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High School DxD – 09

「修行、はじめました!」 (Shugyō, Hajimemashita!)
“My Training Begins!”

Issei is taking it up a whole other level. While before he had nothing on the Great Perverts of the Ages, now it looks like he’s gunning to join their ranks…and maybe just become The One to Rule Them All. I take back what I said before…we need to to get him and Sakurai Tomoki together for a brainstorming session. Man, Angeloid and Devil-kind would quake in fear at the perverted works they will usher onto this earth! The oceans will run white with ecchi magazines! The skies will grow dark with flying panties! Naked women will fall from the heavens and/or hells and glomp passing men while giggling and protesting unconvincingly! It will be all End of Evangelion up in this bitch, except there would be far more city-sized naked women running around, and they probably wouldn’t dissolve us all into tang. Unless our new Ecchi Overlords wanted that, in which case, tang it is!

…ahem. Sorry about that. Went a bit overboard there. So anyway, this week was Training Week, where Issei and co try to pack enough training into ten days to beat Raizer, who is apparently some kind of badass who likes to occasionally lose on purpose (wot?). As a quick aside, I’m going to be pretty annoyed if the Gremory team wins because he takes a dive for the lulz. I don’t imagine that will happen since he was such a creep last episode, but that little factoid being mentioned was suspicious to me. But anyway, a fair amount happened this episode, but the best part – and the one that made me lose all compsure in the first paragraph – is Issei’s burgeoning new magic: the strip ray. Issei is developing a strip ray. It isn’t explicitly shown, but I’ve read enough Negima to recognize clothing-specific attacks when they’re hinted at. Combining his Powers of Imagination and his Ultimate Powers of Perversion, Issei is developing some kind of strip attack for use during the rating games. This…this is a fantastic development!

Let’s rewind real quick. Remember a few episodes ago when I was complaining about fanservice done wrong? Now we’re getting to fanservice done right! Not only is it fun to see, it’s actually becoming important to the plot, which makes it even better. Here’s how I see it…in a typical show, the camera occasionally pans across the cute girl who is wearing a strangely short skirt, and the male viewers are dimly aware that they’re being pandered to. If this goes on too much, it can start to feel gratuitous, like the creators don’t have enough faith in their actual story to let it stand on its own, so they’re compensating with fanservice. However, there are occasionally shows where the fanservice is all perfectly justified. Sora no Otoshimono is a prime example, but a more recent one is Ben-to. In that show, the fanservice was always because Satou was oggling of Shaga was flirting, so it never felt forced. The same thing is true here. While some of the fanservice was forced in past episodes, now it’s so thoroughly justified by Issei’s own perverted nature that it doesn’t feel like they’re pandering anymore. Plus, it’s so ridiculous that it’s hard to take it too seriously, so we can just sit back, suspend our disbelief and enjoy the view. And what a view it is.

Other than that, the most interesting thing that happened this week was the revelation that Raizer isn’t the only badass around. In addition to being perverted, Issei is once again showing how amazing he can be. When Rias-senpai said she was going to give Issei self-confidence, I have to admit that I was worried. After all, self-confidence isn’t something that can be given, but must be earned by the person in question. However, she once again showed herself to be the perceptive leader we’ve come to know and love (to oggle), and instead put Issei into the right situation for him to prove himself to, uhm, himself. By the end of it, Issei had powered up 12 times and blasted the top off of a mountain like he was trained by Nanoha Takamachi. Very impressive! It’s good to see he has some real power, otherwise he could be in trouble if he ever comes up against Raizer (which I assume and hope he will). Question though – was anyone else worried that his mega-nuke was going to be a strip ray instead? Because while male fanservice isn’t unheard of, I wasn’t quite prepared to see Kiba ruined for marriage. Though possibly a whole new demographic could have been targeted. Lost opportunity? Who knows.

So in the end, was this a good episode? It was a fantastic one! Very enjoyable from start to finish. The (mostly) light tone + carefree fanservice fit this series’ mood really well, even while events happened to further the serious plot. Plus, there’s just something satisfying about seeing a lovable pervert like Issei turn out to not be as worthless as he thought. And if he earns a maiden-like expression from his beloved buchou, then all the better. Good going Issei, and I can’t wait to watch you make her blush some more next week. Let the (rating) games begin!

