Light Novel Review: Date A Live – Mukuro Planet [Volume 14]

After rescuing Nia from DEM, Shidou and the gang continue life as normal, up until Shidou’s homeroom teacher apparently summons a meteorite. Kotori calls Shidou and requests him and the girls to report to the ship, reason being the appearance of a new Spirit.

Both Ratatoskr and DEM have located the new Spirit’s location: Space. And if that wasn’t troublesome enough, the Spirit herself tells Shidou that she has locked away her heart –using the power of her Angel.

DAL14_01.png

Volume 14 of Date A Live introduces a new heroine, Mukuro, who has literally locked away her heart. Despite her being the main Spirit for this edition, we only get to met her twice in the whole volume. Instead, the story takes a very indirect way to instill a simple doubt in Shidou about the Spirits.

DAL14_12

The story is split into two parts and for the first time, the beginning portion is stronger than the latter. The first half contains more information about the overall plot of Date A Live rather than the one-off event in this volume. However, most of the content is a variety of conversations between the large cast of characters. Instead of going through the method of speed dating all the Spirits in Natsumi Search and Itsuka Disaster, the cast just casually talks to one another. The process is a lot more fluid and natural as the comedic bits are exchanged with large female cast while balancing a couple of key hints here and there.

DAL14_03

The second half moves into a more fantasy environment as the cast is teleported into commonly known fairy-tales, dressed as the main characters. Shidou gets put into a pig costume from the Three Little Pigs, Yoshino becomes the Little Red Riding Hood from said story, Natsumi becomes Cinderella, and so on and so forth. While this two chapter event may appear intriguing, there isn’t any large depth in this portion as we see purely shenanigans from each character as they try to get out. Like I said before, the whole point of the fairy-tale concept to the story is to show Shidou a doubt he had when talking with Mukurosss in space, but it feels unnecessary to do it in this manner.

DAL14_06

The illustrations for this volume mainly show off the Spirits in various outfits like kimonos and their fairy-tale counter parts (see the above two color illustrations.) The drawing are used to highlight certain situations, more on the comedic side for this volume such as when Shidou tripped over Tohka and Origami’s fairy-tale clothing, but the quality remains excellent. I would like to point out Mukuro’s cover design for the volume as her color palette fits the “space” theme well, her overall character design referencing the folklore Moon rabbit, and nice touches of the constellations on her Astral Dress and key-like shinguards.

Mukuro Planet is only the first volume in this presumably two-volume arc, and while this volume sets up the elements for the next volume, the content regarding our main heroine is more of an afterthought. It’s about as expected from a normal volume of Date A Live  (personally it feels a bit less in development) so any Date A Live reader wouldn’t particular mind it that much. Anyone else and it wouldn’t make much of an impact. **

Rating: Average** – Recommended

Afterword:

*- Shoutout to Kurumi.


Author: Kōshi Tachibana

Illustrator: Tsunako

Fan Translated by the Date A Live Translators

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