Super pervert Issei Hyodo finally gets a date with a girl, only for said girl(a fallen angel in disguise) to end up killing him at the end of the date. However, a mysterious red-haired girl (with huge chest) revives him as a demon to be her slave, gambling on the mysterious Sacred Gear that resides inside him.
Thus starts High School DxD, and I'll be lying if I said the premise didn't have potential, and that it didn't draw me in. Too bad the potential was wasted on a rehashing of tired cliches that distract from and sabotage the plot every step of the way. But before I get too deep into that (and this review will have spoilers), I need to say something else first.
As an anime fan, I have to cringe at titles like this, for they are the sole reason anime won't be accepted by society at large... and I can't blame them. It's titles like this that make me ashamed to call myself an anime fan. I only watched this, because a friend of mine said people would judge it solely on the fanservice and nudity, and not for the good plot. Unfortunately, the plot (when the constant panty shots aren't distracting you from it) has it's own share of problems, mostly in the form of the characters.
So, with that said, let's jump in.
As I said above, Issei gets ressurected as a demon slave of the Greater Demon Rias, the mysterious red-haired girl with huge rack. And I have to mention the huge rack, because the series doesn't let you forget it. Seriously, nipples STILL visible through a bra and shirt? Also, Issei, being the stereotypical sex-obsessed pervert, can't forget about breasts, either. But I'll cover that more in the characters section.
Also as I mentioned, the story premise had potential. I was looking forward to seeing how a protagonist would react when forced to serve a demon lord, even if she was in the form of a high school girl. I was expecting something from the story to showcase why these people are demons. Usually it just means a heightened sense of selfishness or self-interest, all the way up to truely hideous and horrible acts.
I saw very little of that here. And while having a story where "demons" are poor, misunderstood creatures could be interesting, I didn't get that sense, either. The show doesn't attempt to make us believe that; just that there was a war between heaven and hell a long time ago that ended in a stalemate. I would have preferred to see Rias and her minions act a bit more evil, and perhaps see Issei get stuck in the gray setting, balancing his desire to do good against the darker machinations of his demon master. Perhaps becoming a rogue Han Solo like character, or some kind of anti-hero. Gokudo and Lina Inverse do a much better job in that regard, and thus are more interesting as characters.
Instead, what we get is that the church is evil is the first story arc, and then Rias's marriage troubles in the second arc. She only wants to wed someone she loves? Exactly what kind of a demoness is she? I could understand if she didn't want to wed because she hated the guy, or would lose power and prestiege; but we get love instead.
It's not all bad; there is some good. The attention to detail in the world building of this universe is surprisingly well done and interesting. Concepts introduced early on, are built upon later, and also tie in to later plot points. There is the gist of a decent storyline under all of this, but it's executed poorly and buried under the mountain of jiggly tits.
Decent for this time period in anime. Nothing really stands out (other than all the impossibly jiggling tits that jiggle and wobble for no reason), but it's not too horrible, either. If you like large jiggly breasts, then you'll like this anime.
I am less than impressed with all the battles I have seen so far, which have been sadly lacking in detail and time spent. Even Dragon Ball had better fight scenes. Most fights are spent trash talking your opponent and gloating over them, then you get a couple of seconds of something happening and the fight is over.
Again, average. Nothing stood out, but it didn't grate on me, either. Except for all the "boing boing" noises made by jiggling tits. Have I mentioned this anime has jiggling tits?
This is where the meat of this review will be centered, because they play the largest part in why this anime so disappointed me. I can deal with fanservice and impossible chest sizes and movements, as long as the characters and story are good.
Let's start with Issei, who is the stereotypical sex-obsessed super pervert. I don't know what it is about anime that they seem quite unable to portray a young boy as anything other than a super pervert or sex-less super eunuch with no desire whatsoever. I've grown rather tired of it. I might be okay with Issei starting out that way, if he was able to grow out from it. But when he's openly gawking in many episodes later to the detriment of himself and the situation, I begin to lose any feeling and respect for him as a protagonist. His stupid and hypocritical nature comes to the forefront, when he encounters a douche with his own harem of 15 girls. Issei hates the guy, even though the guy is everything Issei is and wants to be (seriously, early on he drooled in glee at the thought of having his own female slave having to do everything he wanted). I will say that one good point about his character, is that he is constantly shown to be the weakest, ie, he doesn't somehow suddenly become the strongest due to an awakened power.
