「俺、戦います!」 (Ore, Tatakaimasu!)
“I Will Fight!”

That … was not impressive. Not at all.

An Honest Display Of Passionate Love

Let’s get the good stuff out of the way, for it was sadly in the minority. I enjoyed the opening scenes, where Team Rias displayed an honest outpouring or support and love for Rias, and confirmed their determination to save her, no matter what. Rias is the character who knits them all together, the one who each and every one of them has a deep, personal relationship with. This felt natural. It felt good. It put a smile on my face, because, though is was easy to predict, it was right. That’s what they would say; obviously, right? It’s what they needed to say. It felt good to hear them say it all out loud.

Aaaand that’s all I’ve got on the good stuff.

And Then The Rest Of It

For the record, I’m in favor of anime original content, in theory. I believe that the mediums of television and manga or the written word are different enough that source material pulled from the latter two usually needs to be tweaked for the former. Somewhat. I say “in theory” because, in practice, this usually doesn’t work out. Consider the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime, which is a good example of anime original content. It’s a good example, and yet the pieces don’t quite fit together. Obviously, right? The story wasn’t designed to end that way. So Brotherhood ended up being the better anime, though to be fair it was helped because Fullmetal Alchemist is a story that translates wonderfully from manga to anime, and was given the attention and episode count necessary to do it correctly.

This, though… To be fair, I don’t know if this is anime original content, save for what I’ve surmised from commenters in recent episodes. LN readers will correct me if I’m wrong. But this reeks of cliché, of overused tropes, and of not taking enough time to tell a story properly. Issei’s negotiation with Kuroka was pathetic—he brought nothing to the table, save for yelling depending on the kindness of a sworn enemy. The Vali part was fine; I expected Vali to help him, so that Issei could get stronger for their eventual fight. Then they talk about the Dimensional Gap being controlled by the heart, so Rias will conveniently show up. Then they shout out their feelings again, and—I mean, really? It worked well the first time. It was nice the first time. The second time it was just repetitive, cliched, and most importantly, not very interesting. They didn’t even doll it up with a fight worth its salt.

As for Rias going into Welsh Dragon Balance Breaker mode, I don’t even. This is a series that runs on magic, and yet that still doesn’t make sense. They could have stuck with the Ruin Princess part, had her be a Nanoha/Lina Inverse-caliber nuker (pffft, she wishes) that they have to defeat through determination and grit. But this? WhatisthisIdon’teven.

Once again, I don’t know if this is anime original or not. Maybe this happens in the source, and they had to muscle it in somewhere. But if so, it wasn’t foreshadowed well, wasn’t presented well, and as such, didn’t go over well. I’m not mad. I’m really not. I’m disappointed. I always want to let creators try something new, I want to trust them to make changes and give us something other than a directly translation of the source. But then I’m left with episodes like this, which commit the greatest storytelling sin of all.

It was boring. Not all episodes need to be exciting—not all stories even need to be exciting at any point in their run. But they do need to be interesting. If they’re not interesting on some level, they’re wasting our time. In three seasons, I’ve almost never felt like High School DxD was wasting my time. I feel like they did today.

Looking Ahead – The Final Episode

The fun (see: fraught with despair) thing about episodic blogging is that I write these posts immediately after I see the episode, and sometimes my initial impressions are wrong. I wonder if that’s what happened with this episode? The creators went with their first ideas, and they ended up wrong. That could be the case here. I might end up reconsidering this post shortly after it goes up, and realizing all the majesty I missed in the first watching.

It could happen. For now, though, I’m just hoping the last episode doesn’t suck. It’s up to Issei to save Rias, because his feelings are the strongest, despite the others who’ve known her longer, opened up to her more, and owe her more than he ever could. And her dragon armor is a chainmail bikini (trope!). Guh. I need a drink.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – After an honest outpouring of feelings for Rias, it all goes down hill. FAST. Welsh Dragon Rias? Whatever #haremking s3e11

Random thoughts:

  • Anyone have a clue what the green guy did to Issei? Though maybe it’s just foreshadowing.
  • Wait… I just realized what I said in that last paragraph. I complained about the skimpy armor in High School DxD. See!? This is why you can’t phone it in! This story needs to be fun to get away with that. I’m getting that drink.

