High School DxD In Review 7/10

High School DxD was a rather surprising show this past season, introducing a enjoyable story, unique characters, and humor under all that fan service.

I decided to give DxD a 7/10. I would have gone higher if there was less ecchi dependent moments in the early stages of the show, however I do understand that this was their initial hook.

At first glance, you might think this is just a fan service show with no real plot or well defined characters, just nudity at every turn. This show was a huge surprise to me with how much fun I had watching Issei use his perverted abilities and hidden dragon powers to vanquish fallen angels after becoming a Gremory Devil.

One of the biggest surprises I found in this show was the girl Issei chooses in the end, after the show's build up could suggest otherwise. Personally, I never found a dull moment while watching this show, there was plenty of character development, humor, and some interesting fight scenes which was more fun to watch over some of the other shows that aired this season. Additionally some serious events would pop up and I found them to be quite interesting.

Overall the main cast was well defined. The story involves each of the core characters taking up a "role" or chess piece. Issei was the pawn, the weakest of them all but with the most potential. The chess piece system gave enough feedback behind each character that there was no need for any flashbacks or history of any other character. The characters were simple and straightforward, I was surprised with how much I enjoyed all of them despite neither of them receiving their own episode or special screen time. Each character was so different from each other that they made such entertaining comparisons.  

Surprisingly enough, there was a large background issue involving the Devils and Fallen Angles, not to mention the rather serious heartbreak Issei sustains after the first episode, which develops into a brilliant showing of Issei's inner emotions. The two key stories revolve around Issei's personal connections to three women, involving a close friend, a respectable sensei, and his first love. While the two stories were not at all serious events on the outside, they became compelling concerns that shape Issei and reveals his true nature underneath his perverted personality.

The bread and butter of the show, everything involved Issei's perverted nature and it was quite funny. I felt that this form of humor was not the best of it's kind, however each character reacted differently to every situation and Issei's perverted events, which was the real gem in this show. Every character reacted different to Issei and each of them developed a likable personality that contrasted with everyone else, no one was too similar.

Overall this was one of my favorite shows this season and I would definitely like to see a continuation, although I find that highly unlikely.


Bern's Thoughts:

Firstly, I learned of the show from maneki_neko, who linked me to the trailer saying that I'll like it because apparently all guys are supposed to like fanservice shows. After seeing said trailer, I didn't have very high hopes going into the show. After watching the finale, I felt surprisingly satisfied with the show overall, and I think that it's a lot better than other typical supernatural harem fanservice shows, and it should rank pretty up there in the genre.

Though the show blatantly presents itself as a fanservice show, I really only took note of it early on. After the first couple episodes, I just sort of glossed over all the various ecchi shots and paid attention to other things. So if you don't really care about the fanservice in a fanservice show, what is there left to see? For me, the characters were the main driving force. Each of the main girls had their own charms and they all satisfied certain archetypical panderings. Most importantly, I liked the main character more than your typical anime protagonist. Issei knew what he wanted, wasn't ashamed to show it, and was extremely determined to accomplish what he set out to do. Oh, let's not forget about Kiba; he was a pretty cool dude as well. All the members of the Occult Research Club meshed well together.

Story-wise, I never really take the stories of supernatural harems seriously and I found the plot in this show very acceptable. It used the idea chess pieces in an interesting way and their powers were pretty cool. The crowning moment of the plot was definitely during the final episode. When all hope seemed lost, Issei barges into the engagement party, beats the shit out of the bad guy with some clever thinking, and rides off into the night with his girl around his arm on a griffon. Not too bad.

Unlike a lot other light novel adaptions, the show paced it self really well, choosing to adapt only two volumes into a single cour. Good move. Overall, it was a humorous and enjoyable watch. Unfortunately, I don't think this show is selling well enough to warrant a second season, but if there is another season, I'd definitely watch it.