Moving on to Rias, who I feel is a slightly better. She's powerful, a major demon lord, and is desired by everyone at school. I am somewhat relieved to see that she's not a prude, and more than comfortable being nude. That makes sense. What doesn't make sense? She's still a virgin. I find it hard to believe she hasn't used her sexual nature to get things. She taunts Issei with it enough. And she wants to marry for love; how cute. Give me a real demon lord! Give me a woman who is experienced, has a stronger self-interest drive, and let's see the sparks that create when she clashes with the morals of her slave! Give me character development that doesn't revolve around just simply falling in love with the main protagonist! But I'm sorry, she's a female, so she's limited to showing off her tits and her development is limited to romance with a guy.
There are a variety of side characters, but... wait, did I say variety? I meant there is one or two character types repeated endlessly. Guys are generally perverts (except for the sole pretty boy), and girls are virginal sex symbols (except the flat-chest emotionless girl). I will say I do enjoy Koneko's character, despite her being a typical archtype with little depth. She is one of the only ones to rightfully condemn Issei's lechorous behavior, and yet she can still work with him and admire other parts of his nature; a nuanced position that escapes everyone else in the series. Well, the school's female population generally hates him for it, so there's that.
But the main girls not only tolerate it, they think it's cute that he's being so "honest." To the guys writing this anime, here's a note: Only a very small fraction of girls in the real world would like a guy being "honest" like Issei is. Even among the ones that like sex, they tend to dislike guys that only see them as a pair of breasts.
And yet, Rias, Akeno, and even sweet and innocent little Asia cater to him. The latter especially strikes me as odd; what is a naive, sheltered nun doing, openly deciding to show him her naked body because she realizes he's a pervert and you want him to like you? That ain't healthy.
Which brings up my last character point: this is a harem anime, but it's even worse than normal that all these girls are falling in love with him for little-to-no reason. At least with a typical harem, the sexless main protagonist has a noble nature and thus reason to admire and fall in love with him. Issei showcases little of that, and even when he does, his super perverted nature would make any normal, rational woman shun him. At the least, they wouldn't see him as relationship material.
I wanted to like this series. Under all the naked breasts and panty shots, is the glimmer of an interesting story forming, with well-thought-out world-building details. But ultimately, the inconsistant and unexplainable characters, coupled with the gratutious fanservice, detracted from whatever story this series might want to tell.
Only watch this story if you like lots of shredding clothes exposing many huge tits. But even then, if that's what you want to see, watch porn instead. I have to wonder, at this point, why do they go out of their way to hide bare crotches? If you can show boobies, why only half-ass it (pardon the pun)? At least with porn, you get everything. If the nudity played a good part in this series, I could understand; but 90% of it is simply there to titillate. At the least, I know that anime on TV censors the boobies, in order to uncensor them on the DVD to get people to buy it. I can understand that business decision. But nothing here is censored, so ultimately it makes no real sense.
So, if you want a harem with a little bit of shonen and a whole lot of boobies, watch this. Otherwise, skip it. Or read the light novel series it is based off of.
I must say, this anime definitely has a good premise and I went into it thinking that this could be an ecchi with a decent plot, as the fans of this show always say. Oh how wrong I was...
The animation is decent. It is pretty crisp, the backrounds have good detail, the characters look good. You can tell effort went in to it. Theres really not much more to say other than all of the boobs. Impossibly bouncing boobs. But what can you do, it is ecchi afterall.
The sound, however, is different. Boobs sound like jello for some reason, but the voices themselves are pretty good. The voice actors do a good job. What brings it down is the dialogue. The lines these characters have are just plain awful, they also gasp a lot.
The story is very overrated. Let me be clear, it has a decent plot for an anime made for fanservice, but overall the story is not good. Its generic, cliche, and most of the good there is is ruined by excessive fanservice.