Random thoughts:

  • Only Asia can make being pious seem so cute. While the bible is many things, “moe” is traditionally not one of them.
  • I really admire Issei’s shameless perversion. He’s the kind of guy who would never hesitate to ask a girl if he can brush her teeth on the first date, whereas I don’t think I could do it any sooner than the third. Both are liable to end in abject failure, of course, but at least Issei would have shown he has no fear. He’s an inspiration to to us all!
  • TNK is taking the eye catches up to a whole other level as well. Yay!

Full-size images: 26, 29, 36.

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March 2, 2012 at 10:15 pm
  • March 2, 2012 at 10:16 pmSakurawings1

    good episode :P, love how his powers comes out of being a pervert lol

  • March 2, 2012 at 10:24 pmMissingnomer

    I use to fear the dark. Till I watched Highschool DxD. You know Stilts, I think it is perfectly natural to have your fantasies on your dream world….but women raining for the heavens (or hell) is too painful to think about, because I know it isn’t going to happen anytime soon. But we can always hope together!

    • March 2, 2012 at 10:43 pmStilts

      Also, they’d probably be going pretty fast. Even a beautiful woman becomes deadly when she’s hurtling towards your head at 200kph.

      I feel like there’s a life parable in there somewhere…

      • March 3, 2012 at 9:41 pmMegaZero

        Its amazing how resilient an anime guy’s body is. He can take a flying anything to the face ad just about recover from it scott free. Even the rare but deadly flying boob press poses little threat.

  • March 2, 2012 at 10:27 pmKagura

    finally some development of rias and issei! glad im shipping them

  • March 2, 2012 at 10:29 pmMegaZero

    I can’t wait to see that Booted Gear in action. I wonder if it can extend further, or maybe has some more abilities of its own. Although i rather do enjoy seeing him use that Cero punch.

  • March 2, 2012 at 10:33 pmBio D

    I checked out this episode to see if it had gotten good, but it’s clear that I can get all the enjoyment and more from reading your reviews.
    He still has a ways to go if he wants to challenge Tomoki-dono.

    • March 2, 2012 at 10:47 pmStilts

      I choose to believe that means my writing is better than the writing of the writers on this show…though you wouldn’t know it by that sentence right there. Orz

      • March 3, 2012 at 12:48 amBio D

        Yes. Your enthusiasm coupled with the ecchi screengrabs is all I will ever need from this show. You hold great power.

    • March 3, 2012 at 12:35 amTez

      Tomoki is an ecchi mastermind, but I gotta tip my hat to Issei just because he seems to want to do more than just look.

  • March 2, 2012 at 10:34 pmHrmmmm

    Just waiting for RC to boot up from system backup was probably the most excruciating period of my week xD

  • March 2, 2012 at 11:01 pmPtolemaios00

    Raizer doesn’t lose on whims. His only 2 losses were purposefully for preserving the dignity of some familial relationships. Kind of like losing in golf when playing with your boss or purposefully losing in a video game against your girlfriend.

    The battle starts next episode! Can’t wait for Issei’s “hissatsu waza”. Tomoki would be proud, yes.

  • March 2, 2012 at 11:03 pmKusabi

    Speaking of Negima, are you going to blog Mahou Sensei Negima Anime Final, Stilts? Considering you like the manga as well.

    • March 2, 2012 at 11:19 pmStilts

      Ya know, I hadn’t thought about that, but it’s actually not such a bad idea. And it would give me a good chance to go off on tangents about the manga a lot…

      Hurm hurm hurm…

      (Feel free to encourage me on if you want to see this, everyone! ^^)

      • March 2, 2012 at 11:59 pmThe Moondoggie

        +1 encouragement XD

        Definitely a nice idea. And since Divine can post about games, why not Stilts on manga.

  • March 2, 2012 at 11:06 pmThe Moondoggie

    Issei is taking it up a whole other level. While before he had nothing on the Great Perverts of the Ages, now it looks like he’s gunning to join their ranks…and maybe just become The One to Rule Them All. I take back what I said before…we need to to get him and Sakurai Tomoki together for a brainstorming session. Man, Angeloid and Devil-kind would quake in fear at the perverted works they will usher onto this earth! The oceans will run white with ecchi magazines! The skies will grow dark with flying panties! Naked women will fall from the heavens and/or hells and glomp passing men while giggling and protesting unconvincingly! It will be all End of Evangelion up in this bitch, except there would be far more city-sized naked women running around, and they probably wouldn’t dissolve us all into tang. Unless our new Ecchi Overlords wanted that, in which case, tang it is!

