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Recap / High School DD Volume 1

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"Will you die for me?"
Yuuma Amano, revealing her true identity as Raynare.

The first story arc of High School DxD, which comprises Volume 1 of the light novel series, Episodes 1-5 of Season 1 of the anime series, and the first two volumes of the manga.

Issei Hyoudou is a second-year student at Kuoh Academy. He and his friends Matsuda and Motohama have a reputation amongst the school's students, who are mostly female, for acting perverted. One student in particular, a mysterious red-haired girl named Rias Gremory catches Issei's eye. One day, Issei is asked out by a girl he's just met named Yuuma Amano, much to the chagrin and jealousy of Matsuda and Motohama. Having never had a girlfriend before, he excitedly agrees. The date goes well, and afterwards, Yuuma takes Issei to a water fountain, where she reveals herself as a Fallen Angel named Raynare and kills him with a spear of pure light. As he bleeds to death on the pavement, Issei thinks briefly of Rias' crimson hair, the same colour as his blood.

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Issei wakes up in his room the next morning, and finds that none of his friends have any memory of Yuuma or their date, and his contact information for her is missing. That night, he is attacked by another Fallen Angel named Dohnaseek, and wounded, but is rescued by Rias and two other girls. He falls unconscious and wakes up the next morning next to a naked Rias Gremory, who explains that she is a Devil, and he has been reincarnated as her servant. That day at school, Issei is visited by Kuoh Academy's handsome "Prince Charming", Yuuto Kiba, who takes him to the clubroom of the Occult Research Club, where he finds Rias waiting for him along with Akeno Himejima and Koneko Toujou, the two girls who rescued him the previous night. Rias explains to Issei that the Devils are one of three factions locked in the Great War, the other two being the Angels and the Fallen Angels. Issei begins to work for the club by delivering pamphlets, when he is attacked by another Fallen Angel, Kalawarnar. He is able to fend off Kalawarnar using his Sacred Gear, a rare artefact he was born with that gives him battle techniques and abilities.

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The next day, Issei bumps into a nun named Asia Argento, who has a healing ability thanks to her own Sacred Gear. Issei gets a bad feeling when approaching the church, so he allows Asia to walk the rest of the way. When he returns to the clubhouse, Rias warns Issei that, being a devil, he cannot approach active churches or touch angelic symbols such as crosses. Later, Rias sends Issei out to initiate a contract with a client of theirs. When he arrives, however, he finds the client has been killed by an insane exorcist named Father Freed, who has been forcing Asia to help him against her will. When Freed almost kills Issei, the other members of the Occult Research Club step in to protect him, and Freed teleports away with Asia.

Later, Issei meets with Asia once again and the two go on a date, where Asia reveals that she has never had any friends ever since her exile from the church as a heretic after healing a dying Devil. With nowhere to go, she had to rely on the Fallen Angels for support. Towards the end of their date, Raynare appears and easily overpowers Issei. Asia willingly leaves with Raynare on the condition that Raynare spare Issei's life. Rias later explains the ranking system of Devils - their positions are indicated by chess pieces (Rias is the [King], Akeno is the [Queen], Kiba is the [Knight], Koneko is the [Rook], Issei is the [Pawn]). The group agree to help Issei track down Asia and save her. After defeating Freed once more, the group approach the abandoned church where she is being held. While Rias and Akeno stay outside to defeat Dohnaseek, Kalawarner and Mittelt (a young female Fallen Angel with blonde hair), the others enter the church and discover that Raynare is extracting Asia's Sacred Gear, dooming her to die in the process.

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While Kiba and Koneko hold off the attacking priests, Issei trudges upstairs with Asia's dying body. Thanking him for the time they spent together, Asia passes away. Raynare, aided by the healing ability she stole from Asia, attacks Issei and stabs him through both legs with spears of light, which burn him almost to death. Despite this, he pushes on, and uses his Sacred Gear, "Boosted Gear", to overpower her. In her final moments, Raynare resorts to putting on her scared, innocent "Yuuma Amano" voice and begging Issei not to kill her. Refusing to be fooled, Issei asks Rias to dispose of her, and Rias obliges. Issei remains depressed by Asia's death, but Rias has an idea. Using her [Bishop] piece, Rias reincarnates Asia as a Devil, and asks her to join the Occult Research Club. Asia does so happily, finally making friends of her own.


