captures the festive milieu. The sound design proves effective in harmonizing with the mood of each scene, making sure that the overall experience of the viewer is both engaging and immersive.
The character designs have been faithfully preserved, appealing to die-hard fans and newbies alike. The voice-acting remains top-notch, and it’s clear the voice actors took care to maintain the personality of the characters from the series, despite the change of tone.
Overall, ‘Date A Live II: Kurumi Star Festival’ is the ideal detour irrespective of whether you are a hard-core fan of the franchise or just looking for an amusingly light-hearted anime experience. The characters’ charm, the storyline’s simplicity, and the narrative’s ability to hook you right till the end, make it worth your time.
If you’re pondering over whether to rent, buy or stream ‘Date A Live II: Kurumi Star Festival’, don’t waver. It’s a safe bet for a purchase especially considering its re-watch value, or a guaranteed satisfying stream. If you are a follower of the series, I don’t need to tell you twice, this OVA is an essential addition to your collection!
Final Score: 8.5/10
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