「使い魔、ゲットします!」 (Tsukaima, Getto Shimasu!)
“I’ll Get a Familiar!”

So here I find myself already covering Zero no Tsukaima, and suddenly this show is playing the familiar card as well. Naturally, this can only mean one thing – comparison time! So how does High School DxD’s treatment of the Familiar trope stack up? Well truthfully, it’s not really a helpful comparison to make. DxD’s familiars are like how ZnT’s familiars were originally supposed to work, before every one of them that wasn’t human or could take human form was put on a bus and never heard from again. If there was a continuum of familiar types in anime, DxD would be all the way to the left where familiars are semi-useful animals with minimal characterization, while all the way on the other side would be stories like Negima (the manga specifically, since that one’s way better), where all the special pacts are between two people. Zero no Tsukaima is a special case where its world is closer to the former, but its story is waaay closer to the latter. Regardless, as far as being the focus of an episode, the familiar thing worked fine, so moving on.

Actually, one more thing on that. I have to say that I liked how the strange woman from back in episode 1 was revealed to be Rias-senpai’s familiar. Hanging plot threads like that can be really annoying, even if they’re small and insignificant like this one, so I’m glad that one was justified. Now, moving on for real.

As I guessed last episode, the ecchi comedy remained the focus here. I don’t think I need to say this, but the tennis and dodgeball scenes were fantastic, for so many reasons. The long hinted-at arrival of Shitori Souna (the one with the short hair, Takamori Natsumi) and her devils was full of good stuff. I especially enjoyed Souna-senpai’s unnecessarily flashy moves, though her gentle jabs at Rias-senpai were fun as well. I’m curious about these Rating Games she kept mentioning, as well as what she was talking about when she mentioned Rias-senpai’s body. My only gripe here is that Souna-senpai’s character seemed rather flat. Of course, a number of people have (rightfully) pointed out that most of the characters in this show aren’t particularly innovative, but they’re fun, so they get a (partial) pass from me, whereas Souna-senpai and her crew are derivative without being especially entertaining, so they get no such thing. Good times were had, but when the most interesting character of the bunch is the rival pawn (worth only four pieces…how sad for you) who tried to hit on Asia, I won’t be kept up at night waiting for their return. If they’re going to bring anyone back, I would want it to be the crazy priest. At least he was interesting.

Moving on, probably my second favorite part of this episode was Issei’s pain. I found myself comparing the constant punishment Issei was taking with the (comparatively light) punishment of another main male lead from this season, Segawa Yuuta of Papakiki. It’s a bit annoying when he gets smacked around because it’s never his fault, but with Issei, it’s always his fault. Or rather, even if he hasn’t done anything right that moment to deserve the punishment, he either has before, is about to, or will very soon. His lecherous activities are hilarious to behold, and they open him up to completely justifiable cosmic retribution, which is why I was laughing every time Rassei zapped him like Sato Tarou getting too close to Akeno-senpai in sadist mode. Actually, perhaps a better example would be good old Keitaro from Love Hina. Since Keitaro didn’t always deserve the punishment he got, the comedy sometimes backfired and made his harem look like a bunch of violent loonies (especially Naru). With Issei? No such problem. Nuke away, Rias-senpai. Do what you gotta do.

But my favorite part of this episode was definitely Koneko-chan. It was really fun watching the subtle shifts in her opinion about Issei, it moving from disgust, to begrudging admiration, and right back to disgust again. I’m a sucker for stoic characters who gradually warm up to the main character, but I’m not even sure that was why I enjoyed those glimpses so much. Probably it’s because it was a rare bit of subtlety in a show that generally isn’t. Sometimes a message needs to be whispered rather than yelled. That’s just good storytelling, and I like to see it being done occasionally.

My final verdict? Oh yeah, awesome friggin’ episode. But if anything, my jaw dropped more from the preview than anything else. Son-in-law? Rias-senpai’s virginity?? TNK, you have my full attention. When does next week get here, again? *Looks at a calendar* …crap.

Full-size images: 02, 05, 06, 34.

