So anime usually gets a bad rap from people that aren’t fans of the genre. We’re not talking about the people that have only seen Akira and Ninja Scroll (one day I’m going to rip into Ninja Scroll and why it’s utter trash) and think that those films were awesome, but never really found anything else that they like. No, the bad rap comes from the masses whose only incounters with the genre are either what their kids watch/play (Dragonball Z, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh) or most likely what they’ve seen on the internet. The children monster shows are mostly harmless and edited down to be even more so. The stigma that anime carries comes from the more perverted fetishes and tropes baked into the culture. You most likely know them if you’re reading this: lolicon, dissproportionate female anatomy, near embarrassing levels of sexual hormones pumping in teenage males, “sparkly eyes” (as my girlfriend calls them). You get the drift and that’s without actually talking about the adult stuff that is the easiest to recall because of extremeness.
For the record, High School DxD is not here to help lift the perverted stigma from anime.
Also for the record, High School DxD is (thankfully) no Queen’s Blade. High School DxD (HSDxD from now on) tells the story of Hyoudou Issei, one of three friends that transferred to a girls academy that recently became co-ed. He and his friends, whose names escape me, are perverts. They do nothing more than fantasize about women all the time. And not just certain girls of the school, they seem to fantasize about every girl in the school, to the point where in the 1st episode, one of them is rattling off measurements as if they were car specs. One girl in particular that Issei fantasizes about is Rias Gremory, an exchange student with long red hair and a the body of a busty 27 year old.
One day, from seemingly no where, a girl named Yuuma asks Issei to be her boyfriend. Of course being the frustrated and perpeutually horny male that he is, he sees absolutely nothing wrong with this and wholehaertedly agrees. He goes to school with Yuuma the next day and as they leave at the end of the day, she asks Issei to a date on Sunday. Again, thinking with only the head in his pants, Issei agrees. Sunday comes and the couple have a great time together shopping, sightseeing, and enjoy a sundae at some cafe. As the day turns to night, the couple walk to a park and Yuuma asks for a favor. That favor is for Issei to die. Yuuma reveals that she is a Fallen Angel, has black angel wings and says that he has become a threat to them. She then promptly skewers Issei with a blade made of light and leaves him to bleed out. He’s saved as with his dying thoughts he wishes to see Rias once more and she comes through a magic circle and saves Issei.
The plot basically turns into Issei is now a demon slave and works for Rias, who is a demon herself. Together with other members fo the Occult Club, who are also all demons, fight the fallen angels and angels from killing them all off.
Character designs are nothing worth writing home about. Issei looks like he could have come out of a mid 90’s mecha show and his wild and ridiculous actions were probably pulled from the same show. Rias, as we stated earlier, has a ridiculous body especially for a teenager. It only makes sense in this show becasue she’s a demon, but it’s still a stretch.
The rest of the cast so far (3 episodes in) is forgetable in terms of both design and personality. The rest of the Occult Club consists of the pretty boy male, another overly developed teenage girl, and a loli. The church has at least one crazy priest and Asia Argento, a nun that seems like she’ll be Issei’s actual love interest and reason for fighting. Note, that this nun looks nothing like Asia Argento the Italian actress.
The action thus far has been less than exciting thus far. There is a fair amount of nudity though. Honestly, I wish they’d cut to the fighting or better yet, the plot. There hasn’t been any kind of villain identified yet, unless you count Yuuma, whose motives have not been establised. Issei has been skewered twice, shot, and generally got his ass beat in a non-awesome manner. The one fight where the rest of the Occult Club take on some stray demon, it turns into an animated version of a turn-based battle ala FFVII: Advent Children.
The animation is nothing worth while either. That is, during the actual show. The end credits though, got the budget blown on them. Seriously, the end credits are actually the best animation during the entire show and that’s not just because of the content. Don’t take our word for it, see for yourself.
The music is complete meh. OP and ED are okay and aren’t so cringe worth that they have to be skipped or muted, but they’re not memorable either. That’s a shame too, as they are magnitudes more memorable that the music actaully played during the show.
High School DxD is shaping up to be a boatload of meh. Unless you want to oggle animated breasts, there is little motivation to keep on this one. Dragging a tugboat worth of anime stereotypes doesn’t help the show either. Unless this show really picks up its feet, it’s going to be a 13 episode run. And that might still be too long.
The Marduk Rating:
Man the Torrents!
Growing up the son of a West Coast Video Manager, Sean-Paul has literally been playing video games for as long as he can remember. Starting as a wee little boy in his room with a 7” black and white TV and his Atari 2600 with Tank Plus, not much has changed, just the room and television have gotten bigger. When not gaming, Sean-Paul is usually cooking, watching anime, or riding his bike around Singapore and dreaming up his next computer build.