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Characters / High School DD: Issei Hyoudou

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Issei Hyoudou
Click here to him with his Scale Mail armor 

Role: Pawn (×8), King
Species: Human / Reincarnated Devil / Humanoid Dragon
Voiced by: Yūki Kaji (Japanese), Scott Freeman (English, 2013-14) and Josh Grelle (English, 2015-present)

I'm going to become a Harem king!

The son of Gorou and Miki Hyoudou, Issei is a high school student at Kuoh Academy, who's also a Lovable Sex Maniac. During his first date with Yuma Amano, it ends badly when Yuma reveals herself as Raynare and kills him, but not before wishing to die in the arms of a beautiful woman — a wish so powerful Rias Gremory gets to answer his call and transform him into a devil. He dreams of being a harem king, unknowingly already in the middle of being one.

    Tropes A to D 
  • Above the Influence: The specific reason Issei is a Chivalrous Pervert and not a dangerous sleaze. He's utterly shameless in ogling girls, gushing about their breasts and repeatedly states his desire for a harem, but he'd never force himself on someone or take advantage of moments of weakness. Riser Phenex pisses him off beyond all comprehension within seconds of their first meeting specifically because he has the harem Issei wants but treats them in general - and Rias in particular - as objects to use and abuse, as opposed to the infinitely selfless (if equally perverse) adoration Issei has for women.
    • When Rias comes to him begging him to take her virginity, it takes quite a while for him to get started because he can tell she's acting out of some unknown desperation. Only when she starts showing actual enjoyment at his attentions does he give in. Unfortunately for Issei, his hesitation results in Interrupted Intimacy courtesy of Grayfia Lucifuge.
    • When Asia offers to indulge in "Skinship", he's unable to accept because he can tell that she doesn't quite grasp that Issei desperately wants to hit a home run. Informed consent is really important to him.
    • When a despairing Akeno came to him naked and sad, wanting to have sex with him due to her depressing memories of her past and her father, Issei refuses despite wanting to have sex with her, as he wouldn't do it with someone who was in such a depressing state. He doesn't want it unless he thinks the girl will enjoy it too.
  • Achilles' Heel: Notable in that he's got twice the number of weaknesses because he's both a dragon and a devil.
  • Action Hero: With a little push from Azazel, he strives for peacenote  by beating the crap out of anyone who interferes with it.
  • Adorkable: A trait that keeps his harem growing.
  • Adult Fear: When he finds out that Koneko, Gasper and Ravel were kidnapped by magicians after they tried protecting an innocent human.
  • Afraid of Needles: One side story has him catch two viruses, one afflicting Devils and another afflicting Dragons, that requires an injection to fix. To be fair, the needle was as large as Issei, and that’s not even getting into the injection site...
  • Almighty Janitor: In the first season of the anime anyway. He's considered fairly weak compared to the other characters, as he's only a pawn in chess terminology. That said, he can also acquire the powers of the other chess pieces, and due to his Sacred Gear, once he starts training and mastering its use, he becomes quite deadly. This continues well into the light novels too, where it's noted that during Issei's mid-rank promotion exam that a natural-born Devil with the power he has should have a peerage of their own already, but Issei still lacks in non-combat areas.
    • He later becomes a High-Class devil, but by that point, Issei has become even more powerful, to the point that he can fight evenly with Gods and easily crush a small group of High-Class level devils, meaning that his rank still isn't indicative of his true strength. However, Issei himself notes that he's still getting used to the responsibilities of his rank on top of his celebrity as a hero across the whole supernatural world. Also, the Maous expect him to eventually become one of the future Maous in their new system, to the point where they're tossing around the idea of creating a position specifically for him.
    • Averted at the True Volume 4, where he is promoted to the newly created Special-class Devil class, making him one of the highest ranking Devils along with Vali, only being behind powerful political figures such Ajuka Beelzebub and Zekram Bael.
  • Amplifier Artifact: Boosted Gear (Also known as Red Dragon Emperor's Gauntlet) is one by doubling its user's power every ten seconds.
  • Animated Armor: When his body is destroyed by Samael's curse, Ddraig manages to attach his soul to the Scale Mail until Great Red and Ophis create a new body. After all, how could he enjoy intimacy without proper flesh?
  • The Apprentice: He serves as Rias's apprentice at the beginning of the series when she revives him and transforms him into a devil.
  • Arch-Enemy: In volume 1, he views Raynare as his enemy, since she killed him after their first date and stole Asia's Sacred Gear. During their battle at the abandoned church, Issei finally defeats her after unleashing his Boosted Gear.
  • Ascended Fanboy: He's a fan of Super Sentai shows alongside Irina, and he finally stars in the "Oppai Dragon" show. He's conflicted, however, between elation and embarrassment over the title, though kids do love it.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Twice. He is a human reincarnated a devil, and starting with Volume 12, he's got both Great Red and Ophis's existence within him.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Invoked and implied in Volume 24 when Azazel discussed with the Four Underworld Lords to give Issei his own title, Satan (as in the particular title, not the leaders as a collective). Also a case of Fridge Brilliance here, since Issei has a new body from Great Red, which is the in-universe form of Satan, he becomes the natural choice for the position.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Took a look at Sirzechs's way of bending his Power of Destruction to hit a specific target, and practiced till he was able to pull it off.
  • Babies Ever After: It's a Foregone Conclusion that he will end up with more than twenty children.
  • Back from the Dead: Twice!
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • He often teams up with Kiba during battles and rating games.
    • In volume 7, teams up with Sun Wukong to help thwart the Hero Faction's plans in Kyoto.
  • Badass and Child Duo: When he and Kunou were the only ones who got together when everyone got separated at Kyoto.
  • Badass Boast:
    "President Rias Gremory's virginity belongs to me!!" (During Riser and Rias's engagement party)
    "If you want to burn me, bring me a phoenix or a dragon!" (While fighting a fire mage)
    "My bad, if you want to defeat me, please bring a God with you." (After No-Selling an attack that supposedly should have killed a High Class Devil)
  • Badass Bystander: He had nothing to do with the situation in Kyoto, until his little friends mom was taken...
  • Badass Creed: Gains this after getting Crimson Queen mode instead of Juggernaut Drive, and is fighting off the original version's creed while chanting it.
    "I, who is about to awaken, am the Red Dragon Emperor who has discarded the principles of ambition. I walk the road of righteousness by having infinite hopes and dreams. I shall become the King of Crimson Dragon. And I promise you all! I shall show you the future that shines in true crimson light!"
    • The one that is created by Ophis for Dragon ∞ Drive's first use against Rizevim and Belial in volume 20 might just top that.
      "The Crimson Red Dragon dwelling within me, awaken from your dominance, The Crimson Heavenly Dragon I possess within me, rise up to become a King. The jet-black God of Infinity, The glorious Red God of Dreams. Watch over the forbidden existence we shall become that transcends the boundaries, We shall dance like radiance within the inferno!"
  • Badass Fingersnap: When unleashing Dress Break.
  • Badass in Charge: He'll temporarily step in as leader for Rias/Akeno if they aren't there, and proves fairly effective at it as well.
  • Badass Nickname: He's known as the Red Dragon Emperor.
  • Badass Unintentional: He just wants a harem and not to fight at all. Doesn't stop him from being one.
  • Bathtub Bonding: Once his harem becomes official, this is one of his favorite things to do with his girls, and none of them mind, with the sole exception of Koneko.
    • In Volume 17, Issei baths with all the girls and implies that this is a regular occasion for him and the girls with exception of Rossweisse.
  • Battle Couple: He fights alongside his first girlfriend, Rias.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Past users of Boosted Gear wanted him to use Juggernaut Drive again. He only gets saved thanks to the power of the children and Irina cheering for him, Sairaorg's encouragement, and one of the past users of Albion, whose consciousness resided in a fragment he absorbed from Vali.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Used Samael's poison from his body when he fought Shalba, infused it with a bullet of Gogmagog he found at the Dimension Gap alongside Ophis and Great Red, and used it against Cao Cao.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't take your panties off before your bra while you are stripping to negate his Dress Break, or he will blast you into kingdom come.
    • Diminish the sex appeal of his love interests and you can kiss your life goodbye. Vali found this one out the hard way.
