High School DxD Anime Review (Part One)

High School DxD Poster 01

Ho, ho, ho.^^/

Something has been bugging me for a while. The quote ‘killing two birds with one stone’ does not make sense. Sure, I know what the phrase means but it still doesn’t add up. Thinking logically, is it really possible to kill birds by throwing stones at them? I couldn’t kill a single bird with one stone, let alone two at the same time. Stones were made to kill Goliath, not birds. 😉

Ahem-

High School DxD is truly a wonderful anime. I put the Blu-ray on and my love for this anime rekindled. I knew how much this anime means to me but once I put the Blu-ray one my excitement for this anime has exploded. This is currently in the top five of my all-time favourite anime. It’s no secret that this contains a lot of skin exposure and kick-ass lady fighters but the story delves much deeper than the naked ladies. It involves ranking systems through chess pieces and kick-ass actions between devils, angels and fallen angels. It also involves the main protagonist’s school life as his comrades also go to the same school. I could go on but basically this anime ticks all the boxes of what I like to see in a story. =)

I decided to construct a little review of this and divide this into two parts. Part one will be about the specials that came with the Blu-ray disc 2. I wondered if I should make this part two for chronological order. Then I thought ‘oh, who gives a two milk shakes, I’m doing it anyway!’ And so, here is the result of my decision.

  1. SYNOPSIS

Issei Hyoudou, your typical high school student, dreams of having his very own harem of beautiful girls. The story begins when he goes on a date with an enchanting girl. His relationship was going well, until that fateful night… after she unveiled her mask as a fallen angel she brutally attacks and kills Issei. It’s not exactly an ideal start to any story but all is not lost. He is later ‘reincarnated’ into a devil by a red-haired beauty who later proclaims that she is his ‘master’. With his normal life now officially flushed down the toilet Issei is now caught up in the battle between the devils and the church. Who will come out triumphant?

  1. THEME
  • Action
  • Comedy
  • Ecchi[1]
  • Fantasy
  • Game
  • Harem[2]
  • Mature
  • Romance
  • School Life
  • Seinen[3]
  1. REVIEW

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

One of the best things about disc two, well, probably the best thing about disc two is the five minute specials. They’re called “Fantasy Jiggles Unleashed”. An apt name, if I do say so myself. Haha.

3.1. FANTASY JIGGLES UNLEASHED

3.1.1. ~Going to the Beach~

Ah, a beach episode, a compulsory must have for all anime. Haha.

It contained full of mishaps when Rias asked Issei to rub her back with oil… I could see this coming a mile away. One little slip and Issei gets into a ‘tangle’ with Rias. Asia then joins in and becomes part of that ‘tangle’. For some reason, Issei has to face the consequences and is buried in the sand. I found this to be a little harsh. Sure, I’m certain he got a kick out of it (who wouldn’t?) but did it really merit a punishment? Especially considering that what he did wasn’t deliberate.

3.1.2. ~Akeno’s Private Training~

This was, for one of the better word, engaging. Haha. It contains Akeno’s ‘training’. I was very intrigued since Issei and Akeno sort of manhandled each other. Again, Issei found himself in a sticky situation, as does Akeno…literally. Haha. I thought a physical relationship was brewing between the two, and I approved. I consider Rias and Asia as both the alpha females of the show and probably are the front runners to becoming the one for Issei… so this was an opportunity for Akeno to get chance. Until we see Issei hugging Asia in his sleep… it was a flipping dream and nothing more. Asia certainly doesn’t mind him hugging her too much, whether it’s deliberate or not. That’s interesting to see.

3.1.3. ~Koneko, a bit more bold~

Rias puts a magic spell on Issei’s ‘drink’ to combat his perverted-ness. However, since Koneko drunk this instead, it had the opposite effect and made her ultra-perverted. You could say she was a cat on heat. Haha. Asia was noble here. I like girls like Asia, someone who is timid yet very brave when they need to be. I whole heartedly approve. I thought Rias didn’t mind Issei’s dirty minded nature though? I found this slightly perplexing but then I remembered that these specials are nothing more but juicy extras.

