Light Novel Review: Date A Live – Nia Creation [Volume 13]

Shidou has just recovered from his illness and goes out to buy dinner for Kotori and his Spirit friends. On his way back, he runs into an unconscious girl on the street. Upon Shidou talking with the girl, she reveals herself to be Nia Houjou, the author behind the infamous [SILVER BULLET] shōnen manga…as well as a Spirit.

Shidou goes on a date with her in the city of Akihabara, but at the end of this date, he is unable to increase her affection level.

Unsurprised, Nia confesses it is her fault for..never falling in love for anything but 2D.

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Date A Live returns to its old method of sealing Spirits, but this time with a heroine different from the previous ones so far. Nia Creation presents this heroine more with more relatable human problems rather than giving her more Spirit oriented issues. Instead, her Spirit powers are used to amplify her own personal troubles, adding the usual Date A Live fantasy elements to the situation.

Shidou recovers from his illness from the Spirit leakage and life returns to normal. Upon a “chance” encounter, he meets an unconscious girl on the street. Being the caretaker he is, Shidou takes her back to her house and feeds her willingly. He quickly finds out that this individual, Nia Houjou, is a famous mangaka (Japanese comic artist) as well as a Spirit. Nia invites-or rather forces- Shidou to go a date with her to Akihabara to help her go shopping. Naturally this would be ideal for Shidou; help Nia with her shopping and raise her affection level at the same time. Unfortunately, there is a small problem. Nia claims to only love anime and manga, or anything practically 2D.

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I’m glad that Date A Live took this plotline for this heroine. I expected there to be a hikikomori/otaku NEET (reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life) plotline, based on previous experiences. Not that it would probably be bad, it’s just that I’ve seen situations like that before.

The story leads with the encounter between the two characters following by the failed methods of trying to raise her affection. After that, the main events kick into play by having the Date A Live team compete with Nia in a manga selling contest to see which manga is more worthy for customers to read. It’s a revisitation of the contest battle from the Miku arc however instead of a small personal development from Shidou, we get cameos featuring the minor characters of the Date A Live franchise. Sure, it may appear uneventful, but there are some subtle points here and there.

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What’s even more interesting about for this volume is that Nia herself recognizes her own issues. The thing is, her situation is just very hard to fix by herself when the main cause has become a part of her now. Having Nia present her thoughts about her problem in addition to Shidou’s team allows for the reader to have a larger viewpoint to understand the situation even before Shidou figures it out.

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It’s the second time Date A Live uses Spirit powers as something troubling the heroine (the first being Natsumi and her self esteem issues) and Date A Live does a very good job conveying these concepts. It’s a very innovative use for Nia’s development, using her Spirit powers of an omniscient angel.

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I’ll refer to the comedy portion of this volume in two parts. In the beginning, we have the comedy duo between Shidou and Nia. The reason why I say comedy duo is because the dynamic between the two really does feel like that (Nia actually references the boke and tsukkomi act.) I found these dialogue portions enjoyable to read. A couple of examples is when Shidou was carrying Nia on her back, with Nia commenting on her “gratitude” to Shidou, and another is Shidou’s outburst when Nia was retelling his experiences when he drew manga.

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Date A Live still has its standard humorous bits featuring the large cast of Spirits. Nothing has really changed in the quality of jokes, but they are more oriented towards the occasion being about the manga and the relationships with each other.

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Nia has identified her problem, but it’s up to Shidou and the others to fix her problem. Usually it’s only Shidou that takes on the heroine, with some backup and support from the crew of Ratatoskr. But for the second time (Natsumi Change being the first one), the series has the Spirits directly helping Shidou out. Each heroine contributes their own efforts, from helping brainstorm ideas to attract Nia to drawing an entire manga. Their participation shows off their enthusiasm to help other Spirits in trouble, and outside the story, they promote the themes of the Date A Live series.

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However, our most valuable player in this volume goes to Natsumi for her dedication in her parts, reflecting both the development of her character as well as being the key factor in Nia’s turning point.

“………..Perhaps, I will be the only one who is useless during the event.

This is the only thing I can do………..Is only this far…………That’s why, let me do this. For me to become someone this necessary is something unthinkable.

Because I want to be helpful too for everyone…………”

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Meanwhile, Nia Creation brings us up-to-date with Kurumi and her plans. Luckily, she reveals more information than the previous volume by mentioning some key figures we already know and connecting them together with the new information she receives. By linking the events together, Nia Creation creates some ominous foreshadowing with possible plot complications in the future.

The illustrations remain the same in quality, usually focused on the characters. This volume and the previous volume have incorporated a more brighter color palette with the characters and overall they appear much happier.

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Nia Creation is a standout volume in the Date A Live series for fully developing a new character into the series, using its old formula but having previous established characters and their motivations as support. As a main heroine with more humanly problems than the previous ones, the situation makes her more relatable by not having a problem created from the established Date A Live fantasy elements. Even without full knowledge of all the characters or Date A Live, the details given is enough background information for the reader to see Shidou in his quest to save Nia.

Rating: Highly Recommended


Author: Kōshi Tachibana

Illustrator: Tsunako

Fan Translated by the Date A Live Translators

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