This season hit its stride in episode two, so a down week this time around would have been understandable if not expected. Instead, we got the best episode yet.
Seven different girls bear all this week, albeit one of them was only in Issei’s imagination. Obviously, there’s only a few episodes previously in this franchise that could compare to this amount, and even more impressive is that Hero keeps the story rolling despite having to cram in three different major nudes scenes.
There’s a lot to review, so lets dive in:
Our characters journey through what looks like a summer festival packed with yokai. On the other side they meet with the clan run by the fox girl Kunou. She tells the story of her captured mom (Yasaka) and pleads Issei for help. They unroll a pictorial scroll of her so that the characters will know what she looks like. Yasaka is a beauty of course, and Issei’s imagination runs wild:
This scene was awesome. The power of imagination has been well used in ecchi before in shows like R-15, Golden Boy, etc. I particularly love this method because it allows the show to do whatever it wants service wise without being in any way limited by the constraints of the story. It sure would have been nice if Elsha had been the subject of such fantasies the week before… sigh. Oh well, I guess it could still happen someday. Someday.
Eyecatch. The nipples kind of felt a little off on the previous ones, but they nail it here.
Immediately after the Yasaka fantasy scene the show jumps right into yet another major nude scene, this time returning to Rias, Akeno, and Koneko who are bathing and teasing each other once again. You’d think this would get… nope it never gets old. Don’t drop the soap!
I really like show this show understands that long distance shots are shit and rarely uses them. Almost every shot is in that perfect medium-close range where curves look their best.
I love the blank crotch style too. Always better than steam, light, or other annoying stuff. The way they do it with Koneko is perfect, her hips kind of tilt her crotch subtly away from the camera, just enough to create a passable illusion that her most private part is just out of view.
In this next scene, Asia sneaks into Issei’s room for whatever reason. Issei then hears people coming so he jumps in the closet with Asia to hide. I’m not sure if it’s because having a girl over is against the rules, or if he’s just afraid of his two idiot friends embarrassing him in front of a girl. Either way, in the closet they end up. Now secluded, Asia wastes no time at all starting a make-out session.
Of course, it doesn’t last long before they have company. Xenovia and Irina join in. Xenovia bluntly requests Issei’s seed and even says she wants his baby. She begins to start having sex with Issei, though of course this being the show it is she doesn’t quite round second base. Irina doesn’t really know how to react to the situation so she prays over them all as Xenovia, Asia and Issei being their threesome.
A nice scene. These are definitely the best Asia’s breasts have looked.
Of course, the writers had to figure out a way to get Irina naked time. Issei casts Rito-Yuki-no-jutsu.
End of episode.
Somehow, despite having three major nude scenes, none of them are the Kyoto onsen scene the show has teased for two episodes now. I’m guessing it happens next week after the battle with the big bad.
It might seem hard to believe with there being so much quality service, but this episode actually had a ton of story in it as well. Most of the first half and last third of the episode was dedicated to it. We even get to see the main antagonist teased at the very end.
The story works too. For the first time in the series, I’m actually checking my watch to see how much time is left because I don’t want the episode to run out and I’m hoping there is still a lot left to go.
It’s hard to explain why the story works so well. It’s probably a dozen things that add up. But one thing I noticed this season is doing way better than previous seasons, and most anime in general really, is a relative lack of cheesy grandstanding and cliches from the characters. The villains/rivals/antagonists are men of few words, and because of that the good guys don’t have to trade cliches back.
It’s also nice because there’s really no scene in this show so far that feels wasted or too long. Everything is paced comfortably and the pieces fit together just right.
And I’ll probably stop mentioning after this episode, but the art quality continues to be very high and very consistent. After an uneven pilot episode the production values have been lights out since.
I don’t know if this show is going to sell as much as the first two seasons did (the market is different for ecchi now than it was five or six years ago), but it definitely feels like Passione is crafting a hit. I can’t wait for the next episode, it’s been a fun ride so far.
PS: Look for the first four episode compilation video, coming soon!