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: How to not get butthurt when others insult stories you love, Guilty pleasures are bullshit, A lifestyle designed for productivity, and Practical freedom.

Full-length images: 29.




  1. Wow…this episode.

    Yeah, I kind of agree about it overall. I mean they could have done this better, especially the Welsh dragon mode Rias thing. Was that really needed? Anything would have made more sense than that.

    Well almost done this season anyways. Been a ride if nothing else.

      1. It seems like she actually gained more skin coverage, aside from her oppai, in the second pic. I actually didn’t mind that she kept some of her (chainmail bikini) armor, to show she’s a Valkyrie, but it’s weird that they would suddenly add what seems like the bottom half of a school mizugi.

  2. Oh My freaking God…. WTF HAVE THEY DONE TO DXD?!

    Its like the first adaptation of Fate Stay Night all over again….. I guess I’ll pretend this didnt exist….

    seriously… I know DxD was never the one with deep plots (and I dont meen the PLOTS) but this episode was just pure facepalm crap.

    While Issei’s unexplained (though sometimes and explained yet horribly nonsense) power ups were something I can brush off, the presence of Rias and her balance breaker armor was just pure ass pull!

    The biggest gripe I had in this season is how they never utilize Sairaorg Bael! The slugfest between him and Issei was the biggest reason I watched this season (excluding Ophis’ existence… coz loli is justice)

    *sigh*… if the writer of the LN was really part of the planning team, then he really dropped the ball big time.

    1. I have nothing but sympathy for the LN author. Without the outsized influence that comes with being a rockstar creator (Toriyama Akira comes to mind … I’m hoping Dragon Ball Super is a return to form), I don’t know that a creator would have much hope of truly influencing how a larger studio (that by nature would see him as an outsider) operates. Or maybe he tried something new and totally fucked it up.

      You know, occasionally friends or family will reference my book getting made into a TV show or movie. The first thing I do is laugh; not gunna happen, pops. I know what kind of sales that would require, and I ain’t anywhere close. But taking it at face value, I always answer the same: I’m petrified of giving up control over my story, because I would be afraid of this happening. Of having to choose between protecting people whom I’ve met and probably liked (the animation studio, in this case), and maybe even struggled with if I’ve been involved, or at least understood the struggles they’ve had to go through to produce a show—to choose between them, and my rightfully incensed readers.

      Sounds like a crappy situation to be in. I hope he gets a nice paycheck for all of this, at the very least. I’d rather just keep writing my silly little adventures.

    2. and the best of all, Rias Dragon Armor style is so dam Unsexy. Why know they remind her given dignity? Where she was use all times some Sexy baiting Cloths or Armor? No, looks like they hired some complete different studio to produce the Final episode, and forgotten to check their Flow. It seem really out of place.

    3. “Its like the first adaptation of Fate Stay Night all over again…”

      Or worse, Infinite Stratos 2

      OK, I tried to go along with this season’s anime-original content in the hope that the finale served as a good sequel hook for the next season (that would be closer to the LNs). I mean, look at DxD NEW (S2), it set up the Issei-Vali rivalry quite good (if not well) and it ended the season with everything that was good about DxD–audacious ecchi comedy, “holy s**t” awesome moments, and characters pulling off said “holy s**t” awesome moments. (Maybe because it still followed the LN within reasonable constraints of the anime medium.)

