High School DxD BorN – 04

DxD BorN - Problem children

Problem children are coming from the Underworld

winter15-highwAnother week, another DxD episode! But this one was definitely the “change things around” episode, as they departed quite a bit from the light novels. So were the changes good, bad, or completely out of the blue? Let’s find out, and see how the overall show is going.

Preventing Ragnarok

DxD BorN - One over her issues, one just starting

The two who are struggling with themselves, and the person who can get them through

Ajuka Beelzebub was able to send Loki away last time, but it’s not for long. So they’ve decided to try to vanquish him as far away from the Underworld as possible. Unfortunately, they can’t send an overwhelming force, since it’s too far to send more than 10 people. I also think that it’s probably a created space they’ve put Loki in, a device they frequently use in the books to allow for high power fights without risking damage to the real world. So the people that are tapped to go are most of the Gremory Group, and some support from the Sitri group. And let’s throw in Rossweisse there because it’s her mythology that’s the threat.

DxD BorN - On their way

“Go buy us some time”

And while it’s a bit of a stretch to think that they’d send a bunch of high school kids out after a major god (a common complaint I have in other shows), in the circumstances here in DxD it’s not really that farfetched, and it’s actually politically expedient. Sure, the four great Maou would be more likely to defeat Loki, but that would actually facilitate the Ragnarok that Loki is trying to cause. And in this world, even though Rias and her servant devils are high school kids (for the time being), they’re considered to be some of the strongest devils. They haven’t gotten to the rating games, but I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that the Gremory Group is as powerful as the top 5 of the current devil teams, and even though high school devils can’t participate in ranked Rating Games, they’re expected to move up there very quickly. So it’s not a crazy idea to send these kids out there, especially since they left the weak links of Asia and Gasper at home (they’ll have their time, but right now, they’re just not effective in fights).

DxD BorN - Tsubaki

This show never has enough of Tsubaki, and Tsubaki never has enough of Kiba

A Difference in Scope

DxD BorN - The enemies

An impressive array of enemies

The biggest change that the fight against Loki coming now represents is that it’s a really big change in the setup and size of the fight. When the fight happens in book 7, it’s a huge deal, encompassing multiple factions, and bringing in a lot more powerful fighters with more of a set piece feeling and lots of strategizing about who will fight who. The way it was presented here was more of a delaying action, an ad hoc fighting force. But the fight still comes off pretty well, with Loki pulling out not just Fenrir, but Fenrir’s two sons Hati and Skoll. And just for fun, let’s add an ersatz copy of the largest of the Five Great Dragon Kings, Midgardsormr. And really, they’re not doing badly, with teams made up on the fly of Kiba and Xenovia to fight Fenrir while Issei and Koneko fight one of the child dogs. Rias and Sona team up to fight Midgardsormr, and Irina and Rossweisse take the other dog. I thought they overdid it a little much with Irina’s cutesy transformation into an angel, but as Michael’s representative, they did need to throw in the fact that she was now a ‘reincarnated angel’, in the same way that Issei, Koneko, Kiba, Akeno, and the others are reincarnated devils.

DxD BorN - Spinning by a nose

This pegged the ‘silly meter’ for me

Even Saji gets in the act with his Sacred Gear, which has been upgraded to another of the Five Dragon Kings, Vritra. More specifically, he’s got 4 different sacred gears, as Vritra’s consciousness was split up much more than Ddraig’s. Saji does play a significant part in the fight, harrassing Loki while the others focus on his forces, but he stays in control of himself, another change from the book, where he kind of goes berserk, and the rest of the ‘good guys’ rely on Issei’s ability to speak to him as a dragon to keep him focused on Loki. All of this is to try to stall until Odin can have Mjolnir transported to the area, as that’s the only thing that can defeat Loki.

DxD BorN - Loki and Rossweisse

Instead of beating Loki up, Rossweisse is begging him to stop…

There is a big change from the books here, though. The thing that has me wondering what they’re going to do next episode is that with the books’ double fight against Loki and Fenrir, Issei finds out about the deadliness of Fenrir’s fangs in the first fight, and is able to use Mjolnir (well, a copy of it in the care of the dwarves and dark elves, since only a true god can wield the true Mjolnir) in the second fight. But in this fight, he’s trying to reach it when he is bitten by Fenrir, piercing his armor and giving him what looks to be a mortal wound. If Asia had come along, her healing could patch him up, but it’s not worth protecting her through the whole fight for that. So it’s left up to Rias to have a meltdown. We do see that Issei is the emotional center of the Gremory group, and even to Saji, as everyone tries to avenge him, but Rias’ insane amount of power here is something completely new to the story in the anime.

