Light Novel Review: Date A Live – Tobiichi Devil [Volume 11]

Forewarning: The content in this volume will reveal what happen five years ago during the fire of Tenguu city. In other words, this is a spoiler warning.


The world has ended, but not for Shidou Itsuka.

Origami Tobiichi has turned into an inverted Spirit, wreaking destruction to Tenguu City. Kurumi, the worst unsealed Spirit, has just sent Shidou back in time five years ago to right before the Spirit Efreet started the Tenguu City fire.

In order to save Origami and the world, Shidou must figure out the events that happened five years ago that caused Origami to fall into her despair-afflicted inverted state and led her to destroy the world in the future.

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Tobiichi Devil is the second volume in the Tobiichi arc and brings back the happier emotions after the unfortunate events in the previous volume. We get to understand the effects time travel has on the world of Date A Live and how the mere thought of using it affected our characters. Most importantly however is the deep

relationship between Shidou and Origami as the latter comes bare with her full feelings.

The volume is split into two parts and is told mostly from Shidou’s perspective. The first part of the novel brings Shidou and Kurumi back together as they attempt to change history. Date A Live establishes its own set rules for the time traveling features of Kurumi’s Spirit [Zafkiel] here, and it is done without too much complication. From Tobiichi Angel, we know Origami’s viewpoint of the events which is mainly the cause of her inversion, but by adding in Shidou’s and Kurumi’s viewpoint of the event, we are filling in on details that happened before the fire started and resulting actions of the younger Origami.

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The second part brings Shidou back to the present, in the new world where he changed history. The volume becomes more lighthearted as Shidou continues his life at school and home taking care of his Spirit friends. However, there’s an essence of mystery from trying to piece together the events that happened in between the time period five years ago and the present. But most importantly, Shidou resumes his Spirit sealing dates with an interesting twist.

While the plot for this story is a bit different from the usual volumes, the volume reverts back to its formula of dating. However, the way the dating portion is handled is completely different from regular heroines because of the culture shock Date A Live presents in the story.

Shidou returns as the main protagonist for this volume and through his actions to avert the world from ending, both the reader and Shidou start to understand Origami’s full history. In the previous volume, he was unable to save Origami from inverting due to lack of knowledge. But through his time traveling, he slowly pieces together the true personality of Origami and declares to save her from her cruel fate. Shidou has been friends with Origami since the beginning of the series. While he can’t reciprocate the same feelings she has for him, he cannot deny at least a strong relationship between each other. So when that connection is cut in the latter half, it causes a noticeable discord within Shidou.

—There is no problem at all.

Yes. It’s okay with this.

The world—-should be like this.

Shidou makes his first contact with <Phantom> since his first encounter five years ago. Despite meeting him/her, it still feels like a large mystery to be solve. Sure, we actually have a face as possible identification and his/her words, but Date A Live doesn’t pursue the matter here.

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Moving on to the new world, Shidou isn’t familiar with this new timeline but he recognizes the large differences between the Origami from the past world and the Origami from this world. So Shidou sets out to figure out the missing details in an very familiar Date A Live fashion; he goes on a date with her. At first, it doesn’t seem like any different from the previous dates from the past girls. However if we factor in the vast change in personality in this new Origami compared to the old Origami, the results are hilariously entertaining.

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Kurumi returns to pair up with Shidou in this volume after being a direct cause of Origami inverting. After some teasers about Kurumi’s time powers, we finally get to witness her Spirit powers to travel back in time. Kurumi is not depicted in any malicious light as she fully admits to her wrongdoings that caused the world to be destroyed. Instead, she discloses her thoughts about changing history and if it was possible for human to change it. Add that with her objective to travel back to kill the first Spirit, and Kurumi continues to be increasingly interesting as Date A Live goes further with the overall plot.

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Origami returns not as a Spirit but a human. But as a result of Shidou changing history, she is a bit different…but adorably so. There are a couple of parts where she leads the narrative during her date with Shidou, either to comedic effect or clear signs of foreshadowing. These scenes slowly build the inner conflict between the previous Origami and the present Origami to create the emotional climax for this volume.

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The cover page for the Tobiichi Devil wins the award for favorite cover in Date A Live in my book. Practically making a complete 180 from the last volume, Tobiichi Angel, the cover design shows off present world Origami in a beautiful bride-like Astral Dress with good combination of black, blue, and white. While the regular illustrations remain consistent, the expressions in the illustrations deserve special mention as they amplify the emotions given off in the scenes (especially long-haired Origami).

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Tobiichi Devil is the climactic conclusion to the Tobiichi arc. This volume brings the plot of Date A Live from the one of the darkest moments in the series back to its happier and uplifting times. Focusing on the relationship between Shidou and Origami, we get to see Shidou travel across time to prevent the world’s destruction, but more importantly, him saving Origami from misery. Both volumes of the Tobiichi Arc are must reads for any fan of Date A Live.

Rating: Highly Recommended – Recommended


Author: Kōshi Tachibana

Illustrator: Tsunako

Fan Translated by the Date A Live Translators

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