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High School DxD: The Complete Series (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Review)

August 31, 2013 by  



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“High School DxD: The Series” is a mature and perverted anime series that screams “boobylicious” and may not be for everyone.  But if you have been fans of FUNimation’s more mature anime titles such as “Heaven’s Lost Property”, “Sekirei” and “Freezing”, fans of anime series with a lecherous protagonist, many well-endowed female characters and plenty of fan service will surely enjoy the wacky, hilarious but action-packed “High School DxD”!

Image courtesy of © FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: High School DxD: The Complete Series

ANIME RELEASE DATE: 2012

DURATION: 1-12 (300 Minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:78:1), English DolbyTrue HD 5.1, Japanese DolbyTrue HD 5.0, English subtitles

COMPANY: FUNimation

RATING: TV-MA

Release Date: August 20, 2013

Originally Created by Ichiel Ishibumi

Directed by Tetsuya Yanagisawa

Series Composition by Takao Yoshioka

Music by Ryosuke Nakanishi

Art Director: Shigemi Ikeda

Anime Production: TNK

Featuring the following voice talent:

Yōko Hikasa/Jamie Marchi as Rias Gremory

Yuuki Kaji/Scott Freeman as Issei Hyōdō

Ayana Taketatsu/Jad Saxton as Koneko Tōjō

Azumi Asakura/Chloe Daniels as Asia Argento

Fumihiko Tachiki/Christopher R. Sabat as Sacred Gear/Ddraig

Hitomi Nabatame/Felecia Angelle as Yuuma Amano

Kenji Nojima/Sean O’Connor as Yūto Kiba

Saori Seto/Krishna Smitha as Grayfia Lucifuge

Shizuka Itou/Teri Rogers as Akeno Himejima

Takehito Koyasu/Christopher Smith as Raizer Phoenix

A war between heaven and hell is raging on Earth – and a hot mess of hormonal fury is raging in Issei’s pants. The guy is dying to get some action. Which is funny, since his first date ever turns into a winged monster and tries to kill him. Fortunately, ridiculously curvy redhead Rias comes to his rescue. She’s president of The Occult Research Club, a club that doesn’t actually research the occult. They ARE the occult – and Rias is a Devil.

Rias takes Issei as a more-than-willing slave and begins training him to use magic in battle against the Fallen Angels, the long-time enemies of Devils everywhere. If Issei can improve his mystical skills, he’ll be able to help his hotter-than-hell master and her scorching supernatural schoolgirl friends defeat their foes. Even better, he might end up with a few sexy slaves of his own.

In 2008, Ichiei Ishibumi and illustrator Miyama-Zero worked on the Japanese light novel series “High School DxD” serialized in Fujimi Shobo’s “Dragon Magazine” which is still ongoing in Japan.

A manga adaptation of “High School DxD” would be printed in “Monthly Dragon Age” and an anime adaptation followed in 2012 courtesy of TNK and aired on AT-X.  And now, “High School DxD: The Series” will be released on Blu-ray/DVD courtesy of FUNimation in August 2013.

The mature harem anime series is directed by Tetsuya Yanagisawa (“Aoi Sekai no Chushin de”, “Heaven’s Lost Property”, “UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie”), series composition by Takao Yoshioka (“DearS”, “Rave Master”, “Happy Lesson”, “Freezing”), music by “Ryosuke Nakanishi (“D.C. III ~Da Capo III”, “Kuroko’s Basketball”), Junji Goto (“School Days”, “Ikki Tosen: Xtreme Xecutor”) and art direction by Shigemi Ikeda (“Bastard!!”, “Basilisk”, “El-Hazard: The Wanderer”, “Gantz”).

The mature anime series begins with Issei Hyodo and his perverted friends at Kuoh Academy trying to catch a peek of the female students and talking perverted about them.

One day, a beautiful girl named Yuma Amano asks Issei out for date and as Issei tries to show off to everyone that he has a hot girlfriend that is well-endowed, as the two go to the park, she asks him if he’ll do anything for her.

When she elaborates what she means by that, she means “would he die for her”?  Taken back by the question, Issei is not so sure why she would ask that but she reveals herself to be a fallen angel named Raynare and kills him.

Alone and dead at the park, he sees a summoning card and Rias Gremory comes to save him.

The following morning, Issei wakes up with a naked woman in his bed and it is Rias.  Shocked to see a live, naked woman in his bed, she explains to him that he has died but brought back as a demon and according to the deal that they made in giving his life back, he must be her pawn and do whatever she says.

But Issei’s life changes that very minute as his mother catches him on top of a naked Rias, people in school sees him around Rias and once seen as a perverted geek, Issei suddenly becomes well-known in school.

As Rias introduces Issei to the Occult Research Club and meeting other demons such as Kanako Toujo and Akeno Himejima, he is given a Sacred Gear during a battle with another Fallen Angel and learns that fallen angels are quite evil.

He ends up helping a nun named Asia Argento and both become friends despite him being a demon, but this friendship is not going to be taken lightly by the Fallen Angels who seem to want Asia Argento for some reason.

With this newfound power and life, can the perverted Issei Hyodo defend and fight for the people he loves.  And will he be able to satisfy his perverted urges when he is around Rias?

