High School DxD BorN
November 21, 2015
It is here! The much anticipated third season of the series, High School DxD BorN! This is one of the few series whereby the great storyline and characters are not being overshadowed by the ecchi fanservice although the latter factor is also a great reason why this series is doing great. A series that doesn’t necessarily rely solely on fanservice or use it to dilute the worth of everything. It’s just different, that’s why we come back for a third time. With a lot going on and building up in the past 2 seasons (short summary of what it’s about: A high school kid who wants his own harem just got turned into a demon servant and gets involved in some war that involves a great deal of factions and species and at the same time wants to grope boobs), it is without doubt that expectations for the third season are going to be high but given the series’ track record, I doubt that there would be anything that could derail all this. Unless…
OMG! Bare tits of Issei’s harem as the opener! Supreme bliss! Till this Yuuma girl laments at Issei for forgetting about her. Yeah. Still remember the demon girl who tried to kill him in the first season? He wakes up from this dream but it is still blissful because his harem is sleeping by him naked! Great morning! Because Akeno is too bold flirting with him, Rias warns her not to touch her belonging. This leads to a standoff and then throwing of pillows. Imbued with magic. Oh dear. Not looking good… Issei’s house has been remodelled into a huge mansion overnight. Even scarier is how his parents accept this and go with the flow. When life gives you lemons… Rias will be returning to her estate for the summer vacation and this means the rest of her servants and slaves will come too. The train journey to the underworld is long. Once they reach the destination, the train comes to a complete halt. Seems some big shot is passing and they’re just giving way. Suddenly the train disappears and everyone falls down to the ground below. Rias and Azazel are missing. A hostile dragon attacks so Akeno assumes authority to convey orders to her team to take it down. But the dragon is too powerful and their attack is just like scratching. Azazel then stops this fight. Seems this is just a test to gauge their strength (as instructed by Sirzechs). He now knows the extent of it and has set a training regimen. But Azazel is more worried about Rias whom he feels is the one lacking growth due to her indecisiveness and kindness towards her subordinates. This dragon is Tannin and was once the dragon king of yore. He reincarnated into a demon in exchange for something. Ddraig knows Tannin but didn’t say anything because this whole setup was a farce. Because Tannin didn’t even use a thousandth of his power! The gang cleans themselves up in the hotspring. Gasper is sending mixed signals he can’t go in the male’s section… He’s a guy, right?! Azazel teaches Issei the finer points of boobs and that pressing nipples is just like pressing a doorbell. Only, they give out weird noises! Teach me more! Rias is deeply disturbed by Azazel’s words and can’t help ponder what he meant. Yuuto is worried about Koneko because she disobeyed Akeno’s orders in the fight and got injured. Something must be wrong. Meanwhile Bikou talks to Kuroka about their next job. But all she cares is bringing back her little sister, Shirone. Koneko?
Arriving at the freaking huge Gremory mansion, they are being treated by the hospitality of Rias’ father. They also meet Millicas (Sirzechs’ son and Rias’ nephew) and Venelana (Rias’ mom who is so hot that Issei can’t take his eyes off and needs some warning from Rias). Issei can’t sleep because his room and bed are so big. So is that why Xenovia and Asia come to sleep with him? Because they can’t sleep when there is such a big space? Or just some lame excuse to go cuddle with him? But if space is the problem, how is Gasper holding out? Don’t worry. He found a box to hide inside… Next day, everyone has their own personal trainer for their customized training like Akeno being trained by her father, Barachiel whom she refuses to acknowledge. Issei gets Tannin. He’s screwed. Thankfully he lasted for 3 full days without being killed although he failed to find his Balance Breaker. Sairaorg was watching Issei’s training and advises him that despite his stamina improved, it isn’t enough to become the best. Koneko has overworked herself during training and is being put to rest. Rias tells Issei the story behind Koneko’s past. As she is a cat youkai, she had an older sister who was picked up and turned into a demon by her master. However her latent power went berserk and killed him. She went missing shortly. Fearing the same would happen to Koneko, the demons wanted to kill her to prevent the same thing but Sirzechs took her in and put her under Rias’ care. Koneko is a survivor of the strongest cat demon group, the Nekoshou clan. Thus she is a descendent from a lineage of high level youkais. Rias and her subordinates are at a party that gathers all young demons to prevent any untoward incident. But you can’t help it when young hot headed demons with differing views start to fight. Sairaorg easily puts them out of commission when they don’t listen. Rias explains Sairaorg is the heir to the Bael family and the strongest of the young demons around. Oh, he is also Rias’ cousin. Ravel sees Issei and gives him some gift to mark their acquaintance. She claims she is no longer under Riser and traded to become a servant under her mom. Even more confusing for Issei is how Ravel tells him she is into baking. Get the hint? I guess not. Issei and Rias see Koneko leaving the party in a rush and go to find her. Koneko has detected a familiar presence. Indeed. She is reunited with her older sister, Kuroka.