  • Berserker Tears: Beats the living daylights out of Raynare as tears stream down his face.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's a pretty nice fellow most of the time, but if you push him over the edge... Well, goodnight.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He's an All-Loving Hero who will do everything he can to protect his friends and acquaintances that are younger than him, especially when it comes to Ravel, Koneko, Asia, Gasper, and Kunou.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Mainly to Gasper as he teaches the kid on how to take a level in badass. Also to Millicas as well.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • At the end of Volume 2, Issei interferes with Riser's engagement party to rescue Rias.
    • He also shows up Back from the Dead with Great Red and Ophis accompanying him.
  • Bishōnen: After extensive amounts of Art Evolution, he's become one. Coincides with his Character Development as well.
  • Blessed With Suck: A minor example. His power worth eight pawns is a fantastic blessing in most circumstances, but in Ratings Games, where being measured in pawns actually matters, it puts Rias's side at a serious manpower disadvantage.
  • Blood Knight: Shiva points out to Issei that in his pursuit of strength over the past year, he's become one of these, to the point of loving defeating a Worthy Opponent as much as groping a girls' breasts. Upon reflection, Issei can't bring himself to disagree.
  • Book Dumb: Downplayed; his grades are decidedly average compared to the other club members, with even the Cloud Cuckoolander Xenovia's worst grade, Japanese, being as high as Issei's best grade, despite Issei being the actual native Japanese. He also often needs to have non—Japanese mythologies explained to him.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Achieves this in his second fight against Cao Cao, who lost his eye after that.
  • Boring Yet Practical: Boosted Gear's basic ability is to double his power endlessly. Exceedingly simple, yet said to be capable of defeating a god with the proper buildup. During his Curb-Stomp Battle against Diodora, the latter manages to hold him off with a barrier, mocking him as nothing but a power idiot. Issei agrees to the label, boosts up some more, and smashes through the barrier like nothing.
  • Break the Cutie: His Yuma/Raynare experience — it took several volumes for him to recover fully.
  • Break the Haughty: Unintentionally played straight. Being an Almighty Janitor, many of his foes are officially out of his league, thus they can't comprehend that they're losing to such a "low-class Devil".
  • Breath Weapon: He learns how to breathe fire after training with Tannin
  • Broken Ace: He's one of the most powerful devils and has some serious personal problems including guilt and fears of rejection.
  • Broken Hero: Issei isn't in a good place by the time of volume 9. Raynare gives him nightmares and Issei suffers from PTSD.
  • Brought Down to Badass: While Ddraig sleeping after his second revival, he can't access his Balance Breaker state and is back to where he was before. Does this stop him from kicking ass? Hell no.
  • Bullying a Dragon: He tends to pick fights with opponents way above his level. Quite a few went badly for him, such as picking a fight with Riser during the Rating Game and Kokabiel.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Doesn't remember the shadow-user Elite Mook that he fought at the warehouse when they meet again at Kyoto.
  • Butt-Monkey: Not only does Issei get beaten up for his perverted antics, but he's killed by his first girlfriend who turns out to be a Fallen Angel, ends up in compromising positions with his harem, gets subjected to Azazel's crazy inventions and undergoes far worse training conditions (living out in the wild while constantly trying to avoid being burned to a crisp by Tannin) than the rest of the club.
  • Call-Back: How he defeats Cao Cao is the same way as to how he defeats Riser: not by pure power, but by being Crazy-Prepared and some Indy Ploy mixed in.
  • Came Back Strong: Oh, yes. He was rebuilt with the flesh of Ophis and Great Red in Volume 12. And what does he do once he returns to the living world? He shows off his newfound strength by growing gigantic with the help of Great Red and decimating the Khaos Brigade without so much of breaking a sweat. Subverted as admittedly it was a one-time use power, and Issei's own abilities were stated to only be somewhat stronger than before (with the caveat that how he could develop in the future was unknown).
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Averted. His harem finds his pervertedness amusing in a way, and he'll only stop acting like a horndog if something is clearly wrong. Despite this, though, informed consent is something he won't make any compromises on.
  • The Champion: For Rias, he'll do anything. This trope is examined in later arcs, when they mutually realize this arrangement is starting to hold Issei back, Rias gives her blessing for him to leave her Peerage and become a High-class Devil in his own right. He's no less loyal, but his dedication has extra meaning coming from an equal who makes that choice, rather than just her most dedicated underling.
  • Character Development: Compare Issei from Volume 1 to the current Issei; he's grown a lot in a few months. Best shown when he wholeheartedly entrusts Rias to Kiba's care during their trip to Romania. If this was the old Issei, he'd be jealous of Kiba.
    • Another sign is that at the beginning, Issei thought the purpose of a Peerage is to have his own harem. But he learns later on is that the Peerage is meant for support and battle, and start taking his future and Peerage seriously as he wants a team that doesn't shame Rias or her family. Some people point out that Issei's perverted thinking has toned down a bit as he matured and knows what is important during battles.
    • After becoming a High-class Devil, while he is still shown to retain his erotic nature, it is much more toned down during important manners such as fights or peerage related problems.
  • Chest Blaster: What Longinus Smasher's true form looks like.
  • Chick Magnet: He's got Rias, Akeno, Asia, Xenovia, Irina, Ravel, Kuroka, Koneko, Rossweisse, Le Fay, Elmenhilde, Ingvild, Kunou, Yasaka, and Roygun. That's not counting the many admirers he has, much less the guys who want him. According to Ddraig, the power of Dragons helps make him more attractive; all of Ddraig’s previous hosts were surrounded by the opposite sex.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Irina. The two were initially unable to engage in physical intimacy due to Irina being a Angel and falling if she gives into her desires but were able to overcome that problem with the doorknob that Michael gave to Irina.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: As much as he wants to make any moves, he just can't touch Rias because she's too good for someone as lowly as him, and Asia because she's too pure to corrupt easily. Oh, and God help you if you hurt his harem in any way.
    • Despite him being an unrepentant boob-man, Issei still calls them a "side dish", which is an odd comment, until you learn that in Japan, students are taught from elementary to eat every last bite of the meal; this means that while Issei may love women for their breasts, he wouldn't go after a woman if he wasn't after her heart, and mind to go along with her body.
  • Clothing Damage: His Dress Break strips off the target's clothing.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: As much as he's perverted, he doesn't catch the fact that all of the girls in the club love him. Justified, due to his recurring PTSD from Yuma/Raynare's betrayal.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He'll find a way to beat you no matter what it takes. Dress Break plus a Dragon Blast for girls busy covering themselves, and being Crazy-Prepared with Indy Ploy tactics for boys. If you're weaker than him however, well...
  • Combination Attack: Due to his Gift powers, he's able to amplify his ally's attacks and launch a more powerful version. To wit, he pulled off a Field of Blades with Kiba, amplified Power of Destruction with Rias, amplified Akeno's Holy Lightning and his personal favorite with Gasper: Dress Break during a time freeze.
  • Cool Sword: Gains the Holy Sword Ascalon after Michael gives it to him as a gift.
  • Cool Ship: The Skithblathnir (later named Ryuuteimaru). It's currently in its toy form, but according to MacGregor, it can transform into a giant airship. Or a flying harem palace. This will also depend on Issei's aura.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Most of his powers are this, for instance one can cause Defeat by Modesty while another is a form of telepathy allowing him to have foreknowledge of his opponents' plans.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: He doesn't respond well to other guys expressing interest, whether romantic or purely sexual, toward the Club's girls, such as threatening Saji against his flirting with Asia when the two boys first meet. That said, he was Properly Paranoid regarding Diodora.
  • Crazy-Prepared: His fight with Riser at the engagement party and his fourth battle against Cao Cao. Hell, any of his fights that involve this trope tend to be a lot more interesting and awesome than others.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He's usually thinking about perverted things, but when push comes to shove...
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Raynare's betrayal led to his disillusionment with love for the first nine volumes, as well as Fallen Angels in general.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Longinus Smasher. It's powerful enough to put Power of Destruction to shame. As in capable of destroying the Underworld at full power. It also requires Issei to be under Juggernaut Drive, which can prove fatal unless fully mastered. Merging with Great Red allows him to use it without side effects, though Ishibumi claims this is just a one-off ability. Ddraig later notes that it is an ability he is not supposed to have, hinting it was sealed away by God.