      Sadly, it didn’t feel like there’s any setup to a good sequel hook in this episode. With next’s week’s installment being the last one, any possible sequel hook would have to be a “shock moment” that would warrant wanting to watch a Season 4–and that “shock moment” probably won’t be liked by the LN and anime fans. But we’ll see if that will be proven true or false (unlike that question whether that Issei clone is a projection of Loki in disguise or not)… *sighs*

      Oh well, at least the eyecatch was still pretty alright. (Umm…clothing damage fetish, I suppose? Not that I’m complaining…)

      1. Gah… Infinite Stratos 2…. and here I thought I already forgot about that atrocity.

        On the bright side, DxD LN is light years above the IS LN. I’ll take whatever good news I can find to keep DxD in my favorite list

  3. The way they’re going with this makes me concerned that they’ve been informed that there won’t be another season, so they’re trying to wrap it up with an anime-original ending. I don’t think there’s an inherent problem with making anime-original episodes, it’s just that they tend to be some mixture of butchering characterization/meaningless filler/introducing plot holes/poor writing. There’s already a precedent for taking part of a Heavenly Dragon’s power; Issei got a small portion of Vali’s power, not the entire f*cking Balance Breaker. Rias clearly has some measure of control, so why would she start fighting melee, which she never does, when she could just amplify her demonic spell powers and just wreck them. I don’t have a lot of hope for the finale.

    Damn, if we’re just gonna throw everything out the window, then Issei already has the perfect bargaining chip for Kuroka; she wants his babies. Bang, negotiations over, go call Vali.

    Also, Stilts, I think you meant “latter two”, not “laughter two” when talking about source materials.

    1. Damn, that’s a goofy typo, lol! Thanks for the catch. Fixed.

      I thought about the Kuroka-wanting-his-babies thing too. Of course, he doesn’t want to do that either—and unlike not indulging in consensual sex with hot high school babes, not wanting to impregnate a murderous terrorist is totally understandable—but lying is always an option. He at least had another bargaining chip, but he didn’t even think to use it. If we hadn’t been on a railroad plot, that could have led to Rias’ demise.

      1. Any of those possibilities would annoy me.

        I think it was probably foreshadowing. In which case, it too wasn’t done very well. You need to give us something, so when whatever the foreshadowing was hinting at is realized, we go “Ohhh, that’s what that was about.” He should have said something to give us a vague hint. As is, they’re going to have to forcibly shove the answer under our noses, and that’s no fun.

    2. The Green Guy? His is giving Issei the Plot Drive to lure Rias out in the Dimensional Gap. Or something like a Personal Force Field, to let him stay independent from the others in the Gap

      Yeah, some king of Deus ex Machina, for the Anime Fianle

    3. That’s the whole problem with the last two episodes: they threw Rias’ character out the window because it didn’t suit where they were going with the plot. If she had been totally stripped of free-will or if her power was no longer under her control, sure, she might attack them, but last episode and before BB of this episode it’s clear she still has some measure of free-will. That’s complete and utter BS. She would’ve fought against someone hurting her precious people until her mind turned to jelly, even if that person was herself.

  4. To be fair, I don’t know if this is anime original content, save for what I’ve surmised from commenters in recent episodes. LN readers will correct me if I’m wrong.

    This is totally anime original, and it goes against many established facts in the LN.

    First of all, there is no curse to begin with in the LN, it is simply the mental block Issei placed on himself after his first failed relationship. He was able to overcome this himself without the need for Ophis to intervene. This also means that the whole mind-control by Loki subplot does not exist.

    Secondly, the Juggernaut Drive does not leave behind anything that can be used to create another Balance Breaker. The very fact that a Longinus, sacred gears powerful enough to kill gods, like the Boosted Gear, can be simply absorbed and duplicated from a leftover shard is absurd.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    And most egregiously of all, the Dimensional Gap does not work like fairy dust. Just because you wish for something does not magically make things happen in the Dimensional Gap. It is a complete void without any rules or boundaries. Asia being discovered by Vali when she fell in is a miracle with infinitesimally small odds. Otherwise, there is no reason Ophis has to rely on the Chaos Brigade to kick out Great Red, if she can just “wish it to be”.

    1. That’s another good point, about Great Red. I was thinking for a second that, because it had no rules, a great enough application of will could bend the universe directly; though in that case, one could assume that Ophis would be able to do the same thing.

      So, just a huge plot hole. Which is fun.

