High School DxD – First Impression
Episode 01- “I Got a Girlfriend”
So, M0rg0th humbly asked me (Kelfio), one of the newly recruited guest-bloggers, to do a first impression of High School DxD. I’d like to think I accepted his request because he is my “senpai”, but after watching the show, I wondered if it was not just because I am some kind of masochist.
Since this is my first review, I’ve been asked to add in a quick bio, but considering the show I’m reviewing, I’m feeling like a different approach is more appropriate. So here it is: the disclaimer. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency or agent of the Otakuness Blog. ;) That being said, you’ll be seeing more of me around here soon. I’m going to be doing weekly reviews of Ano Natsu De Matteru and probably some more random ones here and there. Eventually my full bio will be available on the site, so just sit tight until then.
Now, on to the review!
*First, please be aware that this show is a little beyond most the stuff called “ecchi” that’s out there. The only thing in the show that was censored was genitalia. Honestly, I was a bit surprised to see exposed, uncensored nipples on screen starting at around 2:30 and continuing to pop up unabashedly throughout. So, this anime isn’t something I would advise watching at work, or at home if the kids or younger siblings (or your parents, your girlfriend, your grandma, etc) are around. Really, if you’re going to watch this show at all, I suggest you do it alone, because if anyone sees you watching it, there is going to be some explaining to do on your part.
Three guys, Matsuma, Motohama, and the main character Hyoudou Issei, are attending a school that has recently changed from being girls-only to co-ed. The guys are intently focused on “getting girlfriends” and “touching boobs”. They try typical dumb-anime-guy tactics to see boobs, like peeking in the girls locker room, which leads to typical anime results – the guys getting beaten up with bamboo kendo swords and not seeing anything but lingerie. A mysterious red haired student, named Rias Gremory appears. And, like every other girl in the school, the guys know her measurements by heart. Rias has a group of girls who function as her underlings, a kick-ass chess set, a nice suite to conduct her business in, and is obviously “up to something”.
Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, a cute girl named Yuuma, approaches Hyoudou just outside of the school and confesses to him. He obviously accepts and they become boyfriend and girlfriend, much to the dismay of his jealous and pervy friends.
Yuuma and Issei go on their first date, which is your typical anime date, complete with shopping, sharing a parfait at a family restaurant, lots of blushing, and walking through the park at dusk. Fortunately, this generic date has a surprising end – Yuuma asks Issei in a generically cute way if he will grant her wish. He thinks she is going to be asked for a kiss, but instead, her entire demeanor changes, and she asks him to die for her.
So, then, of course, her clothes rip off and she spins around and transforms into a dominatrix with black wings and proceeds to stab Issei. She says something about him having the “sacred gear” and that he poses a danger to her crew, and therefore he must die. In the midst of his blood spewing out of his body, Issei is pretty much only able to think about the fact that he got to see her naked breasts. Wow, he’s a real winner. Lying in the park, bleeding to death, Issei laments that Yuuma should have at least allowed him a decent fondle before killing him. Then, the mysterious Rias Gremory (complete with black wings and erect nipples) appears out of some arcane-looking magical symbol and requests that Issei devote his life to her.
The next day, he wakes up injury-free, but somehow everyone has forgotten that his girlfriend Yuuma had ever existed. Later on, while he and his dude crew are watching porn, Issei starts to hallucinate and comes down with super-hearing and some other standard super hero powers. Seemingly tripping his face off, he returns to the park where he was stabbed earlier, and encounters a “bad guy” with black wings. He proceeds to get stabbed, again.
Luckily, as Issei lay bleeding to death in the park (again) thinking about breasts (again), Rias shows up with her girl crew. She has some words with the bad guy, whom she calls Mr. Fallen Angel, and they talk about magic and inspectors and families and all sorts of stuff that will most likely be explained in another episode. Rias and the girls use some flashy spears and colorful magical powers to whoop Mr. Fallen Angel’s ass (his name is actually Dounashiku). Dounashiku leaves, but not without slinging some more fighting words at Rias. Rias then apparently uses some more magical powers to save Issei, and leaves us with a cliffhanger as to the reason why she’s so interested the cute little dipshit (Issei).
