「決戦!グレモリー眷属VS英雄派IN京都」 (Kessen! Guremorii Kenzoku VS Eiyuu-ha IN Kyoto)
“Showdown! Gremory Family vs. Hero Faction in Kyoto”

This episode is the low watermark of fanservice for the season thus far, which, I mean. Appropriate for the tone of this episode, yes! But one quick scene is well below par. I feel like they need to dial it back more slowly than this. They got us hopped up on vitamin O and then just pulled the rug out from under us. What’s the Oppai Dragon gonna do without oppai!? This is madness, I tell you, madness!

Overly dramatic goofs aside, I liked how messy the opening battle was. It wasn’t necessarily a good battle, but it did very much mirror my feelings (and comprehension) of the factions in High School DxD, which is that there are too many of them, I can’t keep them straight, and they keep popping up out of nowhere and blasting the ever-living shit out of each other. As a set up battle it was good, though, since it showed how strong the antagonists were. I also enjoyed the appearance of the the witch from Vali’s team, Le Fay Pendragon (Shinoda Minami), mostly because of how ludicrous it is for a girl to be a fan of the Oppai Dragon. Not impossible, certainly, but it seems like a hazardous fandom for anyone possessing breasts! I still got a good chuckle out of it, though.

It is, of course, silly that the allied devils/angels/fallen angels/youkai/steelworkers faction is sending in a bunch of kids instead of their heavy hitters, but this is fiction and it wouldn’t be any fun if the protagonists weren’t at the center of the action. The biggest thing I’m lacking is having actually seen this power of Saji’s that’s so useful but prone to going out of control. That’s probably the first real casualty of having to skip content in my eyes. Other issues have sucked, but this one is just frustrating without that context. I’m sure it’ll be cleared up soon, but feh.

As far as Issei’s potential goes, he should have released it before he got into a fight. Obviously! Though once again, that wouldn’t be very cinematic, so I see why things went this way. With the Shakugan no Shana alternate dimension thing going on, there’s no chance for him to find his reality potential marble after the battle has started, so gotta do it before. Fair enough. It does make it even more clear than normal that he’s going to clobber this guy, though. Fortunately, the details are what has me interested. What will his potential be like? What will it do? Will it be useful on people without the breasts Issei’s likes? We’ll find out soon, I’m sure!

Random thoughts:

  • Sending three women after the Oppai Dragon? To quote Tony Stark, not a great plan.
  • The heroes want to kill the gods, just to show that humans can. Not gonna lie, I’m sympathetic to the goal. Sounds like something I’d do. Or Kratos, but angrier.
  • Kunou went from calling Issei the worst to jumping on him and cuddling up. Issei really shouldn’t have low self-esteem, his sweat is apparently hypnotic to women or something.

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    1. Unless the author specifically requests more fanservice be put in.

      For example, apparently the bath scenes with Rias, Akeno and Koneko in the previous eps were anime original insertions placed at the author’s demand; the 3 girls didn’t appear much in Vol 9, so the author wanted to give them extra sexy appearances for the anime.

      1. Which is awesome cause Akeno and Koneko deserve all the screen time they can get, and they put in just enough work to grow the characters while we get our fanservice. They’re thinking about everyone’s safety, and Rias is cute when she’s getting teased by how Akeno and Koneko are fine with Issei getting some action in Kyoto as long as he comes home. Loving the dynamic that goes with this “plot” XD

  1. While i partially agree with pinch, it is more that the fanservice will shift to a different kind most of the time. Up till now, it was obvious and in your face with it but after this it will be more subtle. Think of sexual innuendo’s, simple wordplay, flirting and all that good stuff.
    And Le Fay is as adorable as i expected, can’t wait to see their reaction ( gremory team and vali team ) when the girl asks Issei for an autograph 😛
    I do have a small complaint regarding this battle though and that is that they change some stuff again. Siegfried here revealed the name of his sacred gear and balance breaker too soon. Twice critical was supposed to come after grogmagog was dealt with while his balance breaker was hinted at during the next fight. ( Like i said, small complaint but okay )

    Now, as for Saji and his sacred gear, kinda weird to explain but his sacred gear is 4 different ones that had to be united before the creature in his sacred gear would wake up.
    This would have been covered in that sitri game they referenced but i’ll put the rest in spoilers since i don’t remember what was revealed around this part in the novels and what not regarding Sanji’s powers.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    As for siegfried, that dragon arm is a twice critical, a common sacred gear one that doubles ones power a single time.
    Issei his boosted gear works in a similar way as it keeps doubling without limit ( well, his body is the only limit but if you ignore that variable it keeps doubling without end. So 1 becomes 2, 4, 8, 16 etc when comparing it to his base. Siegfried his sacred gear however just does a single boost where 1 becomes 2 and that is that. The sacred gear he mentioned is an artifical one from what i remember though similar to shadow dude his transformation.

