「アクマ、やってます!」 (Akuma, Yattemasu!)
“My Job as a Devil!”
I hate to say it, but to me High School DxD works best when it’s light-hearted, ridiculous and focuses on comedy rather than the plot…as an anime, at least. I can’t speak to the light novels, but even though I enjoyed the plot-centric episodes, I think I enjoyed this one even more. That’s not to say that the plot is bad by any means. It’s actually quite good for a fanservice show, though that’s not surprising when you remember it’s adapted from a light novel series…you can’t exactly depend on fanservice alone when you’re mainly working in words, after all. Still, when you compare Issei to the many other heroic badasses running around this season, he starts looking lackluster.
I guess the thing is that no show exists in a vacuum. On its own DxD’s plot is pretty good, but when compared to other shows airing this season, it’s just alright. But in fanservice and comedy…well, I think we all know the answer to that. DxD has something of a comparative advantage (Economics this time, gasp!) when it comes to ecchi fun, and it just works better when it focuses on that. There’s no awkward change of tone or inappropriately placed fanservice when it focuses on the perverted fun. I mean, I was laughing my ass off over Issei’s attempts to contract with Miu-tan and Susan the Samurai (Kawasumi Ayako), and the return of Megane-kun and Saru-kun was also welcome. Oh, and Issei’s parents ripping on their own son was hilarious!
Also, there’s this. Your honor, I rest my case.
That said, there was still a little plot this time, and I actually found it more intriguing than most of what has happened so far. With Asia moving in with Issei and a stupid couple being born, there were a lot of relationship things going on…and each one sent Rias-senpai looking forlornly off into the distance. Being a high-ranking devil of an important clan, I expect that Rias-senpai doesn’t have too much leeway in who she can marry, and might even have an arranged husband waiting in the wings. I’m sure the light novel readers can say more there, so I’ll leave that to the comments (use spoilers!). All I know is that since I don’t know what will happen (as opposed to with Asia, where the OP and ED spoiled it for us), so that makes it more interesting.
With the season half over, I have to wonder where this adaptation is going. A cursory check of Wikipedia says 11 light novels have been released so far, so there’s a LOT of material that could still be used, but there’s also not much more time to do it in. My gut tells me that we’ll be getting several more episodes of ecchi antics before the plot returns for a big finish…and the preview seems to support this. It also says that we’re finally going to get a proper introduction of those glasses-wearing beauties that have appeared a few times, which I’m all for. We’ve got a busty nudist, an ufufu sadist, a stoic loli, an innocent nun…yeah, we need some megane in here to round out the fetishes. Otherwise we have to make do with Megane-kun, and oh gods, nobody wants that.