The characters of “High School DxD” are:

  • Issei Hyodo – The main protagonist and an uber-pervert.  A second-year student at Kuoh Academy who is killed after going on a date with a demon posing as a student.    Because he is saved by Rias and turned into a demon, he becomes a member of the Occult Research Club and becomes a low-ranked Pawn working for Rias.   His goal is to be a high-ranking demon, so he can have his own harem of women being his pawns that will do what he wants.
  • Risa Gremory – A third year student who is a powerful demon that comes from the Gremory Family.  Known as the Crimons-haired Ruin Princess and the Princess of Destruction.
  • Asia Argento – A nun that Issei meets and befriends.  A Holy Maiden that enjoys her time and friendship with Issei and is pure at heart.
  • Akeno Himejima – The second-in-Command of the Gremory Group and is known as the “Priestess of Thunder” and is the Vice-President of the Occult Research Club.  She is a high-ranked Queen.
  • Koneko Toujou – A first year student at Koh Academy who dresses up as a loli.  She is a “Rook” and is extremely strong and quick.  Rarely shows any emotion.
  • Yuto Kiba – A swordsman who is a Knight of the Occult Research Club.  He is popular at Kuoh Academy and known for his good looks, intelligence and personality.

VIDEO:

“High School DxD” is presented in 1080p High Definition and is an animated series that is well-animated.  The characters are well-shaded, backgrounds feature a good blend of painted backgrounds and CG.  While a colorful animated series, there is a slight softness but for the most part, the animated series does looks sharp and colorful in HD.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“High School DxD” is presented in English DTS-HD MA 5.1 and Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0.  Voice acting for both series are well-done, while the English dub writing features a much more raunchier and mature dialogue.  So, I think that those watching for the English dub will enjoy the pervertedness of the English dub dialogue.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“High School DxD: The Series” features the following special features:

  • Episode 1 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary with Jamie Marchi (voice of Rias/lead writer), Felecia Angelle (voice of Raynare) and Teri Rogers (voice of Akeno).
  • Episode 7 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary with Jad Saxton (voice of Koneko), Scott Freeman (voice of Issei) and Tyson Rinehart (voice of Matsuda)
  • Fantasy Jiggles Unleashed – (22:22) Featuring six volumes of animated shorts featuring the characters of “High School DxD”: Vol. 1 – Going to the Beach, Vol. 2 – Aken’s Private Training, Vol. 3 – Koneko, a Bit More bold…Mreow, Vol. 4 – The Story of the First Dress Break, Vol. 5 – Making Udon noddles, Vol. 6 – Asia Transforms
  • New Material from Ichiei Ishibumi – (8:55) Featuring Fantasy Full-blast Gentleman’s Disc Club Promos – Introducing the Occult club, the Ladies, The Loli-Lolis, Promotional Video and Commercial Collection. In Japanese with English subtitles.
  • Textless Opening Song – “Trip -innocent of D-“
  • Textless Closing Song – “Study x Study”
  • U.S. Trailer – FUNimation trailer for “High School DxD”.

EXTRAS:

It’s important to note that we are reviewing screener discs, so I can’t comment on the limited edition.  But the Blu-ray does come with a DVD version of the animated series.

For fans of perverted and mature anime series, “High School DxD” joins anime such as “Heaven’s Lost Property”as animation that showcases a lot of boobage, fan service and perverted humor.

While I suppose one can say “High School DxD” fits the banality of harem anime series and perverted protagonist, where “Heaven’s Lost Property” deals with women from another dimension who are sent to kill the protagonist but end up being part of the character’s harem and a series like “Sekirei” deals with women who have supernatural abilities involved in a death game but also ended up being part of the protagonist’s harem and wanting to protect him.  The same can be said for “High School DxD”.  Nearly each episode features a female character wanting to get closer to Issei.

But the primary difference is that the character of Issei, while highly perverted, has died and was given a second chance at life by demons.  While characters working with demons can be dark, the fact is that these demons are well-endowed, powerful and some are quite naughty.

As for those serving the church or angels, the angels are sadistic and cruel.

As for the animation, quite often, the scenes feature characters and their gleaming breast, a behind look at a characters panties and in perverted fashion, a lot of detail that goes into a character’s breasts.

As for the Blu-ray release, “High School DxD” looks sharp and colorful in HD and as far as the dialogue is concerned, the writing for the series is much more perverted and suited to the mature taste of Americans, while the Japanese soundtrack, which is also well-acted, is perverted but not as much as its English counterpart.  And the Blu-ray release also features audio commentary (especially a second audio commentary that I found to be quite awkward between the FUNimation dub actors) but also more content from the original Japanese Blu-ray release.

Overall, “High School DxD: The Series” is a mature and perverted anime series that screams “boobylicious” and may not be for everyone. The series doesn’t break any new ground and as a harem anime series, certain plots are quite predictable.

But if you have been fans of FUNimation’s more mature anime titles such as “Heaven’s Lost Property”, “Sekirei” and “Freezing”, fans of anime series with a lecherous protagonist, many well-endowed female characters and plenty of fan service will surely enjoy the wacky, hilarious but action-packed “High School DxD”!

 






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