    • Later, he learns how to use his Wyverns to build up power externally then transfer it to him so that he can use Longinus Smasher, but it's raw destructive power and huge stamina consumption still limits its use.
    • Diabolus Dragon is the ultimate expression of this. The first time he uses it results in shutting down several major organs, requiring mechanical life support, and the second time may well have been fatal if Ophis didn't nerf him afterwards.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Delivers this to Gasper when he held the Distress Ball in Volume 4.
    Issei: "However, Gasper! It's no use if you don't get up on your own, you know? After receiving encouragement by a girl, next is standing up! Don't you have a wonderful pair of balls on you!?"
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He treats his Freudian Excuse like it was one of these. It's actually hilarious.
    • His past gets a focal point in Volume 20. He was the third attempt of his parents to have a child after two miscarriages, and his inferiority complex stems from an accident that happened in his childhood where he took his dad's fishing rod without permission and broke it, thinking it was all his fault. His love for breasts might be genuine and all, but it's actually a way for Issei to mask his perceived sense of inferiority, and previously, also to (attempt to) cope with his insecurity born over Raynare's betrayal.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: After Rias appears to him all of a sudden in Volume 2 and then goes back to her home. Thankfully, the anime omitted that little detail.
  • Dead to Begin With: Kind of. He's killed in the first episode and reincarnated as a devil.
  • Deadly Upgrade:
    • Juggernaut Drive. Makes him a lot stronger at the cost of his sanity and reducing his devil lifespan by 99%.
    • Diabolos Dragon, which gives him the infinite power of Ophis. He wouldn't be able to contain it without Great Red's flesh, and falls comatose after using it. Ophis later decides to tone it down to spare his body.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has his moments, normally when talking to Matsuda and Motohama. One particular example occurs when he tells them he's going to ditch them to go to Rias's home (in the Underworld).
    Matsuda and Motohama: "Go to hell, you bastard!"
    (Issei hangs up the phone)
    Issei: "Well, I am going to Hell."
    • He also does it (internally) when Rias can't tell who the Satan Rangers are.
  • Death Glare: He usually receives this to the girls. But if it's from him, you might want to run away pretty quick. Sairaorg; one of the few characters who can actually go toe-to-toe with Issei, felt a cold chill in his spine when he sees him do this, even in a Ratings Game.
  • Defenestrate and Berate: In the anime, Issei defeats Raynare and throws her out of the local church's window, only to be hauled back in by Koneko.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He hits one when he realizes that his first girlfriend turns out to be a murderous Fallen Angel, who later kills Asia. It takes at least ten volumes for him to snap out of it.
  • Despair Speech: He gives one to Asia, Akeno and Koneko about what happened with him and Raynare in Volume 10.
  • Determinator: Best exemplified with his fight against Raynare and went on from there.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: When Issei battles with Rossweisse in Kyoto in volume 9, he pisses her off by saying that she can't get a boyfriend because of her prudishness.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: He gains Ophis's affection from the way she clings at him.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
  • Difficult, but Awesome: His Sacred Gear doubles his strength. While it may seem underwhelming, it can happen every ten seconds, and it stacks. If he stacks enough boosts, he can potentially gain enough power to kill God. Problem is, he needs a whole lot of stamina to pull it off.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Initially has trouble learning magic because he kept picturing the various girls naked and it messed with his concentration. Then he decided to roll with it and Dress Break was born.
  • Disappeared Dad: Somewhat, according to EX, due to constantly being on hero tours to the points that his children don't see him much, but remain a normal father-children relationship, but are somewhat embarrassed by his lustful nature and Ex holding some... "father issues" over him for not saving Asia from the curse.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: As part of his Heroic Self-Deprecation: a notable instance is when he drives himself crazy with worry over the promotion test, which turns out to be a duel between two applicants. Afraid he won't do well, Issei, who by this point had gone toe-to-toe with some serious heavy hitters, resolves to go all-out, despite facing a low-rank, maybe mid-rank devil. It ends poorly for the aforementioned low-rank.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu:
    • Although he is a Lovable Sex Maniac and a devil with dragon powers, it's still a bad idea to tick him off.
    • Issei ends up on the receiving end of this when he taunts Rossweisse about how her prudishness has prevented her from finding a boyfriend. Predictably, she does not take it well.
  • Do with Him as You Will: He pulls this trope off when Raynare begs for her life, sinking so low as to show him the armband he bought for her as a cherished treasure. Issei just doesn't have the heart to kill someone whom he shared a precious day of love and happiness with... so he gives Rias permission to do it for him.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • Way back in volume 1, he gets back at Raynare for not only causing his first death, but also for stealing Asia's Twilight Healing Sacred Gear.
    • After being beaten up by Riser during his Rating Game in Volume 2, Issei returns the favor to him at the conclusion of the Engagement Challenge.
    • When Shalba sends Asia to the Dimensional Gap, Issei is quick to unleash Juggernaut Drive and utterly curb-stomp him.
  • Draconic Humanoid: Boosted Gear gives his body draconic qualities (including dragons's weaknesses). After having his body rebuilt with Great Red's flesh, he can transform his body into that of a dragon's to hit harder.
  • The Dreaded: A heroic example. After his "little stunt" of coming Back from the Dead, the Anti-Satan faction has started to fear him because he survived Samael's blood curse, something that should have killed him already. Not to mention, he came back with Great Red's flesh and Ophis's powers.
  • Drop the Hammer: Briefly wields Thor's hammer, Mjölnir, against Loki in volume 7.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: His final words before he succumbs to the Samael curse: "I love you Rias....." The death didn't stick.
  • Dynamic Entry: His future self replicates Great Red, his "dad". Guy's got style.

    Tropes E to H 
  • Enemy Within: A downplayed example. His negative emotions can be triggered by visions of Raynare thanks to all of the emotional pain she caused him back in Volume 1.
  • Engagement Challenge: He gets this three times so far, all played for both drama and funny effects. To wit:
    • Rias: go through the traditional Gremory engagement tests together, with the four Satans and Grayfia (who all hilariously cosplayed as Super Sentai) running the show. The process includes tests of general underworld knowledge, table manners, and of course, an exhibition match.
    • Akeno: defeats Baraqiel in a Rating Game match of Azazel Cup.
    • Rossweisse: He needs to win the Rating Game against the God Alliance Team due to her grandmother, Gondul, makes a deal with Asgard to marry her to Odin's successor.
  • Epic Fail: When everyone else in Rias's peerage has gained new contracts, he has gained exactly none.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: His reaction when his first girlfriend, Yuma, reveals her true form as Raynare and murdered him is of utter shock and betrayal.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: It's strongly implied that Kiba and Gasper want to be more than friends with him, and a harem guy like him is actually disturbed by the implications. He's also got some Ho Yay with Saji, and even more one-sided Foe Yay from Vali, Cao-Cao, and Sairaorg Bael.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Issei might be a Lovable Sex Maniac with active wishes for a harem because he treasures women, but even he draws the line in several areas.
    • In the anime, when Riser kisses/molests Yubelluna just to make him jealous, then makes a comment to Rias implying she'd just make a good notch on his belt, Issei is furious.
    • When Xenovia attempts to kill Asia in Volume 3, Issei make it clear that he's unwilling to forgive her for it, even declaring war on her, but when she joins the Occult Research Club and forgives Asia for her earlier misdeeds, Issei lets go of his resentment.
    • He outright refused having sex with Akeno while she was in a despair state, believing it won't do any good - but only make her feel more the blues.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Invokes this (at least in a girl's eyes) whenever he uses Dress Break and Bilingual, especially under Gasper's time freeze. Even Koneko lampshades it that only villains ever get to be that hammy.
  • Expy: Ichiei Ishibumi states that he designed Issei after Scryed's Kazuma, especially where Boosted Gear is located at.
  • Eye Color Change: His eye color changes from brown to green when he activates Juggernaut Drive for the first time.
  • Fanboy: Of Sairaorg, after witnessing him settle a mess.