Koneko told Rias that she wanted to be strong but is afraid of the latent powers and didn’t want to resort to that. Otherwise she might end up just like Kuroka. Odin has arrived at the party as per Sirzechs’ request. He comments on Serafall’s clothing so she transforms herself into a magical girl outfit. His assistant, Rossweisse doesn’t want him to fool around as he represents Valhalla. And when he comments on her serious attitude that has her no luck with guys, she breaks down crying in public! WTF?! Rias and Issei could have continued spying on Koneko’s chat with Kuroka only had not Bikou lured them out. He plans to fight them just to buy time. But Tannin comes forth to take care of Bikou and wants Issei to show him to fruits of his training by defeating Kuroka who is bent on taking Koneko away by force. Odin is here to sign some treaty but before he could do that, Loki interrupts as he is against this. He summons his demon wolf, Fenrir to attack. Akeno becomes his target but her father saves her. She still refuses to acknowledge him. It ends when Ajuka teleports Loki away. Koneko is close to break down as she reminds us about that power she doesn’t want to awaken. She is willing to go with Kuroka so as to let Rias and Issei go. Rias’ warmth and assurance makes Koneko want to stay by her side even more. Kuroka then surrounds the area with poison gas to stop them from running away. Issei is not affected because of his dragon bond. But he gets pounded while protecting them. Now he beats himself up by saying he is a useless dragon. Why does everybody have to start feeling useless? And as usual, Koneko boosts his morale that he is the first Red Dragon Emperor who is kind and not being consumed by its power. The problem now as Ddraig says, he needs some sort of catalyst to use his Balance Breaker. It just hit him what they are. He wants Rias to let him poke her boobs! She allows him but here’s the bigger problem: Which side to poke first? Left or right? To Issei they are not the same and it’s not trivial! Rias just tells him to do both! Tannin just feels disappointed his training might have all gone to waste. After Issei pokes them both, you see how much he powers up and leaves Kuroka shocked where she is standing (the surroundings are decimated). He warns her not to touch his family or else. Bikou takes Kuroka to escape because they sense Loki’s presence is no longer around. Rias reports to Sirzechs that Kuroka and Bikou are part of Chaos Brigade and Sirzechs is glad to have left Koneko in her care.
Azazel explains Ajuka has teleported and seal Loki in a faraway place but that will only last for another day. This means it will not be enough time for Odin who has returned to retrieve his hammer, Mjolnir to stop Ragnarok, a big scale war that would destroy the world. This is what Loki and Chaos Brigade want. Rias suggests stalling Loki in the mean time. Ajuka can only teleport about 10 people there for now so those who are going include Rias’ household (minus Asia and Gasper), Souna’s household, Irina and Rossweisse. Before they leave, they are given Phoenix Tears as they would lack the healings of Bishop during the battle. Saji tells Issei about Souna’s dream to open a school for low level devils so they can play Rating Game. Because many Demons laughed at her dream, the reason why she volunteered for this mission to change their perspective. Saji’s dream is to be a teacher in her school. Loki has broken free from his seal. He summons Fenrir, its offspring and the Midgard Serpent for our young ones to fight. Among those power up we see include Irina being able to transform into her angel version, Koneko accepting and using her nekomata power (because as long as if it is with Issei, it is okay) and Saji facing off with Loki with his very much powerfully tweaked Vitra’s Sacred Gear. Loki won’t admit defeat and uses all his power to destroy the planes. Since it is hastening Ragnarok, he is fine with it. All the Phoenix Tears are used to revive and heal some of the wounded. When Mjolnir appears, Rossweisse tells Issei that by orders of Odin, he is to wield it. Time for the big hero’s part? I supposed he got too confident in getting it and didn’t expect a surprise attack from Fenrir. Issei dies!!! OMFG! ISSEI IS DEAD!!! Sad girls, mad girls… See the power of anger? They power up so much to destroy the mythical beasts. The most upset one is of course Rias. She doesn’t care if the world is destroyed. She won’t forgive Loki. Does this mean either way the world is screwed?