    I never thought the day would come when I can say this to a RC writer: COMRADE!

    • March 2, 2012 at 11:20 pmStilts

      Ah, well, standards are falling all over the place I suppose.

      *Stilts flails about! He does 20 points of damage to himself!*

      Also…COMRADE!! :3

    • March 3, 2012 at 1:04 amD-LaN

      Someone shpuld make a parody of this idea in their anime.

    • March 4, 2012 at 11:56 pmBeckett

      One of us! One of us!

  • March 2, 2012 at 11:06 pmWhookie

    Regarding Raizer losing on purpose, that’s because he’s using those losses to further his social position. His record is 8 wins -2 losses with those 2 losses as forfeits.

    He forfeits matches to families that he is friendly to in order to boost their rating. In return, those families will think highly of him and consider him as a friend. He’s actually undefeated on serious fights. He’s not only powerful and immortal, he’s also conniving.

    With regards to Ise being a pervert and it being a plot point, here’s a fun example of it. It happens much later on so we won’t be seeing it even if we have a 2nd season.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 2, 2012 at 11:11 pmdimasok

    I LOVE this show. I agree with Stilts it the fan service is not pandering and its both visually pleasing and crucial to the plot.

  • March 3, 2012 at 12:00 amEuzio

    Best moments this episode for me were not even the fanservice moments but the part where Rias replies to Issei that she’s a demon after he called her a monster, and the sihoulette of her under the moonlight when she was talking to Issei in the garden…. those 2 moments just showed how incredibly alluring and sexy Rias is XD

  • March 3, 2012 at 12:33 amTez

    Wow! What a great write-up!

    You were right on the money comparing Issei to Sakurai Tomoki, I felt the same after watching this ep. Unlike most mail anime leads who seems to be oblivious to the ridiculously hot women they are surrounded by, they revel in it.

    I give Issei 2 points over Tomoki because when presented with Rias virginity he was going to step up to the plate, while Tomoki would have readily shied away, because he an ecchi purist… I guess.

    I will deduct 1 point though for not making moves on Asia, when it’s so obvious he could do whatever he wants with her.

    • March 3, 2012 at 1:39 amWhookie

      Taking away some of Ise’s internal monologues give people a different impression of Ise and Asia’s relationship. He basically sees her as a little sister that he (as a big brother) must protect especially since he feels responsible for “ruining” Asia’s normal life. This is why he felt so guilt ridden when he started thinking perverted thoughts about her after seeing her in the bath.

      When Asia became “part of the family” and got treated by Ise’s parents as their daughter, Ise also became her older brother in his mind. This is their relationship until Show Spoiler ▼

      • March 3, 2012 at 8:32 amStilts

        Thanks Tez!

        Yeah, I didn’t catch that he felt big brotherly towards her. However, I caught that he felt she was innocent and therefore had to be protected, so pretty much the same thing. There are just some people who see a cute imouto and immediately think “gods, I want to boost her gear!”, if you know what I mean ;)

        (I was going to say “brush her teeth”, but I don’t want to beat that one to death. I’m sure I’ll be referencing it for years to come)

      • March 3, 2012 at 3:47 pmWhookie

        If anyone’s interested, this was part of Ise’s monologue after he saw Asia naked in the bath. He was lecturing Asia on how men are beasts and that she should increase her awareness as a girl because she’s too naive and innocent about such things. He was acting like an overprotective brother and thinking that he’d kill any guy that tries to do something to Asia.

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 3, 2012 at 1:17 amblue

    I, for one, welcome our new Ecchi-Haremv Overlords!!!

  • March 3, 2012 at 2:43 amCrook

    I actually hope that during the Rating Game people won’t get randomly stripped during a battle, which could easily crush the serious moments. Because I like this show a lot when it gets serious too!

  • March 3, 2012 at 2:46 amCAPTAIN MAR-KLAC-VELOUS

    all we need now is a sora no otoshimono x high school dxd to make more see how king perv tomoki vs issei?

    so training ep ok then give big lmao all those potato & food so cut quickly keep imagine all the doobi yea you can do imagine being a perv yea issei keep thinking doobi it works.

    lmao koneko big bag, asia read the bible but big OW, etc like issei trying see walls to peek on female tub.

    yet plot hmm from history of devil vs angel vs fallen angel, rating games, etc.

    wonder what next?