      1. A plot hole the size of the Dimensional Gap.

        If they wish to adapt another season, what happened over the last couple episodes will interfere greatly with a faithful adaptation. They would have to recon quite a bit to get things back on track.

  5. the thing that infuriates me the most is that if they had just stuck to how they did the first two seasons, born would have been awesome. the only way the last episode can save this dumpster fire is if halfway through, issei and rias suddenly stop and admit that this was all an elaborate prank, and that the real born will be shown in the summer. anyways, my thoughts on episode 11:

    – um, don’t you kinda need a sacred gear in order to get scale mail? how does that work?

    – issei: “everyone! you guys get your asses kicked while i just stand here and kindly ask rias to snap out of it”

    – rias’ “armor” makes not damn sense!!! the top half makes her look like a linebacker and the bottom half looks like something she would wear on issei’s birthday

  6. That was, by far, the most boring episode of this season (or even all of the seasons yet).
    It’s taking itself way too seriously in a seemingly last-ditch effort to prove that it is something more than what it really is – a perverted comedy that just has it’s moments of amusement and the entirety of the anime knows it and inserts the comedy between the lines with all the pervertedness that is DxD!

    However, I got none of that this episode; poorly executed and merely a set up for the next episode. Unfortunately, it failed to hype me or sell me the next episode’s quality or even to justify this week’s lackluster quality.

    tl;dr: No boobs no life

  7. Another Dimensional Gap hole bit…why does Issei have to fight Rias at all? Can’t he just will it hard enough and bring her back to normal? Instead, they’re trying to pull the whole “communicating through your fists” thing it seems.

  8. Issei are the Boy/Male side with the Strongest Feeling for her. I think on the Female side it is Akeno, that has the deepest bond with Rias. Because they fight over the same Boy, and their “hatred” is all for show and both side know their true feelings to each other. Or there would be long ago a Bloodbath of the president and vice-president

    So Issei, are the placeholder for us Male watchers, the Bone of our Sword

  9. I typically just enjoy the ride with DxD, but WTH was this bumpy plot-hole ridden ride I just went thru @_@. Now this just makes me want the Summer Season to come that much faster =/

  10. @ Stilts:

    “Rias is the character who knits them all together, the one who each and every one of them has a deep, personal relationship with.”

    No question that all of them have a significant past/personal relationship with Rias. However, in regards to the first part (Rias is the main force “knitting” them together), not really at this point in the story, and less so as the story progresses. It’s Issei that becomes the real “glue” for Team Gregory (he is MC-kun after all and this is a harem story so no surprise). The group centering around Issei more and more as time progresses in the story is something that the LN mentions off and on (as early as vol. 05, the LN mentions how Issei was the “heart” of the team – anime skipped that part of course). The anime did at least mention how Asia and Xenovia plan to follow Issei when he moves out on his own and forms his own Ratings Game team as “King”. Irina certainly is in the group because of Issei. I’m sure Akeno would follow Issei if she could (who knows, she may end up doing so). Even “core” members such as Kiba mention how Issei has made such a difference in their lives. So while it’s probably not apparent in the anime due to all the material cuts – the group ultimately revolves around Issei, not Rias at this point.

    “For the record, I’m in favor of anime original content, in theory. I believe that the mediums of television and manga or the written word are different enough that source material pulled from the latter two usually needs to be tweaked for the former. Somewhat. I say “in theory” because, in practice, this usually doesn’t work out.”

    Honestly, this will be hard to keep succinct because anime only changes/additions, along with overly fast/too much material cut pacing (a separate issue), is an increasing source of irritation for me with adaptations. The short version is while certainly some (key) adjustments are required, far too often (IMO) “adaptations” go well beyond what is actually necessary for “adapting” – at least how I define the term. Whether altering/deleting/adding characters and/or plot lines, or even “small” changes like “amping up” things – numerous and noticeable changes made to the original story which I cannot see as “necessary tweaking” for adaptation to a different medium – and this season of HS DxD is a quintessential example of that. How exactly is this anime only plot line “necessary” to adapt the original story?