I don’t know what power up Rias was going to do but she sees Ravel’s gift dropping out. Loki orders Fenrir to destroy Mjolnir but it becomes restrained by Kuroka’s binds. Arthur Pendragon tells Loki that Fenrir is Vali’s real target because he wants the fangs that can kill gods. Blame yourself for being fooled by this partnership. After they escape, Loki is shocked to see Issei revived. Ravel’s gift contains a Phoenix Tears. Issei uses the hammer to pound him but before Loki gets sealed, he curses them. Sairaorg destroys the serpent and is impressed with Issei’s growth. He hopes to play a Rating Game with Rias one day to determine who the best is. Rias and her subordinates say goodbye to her family as they leave for Earth. With Millicas calling Venelana his mom, the gang realize who Sirzechs’ wife is… On the train, Koneko hogs Issei’s lap and sleeps on it. I guess she deserves it. Akeno also wants to borrow Issei for a day and since Rias realizes she is going to tell him something, she agrees. Back on Earth, the gang have to deal with reality: Homework! Damn. Fighting baddies were better, right? And because Issei is thinking too much about boobs, he can’t concentrate. Then here comes Akeno. Is it sexy time? She has a request of him: Be her boyfriend for a day. You’re not hearing things, Issei. While on the date, they can guess who those ‘cosplay stalkers’ are. Rias is most concerned because she never realized Akeno would be this close to Issei and hold his arms like that. Issei and Akeno run to lose them. But they ran into the love hotel area. However they also ran into Odin and Barachiel. Father is suspicious of Akeno’s meeting with Issei. She blames him for letting her mom die. He doesn’t need him but Issei. So leave! When Akeno composes herself, she tells Issei of her past. Her mom, Shuri Himejima met Barachiel, an injured Fallen Angel and fell in love with him. Because of that she was banished from her family. But Akeno’s black wings have caused more hatred to grow and one day they decided to kill the family. Shuri died protecting her. Akeno ran away until she was stumbled upon by Rias. Akeno wants Issei to make her forget all that and allows him to rape her. I don’t think that guy is in the mood after hearing her story. Suddenly Issei could read her true feelings. She didn’t really hate her father and placed the blame on him so that she could cope with the stress. She really wants to meet him. Akeno reconciles with Barachiel by giving him her cooked food on his trip back. Mmm… Tastes just like Shuri’s cooking.
Issei’s class gets a new transfer student: Irina! Due to Chaos Brigade running wild, Michael thought it would be better to send extra help and heaven’s representative to protect the school. Just with Demons having ranks based on chess, Angels have ranks based on cards so Irina’s position is Ace. While Irina is a happy girl meeting Rias and co, why is Rossweisse crying? Seems Odin left for home and he forgot to take her! So what’s her ranting of being single has got to do with it? In the streets, Asia bumps into Diodora Astaroth. He claims they know each other from a long time. She doesn’t remember at first but after seeing his deep scar, she remembers he was the Demon she helped healed and led to her expulsion from the church. Diodora wants to repay that thanks. He is in love with her and wants to marry her! Oh dear. Will Issei allow this for his harem? To compound his problem, Azazel mentions Issei is quite famous in the Underworld. Not because of his heroics in defeating Loki, though. There is a documentary edited about him screaming for boobs. It is a hit with kids and he has been nicknamed Breast Dragon Emperor! There is even a song for this! It is no wonder Ddraig is crying in despair that his fearsome name has been reduced to something pathetic. Issei gets tricked to be paired up with Asia for the 3-legged-race. I bet you there’s going to be lots of accidents and tripping. More woes for Issei as he dreams of Diodora taking Asia’s hand in marriage. He won’t allow it! Asia assures she won’t marry soon. Good, because he’d die of loneliness if that happens. Issei you liar! How can you die from loneliness when you have a harem???!!! Diodora’s harassment continues as he sends Asia letters, gifts, etc. Rias will get rid of them but she is worried as she sees Issei’s concerned face. Doesn’t he put up that face for all the girls when they’re in trouble? Xenovia brings more trouble for Issei. More of her misunderstanding about wanting to have an affair with him (I think she’s making a pun about this and winning the race) and allows Asia to have this secret affair with him. Issei is in such a dilemma. His hands are moving on its own groping those delicious boobs. It only ends when Irina barges in to put a stop to their unholy act. Her concern is that this place is unsanitary and they should do it on a bed! Rias informs her subordinates of the Rating Game. It was supposed to be held during summer break but Loki interfered. Good news: They avoid Sairaorg for the first round. Bad news? Diodora is their first opponent.
