This was a pretty disappointing episode of High School DxD. The first episode was okay, but it was honestly shaky compared to the other two seasons. With the second episode it felt like it was jocking someone else’s formula and it didn’t work. There’s two main reasons. The first is that Issei is still depowered, so much so that he doesn’t feel like an underdog, but rather cannon fodder. What bothers me is that one of the major character arcs for Issei in the second season was having to turn his hand back to normal because he’d given it to the Dragon. That seems to be completely gone here which again… makes him come across powerless.
The other major thing is his training. He trains for three days with the other Dragon from the first episode and it consists of running around and not getting killed. They comment that it improves his stamina and agility, but the goal was to unlock and practice with his full on dragon-suit. You’d think that when it didn’t work the first time they’d try something new the next two days, but they don’t. It’s not just Issei’s training that’s the problem, everyone’s training seems really fucking easy. They’re not being pushed at all and basically blowing the training regimen out of the water. Yet we know that they’re not the most powerful group since they’ve lost twice now when it mattered.
My other problem is the shoehorned backstory about Koneko. It was pretty obvious what they were doing and sure as shit they made them the twin cats. Yay. This all feels like after thought and that would be fine if they presented it in an interesting way. Instead she’s been coasting for two seasons, but now she’s pushed to the forefront so that she can develop feelings of Issei as well. Because that’s the only reason and frankly there’s enough characters interested in this guy at the moment that we don’t need to have the least interesting character on the series fall for him as well. It doesn’t work in my opinion. She was a character that really functioned outside of that role and still worked and supported the show when needed. Right now she’s “acting strange” to everyone which also means what little charm she had is completely gone. Hopefully they don’t drag this sister shit out longer than needed because neither sister is interesting.
We’re also introduced to the “Young Devils” which is basically the snobby “pure” breeds that will one day rule hell and they are as you would expect them… annoying and dressed stupid. We also meet the guy that’s more powerful, better suited and obviously in love with Rias so that will be a thing for Issei and her to talk about and him to have insecurities over.
There’s just not a lot of interesting plot points to the story arcs that they’re currently threading and really it feels as if they’re too far out of their element, meaning the school setting. The school kept the story grounded and while shit would still go down, you had that reset area. Without it, the story is trying to do a little of everything and not succeeding at doing any of it very well. Hell, even the fan service was pretty terrible this week.
High School DxD BorN 3.2 “Gathering of Young Devils” Official Website