High School DxD Hero (Episode 9) – The Deciding Battle of the Strongest Youth, Begins!

How will Issei deal with the recent drama from Rias?
And, the big rating game is finally going to begin!

This Post Contains NSFW!

The Deciding Battle of the Strongest Youth, Begins!

The episode begins with Issei having some flashbacks of his time with Rias, and trying to figure out if she loves him or not, because if he’s wrong, it could ruin their current friendship / relationship. As he’s thinking about what he’s done wrong, Akeno, Koneko and Asia come in to console him and “heal” him, mentioning that he must still be hung up on what happened with Raynare. Xenovia and Irina join in shortly after.

After that, we move on to the Rating Game. Issei is shown some video messages from children cheering him on, the rules are explained, and the battle begins with a showdown between Kiba and another knight.

Episode Thoughts

Lynn

My biggest problem with this season, and this episode really highlighted it, is that all of the girls have become little more than boobs. We’ve had no character development or even spent any time with them individually.

In previous seasons, Issei has gone on dates with them and spent time alone with them giving them a chance to fall for him. Now, they all just walk into a room strip off and jump on him. Sure, it’s great for the ecchi side of things, but it doesn’t have any style or substance – two of the things that the first season had in abundance.

I’m finding that rewatching this season has taken some of the sheen off it. I’m certain now that the first season was the best by a long way.


Yomu

I’m not going to lie, I was about to sympathize with Issei, because even though it seems super blatant that all of the girls around him are into him, I can sort of understand why he would subconsciously refuse to believe it. I mean, he was considered a hopeless loser not very long ago.

But just as I was getting on board with that line of thinking, they decide to throw something out from left field by bringing Raynare up. The subsequent scene with Issei tearing up just felt so dumb. But, we got some good fan service anyways, so it is what it is.

Once again, looking forward the rating game, and hopefully there will be no interruptions.


Episode Highlights

Flashbacks of Rias

“Healing” Session

Time for the Rating Game!

Mid Episode Transitions!

Other Posts in the Series

9 Comments

  1. It’s an interesting perspective you guys have. This always remains one of the best moments of the series. I always viewed season 4 as the Issei season, where he does some self reflection.

    But that might be me with my blinders on.

    • So, this is my second time watching this season and Yomu’s first. I watched it originally as it aired and remembered loving it. Sadly, it’s just not holding up for me. It feels like it’s become too much of a parody and lost a lot of the darker elements that I thought made it cool. I’ve recently watched Tsugumomo and Gleipnir and both had a great balance between comedy and tragedy. I really want to like this season, but I’m seeing all the things that annoyed me in seasons two and three all over again.

      • It’s very interesting to see that you have a different view on it, cause I viewed season 4 to be on par with season 1, (though season one is the best in terms of ecchi). I thought I would have the same view when I went back for The Summer of Love, but I just enjoyed it more.

        Different strokes I suppose, I loved Gleipnir, and didn’t much care for Tsugu, though I should give it a second look.

    • I didn’t mind the scene until they brought Raynare into it. I just don’t see how he could still be hung up on her after he only went on a single date with her, versus all of the time he’s spent with Rias, Akeno, Asia, and the others. Just doesn’t add up for me.

      • Because Raynare was the first girl ever to give him that sort of attention.

        For a fifteen/sixteen year old boy, who’s in the midst of puberty, that’s a life-changing experience. The first time any one of the opposite sex thinks he is special or wants to be intimate with him. For a teenager his age, especially someone like Issei who by all accounts was a bit of a loser, getting a high school girlfriend is the biggest thing that’s ever happened to him.

        As a man who was (like I assume many anime fans of my generation) was a bit of a social outcast, his feelings both before and after can hit close to home.

        So when it blows up in his face, when he is mocked and ridiculed and then literally killed for it, it’s going to leave a few mental scars. You’re going to, subconsciously at least, have your defensives up around woman, be afraid of getting close, wondering if they are just playing with his emotions. That they are just being nice, and don’t actually like him that way. His reactions, to me, are very believable.

        Now Does High School DXD do the proper legwork for this plot point? Yes and no. This is clearly not a show about feelings like that, so it can come out of left field, but if you watch all the season, you can piece together what they are getting at, and it still remains a great moment of character development. The girls all being there are basically telling him. “It’s okay to want this, we want it to.”

        Least that’s my take.

        • For a regular boy, I could definitely see it. Going from being an outcast, to having an amazing date, to being betrayed, and back to being a pariah – I could see that leaving deep scars.

          But in Issei’s case, it’s not really like that. He’s basically surrounded by women that shower affection on him immediately after, to the point where he wakes up with them clinging to him in bed. I just don’t see how the baggage could stick around like that – if anything, dying itself would leave more of a scar from where I see it.

          Like I can understand the reluctance he often exhibits in spite of all of that, because he was an outcase and part of his mind could have trouble coming to terms with his new situation. But even then, to be honest, I feel like it’s maybe a little too late to jump into these things now, after he’s gone through many more profound experiences since his past life.

          For me personally, it’s just hard to believe is all. Maybe if they had built it up more, hinted at it more, and so on over the seasons, it could have had a proper effect. But yeah, I just couldn’t get into it with how it’s sprung on us the way it is.

          • It could have been built up more, absolutely. Perhaps it is in the light novels ( we won’t know for years), but I do think his attitudes and responses are genuine and legit. Yes, it can be hard as a viewer, seeing him surrounded with T and A all the time to be like. “dude, you still hung up on this?” but don’t under estimate how shit like that can affect a teenage brain, especially a teenage boy. It can take a long time to get over even the smallest of things.

            High School DxD is and frankly will never be a show that gets into deep themes and ideas, or does the legwork for that. It’s a battle harem with boobs up the wazoo. But the fact that it at least TRIES to have some meaning behind it, that it makes an effort to get into Issei’s mind and (for me) succeeds in making his pain believable, is a monumental achievement for a harem ecchi, especially since most of the shows can barely string a decent enough plot together.

            Whether that works is up to the beholder, but it is something that should be praised for at least attempting to do.

          • Yeah I get what you’re saying. I guess it just wasn’t conveyed enough (or, at all, really), and to expect me to just hop on board with the idea that he’s been carrying trauma this whole time didn’t work out, for me.

            Honestly, DxD has some pretty good emotional moments, to the degree that if it wasn’t constrained to the standard ~25min episode and 12 episodes per season, they definitely could have thrown in some really powerful moments with proper build up and all that, even with the battle harem. I don’t know that I’d applaud DxD for making the attempt in this case given the lack of buildup, but I certainly can see the potential for how great it could have been. And many other moments also.

            Watching DxD again (and Hero for the first time) has certainly caused me to appreciate Issei more than I did the first time around.

          • That’s more than a reasonable view to have, and while I disagree with some, I can see where you are coming from. Everything can always ‘be better’, but, and especially in this genre, attempting to try should be applauded.

            Also there is the fact that the anime as good as it is (my view) has been known to omit parts of the Light Novel that help fill in the corners, but that again, we won’t know until the translations catch up.

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