 

Preview

67 Comments

  1. “it’s not really a a helpful comparison to make”

    Might want to get rid of that extra “a” Stilits! Wow, you mentioned “Love Hina” that brings a big serving of nostalgia. Though it is nice to see that this anime justifies the sadistic behaviors if the heroines. Most animes just have them beating the crap out of the main protagonist for no real reason or a genuine mistake. ^-^ You deserve it good Issei.

    1. Fixed. And yeah, with the rapidly approaching end of Negima I’m going to be waxing nostalgic on Akamatsu-sensei for a while. Love Hina is one of the stories that made me love anime & manga, and Negima is one of the stories that made me want to write. I will probably cry big manly tears when I read the last chapter T__T

      Stilts
      1. Well there is the Negima Neo…

        But I think Akamatsu-sensei would be better off with a new series after Negima and just adding additional matrial than rehasing the series.

        The Moondoggie
      2. At that, Negima does not have a familiar summoning. Or a familiar get.
        It is just a pact (contract) with another human. Think of it as Magic Law.
        And yes, Negima ‘s good, but Love Hina was way better.

        deafvader
      3. Yeah, it wasn’t a perfect example, but then again this show doesn’t have familiar summoning either, since you’ve got to go find it. All that really matters is 1) the contract and 2) what kind of equality there is between the two members. Technically familiars shouldn’t be equal, as is the case here and with Kuro in Ao no Exorcist…but then again, that also shouldn’t be the case with Zero no Tsukaima, yet the void mages’ familiars screw with that. Hence why I focused more on the contract than any other part.

        Stilts
  2. We’re finally in the last arc for the anime. Plot is going to start kicking in as signalled by Rias’ offering her virginity. Can’t wait, it’s going to be a grand finish.

    Since Stilts noticed and mentioned it, just a little something about Koneko and why she’s like that. Anime won’t include this which is a shame since it just makes her appear as the token loli (the same could be said for Akeno being the token onee-sama).

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Whookie
  3. I dunno, the series is alright, but I’m really getting sick of the whole ‘pervy guy does something pervy -> gets hurt’ formula. Its just so… safe and cliche. I’m a girl, and I’d like to see more female characters involved in physical comedy, but it seems like most (male) writers are too afraid to try it. D:

    VecksRe0-_-
    1. Oh, I agree. While I’m a guy, I’m a pretty big feminist, which in this case means I’ve no problem with a female character getting in on the physical comedy. Hell, that even happened a bit in last week’s AnoNatsu, with Chiharu getting dumped on the floor head-first. But as far as this show goes, I’ve just calibrated my expectations and am enjoying it for what it is. It’s not memorable or ground-breaking, but it can inspire a laugh or two. It’s the shows like Lagrange and AnoNatsu that will do amazing things.

      Side note: show me a show where a male tsundere Megaton Punches a perverted female out of the onsen she stumbled into (yes, I’m back on the Love Hina references) and I will die laughing. Physical comedy + trope subversion? That’s some Stilts kryptonite right there.

      Stilts
      1. Also, (I just thought of this), Maria Holic. That show is definitely rife with the pervy girl, though I don’t recall Mariya ever actually hitting Kanako…generally because he was doing something much worse, heh :3

        Stilts
  4. That man with the scary face better stay away from Rias Senpai. You’re not good enough for her!
    It’s too bad slime-kun was burnt to ashes. He (must be a he!) would have been the perfect familiar for Issei.

    Seishun Otoko
  5. This episode was kinda of a mixed bag, this week. There were amusing moments, there were dull moments, and plenty of wtf moments. The amusing where the dodge ball scene and to a lesser extent the tennis scene. The prior, because it was so absurd and off the wall that seemed to fit right in this series already bizarre plot. While the latter served as an introduction to said bizarreness.

    The dull ones being Issei’s constant perv mode. It was funny at first, but now it’s gotten stale. It causes the character’s ‘few’ heroic moments, to get over shadowed by the pervy ones. If shots to the junk or shocks from a electric dragon are what stop them. Then i say, load up the pitching machine, take aim, and place that dragon right on Issei’s head.