3.1.4. ~The story of the first Dress Break~

Out of all the specials I would say this is probably the most probing for me. To me, Rias is very much out of character. Sure, it’s entertaining to watch but to see Rias being embarrassed about being naked seems very out of character. To see her hide her modesty seems rather strange. She even slept with Issei completely naked. Why would she get embarrassed now? Perhaps it’s more about being stripped rather than being naked? Akeno and Asia were in complete character when they were stripped. Asia didn’t mind being stripped as it would assist Issei in his training and Akeno didn’t mind because…she’s Akeno.

3.1.5. ~Making Udon Noodles~

What a surprise, all the udons turned into tentacles and groped all the ladies and neglected the guys… This was funny to watch because Rias is godly strong and I bet she could easily power her way out of those tentacles. Still, if she did that, they’d be no special episode. Haha!

3.1.6. ~Asia transforms~

Asia trying to be a ‘bad’ person and be more like a devil was undoubtedly my favourite. It’s very much like Asia to try and be one with the gang and impress everyone. Issei recognises this and finds her adorable, as do I. Of course Issei is perverted but he’s not O.T.T. He’s never taken advantage out of Asia’s good nature and he likes her for who she is. He said the right thing, Asia should be who she is, Asia. She is accepted for who she is and so she shouldn’t try to act any different. He did all the right things…

Except, he was careless exposing the hicky that Asia gave him. Issei was lucky that Rias didn’t go wild on him.

  1. BONUS

We have the introduction to the Occult Club where Issei and his two cronies introduce the main ladies of the show…poor Kiba. He’s part of the main cast yet because he’s not Issei and he doesn’t have boobs he’s completely overlooked. Haha. They were in form of audio episodes. We learn some interesting facts about each character.

I must say though, I’m not really sure how I feel about overly perverted characters, especially Issei’s cronies. The first overly perverted character that I came across was Tomoki Sakurai from Heaven’s Lost Property. At first I thought this was hilarious as I found it silly, daring and unexpected. However, it appears to be a common type of character in some anime. I must say though, the more characters I see with this trait, I less amusing I find them. Depending on how they are represented in the show I tend to find these types of characters more on the creepy side as oppose to funny. Talking about the girls, watching dirty dvds and dirty magazines is one thing, all young males do that. But, the issue for me would be if they go the extra mile and, for example, ‘peek’ on the ladies if they are changing clothes. Of course, I’m not implying that perverted characters shouldn’t exist but for me a line would probably have to be drawn. =)

More bonus features include the promotional video, the commercial collection and the US trailer of High School DxD. Admittedly, I never watch dub anime as I prefer listening to anime in Japanese.^^/ They also showed trailers for anime shows like Heaven’s Lost Property: Forte and Is This a Zombie? Of the Dead. They were fun to watch. =)

We also can indulge into the textless opening and ending songs. The opening is –Trip Innocent of D- by Larval Stage Planning and the closing is STUDY x STUDY by StylipS. Both are cracking songs and they blend in well with the video. Of course the visuals are sensual and stimulating but they’re appropriate for the story. We have to face the facts…the anime is all about the boobs. Haha. The sexual parts, whether in the specials, opening sequences or in the show itself, whilst not dominant it’s the underlining theme and is used in a tasteful manner. At least, that’s what I think. =)

The opening was quite dramatic if you look past the boobs, which I can imagine must be hard. We see beautifully illustrated visuals, especially the various emotions that Rias shown, especially with her crying. It proper had my heart pounding. I interpret on the ending to emphasize Issei’s possible harem. It’s like showing Issei as some poker dealer and Rias, Akeno and co being his ‘ladies’. This may sound weird but I thought Rias and Asia cuddling up to him rather cute. Once again I feel sorry for Kiba as he didn’t get enough love…then again, he does get showered with attention from the female extras but they’re irrelevant. 😉

  1. CONCLUSION

I’ve not even touch on the anime itself but disc 2 was brilliant and had loads of features that I didn’t really know existed. The story has a deep meaning but you probably wouldn’t believe me if you watched the specials first. The specials contained mostly saucy moments and are in no way connected with the main plot…well, the Dress Break is debatable.