DxD BorN - This wasn't supposed to happen

So close, but not enough

I’m just not sure how they’re going to get Issei back to effectiveness and get Rias back from the ledge here. I guess they could do something besides have Issei hit Loki with Mjolnir to end this, but after getting it there, I think that they kind of need to follow through on that (the method that Issei uses to power up enough to use Mjolnir is probably something that will wait a while, since it involves the new power that he talks about in next week’s preview). They also brought Akeno’s development up a little bit, but again the preview shows that maybe that’s not as complete as Koneko’s scaling of her mental wall is. LN 7 is much more about Akeno’s development, including her backstory, so they could move that around to another fight, as Barakiel figures much more prominently in that. No, the big thing I’m wondering about is Issei.

DxD BorN - Issei is down

Has Issei had it?


One thing I have some trouble with, as I think a lot of anime fans do when they’re familiar with the source material for a series, is not watching the show while using the source as a checklist. When I watch this episode for what it is, a rousing fight between the Gremorys, Sona, Tsubaki, Saji, and Rossweisse versus Loki, it’s a pretty darn good episode, with Fenrir not seeming quite as awkward in the scenes, and a lot of young demons exercising their power in ways that they haven’t been able to before. It’s the first time out for Issei’s Balance Breaker, it’s the first time Koneko is fighting at full strength, and it’s the first time Saji has shown his Vritra powers. I did think they overdid Koneko’s power a little much, as the senjutsu she uses in the book is a lot more of a ‘defeat from within’ power. By using qi, she is able to disable or defeat her opponents by disrupting how they function. But that’s not very flashy, certainly not as much as spinning a giant dog by its nose. So we’ll see how they are able to wrap up this fight, and get Issei back from the brink of death next week.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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21 Responses to “High School DxD BorN – 04”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Koneko eating strawberries. Tasty.

  2. Pedro says:

    This isn’t the final fight against Loki, they mixed some stuff from the second, but Loki won’t be defeated for good until the Finale.

    Next episode Kuroka and another member from Vali Team appears, so I’m 99% sure of it.

    After this episode I kind of gave up in comparing to the LN until the anime ends and I’m sure of what they changed and what was just removed for good.

    The fight was good, Ise was finished like a chew toy and Rias went Super Sayan. Considering only the anime it was great.

    I’m still astonished there were no tits this episode. I know it’s a good thing, but seriously WTH.

    • Highway says:

      Hmm, I’m not sure. They did so much of the material for the fight against Loki, it would be kind of strange if they didn’t defeat him now, kind of letting him off the hook. They’ve defeated Fenrir, Hati, Skoll, and Midgardsormr. Mjolnir (copy) is there. I can definitely see having Kuroka and Arthur show up, but I’m not so sure what their goal would be.

      Plus, if they’re even hoping to get through the material in LNs 5 and 6, they have to actually, you know, get something *done* in this series. Considering there’s a major battle per book, and they’ll be on episode 5 of 12 next episode, they kind of need to get a move on. There really isn’t time to reset this fight against Loki and then redo it at the end of the series. If they were trying to stretch material, I could see that happening, but unless they’re cutting out major parts of the story they have, that’s just not what I would call prudent use of time.

      • Pedro says:

        Kuroka and Arthur show up in the preview and Kuroka talks about Kpneko’s neko form, and the background looks a lot like the background of this episode’s fight, so (to me at least) that’s already a big hint of it Show ▼

        I’m just making assumptions and saying what I think would be cool though, the anime is too different timeline wise to make a serious prediction of their next step based in what I know from the LNs.

        • Pedro says:

          I forgot to spoiler tag it, I’m so sorry!

        • Highway says:

          I think your predictions are fine as possibilities, I just don’t think that’s what they’ll do. 🙂 I think Loki’s gone too far to retreat, what with actually casting to start Ragnarok now. That, combined with the progress of the show makes me think they’ll wrap it up.

          And I think that ending with LN6 would be a fine ending. I just wonder how they deal with Akeno’s story.

          • Pedro says:

            Making assumptions and theories about how they are going to do it is the biggest “pro” of the rearrangements, that’s for sure. I’m having a load of fun theorizing how it’ll play out. 😀

            About Akeno, I don’t know how they’ll play it out, but at least the preview shows it’s not over. If they skipped her development from V7 there would be rivers of blood flowing from TNK’s building. lol

            • Highway says:

              About Akeno, I think so too, and they need to get the method in there, because it has a great deal to do with Ddraig (who we already saw almost wincing at how Issei achieved his Balance Breaker).

  3. MR.KLAC says:

    loki plan to unleash ragnarok & chaos so time to assemble the DxD-gers (sorry the avengers were busy “you know what” at time).

    give look almost IF issei was worthy to life thor’s hammer aka Mjolnir (imagine issei rule asgard if lift hammer)

    but oh (bleep) loki send a wolf & isse got coulson treatment https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vK0FPtYTvY

    NO!!! yea cue everyone DxD-gers assemble even rias going wanda’s rage mode (if saw certain movie).

    indeed what happen next of DxD-gers?!