There was an emotional moment in the first season, Asia was dying and to be fair, it was pretty sad. What ruined it was that her tit was hanging out. Why? Why have fan service there? How are you supposed to immerse viewers in an emotional scene when that shit is there?
I will say that there are hints of a decent story there, there is definitely something there. But it is drowning in a see of boobs and panty shots.
Oh boy, the characters. The main reason this anime is nowhere near as good as fans say it is.
I dont really like Issei as a protagonist. He sounds like an idiot most of the time, and he is a huge hypocrite. Shown when he meets Riser Phoenix, season 1's villain. Riser has a harem of 15 girls and is about to marry Rias, the main female protagonist. Issei hates him even though Riser is exactly who Issei wants to be (Issei even says this himself!)
One good thing I can say is that Issei doesnt somehow become the strongest in the group right away, he does have to train and progress as the show goes on. But even that isnt done well, because when Issei unlocks a new ability, it isnt presented well. When he unlocked Balance Breaker (Or overbooster), he only had a little bit of time to use it against Riser (TO WIN RIAS BACK MIND YOU) so naturally he spends most of the time talking shit and then beats Riser with holy water and a cross. Also when he unlocked Juggernaut Drive, his rival Vali came in out of nowhere and kicked the shit out of him. Yes, great way to introduce a new power.
Issei is hated by every female in the school for his perverted nature, but somehow all of the female protagonists tolerate it AND find it cute. (Minus Koneko) Girls dont like that, but for some reason these girls love him unconditionally when most of what he says to them are about their tits. (Even the nun, Asia.) I have to say, for the first six episodes I liked Issei and Asia as a couple. Issei defying Rias to save her seemed genuine, and something couldve been built there, IF Asia had not been reduced to being a backround character that just whined when someone else made a move on Issei for the majority of the rest of the show. (God, her voice. In the sub and dub)
Most of the girls fall in love with him for little to no reason. At least in other shitty harem series the protagonist is noble or something like that. But Issei has very little redeeming traits. And even when he shows one, he still acts so perverted any girl wouldnt see him as a good person. (Like all of the other females in the school)
There isnt much to say about the other characters, they are all bland and dont get enough character development for me to dislike them. Other than Kiba, his development in the first arc of season 2 was pretty good. It actually got me feeling bad for him, he deserves to be in a better anime.
If you like a good story and interesting characters, this definitely isnt for you. However, if you like a lot of boobs, this is for you. Even then, why wouldnt you just cut out the middle man and watch hentai?
High School DxD is defintely a strange anime at it's core. I've watched ecchi before, but none to this extent. Most of it was intentional and it turned me off to certain aspects of this anime.
THE STORY IS: Issei is a pervert in every shape, way, and form. Him and his 2 other friends dream, fantasize, and never pass up a chance to see the girls at school naked. One day, Issei comes across a girl who wants to go out with him. He obviously says yes and they embark on a date. At the end of the date, the girl turns out to be a Fallen Angel and kills Issei. While dying, he is brought back to life by Rias Gremory, the head of the Gremory Demon Clan. Issei must now cope with his newly found life as a demon and a slave to Rias.
To be clear, the only reason I watched this is because I thought the story was intriguing. It had some really intense points, but mostly towards the end of the anime. The only thing that turned me off about the story is the mass amount of nudity. I understand it's an ecchi and that is what it entails, but there is a limit. I wanted to see how the story developed and I got a good story with a LOT of boobs and nudity. The story, honestly, starts out slow and never really goes anywhere until about halfway through. Even then, it felt rushed and never took some necessary time to put the boobs on the back burner and let the story come forward and take the lime light. Overall the story was very well done and worth the watch through.
THE ANIMATION was top notch! Very clean, crisp, and not too colorful nor drab. Honestly, I thought the animation was probably the best animation I have seen so far in an anime. Also considering that it is a newer anime, it still is very clean cut.
THE SOUND was also pretty good. The voice acting was where it needed to be. The sound effects were on par. It was good overall.
