The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

High School DxD

Title:  High School DxD
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Company: TNK
Format: 12 episodes
Date: 6 Jan 2012 – 23 Mar 2012

Synopsis: Hyoudou Issei is a horny high school student, and together with his horny school buddies he has transferred to Kuou Private Academy with the goal of getting their own harem. One day, luck seems to be on his side when a pretty girl makes a love confession to him. However, she turns out to be a fallen angel and kills Hyoudou for being a “threat” to her race. In a twist of fate, however, he gets revived by a enigmatic, beautiful girl with blood-red hair by the name of Rias Gremory, who caught his attention earlier that day. She is revealed to be a top-class demon from an all-powerful clan, and Hyoudou soon understands that he possesses a very rare hidden power called Sacred Gear.

The Highlights
What this show has plenty of: Uncensored boobs and pantyshots.
What this show has none of : Overly-heavy drama to spoil the senseless fun.
What this show needs: Less focus on storyline and more focus on the funnies.
What this show really is: Mindless fun for the hot-blooded.

Harem shows or those with fanservice are a dime a dozen, and in most cases, they are either inane or too cheap for me to offer even the slightest positive comment. They resort to such tactics because anything with lots of fanservice would probably sell, but that rationale usually gets on my nerves and I wouldn’t be interested enough to pick up such a title. But then a show like High School DxD comes along, which should grind my gears because of its blatant dedication to harem and the female breast, but doesn’t at all. It is obviously a show that’s not cerebral, yet it’s not that terrible since I find myself enjoying every episode to some extent. It’s quite the fun romp, and perhaps a surprising one that exceeds the small expectations I had for it.

DxD is filled with anything and everything indecent, from DD-cup breasts in full view to panty shots that spring up on an average of once every 10 minutes. It doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to what it wants to be: a laugh-out-loud senseless series with some dramatic tones in the overarching plot. However, this is the reason why it’s not as bad as some other shows of similar genre: it plays things straight, and the audience basically gets what is expected. The series doesn’t take itself too seriously, and more importantly, it knows when to be comical and when to be serious. There’s a fair balance between the two, and more shows with comedic and dramatic elements ought to know how not to let the two creep into each other.

And then there’s Hyoudou, the male lead pervert who just wants to see girls in the nude. He is hardly the most ideal or even memorable of protagonists, but when it comes to harem shows, male leads like him actually don’t come by often. While almost all in such shows are the cliched “lucky loser” who’s completely clueless about the feelings of the girls around him, Hyoudou’s just horny and wants to be constantly surrounded by chicks. His over-the-top antics drive the comedy forward and nail the punchlines, and his lulzy personality makes him quite the likable character. His simplistic nature is what separates him from other dense male protagonists, most of whom are exasperating to watch.

But as good as it may be, DxD still is an B-grade ecchi harem comedy that thrives on cheap fanservice. It’s pretty much a run-of-the-mill product targeted at the hot-blooded male audience, the overarching theme of “angels versus devils versus fallen angels” doesn’t make any sense, and I would be lying if I were to say that it has worthy merits and a lot of viewing value. But unlike most harem comedies, it’s watchable since it knows how to have fun and be deliberately stupid. It delivers what it promises from the onset, and for an audience like myself who anticipated shallow, gratifying fun, that is indeed what I got in the end. Perhaps the tip I would give to all the readers is this: do not expect anything remotely profound from this; you’re only setting yourselves up for a major disappointment. Otherwise, mentally switch off and have fun watching.

The Rating: 5

Reviewed by: AC

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