(High School DxD Hero Episode 0: An important retcon of the final four episodes of High School DxD BorN)
It has been three years since the last High School DxD season with the previous installment being High School DxD BorN. A season that deviated from its original source material, and added anime original content, specifically episodes 9-12, and major changes to it overall storyline. Changes that angered light novel fans, its author Ichiei Ishibumi, and many others individuals.
This is what happened: Ichiei Ishibumi changed to a different studio, i.e. Passione, and with that change comes a new director, a new series
composition, and a new character designer. This is why the art style is different from previous High School DxD seasons. And because the final four episode of High School DxD BorN was met with criticism and dissatisfaction from its author and fans, this episode will act as a retcon of those episodes and will bridge the gap for season 3 and 4 of the High School DxD series.
I will say it again. Forget the final four episodes of High School DxD BorN. In this episode, the Rias Incident never occurred, and the whole Loki Incident/fight also never occurred.
Here are some similarities between this and High School DxD BorN: the whole Shalba Beelzebub appearing and killing Dodoria is in here, Asia being send into the Dimensional Gap and assumed dead is in here, the activation of Issei’s Juggernaut Drive, defeating Shalba Beelzebub, and Issei being stuck in that transformed state is in here, and Vali’s team arriving and bring Asia back from the Dimensional Gap is in here.
Here are some differences between this and High School DxD BorN: Irina coming in and carrying a huge projector from Odin, the use of the "Oppai Dragon Song" to calm Issei, Asia confessing to Issei behind the school gymnasium, and the introduction of new characters.
While, Passione could have reused the same animations from season 3 with only the difference being the art style, that isn't the case here. Passione, instead, recreated these scenes using different perspectives and camera angles, while adding new minor details. Thus, making the episode more dynamic and interesting.
Overall, if Passione continues to make proper adaptions like this, then I believe season 4 of High School DxD will be good.
The art style is now very similar to the light novel, unlike its previous installments where the characters appear very mature and realistic. I understand that the art style may be more softer tone, colorful and simpler in its design, but with these changes comes better animations all overall. The character animations and action scenes have dramatically improved in terms of frame rate and flow, and the character design are more in line with the light novel's design.
Overall, people will still enjoy the cute female characters with great personalities, the ecchiness and nudity bounces in full force, and the story line will once again returning to its light novel roots.
TLDR: The author and studio are saying, “Fuck those final four episodes of High School DxD BorN because it’s wrong and deviates from the light novel. Watch this episode instead because it’s proper and follow the light novel more closely.”
I had to give everything 10 out of 10 since they follow the novel story perfectly it's almost just like how I Imagine it to be and it was really great of them to patch up what TNK screwed up in born.
the art is also great to me many people were upset with the new art style but I was glad they finally got a chance to change it since I Hated TNK art style of the story I feel this one is closer to the source material though if I had to choose, mad house that did The "Ambition of Oda Nobuna" that
is a novel made by the same artist of dxd is the closest thing I see to dxd art but I still quite like the art style this studio went with and it seems to have good animation to booth with.
the sound was really high quality,one thing I could of always give TNK credit for was the fact that they had great soundtracks that I always download from what I see so far it seems the new studio will keep up that job.
characters were true to the source material and even follow the exact lines from the novel.
I truly enjoy watching it and can't wait for the whole season to end so I can rewatch it with no interuptions
overall I'm really looking forward to this spring I just hope the uncensored version come out quickly :3
My review is based solely on the comparison between this episode and the version of it that it ruined near the end of Born. Keep in mind that 'manga canon' and 'muh story arc' doesn't matter. This is about enjoyment and quality.
Spoilers for this and Born.
It sucks, to put it plainly, but I'll elaborate scene by scene.
In the original she was depicted slowly fading out of existence while exuding this sort of holy, fantastic energy, as if she was so pure that such a thing was natural, and by the time we realised something was wrong, it was too late, so when Issei's eyes
dilated in sheer horror, so did ours. It was terrifying. In this version we are assaulted by what I can only describe as Cthulu's bubbling farts shooting Asia into the atmosphere, deprived of any emotion that the original had. Issei's reaction is similarly butchered; his once-horrified expression is simply non-existent.