THE CHARACTERS were hit or miss. Issei is a good character at some points, but most of the time he is rather annoying with his crazy obsession with boobs. If they toned Issei's boob-crazed personality down from off the scale to a more tolerable amount here and there, he would've been a great character. Rias is a great female lead. She keeps Issei and everyone else in their place and defintely stands out as a leader. Everyone else has their own persona, but don't really take the forfront as much as Issei, Rias, and Asia. I would like to have known more about Konoko and Aneko and take a peek into their backgrounds a bit to see where they came from and why there are the way they are.
OVERALL High School DxD was a pretty good anime to watch. It has a slow start to an intriguing plot, but it was very good overall. As I stated earlier, my only complaint was the mass plethora of nudity. Some was unnecessary and some was whatever, but I didn't mind it except towards the end where it became all too frequent in situations that didn't call for it.
Based off of one viewing of the series
High School DxD was a supernatural anime based of light novels released in 2012. It follows the story of Issei Hyodo. Issei was a regular high school student that was asked out by a fellow classmate that turned out to be a fallen angel and killed him. He was resurrected by Rias Gremory, another fellow classmate who happens to be a devil, as a devil to be her servant. The plot then becomes about Issei trying to understand the power within him that was the reason for him to be killed originally.
The story is lacking here. It tries to incorporate religion, philosophy, and chess (for some odd reason) all while being as perverted as possible. In this regard, I am reminded of Highschool of the Dead. If the show lost the majority of its perverseness, it would gain much more in decent plot. When major events happened, it would always have a cookie-cutter solution that is so common among anime such as this. There is nothing of substance here, just a lot of ecchi empty promises of what could have been.
It’s unfair to compare this show to Shaft’s Nisemonogatari, but among other show that came out along side High School DxD, it comes off as average. There are no fluid motions, extravagant scenes, exotic color palettes, or character models that stand out to make you remember this anime. The style fits perfectly well for sight gags, but in more serious moments, it is exceedingly average. More effort is placed on the show’s ecchi moments. Commercial break slide are filled with pictures of the main girls in scantily clad outfits, ecchi scenes are superior in animation to the rest of the show, and the outro…you can only watch it to understand (the intro isn’t animated half as well).
The sounds are very stereotypical of an anime like this. You get the boob bounce sounds you except from ecchi, dramatic music in situation that are suppose to be dramatic, etc. the intro also fits to the show’s theme. The outro music kills the plot’s seriousness every time it’s played to throw you back into ecchi mode. The best part of this show, sound wise, are the voice actors. The voice actors are good in this series and fit the roles well.
The voice acting is good, but the characters take away from that quality. Instead of characters of substance, we have dime-a-dozen characters that are so common in an action/ecchi show that a dime is too much for them.
Issei Hyodo- the main character and perverted hero
Rias Gremory- the large breasted beauty that the main characters actions revolve around
Asia Argento- the soft spoken extremely kind girl that’s head over heels in love with the main character
Akeno Himejima- the girl you never see that gets upset and always has a smile on her face
Koneko Tojo- the emotionless loli who thinks extremely lowly of the main character
Yuto Kiba- the pretty boy thrown in to add extra testosterone to the show (the throw away character)
Concept, Creativity, and Originality- 7.5
Though the concept of the show has been done in some form before, it was very engrossing; the story of angels, devils, and fallen angels fighting to survive draws you in. Any attempt that could have been put into this aspect is substituted for as much perverseness as possible. To the shows strength, they show finds new ways to show its ecchi scenes that are unique to this series.
I feel that some enjoyment can be had from the show, but it is only if you dumb yourself down to enjoy it. However if you hold it up to its true potential, then you’ll have five major problems with the series:
1. The plot wasn’t capitalized on
2. Ecchi was turned up to 11
3. Too many character stereotypes
4. The premise suffers lack of clarity
5. Any serious moment at the end of the show is ruined by the outro song.
The series had so much potential, but failed to capitalize on it and we are left with a mediocre/sub-par anime.
First and foremost: If ecchi is well-done, GREAT. If it is the whole effing plot, NOT GREAT.
Story: Bosom. Breasts. Boobs. Tits. Ta-tas. Knock--OH SHUT UP. I'm sure there is more to this show than just THAT.
