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.

You're going to be seeing a lot of this sort of thing (and more) throughout the episode!

Synopsis:

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.

No shit, Sherlock.

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.

This guy is a regular Einstein.

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.

Review:

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!

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About kelfio

Keepin' it real down in the sweet sunny south.

Posted on January 9, 2012, in Anime, High School DxD, Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. Welcome to the blog!

    First episode wasn’t too shitty for an ecchi show, and holds some potential. I don’t watch ecchi, but this season is so bad that High School DxD just might stay on my list. :(

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    • I completely know what you mean by that! At least the music doesn’t cause ear-rot and the animation is pretty enough, right?

      Thanks for welcoming me!

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    • “I don’t watch ecchi, but this season is so bad that High School DxD just might stay on my list. :(”

      Aww… How about re-watching some old stuff instead?

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      • @Kelfio, since I’m profoundly deaf so I have no idea how the music sounds, but I have a sharper eye for dialogue!

        @Saranaufogus I tried to watch Hyougemono and Master Keaton but they’re not fully subbed. Strike two. Maybe try Horizon and Last Exile, even though both are not my cuppa joe?

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      • @Zammael:

        @Saranaufogus I tried to watch Hyougemono and Master Keaton but they’re not fully subbed. Strike two. Maybe try Horizon and Last Exile, even though both are not my cuppa joe?

        Even though this part wasn’t directed at me :D … Uhm, Master Keaton is subbed, I’ll send you the links to your e-mail-adress, okay ;) ?
        As for Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere (if that’s the one you mean): I wouldn’t really recommend that one since the setting is the most convoluted shit I’ve seen in a long time and that only because the narrative style is stupid. And the characters are weird in a very creepy way.
        Last Exile: If it’s the original, yeah, pretty much a given to watch that one at some point since it’s a classic.

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  2. Nice review! Don’t worry, I laugh at my own jokes all the time, too. I skimmed through this show and episode quickly as I was mildly interested in knowing whether it would be a story show with restrained ecchi, or an ecchi show with restrained story (it turned out to be the latter, which I was expecting). Just from that, I agree with your review. I liked the character designs (for what they were) and the art seemed pretty nice, all things considered. The only thing I thought odd was that “borderline-hentai” note. Honestly, for an ecchi show, it’s got nothing on, say, Seikon no Qwaser (I shudder to mention that name), or even Ikkitousen, for that matter.

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    • Yeah, I suppose you’re right about the Seikon no Qwaser comparison. However, with SnQ, the show was released with and without breast/nipple censorship, and DxD just puts it all out there from the get go.

      Being somewhat of a fan of hentai in general, I know that DxD is nowhere near hentai, and it’s not even borderline, really. A few prudish friends of mine, though, were shocked at seeing nipples less than 3 minutes in. But, I do feel that DxD is a step past your run-of-the mill SOL show with ecchi elements, where brushing against a breast is the most racy thing a viewer would encounter. I suppose there’s ecchi and then there’s ECCHI, and this would be in the latter category. It’s somewhere between shows like B Gata H Kei and SnQ.

      Anyways… thanks for reading and commenting on my first review. I look forward to being around more! :)

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  3. 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.

    Not like that’s beating a dead horse at this point as far as story-ideas go…

    She says something about him having the “sacred gear” and that he poses a danger to her crew, and therefore he must die.

    What, don’t have all guys the “sacred gear” in this show? The taste-of-shit-main-chara just has a “sacred gear” more “sacred” than others – because he’s a harem-main-chara! Talk about breaking the fourth wall here… but this show really knows how to use crappy stereotypes of the genre as explanation for stuff happening in the series.

    Well, the rest… I mean, it’s boobs, devils, fallen angels, young teenagers who are perverts and girls going nuts over the “sacred gear” of a boy. If you like that story… Congratulations! You will always have something new to watch each season…
    And honestly: This show is crap.

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    • You know, DxD may be a turd, but at least it is a colorful and shiny turd with big nipples.

      And, well…. it’s better than The New Prince of Tennis. ;)

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      • LMAO…that was funny…I will agree with you about DxD. I prefer big nipples any day over a bunch of good looking guys in tight shorts playing Tennis.

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  4. I’ll call myself biased, but I like the show for what it is. A supernatural boobfest, with completely interchangeable characters from any other series large on boobs and short on plot. Its a good “turn your brain off series”, and like you said its got surprisingly high production values. I’ll end up watching it if nothing else comes out the same night it streams, and hopefully get some good action out of it. I’m also partial to anti-hero’s with demonic powers, so that helps.

    I actually think its refreshing that its so open with the nipples too, not because I like boobs, but because it does get annoying when shows try to show things, and then censor it to death to the point where its hard to tell whats going on, or where its just more distracting than anything.