Rias and co watch Sairaorg’s Rating Game. Let’s say he is just too freaking powerful. Diodora pays them a visit and wants to exchange Bishops. Of course Rias will not allow that as Asia is an important family member. Because Diodora badmouths Issei, Asia slaps him. Diodora throws down a challenge to Issei and if he beats him in the Rating Game, Asia will accept his love. While Issei and Koneko are out doing their demon duty, they bump into Kuroka who wants to have Issei’s baby! More accurately, she wants a dragon baby. Of course Issei refuses her. To his surprise, Vali is here to see him as he is here to warn him about something because Rias won’t listen to him. When they go home, the other girls are dressed in sexy outfits in their bid to make Issei happy. This is for everything he has done for them? Then it becomes a heated competition between Rias and Akeno over him. This might turn ugly if they resort to letting him touch their boobs… After Issei lends his sword to Xenovia as practice, she pecks his cheek as thanks. Is his day getting better or what? Meanwhile, Sirzechs and Azazel discuss about Rias’ report regarding Vali’s warning. There might be a connection with Diodora’s sudden increase in power and the mysterious death of Glasya Labolas’ supposed heir. When Rias and co head to the battlefield for their Rating Game, what greets them isn’t Diodora’s family but an entire army of Satan’s old faction who is now under Chaos Brigade. Worse, Diodora is part of Chaos Brigade and takes Asia hostage. He will have the rest killed while he takes Asia to the temple. Odin makes his surprise appearance. He explains that Azazel planned this by using them as bait to lure them out so that Odin could destroy them in one fell swoop. Sorry for keeping them in the dark, though. The rest head to the temple to save Asia while Odin and Azazel’s troops begin their big assault.
At the temple, Diodora suggests playing their own Rating Game. He has a group of Pawns and Rooks and another group with a Queen and Bishops. Rias assigns Issei, Gasper, Koneko and Xenovia to fight the first group. Rias gives Issei permission to use his Dress Break. However the opponents can still fight back despite being naked. Now Issei can’t concentrate and gets beaten up! Because they attack in absolute precision, Issei uses his power to read their hearts and find out who is being targeted. More like heart of the boobs because it feels like the boobs are talking… They defeat the Pawns and shortly Xenovia is done with the Rooks. But it is not so rosy on the other side so Koneko suggests Issei tell Akeno that he will date her if she wins. See the motivation? And because this jealousy makes Rias powers up too, they defeat the Queen and Bishops in no time. Making their way in, they are shocked to see Freed. He claims Vali picked him up and restored him. Is he Diodora’s Knight now? Actually he ate them both and has turned into some powerful monster. He reveals Diodora’s household that they just fought were supposed to be some sort of holy maidens. It is Diodora’s passion to lure and bait them to his hell. One day he stumbled upon Asia but seeing how she was protected by the church and cannot easily kidnap her, he devised a plan to become a wounded demon so that the church would expel her. His plan was to ravish her when she is at the bottom of despair but Issei and Rias showed up to save her. Issei is visibly mad but Yuuto tells him to save that anger for Diodora. Yuuto easily cuts up Freed and kills him! No match! Before Diodora, he explains he cannot feed on Asia yet as hope is still in her. He further reveals that the Fallen Angel Issei first disposed off, Reinare was supposed to be killed by Diodora and then give Asia an Evil Piece but made the mistake of waiting and let Issei finished her off. But thanks to this, he is now able to give Asia more despair. Imagine how fun it will be to rape her while she screams out his name! I guess this is enough to make Issei’s blood boil and summon up all his power to beat Diodora to a pulp. I suppose that is why he said all those spiteful words so we could hate him and feel no mercy because Diodora is so weak getting his ass handed over it is just painful to watch. Still cannot believe you’re losing? Issei cannot free Asia because thanks to some Longinus bind, it will only free her if Diodora wins but in the even if he loses, it will absorb her. If he cannot have Asia, nobody can! Issei doesn’t give a damn about all that and uses his ultimate power to break Asia free! Who is the weakling now? After all that emotional reunion, Asia makes a prayer to the Lord to protect Issei and the rest and to live happily with them. Instantly she vanishes.