  • Fantastic Racism: Discussed, Downplayed, and Justified. When asked by Akeno, he admits that he hates all Fallen Angels, though he's still open-minded enough to give individual members of said race the benefit of the doubt, such as Akeno herself whom he happily admits is different. He also has enough self-restraint to not act out on his hatred without just cause. As he admits, this is a direct result of his experiences with Raynare and her associates, as well as Kokabiel, not to mention being near constantly trolled by Azazel, the leader and spokesman for their race.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Issei accepts Raynare's offer to become her girlfriend and they go out on their first date. Unfortunately, Issei learns in the worst way possible that being nice to Raynare, an Obviously Evil Fallen Angel who's scheming to kill him on Azazel's orders, won't stop her from achieving her goals.
  • Fatal Flaw:
    • He trusted Raynare enough to become her boyfriend. However, he didn't know that Raynare was in actuality a Fallen Angel until it was too late.
    • Issei knows his perversion can and will get the better of him, but he just can't help it.
    • Another one that was pointed out by Azazel, is that Issei cares too much for his teammate that will make him rush toward a battle without thinking if they got hurt, which could be a problem if he has his own Peerage.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: His Dress Break technique involves him touching his target with his hand and using a Badass Fingersnap to strip off their clothing.
  • Finger-Suck Healing: After giving his left arm to Ddraig (turning it into a dragon arm) in order to gain power to beat Riser, he periodically receives this from Rias and Akeno to return it to normal.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Despite his desire for romance, Yuma's betrayal and his subsequent Heroic BSoD fostered in him a fear of rejection.
  • First Episode Resurrection: Being brutally Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by Raynare causes him to bleed to death, necessitating his resurrection as a devil courtesy of Rias Gremory.
  • First Kiss: He shares his first kiss with Rias in volume 2. Subverted in volume 18 when Irina reveals that she kissed him long before the series starts and he forgot all about it.
  • First-Name Basis: He calls everyone in the group, aside from Kiba and Rias, by their first names, although the latter actually wanted to be called "Rias" instead of "Club President". He finally does call her by her first name at the end of Volume 10.
  • Flanderization: The "Issei 300" side story has Azazel unintentionally create 300 clones of him, each one displaying much more perversion than the original, to the point of using Dress Break on any girl in sight.
  • Flat "What": Has this reaction after promising Akeno that he'd take her on a date if she won her date against Diodora's Queen and doubting it would be much of an incentive. And then Akeno's power up happened...
  • Foil: To Vali, for having the greatest Red Dragon-White Dragon library and the fact that their origins and attitudes to their powers are different — Issei was a completely average boy who's more than willing to talk it out with past hosts of Boosted Gear, while Vali is a descendant of the original Lucifer who's more interested in dominating past users of Divine Dividing. He also has some contradistinctions with Cao Cao — both have companions willing to die for them — except Issei would want to keep them alive, while Cao Cao will do anything, including brainwashing people, for his cause.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Issei becoming "Harem King" was a given since this is what the story revolves around.
  • Fragile Speedster: Welsh Sonic Boost Knight gives up armor in exchange for speed.
  • Freudian Excuse: Played for Laughs in a Volume 8 short story where he recalls to the Club an incident as a seven-year-old, when he and other boys listened to an old man teaching them to suck girls's breasts. When he went to see him again, he found him being arrested by cops and later sentenced to ten years behind bars, much to his confusion. Issei recounts that as though it was a Dark and Troubled Past on par with their own traumatic backstories. Koneko is not amused.
    Koneko: "...A man who talks about indecent things to a child... A real pervert. The worst story ever."
    • Played straight when it comes to his death at Raynare's hands. First Episode Resurrection not withstanding, getting your guts ripped out by a pretty girl who you'd spent the day fawning over during what you thought was a fun date is traumatic. Never having much self-esteem to begin with, that threw him into total self-loathing, believing that no girl could possibly want him, let alone uber-hotties like Rias. That in turn passes on to Rias, who is ashamed of missing that for over a dozen volumes.
  • Friend to All Children: Apparently, children are attracted to him for some reason. This is semi-justified, though, due to the immense popularity the "Grabbin' Dragon" show has between the young Underworld crowd. Furthermore, whenever he's around children, he goes out of his way to treat them kindly, and threatening a child within earshot really gets him mad. If he could have all his children in one place, and didn't have to constantly fly out and deal with gods who threaten his family and the world, he'd happily shower them with affection too.
  • From Zero to Hero: He goes from just another average high school freshman to a devil capable of taking down powerful enemies.
  • Future Badass: Issei has become a celebrity/ambassador in the future and has achieved the power of a God, being The Alliance's military top figure (he headed the ExE regiment, being a Delta Force-esque team to the Ranger-esque DxD team). Easily taking out the UL army in Dragon form, whom all of them are God level themselves.
  • God Was My Copilot: Combines with Great Red to kaiju size.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He bears some animosity toward Kiba for being a Chick Magnet while he's reviled by most of the female student body, though it's always Playedfor Laughs and the two are still close friends.
  • Groin Attack: He gets hit after blocking a speeding dodgeball aimed for Kiba. Creates an awkward scene when Asia tries to heal him.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: A Human-Devil-Dragon hybrid.
  • Harem Seeker: His ultimate goal after being convinced by Rias. It eventually becomes a Foregone Conclusion by the time EX rolls around.
  • The Heart: The Occult Research Club sticks together mostly because of him.
  • Heartbroken Badass: After being killed by Yuma/Raynare and having Rias kill her, he suffers from PTSD and has nightmares of Raynare.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Out of his harem, he loves Rias the most but he Cannot Spit It Out for fear of destroying their relationship, partly due to emotional damage from Yuma's betrayal.
  • Heroic RRoD: Due to his physical limits, he cannot call out Ddraig's full power for more than ten seconds without sacrificing a body part (at least initially). And when he used Juggernaut Drive, his lifespan was cut down to 100 years, so he'd be the first to die of natural causes amongst Rias's team, though this has been nullified following his death and rebirth during Volumes 11-12. And then there's the Diabolos Dragon form he got from Ophis, which put him on life support the first time he used it, and was ultimately nerfed to avoid the same backlash.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Past users of Boosted Gear sacrificed their souls just to keep his soul safe in Volume 12.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Ohhh, boy. Issei more or less spends the time he's not being perverted beating the crap out of himself for his perceived lack of strength. This becomes a plot point in volume 20.
  • Heroic Willpower: Boosted Gear's doubling effect can happen much more frequently than usual when Issei is sufficiently motivated. Early on, being a Determinator was the best thing he had going for him.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Despite becoming one of the Underworld's heroes, he's considered one of the most perverted students at Kuoh Academy and often gets beaten up for his antics.
  • He's Back: And guess who's with him.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He and Kiba are best buds.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • He's good at sewing, something that surprises Koneko.
    • He's also an excellent sculptor. He managed to make a perfect nude Rias figurine with his eyes closed. This duly impressed his class to the point that there was a bidding war over the figure. When he ultimately handed the figure to Rias instead, both she and Akeno were duly impressed. Issei would have happily made one for Akeno also except that both Rias and Asia loudly objected. (Since Akeno spelled out her idea of "modeling" right in front of them.)
    • More seriously, despite his perverted tendencies, he's unable to seek out a relationship with any of his harem since Raynare's betrayal caused him to suffer a Heroic BSoD. Fortunately, this comes to an end when Akeno, Asia, and Koneko get him out of this mindset in the second half of Volume 10.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Lampshaded during his Training Montage in episode 6:
    Rias: Don't think I don't know you're having disgusting, sexually charged thoughts about me right now!
    Issei: Look, I can't help it. I'm a teenager. If I get within ten feet of a hot girl, I start thinking about what she looks like naked.
  • Horned Humanoid: After activating Juggernaut Drive the first time.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: When he first meets Raynare and becomes her boyfriend, he doesn't stop trusting her until it's too late.

    Tropes I to L 
  • Idiot Hero: Initially, with regards to romance; otherwise he has a lot of common sense and is actually a quick learner.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Not normally, but in Juggernaut Drive he tried to eat Shalba alive, and his future self does this to a God who tried to kill Asia. Though the second one may have been for intimidation.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Once Raynare reveals her true colors as a Fallen Angel, she fatally stabs him in the gut with her light spear, which leads to his Emergency Transformation.
