High School DxD – 01
「彼女、できました！」 (Kanojo, Dekimashita!)
“I Got A Girlfriend”
A school that has changed from an all-girls school to a co-ed one. Gasp! I have never heard of such a thing before. Other than twice last season…and 15,532 times before that. And I’m alright with this!
…okay, let’s get this out of the way first: High School DxD is many things, but original or terribly subtle are not among them. If you’re looking for arte (with a trill on those r’s), you’re not going to like this show. If, however, you’re looking for something silly, ridiculous, carefree, shameless and above all, fun, this show has it in spades. You just have to lean back, suspend your disbelief and enjoy it for what it is.
So, what is it? It’s a show about super pervert Hyoudou Issei (Kaji Yuuki), whose only goal in life is to grope some breasts. He’s joined by his two friends in perversion, the one with the glasses and the other one who looks like a monkey. They might have names, but if so I don’t know them. They’re not really important, anyway. The important thing is that Megane-kun can rattle off any girl’s three sizes in .0004 seconds flat and Saru-san knows all the best peeping places and porn stores. Subtle? No. Original? No. But is it funny when they abandon Issei and let him get pummeled by the entire girl’s kendo team? You’re damn right it was!
Things start to get interesting when a girl confesses to Issei. No one is more surprised than him, except perhaps his friends. Seriously, look at those faces! These Two Guys are hilarious! Such emotion! Can we get some Reaction Guys strips made of these two? 20 Stilts Points1 to whoever makes the best one. I expect great things. Or to be ignored completely. You know, whatever.
…but I digress. Things start to get even better when Yuuma-chan asks Issei out on a date Sunday. And then kills him. After an extended transformation sequence. Seriously, what were you expecting Issei? Devils, magic and boobs the size of cantaloupes on steroids I can accept, but a girl asking a super pervert like you out? You might as well have announced that you were about to retire and asked what could possibly go wrong2. Just doesn’t happen in real life. Complete fantasy. Issei gets points for focusing on what’s important while his girlfriend is transforming and he’s dying – the boobs. She should have let you squeeze them indeed!
Luckily for Issei, Rias Gremory3 (Hikasa Youko) was around to cast Revive on him, and he’s soon back to watching porn with his buddies. And getting impaled by a fallen angel. Seriously Issei, twice in one episode? What do you think you are, a zombie? But this time Toujou Koneko (Taketatsu Ayana), Himejima Akeno (Itou Shizuka) and Rias-sempai are around this time, and they save Issei. He then wakes up in his bed (for the third time), naked (for the first time), next to an equally naked Rias-sempai (definitely for the first time). She then tells him that she’s his master.
Issei, you lucky dog you.
But that’s enough summarizing. When I watch an anime (or read manga, or a book, or see a movie, or watch my parent’s geriatric dogs fight over a milk bone), I always ask myself one question: was it entertaining? Because that’s really the point of this whole thing. If I sit down, watch a show and am entertained, then that’s a victory. If not, someone messed up. And of course, there are many different kinds of entertainment – intellectual, philosophical, empathetic, visceral – but the question remains: was it entertaining. And to me High School DxD was! From the blond bishie who always sparkles to the wicked smiles of the first two women to barge (violently) into Issei’s life, the amusing premise combines with ridiculous character and over-the-top reactions make this an enjoyable first episode. Also, the boobs. And etcetera. Those didn’t hurt either.
And you know what? There were even some rather clever parts. Did you notice the deal with the alarm clocks? The first one was a cute girl waking him up, the second a morbid chainsaw-wielding murderer, and the third a perky meido chirping “master, master!”. Each one reflected Issei’s mood, and hinted at something that just happened (even when us viewers didn’t know quite yet). See, even a show as shameless as this one can be subtle from time to time. Let’s just hope it doesn’t get in the way of Issei building his harem. Banzai!
* One full-length image, courtesy of Divine: 39. Yum!
OP: 「Trip -innocent of D-」 by Larval Stage Planning
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼
1 Redeemable for absolutely nothing ever. You’re free to lord them over other people, though. Just make sure to keep track of how many you have, because I sure won’t be!
2 I’m quite fond of TVTropes, in case you haven’t noticed. My friends certainly have.
3 99-58-90…eat your heart out, Barbie.