"Would you mind dying right now?" are not the words that high school student and lifelong pervert Issei Hyoudou expects to hear from his first girlfriend, especially not before being brutally murdered on their first date. Luckily for Issei, he's saved when he summons the beautiful Rias Gremory, a high-ranking Devil, who reincarnates him as a Devil servant. As Issei learns more about the conflict that has raged between Devils and Angels, he discovers that his "girlfriend" was actually a Fallen Angel named Raynare, sent to destroy him because he possesses a "Sacred Gear," a divine weapon given to humans by the Gods.
Issei is then made a member of the Occult Research Club, the headquarters for the House of Gremory, where he meets the rest of Rias' servants. Given the rank "Pawn," Issei decides that he will rise through the ranks so that he can create his own harem of beautiful girls. However, many grave dangers lie ahead, as Issei must face the Fallen Angels and rogue Exorcists, whilst also trying to master the power of his Sacred Gear.
High School DxD has been published in English by Yen Press since May 27, 2014; in Italian by Panini Comics under the Planet Manga imprint since January 25, 2014, in Polish by Studio JG under the Osiem Macek imprint since May 4, 2016, and in Spanish by Ivrea España since September 30, 2016.
A story with what all men love ecchi and not only that a true focus on otherworldly action in terms of supernatural. But with a repetitive beginning start off human have a near death experience and be re-born as something not human and then find out that you have legendary powers.
but what i find truly interesting about this story is how different it truly is in terms of both romance and action and also how it takes ecchi to the beautifully extreme level i'd recommend this for true fans of ecchi.
overall i truly am in love with the story and the ecchi that
would give any man a nosebleed that they won't recover from any time soon so if your looking for a true reality escape into both action and ecchi this is the story for you.
Sex in modern society is an enigma. It's simply part of human nature. Without sex, we won't be able to reproduce at all. Others find enjoyment in the act of sex, and when between two passionate lovers it could blossom into something even greater. At the same time, sex is seen as a taboo topic in society, something you only discuss with very specific people. Perhaps it is due to the very nature of most sex: Between two people, something generally private and between the two consenting individuals. However, there is also a cultural reason. At least in much of the western world, it
has been influenced by Christianity.
As such, thinking about sex or sensual thoughts is seemingly frowned upon, with among the more religious sects of Christianity sex is viewed as a means to an end: Producing children. And lots of em. Hence why the Catholic Church in real life has done everything it can to ban contraception. Because of this anti-sex rhetoric, Satan and his entourage of demonic familiars have been an analogue for sex. Satan himself has become a sort of sex symbol, with him being described as the most beautiful angel and when you combine that with William Blake's illustrations for Paradise Lost Satan has taken on connotations of sexual rebellion. After all, Satan was derived from the Hebrew word HaSatan, meaning "The Adversary." And that's not even getting into the Succubi, demons who entrance men. All of this had led to the image of the "Horny Devil" in modern society.
So what happens when you combine demons, fallen angels, and the occult with a horny teenager? High School DxD. It's nature as an ecchi is the most obvious aspect, and while at times the occult aspects surprisingly compliment the ecchi nature, other times it meshes horribly.
Issei Hyoudou is an incredibly perverted Japanese teenager. He owns the typical cliched stash of hidden magazines, along with being very blatant about his quest for women. Issei is a little more self-aware than most harem protagonists in my opinion. Far too often, harem protagonists are written as bland as they can be. This is meant so that the audience can insert themselves in the story easier. As a result they end up being bland, cookie-cutter characters. Issei is more in tune with what the audience wants: Issei wants to satisfy his fantasies. The audience want to satisfy their own fantasies, and some do this by reading a manga about a sexually active teenager who is surrounded by a plethora of attractive women and a token guy. I personally was in it for how it dealt with it's own interpretation of religious theology.
Issei was at the time in a relationship with a cute girl named Yuuma. Their relationship is going all well, that is until Yuuma stabs Issei, and then reveals that she was a fallen angel who killed Issei out of a sense of sadism and past animosity in a celestial race war. I'll get to that a little later. While bleeding to death, he is confronted by a friendlier figure named Rias Gremory. Rias on Issei's behalf reincarnates him as a demon (or devil). From there, he joins his school's "Occult Research Club" made up of a myriad of characters, from the sarcastic Koneko to the sadistic Akeno. The name is a misomer. They don't actually do any research. It instead serves as a convenient way for them to do whatever they want, from getting involved in large-scale conflicts to being contracted by average civillians.
