With the onslaught of ecchi titles that have come out this past year or so, there hasn’t really been many of them that have the distinct charm or courage as some of the great ones. They are all devoid of any pleasure or wit in how fan-service can be portrayed as colorful and sometimes ascetically beautiful in its artistry and dialogue. However, with that said, there are sometimes great gems hidden in the genre that actually does provide great comedy and memorable characters. Enter High School DxD.
The series started out with the first season as, in my mind, as a decent comedy/fan-service show with plenty of entertainment to behold. Unfortunately, to its set-backs, most of the characters didn’t get enough deep characterization except for Rias, Asia, and Issei. Now we have High School DxD New, with a new story, plenty of glorious fan-service that makes the previous series pale in comparison in this aspect, and plenty more character development that was lacking in the first season. It is because of these three examples that makes this season the best one of the series so far.
It’s one thing if there are plenty of fan-service to your show to rank up with the great ones, but how does the art design fair with the show? By far, this series has some of the best character designs I’ve ever seen in any ecchi anime. All of the girls are drawn exquisitely gorgeous and are very easy on the eyes. Typically in this type of genre, you have to talk about the breasts and whether if they are over-emphasized to the point where they don’t compliment to the girls’ figures. While it may depend on what you feel is too much for your size, the breasts in this show actually compliment all of the girls’ bodies and don’t feel out-of-place at all given how they are beautifully drawn. It is also a huge plus for the studio’s part to actually show the breasts in full uncensored glory and no annoying white fog.
Now with the actual fan-service itself, there are plenty of reasons to like certain fan-service scenes in any show but if you want to make it fun and exciting for someone like me who wants good writing put into his fan-service show, you can’t always put one in every single minute. Contrary to popular belief, there can be an intelligent way of putting fan-service into your show. The key is good pacing in-between each joke and good writing that is both quirky and funny that don’t feel old after each continuing episode. In DxD New’s case, they actually spread the fan-service far apart enough to where they all feel new and fresh every time you are shown one. From the first second of the show, you’re already put into a situation where you have Rias’s gorgeous naked body cuddling with Issei and it’s done with very clever intentions thanks to Issei’s funny dialogue.
Onto the actual characters themselves, they all are still lovable and charming as ever in this second installment. At first, Issei can seem a bit over-eccentric at times with his love of oppai but it’s one of those things where you can’t help but love the guy for his pure passion for something that he loves. It does help that he is voiced by the always mystifying Yuki Kaji who seems to always pop up in the most random shows these days; I also consider him somewhat the king of perverted characters in this current age of anime at this point. The one and only Rias Gremory is back and isn’t afraid to rev up the funny nature of the show up a notch with her fantastic body and it doesn’t help for us with poor hearts that the always sexy Yoko Hikasa voices her, which in mind is just perfect casting. However, the one character that has now shot up to new heights of greatness is Akeno who is given more development that she so desperately needed and good heavens was it a wonderful experience seeing her hilarious seductive moments to Issei.
Supporting cast is, unfortunately, hit and miss for this season. We’ve already had Asia’s development in the previous season so there’s not much to talk about in her role here but it is nice to see her jealous moments here and there, always a nice laugh. The ones that are a hit are Xenovia and Yuuto who are good for different reasons. Yuuto’s plot arc involving him and his role in the club is now fully developed in his plot arc in this season and it’s actually done with good effect in his own personal struggles with coming to terms of his past. Xenovia is good in a different way. Not that her development was bad by any means, but her dialogue involving Issei is some of the funniest of the season by far. Her wanting to have a baby with Issei has to be the most brilliant comedic scene in the entire series in how it comes out of nowhere and how it is written so funny. The rest of the good characters in the season are definitely Rias’s brother and father who I would love to shake their hand in showing us an embarrassed Rias.
For the ones that were a miss are the ones who don’t leave much of an impression, unlike the ones I’ve mentioned above. There are times where characters, one in particular Irina Shidou, seem like they are going to have a bigger impact with the show’s story but they are hardly even there once the story progresses. It is a real shame because Irina seemed like she would be a wonderful character see in funny situations with Issei. Koneko is another character that is hardly ever given anything to work for other than to show off her combat abilities and say disgusted remarks at Issei’s perverted behavior. With the side characters, they aren’t initially supposed to have a lot of material to heighten the plot and comedy but the writers could’ve at least come up with more interesting things for them to do so we can care for them.
Now with the characters out-of-the-way, how is the plot fare with the fan-service? While the plot in the first season wasn’t anything really groundbreaking or special, it was mostly driven through character interaction and with this new season it fares a little better in how they introduce interesting plot arcs. Luckily the melodramatic moments in the first season are hardly in this season so it doesn’t seem so hokey and eye-rolling in how undramatic it was. Not to say there aren’t any serious moments, there are plenty of them, but they aren’t done in a way where I would roll my eyes in how out-of-place it is with the tone of the show.
So with all that’s said and done, High School DxD New is a welcoming sequel to the lovable franchise that shows no limits to censorship and great oppai. Unprofessional as I make it to be, there’s an underlying fact of life that we are all human and we love to look at pictures or videos that gives us pleasure and makes us happy to be alive. We all need to keep this in mind when judging shows such as High School DxD, whether you love it or hate it. If there is something we can all agree on, is giving us the existence of Rias-senpai; what more could you ask for?