The only thing that I probably questioned is how the specials represented Rias. To me, she was out of character multiple times. I know I’ve been probing and questioning how Rias is used during the review but really they’re just fleeting thoughts on my part. I can easily look outside the box and just enjoy it. After all, the specials were specifically made for juicy extras.

I could re-watch the specials and the textless opening and ending countless of times and never tire of them. There’s no deep meaning to these specials at all, it’s just light-hearted fun. =)

Two Thumb’s-Up. (My Rating System) (My Anime Rankings)

Two Thumbs-Up

THANKS FOR READING

Rias Gremory Eye catch

I will get round to reviewing the actual series at some point but hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading this casual bantering blog. =)

Thanks for reading. =)

Sayonara.^^/

Ryan.

[1] This manga contains risqué and sexy moments or lecherous characters.

[2] In this anime all the ladies are gunning after one man and/or lady.

[3] The target audience of this manga is towards an older gentleman with the age range from 18 to 30.

Senran Kagura Skirting Shadows Volume One Review

Senran Kagura Skirting Shadows Volume 1

  1. SYNOPSIS

To the average eye Hanzou[1] National Academy is a prestigious school. However, unbeknown to the average student this school educates five special female students who are training and learning to be ninjas. Asuka and her friends represent the good ninja and strive to bring justice and peace to Japan. However, Hanzou’s rival ninja school, Hebi[2], have opposite views on this matter. How will Asuka and her friends handle Hebi’s slithering advances?

  1. THEME
  • Action
  • Comedy
  • Ecchi[3]
  • Martial Arts
  • School
  • Supernatural
  • Seinen[4]
  1. REVIEW

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

I was slightly hyped up for this when I saw the advertisements for the game and after I played the game. It’s one of my favourite games for the Nintendo 3DS. If I enjoyed the game then I would probably enjoy the manga as well. So, I’ve acquired myself the first volume of Senran Kagura.

What I enjoyed the most here is the action and all the girls beating each other to a bloody pulp. Haha. Whilst it’s no secret that there’s heavy fanservice in this manga I do think there is a hidden agenda to this manga. As well as going through physical battles with one another, each character is going through personal battles as well. Katsuragi desires a strong opponent to push her to the limits, Hibari is battling her low self-confidence in her abilities as a ninja and Ikaruga has family issues.

I like all the characters. Katsuragi is your perverted girl who acts like a lecherous old man. Despite her in-your-face attitude she is someone you can depend on and will get serious if she needs to. She also seems to have a bit of a sad history that involves her dog. She also has a kickass fighting style that involves a lot of upside down helicopter kicks. I tend to do very well when I play as Katsuragi in the game. Haha.

Hibari is a very sweet girl, and like Hinata from the Naruto series she isn’t really cut out to be a ninja due to her kind personality. However, much like Hinata from the Naruto series she is determined to hone her skills as a ninja and go beyond. I think that she might be holding herself back because deep down it isn’t in her nature to hurt people. Ironically, I’m not sure if it’s because of her alias with the Rabbit, but she seems to have very heightened senses.