Who is the villain standing before them now? Shalba Beelzebub claims he is the true successor to Satan. The one responsible for Glasya Labolas’ heir’s death kills off Diodora when the weakling seeks his help. Meanwhile, Creusery Asmodeus appears before Azazel and Sirzechs. He is against Sirzechs for teaming up with Angels and Fallen Angels but is he the one to say for joining a ragtag team of Chaos Brigade? Sirzechs easily kills this guy. So much for his 10 seconds debut. Then here comes Ophis, the leader of Chaos Brigade. She mentions her goal of a world of silence. She wishes to return to the Dimensional Gap where her home is and reclaim that silence. Issei is so broken that it is just heart-wrenching to see him look for Asia whom he thinks is hiding. When Shalba says he has tossed Asia into some Dimensional Gap faraway and is as good as dead, Issei becomes so mad that he powers up (or gets absorbed rather) into his fearsome dragon form, Red Dragon of Domination. Freaking powerful enough to blow Shalba away. His power keeps increasing that Rias and co have to fly away for safety while Shalba gets blown to pieces. So much for his 10 minutes debut. Vali and his team make a surprise entry. They have Asia in their hands. They coincidentally found her floating inside the Dimensional Gap. Vali sees Issei’s form and notes it is incomplete. Because of that, there is still hope of turning him back but his life will be in danger. Rias believes she is good enough to bring Issei back to normal and just needs to tell him Asia is still alive. Vali helps out by using his Juggernaut Drive to knock down a notch Issei’s growing power. Issei is going berserk. All he could see is Asia’s kindness and Reinare mocking him. He unconsciously attacks Rias. But you know, her heartfelt speech that she can’t live without him and rather die would eventually reach his heart. Especially when her tear drops onto him and breaks him free of his armour. Time for your emotional reunion with everybody. You thought Issei is most emotional to see Asia live? Wrong! It’s Xenovia! A huge red dragon appears in the sky. Vali explains that is the Dragon of Dragons or also known as DxD. This is the true Red Dragon God Emperor, the Great Red who chose to live in the Dimensional Gap and flies there for all eternity. He is Ophis’ objective and it is Vali’s goal to defeat him to become the true White Dragon God Emperor. Ophis is the Infinity Dragon also known as the Ouroboros Dragon. After renewing his rivalry with Vali, you thought everybody can go home happy. Not quite yet because now it’s Issei turn to turn up the drama by collapsing.
Issei is unconscious. Oh Asia… Don’t start the blame game… Anyway Azazel thinks Asia’s Sacred Gear might heal Issei although he is not sure of the risk. Only one way to find out. Indeed, Issei wakes up again. I guess it’s now or never so Asia kisses him and confesses she loves him. Everybody else is watching but they’re not going to bother with the details. Issei is back up and all that is what matters. Azazel discusses with Sirzechs that the recent skirmish has wiped out the old Satan faction. Vali had never intended to be allies with them in the first place. Currently there is world balance because Great Red is ruling in the Dimensional Gap but that balance is fragile and they know Loki will intervene again because Ophis did something troublesome again. With Issei back, you’d think it is happy ending for everyone? Not quite. Yet again, Rossweisse is in tears because Odin left her behind again! What’s this about being single again? Rias is also spacing out more often because she felt she couldn’t do anything to save Issei and that recent one where Asia healed him just nailed it in her heart. Later Azazel tells Issei a secret that he knew what to do because Ddraig told him. He talked to Ddraig about the power Issei unleashed and it seemed he invoked Juggernaut Drive and broke some seal that caused all the power in his Sacred Treasure to let loose. It is the kind of power that even surpasses the gods but in exchange on will pay for his life or his lifespan reduced drastically. The thing is, something activated that and Ddraig sensed Issei’s despair and anger surpassing its limit that caused it. However he also sensed something else controlling Issei and is not sure. Issei is seen walking into Rias’ room and then assuring her everything is alright. But then we see Issei and Koneko returning from practice and find Gasper collapsed outside. He is relieved to see the real Issei. Seems the fake Issei has got Rias under his control. Thanks to Gasper’s time freeze, he is able to save them before the explosion engulfs the place. Rias is subsequently missing. Azazel explains that Valhalla has sent a warning to Rossweisse but apparently it was too late. This is all part of Loki’s doing. In his bid for Ragnarok, he placed a cursed on Issei and Rias before being sealed. Before Odin could interrogate him further, Loki crystallizes himself to make that old guy regret for having Issei use Mjolnir. It might be Issei’s subconscious, his fear of what the girls think about him that activated whatever and the same can be said for Rias. They believe Rias is lost in Dimensional Gap. Going there is like going to a certain death if you stay there for too long. Chaos Brigade is made up of various individuals and they might be using unknown methods to use it as their base. Issei wants Koneko to contact Kuroka. He wants to have a word with Vali.
