I finally got around to watch it and guess what, it’s a recap/anime-fix episode.
We start the episode right at the climax of season 3. The animators felt the need to spend a whole episode clearing up the mess that the anime-only content left behind.
I already heavily disliked the series by the end of season 3 and this episode was just a painful reminder of that, after I realized that this was actually the first official episode of season 4.
The dialogue is very generic, the fan service is more important than the problem at hand, the series still struggles to get a good pacing, the lack of any real consequences is worrying and the animation is mediocre at best.
Let me talk about the animation here for a second, the new style isn’t inherently horrible. However, everything looks out of place. It never feels like the characters are ever actually there because they’re not affected by the lighting around them, the boobs of female characters appear to be some water balloons that are glued to somewhere on the chest area and boob sizes keep changing whenever they want to. Actual movement doesn’t appear very often either and when it does, it never looks that good. The mouth movements are not in sync with the voice actors on too many occasions and I feel like I kept overlooking more flaws.
The good parts are… the red and white dragons still look pretty awesome in some scenes and the raging protagonist trope is always great to see. Too bad they wasted it away on a no-name character that doesn’t really have a personal relationship with anyone in our group so seeing him die is neither satisfactory or unfulfilling. He’s just another dude who apparently has a lot of power and got killed for all we care. Another problem is that the cause of this transformation, the “death” of Asia, isn’t permanent. Why should Issei ever go through character development? I mean, that would make him likable or even give him more of a personality, but who would want that, right?
I can’t believe I’m still this prejudiced over this but be aware: This series has a lot of story potential and it understood that much better at the beginning, however, ever since the late second or the early third season, it all just started to horribly derail in favor of boobs and panty shots. I don’t know when exactly because I would have to rewatch everything then, for which I currently do not have the patience.
I’ll give this series one more episode to reel me in. This time, the characters had no time to breathe and the story already got to the point of “meh”, so I went into this already pretty pessimistic. If the next episode doesn’t manage to get me back into the game, then I won’t continue watching this series.
Why? Because I get the feeling that this story, in its refusal to change our protagonist’s fates to the worse to create any kind of tension, isn’t suited for me. High School DxD is an anime that should be watched for the fan service first, and that’s where I already made my mistake it seems.
This is the reason why I will restrain myself from giving it a rating. As of right now, it’s undeniable that the series has extreme flaws to get over BUT it also doesn’t change the fact, that this was basically another recap episode from a different angle, so it wouldn’t really be fair for me to give a rating after already passing on that with My Hero Academia.