「喧嘩,売ります!」 (Kenkauri Rimasu!)
“I pick a fight!”
I was pretty busy this past week, what with the job, the partying and all the beautiful women that were chasing after me (note: two of those things are a lie), so when it came time to watch this episode I had completely forgotten about the whole fiancé / Rias-senpai’s virginity teaser from last week. I was reminded really quickly though. But should a devil really be wearing white? I’m not sure about that, but it’s undeniable that Rias-senpai looks amazing in a wedding dress. Dream-Issei was smart to just go along with it. I would have too. Wooee!
So it’s back to srs bsns this week with the introduction of Raizer Phoenix (Takehito Koyasu), Rias-senpai’s fiancé and a first-class douchebag. Once again DxD is reminding us how terribly subtle it’s not. Raizer is just so easy to hate, with his cocky attitude, crude womanizing and fifteen-strong harem of full of beautiful girls. The bastard. Of course, this will make his downfall very satisfying to watch. Still, I feel another opportunity was lost, to introduce a more interesting antagonist. Ah well, I’ve come to expect this from DxD, so not much disappointment to be had. He’s a bastard and he deserves to get whooped, we’ve got it. Moving on.
What was done better were the hooks that were placed throughout the episode. They kept having interesting things start to happen, and then zoomed off somewhere else (another scene, a commercial break, the end of the episode, etc) and made us wait for it. That said, the problem was that they already ruined the reveal in last episode’s preview! Take the magic circle that appears while Rias-senpai was alone in the clubroom. Had they not already revealed the son-in-law thing, I wouldn’t have known what that was about, and would have been intrigued. As is, I just went “Oh, it’s something about Rias-senpai’s bastard fiancé,” and then went on to enjoy naked Asia (yummy). If, on the other hand, they hadn’t dropped that little tidbit in the previous preview, I (as a non-light novel reader) would have been wondering what was going on there. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for teasers that keep the watcher coming back for more, but using the whole “Rias-senpai wants Issei to deflower her” was more than enough to get butts in the seat this week, and we still would have been left wondering why she suddenly wanted to jump Issei’s bones. It’s like the whole problem of OP sequences giving away plot points (though this seems to be somewhat less prevalent now-a-days, thank the gods)…spoilers are no fun, but it’s especially bad if the studio themselves are the ones to do it! This episode’s pacing was good, but that one thing robbed it of its effectiveness. Minus 10 points for TNK. Now go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done. Bad anime studio!
In other news, the parallels with Zero no Tsukaima grew again this week when it was revealed that Boosted Gear (Fumihiko Tachiki) can do more than just call attacks Nanoha-style. The second he called dream-Issei “aibou”, it was like meeting Derflinger all over again. Personally, I’m excited about this. I have a feeling Boosted Gear will be more important to the plot than the afore-mentioned magical sword, but even if it’s not I won’t mind. I’ve always thought the idea of characters that are small enough to carry around and are always with you was a really neat one, whether they’re a sentient weapon, an animal familiar, or just a disturbingly talkative voice in your head (okay, maybe not that last one). It’s like having a, well, a partner that is always there for you…kind of can’t not be there, in this case, which might very well be a form of hell for Boosted Gear (stuck with Issei forever? eeee…), but is real neat for our heroic pervert. Now he’ll never be lonely! Although certain, ahem, “alone time” activities could get real awkward if he’s a leftie. Poor Boosted Gear.
Overall, this episode did it’s job of setting up the coming Ratings Game showdown. With Rias-senpai’s crew at a 3-to-1 disadvantage versus douchebag’s fiery harem, things certainly aren’t looking good. Still, that will just make their eventual victory all the sweeter. If there’s one thing that is pretty cliché but I’m looking forward to anyway, it’s a good old fighting competition. I’m reminded of the tournament arcs of Dragonball Z, Negima and even Fairy Tail as of late. Unlike with do-or-die battles, when it’s a competition the protagonists can actually lose, since even if they do the entire story won’t grind to a halt on account of their untimely deaths. So, once the protagonists are free to lose, uncertainty is created, and Stilts is correspondingly interested. It means that for at least a few fights, us non-light novel readers will have no idea who will win, and that’s where some really awesome fights can happen. But before that, Issei needs to get some training in, training which apparently includes Issei in an apron and Akeno-senpai’s “dai damēji”. Personally, I’m translating that into “There’s no kill like overkill.” Ahhh Akeno-senpai, a woman after my own heart!
- Damn you Issei, damn you Issei, damn you Issei, damn you Issei.
- *takes a breath* Damn you Issei, damn you Issei, damn you Issei.
- Wow, I really rambled on this week, didn’t I? Sorry about that. Someday I’ll learn the value of brevity (spoiler alert: I probably won’t).
- …damn you Raizer, damn you Raizer, DAAAAMN YOOOOOU RAIIIIZER!!