「ドラゴン・オブ・ドラゴン」 (Doragon Obu Doragon)
“Dragon of Dragon”
Damn, that was cool!
Crimson Emotional Crescendo
First, the not-so-good. It was obvious that Asia’s apparent death wouldn’t stick, and that she’d somehow get saved. This time it was Vali’s team and pure happenstance, but it had to be something. Which makes one roll the eyes, but we’re used to that.
Screw it, let’s talk about the good stuff. There was a lot of it this time. High School DxD is undoubtedly an emotional show; think about it too much, and it all falls apart. But when the emotions run high—whatever those emotions may be—this show can be excellent at what it does. From Xenovia’s desperate attack to Issei utterly breaking at Asia’s apparent death, it was the emotions of these scenes that worked, no matter how dodgy some of the logic might be. Screw the logic! This is working!
With Xenovia, this episode made me realize something I should have put together a while ago—that her heterosexual lifemate friendship with Asia is far more organic and natural than any baby-making desire she has with Issei. Her attack, and her relief at the end, made my heart clench. And when Issei broke … no matter how much power he has, that helps keep him from becoming a Gary Stu, because he’s not perfect. Sure, many would like to be in his position, harem-wise, but who wants to suffer pain like that? We all like to think we’d muscle though, but probably we’d break as well. That makes him less enviable, but more human. It’s what makes him him, rather than an audience stand in. That and the irrepressible perversion.
LN readers have been hinting at (and hyping up) the Juggernaught Drive all season, and I’m happy to say it delivered. Not only were the emotional notes there, it’s just damn cool. More dodgy plotting: Vali suddenly decides to help save Issei. Which almost kind of sort of works—it feels like these two could be friends if circumstances were different. (Or maybe they still can. We’ll see.) But the Juggernaught Drive was every bit as powerful as it was billed.
My only major complaint? Rias didn’t immediately tell Issei that Asia had survived when she went to talk sense into him. Just spit it out, girl! That’s what you claimed you had set out to do. Yeesh.
The Meaning of the Name
It’s always hard to know how much some authors plan these things ahead, but I feel pretty comfortable in saying that the original author had this Dragon of Dragon (DxD) thing in mind from the beginning. That’s a cool moment, finally knowing what the series title means, and maybe where all of this is going. Not that a lot of it still doesn’t make sense when you think about it, but like I said, the emotional notes are being hit beautifully. This show has never been for everyone, but it is a lot of fun for those who like it, especially right now.
Issei’s constant not-jumping-on-all-the-girls-
bones-oppai is a constant source of frustration for many viewers. Like I mentioned before, the given reason in the light novels is apparently that he got killed by his first girlfriend, the fallen angel Raynare. That hasn’t been coming through well in the anime at all, but at least they’re trying this time. Now there’s some intrigue. Did Raynare leave a curse on Issei, perhaps? Maybe I’ve read too much of The Dresden Files; I don’t even know if death curses are a thing in this world. (That sounds like a Harry Potter thing too. I wouldn’t know. Never read ’em.) But it could move things forward on the romance front now that Ophius has lifted the curse (or whatever it was).
Hey, I can hope.
Looking Ahead – Issei In Trouble
They certainly ended on an ominous note, which seems wise, because this was one hell of an event to just blow over without lasting consequences, and what’s bad for the characters is usually good for the story. Things really feel like they’re moving now, and in the good way—like a lot of interesting things are happening, not like they’re just rushing.
Good. Keep it up, DxD. You doin’ good.
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – An emotional crescendo resonates as the Juggernaught Drive is unveiled, making for one of the best episodes of DxD so far #haremking s3e9
- I like how powerful they made Sirzechs feel. He totally curbstomped that “true” satan with a harsh glare and calm words. Sometimes a fake can beat the “real” thing if the fake works harder, bitch!
- Kaji Yuki started using his Silvermask voice when the Juggernaught Drive was spinning up. I don’t care about all the hate Kaji Yuki gets sometimes, the dude has a voice!
- Divine Dividing. What a silly name.
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now available in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel short story. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: A lifestyle designed for productivity, Practical freedom, Old to them, and Stop sending me job ideas.