English Dub Review: High School DxD HERO “We Are Preparing for the School Festival”

Time to ferry Issei from plot point to plot point…

Overview (Spoilers)

Issei and crew star in a stage show, a tokusatsu-style special effects extravaganza focused on his persona as the Grabbin’ Dragon. The little kids love it… for reasons I am still unclear on. He’s a man of the people, though. A kid cries because they missed out on the meet and greet, so he comes out to sign for him and encourage him to be grown up about things and not cry. As they head out for the night, Rias’ mom shows with a less than subtle query: what are Issei’s feelings for Rias, and when is he gonna put a ring on it?

Meet Ravel!
Courtesy: Funimation

No time to think about that, though! We’ve got school issues to talk about. For one, we have Ravel Phenex. She’s transferred to Kuoh Academy, and is more than a little uncomfortable with the attention. Issei and Rias think that if they introduce her to other paranormal friends, she might have a safe-zone. That backfires. She does not get along with either Koneko or Gaspar. Figuring they should focus on things they could actually effect, the pair retreat to the clubhouse to decorate it for the School Festival.

They’re doing a haunted house theme. Any surprise? As Issei works on some of the prop construction, Azazel pops up. He isn’t here for Issei though. He found a counselor for Draig, the Grabbin’ Dragon’s dragon hand of grabbin’. See, while Issei’s power is derived from gazongas, Draig is a majestic heavenly dragon. Getting himself involved in all this debauchery depresses him, so Azazel is hiring a counselor.

One last event for the day. Sairaorg’s butler called Issei over to their estate. Sairaorg’s mother has been in a torpor for a long time, and the doctors have been unable to rouse her. It seems the struggle of raising a demon son with no demonic power has taxed her to the extreme, and she can’t take it anymore. The butler wants to see if Issei could use his Pailingual spell to talk to her boobs and find out what is wrong. No dice.

On their way out, Sairaorg and Issei renew their vows to duke it out with full force in the next rating game. The strength and assurance Issei exhibits forces Rias to look at him in a whole new light. Maybe he’s the kind of guy she could see herself within the long haul…

Our Take

So, for an episode with a title about the school festival, they spent all of three lines about the subject. Not like they’d have much else to name it for. This episode is setting up for another story arc and is more than a little schizophrenic in how it goes about it. There are about four new plotlines they’re playing with, and they tried to give equal time to each. It doesn’t work. The episode ends up being a collection of scenes with little to nothing to do with each other. None of the scenes truly resolve, so they just… are. There is no focus and no sense of development.

The animation was flawlessly performed, even if it wasn’t much action. I couldn’t see any flaws or off-model art anywhere, which is saying something for a series that is halfway through. Most shows would trail off in quality long ago, and they’re keeping strong. I don’t know if it’s because they’re better funded, or if Passione is just better at budgeting. Now, if only this wasn’t dedicated to a series can be summed up as “Boobs”. You know, a show with content.

The voice acting is still on point. The characters all have sass and personality. They emote very well. I feel, however, that the script didn’t give them much to work with. Since the characters were just bouncing around to plot points, they didn’t have much time to have conversations worth listening to. This means that the dialogue lacks the snap and humor that actually makes this show enjoyable for me.

Score

Summary

So, while technically on the good side, it's a boring episode. I give it six strangely child-friendly stage shows out of ten.

6.0/10

Marshall Daley

One part best-friend/philosopher, one part creepy mad scientist. Shaken, and sprinkled with geeky factoids, quirky humor, and a major case of skepticism towards the world and you might just find a cocktail that changes the way you see... Everything!

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