Monday, 10 August 2015

Highschool DxD BorN Review

Knockers, juicy mangos, mounds, marshmallows, bazookas, cupcakes, twins, rack, warheads are all less than stellar innuendos to the embodiment of what High School DxD has come to be known for… Breasts, breasts and more breasts. High School DxD BorN is the third season of High School DxD, a franchise that has securely found it’s place in otaku culture. If you do not know the story by now this is not the review for you.


Following the events of season 2, Issei and company travel to the underworld to compete in a tournament between promising young devils. This tournament is what has become a staple of the franchise, a rating game. A rating game is an opportunity for devils to gain esteem and fame in the underworld as well as to gain ranks in the devil hierarchy. However events do not go as planned, the Gremory family get involved and as usual have to save the day.

Besides the fanservice what I find the most interesting about the franchise is the mechanics of the underworld and the hierarchy that exists. There is surprisingly a large amount of detail and depth put into the rankings, the families, strategy all of which can be pretty overwhelming. What bothered me this season was that there was little to no mention of these mechanics because the tournament that was supposed to happen, never really happens but instead gets rudely interrupted.

This season introduces Norse Mythology to the series. Recently I have been watching a tv show called Vikings on History and have become infatuated with all things Norse. I was happy to see how certain plot elements were taken from Norse mythology, albeit with an anime twist. Who knows, you might learn something. Head count, we now have Devils, Angels, Fallen Angels, norse gods and... cat girls? Yes I said it, nyaa!


This season in particular puts particular emphasis on the other females in Issei’s harem, Koneko, Akeno and Asia. Of the three I felt that Koneko’s was more interesting because it introduced backstory to the character similar to Kiba in season 2. Speaking of which I always wondered how Kiba feels about having every female member of his family fawning over Issei. There are hints of a possible love interest for Kiba, so have fun looking for it because it only lasts a second. Koneko attitude towards Issei somewhat takes a complete 180, instead of acting tsundere Koneko now wears her feelings on her sleeve for him. Looking back I still do not feel that this was not deserved and only served to satisfy a certain anthropomorphic trope.

Many new characters are introduced to the show adding to the intrigue. One character that I didn’t understand why was even introduced was a valkyrie called Rossweisee. Rossweisee serves Odin, is incredibly beautiful and constantly complains about not having a boyfriend. She has no purpose to the story and as of yet has no relationship to Issei.

Issei this season is his usual overpowered, oppai loving self. What I found interesting early on was Issei recollection of a certain painful event that occurred during the first episode of the franchise. It answers the question as to why Issei doesn’t choose one girl, perhaps why his relationship with Rias never goes anywhere further. The conclusion of the season addresses this plot point, Issei recognizes this fault, however Rias and the other girls of the harem seem to have no idea so it is never fully resolved.

Animation and Sound

Despite being a show filled with demons and fallen angels, Highschool DxD always finds a way to visually pop off the screen with it’s contrasting color palette and art style. There is a noticeable lack of quality this season as compared to season 2. This is typical of a series in it’s 3rd season and is to be expected. It’s not a deal breaker so long as you keep your expectations low.
The music this season is largely a disappointment. The words forgettable, boring, typical comes to mind. I found myself constantly skipping the opening and ending. Nothing this season particularly stands to mind.

Final Verdict
Story: 6/10
Characters: 6/10
Art: 5/10
Sound: 4/10
Fanservice: infinity /10
Overall: 6.5/10

Of the three seasons so far, High School DxD BorN is by far the weakest. However I was able to watch the entire series in 1 weekend, therefore I still enjoyed the show despite it’s faults. If you have seen the first 2 seasons, I would say you should watch BorN but with the caveat of keeping your expectations low. The fanservice and comedy is abundant, yet the plot especially towards to end of the series drags. The plot drags to such a degree that much of the drama introduced never gets fully resolved. The whole season feels as though it’s filler or set up for possible future seasons.

As a final note, I first started watching this season when it was first airing and stopped due to all the censors (for obvious reasons). It has been less than 2 months since the series stopped airing and I was able to watch the entire season uncensored. Don’t worry, I didn’t faint from loss of blood due to excess nosebleeds.

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