High School DxD New
Eager to fulfill his dream of building his own harem, Issei Hyodo continues his work as a devil, obtaining contracts. While doing so, he befriends an old man who becomes more of a regular of his.
Unknown forces are working at restarting the war that tore the heavens and hell apart and demolished its power structure almost completely. Issei, who carry the sacred gear that's basically a red dragon, is thrown into the skirmish through no volition of his own, which is when he learns that his sacred gear, the red dragon Ddraig, is an ancient dragon who is destined to fight another dragon, the white dragon Albion.
But even with all that stuff going on, Issei still has time to fantasize about breasts to his heart's content, and with an ever increasing number of ladies gathering at his bedroom, things are never going to get boring.
I am still amazed at how well I've taken to this show. Unlike the first season, I dove straight into this one as soon as it was available, and there is little cause for regret; High School DxD New is still a hell of a lot of fun.
The main conglomeration of reasons for why I liked the original show was that it struck a nice balance of pervertedness, characterisation and story. And in High School DxD New, Issei is still hilariously perverted. It's almost impossible to get the guy to shut up about breasts or women's bodies in general. In fact, it's probably going to get even more intense from here, since he will blather on about touching boobies right in the middle of battles with rather severe consequences should they lose.
And while it hasn't been forever since I watched said season, DxD New still managed to catch me a bit off guard with the sheer amount of fanservice. The ladies here are NOT shy about baring their bodies, and with one after the other falling for Issei's charms, that number grows steadily as it goes along. I suspect Issei's bed might break some time during the third season due to the combined weight of all the girls moving in with him and visiting his bedroom at night.
It still sounds dumb -- a rather typical male fantasy if there ever was one -- but the key here is still delivery, helped immensely by the dub simply going with it and having fun in the process. There are no mismatched voices in this show, and they all go to town with gusto and the big book of sexual slang, and it's just a hoot to hear. It also helps that while Issei is a huge pervert and not shy about voicing his inner thoughts. Yet despite this, he's still strangely honorable about it all; he wakes up with naked girls almost piled on top of him, but he doesn't really take advantage of the situation despite his numeral proclamations otherwise. Basically, one of his big missions in life is to touch Rias' breasts (actually... starting this season, he's taking that mission a step further), yet he resolutely refuses to do so unless he has her explicit permission. It's nice, because if he was a man of less scruples, he would already have done so in at least one of the several times he has woken up and literally found her naked breasts right beside his face. Weird, right? Yes, but also appreciated.
While on the subject of appreciation, I was also grateful that the show chose to go into some of its supporting cast. As far as I can remember, Koneko got her past explained in the first season (to an extent), and in this season, it's Kiba Yuuto's turn to unload his childhood trauma on us, something the show actually does rather effectively, strenghtening the bonds between the characters in the process and turns him into something more than just a prettyboy for Issei to be measured against. We even learn a little bit more about Akeno, which lead to a rather sweet scene later in the show.
Some of you who read my review of the first season might also remember me mentioning the angelic side of the equation, and me wondering how they would be represented, since the devils -- you know, the people who are supposed to corrupt and condemn us to an eternity of torment -- are portrayed in the show as honorable and kind, and even more so carrying a sense of loyality about them. Well, this season must have heard my... uh... prayers? ...because it introduces and embellishes the HELL out of said aspects to the show, and by that extent, just how complicated the whole setup really is. From the side of God, whose prayers resident sweetheart Asia sent on a regular basis, we meet with arch angel Michael, and his general personality and behavior might actually be received rather well by whichever Christian viewers who choose to watch this show. He's actually generous and kind; certainly not any worse off than the devils from house Gremory, and his meetings with the devils and some of the partitions among the fallen are heartening, if really bizarre to watch. Then again, you could hardly accuse High School DxD of following any particular dogma. It approaches religion and mythology with the same kind of lazy-eyed side look as Ah! My Goddess did; factually accurate to a certain extent, but otherwise mostly for show. And it's not just Christian lore that's brought to the table either. High School DxD seems to follow the Sandman school of theological thought; they're all there. All the mythological representations of the world, or at least the more commonly known ones.
Sadly -- or mildly irritatingly, I should say -- some of the flaws from the first season are still present. While I find most of the dialogue during the quieter moments hilarious as ever, it can also become a bit of a pain to have to listen to during confrontations. Like the first season, the second has two sorta-main story arcs. The first one deals with the appearance of a fallen angel, and brings our favorite psychotic priest back into the equation; Fried, giggling maniac and sword licker extraordinaire. The conclusion to the story arc involving him and his superior actually kicks off with a rather surprising revelation and, while the whole battle against him rolled out every single tiresome JRPG cliché I can think of, still managed to put a lot of things into perspective, promising some interesting times ahead. Still, to get there, you have to endure a lot of Issei promising to protect someone or to kick someone's ass while being massively over his head as far as impending dangers go. Thankfully, the show isn't really only about Issei, even if most of the ladies kind of home in on him as they arrive, and everyone gets their turn in the spotlight. Even more appreciated was the fact that Rias didn't have to play the role of the damsel this time around.
Fanservice has ever been the tool of the lazy. That is the crutch too many shows have chosen to resort to, but there are always a few out there to challenge that norm. And make no mistake about it: High School DxD and its sequel has a ton of fanservice and nudity. Sure, it knows when it's time to get serious and get dressed, but also when it's time to let its hair down and let the puppies see the sunlight. And the characters are still being their marvellous selves, be that Issei, Aria, or any of the lovely ladies in the Occult club, but also the members of house Gremory whom we get to meet again. I can hardly believe I'm doing this, but after some careful consideration, I've come to the conclusion that the show has earned it.
A few missteps aside, I had a ton of fun watching this show. If anyone out there wants to know what I consider the pinnacle of saucy, dirty entertainment... well, here it is. — Stig Høgset
Recommended Audience: Oh lordy, where do I even start? The sheer amount of nudity and fanservice is immense, and this is a show that doesn't concern itself with censoring nipples and such. The ending animation for the first episode even showcases a monumental vertical mural of naked flesh. If you've come for the service, this is the place to get it.
Version(s) Viewed: Official Bluray release, bilingual.
Review Status: Full (12/12)
High School DxD New © 2013 TNK, Highschool DxD New Production Committee
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