High School DxD: Ragnarok After School

By Ichiei Ishibumi and Miyama-Zero. Released in Japan by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Haydn Trowell.

If you’ve read the previous volumes, you know what the plot of High School DxD is: breasts. Everything else is secondary. That said, it is a shonen battle manga, which means that the breasts are not even there to titillate the reader or make them horny. They’re there as a weapon in Issei’s arsenal. Indeed, every new book brings with it a new breast power-up, and so we may as well talk about Issei loving breasts the way that we talk about Izuku using All Might’s Smash moves in My Hero Academia. It’s also very telling that, in universe, Issei’s shtick is popular with little kids rather than women. The kids don’t really get the sex part, they just see him busting out cool moves. It also shows off Issei as someone who really should mature a bit more before he starts getting his harem… something he seems to know anyway, rejecting Akeno’s offer to sleep with him because she “looks sad”. If you’re going to do a harem, do it properly.

Our heroes have been busy lately, as a bunch of heroes/terrorists keep showing up to try to fight them. The motivation of the other side is rather baffling till they figure out that they’re trying to force Balance Breakers by repeated combat. Which is, well, a tad unethical. That will have to wait for future books, though, because Odin is in town, supposedly here to meet with the Japanese gods but more accurately to go on a pub crawl and look at large-breasted women. (Notably, his hot Valkyrie bodyguard, Rossweisse, is not good enough – indeed, he abandons her at the end of the book.) Not everyone wants Odin to talk with other gods, though, and Loki shows up prepared to stop things by force if necessary. And he’s brought Fenrir with him. As a result, well, the subtitle of the book is accurate.

We finally get Akeno’s backstory here, and is it a bit disappointing at how normal it is. Well, as normal as a backstory can get when your relatives murder your own mother in front of you, but it really boils down to “I hate daddy because he’s never home” to a much larger degree. That said, things get resolved a bit too quickly here, and it feels like the author, having shown us how Akeno acme to hate her father, now feels it’s not necessary anymore. As for the rest of the book, well, lotsa fights. Indeed, we even get enemies teaming up, as in order to stop Loki, Vali and company are brought in, with him agreeing to put off his fight with Issei in order to fight someone equally badass. I did like his scoffing at Issei’s idea of peace, and pointing out that would be a nightmare to people who live for battle. Not everyone wants a Happy Harem After.

This was not quite as good as previous books, feeling a bit like it was filling in time. It did introduce Rossweisse, but she doesn’t do much here aside from whine and moan, so I assume we’ll develop her in later books. Average DxD, which is to say below average in terms of normal light novels.

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