「リアス・グレモリーの眷属として」 (Riasu Guremorii no Kenzoku to Shite)
“As a Family Member of Rias Gremory”

This episode contained a lot of discrete battles. I could go through each one at a time, but that would be boring because most weren’t much to talk about. That’s not a knock, though, because the fact that we had five full battles is a recognition that most of them couldn’t carry an episode alone. Good! I’d prefer for more battle anime to recognize the limitations of their chosen plots and not drag them out pointlessly. The result here is that we got to see the contours of the overall contest change within the space of an episode, and that’s what this is really all about.

Granted, some of the battles were pretty limiting even so. Kiba’s battle was only all right, and Akeno’s defeat was perfunctory at best. Trying to get through a bunch of battles where each one has limited dramatic weight will lead to some duds, made so because we don’t no squat about any of Sairaorg’s family save for him, so there’s no character on the other side of the field. Some was developed over these bouts, but aside from the queen who actually won, we won’t see any of the others again, so who cares. It’s one of the times when High School DxD’s straddling of the ecchi, comedy, and fantasy action genres hurts it, because a full-on action anime might have put development time into the opponents ahead of time, but DxD didn’t care. Partially I appreciate this, because they didn’t waste our time with half-assed characterizations if they weren’t going to go all in. But only wasting a little time instead of wasting a bunch is still wasting some of our time. I’m not bad, it’s a B+ decision, it just deserves calling out.

The battles that did have more going on were more fun, though. Rosseweisse and Koneko’s battle had some actual wrinkles to it, and it ended as I expected it to: with the Gremory team winning, but losing a fighter. That’s how I expected this to play out: the Gremory team would win a lot early on, because they’re all defined characters and most of the others are just faces, until they start fighting against Sairaorg, at which point they’ll begin to lose until it’s down to Issei, Rias, and whoever else makes it dramatic (Asia, I’d bet). So it followed in Xenovia and Gasper’s match, and I did get a chuckle about Gasper talking about protecting the girls when the girl in question is way stronger than him. I know, I know, it ties in with his character arc quite nicely, and it made for by far the most compelling match of the episode. You just know how I feel about this whole “guys must protect girls” rigmarole. Everyone ought to protect everyone else! But when it came time for Gasper to protect someone, he fought on admirably, and I especially loved his time freeze as he was fading away. Now that’s how to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat! Way to go, Ga-kun!

Oh, and Issei’s match. Oh, Issei! It was a good bit of hilarious comedy interlude, and a good attempt at exploiting his “weakness,” even if I’m not sure what her plan was once she was down to her birthday suit? Unless she had some kind of Oppai Beam that was going to take down Issei in one shot, I don’t know what she was planning, but at least it was funny until she made a classic mistake. I’m a fan of mixing up the order myself, but Issei is young. He’ll come around in time.

The episode ends with the remaining rook and knights vowing to wear down Sairaorg, and that’s a death defeat flag if I’ve ever seen one. They know they’re outmatched though, so at least they’re cognizant enough to know their chances in the match. Still, I wish I could believe that they’ll actually snatch a victory from Sairaorg … maybe, maybe. It’ll be a fun match to watch though, provided it isn’t quickly over in a big flash of light.

My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for updates. At stephenwgee.com, the latest post: Risk Tolerance in the Creative Life.

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  1. On DxD’s onetime character appearances, author says to just go with the flow:

    “It seems like many characters are appearing but most of them either disappear from the plot (later on) …or they are one-time characters only. So I think it’s okay to not remember other characters besides the main ones. Basically the main ones got involved in many problems with other groups…where they solve the problems, and get involved with groups led by the boss character.”


    1. Of course. That’s how writing works. That’s why, in my own books, I sometimes won’t even bother giving characters a name, I’ll just slap some kind of descriptive title on them and go with that. If I know they’re there for one scene, then giving them a name isn’t necessary.

      That’s why I said it wasn’t a bad thing that the battles were over quickly. It’s just, they almost got characterized too much for their limited roles? They got names and all this, and then got beat like chumps. Which was almost necessary because otherwise it would have been clear Sairaorg was surrounded by a bunch of useless mooks, but it still ended up being unsatisfying. Like I said, it’s a hard thing, since the sharply defined matches make for little room for unexpected contributions by the one-offs. I’d have to put a lot of work into thinking of how I’d fix it (I did say it was a B+ after all, that’s a pretty good grade), and I’d rather put that time into my own work, haha

      1. Here’s my 2 cents.
        It’s been this way ever since the first season. Battles ended too quickly for my taste and large organizations were introduced but without any other substantial side characters.
        It’s the type of writing style I have a love-hate relationship with.
        Right now in the novels there’s soooooooooo many characters that I could give a less of a sh*t about just because they’re just one-offs.

        “OMG it’s [insert random high class/powerful angel/devil/fallen angel/god/creature]! Hype!”

        I don’t get that kinda hype.

  2. Well, the original plan was first to distract Issei and then either get him to knock himself out through his perverted mind ( fainting through blood nose for example ) or coerce him into giving up if we go with the light novels. Didn’t work out that well when she screwed up the order but his reasoning is gold. The bra should always be removed first, how else do you want to catch the attention of our oppai dragon there?! If it was the butt dragon, then the panties go down first but our oppai dragon only cares if the bra is removed before the panties!

  3. https://randomc.net/image/High%20School%20DxD/High%20School%20DxD%20HERO%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2019.jpg
    “You could say…


    ( •_•)>⌐■-■


    …she went out with a bang.”


    Hmm, I wonder how Nanako Mori (Corianna’s seiyuu) was able to keep a straight face when she recorded that scene… XD Also, being the “Grabbin’ Dragon” is serious business.

    Question: Did the light novel version of this come out before the release of Dark Souls 3? I swear that Ladora Bune reminds me of the Ashen One from that game–particularly the “Deprived” version of the character and especially when he gets that stone that allows him to turn into a humanoid dragon.

    And for a second, I thought it was Ryoko Shiraishi who voiced Misteeta Sabnock. Turns out it was Shizuka Ishigami. Color me surprised.

    1. The volume that scene is coming from was released in September 17, 2011.
      Dark souls on the other hand has these dates for release:
      JP: March 24, 2016
      WW: April 12, 2016
      And unless i am mistaken, this episode covers chapter 3 or 4 from volume 10.
      And if you count the smaller chapters that can be placed within 3 A4 pages, then this volume has 13 chapters to work with in total.


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