  4. belatkuro says:

    While it’s reasonable for the Maous to not face Loki themselves for political reasons and Fenrir having godslaying teeth and all like in the myths, why would they even leave their healer behind? Sure it makes for them to use the Phoenix Tears but still, Asia is loads better than a stack of PT. It would also have her show the progress of her training. Also, why just only Saji and Tsubaki and not bring the other members of the Sitri group as well?

    While it’s nice to see Issei show off his strength with his new Balance Breaker, him transforming immediately sort of ticked me off. His countdown at first was 2 minutes and he worked hard on shortening it later. It’s a sign of his growth in the future volumes and here he just transforms. Sure, he could have been counting down from the start but there was no indication of that whatsoever.

    The rest of the fights were decent I guess. It showed off their progress from the training. But they sure did manhandle these monsters considering they’re famous beasts from myths. That part with Koneko throwing Fenrir was a bit much. Made Fenrir’s threat a bit too low considering how difficult they faced it in the source. Yes, the Gremory group has some insane power and potential but at this point of the story, showing them struggling a bit more would have been better.

    Issei getting bitten here makes for some good drama but they could have treated him had they brought Asia. Sure, in the preview he’s alright and there’s Ravel’s gift which is definitely a Phoenix Tear but in terms of strategy by Rias as a King, it’s a major fail. So much for her learning more to be a King.
    Show ▼

    It’s not as bad as I think but I certainly had some problems with this episode. It’s still not breaking a lot things but some parts definitely come off a bit wrong in execution. Guess rearranging stuff and doing some padding and changes can affect its quality. Hopefully the rest of the episodes would proceed better.

    • Highway says:

      I agree with the decision not to bring Asia. As she is, she’s a huge liability on the battlefield. You don’t bring your healer if you can’t tank the mobs. Having Asia there means everyone has to fight as if they are protecting Asia, and that means with a hand tied behind their backs. Couple that with the fact that the amount of people they can send is severely limited, they’re better off with another fighter and a few healing potions than with Asia.

      I agree they should have struggled a bit more, especially against legendary foes like Fenrir and Midgardsormr. But that’s what makes me think this is more the close against Loki, rather than the first fight. Loki crashing the party was like the first appearance for me. This is the one where they do or die. And I think that the appearance of Kuroka (and maybe some others) supports that. Show ▼

      I had forgotten about Ravel’s gift, That would get them out of this mess.

      Show ▼

  5. skylion says:

    I kinda felt that battle went pretty much paint by numbers. This is a show that has displayed battles as being very personal to the characters involved. For whatever reason, still scratching my head, this did not deliver that to me. Fenrir and Kids, along with the Midgard Serpent just felt hollow. The battle went back and forth without any real indication of stakes or development, and the “chew toy” moment felt like the writer going “oh what do I do now?”

    All in all, this did’t feel like a legit recipient of what the franchise has built so far. I am enjoying Koneko and Akeno’s awakening, and still feel they aren’t off the hook just yet, which should be a good development.

    • Highway says:

      I think that’s a pretty astute observation. I think that the stakes of the fight were definitely reduced, much of it because of the change in setup from a huge set piece with a lot more people involved and significant planning to an ad hoc delaying action to try to buy time and deal with Loki kind of on the cheap. It also required a lot more input from Tannin, the real Midgardsormr (who they woke up just to ask about it), the dwarves and dark elves, and even some surprises.

      I think that Koneko is pretty much over her crisis of self, having accepted who she is and understanding that she doesn’t have to be like Kuroka. Unfortunately for Akeno, she’s not really close to it. She’s accepted her power of Raikou (lightning), but she still hasn’t gotten over her past and her split with Barakiel. There was a key part to that in the LN 7 battle with Loki, but Barakiel isn’t here to be the trigger of that, and it really doesn’t look like Issei is.

      I will say that I thought the battle itself was of a piece with most of the DxD fights that we’ve had so far. The Gremory group, while strong, hasn’t really had a fight that they completely won since Raynalle. Raiser beat them, Kokabiel beat them until they were saved by Vali, and the first fight with Chaos Brigade was pretty much a draw. The fights are more of a chance for the individuals to develop rather than be cool fights (personally, I tend to glaze over during the DxD fights, because they are, as you say, back and forth without really any stakes apparent).

  6. BlackBriar says:

    Not often we get a completely battle dedicated episode. More than that, no fanservice whatsoever to speak of. In spite of everyone giving it their all against Loki, somehow, I didn’t feel a lot of energy to it. As though something was missing in between.

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