  • Informed Flaw: Everyone treats him as the weakest holder of Boosted Gear. Initially justified, though he eventually blows these assumptions apart with his rapid progress. Nowadays only the really strong characters, such as Azazel, Vali and Cao Cao still call him a "newbie", and even then they treat that as a compliment, knowing Issei can and will transcend his flaws.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Due to his insecurity about entering into a relationship with Rias and the trauma of Yuma's betrayal, Issei tries to keep himself distant from Rias and only treats her as his master, as opposed to the way he treats the rest of his harem. He finds out the hard way that this attitude was having the exact opposite effect he intended: when Rias asks him what she means to him, he answers that she's his boss. Rias bursts into tears and runs out of the room. It took the other girls's support to have Issei confess to her.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Despite his feelings for Rias, for a long while he was resigned to the idea that she was too far above him to pursue, and she deserved better than some lowly, pervy pawn. This insecurity also stems from Yuma's betrayal, which deeply traumatized him.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With lots of characters in the series, most of which place his as the younger one, with latest additions being Ophis and Great Red.
  • Intimidation Demonstration: Does this to Diodora when he punches the ground so hard it causes a crater. This pretty much scares him out of fighting Issei.
  • I Owe You My Life: The primary reason Issei is so loyal to Rias is that she came to his aid and saved his life after Raynere stabbed him in the stomach and left him for dead.
  • Ironic Hell: As part of the drawback from using Diabolos Dragon Form in Volume 20, during his recovery in Volume 21, Issei is suffering from Dragon Deficiency: a symptom that makes him physically unable to see, talk, or hear about breasts, and when the Grabbin' Dragon song starts playing in the hospital where he's interred, he goes into a grand-mal seizure. It's equal parts hilarious and horrific. Fortunately, Ophis was able to cure his Dragon Deficiency at the end of his fight against Trihexa by nerfing the aforementioned form to a level that his mind and body can endure.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats:
    • Pawns have the secondary ability of "Promotion" if they are deep in enemy territory, just like in real chess. Which allows him to promote himself to any piece except a King, gaining that piece's abilities.
    • Normal Balance Breaker has no weakness but doesn't add any special powers.
  • The Juggernaut: This is the effect of Juggernaut Drive, which turns him into a massive dragon, with very little being capable of stopping him besides another dragon. But the cost of using it is him completely losing his mind, attacking anything and everything around him relentlessly, whether it's friend or foe, meaning using it is a Dangerous Forbidden Technique.
  • Kaiju: When he is resurrected and brings Ophis and Great Red, he combines with the latter and becomes gigantic sized to take out Annihilation Maker monsters. Ishibumi said that it's a one-time form only.
    • Becomes this literally in the future, with his size reaches one hundred meters. Oh, and he can shift forms at will!.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Issei's willing to put enemies under the bus if he needs to. He punched Riser Phenex for making Rias cry towards the end of Volume 2 and curb-stomped Shalba Beelzebub in his Juggernaut Drive form for sending Asia to the Dimensional Gap at the conclusion of Volume 7.
  • A Lady on Each Arm: After coming back from the dead the girls become more affectionate toward Issei to the point Rias and Akeno grab both his arms while walking to school. Xenovia suggests that she, Irina, and Asia should (try to) ride on his back, with Irina suggesting sitting on his shoulders as a "last resort."
  • Large Ham: Every single time he uses Dress Break and Bilingual to his female opponents, he will be bringing ham. Just how hammy was when this skill was first used in the anime? He breaks out his devil wings, pulls off a pose fit for a Kamen Rider show, and lets loose with a finger snap. While Ominous Latin Chanting is playing on the background.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: At the end of BorN, the memories of his and Rias's battle with Loki's clone of Issei are erased when they return to our world.
  • Last Guy Wins: Rias had Riser as a boyfriend before Issei, but Issei becomes her true love when he defeats Riser in their Engagement Challenge.
  • Lethal Joke Character: He initially thinks his pawn designation means he's a Red Shirt. In actuality, like in actual chess, he can become any other piece if he's deep in enemy territory (even the queen, the best piece of them all).
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: He insisted to Koneko that he fight Saji in a one-on-one match when Koneko tells him that it's a team battle. He then outright tells Koneko that if Saji wanted to, he could've used his Sacred Gear on her.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When someone threatens to harm or kill Issei's friends, you can be sure that Issei will send them into a world of hurt.
  • Likes Older Women: He has expressed physical attraction towards Grayfia, Venelana, Yasaka, and Roygun, the latter two being future wives according to a vision in True High School D×D volume 2. And there's also his engagements to Rias, Akeno, Kuroka, and Rossweisse, who, while the age gap isn't as large, are still older.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Issei is ultimately one to most of the Occult Research Club. Due to the fact he's had a large part in changing most of their lives for the better, they came to ultimately rely on him, and were anything to happen to him, they'd fall apart. When he (temporarily) died, the club all handled it differently, but none of their reactions were pleasant. Akeno become catatonic, Asia contemplated suicide in the hopes of seeing him again, Koneko and Ravel could only cry in each others arms, Rias locked herself in her room and was willing to let the world burn, and Kiba had to be a Stepford Smiler for the others sake. Azazel meanwhile went to the underworld with Sirzechs to try and claim his soul back. As for Gasper, they deliberately kept him in the dark fearing his reaction, and when Gasper found out from Georg that Issei died, he snaps, and nearly went on a rampage.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Everyone in his harem loves him and they're alright with his perverted antics. This was also pointed out when Issei lost his perverted nature thanks to Azazel, and the girls wanted him back to the way he was.
  • Love Hurts: It takes him nine volumes to recover from Yuma's betrayal, and what does he get after confessing to Rias? One volume later, he dies trying to save Ophis.

    Tropes M to P 
  • Magikarp Power: How his left gauntlet works. Every ten seconds, his power doubles. Get it boosted long enough and he can kill any deity. Due to the long preparation, no one's gonna wait for him to power up completely and get their asses kicked.
    • Also applies to him more broadly. Early on he's a bog-standard human with a special ability he can barely use, and displayed incompetence in utilizing demonic power or even flying, and quickly realizes he's easily the weakest of Rias's peerage. Later on, with plenty of Training from Hell to help him along, he's become far and away the strongest.
  • Magnetic Hero: He attracts special people like crazy. Practically everybody important in this series had some form of interaction with him. This is actually lampshaded by Sirzechs when he's talking with Azazel. Ddraig notes that having Dragon powers is a major contributing factor.
  • The Maiden Name Debate: When it comes to the future children he'll sire with his haremettes, only a couple of them took his surname. Most of them took their mothers' names, and his child with Rossweisse has Only One Name.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: In Season 1 Episode 2 and it's uncensored, as a Freeze-Frame Bonus.
  • Manly Tears: He bursts into tears after Asia dies in front of him at the end of volume 1.
  • Martial Pacifist: Would prefer talking rather than beating up his enemies. And that includes the past users of Boosted Gear.
  • Marry Them All: By the time of EX, Issei would succeed in his quest to become a "Harem King" and has a brood of over ten kids with each one having a different mother!(Confirmed mothers include Rias, Akeno, Xenovia, Koneko, Kuroka, Asia, Irina, Ravel, Rossweisse and Elmenhilde) Eat your heart out, Tenchi Masaki!
  • Marshmallow Hell: He's usually the receiver of these from the Club girls, and hoo boy does he love it.
  • Meaningful Echo: His Badass Creed, especially about holding both infinity (Ophis) and dream (Great Red), is a lot more significant now that he's got both existences within him.
  • Meaningful Name: Volume 20 reveals that he was named Issei (meaning sincere/honest) by his parents because they wanted him to live an honest life. Honesty is something that defines him in many ways.
  • Memetic Molester: Thanks to Matsuda and Motohama, most of Kuoh Academy believes him to have made sex slaves of the rest of the Occult Research Club (yes, even Kiba). Issei is naturally aghast at this. (Funnily enough, by this point in the series, many of his clubmates have become fond enough of him that they would probably indulge him...)
  • Mentor Archetype: He teaches Gasper and the other younger members of the club how to become more capable fighters.