Then we have Yagyuu, who is very cool and very strong. Probably a little bit too over-protective of Hibari but she really rocks that eye-patch. Was she secretly assigned to look over Hibari? Or, is Yagyuu looking over Hibari of her own choice? Asuka is a nice girl, but I would like to learn more about her. It’s funny and quirky that all the girls hide their scrolls in their chests and up their skirts. How does Katsuragi manage to hold the scroll in her skirt in the first? Actually. It would be best that I remain ignorant, so I will withdraw my own question. XD

Finally, we have Ikaruga, the mature and big sister type character. She is my favourite character. Whilst she is mature and dependable I do get the sense that she might be a little bit naïve, almost to the point where she isn’t really that street wise. Perhaps it’s because she was adopted into her family and had a hard time growing up. I also get the sense that she often wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s mature but she’s also very cute when it comes to expressing her emotions.

The students of Hebi, or at least certain ones, invade Hanzou and battle certain students like Asuka and Katsuragi. So far, it seems like it’s a bit one-sided. Kiryuu’s choice of words to his students was interesting. I think his mind was a bit conflicted. I think he was about to praise the girls after they survived Hebi’s onslaught, but thought otherwise. In his mind he probably thought that reassuring them might do more harm than good. So, he decided to give them a bit of tough love treatment. Evidently, it seems like it had the desired effect judging by their reactions.

  1. BONUS

There weren’t really extras at the end, just comments by Mori, the PR and in charge of advertisement and Kinichiro Takaki. There is a postscript and a page describing Yagyuu’s daily activities. That’s worth a read in my opinion. =)

  1. CONCLUSION

Despite the heavy fanservice I do think we have a potential plot on our hands. Haruka appears to be interested in Hibari. It’ll be interesting to see why. When you look at the ‘evil people’ you would think that they are literally evil. However, I think in this case they act pretty normal and some of their reactions to situations are rather comedic, especially Haruka’s.

I must say that it’s pretty much what I’ve expected. It’s just full of girls beating the snot out of each other but with the juicy bonus of exposing skin. What were the odds of that happening? Haha. It’s pretty much like the game but this is the 2D version of the 3D (obviously) haha. I’ve enjoyed this story a lot more than I thought I would but at this moment in time I do think I prefer the game over the manga. Probably because the game has a lot more story material then the manga. I do think that is to be expected though.

One-Thumb’s Up. (My Rating System)

Thumbs-Up

  1. OFF-TOPIC

High School DxD BorN

The airing date for High School DxD 3rd season has been confirmed. It’s going to air in April 2015 and its official title is “High School DxD BorN”. Many theories come to mind why the word ‘BorN’ is present but for now I’ll keep those thoughts reserved. I’m just delighted that we finally have a confirmation date. Hopefully Crunchyroll will air this online. 🙂

Monster Musume Volume 5 is also number one in the New York Times for the second week in a row. I can’t express how happy I am to see MonMusu doing so well in the western market.

I also think that SevenSeas is slowly becoming my favourite manga publishers. They’re practically licensing all the manga that I like and they interact with the fans via Tumblr and Twitter. =)

THANKS FOR READING

Senran Kagura Burst

It’s quite ironic since I never planned to review this manga at all, but all of a sudden I just felt like reading this. Reading Senran Kagura has suddenly tempted me to play the Senran Kagura Burst game.

I really enjoy that game but I gave myself a break as I’m a bit stuck. I’m doing very well playing as Ikaruga and Katsuragi and doing fairly well with Asuka. However, I must say that I’m really struggling getting past the first few hurdles with Hibari. I could go on further with Ikaruga but I want to try and have Hibari catch up and reach her level. At this moment in time thought it’s proving to be difficult. Haha.

On that note, I’m going to play Senran Kagura Burst. I’ll see you folks around. =)
Sayonara.^^/

Ryan.

[1] Hanzou Academy is named after the famous samurai and ninja of the Sengoku era, Hattori Hanzō. He was credited to saving the life of Tokugawa Ieyasu and assisted him to become the ruler of united Japan.

[2] Hebi is Japanese translation for “snake”.

[3] This manga contains risqué and sexy moments or lecherous characters.

[4] The target audience of this manga is towards an older gentleman with the age range from 18 to 30.