    Good review, looking forward to more interesting reading as the season goes on.

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    • I wholeheartedly agree. DxD, if nothing else, isn’t in denial about what it is. I do appreciate that in an anime (and feel like this season so far could use a lot more of it). I like your words, “a supernatural boobfest” – uber descriptive!

      And I know what you mean about the ever pervasive slashes of white light that obscure anything worth seeing from the scene. The heavy ecchi shows out there aren’t about much beside boobs and panty shots, so why front? I suppose it’s a marketing ploy to increase the uncensored blu-ray sales.

      BTW, Thanks for complimenting my review, and I will do my best to bring you ever-increasing quality reviews (and hopefully some laughs) each week!

      One last thing though… “not because I like boobs”? Come on now, really? Who doesn’t like boobs? I like em. Hell, I’ve even got my own set, but the things that anime boobs can do are far beyond my wildest dreams. I mean, you ever seen a nipple in real life that can rotate like that? ;)

      So, love the boobs. Everyone’s got ‘em (to varying degrees). And remember, if it weren’t for boobs, human kind wouldn’t exist! :)

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      • I cannot refute your theory on the importance of boobs and all their shapes sizes, and various rotational capabilities lol. I do indeed love the boobs, and I’ll admit I prefer them to be in my face and not hidden behind an awkward censors if they’re going to be highlighted anyway.
        To summarize, I will now profess my love of boobs publicly lol, but if I keep up with this series (I don’t know who I’m fooling, “if”) the boobs are more of an afterthought, porn is too widely available for those times that boobs are the focus.

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  5. IMHO, some over-the-hill strung-out porn stars can never compete with the magic of a 2D boob. Man, I’ve got plenty of my own boobs, but they can never do what DxD boobs can do!

    And, also IMHO, pornography and erotic material play an important role in healthy adult sexuality, for men *and* for women. Although most would consider that to be a bold statement, I’m sure the world would be a better place if more folks could come to grips with that sort of basic truth.

    So, congratulations on your recent, public “coming out” as a lover of boobs! I applaud you, viishous, for having the guts to admit to the ancient, enduring, and world-altering love of breasts! Yahoo! You are one among millions, if not billions, who openly love and adore tits, and I will support you! Welcome to the club! Hahahahaha! :)

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  6. Gespenster Jager

    I have never been a big fan of the ecchi genre and well this dident help, i found episode one to be completely boring the main guy at first seemed to be way to into being a creep. However after watching the ending scene which is supposedly the opening having the main guy actually fight with a demon arm ( i like that kind of stuff) to be very interesting. But i dont have much hope for any serious action out of this anime especially cause the main guy was thinking about tits right even when hes knocking on deaths door, which is hilarious.

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    • Yep, that our hero. Hehehe. I mean, *both* times he was stabbed and dying in the park, all he could think about was tits. He doesn’t seem to have a brain any bigger than a pea, but he’s got serious dedication to the mammaries! ;)

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  7. If you look into the original Light Novels (Baka-Tsuki has the English translations), you’ll see that the anime is simply being faithful to the source material. The author had publicly admitted in the afterword that he was trying to write a stupid (and I mean STUPID) perverted teenager with not much going on in the brain department, and he had a lot of fun writing it. And I gotta say, that’s better than the usual oblivious-to-love characters we mostly see (IS, anyone?).

    I’m going to to watch this show in HD, ad as long as the anime continues to be a faithful adaptation, I expect some mindless fun!

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  8. I haven’t seen any ecchi before, but I’m considering picking up High School DxD because it was released here today.This one sounds like it at least has an interesting plot around all the fan service and boobs?!

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    • No, not really. The story is pretty much a paint-by-numbers-affair and the story’s low ambitions match its dimwitted execution in that regard. Also, the fanservice is way too lazy and blatant to be anything but not a simple waste of time for the series and its audience.

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      • Actually, if you want fan service that shows actual nipples, High School DxD is one of the few. And as far as these heavy-ecchi types of shows go, I really think High School DxD is one of the better ones in terms of plot, characters, etc. A lot of non-ecchi series are worse than this. Really.

        I finished the first season and watched the second season also. It was fun. I recommend it to anyone who wants to see some primarily-fan-service-driven anime (which is a totally okay thing to want to see). :)

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      • > Actually, if you want fan service that shows actual nipples,

        Pff, everyone has seen nipples before… try Seikon no Qwaser instead, Ed. People at least suck on them, too, in that one!

        And seriously… it’s the 21st century. Just get porn or hentai. Fanservice of the ecchi-category is SO superfluous these days…

        Like

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