Juggernaut Drive transformation:
The original is started off with a terrifying look of anger on Issei's face complete with glowing yellow eyes but still retaining a very human-like angry expression, accompanied by a guttural snarl. Then a sudden burst of crimson with nothing but his glowing yellow eyes making it through the energy wave. Haunting voices and dramatic music play in the background as Issei's arms and legs split at the muscle and his bones crack audibly. It is both terrifying and awe inspiring, after which he lets out an all encompassing roar. Truly one of the best scenes in the anime. What does episode 0 do? A power rangers transformation by comparison, almost literally. Spinning around him like some sailor moon transformation? Covering everything up with the energy so the transformation isn't seen?
It was not only shortened, but gutted of it's action, barely anything happened in comparison to the original, no 'fighting' went on, just Issei chewing on his shoulders like a poodle for 20 seconds, then it was over. One thing it DID do right however was that they actually showed Shalba's arms being dismembered in this version. Credit where due.
Given the Shalba treatment but even worse. The fighting was practically removed entirely, with a little flash of Divine Dividing being the only thing that made me feel like there was a struggle. The original made it feel like Vali was trying to reason with his rival who had gone mad, this version was just bad.
Looks like a fucking girl.
Was cancelled out by tits. I mean I get that oppai is Issei's thing, but that was always a comedic point, it never got in the way of the action, but in this case it did. The original made Juggernaut Drive out to be this horrific monster that needed a great emotional catalyst to break Issei out of, but pressing a nipple instantly ending it? Just why? I mean if you wanted to make Issei's powers look insignificant just make his wear a maid outfit.
Completely removed and it's emotional significance to both him and Asia is removed as a consequence. 'Not manga canon' isn't an argument, it's an autistic non-sequitur.
Pretty much the latter point. Falls flatter that Koneko's chest since it had no build up. At all. Issei fainting didn't save it.
So in short, if you're a manga fag who couldn't care less about quality, then you'll like it. If however you watch anime with the intention of enjoying it, then just pretend this isn't canon and don't watch HERO, it's bound to ruin a bunch more fight scenes with this 'switch princess' garbage. Trust me.
some minor DxD Born spoilers are included in this Review
First, I want to give advice to anyone who've watched DxD Born and satisfied with it, you should SKIP this episode, just go to first episode of DxD Hero, there will be animation difference you'll either content or disappointed. But plot-wise, I don't think we need this episode as "bridge", we can continue into 4th season(DxD Hero) with final Born memories in mind.
As I stated above, this one is has some differences from final 4-episodes of DxD born but I think it's unnecessary. Main difference is Rias 'Arc' that's completely removed. I don't read the
LN, so I don't know the reason, but to us who've watched Born, we can't just erase it from our memory, right? The other major difference is how they resolve Issei rampage, and I would say this with 100% confidence, how DxD Born resolve that is ten times better than this. How could you change beautiful moment into silly joke? I don't care even if that's deviation from Novel, I still think it's unnecessary to create special episode for this crap.
Different studio handle 4th season including this, it's not unusual if they want to change art and animation style. I don't really want to complain, as mostly it change into lighter tone but at least they're still recognizable. BUT.. the one that I won't accept, and probably stay the same for entire 4th season is.. Rias Appearance. What a terrible things they did to the mature, elegant, beautiful looks of our Ruin Princess, they completely ruin it (no pun intended). And here, they change her into cliche cute and plump girl. Usually I like those kind of character art, but for Rias, that's complete bust of character. And I need to endure it for this and next installation of DxD?
So to summarize this, I won't recommend this episode for DxD anime fans (anime-only, as LN reader would have different perspective). That recommendation also applied to those who are completely new to DxD series (are they even exist?), they would need to watch the first 3 season anyway, and that's from different studio, result in different art style and plot, like it or not.