High school student Issei Hyoudou is your run-of-the-mill pervert who does nothing productive with his life, peeping on women and dreaming of having his own harem one day. Things seem to be looking up for Issei when a beautiful girl asks him out on a date, although she turns out to be a fallen angel who brutally kills him! However, he gets a second chance at life when beautiful senior student Rias Gremory, who is a top-class devil, revives him as her servant, recruiting Issei into the ranks of the school's Occult Research club.
Slowly adjusting to his new life, Issei must train and fight in order to survive in the violent world of angels and devils. Each new adventure leads to many hilarious (and risqué) moments with his new comrades, all the while keeping his new life a secret from his friends and family in High School DxD!
High School DxD is known for its award winning English dub. At the Behind the Voice Actors Awards, Jamie Marchi won "Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in an Anime Television Series/OVA" in 2014. The series also won "Best Vocal Ensemble in an Anime Television Series/OVA" in 2015 for season 2.
Sex, lewd thoughts, and imaginations. Here's an interesting little trivia: Did you know that the average man in our world today think about sex nearly every 56 seconds? Fact or fiction, you decide. Of course, this is all normal. I mean, our minds is filled with all sorts of imaginations and dreams whether it'd be finding the perfect girlfriend or going on your first dream date. In this anime known as the High School DxD, our protagonist Hyudo Iseei goes from a lecherous second-year high school student attending Kuoh Academy to someone he hasn't began to imagine before.
At first glance, the title High School DxD
doesn't really stand out much. The first two words “high school” is probably a place most of us made good (or bad memories) in our lives. Of course, Issei hopes to make good memories because the school has recently turned into co-ed from a former girls-only school. And where else would a healthy boy at his puberty stage wants to make most of it? High school of course. But not all is easy as he is known to be creepy at the academy. With few “real” friends, the chances of making his goal of high school memories is becoming slim.
That of course later changes when the unthinkable happens and he is killed by his very first girlfriend. Talk about bad luck, I can only think of one person off my head right now with the Imagine Breaker with that sort of luck. But is this really bad luck? Because the most beautiful and respected character of the school and series takes attention of him...
First, we have the beautiful Rias Gremory. She is someone everyone admires and lusts about. She is the president of the Occult Club. And she is of course, the main heroine as well as one of the reasons some of us are watching this series for the lulz. She takes a curious interest in our protagonist Issei after the incident but what really makes her unique is her definite character. Behind her outer shell is a girl who takes responsibility and does what she does best: helping others. These traits seem to pass onto Issei for despite his creepiness around the academy, he is known to be helpful and hardworking.
Then, we have some of the other characters. The sadistic Akeno who is also admired among the academy. Playful and flirtatious, she plays the role of the one-sama whom a lot of us wants to be “treated” by her. Then, we have our mascot, the all adorable loli Koneko-chan. Behind that cute loli apperance lies a girl of power and valor who puts her own life at risk to help others. Next, we have Asia-san, the pure girl that reflects the innocence of the series after all the lewd story arcs and peerage. Finally, we have Kiba who serves as the antithesis of Issei, whom he despises to no end. And of course, all these characters of the Occult Club are the bridge to Issei's path of becoming someone who he never thought he'd be.
By this point, some of you reading this review are probably thinking “god damn it, not another harem” or “fan-service...what else is new?” And of course, I agree there. Fan-service is nothing new but a device used to attract viewers. So, if you can't take the boobs, ass, and nudity, then feel free to watch another series. If you have a serious issue with the uncensored scenes and fan-service, then just drop the damn series as no one is forcing you to watch. However, if you can take it like a true anime fan, then kudos to you as you will be proud once you complete perhaps the ecchiest (if that's even a word) series of this year 2012.
The art of this series is just meh for me. I didn't take much notice of it as most people are probably paying attention more to the action and fan-service than art when watching this. I don't blame you, I mean who could take their eyes off one second of that million dollar body of Rias Gremory? :) Then, of course, the sound. I do admit that it does mixes in well especially in later episodes where the seriousness conveys the more dramatic visage of the story. It's not as powerful as Yuki Kajiura's soundtracks from Mai-Hime or Tsubusa Chronicles but still all in all, it does fit well once you listen to it carefully.
