Light Novel Review: Date A Live – Yamai Tempest [Volume 5]

Shidou’s class is going on a class field trip to the island of Arubi, featuring sunny skies, white sandy beaches and one blue sea. Unfortunately, everything is all but peaceful for Shidou Itsuka. Things get hectic as he runs into the Spirit <Berserk> at the trip but as it turns out, this particular Spirit is actually two twin sisters! With 25 wins, 25 losses, and 49 draws, this last competition will decide who will become the true Yamai Spirit. Staring at the human who has appeared before them, the two Spirits think of a new contest to end their feud once and for all.

To see which Spirit can make Shidou fall in love with.

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If you thought Kurumi was the most aggressive spirit in terms of sexual intimacy, the Yamai twins have got her beat by practically throwing themselves at our main character. Pair that up with all the tropes in a “beach episode” and we have a volume full of humor and jokes. Unfortunately, these series of events cause the balance between funniness and seriousness to shift largely in the former direction.

Shidou and the gang were originally going to Okinawa for their class trip but a change in the system caused the destination to be switched to Arubi Island. The class doesn’t really mind the change, but a certain head commander did background checks and found out that the organization responsible for the switch was owned by Deus Ex Machina Industries (DEM Industries), the company responsible for creating the Mech suits for the AST. This is pretty much a good template example for the events that happen on the island. Aside from some sneaky stuff happening behind the scenes (in more ways than one), the events are centered around Shidou’s direct conquest of the two Yamai sisters, Kaguya and Yuzuru.

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Focusing on the mischief that happens on the island, Shidou is the victim to Kaguya’s and Yuzuru’s seduction battle. These can range from standard light novel beach situations, like switching the man and woman signs in the bath, applying sunscreen to their naked bodies, and attempting to sleep with him. It really depends on the reader if the comedy is hit or miss for them but actually I find myself enjoying how the side characters influence the two twins in their contest. A good example is when Yuzuru asks her group how to attract the attention of a male and Origami interjects by calling their methods “naive” before offering her dating advice.

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While these playful occurrences are nice and all, there becomes a moment where some parts appear to be taken seriously. Date A Live unfortunately takes this time to interject some more jokes into the situation. Deus Ex Machina finally takes a step on the game board, having the head leader giving her prized queen the most hostile objective in Date A Live. But so far every time she attempts to make a move, her actions are interrupted due to the tomfoolery of background characters. Our threat doesn’t really become any risk to our characters and when they do, it’s quite a dulled feeling.

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This women falls in a hole in the ground

The two heroines of this volume are the two Yamai Sisters: Kaguya and Yuzuru. These twins have very different personalities. Kaguya is a very outgoing but over-dramatic individual meanwhile Yuzuru herself is more listless and more machinelike in her responses. If I had to compare them, Kaguya would be a more eccentric Tohka, and Yuzuru would be a snarkier Origami. The both of them together are pretty much arguing siblings, and their development is about their relationship as a whole. It can be predicted how what the end result be will, amplified by the threat of mass destruction.

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For the illustrations for this volume, they remain consistent in form and character design, but I can’t help but notice the lack in detail in the plain looking illustrations. However, it may be that most of the characters are half-naked in the pictures. A noteworthy picture is the final illustration displaying the Yamai twin’s attack.

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Yamai Tempest is a change in atmosphere as well as content. Taking a less serious approach, this volume is primarily made of up of the rivalry between the two sisters and the chaos that happens as a result. I wouldn’t say this isn’t a bad edition of Date A Live, but rather a more lighter novel than the last two.

Rating: Average* – Recommended**

* – If you were more interested in the heavier portions like in the last two volumes, Yamai Tempest doesn’t get very deeper in that area of Date A Live

** – On the other hand, if you’re a fan of the light novel humor and Spirit antics that Date A Live presents, you won’t be disappointed by this volume.


Author: Kōshi Tachibana

Illustrator: Tsunako

Fan Translated by the Date A Live Translators

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