Gasper’s looking up to the wrong senpai
I want to make “It’s a Trap!” jokes, but I shouldn’t (actually, I just did, didn’t I? I see what I did there…). But we’re going to find out who that Bishop inside the sealed room is. Are they worthy of the rest of Rias’ peerage?
Gasper takes “Cute Little Fang” to “Cutest Little Fang”
Yes, we’ve already seen the new character in the ED, but Gasper’s got a bit of a twist, as Kiba seemed so glad to point out to Issei. Gasper’s a boy who likes to dress in girl’s clothes. And not just a boy, but a half-human, half-vampire demon (and at this point, skylion and BlackBriar are preparing for battle over the poor boy). On top of that, he has the ability to stop time within his view, but the problem is that he’s unable to control it. So he’s been locked away since his power was considered more than Rias could handle. But because of the growing strength of the rest of her group, and her (and Issei’s) good showings in both the Raizer Phenex rating game and the standoff with Kokabiel, Sirzechs thinks that Rias probably has the chops to handle him now.
He needs some training to be effective
And it’s interesting that two losses are considered cause for being higher strength. But really, Rias’ group shouldn’t have been anywhere close in either fight. The rating game was a last ditch effort to break her engagement to Raizer, and with Kokabiel they were just trying to stall him and keep him from destroying the town before Sirzechs’ main forces showed up. But by not getting stomped like they should have, it’s raised Rias’ reputation and power higher.
Xenovia and Koneko having a little too much fun
The other person that almost everyone meets is Azazel, who pops out of the woods when they’re trying to ‘train’ Gasper (well, more like Xenovia and Koneko bullying him). But Azazel is obviously not interested in fighting (and again, Azazel could mop the floor with them even in a 7v1 fight). And it’s actually good he comes by, because his hobby of research into Sacred Gear is what they all need to learn more about their powers. He immediately tells Saji some new abilities he has (extracting the power of others), and gives them some suggestions about how to deal with Gasper.
Issei Finally Gets a Kouhai
Azazel is quite the party crasher
Issei does resolve to help Gasper, partly because he finally has a junior he can take care of, but mostly because he wants to try to help Rias. And of course he still has his dreams. So with some talking with Gasper, Issei calms the blond bishou.. er never mind… the boy down and becomes his friend. In fact, Gasper is amazed that Issei can hold such power, and be so vulgar and straightforward at the same time (aren’t we all?). He’s also glad when Issei not only says he envies Gasper’s power, but provides specific Issei-ish examples of how he would do it (you know, look up all the girls’ skirts, fondle Rias and Akeno, normal things you’d do if you could stop time).
But Gasper’s not quite done, cause he still is too scared of the outside and other people. But Asia comes up with a solution (which gives Koneko a chance to harass Gasper with garlic again) by getting a paper bag to put over his head. And having that barrier to keep with him calms Gasper down enough to interact with people (and at least he doesn’t take the opportunity to tell terrible jokes). He does get a little bit zombie-ish, tho.
There’s always room for Miko Akeno
And now that they’ve got Gasper taken care of for the moment, there’s another errand for Issei. Something that becomes clear through this part of the storyline is just how much notoriety Issei has as the sekiryutei (as opposed to Vali, the hakuryuukou), although it’ll still take Issei a while to realize it (it’ll take him even longer to realize he’s Rias’ favorite, not as a pet, but as a boy, even though we already know it). But this errand should be a wake up call, in more ways than one. I like how the show keeps up with the continuity, making Issei afraid of the shrine that he is visiting, and where he meets Akeno, but the assurances that it’s safe for demons run right into the news that it’s actually Akeno’s shrine (no wonder she hasn’t moved in with Issei, if she’s got her own shrine). But Akeno’s not the person they’ve come to see, it’s someone much shinier: Michael, leader of the Angels.
Maxi could take lessons on “Shining!”
I’ve finally gotten ahead of the anime story in LN 4, and am really looking forward to the next episode. This episode was ok, probably my least favorite of the season, so far, because it didn’t really do a lot, and mostly featured Gasper screaming. It did move the story along, and got a lot of interaction between all the members of the Occult Research Club, Saji, and even Azazel. But things should definitely start to pick up a bit next episode, and with 3 left in the series, they’re probably going to have to move pretty fast, although the story is right about at 50% through LN4. I think they’ve done really well pacing everything so far, so I expect that to continue. But like I said, looking forward to next episode, because it’s Akeno at home!