    And the wtf ones, were everything else. That over lapped the prior two, along with a set of scenes all of it’s own. I’d go into more, but there are just too many to name.

    Snicket
  6. One of the reasons I really liked this story is because of how the girls act in a justified manner. It’s not like Koneko randomly hurt Issei like a tsundere, but she did it to punish him because she disapproved. The other end of that is that the girls doesn’t just randomly fall for Issei either as right now so is it only Asia that are romantically interested in him, but that is hardly strange considering how nicely he has treated her and how hard he worked to save her. So he has to earn both his punishments and rewards.

    Znail
  7. “DxD’s familiars are like how ZnT’s familiars were originally supposed to work, before every one of them that wasn’t human or could take human form was put on a bus and never heard from again.”

    Lol. Since it’s their job to hang out flyers, all the familiars in DxD must be able to take human form…

    SinsI
    1. True, but I never said that the DxD one’s couldn’t turn into humans. I just said that the ones in Zero no Tsukaima who didn’t have a human form aren’t seen from anymore. After all, the only one we see that isn’t actually a human is Sylphid/Illococoo, and she’s in Iguchi Yuka childish imouto mode 90% of the time.

      Stilts
  8. https://randomc.net/image/High%20School%20DxD/High%20School%20DxD%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2006.jpg

    Shitori Souna:

    Glasses: Check (one of the most important parts of a sexy-intelligent 2D schoolgirl)
    Hime-cut Hairstyle: Check
    Crimson Eyes: Check
    Nice Rack: Check
    Nice Legs: Check
    Risque Underwear: Check (and it’s lace & colored white, too!)
    Student Council President: Check (I just love these types of girls. Authority is SEXY.)

    Highschool DxD just made my weekend.

    The_Magus_Killer
  9. this week ep we had

    claim pet to challenge the council to tennis & best “tennis” ever better than prince of tennis yea so worth yea pantsu of tennis.
    so draw here come demon dodgeball & ow poor issei’s “lil jimmy” got a hurt & rias group won.
    onward to pet having yea turned pokemon like anyone?
    more brain bleach again due to “WHAT” in the water.
    & yet i mention let there be slime YES YES YES indeed melt & it all issei like.
    but NO SLIME FOR YOU & nun get electric dragon.
    poor issei get fried by dragon.

    next ep oh some guy & virgin rias?

    MR.KLAC
    1. Hah, that was awesome! Just the way she matter-of-factly drills the guy in the balls and then the game ends was hilarious. That’s another instance where it was better to whisper than yell…or in this case, whimper rather than scream.

      Stilts
      1. The novels amp up Ise’s antics as it goes on so it might not be fair to judge as of now. His list of perverted acts

        Show Spoiler ▼

        And the one thing I prefer about Ise is that
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Whookie
    1. @Whookie omg after reading that spoiler I pray that they have a second season or more to cover everything you’ve just told me about. Hopefully the manga follows that as well. Honestly, him and Tomoki are the top 2 on the crazy people list.

      bakakubi
  10. I like this show and protagonist is somehow different from all the other harem anime Ive watched so far where guy is oblivious to his own harem whereas Isse wants to make his own
    and as mention by Rias he is too honest to his perverted desires Id say little too much,the scene where he is desperate to make that slimy thing his familiar was hilarious,well ecchi element is good too.

    shiki999
  11. Just hope it doesn’t always show ecchi episodes. I do enjoy it at times, but not at the cost of the cost of a good story. I don’t want it to become another Infinite Stratos, where I get hyped up about the fanservice, story and action, only to remove the later two and keep the fanservice.

    shadfailux
  12. I kinda hate that Asia got her pet before issei even though he was there first. I would be awesome if he gets a tentacle rape monster as a pet though, but will issei ever get his own pet?

    Zero
  13. Wait a minute, Shitori Souna from “Highschool DxD” is also Misaki Mei from “Another”, since they have the same voice actor. Also, the voice actor kinda looks like Souna AND Mei. Just look at her pic from Stilt’s link! Coincidence? =)

    The_Magus_Killer

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