Sirzechs warns that many lives were lost in the recent battle. Contacting Vali may be seen as associating with Chaos Brigade and spread discontent again. You know, all Issei cares about is Rias, not the world. Azazel suggests he gives up being a Demon. He can turn all of them into Fallen Angels to avoid any potential fallouts among the Demons but this will only be a last resort. If they get Rias back successfully, then there is no need for this. With everyone pleading how dear Rias is to them, I guess Sirzechs has no choice but to relent and tell them to save his sister. Issei and Koneko see Kuroka. She agrees to let them meet Vali but in exchange Koneko must come back to her. Issei won’t agree to that. Negotiation is over then? Because they become annoyingly persistent, Vali makes his appearance. What if he refuses to let them go to the Dimensional Gap? Yeah, Issei you gonna fight him? He will if he must. Because Vali views him as still weak and would rob him of his pleasure to defeat him, he has Arthur guide them there using his holy royal sword, Collbrande that could cut through dimensions. Arthur tells them the barrier they are in prevents them from being eaten by Dimensional Gap. But they only have 1 hour to do so before they are forced back to their realm. He hints that Dimensional Gap is influenced by their strong emotions. They figure out in no time that all they need to do is wish to meet Rias from the bottom of their heart. True enough they see her. However she attacks them! They sense this is the real Rias but why is she not recognizing them? It must be Loki’s curse. Everyone tries to let their heartfelt words reach her heart. It always works, right? Not this time. Because you thought everything might be back to normal when you see tears in her eyes but that is just a troll and switch for her to transform into a Red Dragon armour similar to Issei’s Balance Breaker. Just with a few parts expose for sexiness. The attack continues and Akeno believes Issei has no choice but to fight her. At first he doesn’t want to do this, not to his beloved buchou. Then I guess he realizes what needs to be done. The promise of bringing her back even if the world gets destroyed. Yeah, screw the world. All he wants is her (and her boobs). He transforms into his Balance Breaker version and the great impact of their fight weakens the Dimensional Gap.
Yes, Issei. We know that you’re going to protect Rias not because of the contract but your love for her. We are spammed montage of their times together as he struggles to free her. After all that, her armour finally shatters and the Rias we know comes returning back into Issei’s arms. But now Issei is to face off with his fake imposter who turns into Dragon of Supremacy. The rest are blown back into reality as Azazel deduces Loki hijacked a fragment of Dragon of Supremacy from Issei and made a copy out of it. What they can do now is pray and believe in Issei. Yeah, you do that. And of course, Issei’s strong feelings mean he defeats the imposter. They are blown into the Dimensional Whirlpool when Great Red happens to pass by. It seems to be guiding them out of here. But they end up in some dimensional beach so I guess it is time for Issei and Rias to spend some quality time together, talking about the feelings of the heart and yes, a nice kiss before going back to reality. Although their memories are fuzzy on their return, everyone else is so glad to see them back in one piece. Later, Issei knows he is in a dream when he sees Ddraig in his true form. He is here to tell him that another power aside Dragon of Supremacy lies dormant inside him although Ddraig himself isn’t sure what it is. When Issei wakes up, it is like waking up in his dream because his harem girls are sleeping naked around him! Don’t want to lose him after all they’ve been through, eh? Yeah. I’m sure Issei loves this too. What a win-win situation. And of course the best boobs reward goes to Rias. Issei’s parents return from their trip. They treat Asia more like their daughter than Issei their son. Too cute to pass up, eh? Rias surprises them by introducing Rossweisse who is a teacher at their school and plans to stay here. Say what?! We see how Rias showed Rossweisse the benefits of some insurance plan from her side as compared to Valhalla. She then offered Rossweisse to be her Rook under her household as she needs mobile magical artillery. Tempted by everything, Rossweisse agrees and turns into a Demon. Partly this is to get back at Odin too. Now Rias’ household is complete (remember, Issei is powerful as 8 Pawns so she doesn’t need extras). Azazel mentions about Issei’s TV debut in the Underworld. Turns out to be a children’s programme with a children’s song. All about boobs!!! And he is already a hit there! Later Azazel talks to Issei about the incoming threat from Chaos Brigade and more fighting will be expected. But once the war is over, what will he do? Simple. He’ll pursue his own dreams of becoming harem king. Oh Issei, don’t you know that you are already one?
Dragon-boobs & Poke-boobs!
Before I started watching this season and while it was still being aired over the airwaves, I have been reading a lot of comments regarding this season. From what I gather, there have been a lot of differing opinions and heated discussions about the direction of the third season. Yes, this season deviated from the original light novel works. Thus there are so many clashes of opinions from purists of the light novels who disregard this deviation as pure blasphemy of the series and those who are so called ‘open minded’ and viewing this season as ‘just anime only’. The former hated the third season’s adaptation with varying degrees (depending on how ‘loyal’ they are to the light novels) while the latter tried viewing this from an anime-only perspective. Thus some feel that the producers have gone to make the first 2 seasons great and with that established track record in the minds of fans and viewers, decided to betray that trust by tricking everyone into watching this atrocious season and milk more money from them. Those are some of the sentiments lingering even after the season has ended.