  • March 3, 2012 at 3:19 amThe_Magus_Killer


    ^ This is why long-haired Asian girls are hawt. If Akeno wore a pair of glasses, I would have been sent to the Emergency Room. XD


    ^ I briefly thought of Iron Man when Issei assumed that pose. Imagine if Issei had a complete armor set to go with the Boosted Gear?

    • March 3, 2012 at 3:52 amCybersteel

      Show Spoiler ▼

    • March 3, 2012 at 6:10 amCAPTAIN MAR-KLAC-VELOUS

      INDEED that remind bit of iron man in movie part when tony making beam hand shot in his garage/storage room.

      hmm could be tease for something?

    • March 3, 2012 at 9:45 pmMegaZero

      This much would make me jizz my pants for days. Both of your points actually. Cause long haired beauties are ultra hot and ironman is my favorite hero plus my favorite color is red.

  • March 3, 2012 at 4:00 amCybersteel

    Me don’t mind more Asia-chan. Kapekiku Bishoujo!

  • March 3, 2012 at 8:19 amjrj

    the rating game is definitely a big focus here, and I am sure it will be quite a lot of fun to watch…
    As far as the mentioning of Raizer losing, what they meant there was to show how strong he is at playing the rating game. He practically never lost, but the two losses were because he wanted to maintain good relationship with the other party so he gave away his victory.
    strip ray though… Stilts, you might be worried about Kiba too much there :) they should show the attack either next week or the week after :)
    now I wonder if they would finish the end of volume 2, because that is where Show Spoiler ▼

    • March 3, 2012 at 10:14 amAex

      I really can’t see them not finishing volume 2 unless they tweak the end of the rating game a lot. Stopping short would pretty much mean a cliffhanger otherwise.

  • March 3, 2012 at 1:24 pmCroco

    This show should replace Bleach!

  • March 3, 2012 at 2:08 pmsuff

    It seems to me that Raizer’s all-female battle harem is going to play right into Issei’s hand.

  • March 3, 2012 at 4:34 pmLurker

    Just imagine if Issei managed to get the clothes-melting slime (R.I.P. Slatarou!!!) from one of the previous episode as a pet. His power level will be off the charts.

  • March 3, 2012 at 10:14 pmYou know, for kids!

    Leave it to Japan for a ridiculous interpretation of Christianity. What little Christian population of Japan should be complaining about this—but are they?

  • March 3, 2012 at 10:20 pmKam7r

    mooooaaaarrr bewbs pl0x !

  • March 3, 2012 at 10:24 pmSnicket

    Another training episode? Jeez, this series is up to three now. However, I’m not saying that it still wasn’t amusing to watch. Though i haven’t read any of the light novels nor the manga. So i don’t know how accurate it was compared to the source material. Though from what i rad in the comments, it’s sticking fairly close to it.

  • March 4, 2012 at 9:29 amKamiyaCheap

    Holy F*CKING GOD, some of the light novel scene was amazing in the ANIME!!! 10/10 for the studio!!! Next week is gonna be epic!!!


  • March 4, 2012 at 9:15 pmboingman

    Nice training episode. It was actually more serious than I expected.
    Btw. Sora no Otoshimono is one of my favorite comedies.
    Since you’re talking so much about Tomoki, you should totally write about the movie, Stilts. :-)

  • March 4, 2012 at 9:54 pmCroco

    Koneko: “I feel I’ve been violated” LOL

  • March 4, 2012 at 11:28 pmAsakura

    I love that yandere.

  • March 5, 2012 at 12:02 amBeckett

    Poor Issei, ALMOST managed to bathe with the girls until Koneko moved in for the cock block.

  • March 5, 2012 at 4:36 amsuff

    I like Rias in evening gowns. So hot! :)

  • March 5, 2012 at 4:37 amsuff

    By the way, this show is 24 episodes, right? I seriously hope it’s not 13 because in that case they probably only have enough time left to do this rating game.

    • March 5, 2012 at 9:21 pmbelatkuro

      Sadly, it’s just 12 episodes. Just enough to cover all of volume 2.
      It’s a proper end for this season but we would need a season 2 for this.
      Vol 3 onwards is where this really kicks on.

  • March 9, 2012 at 8:27 amyamadipti

    True, i really hope the sales for both media and merchandise raises enough motivation for a second season…