Despite being labelled as a ecchi and even harem on MAL, this series does have a storyline. Yes, can you believe it? An actual ecchi anime with a decent storyline! As such in series like this, you can expect the master and slave relationship. One catch though. This time, the girl is the master. Some of the viewers watching this may now think about the typical “master/slave” fantasies or “king's game” from your heads now. However, behind the scenes of the fan-service and nudity lies a story where a young boy goes from zero to hero. The storyline gets deeper in the light novels but the anime isn't all too shabby. It starts off as a predictable opening, goes to a more emotional setting, and then goes out with a bang. A literal bang thanks to what Issei learns and became throughout the series.
So, you're probably asking yourself now: “should I watch this?” Honestly, that's an ambigious question. When God gave us brains, we all have different views on everything like anime, manga, life, appearances, etc. However, if you just watched the trailer or first 5 mins of the series and decided to hit that drop button, then I feel really sorry for you. Why? Because this series is more than just about ecchi and fan-service. It has potential. It has emotion. It has drama. It has interest.
If you have serious problems with watching this anime, then maybe think about your High School memories. I bet Issei's virginity that the memories of your High School years won't be that much better than this series. (well, at least for me)
Surprisingly, despite this being labeled as "harem," this show didn't feel much like harem to me. Really strange. In fact, Sword Art Online felt even more of a harem than this, but ok. Issei only had like one real love interest, and that was Rias. Maybe it's the perspective of socially awkward people who think that if a girl talks to a guy, that means that the girl is in love with the guy that makes them think this is a harem. So I guess harem now means having a bunch of female characters and having one relevant male character in a same show. Oh,
and I guess the main character constantly went on about how he likes harem or something. But I'm pretty sure that doesn't qualify a show as harem either.
Obviously one of the most important factors in these shows is the main protagonist. Everything centers around them, after all. Harem genre in general, unfortunately, does not have much variety in what main characters they could have. Very rarely you have protagonists like Keima, who is on a class of his own, or Shidou, who's at least likeable despite being incredibly generic just because he's not an annoying piece of shit that causes more problems for himself than everything else in the show. And then you have Issei. This protagonist just happens to be one of the obnoxious protagonists you could have in a show, harem or not. Did you ever watch other shows and saw that silly "perverted guy" who always hangs out near the main character and only exists as a brief comic relief? Yeah, that guy is a main protagonist now. Hope you liked those brief comic reliefs, because that's definitely not going to get old after an entire series.
If that wasn't bad enough, he's also "that" guy who happens to have one of the most powerful McGuffins in the series, which makes him suddenly important. Normally this wouldn't be too offensive since it's done by literally every other show, where the protagonist happens to have that special trait that gives him unfair advantage no matter what, but the way this show handles it is just terrible.
You see, the side characters that Rias has under her are supposed to represent what Issei lacks- Outside of them being awfully shallow as characters and merely existing to pander to specific parts of the audience as overdone archetypical tools that are in nearly any JRPG ever, they are supposed to exist to make Issei feel comparatively inferior. In fact, in the last episode, Issei talks about how he lacks the strength, healing ability, magical ability, or swordfighting skills while fighting the obligatory final boss of the season- Does this all matter? No. He has the most powerful weapon shown in the series so far, so why is this relevant? What was the point of making him seem "inferior" to others when all he has to do is do the typical resolve speech and it will make him just instantly more powerful than everyone else?
Let's put that in this context and see if that sounds any less ridiculous:
"I may not have a bamboo stick, boxing gloves, or a first-aid kit, but I have a rifle that I can shoot you with."
No, it still sounds dumb as shit. I also liked that chess analogy that the show kept bringing it up, though. It's almost like it's just there for the sake of being pretentious. And it is.
As for Rias, she's just bland as any other character in this show. She even goes on a speech about how she wants to be seen as Rias/herself and not be carried by her family name and nobility- Huh, that sounds awfully familiar. Oh, that's right- That's every Disney princess speech about how they're so perfect that it's bad. Outside of that, she falls in love with Issei because he's the main character and also because her fiancee conveniently happens to be a pretty huge dick like again, every Disney princess plot. While I'm not looking for super originality here, it's pretty bad if you're ripping off the fucking Disney routine.