    Your “in theory” qualifier is completely appropriate IMO because THAT is the problem. In theory, possibly, potentially, “hey, ya never know” – sure. In practice, rarely IMO. A clear majority of the time, I find anime only changes/additions noticeably inferior rather as good/equivalent let alone better/an improvement. Detrimental rather than anything beneficial to the story or storytelling. Occasionally, as good/equivalent (but then what’s the point? Change for the sake of change), and rarely better/an improvement over the original source material. It’s not that I hold the source sacrosanct, but simply after comparing the two versions (which is perfectly fair IMO – after all, anime has the advantage of adding auditory and visual elements), I find the source material significantly better. It’s just that simple. That’s why I don’t like anime only changes/additions as general rule. The risk simply is not worth the “in theory” potential reward – especially if I already like the source material as is.


    As for more specific comments concerning this episode and HS DxD S3, I’ll wait until the final episode review.

    1. You’re right that Issei knits the group together as much as Rias now. My point was that they all have a personal relationship with her (unlike, say, Gasper and Asia … they’re friends, certainly, but it’s not a deep relationship on the level of either of them and Rias), so it felt good that they all declared their intent to save her. It’s not really a contest; what’s important is that Rias has that link with them all.

      And yeah, the reality of anime changes constantly hurts my determined optimism of them. I think it’s best when they do an Ars Nova and tell an entirely different story, not the middle-of-the-road crap that ends up infuriating source material fans and underwhelming anime-only viewers. All or nothing, baby—try to have it both ways, and all you’ll have is a lot of hate.

  11. I don’t even… *throws table at the wall* WHO THE HELL GAVE YOU PERMISSION TO MAKE RIAS THIS WEAK-WILLED?!?! Letting a copy trick her into attacking her family? LOL No. Attacking them when EVERYONE is there and apparently the curse still wasn’t in full-effect with no one whispering in her ear? LAMO No! This is RIAS GREMORY. Yes, she’s a spoiled princess, but the woman has a will of pure mythril when it comes to those she loves. You can’t leave her with even a SHRED of free-will and make her attack even one of them without completely abandoning the entire premise of the character!

    The only part that even BEGAN to make sense was when the curse stripped her of her free-will entirely and she went mini-JD, and that’s so full of holes it’s pitiful! You can’t break of a piece of a Sacred Gear, much less a LONGINUS! Even if you did, it wouldn’t be worth anything! They’re trying to hand-wave that by saying “Oh, since it’s Loki,” but HELL NO!

    *sigh* I never thought I’d say this about DxD, but just finish it off. Before I stop caring. They could have just taken out the Sitri fight to make room, then done everything else as it was, and this would’ve been the best season yet. Instead we got this. I don’t even think promising to jump straight to the vol 10 ending from here could make me invest in the next episode.

  12. Show Spoiler ▼

    Stilts edit: Tag your spoilers, please.

    1. About your spoilers (please remember to tag btw) Show Spoiler ▼

      1. While i don’t deny that it is just stupid writing at the moment, i’ve already given up on this season following the LN and just watch it for the humor and boobs, in which they even failed there.
        As for the spoilers, can one call it a spoiler if it is already shown like they showed Rias her fake balance breaker thingie?

  13. Every LN reader and most anime watchers would agree that her peerage are all very precious people to Rias. She’s rather disembowel herself with a spoon than hurt any of them. So basically an anime original plot line, introduced very late into the season which breaks characterization, the rules on which the world works and asspulls a completely implausible development out of nowhere….


    Well haven’t seen that series for a while. Hope DxD doesn’t go the way of Zetsubou-sensei.

  14. Wow. As a LN reader (thanks to Baka-Tsuki) I could ignore a lot of the anime original stuff. But by Asia’s Fried Panties, this is just nuts. I mean this season literally has pulled off a Infinite Stratos 2 (and almost on Mahouka levels) amount of stupidity. I mean, everyone who loved the first season is going to say “this is nonsense” because it goes against the actual established facts given in the original season or world building.

