High School DxD Hero Episode 1 – Anime QandA Review

An Anime QandA review for High School DxD Hero Episode 1.

What’s the show? High School DxD Hero, Episode 1.

Wait, didn’t we review episode 1 last week? No… that was episode 0, please keep up! It’s not that difficult.

Fuh, fine… so what’s changed since last week? Well, considering the previous episode was just a retcon of the last few eps of season 3, we’re now in all new territory here! A brand new plot line to go along with the fancy new animation and art style!

What are you all looking at?!

Oh! So what exciting new story do we have for season 4?! It’s another Rating Game story arc, just like in season 1 and season 3…

Oh… is that bad? Well~ it depends how they handle it, if it’s done like in season 1 then I’m all for it, something that’s high stakes and well executed but not a confusing mess or over in one punch like it was handled in season 3.

Well you ARE shorter than most of them…

Are you confident the new studio will deliver? Well if the first episode is anything to go by, I am confident! They spend nearly 10 minutes on a little sparring match between our protagonist Issei and Sairaorg, a super powerful devil who he’ll be fighting for real in the rating game, and not only is it a well-animated, easy to follow fight but it’s also got tons of little details that really enhance the scene, like Issei’s armour taking damage and having to self repair, the physical toll that the fight is taking on him and his inner monologue as he pushes through the pain and his joy in finding an opponent who actually respects his power and abilities rather than talking down to him. It was miles away from what season 3 was and had had some of the better moments of the entire series.

You go Issei!

High praise! And not just that, we also got a touching moment between Issei and Rias on the train platform as he’s about to leave on his class trip to Kyoto. A kiss! And it felt so genuine and nice, I had to check I was still watching High School DxD!

Dawww!

Is that all that happened? No, there was some nice moments at the Gremory mansion, getting to check in with Rias’ older brother Sirzechs’ as well as her mother, father and younger brother, also a probably unnecessary moment between Koneko, though I only say that because I think her character was given the most disservice in season 3 and that was the one thing they didn’t fix with their episode 0 retcon.

Still cute though!

But other than that? Other than that I’m excited for DxD again, sure there’s some complaining that this new studio is somehow adverse to showing nipples, and while yes it’s technically true there’s a lot less nipple on display than previous seasons, it is early days, and I mean if the only reason you’re watching High School DxD is for the fan-service, then… well I don’t know what to say…

Like mother, like daughter.

So recommended? Absolutely! Things feel like they’re getting back on track and that’s exciting! The writing’s better, the animation’s better, the fights are better and the story isn’t a jumbled and confusing mess (yet). Highly recommended for fans of this series!

High School DxD BorN – 20 Question Anime Review (Moderate Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for High School DxD BorN.

What’s the show? High School DxD BorN (2015).

Oh yeah, the demon boob show, you reviewed season 1 a while ago, so why are we reviewing this one now? Oh no reason…

It’s because there’s a new season airing soon isn’t it, and you thought might drive more readers to the site? Maaaybeee—

Right, so obviously you have something to say otherwise this would just be a rehash of the first season’s review? Indeed I do, because this, the third season of High School DxD, is actually quite disappointing.

Don’t cry, it’s not all bad!

Wait, 3rd season? What about the 2nd season? You haven’t done a review for that yet?! You want a review High School DxD Season 2 (a.k.a High School DxD New)? Okay, it’s pretty much the same as the first, it’s fun and entertaining and full of fan-service and interesting characters and good action and world-building. 89 out of 100.

Okay… thanks I guess? Well you asked for it!

This was hilarious btw.

I did, I did. Wait, season 2 was called ‘New’ wby is season 3 called ‘BorN’? No idea…

Well what do you know? I know that whoever was responsible for this season really dropped the ball. Like it’s kind of maddening, how that all the pieces were in place and yet there’s oh so many flaws with the execution.

Such as? Well first and most glaringly is the show just keeps adding more and more characters which might be fine if you’re reading the light novel version and you have chapters and chapters and even whole books to get to know about them, but in the show they are thrown in so quickly and in later episodes we’re even introduced to characters who are like seriously important and influential figures who’ve been secret masterminds behind things from as early back as season one only for them to be killed off in a single scene!

And to be fair this was one of the rare action scenes that was actually impressive.

Yikes, that does sound pretty bad. And I can’t speak for the source material because I haven’t read it, but I have to assume that so many of these big battle scenes had to at least go on longer in the books because otherwise I have to wonder what the point of them even is! Because in the show it doesn’t feel like they’re truncated because that’s how they’re supposed to be it feels like they’re abbreviated for budgetary reasons. And I get it, animating massive battles with a dozen main characters all with different powers and transformations fighting towering fantasy creatures would be expensive but if that’s the case then don’t put so much content into the season in the first place!

Oh noes the main character is dead in episode 3 of the series, I totally believe this…

How do you mean? This season feels so rushed, like I appreciate they probably wanted to have some pretty key dramatic moments in but they’re put in at the expense of making a well-paced story. Say what you will about seasons 1 and 2 but they never felt like they were skipping over things or cutting corners but here it just feels so lazy! Which is a shame because…

Because? The harem-y stuff is as good as it’s ever been, like the episodes that are at school or at home are genuinely fun to watch, even the irl waifu—who yes is still watching the show with me even after all the gratuitous fan-service and harem nonsense—was relieved when the show stopped being the confusing, rushed mess it was during the action and story oriented episodes and went back to the light-hearted, comedic toned harem episodes.