Volume 1 of High School DxD contains particular-to-this-volume examples of:

  • Adaptational Early Appearance: In the first episode, Akeno is introduced playing a game of chess with Rias and telling her about Issei. Later on, Koneko makes her first appearance by watching Issei go out on a date with Yuuma while licking a popsicle.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime expands upon the battle between Rias and Akeno against Kalawarner, Dohnaseek and Mittelt.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Rias slaps Issei for being with Asia after Raynare kidnaps her towards the end of the volume.
  • Back from the Dead: Issei and Asia both don't stay dead for long, getting brought back as members of Rias' club.
  • Bad Date: Issei goes out on his first date with Yuuma/Raynare, his new girlfriend. It does not go well because Raynare is actually a Fallen Angel and finds out that Issei possesses a Sacred Gear, resulting in his death.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: A subverted example. Issei gets his wish to go out with a girl when Raynare asks him out. Unfortunately, he gets more than what he asks for when Raynare kills him. Then, Rias shows up and becomes his first real girlfriend.
  • Bedmate Reveal: After being attacked by Dohnaseek, Issei wakes up to discover that Rias is sleeping next to him, having healed him overnight while both were naked.
  • Big Bad: Raynare, who is also a Starter Villain for the entire series.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Raynare and her subordinates are killed and Issei and Asia becomes Rias's servants, but Freed escapes and Raynare being a Honey Trap for Issei has taken a toll on his mind.
  • Book-Ends: The volume opens with Issei undergoing an Emergency Transformation into a devil. By the end of the volume, Rias does the same with Asia.
  • Character Death: Raynare and all of her subordinates (excluding Freed) end up dying in the final battle.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • Issei gets brutally stabbed in the midsection by Raynare after their date.
    • Asia being injured on the cross and getting her Sacred Gear taken isn't a pleasant thought.
  • Death by Origin Story: Issei Hyoudou's death starts the main plot of the series. Asia Argento also gets killed by Raynare at the end of the volume.
  • Destination Defenestration: Raynare gets defeated by Issei this way in the anime.
  • Determinator: The first inklings of how far Issei will go for someone he cares for show up here, when he manages to stand on his feet and keep fighting (and beat the crap out of Raynare) even though his legs have been pierced by Raynare's light spears. This is what triggers his Sacred Gear into becoming the Boosted Gear.
  • Do with Him as You Will: Raynare tries to get Issei to spare her life by becoming Yuuma and showing him the bracelet he bought her. Issei cannot bear to kill her... so he asks Rias to do it instead.
  • Downer Beginning: The series as a whole begins with Issei going out on a date with Raynare and his eventual death.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Riser Phenex and his peerage spy on Rias and her family in The Stinger of episode 5.
  • Emergency Transformation: Happens to both Issei and Asia. Once Issei gets killed by Raynare, Rias transforms him into a devil. Then, at the end of the volume, Asia is revived and transformed into a devil when Raynare is killed.
  • Femme Fatale: Raynare, an attractive Fallen Angel who lures Issei to his death.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: Asia's death and resurrection as a Devil is a huge spoiler for this volume, but is more or less a Late-Arrival Spoiler due to her being a prominent character in the rest of the series.
  • Five-Man Band:
  • Foregone Conclusion: Issei and Asia being revived and transformed into Devils.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When Raynare reveals her true identity as a Fallen Angel, she kills Issei because he possesses a Sacred Gear. Towards the end of the volume, she kills Asia and steals her Sacred Gear. And both Issei and Asia get transformed into devils by Rias.
    • Asia, a former nun of the Church and a heretic, is transformed into a Devil and joins the Occult Research Club. Guess who else does the same thing two volumes later?
  • For Want of a Nail: If Issei didn't go out on the date with Raynare and didn't get the leaflet from Rias's familiar, Rias wouldn't have transformed him into a Devil after he was fatally wounded, he wouldn't have learned about the conflict between Angels, Fallen Angels and Devils, he wouldn't have befriended Asia, and Raynare's plot to steal her Sacred Gear would've never been discovered.
  • Friendless Background: Asia grew up never having any friends, which makes how much she values Issei's friendship all the more heartwarming (and tearjerking when she dies).
  • Gone Horribly Right: Raynare did succeed in assassinating Issei. Unfortunately for her, Issei is transformed into a devil and joins the Occult Research Club.
  • The Heretic: Asia was excommunicated from the Church for healing a Devil.
  • Heroic BSoD: Issei gets two in this volume. First, he goes through a minor one when Raynare murders him and later, he has a major one when the former murders Asia in front of him.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: Raynare's assassination of Issei and Asia ends up being her own undoing when Issei uses his Sacred Gear to overpower her.