Of course, it doesn't help considering the second half of the show involves this Disney princess routine being played out for too many episodes while the first half involves this clearly not evil girl suddenly calling Issei out on a date only to show her true evil nature in the same episode. The asinine pacing can be further shown by how Issei goes on later about how he truly cared about this girl he met for less than a day and how he's sad to realize that she was evil all along. Am I supposed to feel sad here? Later, Issei meets this other random girl, who he also met for less than a day, and later on she gets captured by the aforementioned evil girl, and then she experiences a horrible Disney death on a techno-cross. Good thing Rias can resurrect dead people, so that didn't matter in the end. The great part is that there was supposed to be this time limit about saving her before it was too late, but that turned out to be totally irrelevant too. Way to build tension and break it in the same episode. Trivialize an already inconsequential death of a girl that the MC has met for less than a day is truly the best way to invoke emotions.
As for the other elements of the show, the music is pretty generic, but not painful to listen to. The animation is also incredibly average, which is about what you'd expect from a show of this genre. Though if I had to point out a flaw, it would be that the character designs were just really generic. If you can't give your characters any depth, at least make them look interesting.
Overall, the show is bad. Shallow characters, annoying main character, irrelevant consequences (including how the MC "sacrificed" his arm for a power up, which was completely inconsequential), lack of an actual antagonist with an actual motive, and just overall being boring. It's downright offensive. The pacing was all over the place, and including quarter of the show with fillers is probably the most retarded idea one could come up with.
Frankly, for the longest time, I've been wondering why these harem shows were mostly awful. Maybe it's the overwhelming amount of pandering shoved into my face that is causing me to not enjoy these shows very much. Maybe. But more than likely it's just because they're fucking terrible. I tried to watch this all the way through while ignoring all the pandering so that maybe I could appreciate the hidden depth within. Or the lack thereof.
It didn't turn out well after all. Let's not try that again. And neither should you.
High School DxD is an anime that has been praised as the best ecchi ever made, and in a way that is accurate. Seriously though, it is an ecchi. For all of you ecchi haters, stay away. Shove down your masochistic tendencies and walk away, this is not an anime you are going to enjoy.
We all know what we are getting into when we turn this show on, copious amounts of T&A. High School DxD has quickly become synonymous with that phrase. But even then, that was not the sole reason I turned this show on. I generally am the type that needs a
bit more than titillating imagery to watch something. So when I heard that DxD also had this really cool story to accompany it, I was sold. Allow me to inform you that I can in good conscience say I feel betrayed...
Before going into the specifics of the story that follows the characters, let me say that the overall concept of this world is what truly piqued my interest in the show. A three way war between Devils, Angels, and Fallen Angels. An expansive world with history behind it. Varying degrees of mythology from different countries. Sadly, these aspects are quickly overshadowed by the story surrounding the main character.
High School setting? Expected. It's in the bloody title. But what I wasn't expecting was a poor story about a servant and his literal power-ups. The story wants to be serious, but fails miserably at it. The so called "emotional" moments had me rolling my eyes, and the dialogue left me stunned from how many cliche Shounen lines it had.
I am attempting to avoid spoilers, which is why I am avoiding the specifics that made this story as bad as it was. Just know this, it is a cool concept that loses points due to the execution.
It was good and filled to the brim with boobs and panty-shots. I don't know what else I can really say. It was nothing spectacular, but is by no means un-watchable. Standard fare for when it was released.
The OST was pretty solid. The music did a surprisingly good job of adding to the scenes.
The standout aspect of the sound for me was actually the voice acting. I watched the show dubbed, but I have seen enough of the subbed to know that both are good. But in my opinion, watch the show dubbed. The voices may actually be more fitting in the subbed, personal preference really. But the dub has dialogue that adds to the hilarity of the scenes exponentially. When the MC can "promise not to drain his pimp-juice", it's a damn fine dub.
Issei- An extremely typical pervert. I really, really disliked Issei. He is literally an idiot, and every single one of his thoughts revolves around something lewd. Of course he is also a decent guy with a heart of gold, but hey, that's just par for the course. He is established early on as a good hearted pervert, and he remains a good hearted pervert until the end. He does gain a bit of development, but it really is just a bit.
Rias Gremory- Here we have the gorgeous, devil senpai you read about in the description. A surprisingly decent character. She is strong willed, honest, and oddly compassionate. Peculiar for a devil, but this show does break the occasional trope. What I liked about her character was how she took everything for what it was. Fully acknowledging and accepting Issei's perversion, and using it as a motivation. She doesn't care what other people think, and does as she wishes.