Therefore with this in mind as I watched the third season, I am wondering if this is the reason why I do not find the third season as charming as the first 2 seasons. Could this have also clouded my opinions and thoughts for this season? Would I have reached a slightly different and better conclusion had I not read the many dissatisfied and arguing comments over the internet? Although I have never touched the light novels myself, personally I could say that this season lacks the excitement that I felt watching the previous seasons. Everything feels lacking. The characters, the storyline and even the fanservice just feel so much less. By itself, this season doesn’t suck so badly and like those in the latter category have said, if it is judged based solely as an anime without any relation to the light novels, it is fine. Though, not that great either. This is also my thoughts about this season. It isn’t bad but there is nothing that would make me sing praises that the third season is great. In fact it just passes.
I don’t know, personally I think putting in the final arc of saving Rias somewhat killed it. I know it is to show how much everybody cares for her and she cares for everybody but somehow it just feels forced. Something about it just doesn’t feel right. Because with so many other potential good stuffs and storyline (from the light novel works), they ended the season with this ‘weak’ story of rescuing their club president. If poor sentiments were already building up halfway, then it would be sure to increase by the time it reaches the end. I think they’re trying to build some drama, showcasing the close relationship the Occult Club members have with each other and especially with Issei, seeking to tug some heartstrings whenever you see the characters getting worried or worked up over the other when something doesn’t augur well. You get the point. I felt too much of that isn’t necessarily good for the direction of this series.
Another downfall to this season is the characters. Both old and new. This series itself already boasts a lot of characters. And I mean really, really, really, really, really lots of them. Just rechecking the character list since the last time, I am not sure if I has been expanded or not but it feels a lot longer now that I have relooked at it again. Because it isn’t just your typical Demons, Angels and Fallen Angels or even gods from other mythologies but historical characters (fictional or non-fictional) as well! I mean, when you have characters from King Arthur’s times and even the Chinese’s Three Kingdoms, you’d start wondering if they will be putting in Greek philosophers, world conquerors (like Genghis Khan or Alexander the Great) or even… Presidents of the United States! Oh yeah! One big hell of mish-mash of everything! While it is great and unique to see this kind of mix-up of everything in one big fairytale story (or just one big nonsensical crap), the problem lies with having too many of these characters but not making a good impact or leaving any sort of lasting impression. That is what I feel the problem for the character development for this season.
It is not like they have introduced a whole bunch of new characters but even those that had newly appeared in this season feels a lot lacking. The biggest casualty is Rossweisse herself. My guts told me she would become part of Issei’s harem. As she is of Norse source, I wonder how can a Valkyrie turn into a demon just like that? But just in case, I guess that is why they make it last minute that Rossweisse completes Rias’ household. Just in time? Feels so rushed. (In the light novel as I read from a summary somewhere, she is one of those female characters who initially isn’t sure if she is in love with Issei or not till some sort of event occurs that made it confirm it is so). Well, it isn’t necessary to be part of Rias’ household if you want to fall in love with Issei, right? The way Rossweisse is lacking in presence and role impact in this season. The way her character played makes it feel like she is an anime-only character. The only thing that I would remember about her is her penchant for being too emo (whenever there isn’t any serious fighting or stuffs) and ranting about being single. That might not be a bad thing entirely but the way they executed her character this season is just feels sorry. It feels like she has been side-lined in a way to give some prominence to the relationship development between Issei and some of his Occult Club girls.
The rest of the other new characters also doesn’t fare that well. Either they lack impact or they get killed off quickly with a high chance of never ever returning in the future storyline ever again (looking at you, Shalba and Diodora. I’m wondering if Freed is killed off for good this time too). I suppose everything is still too early so Chaos Brigade isn’t much of an antagonist yet. I don’t know what Sairaorg’s role is for in this season because does it really matter? But I am sure he is one of those guys (like Vali) who are up to challenge Issei in a fight when the time is right to see who is strongest (no prizes in guessing who will come up tops at the end). Even if Barachiel had a little screen time to make amends with his estranged daughter, it just feels disconnected and doesn’t fit into the pace of everything this season. Perhaps Odin is the only one among the new characters that feel it made some sort of impact although this also felt minimal. Why do old and powerful guys always have to be perverts? Know that old turtle guy from Dragonball? Know that old little guy from Ranma 1/2? Know that old sage in Naruto? Yeah… See the pattern? I hope Odin doesn’t frequent Japan now that he has got to know about boobs bars… Boobs bars… They have that in Japan? Oh, do you still remember Rias’ family? Milli-what’s-his-name or Vene-what’s-her-name already?