  • Me's a Crowd: Something Azazel experimented on him. Three hundred of him to be exact. And yes, the cover illustration for said short story is a Shout-Out to 300.
  • Mighty Glacier: Welsh Dragonic Rook has heavy attack but in this mode speed is lowered.
  • Mistaken for Gay: After Kiryuu spreads a photo of Issei and Kiba singing a duet together, rumors of them having a relationship spread like wildfire. Doesn't help that Kiba sometimes outright tells Issei that he'll protect him. Issei just thinks he's nuts.
  • Mistress and Servant Boy: He's the servant and Rias is the mistress. He is officially her pawn/foot soldier/errand boy, and she teaches him how to be a proper devil.
  • The Mourning After: He never got over Raynare's death after the end of volume 1 and this had an impact on his relationship with the other girls. Well, until Akeno, Koneko and Asia snap him out of it, at least...
  • Mr. Fanservice: After his Training from Hell with Tannin, he has developed so fit a body half of his female classmates fell for him, his notoriety for his perversions notwithstanding.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Although he is mostly driven by his desire for a harem, his chivalry and love for women is sincere and equal to his perversion, and his "Grabbin' Dragon" persona has also made him highly popular among the children of the Underworld.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: He grows extra limbs, some of which are sword-like, when in Juggernaut Drive.
  • Multiform Balance: How Illegal Move Trident works.
  • Mundane Utility: How he acquired Dress Break in the first place was to peel vegetables at a distance.
  • My Greatest Failure: Not being able to save Asia from Raynare's grasp in time.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: There's not actually related, but he doesn't take too kindly to other guys hitting on Asia.
  • Naked on Revival: In volume 1, when Dohnaseek wounds Issei, Rias rescues him, strips him naked and heals him up.
  • Nerf: His Dragon Deification Super Mode is downgraded into a "Pseudo" Dragon Deification after the battle with Trihexa because otherwise the backlash of using Ophis's immense power with his comparatively underdeveloped body would kill him.
  • Never Accepted in His Hometown: At Kuoh Academy, Issei's often considered to be a dim-witted pervert, who is a Harem Seeker and the Butt-Monkey amongst girls who detest perverted boys. In the Underworld, however, he's a legendary hero.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: Raynare's betrayal, which led to Issei's long-term Heroic BSoD, was a key factor in why he does not fully commit to a relationship early on. He still has lingering feelings of doubt and hurt because of that incident which only added to his already present insecurities.
  • Nice Guy: Despite being a pervert, he's actually one of the kindest, most generous people in the series. Right after his character development that is. Part of the reason why girls are falling head over heels for him. But don't mistake his kindness for being a pushover...
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: A perverted high school student that is both a dragon and a devil.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: He mostly deals with his enemies this way in-battle, though he'd much rather talk his way out.
  • No One Gets Left Behind: Stays behind the group in Volume 11 to rescue Ophis from Shalba.
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: As perverted as he is, even he can ignore exposed breasts in the right circumstances. Such as when Freed declared that he was going to defile Asia for protecting Issei. This made Issei mad enough to neither the sexy nor his existing injuries could distract him from getting up and punching Freed in the face.
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: This trope happens to him so many times that it's not funny anymore. To wit:
    • Didn't accept a membership flier from Rias's Familiar at the start of the story? He would have been Killed Off for Real by Yuma.
    • Rias didn't rescue him from Dohnaseek, and later Freed? Would have died.
    • Didn't attain Balance Breaker against Kuroka? Would have died.
    • Never used Phoenix tears before his second fight with Cao Cao? Would have died.
    • The Dragon Eater curse would have killed him had Ddraig and Boosted Gear's past hosts had not interfered.
    • Using Dragon Deification a second time would have killed him, but Ophis managed to take upon herself the backlash and downgraded Dragon Deification so he can use it without risking death again.
  • Nosebleed: Too many times to count. However, in the later volumes, Issei has gotten somewhat use to the girls' antics and becomes more calm about it.
  • The Nudifier: Dress Break — anyone he touches, his/her clothes get shredded off. This becomes a Felony Misdemeanor in subsequent Rating Games where, technically, there are no rules.
  • Oblivious to Love: He is more clueless about his harem's feelings than Natsuru Senou. While he very quickly fell in love with Rias, it took about ten volumes of her repeatedly kissing him and sleeping naked with him (with Issei being fully aware that the other two males in the peerage see no such intimacy), getting jealous when the other girls flirt with him, and her household treating him like he's already part of the family to even consider that she might just reciprocate his feelings. Justified, due to the psychological damage Yuma has caused him which took several volumes for him to fully recover from, as she convinced him that it wasn't even possible for girls to have any romantic interest in him. Interestingly enough, this only applies to his own love life. He is quick enough to realize Tsubaki's growing feelings for Kiba while Kiba is as clueless as Issei was.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Every single time he makes up a new move, the Rating Games always outright ban that move after the match. That doesn't mean he can't use it outside a Rating Game, though.
  • Official Couple: After ten volumes, he's officially a couple with Rias. Then again, it's not like it ever stopped his harem, nor the fact that he hasn't fulfilled his dream.
  • One Head Taller:
    • He is taller than Asia, Koneko, and Ravel via standing at 170 cm/5'8'' as an adult.
    • This is inverted with his relationships with Rias and Rossweisse, who are respectively two and three centimeters taller than him.
  • One-Man Army: Defeats a group of middle-class grim reapers, beings stronger than high-class devils, by himself. And this is with him only using Balance Breaker and at this point, he's a lot weaker because he just fired off two Dragon Blasters, and used Gift on Rias and Akeno. This surprises Siegfried as to how strong Issei really is.
  • One-Winged Angel: A heroic example. By the end of volume 6, when Shalba taunts Issei about Asia's death, Issei turns into his more dragon-like Juggernaut Drive form for the first time and a Curb-Stomp Battle ensues with Shalba.
  • Only Friend: Ophis considers Issei its one and only true friend.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Inverted. Cao Cao, Vali, Sairaorg and Kiba all express their wishes to defeat Issei one day. Them being all guys, Issei wasn't amused by it.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Normally, he would proclaim his love for breasts, make some smartass comments, and as hot-blooded as possible. However, when he really gets serious, other characters note that he's different from the way he usually is.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: He lived as an average high school student until one day he was stabbed to death by his first girlfriend and was resurrected as a devil by the beautiful top-ranked devil Rias. Issei then goes from a perverted and unlucky high school student to an Action Hero who dreams of having his own harem.
  • Our Hero Is Dead: He is thought to be dead during volumes 11-12 after his final duel with Shalba.
  • Pals with Jesus: He is the only person Ophis considers a friend. He's also on good terms with the Archangel Gabriel (the current leader of Heaven), and his future brother in law, Sirzechs Lucifer, is one of the four Great Satans.
  • Papa Wolf: In EX, while he has problems giving love and attention to every one of them often, he is fiercely protective of the children he had with his harem. When the heroes are cornered by Loki in the final battle, Issei travels back in time and doesn't show any qualms ending Loki's threat right then and there.
  • Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality: He's a pervert, a peeping tom and the creator of all manner of techniques with applications other than combat, and he'll sing praises about the chests of the girls around him, but he never makes a real attempt at actually propositioning them, and in fact once the girls start actively putting the moves on him he collapses into a stammering, borderline-terrified wreck scrambling for a way out. Just look at the times Rias, Asia, Xenovia and Akeno approach him for examples. While there are extenuating circumstances, his reactions are revealed to be in large part a symptom of his trauma and crippling self-doubt. He's certain that should he actually accept the girls' advances, the other shoe'll drop and he'll end up in misery. After all, that's what happened with Raynare.
  • Parental Substitute: Issei becomes a parental figure to Asia, Koneko and Gasper, considering that Asia had no father and was raised in the church, Koneko's sister left her after killing their abusive master, and Gasper was ridiculed by his own family in addition to both humans and vampires to the point that he became a shut-in.
  • People Jars: Combined with Crazy Enough to Work in the most amusing manner possible, only in this series. The recoil from his fight with Rizevim is a near Pyrrhic Victory, and the treatment Azazel comes up with, after he's been connected to life-support for five days, is to dunk him in a jar full of breast milk. (The nightmarish logistics of trying to round up that much is briefly mentioned.) It works.