Then Issei wakes up in bed, to his ridiculous alarm clock, exactly like the last time he was stabbed to death. However, he is surprised to discover than he is totally naked and Rias, also naked, is in the bed with him. Rias reveals, amidst a breast-bouncing, nipple-revolving frenzy, that she is a devil and that Issei is her slave.
Nipples. Nipples. Nipplesnipplesnipplesnipplesnipples. There, now it’s out on the table and we don’t have to dance around anything. :) Frankly, while the show has various elements like a plot and characters, what the show seems to be actually *about* is nipples. And that’s fine. Nipples are a fact of life, and everybody has at least two of them.
If you are into devil school girls with massive bouncing breasts and lots of gravity-defying nipple action, then this is the show for you! I’ve seen much worse ecchi shows, and although I cringed my way through my first viewing of the show, after watching it again (for review purposes) it wasn’t actually that bad. Really though, a show like this doesn’t have to be bad or good, because there are people who will watch it for the nipples no matter what. Watching the show in high resolution (“HD” quality, although I have my doubts about that) really made a huge difference for me. The animation isn’t mind blowing, but it’s pretty good. It’s crisp, it’s colorful, the muted water-color style backgrounds have a lot of detail, and the characters are well designed (even if they’re not too original) and they don’t ever look deformed when seen from odd angles. I especially liked some of the scenes around the fountain due to the sparkly water droplets, and in general I found the use of dappled lighting and shadows enhanced most scenes and didn’t come off as being tacky or jarring like CGI light plug-ins often are. Animation-wise, the only part that didn’t go over well with me was the bizarre wavy gravy sky when Issei fights with Mr. Fallen Angel – it wasn’t terrible, but it looked odd against the tree line in more than one moment.
Issei, the main character is…. Well, he’s a complete dipshit who’s obsessed with breasts (just like his friends) and seems to have some sort of latent magical power. I wonder if maybe Issei wasn’t weaned properly or maybe that as an infant he was fed with baby formula. But, I suppose that with a borderline pornographic show like this, you can’t be too picky about how smart or clever a character is. One thing I can say for the guy is that he is consistent. He knows what he wants and he is actively focusing his actions and thoughts towards his goal. Even as he lay dying, Issei’s final thoughts are about fondling breasts. Now, that’s dedication!
There were some fairly funny one-liners throughout the show, including, “You getting a girlfriend is as likely as you getting hit by a meteorite.” It’s clear that the writers have a sense of humor about this project, and that they’re able to make fun of themselves here and there. But, probably funnier than the actual lines were my own one-line responses while viewing. For example, when Yuuma asks Issei, “Can you die for me?” I thought, “Yes, if I had spent all day on a date with that moron, I would ask him to die too.” Hahaha… While there is some debate out there about whether or not it’s creepy to laugh at your own jokes, I’ll have to admit that I cracked myself up over this one. :)
I considered the opening to be fairly erotic, with the flaming girl (anyone reminded of Shana’s transformation here?) and a sultry male voice talking breathlessly about blood, strawberries, and hair. I liked how the show came back to the red theme (and music) on a number of occasions and how the opening lines were repeated when Issei was stabbed. That’s the sort of continuity that has been missing in a lot of other shows I’ve seen so far this season. I mean, it’s kind of depressing that a show about nipples out does so many others in this way, but that’s the way it is. The music was good throughout the episode – tasteful classical heavy on the violins – and the ending song was fine. I thought the seiyuus did a great job and that they acted (and over-acted) to an appropriate degree.
So, all in all, I would have to say that High School DxD is a lame show about nipples, with idiotic characters, a worn-out plot, and nothing particularly original. But, it’s surprisingly well done for what it is. Sadly, it’s better than a lot of the other shows I’ve seen so far this season. Despite that, I assume that the border-line hentai nature of the show is going to self-select it’s viewers, and that it has a well defined target audience. So, anybody out there (who isn’t just a young man looking for fap-worthy material) care to share why they are going to be watching this season?
Episode Rating: 6/10
I hope you all have enjoyed my review! I look forward to doing more in the future, and I look forward to any comments you all have!