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Before the openings in Date A Live, the narrator reads some epic-sounding text which is somewhat related to the content of the episode. In most cases it's been easy to understand, but the text from episode 9 is ambiguous. Here's the translation from Funimation's stream of the episode, this dialogue starts at 1:30:

"It" is something all things are given.

"It" can not be bought.

People often waste "it,"

hold "it" dear,

and chase after "it."

What... is "it"?

What is this "it" that she is talking about, and what does it have to do with the plot of the series?

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I am not very confident about my Japanese to argue about the correctness of the translation. However, it is quite clear from the context of the episode that the riddle is referring to Time, and Time fits quite well to the first 3 lines of the riddle (where there is no confusion in translation).

This is the episode where the ability of Tokisaki Kurumi (時崎 狂三), the third Spirit, is revealed.

And as shown in episode 9, Kurumi has the ability to manipulate time. She can summon herself from different time axes, and this is the reason why she can cheat death as shown in episode 8 to 10. Episode 9 and episode 10 display her angel's abilities: rewind time on an object, temporarily freeze time on an object, and instant movement. However, every time she uses the angel's ability, it consumes a bit of her life (time) as indicated by the clock face on her left eye. Therefore, it is necessary for her to consume time from other sources to refill hers, as explained in episode 9.

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  • I'm not exactly a fan of that translation either, but I used it because it's the official one. It seems to take some liberties in the fourth and fifth lines. I do think this answer is probably correct, but I'll leave this open for a little while in case anyone else has a different hypothesis. – Logan M Jun 4 '13 at 2:34

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