Rias is perhaps the full realization of the "horny devil" I was talking about earlier. No doubt about it, Rias is incredibly attractive. While she is cute, she's not exactly too cute and is more beautiful if anything else. Her hair is red and slightly spiky, and her surname Gremory is an indication of a magical grimoire called the Ars Goetia. In that book, the demon Gremory often appears as a beautiful woman. Red is a very passionate, aggressive color. Very fitting for a series all about sex. While one's sex experience is varied, sex is ideally passionate. While she is a demon, she is not unecessarily sadistic or cruel. She is very confident in herself and with her body. She rarely has a problem being naked with Issei for one, much to Issei's carnal pleasures. There's a very good reason why she serves as the face of DxD compared to Akeno or Asia.
Speaking of Asia, her execution is a little mixed. While Rias is confident and assertive, Asia is much more timid and demure and cute in contrast to Rias' beauty. While Rias is a demon, Asia is the sworn enemy of demons: The Church. It does add a little bit of irony when she herself becomes a reincarnated Demon much like Issei did. Throughout it all she is very adamant about her faith. She's one of the more positive depictions of Christians. She rarely thinks a horrible thought and her faith is used to demonstrate her kindness more than anything else. I like Asia, and the manga seems to agree with that statement. While Rias is the main girl, there was a lot more scenes with Asia and Issei bonding than there were with Rias which did seem odd.
Except that while Asia serves as a compelling contrast, her very nature as a haremette betrays what contrast she was meant to demonstrate. While representing chastity and innocence, she is at the same time part of Issei's harem, which by it's very nature is hedonistic and very self-indulgent. Especially when she's sexualized as everyone else. Her personality just simply doesn't fit being in the harem as much as Rias does, which is ironic given how Rias is a literal sex symbol. It is also ironic, given how there is a fallen angel named Xenovia who while being also a Christian like Asia, goes into combat either wearing a short skirt or a skintight combat outfit. Christians can be assertive and confident in their sexuality, as Xenovia demonstrates. However, Asia seems like the odd woman out in this situation given how she's meant to represent chastity and is in a series which is very heavy on sex. It does not go to hentai levels, but it treads the line.
I understand why this is the case. It's an ecchi, of course it's going to be sexualized. And in High School DxD, fanservice is most likely the main reason people sought it out. It knows what it's audience wants, which is admittedly self-aware on their part. The problems set in a few areas however. For one, there are moments were the fanservice can get out of hand. I myself have little issue with fanservice, though I am not one who generally likes it. There are some moments where it can get out of hand. The biggest example was when Issei was exploring a church which was being used by his former girlfriend Yuuma (also known as Reynare) with Asia as a sacrifice. Guess what they decided to show off? Yes, her breasts. In what was supposed to be a serious moment, the inclination of fanservice diffused the drama of the situation. Why should I take a young woman's sacrifice when her breasts are jiggling?
Then, there's the issue of the ages of the characters. While pure-blooded Fallen Angels and Demons like Akeno and Rias are probably hundreds of years old, it does feel weird when characters like Asia end up being sexualized when she's still a young teenager. It gets a little weirder when you consider that High School DxD's audience probably are not around her age in-story. I don't know, there's just something a little weird about teenagers being sexualized and having it be targeted towards an adult audience. Part of it has to do with Japan's age of consent laws. Consent is basically where two sexual partners have clear communication with one another about sex that also respects their boundaries. What's the age of consent in Japan? 13. As someone with a western perspective, I can't help but feel a little uncomfortable. I wouldn't be having this issue nearly as much if the ages of the characters where a little bit older, like say in a college level.
On the other hand, there is the occult element. It plays with occult tropes in an interesting way, which was one of the reasons I was interested in the first place. Demons are like a tamer Mephistopheles a la Faust. They perform contracts with humans, though it's more like hiring someone temporarily to provide a service rather than the whole "give away your soul business". Here, demons, fallen angels, and angels fought a long war with one another. While they are not openly at war with one another, there is a serious tension between the two sides a la the real life Cold War. There are other mythologies involved, such as Nordic gods and mythical dragons. It reminds me of the American TV Show Supernatural, in which there was a melange of different theological players. Unfortunately, while it is an interesting backdrop it is one that can result in conflict. It is a little out-of place for Issei to go from being a drooling pervert to then making speeches on the power of friendship while encased in Gundam-like armor. It's like stitching a shonen battle series with a light-hearted ecchi series. The combination kinda works, though the elements could have been meshed to a better effectiveness.
In conclusion, High School DxD is a inconsistent work. There are flashes of brilliance in the writing, and the author is clearly much more self-aware about the harem genre's conventions than say To Love-Ru, but he has some missteps along the way.
We love cute couples and following the development of their relative relationships in our favorite manga series. But let's turn up the heat, and see what happens when characters have more than a singular love interest. Let's enter the wild world of the harem manga!