If new characters didn’t leave much of an impact, does this mean the old ones do, especially the Occult Club members? Not quite either. Issei on one hand is a perverted kid who wants his own harem but unknowingly has already amassed one. The reason he doesn’t really touch them unless when given permission is because he respects them so it is like he is in an eternal dilemma to become harem king or not. Because from where I see his character (as well as others from many other animes), he is the kind of main protagonist and hero who doesn’t really care about the world and would even go as far as to let it be destroyed at the expense of the safety of his girls. Don’t you agree with me? So technically if you want the world to be safe from Ragnarok or Armageddon, if you are a girl, be part of his harem, if you are a guy, become his friend. That way with the ‘extended’ family theoretically he would go all out to save you if some sort of world threatening befalls. So like when Rias was endangered, he will go all out and dig deep into his feelings just to get her back. At the same time spamming his calling out to her. “Buchou! Buchou! BUCHOU!!!!!!”.
The rest of the Occult Club members also do not have decent development thanks to the short duration of the series and the way they force cram a few of them. We get to know a little about Koneko and her sister, Akeno and her dissatisfaction with her father and some precious moments for Asia. And then it ends with Rias’ growing insecurity of Issei’s love for her that led to the inevitable. Because it seems the other girls in the harem are making ground and headway in their personal relationship with Issei so Rias has all the right to be worried. Despite she is the president of the Occult Club and the head of her household team, she is at the same level when it comes to being a woman and wanting Issei’s affections. This undermines her exclusivity and privilege that she has with Issei now that everyone seems to be catching up especially Akeno who is more daring than ever. To the point that she is even confrontational. I believe Yuuto’s story and past was done in previous season so it feels like this time he feels like ‘neglected’. Xenovia feels like she’s being reduced to ‘cultivating a good friendship with Asia’. Gasper’s fear of wide public spaces is still funny but you realize that when the going gets tough, his phobia doesn’t kick in. All in the mind?
Let’s see about the other recurring characters… Mmm… Rather okay or so-so. Sirzechs is trying to do his best as the current Satan while Azazel seems to be playing the know-it-all sensei part. Irina isn’t part of Rias’ household so she doesn’t have much screen time and only hangs out with her ex fellow church member Xenovia whenever she gets the chance. Serafall and Ravel could have been forgotten had they not made their short little cameo which doesn’t really amount to anything. At least Saji this season put up a decent badass power up fight despite his limited screen time too. I thought they were going to bring back Yuuma/Reinare, the way they tease us by making Issei remember this nightmare from time to time. Guess not. Thank goodness.
Although this season still has its trademark fanservice of uncensored naked tits and boobs galore, somehow it feels less. I don’t know. Maybe it is because that feeling of mediocrity that is undermining this department too. In a way it is good and bad because you don’t want too much fanservice to dilute the worth of this series but then again, boobs fanservice is the reason why this series is popular in the first place. Yeah, lots of pervy guys out there. So in addition to groping boobs, now you have poking boobs? You learn something new every day… Fanservice quality for the mid-intermission remains the same. First half shows the girls in sexy poses and then in the second half, all the clothes come off and it feels like a must to show and expose their tits to us.
Action bits also feel less. I remember in the previous seasons we had lots of terms and power ups whenever we see Issei and the team fight. I don’t think this season added any much of those new moves and the power fights also seem to lack that oomph thanks to all that drama going on. And there is always some sort of hidden power inside Issei that we don’t know of. How many more times can he power up till he reaches the ultimate of the ultimate? Is it me or is the quality towards the end of the series getting a little bad? Like as though the animators really want to get their chest off this bad season and end it all quickly.
This season’s opening and ending theme didn’t appeal to me again. Bless Your Name by ChouCho as the opener sounds like a generic anime rock outfit while the Stylips sings the ending theme, Give Me Secret. Lively, exuberant and resembling like a dance song but still I didn’t find it quite to my liking although I would prefer this than the opening theme. Hmm… I think this season’s ending credits animation also contributed to the overall unexciting feel of this season. In the first season, we were treated to sexy pole dancing fanservice. Then in the second season, there was this weird but erotic dance and it was still sexy enough despite Gasper being part of the dancing troupe and in bikini. In this third season, there are none of those or anything similar and despite spamming Issei’s naked harem, it just doesn’t feel the same as before.
Overall, this season is not that bad and it only is when you have read the light novels and start expecting the adaptation to follow very closely. Then expect to be very disappointed. The third season as an anime itself is okay but it is not nearly as great as its past 2 seasons. It is still pretty much decent (oh, the irony). Therefore like any other animes that follow this sort of precedent (great start but faltering sequels), the only way to pick itself up is to make another fourth season. Maybe this is all part and parcel of the bigger plan and cycle. Happy, happier, disappointment and then happy again. Maybe that is what life is all about. When you have a series of choices, it isn’t necessary that you need to pick one over the other. Like if you don’t know which boobs to poke, just poke ‘em both! Double the fun, double the satisfaction!