Seriously though. The near-constant ecchi and nudity detracts from the REAL plot. A young pervert, Hyoudou Issei, is busy trying to simultaneously grope his classmates and look up their skirts when he finds a girl who wants to go out with him. This is suspicious in itself, but Issei is overjoyed at the fact that such a kind, charming girl (with large breasts) wants to be with him. They go on an awkward date and then she... transforms into a fallen angel. Wearing minimal clothing. Whoopdeedoo. She ends up killing Issei, who is all depressed because he never got to feel her breasts. Suddenly, he is turned into a demon by Rias Gremory, a classmate of his. He is immediately drawn to her beautiful face, long red hair, and breasts. And pantsu. And the rest of her body. Her personality? Dafuq is that? I see boobs, not brains.
Plus, they add a bunch of religious stuff, which is a surefire way to say, "I WANT TO MAKE A SMART ANIME BUT DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START!" to the viewer. People! "Death Note" is smart, "Bloody Monday" is smart, "Umineko no Naku Koro ni" is smart! (Though the latter DID add religious symbolism. The lengthy explanations made it work, though.) AND they add that overused "chess game" anthology. Mrph.
Actually, here's the short version:
Yes, I went there.
Animation: Stock "sexy girl" character designs, meet typical harem guy and pretty boy. Not much more to say on that front. Animation is mediocre, with less-than-average action being balanced by the obviously-thought-out "boob jiggle" animation. This is not good. Ah, and the ecchi. Too many nipples detract from the serious tone. Too many bouncing breasts detract from the serious tone. Too many panty shots detract [...] tone. (A note to the girls of "Highschool DxD:" There is an invention out there. It's called the bra. Trying wearing one sometime.)
Sound: Catchy J-pop themes, but you'll forget them soon enough. (I can't say the same for the animation during the themes, though.) The voice acting is fine, but it can't be difficult to act like this, can it be? I have no complaints, but I can't applaud it, either.
Characters: Everyone is some archetype, and there is little development.
Hey! No picture (at least not for now) due to the fact that the boys are practically non-existent, and every single freaking picture is ecchi. Look 'em up yourself.
Hyoudou Issei: Your typical hero. He starts out all wimpy, but soon gets his gigabyte-megapowah-sharingan-bankai-bringitbitches power and kicks major ass. Aside from the fact that this is annoying as hell, he at least isn't a total douche. I mean, he shows some respect for the girls, despite his perverted ways (cough cough MAKOTO cough). But, seriously. I think he sees beauty as being only skin deep. He doesn't care how kind, loving, sweet, intelligent, funny/or witty you are. If you have the right measurements, you're all good.
Rias Gremory: Is she more than a pair of breasts and a butt? No... yes... um... maybe? She's powerful, but I can't shake the feeling that she's just there for the sake of 4chan. (Oh, crap! I just mentioned the unmentionable!) Yes, she DOES have an enviable body. Yes, she DOES have fabulous hair. Yes, she DOES forget her bra. But that doesn't make a good character.
Asia Argento: Nun-meets-whore? Let me explain: We first meet her by getting a nice shot of her panstu. We then learn she is a nun who recently moved to Harem Country. Issei gets his ass handed to him by a priest, and his new disciple, Asia, recognizes him and tries to save him. The priest slashes her clothing and bra (she wears one) and conveniently misses her skin, so we get a nice shot of her nipples. So, our awful priest tries to rape her. (Quick! Somebody guess her cup size!) I'm sorry. Nun... naked and breathing heavily? It's just so... no. Just no.
Himejima Akeno: Someone wanted a sadist so that guys could envision having hardcore S&M sex with this girl. Her breasts are about as large as most swimming pools, giving Rias a run for her money. Unfortunately, sadistic people can be either well-done or not-well done. Sonozaki Shion, from the scary-as-hell anime "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni," is an example of a well-done sadist. Akeno, however, is not. Akeno often Pikachu-shocks people a few times and then steps back and says something mildly-sadistic is a sexy voice. Not even NEAR scary.
Toujou Koneko: This show needs a loli.
Kiba Yuuto: Pretty boy. In case girls happen to watch this show.
Everyone else: GTFO.
Overall: I don't care how high everyone else rates this thing. I think it's another ecchi harem... just, really ecchi. Really really ecchi. Really really REALLY ecchi. And not much else.