She’s just the best.

So it’s still got its head in the game as it were? I’ll take it that that’s some sort of crude innuendo.

Ahem, what I mean is that the show is still doing the whole harem thing right then? For the most part, just…

More of her please.

Just what? They kinda ruined Koneko.

Oh? How? Well she was always the one who was the most resistant to Issei, constantly calling him out on his pervertedness. While never full tsundere, the fact that she didn’t really want anything to do with him was a part of her charm. And that goes out the window here. Also they made her a cat girl, because of course they did. (And yes, I know it was foreshadowed because of her name, but it’s still kinda dumb).

Ugh.

So the harem grows ever further. I wouldn’t mind if it’d had taken the whole season for Koneko to warm to Issei, but it’s like a single episode from her being cold and critical to her sitting on his lap and purring. Like guys, you can have her be attracted to him and not make it upend her character, just do it gradually!

Sounds like you don’t have much positive to say for the show. Not true! The rest of the characters are great, there’s enough growth to make it feel like they’re not stagnating while enough humour to alleviate whatever inherent creep factor comes from the idea of a harem. There’s glimmers of the show it used to be and it’s almost worth it for that alone.

She’s still cool! Sometimes… rarely…

So with season 4 on the horizon are you hopeful? I just hope they have enough restraint to not rush the action and increasingly convoluted plot and focus on what made the show so great in the first place. But yes, I am hopeful.

Final score and recommendation? It’s hard to do a recommendation for a third season of something because let’s face it, if you’re reading this you’ve either already watched it and have your own opinion on it or never will watch it. So basically this is just my verdict on the season and an arbitrary numerical score attached to it. The problems of the show only compound when it comes to the plot and are alleviated by the light-hearted harem parts. But ultimately it’s the characters and their interactions and growth that has me coming back. 72 out of 100.

Ahem.

If you liked my review and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

patreon

kofi2

Highschool DxD – 20 Question Anime Review (Mild Spoilers)

A 20 Question Anime Review for Highschool DxD.

What’s the show? Highschool DxD?

And what’s it about? Broadly, an uneasy three-way truce between Angels, Demons and Fallen Angels and trying to keep that truce lest all hell breaks loose and everyone on Earth is subjected to a war of biblical proportions.

Hey, that sounds kind of cool, a bit like ‘Supernatural’? ‘Supernatural’, oh you mean the one-season anime about two brothers travelling across America killing demons?

No I mean the (as of this writing) 13 season, US live-action TV show, about two brothers travelling across America killing demons. If it’s not anime, I don’t care.

Anyway, so you said that’s what the show is broadly about so what is it really about? Boobs!

HighSchoolDxD1

Of course it is. Is it a harem anime? Yes, and one of the best ones at that.

So what quantifies a good harem anime over a bad one? A likable male protagonist, female characters who are genuinely good friends with each other and have interests other than the protagonist. Plus having a genuinely interesting and well-developed story as a backdrop to the harem shenanigans is always a big winner.

So it’s a good story too then? Hey, it’s legitimately so good that you could make an edit of the show without any fan service or harem subplots and the show would still stand up on it’s own.

What is the plot then? Just quickly. Hyodo Issei is a bit of a loser and quite a lot of a pervert when one day he is killed by a fallen angel because he secretly possess a great powerful and ancient weapon. He is resurrected by demon, President of the occult research society and all around flawless specimen Rias Gremory who sees in him great potential and decides to train him as a part of her household.

HighSchoolDxD2

Would you say the harem side of the show is unnecessary? The harem side of the story contributes to the plot; it makes sense in-universe why all these powerful girls would be attracted to him and none of the girls are in love with him just because of what he is but rather non-supernatural things, like his kindness or his braveness or his determination or his compassion.

Cool, and so you mentioned something about boobs before? Oh yeah! Issei is kind of a fiend when it comes to boobs, his story arc for the first season is that he wants to touch Rias Gremory’s boobs – consensually of course.

A-ha… what was that about ‘kindness, braveness, determination and compassion’ before? Hey! You can be all those things and a pervert; they’re not mutually exclusive.

So who’s your best girl? Rias Gremory is the easy pick, just because we get so much more of her back-story than any of the other girls, though that changes as things go on. As of season one Rias is best girl but I reserve the choice to change my mind come future seasons.

HighSchoolDxDGif2

Changing best girl? Isn’t there some kind of rule about that? Is there?

I don’t know… I thought I could be cool and pretend like I knew something about anime that you didn’t. You’ll never be as cool as me.

If being ‘cool’ means owning an anime body pillow then I think I’ll pass. Don’t you talk bad about my Rize-chan!

Ahem, so you mentioned other seasons? Three seasons, soon to four come mid-2018.

That’s a lot of boobs! You’re telling me!

HighSchoolDxD4

Any thing else to say about Highschool DxD? Even if the idea of harem and fanservice heavy anime isn’t all that appealing to you, there are enough interesting plot points, exciting action scenes and well-developed characters to carry the show through. If however you are into fanservice and beautiful girls and the kind of humour that can come from a well-written harem, then Highschool DxD is heartily recommended. 88 out of 100.

Heh, 88 looks like two sets of boobs. Now who’s the pervert?

HighSchoolDxDGif1