  • The Peeping Tom: One of the primary reasons his wives keep him on a short leash is that he loves to sneak into the girls' locker room or up to a peep-hole and watch them change. In fact, he was introduced trying to do this. Though he wasn't actually peeping at the time, he very much wanted to.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: His missed attacks can blow up mountains. The first time he uses Trident Bishop, he would have killed the Hero Faction had Cao Cao not saved them. Later, Trident Bishop can destabilize artificial dimensions. Kiba points out later on that whenever they train, it just feels so tiring to train with Issei because one hit from Issei will kill him.
  • Playing Card Motifs: In the ending theme of the Season 1 anime, there's a playing card theme, and Issei is shown as the Joker.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Issei's death at the hands of Raynare helps kickstart the plot.
  • Porn Stash: He thinks he hid it pretty well until Miki blurts out where it's located at. Later on, the girls get to look at said stash, which humiliates Issei further.
  • Power at a Price: In the beginning (at least with his battle against Riser), he borrowed Ddraig's power at the cost of his left arm, turning dragon-like — not that he minds it, as Rias and Akeno have to do "that sort of thing"note  every couple of days to turn it back to normal.
  • Powered Armor: Balance Breaker: Boosted Gear Scale Mail
  • Power Perversion Potential: Half of his abilities works like this, and he is trying very hard to twist the other half to work that way too, especially in the case of a certain very well endowed angel...
    • Dress Break practically inverts this: it was created to oogle naked bodies, and just happens to be useful from time to time.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in Volume 23 where he uses Dragon ∞ Drive to upgrade the range of his Dress Break.
  • The Power of Love: Issei is powered by this... but mostly he's powered by lust.
    • Note that this is not a good thing. The first time it happens is when he thinks Asia has been killed by Shalba. He loses his shit and literally eats the guy alive. Issei on The Power of Love is absolutely terrifying.
  • Promotion to Parent: Played with. Ophis seems to act like his child and has called him "Papa", and she's listened to his request that she not fight. However, he's more of a father figure than an actual parent to her.
  • The Protagonist: Issei is the focal or central character of the series. He even provides most of the narration of the light novels.
  • Punched Across the Room: How he defeats Yuma/Raynare. In the anime, he also subjects her to Destination Defenestration.

    Tropes R to U 
  • Rage Breaking Point: While Diodara monologues in Volume 6, he gets angrier and angrier, culminating in an explosion of anger as Issei reaches Balance Breaker and lets out a Big "SHUT UP!" when Diodora threatens to rape and kill Asia. Then it gets taken Up to Eleven when Shalba tells him about Asia's impending death in the Dimensional Gap.
  • Rags to Riches: While he wasn't exactly destitute at the beginning, he was middle-class at best. After his TV show got started, his income skyrocketed. It's currently managed by Grayfia because he isn't ready to deal with that much money yet.
  • Real Men Hate Sugar: Subverted, his favorite food happens to be cheesecake, of course.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivers this towards Shalba the second time he curb-stomped him.
  • Red Baron: The "Red Dragon Emperor" (by taming Ddraig), "Breast Dragon Emperor" (by attaining Balance Breaker by pressing Rias's nipples), "Hero of the Underworld" and "Satan" (can also be read as Dragon Devil King) by Rizevim.
  • Red Is Heroic: His Red Dragon Emperor Armor.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Kiba's blue, with the armor mention above.
  • Required Secondary Powers: He needs a lot of stamina just to be able to make Boosted Gear work properly.
  • Revenge:
    • In volume 1, after his death and resurrection, he's out to exact revenge on Raynare for murdering him and Asia.
    • By volume 6, he's also out for revenge on Diodora and Shalba.
  • The Rival: Vali is his true rival thanks to their Sacred Gears and opposite views, he is also considered this for Saji, Sairaorg and Kiba.
  • Rivals Team Up: With Vali against Loki in Volume 7.
  • Roar Before Beating: When in Juggernaut Drive during his duel with Shalba.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: When Issei witnesses Asia's death at the hands of Raynare in volume 1 and Shalba sends Asia to the dimensional gap in volume 6, Issei lets all his anger fly on both of them.
  • Rogues Gallery: He has a recurring variety of enemies who want to fight them. These include Raynare, Riser, Kokabiel, Vali, Kuroka, Diodora, Shalba, Loki, Cao-Cao, Hades and Rizevim.
  • Run or Die: After Freed brutally beats him up in volume 1, Issei is forced to leave Asia behind and abandon the fight.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: He's the one who screams when he accidentally walks in on Asia while she was in the shower instead of the other way around.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
    • In Volume 1, Issei plans to rescue Asia when she's kidnapped by Raynare, but Rias gives him an Armor-Piercing Slap and tells him not to get involved with Asia since the Devils don't associate with those in the Church. Even after Rias shuts down Issei's attempts to have her released from her peerage and leaves with Akeno to stop Raynare, Issei still goes off to rescue Asia anyway.
    • In Volume 3, despite the Church being opposed to Devils, Issei manages to negotiate with Koneko, Kiba, Saji, Xenovia and Irina to find the Excalibur fragments. Although Issei, Koneko and Saji get spanked by Rias after Freed escapes with the Holy Swords, they still manage to get the Occult Research Club to team up with Xenovia and Irina to stop Kokabiel.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can: Issei is the can to Ddraig.
  • Second Year Protagonist: He's a second year high school student at Kuoh Academy by the beginning of the series.
  • Serious Business: If you want to put on a strip show for him, take out your bra first before your panties. Sairaorg's Bishop found that out the hard way.
  • Shipper on Deck: Ships Saji to Sona, which becomes a bit complicated when he starts calling Sona on a First-Name Basis, as well as Shinra/Kiba, which he further enforces once he realizes that the latter is apparently becoming too close to him for comfort.
  • Shoulder Cannon: His Illegal Trident Bishop form.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Rias. Referred by Azazel as "that stupid couple".
  • Signature Move: If he's fighting a female opponent, 90% of the time he'll be using either Dress Break/Bilingual/both and a Dragon Shot.
  • Skewed Priorities: Women are always his primary focus. Azazel takes advantage of this; convincing him that another war won't give him the peace to build his harem, and Vali's Half Dimension will halve Rias's bust size. Probably the most ridiculous example occurs when he succumbs to Samael's curse; how can he feel up the girls if his body's been destroyed?
    • And particularly with the later example, Sairaorg actually more or less predicted it, pointing out to the rest of the Occult Research Club that he wouldn't stay dead because he hasn't had sex with Rias yet in order to break them out of their Heroic BSoD.
  • Spanner in the Works: He has repeatedly put a wrench in villains' plans.
    • In volume 2, Issei interrupts Riser's engagement party and duels with him.
    • In volume 5, he uses Bilingual on Sona's team and had their plans found out.
  • Special Odd Hand: His left-hand houses the power of the Boosted Gear, one of the 13 Longinus which holds the spirit of the Welsh Dragon, the Red Dragon Emperor, Ddraig, one of the Heavenly Dragons.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The fan translation of the light novels and recent scanlations use "Ise" for his katakana nickname (イッセー, Issē) to differentiate from his kanji name (一誠, Issei). This is averted in Funimation's subtitled streams, where they use Issei for both readings.
  • Spit Take: When Miki asks him when is she going to have a grandchild since he finally calls Rias by name.
  • Status Buff: His Gift power works by transferring the energy gathered by Bossted Gear into others, which both boosts their overall stats and amplifies the power of their personal abilities. The strength of the boost is determined by how much energy he currently has, and as he gets stronger, he needs less time and effort to provide stronger boosts.
  • Stock Light-Novel Hero: Issei sits on the fence between this trope and Stock Shōnen Hero. He looks and acts more like a shonen protagonist, but (aside from literally debuting in a light novel) fills the Harem Genre, Ordinary High-School Student and "power acquisition" requirements. He's the current host of the Red Dragon Emperor—a being so powerful that Angels, Demons and Fallen Angels had to join forces to break up a fight with its Arch-Enemy. The harem aspect, however, is not by accident—Issei's greatest dream is to become the "Harem King". Without him realizing it yet, he's already halfway through to that goal. By the time of Shin, you can officially say that he is a genuine Stock Light-Novel Hero.