    It almost is on Mahouka levels, because it doesn’t completely destroy everything we love about DxD. Thank Asia’s Fried Panties, but it gets close enough that if I were to recommend people the light novels to people right now, I would and have had to talk people into it by telling them how it doesn’t do what just happened.

    <_< …no, I don't have Asia's Fried Panties on my brain. That's just weird. *munching* In my mouth? Oh yes, they are there.

    See how weird it is? You have me doing stuff completely out of left field makes everyone go "he hurt his head" or "Fafnir must've fed him some, run while you can". THAT'S DXD BORN!

    1. And if it weren’t bad enough, other characters like Kuroka, Rossweisse, and Ophis, characters that tons of fans were looking forward to see animated and do their thing, barely play any real role at all in the course of the series. You’d think someone like Ophis, one of the most powerful beings in existence, would make much more of an impact.

    2. Don’t make me remind that perverted dragon Fafnir and what he is doing with her panties, he is just too random with what he wants whenever he gets summoned! Show Spoiler ▼

      Now i am kinda curious if there are also angels that will get influenced by Fafnir Show Spoiler ▼

      Stilts edit: Minor spoilers are still spoilers. Tag ’em, please.

  15. I swear, if they end up with some deus ex machina bullshit from whatever green guy did, there’s gonna be some serious raging. They might as well have stuck with the literal deus ex machina vs. Loki from the LNs. Even though that was such an asspull, it was both hilarious and fits in well with the general nature and tone of the series.

  16. That … was not impressive. Not at all.

    I think this pretty much sums up everything. Doubly so if you’ve actually read the LNs. DxD isn’t known for having the best of plots or the deepest of them but I have to say that the source material was so much better than this.

    I understand that adaptations require a bit of creative license since not all LNs are easily adaptable to Animes (Mahouka is a good example) and Anime Original Content is nice also but this is just a textbook example of bad writing

  17. I can’t believe High School DxD went the way of Infinite Stratos 2. I hate ecchi shows, but DxD was VERY tolerable. It’s baffling that they went in a different direction

  18. I would like to know are they removing or skimping on actual LN material to do their own thing? Also anime original is understandable when they run out of source material but it seams like they had plenty of real material to use. I hate when a producer thinks I can do a better job than the author it rarely turns out well.

    The worst adaptation ever is Star Ship Troopers. It is a must to read the first chapter of the book when fully powered armored combat suits are used to drop from orbit. One book Trooper could kill a entire unit of the movies troops and stoping a horde of stupid insects would be easy, the book weapons are so much more powerful taking down buildings with bombs on every multi block jump a trooper makes and every squad has one member with a multi tactical nuclear launcher, could have nuclear weapons as needed more if needed. It would be the coolest battle scene filmed yet in sci fi. The bugs in the book are an intelligent weapon and tool using race with starships, who negotiate to have allies, a swarm of them is like 30 with blasters not hundreds of non weapon using insects. They actually gave the movie to a producer who hated the author and all the authors views. So the producer totally rewrote it and went to the low tech modern sci fi instead of the golden age way higher tech weapons.

    So total hatchet jobs happen all the time. At least the Star Ship Trooper movies were mildly popular. Most hatchet jobs fail. Æon Flux was a total dud in part because if your not having Aeon in a thong outfit she wears there little point.

    I dislike the chain mail bikini use. I love my skimpy outfits but not when the battle stupid compared to the men. Now if both sexes are wearing the same partial armor no problem. Now without armor anything you can move well is fine, nothing at all works, hey it might distract them, and the fencing swordsman with no armor replaced the armor using fighters as speed and skill trumped armor using the new art of then modern combat fencing. I got to find the time to correct TV tropes on skin tight catsuits not being practical. That some propaganda there, effectively skin tight catsuits is what ballet dancers, acrobats, circus performers, real wrestlers and figure skaters wear. The skin tight super hero outfit is because they borrowed the look from the circus where flexibility was key to staying alive.

  19. I don’t like where this anime original content is heading…

    It’s like the anime is rushing in establishing…

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Jesus… this is just a fucking trainwreck… Where’s Saisarog? Where’s the rating game?


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