  • Hope Spot: Issei becomes Raynare's girlfriend and goes out on a date with her. Unfortunately for him, he realizes too late that she's a Fallen Angel who's willing to kill him for his Sacred Gear.
  • How We Got Here: We begin with Issei Hyoudou bleeding on the ground after being stabbed by Raynare and thinking about a girl with red hair which matches the color of his blood. Afterwards, Rias Gremory appears using a magic circle and has Issei undergo an Emergency Transformation. Then, we go back one day to look at the events leading up to this transformation.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Issei is enraged after Raynare kills Asia, whom he swore to protect.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • The primary reason for Issei's Emergency Transformation; Raynare reveals herself and runs him through with her light spear after their first date.
    • Issei gets hit with this trope again as a Devil when Dohnaseek finds him, but Rias quickly heals him.
    • And again by Reynare (for a second time) in the park. Fortunately, Asia immediately heals him.
  • In Medias Res: The volume opens with Issei bleeding out after he is brutally stabbed by Raynare. Rias arrives to heal Issei and transform him into a devil. The story then flashes back one day to show How We Got Here.
  • Intimate Healing: Devil healing magic works on skin-to-skin contact, and Issei is heavily injured, so Rias takes all of his and her clothes to heal Issei as fast as possible.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Issei and Asia transforming into devils. The cover for the volume didn't even bother to hide the fact that they along with Rias are the prominent characters in the series.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Raynare takes her time in stealing Asia's Sacred Gear, which gives Issei enough time to discover her location, get Asia out and beat the crap out of Raynare with his own Sacred Gear.
  • Not What It Looks Like: When Issei's mother comes into his room, only to find a naked Issei and Rias in a compromising position, she leaves before Issei can explain the truth, having come up with the (incorrect, but feasible) conclusion that they were having sex.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Issei has a moment of utter terror when he realizes how insane and dangerous Raynare actually is.
    • Issei has a similar reaction when Dohnaseek corners and heavily wounds him.
    • Kalawarner, Dohnaseek and Mittelt get a Mass "Oh, Crap!" in the anime just before Rias vaporizes them.
    • Raynare has one when Issei overpowers her and when she realizes that Rias is about to kill her seconds later.
  • Partly Cloudy with a Chance of Death: When the evening sky turns dark purple after Raynare reveals herself as a Fallen Angel, it's obvious that something bad is about to happen to Issei Hyoudou.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Issei's death at the hands of Raynare serves as this for the entire series as a whole.
  • Protectorate: Issei swears to protect Asia, even though they are technically in opposite sides of the war between Angels and Devils. At the end of the arc, Rias puts Issei in charge of protecting a newly resurrected Asia.
  • Reality Ensues: While Asia healed Diodora in the backstory, the former was instantly exiled from the Church. Even after becoming a Devil, Asia still can't return to the Church due to their opposition of Devils and Fallen Angels.
  • Red Shirt: Issei's client from the church bites the dust when Freed kills him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Freed ditches Raynare before she is vaporized.
  • So Long, Suckers!: After Raynare kidnaps Asia, she taunts Issei about what she's going to do to her before fleeing.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Rias has her Peerage stand back while Issei faces Reynare. She does this because she knows Reynare heavily hurt his self-confidence, and this fight will both allow him to get past the pain Raynare has caused him and find the power she knows is hidden in him.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • In the anime, Raynare's mooks mock Issei's death to Rias's face and they get killed for it.
    • It's not a good idea to toy with Rias' servant's emotions after being overpowered, as Raynare found out the hard way.
  • Total Party Kill: Raynare's minions that she brought with her are killed in a matter of seconds by Rias. And then, Raynare herself is killed after being overpowered by Issei's Boosted Gear.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Issei is so outraged at Asia's death that he easily overpowers Raynare - even though his legs have been perforated by her light spears.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: An inverted example occurs in the first half of the volume. Raynare kills Issei Hyoudou, which leads to Rias Gremory reviving Issei as a devil, Raynare's eventual demise, and ultimately Azazel negotiating a peace treaty with the Three Factions.
  • Wham Line: How Raynare reveals her true identity after her date with Issei.
    Yuuma/Raynare: "Will you die for me?"
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Raynare's scheme to lure Asia into a trap and stealing her Sacred Gear worked, but it fails thanks to the Occult Research Club's intervention.
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