What’s the show? High School DxD Hero, Episode 3.
And on a scale of 1 to 10, how much should I prepare myself to *sigh* and admonish your tactless adoration of 2D anime girls? 11.
Oh dear, maybe I should just step out of the room a moment… If after reviewing episode 0 you’d asked me whether this fourth season of High School DxD could ever hope to come close to eclipsing the excellent first season and the very excellent second season, I probably—honestly would have said it had a slim chance and impossible hill that could only be achieved by the end of the season if it was really committed to it. But here we are at episode three, and I’m so tempted to just say, yes, not only has DxD recovered from the disappointing third season but it may—in fact—be as good as it’s ever been.
Bold claim. I know, I know, and take my opinions with a grain of salt as you always should, but this episode was just so—damn—amazing, it’s hard to not want to heap mountains of praise upon it and shout its successes from the rooftop!
So what exactly about this episode has got you pitching a proverbial tent. Not just a proverbial one…
Oh come on, nobody needs to hear that, geez~! Listen, I’ve always been a vocal advocate for the quality of the storytelling in DxD, it’s not only head and shoulders above the usual harem fare it’s comparable to some of the best supernatural fiction out there and that certainly is the case here, this current storyline is simultaneously so grounded but so deeply important to so many characters that it carries a kind of weight that you only get from a show that’s been going this long. But… the fan-service in this episode is top tier and I’d be remiss if I didn’t spend some time talking about it.
*sigh* I don’t suppose I can say anything to stop you, so just please, make it brief and clean—if at all possible… So, up to this point in the fourth season the fan-service had been good, teetering on great, but here… oh man… they brought their A-game here. From something as simple as Issei having a fantasy about a character’s mother (I’ll get to that in a second), to a very sensually directed bath-house scene with the same Rias x Akeno x Koneko nude trio as last episode, to the undoubted highlight of the episode with Issei, Asia, Xenovia and Irina hiding in a closet together, and oh boy… is it hot in here or are there 3 almost naked girls all trying to get Issei to impregnate them.
If I *sigh* anymore I fear I’ll pass out. Are you quite done with the fan-service talk? Oh I could go on, but sure, let’s talk about something else. What should we talk about?
Oh I don’t know, how about the ~plot~ of the episode?! You joke but there is a ton of plot in this episode. Not only do we find out that loli fox antagonist from the previous episode is in fact good, she’s also a Yokai and I’m getting serious Kakuriyo vibes about this—except it’s DxD so I’m not struggling to stay awake. We learn that her mother went missing and the Kaos brigade is probably to blame, and when shown a painting of said mother Issei has a fantasy about the busty matron and his head between her head sized melons.
I said no more fan-service talk! Sorry! It just came up… speaking of things coming up…
No! Stop! Calm down, I was just going to say it seems like there’s going to be a pretty cool battle coming up, it’s teased at the end of the episode and it’s such a stylish and well-paced scene, like damn does this show know how to build up suspense. And kudos to this new studio for how well they’ve paced the whole episode, there was not a moment in this episode did I feel like I was watching extraneous or filler scenes, everything seemed to serve a purpose, even if it was just character building moments, like, oh my god…
What? I think I have a new best girl and it came totally out of left field!
Uh-huh, who is it then? Xenovia! A character who I liked but never had that much interest in before, she always seemed kinda intentionally sidelined and two dimensional but here she was charismatic and hilarious and cool and I don’t know if it was just the lighting or whatever but she looked so damn good in the cupboard scene, it was a revelation!
Right, so nothing but good things about this episode? This is probably the best episode of any show from any series this Spring 2018 season (so far)! I know that’s a big call, but for fans of DxD I’ll be very surprised if you didn’t at least think it was great if not as great as I did. The balance this episode strikes between plot and character development and comedy and action is *chefs kiss*. I don’t know if things can possibly stay at this quality throughout but I’m so unbelievably excited for the rest of the season!
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