  • Straight Man: When not in pervert mode, he actually becomes this — to Asia and Xenovia when they end up praying and gain damage, to Rias when he recognized who the Satan Rangers were (while Rias thought it was a new enemy), to Bikou and Vali when they thought Mil-tan was a Cat Girl, tried this to Irina when she said she wanted to create a new club but is still joining the Occult Research Club, and to Rossweisse when he lampshades how her immediate reaction to the Clothing Damage she received from Dress Break was to complain about losing her clothes that cost her money instead of immediately covering herself up.
  • Student and Master Team: Forms one as the student to Rias at the beginning of the series, and as the master to Gasper, Koneko and Asia later on in the series.
  • Superpower Lottery: Subverted. While one would think that having one of the strongest Sacred Gear that doubles your power every ten seconds would be a big win? Issei himself is utterly talentless and has to compensate by going through Training from Hell to learn how to use it. Played straight when technically becomes the offspring of both Ophis and Great Red.
  • Technical Pacifist: Never kills anybody even though he beats the crap out of them.
  • Telepathy: He can hear a woman's secrets and plans just from their breasts.
  • Tender Tears: Yes, perverts are able to regard girls as people with feelings, hopes and dreams, not just objects.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Longinus Smasher with a Great Red powerup against a beast that has a Healing Factor faster than anyone can damage. He obliterated Jabberwocky this way with assistance from Sirzechs's servants.
  • This Is Unforgivable!:
    • His motivation to exact revenge on Raynare is caused by her murder of him on Azazel's orders and Asia Argento.
    • When Shalba sends Asia to the Dimensional Gap, he decides to avenge her by unleashing Juggernaut Drive.
  • This Loser Is You: Before his Emergency Transformation, Issei was a perverted and unlucky virgin who can't win sometimes.
  • This Means War!: In Volume 3, Issei declares war on Xenovia and Irina for threatening to kill Asia in front of him.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: He's no murderer, and he doesn't set out to kill anybody in battle, but if it's necessary to save lives he will not pull punches. Even fatal attacks in Ratings Games are rendered nonlethal due to its special rules, and Issei even spares Diodora Astaroth after beating the living daylights out of him. When Shalba kidnaps Ophis and tries to escape, however, Issei is having none of it and uses his Boosted Gear to blast him into dust.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Once he gets his devil upgrades, he becomes both respected and feared amongst the Three Factions and the Underworld in general. There's also some girls at the academy and a harem that reveres him.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: Well, it is a shounen series after all. Except his is a bit more unconventional than the norm.
  • Title Drop: Since Great Red used his powers to create Issei a body with the help of Ophis, he's now also known as the "Dragon of Dragons" or "D×D" who's still in high school; or in short, High School D×D.
  • To Be a Master: His goal is to one day rise in rank to that of a High-Class Devil so that he can gather his own servants and create his own harem, becoming a "Harem King". He achieves this as of Volume 22.
  • Took a Level in Badass: He actively grinds millions! It's showcased with four of his evil pieces becoming Mutated Pieces.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Cheesecake, according to one of the short stories.
  • Tranquil Fury: He's usually loud and hotblooded, but if he's in this state, you might want to run away pretty quick. Shalba learns this the hard way, getting the tar ruthlessly beaten out of him by a berserk, One-Winged Angel Issei.
  • Transformation Is a Free Action: Somehow, no one attacks him while he's transforming in Balance Breaker form. Sirzechs lampshades that it's a rule to never attack while the opponent is transforming.
  • Transformation Sequence: When he puts on his Balance Breaker for the first time in the anime.
  • Trauma Button: For the first nine volumes, due to his death at the hands of Raynare, anything that reminds him of her will trigger an attack of PTSD.
  • Trauma Conga Line: In Volume 1, Issei is killed by Raynare after their first date, gets wounded by Dohnaseek, he witnesses Asia being kidnapped and killed, and he crosses the Despair Event Horizon after overpowering her.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Seems like a lot of people think that he's not as badass as he's supposed to be. He proves them wrong all the time.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: His main problem once he actually starts getting stronger is that he lacks technique.
  • Unstoppable Rage: On a few occasions:
    • The first example is a combination of humorous and awesome: he flips when he learns that Vali's Half Dimension technique will cut Rias's bustline, and gives out such a beatdown Vali considers using Juggernaut Drive against him.
    • The second one is dead serious; Issei gets steadily more angry listening to Diodora's Evil Gloating about what he has planned for Asia. Then, Issei decides he's finally had enough and uses Balance Breaker to curb-stomp Diodora, leaving the latter to die at the hands of Shalba. After Shalba himself sends Asia into the dimensional gap (where she would have died if Vali hadn't found her by chance), he initially can't comprehend what just happened. Then he slowly walks toward Shalba, while Ddraig warns the club to get the hell away if they want to live, and goes on yet another Curb-Stomp Battle out of rage, grief and revenge for his seemingly fallen friend.
  • Unwitting Pawn: He doesn't realize that Raynare is using him to obtain his Sacred Gear until it's too late.

    Tropes V to Y 
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Thirty years later, he can shift from his human form to a Kaiju-sized (a hundred meters in length) dragon form at will. The body he got from Great Red makes him possible to do it.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: His old body is destroyed beyond repair, so Great Red and Ophis creates him a new, fully draconic body.
  • We Do the Impossible: Summoning a god from another dimension that other gods don't know about definitely counts.
  • Weirdness Magnet: He lampshades that he's been attracting a lot of weird people lately.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Anytime Issei needs a serious power up, it's always going to be with Rias's breasts, much to Ddraig's despair. Examples include:
    • Need to attain Balance Breaker when Issei's getting curb-stomped? Push Rias's nipples.
    • Need to get out of Juggernaut Drive? Push Rias's nipples. This particular incident earned her the Embarrassing Nickname "Switch Princess" from Bikou.
    • Having a power-up in the middle fighting the Hero Faction? Push Rias's nipples that are glowing.
    • Already unconscious from a Regulus Nemea-equipped Sairaorg? Have Rias's breasts be glowing in a crimson color.
    • Need to have more firepower when you're so tired after using two Dragon Blasters and Gift? Use Gift on Rias's breasts and have them act as a battery.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: In EX, Issei ends up as this in the future, becoming so greatly stuck on his job as a celebrity and ambassador in the Underworld that he barely have any time for his harem or for his children, leaving Kiba to babysit the latter ones. The degree of neglect is unclear admittedly, as his wives are said to keep him "on a short leash" and he has at least ten kids to divide his free time on.
    • Averted in the final chapter. In the future, his job description is punching God-Class beings who threatened his family or the world and the time he cannot give to the kids is because he cannot be together with all of them at the same time. Well, considering his families are literally everywhere (Romania, Kyoto, the Underworld, Grigori, the list just goes on), they are more vulnerable to the UL's assaults, and he needs to be there to help them fight.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Issei is somewhat terrified of attractive women, all due to a very brutal betrayal by Raynare. Already suffering from low-self esteem, he often avoids getting close to girls he finds attractive out of fear that they find him boring. For a while, this fear puts a damper in his relationship with Rias. He gets better.
  • The Worf Barrage
    • Possibly the weirdest one ever. Dress Break doesn't work on Sairaorg's Bishop because she's willing to strip, thus using said skill would be pointless because ruining a strip show is pretty bad. He then tries to use Bilingual but the only thing that's coming out from her breasts is which piece of clothing she's willing to take off next.
    • A more serious example would be his Balance Breaker Scale Mail. If you could break his armor, then it indicates that you're a threat to him. If you can't, expect to be utterly destroyed in combat with ease.
    • his Trianna Rook seems has been deflected by both Sairaorg and Grendel.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Piss him off by hurting his loved ones, and gender wouldn't be an obstacle as to who he'll punch.
  • Yin-Yang Bomb: He's a devil who wields the holy sword, Ascalon. His acquisition of a fraction of Divine Dividing’s powers is also considered this; Albion states that he and Ddraig are opposing existences and expected Issei to die from the action.
  • You Monster!: Issei's on the receiving end at the end of EX from one of the UL "generals." He outright states that by that point, he's heard it so often that it no longer fazes him.


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