Asia- Rarely have I found a more stereotypical "nice girl". She is incredibly sweet to everyone, a bit naive and innocent, and completely incapable of defending herself. Did I mention she's a nun that falls for the main character instantly. I didn't dislike Asia, but I found it hard to like her as she hardly felt like a character. She was immediately filed into my brain as a ball of cliches, and I felt nothing for her because of that.
The notable side characters are Akeno, Kiba, and Koneko. The busty sadist with a kind exterior, the respectful pretty boy, and the expressionless loli with a love for sweets, respectively. I was a big fan of these characters, and really wanted to see more of them.
There are a few things to enjoy about this anime, maybe you enjoy the comedy, the action, or the titillating imagery. For me, the comedy was hit or miss. Some jokes I loved, others I hated. The ones I hated usually pertained to Issei's perversion, it is such an overused concept that I don't even crack a smile. The comedy I loved was mostly in regards to the dialogue, definitely my favorite part.
I really liked the action. Especially in the later episodes, I felt genuinely invested in what was happening. The action was accompanied by serious tones without being emotional tones, and they were pretty well done.
The massive amounts of fan-service in this show really didn't do much on the enjoyment factor either. It doesn't lose any points, but boobs and panty-shots alone don't do anything. I suppose if you pause during one of Issei's fantasies you could pitch a tent, but it didn't do much.
By that score alone, you may think it isn't worth watching. A passable story with some decent characters and good dialogue, seems like it isn't worth your time. But for all of you ecchi fans, and for those who can at least tolerate ecchi, this is worth watching. Why? Because it gets better. The first season of High School DxD really isn't that good, but the second season is good, and you can expect it to improve from there. Being knowledgeable about the original source material, many of the flaws in this anime will be fixed. The story will improve, characters will develop, it will become a good fantasy story.
One aspect of High School DxD that I applaud the creator for is his honesty in regards to fan-service. He makes the fan-service a plot point by truly involving it in the MC's drives (and later abilities). He gives the fan-service a plausible reason for existing considering the amoral nature of the devils. The author embraces fan-service, which is a unique aspect I award credit for.
High School DxD is an ecchi that develops into a good story. Anyone who tries to pass this first season off as the best ecchi ever is just lying to you. But it is worth watching just to see what comes later.
High School DxD is based on the light novels written by Ichiei Ishibumi and illustrated by Miyama-Zero. It stands out from the other ecchi harems that I have seen in sense that the first season cannot really be considered a harem but rather Issei going after the female love interest Rias Gremory. Some of the other female characters do show interest such as Asia when Issei becomes more intimate with the other girls. But the real harem aspects of High School DxD show up in the second season. If you are a fan of the ecchi genre you will be pleased to hear that DxD
has plenty of perverted panty shots and uncensored boobs. I went into it not knowing what to expect, and surprisingly it has exceeded the relatively low expectations I had for it.
High School DxD falls into the "it's good for what it is" category and does not try to be something it is not. This is why it should be viewed as first and foremost a fan service show. With some laugh out loud moments, senseless antics and occasional dramatic tones in the overarching plot. This is what makes it stand out from most other ecchi’s that resort to covering an unintelligible story with lots of fan service. High School DxD has an actual story and distinctive character development. With the fan service aside the show actually does have its merits. I particularly like the art style, decent visuals, and the music score.
High School DxD gives you a lot of variety in the female characters as well as the situations they get undressed. The girls of the Occult Research Club range from Koneko, a very petite and small breasted girl who displays a lack of emotion and seems rather unaffected by everything. To Akeno who is busty and seems to take some enjoyment from Issei’s antics. As well as the voluptuous Rias with Asia more on the petite side. All of the female characters are sexy and attractive in different ways.
High School DxD is all about mindless fun with a respectable amount of T&A. Evaluate it as a fan service focused series; it delivers on what it is, an ecchi harem comedy with an angels versus devils versus fallen angles aspect (This can get pretty confusing and doesn't make sense at times). It is a little better than average and one of the top recent series in its genre. Don’t go into watching this with the wrong mentality expecting it to be something it is not. You will be disappointed, watch it for what it is and you may find enough enjoyment to keep watching. I would recommend it to anyone new to ecchi and if this sounds interesting to anyone they should definitely check it out.
Although it still feels like it only just started, we are now somehow halfway through the Spring 2018 anime season already, and trends are now clearly starting to emerge. In the past three weeks, Boku no Hero Academia returns to prominence, Persona 5 sinks like a stone and more.