  2. >Not impossible, certainly, but it seems like a hazardous fandom for anyone possessing breasts!
    Mirrors real life though, DxD has a big female fanbase. Enough that its light novels are sold in the women’s section in bookstores.

    1. Okay, that is actually news to me.
      Last i read about it ( admittedly, a few years ago ) was that females denounced it for being an otaku’s self insert and didn’t want to read things like that.

  3. The author’s reasoning of the Hero Faction’s motivations:

    “When I was writing DxD I (felt humans would feel the most threatened knowing of) the devils, angels and fallen angels (alliance)… (The Hero Faction see themselves as) RPG protagonists who defeat Maou and dragons.”

    TLDR – Hero Faction see themselves as humanity’s champions against all things supernatural without considering the finer implications.

    1. Extra LN info on the Hero Faction:

      Show Spoiler ▼

    2. Makes sense to me. Once again, I’m sympathetic to them. I’d be hella worried about all these long-lived, powerful beings who could easily rule over humans if they bent their minds to it. I don’t like that kind of thing—though I’d like to think I’d pay attention to the actual power dynamics instead of just blowing shit up, haha

  4. Drunk Rossweisse is godly on all fronts. Would’ve been perfect if she’d done the full cliche of complaining that she was too hot and stripping down before firing off her Rook-powered arsenal of awesome. And Stilts, after how much Koneko loves Issei even with all the ridiculous things she’s seen him do, does Kunou really surprise you? Kindness and bravery trumps being pervy in this world with the ladies, hands down.

    Now to the complaint: while I accept that I’m probably in the minority here, I have to admit that I find nothing about the Hero Faction compelling, or even interesting. Never have. They got these amazing gifts and are descended from honest-to-god Legends, but there big goal boils down to finding the human Level Cap by being dicks to everyone? And they’ve somehow convinced themselves that that’s what being a “Hero” means, even though they aren’t even trying to benefit everyone but themselves? Seriously?

    I mean, sure, by himself Vali isn’t much better than Cao Cao. They’re both nuts, but at least they made Vali an interesting kind of nuts by making him Issei’s self-proclaimed and mildly-obsessed rival, plus he’s surrounded by others that are also an interesting/funny kinda nuts. They’re also self-aware, so they all know they’re nuts. No such cushion with the “Heroes” that all come super-serious with massive chips on their shoulders and whose big names were handed legendary powers just because. And they tell themselves that everything they do is okay because they are human “Heroes” against the monsters, yet also shoot their own logic in the foot by not going the distance. They’re doing all this because they can, not because of something like helping people or otherwise that might at least let me think “Okay, yeah, that’s kinda heroic”. A kid using the metal pipe he’s been handed to ambush a wolf that wasn’t doing anything wrong isn’t heroic or even brave, it’s dumb. And a little psychotic. And yes, I know a lot of the Heroes and Legends in history haven’t been the most upstanding of people, but that doesn’t make these nobs here any less boring.

    Then they just rub salt in the wound by throwing La Fey in our faces to remind us “look, this is what an interesting descendant of a Legend looks like”. Which I don’t mind at all, cause you know: spunky, adorable and powerful? Le Fay all day.

    TL;DR – More Le Fay and interesting descendants, less Cao Cao and boring, power-tripping jackasses.

    1. @Aex : IIRC the Heroes get called out on being self-benefiting dicks, but only in much later volumes.
      DxD’s author says he’d envisioned the Hero Faction working off humanity’s (irrational) fear of the supernatural – see my post above for details.

      1. I get that, and that makes sense, which is why I can pardon the mooks like Shadow-Guy who might actually be afraid of the supernatural. They’re just scared tools. My issue is with Cao Cao, Siegfried and the other names to come that seem to be fully aware that devils/yokai/etc aren’t an active threat to humanity and so have no reason to fear their organized groups(which they are knowingly attacking instead of going after strays that might actually be dangerous), but decide to beat on them anyway because they think it’s cool. Be much more interesting if it felt like the leaders thought there were actual stakes for humanity involved here.

