Apr 3, 2015
Mixed Feelings
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...

Story: 4
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.

Art: 6
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.

Sound: 9
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.

Character: 5
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.

Enjoyment: 5
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.

Overall: 5
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.
Reviewer’s Rating: 5
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