「後輩、できました！」 (Kōhai, Dekimashita!)
“I Have an Underclassman!”
I’m just going to say this upfront – there’s no way in hell I’m going to accept this! It’s all a pack of lies – I don’t sense a tinge of testosterone, the Y-chromosome does not exist, and no matter what everyone says, Gasper is definitely not a boy, not a ghost of a chance! Indeed, Ishibumi sensei, the mastermind behind High School DxD, has played a very cruel and despicable prank on all of us. But I’ll also be the first to admit – credit where credit is due, the very perplexity that plagues my pea-brain is surely a testament to his supreme craftsmanship, both in character-construction and the improvisation of our most familiar tropes! The very notion of gender-bender inspires bouts of daze and ambivalence in me – fittingly enough, considering the subject matter at hand. Traps, artfully done right, could give rise to a crack-up of hilarity – but more often than not, the fine line between a success and a failure is hard to define! Gasper is, without question, a prime exemplar of a great trap – he is very easy to like, and it’s almost obnoxious just to see how many of the right buttons he has pushed! For starters, he’s pretty easy on the eyes – a buttery blond, an adorable little fang and a small puerile stature to complete the package! A “jailbait” unlike any other, Gasper is fraught with “danger” from top to bottom – suffice to sway even the most tenacious and make them commit the unforgivable sin! Both a shut-in and a reclusive misanthrope, Gasper also wears a rather fascinating persona – he is a bundle of nerves through and through, shy and skittish but not completely hard-hearted aloof! The “friendly” vampire has a whole lot going for him, and it’s not just his immediate and tangible attributes that stand out – just like many of his dear comrades, Gasper has a considerably intriguing backstory, and the brief insight into his beleaguered past was quite a nerve-rack to say the least!
The intense antipathy that he has for the outside world is no laughing matter – Gasper has been put through the wringer as a kid and I don’t think anyone, not even the most finicky, would blame the poor guy for turning out the way he did. Born as a hybrid between a vampire and a human, his very presence was detested by both ends of his genetic make-up. The humans sees him as nothing more than a monster, and he was fervidly discriminated for being a half-breed by his vampiric counterparts. As if that wasn’t frustrating enough, Gasper also possesses a Sacred Gear that he can’t seem to have a hold over – the Forbidden Balor View, a time-stopping ability, which is both feared and abominated by his family and peers. It’s not entirely clear how he came to be reborn as a Devil, but I’ll be very surprised if his circumstance is anything less than tragic – it could very well be similar to the wretched fate that befell Issei, a brutal death at the hands of a person he trusted the most! Speaking of Issei, the wannabe Harem King has proven once again that he deserves every bit of our profound admiration. “You’re my kouhai, my Devil sempai and an important nakama” – for certain, Issei has a way with his words and I was especially fond of the heart-to-heart exchange that he shared with Gasper. There’s always a sense of subtleness and sentimentality to High School DxD – Issei’s devotion for his comrades is surely beyond doubt, and his unfailing compassion is both an inspiration and a spur to push Gasper forward! Issei is fully cognizant of his shortcomings, and he is by no means, trying to shoulder the entire burden all by himself – teamwork is just as important as raw skills and a bona fide badass knows that very damn well! With proper steering and the right conviction, Gasper and his unique set of capabilities are unquestionably a great boon to Rias’ peerage – and it goes without saying, I look forward to seeing more of what he can do, both as Issei’s wingman and a full-fledged combatant on the battlefield!
High School DxD is no minor-league when it comes to the big plot – but make no mistake about it, Gasper’s introduction was not all somber and reflective. As a matter of fact, ecchi, fanservice and the prevalence of comedy were all featured early and throughout! Clearly, Gasper is the butt of every joke. He embodies a basket case of eccentricities, a boy who speaks, weeps and moans like a girl – Gasper also has a rather bizarre fetish for boxes, not to mention an intense distaste for blood, a deviate from his vampiric norm! For sure, the cute little trap is a gale of laughter in his very own right – but the side-splits are amplified in the tens of folds when he is accompanied with that of his equally quirky comrades! A vampire hunt that transpired as a mad chase, an obscene abuse of his repugnance for garlic, a quintessential erotic fantasy of boob-groping, and a paper-bagged face that is reminiscent of a kosher mega-hentai – the list of laugh-out-louds is long and elaborate, and just about everyone, Xenovia, Koneko, Issei and even Asia, had a hand in the big-tease and mockeries! Without a doubt, Gasper is a great addition to the cast – but he’s not the only one who has made his mark in this episode. Azazel, the Fallen Angel head honcho, continues to be thoroughgoing enigma, but there are odds and ends of his characterization that are slowly coming to light – starting with his vast knowledge on the subject of Sacred Gear! Azazel is probably not an outright foe – in fact, it looks increasingly likely he might even turn out to be an ally. The incoming summit between the three factions should shed some light on this matter – but before we can even get to the crux of the drama, there are other going-on’s that need to be taken care of first. The Archangel Michael, Xenovia’s ex-boss, has finally made an appearance – up to this time, the Church hasn’t exactly come off in the most positive light and it remains to be seen what his true intentions are. Needless to say, I can’t wait to see what comes next – especially when we know, for certain, the beautiful Akeno san could be the next character in focus, an exposition that is surely worthy of our heed and salivation!
- That ass, that crotch and that cuddly presence, Gasper can’t be a trap! – There’s absolutely nothing down there and those are surely not male titties right?
- “Why are you doing this to me?” – Just look at that smug on Xenovia’s face, she’s clearly having the time of her life. The newly-minted knight might just be as big of a sadist as Akeno sempai!
- “Here, some garlic will cheer you right up!” – Xenovia’s not the only one who’s embracing her inner sadism. A battle of the loli’s, Koneko’s being such a meanie to Gya kun!
- “Is that a red pantsu that I see?” – Good one, Xenovia! A huge step-up from that lame-ass blue-border underwear that she once had.
- Snatched and swiftly pocketed – Clearly, Issei has some better use for Xenovia’s condoms! I wonder what that may be.
- “I’m willing to do anything for you” – The BL vibe is strong in Yuuto! I’m increasingly convinced he’s in love with Issei.
- Ohmygawd, Akeno’s eyecatch is finally here – Simply absolutely positively delicious, nuff said!
- A very late post, but better late than never – Honto ni gomen ne! I’ll get Episode 10 out earlier, I promise…
tl;dr: @SeishunRC – High School #DxD NEW 09: An overload of moe moe kyun – a boy who speaks, weeps and moans like a girl! This year’s Admiral Achbar’s Award goes to… Gasper the friendly trap! #Anime
Full-length images: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 30, 33, 35, 36, 38, 41, 42, 44, 45.
ED2: 「らぶりぃ♥でびる」(Lovely♥Devil) by オカルト研究部ガールズ(日笠陽子、伊藤静、浅倉杏美、竹達彩奈, 種田梨沙, 佐倉綾音) [Occult Kenkyuubu Girls (Hikasa Yoko, Itou Shizuka, Asakura Azumi, Taketatsu Ayana, Taneda Risa, Sakura Ayane)]
Eyecatch & Preview