    2. Didn’t Cao cao get an upgrade in personality when a certain god picked him up Show Spoiler ▼

      Instead of being the boring dick he is now, he became some-what more interesting after that event.

      1. Yeah, in another 6 Volumes or something he becomes a little interesting because of that and Show Spoiler ▼

    3. @Aex

      That all makes sense. Honestly, I don’t get riled up by any of the factions in DxD because I don’t take any of them seriously. They’re all kinda silly. I may be sympathetic to killing gods because you can—and because I played a lot of Everquest during Planes of Power—but they end up looking hella stupid once you know the context. But it’s all a big shrug from me, ’cause I don’t take the geopolitics seriously. They’re middle school level at best.

  5. https://randomc.net/image/High%20School%20DxD/High%20School%20DxD%20HERO%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2016.jpg
    “You flaming idiotsh!” *hic*

    “Take thish!”

    Considering that the main antagonist for this arc (CAO CAO!) is a reference to Romance of The Three Kingdoms, I couldn’t resist making a reference to the ham and cheese hack-and-slash game that is Dynasty Warriors. Also, drunk Rossweisse is hilariously awesome. And so is that eyecatch of her in that striped bikini reminiscent of Mio Akiyama’s “bowl of rice”… (*aroused snickering*)

    “Mr. Cao Cao, we don’t feel so clothed…”

    Which begs these two questions:
    – What happens if the Hero Faction decides to send “traps” (think Felix Argyle and/or Astolfo) directly against Issei instead of women?
    – And (Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny-wise), can a full-power Issei defeat Thanos? (Sorry, still reeling a bit from the “Wham!” of Avengers: Infinity War.)

    On a more plot-relevant note/philosophical musing, if a human decides to gain supernatural powers in order to defeat other beings with supernatural powers, would he/she still be considered human, or would he/she be something else entirely?

    Usually, when a human gains supernatural powers, either he/she gets drunk with that power and loses his/her humanity, or that power proves too much and leads to his/her demise. It’s rare to see stories where a human is supernaturally empowered yet has the willpower to retain his/her humanity.

    1. Well, you just pointed out one example. Super Soldier Serum might not be supernatural, but Cap managed to retain his humanity and moral compass. There are plenty of other examples of people who gain supernatural powers and don’t implode, it’s just that, when humans are the “other,” they tend to be painted as hot-headed and rapacious. For good cause, alas -_-

      I have a feeling Issei would immediately sniff out any traps, or definitely would once he tries to use his booblingual power on ’em and gets crickets.

      1. Considering that the members of the Hero Faction made a contract with a god from another mythology (slight LN spoiler so I won’t mention which mythology) in order to keep up against demons, fallen angels, and angels, the quote “He who fights monsters” comes to mind.

        Ah, good old Cap. Then again, Steve was already a good person at his core even before becoming Captain America.

        I’ve always thought Issei would get demoralized if he used Dress Break on feminine-looking opponents, only to turn out to be traps. But yeah, Issei using Booblingual and getting nothing but crickets (or Booblingual actually revealing that they’re traps) would also be funny if only to see Issei’s reaction.

        Though Issei’s probably used to traps thanks to Gasper. (Hope he’ll[?] get more screentime in the next arc.)
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Anyway… Didn’t a light novel side story also cover that subplot about “Issei’s potential” causing an increase in molesters in Kyoto?

  6. Ep 05:

    – Genius. The Story writer is an Genius… OPPAAAIIII!!!!

    – Also, did these Humans think about what will happen next, when they beat all their “enemy’s”. It is like an Team Battle Royal right now. But what comes after the Victory? When they look back, what will they see? Darkness or something other? Or do they even not care here, too? Humans can even fight that and win?.. In the End, when all enemy’s are dead, they become their own Gods.. yes, the same thing they fight against it right now…

    They just clash for the fun of it, in how far they come.. But what if there is no more fun in it? “Mommy, they are strong and hit my beautiful face.. WUAAHHH!!!!!”.. Is that it?

    Well. perhaps we will not see this destination, and our Red Dragon “Oppai” one will save the day in his own way


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