The Summer of Love delivers a second post this week. I’ll be flying home, so while posts will be slow for the next few days, I wanted to make sure I threw up at least one more.
Recently I asked several of my fellow bloggers to give me some quotes on what they thought about High School DxD, and they happily responded. Some gave me long answers, others did not! Some love the series, others don’t care for it. Both of these are equally important, cause shows like High School DxD and Ecchi are not for everyone, but it is important, I think at least, to give the genre the respect it is due. Join me after the cut as I share some of these quotes from fellow bloggers!
High School DxD is the perfect show for teenage boys. This descriptor is normally used as a pejorative, but in this particular instance, I have to praise it for it — and I wish it had been around when I was growing up.
It has some of the most spectacularly hot ladies in all of Japanese popular media, and they often get naked. It has gorgeously overblown action sequences. It has an amazing soundtrack. It has a well-crafted setting with deep lore that is rewarding to look into further. And it tells an enjoyable story where you can easily place yourself in the shoes of the protagonist to immerse yourself fully in the experience.
I’m 38 years old now, but I still carry an inner teenager within me who desires to be indulged every now and then. High School DxD consistently satisfies those desires every time I watch it… and even when I don’t have time to catch an episode, man, STUDYxSTUDY is a great tune to start your day with if you need a little pick-me-up!
High School DxD knows exactly what it is, and it doesn’t attempt to hide it. It knows who its audience is, and it welcomes them in with open arms and a warm, soft bosom. Is it for everyone? Absolutely not, but the most interesting media out there always takes aim for a very specific audience rather than a committee-approved, overly sanitized scattershot approach.
While I have some friends that seem to like it a lot, I honestly don’t know that much about High School DxD. It never seemed like a series that I would personally enjoy myself, but maybe that’s wrong. At some point, I should check it out to at least have an opinion of it. Otherwise, I have been keeping my distance from judging it further then I have any right to.
I guess my overall take on Highschool DxD is that it’s probably the best overarching story / world design I’ve ever encountered in a harem / ecchi anime, period. The three-way supernatural dynamic between demons, fallen angels, and angels is awesome. I never liked how the anime danced the line with Issei though, portraying him as a pervert, but when in a lewd situation he becomes incredibly embarrassed / scared of girls.
I think as a “shounen” style protagonist, with his progression, Issei is a good character. But the “perverted” side of him never felt believable to me. I wonder if he would have been better off portrayed as a regular boy, instead of trying to sell him as a pervert.
One thing that’s always bothered me is, do you pronounce it D x D, D by D, or Double D… Anyhow, I was fairly late to the party and was able to binge the first three seasons one Christmas. Merry fricking Christmas to me! I love everything about High School DxD. Season four is the reason I started watching seasonal anime and it’s the first time I’ve been so wrapped up in a love story that I threatened to kick Issei in the nuts if he didn’t tell Rias how he felt about her. It has action, intrigue, romance, mystery, and a whole lot of fan-service. It’s awesome!!!
Let’s see. I quite enjoy harems and as they are often adapted from VNs I find it interesting from a craftsmanship standpoint how to reconcile branching story lines into a single clear one. I also think it’s occasionally interesting at how anime attempts to clean up the original story-lines. It can make for some hilariously awkward scene.
As for ecchi, it seems to mean something different to every fan but if we take it as either softcore pornography or prevalent and explicit fanservice…well I don’t actually have that many thoughts. I like it when it’s done well, pretty much like anything else in anime.
Have you ever watched a show that seemed like it wanted to be ecchi, but it couldn’t quite commit? Something like Date a Live (and I mean no disrespect — I enjoyed that show!) that seemed to want to be sexy, but decided to be a lot more tame?
High School DxD didn’t have that problem. From the first time we meet Issei Hyoudou, we see that he’s a healthy young adult. His imagination is overwhelmed by the number of beautiful women around him. After his death, we learn he wanted to be the center of a harem. I’m thinking, “Yeah, I’ve seen this before. He’s going to be a grabby jerk and the girls will still love him for it.”
And then I began to experience the greatness that is High School DxD. No, he wasn’t a grabby jerk. In fact, he didn’t have a chance to even try! If he had, I’m convinced Koneko Toujou would have killed him again. Akeno Himejima would have fried him. Rias Gremory would have slapped him a lot more than she did.
We started to get an idea of who Issei was when he met Asia Argento. She ended up falling in love with him precisely because he was nice to her. I think how he treated Asia, including the lengths he was willing to go to rescue her, really got the other members of Rias’ household to look at him differently.
But Issei not being a typical harem MC was only part of the appeal. This show leaned heavily on its ecchi themes. Even by the fourth season, Issei could fully power up only after poking Rias’ breasts. There was a children’s song about the Oppai Dragon. One of his super powers was exploding women’s clothes off. His ability called boob-lingual allowed him to read a woman’s secrets.
That’s not half-hearted at all!
Issei is just one part of the equation. High School DxD excels at presenting literally powerful women. Akeno’s nickname is Priestess of Thunder, and she isn’t the least bit shy about showing why. Koneko is a physical workhorse despite her diminutive stature. Rias is not only magically powerful, she’s a strong, canny leader who understand politics. Even Asia, who’s the least assertive, speaks up about what she wants.
When you combine an interesting MC who isn’t a grabby jerk with powerful, independent women who begin to like him for the right reasons, you get a unique combination. Add in a dedication to its core themes, and you have the uniquely enjoyable supernatural harem called High School DxD.