Blu-ray Review: Highschool DxD – The Complete Series

High_School_DxD_Bluray_Screenshot5

Ever since Highschool DxD was announced for UK Release i’ve been warned to prepare for bloody nosebleeds, fortunately that didn’t happen BUT you can expect a lot of ‘mature’ content within the series. That aside what did we think of this Blu-ray release by Manga Entertainment UK? Well lets find out in our Blu-ray Review of Highschool DxD

Synopsis:

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.

Our View:

If the BBC ever decided to create another program about how porn warps people’s perception of sex then I’m sure Highschool DxD will be featured on it, especially when it comes to the series male protagonist Issei Hyoudou. You see Issei and his male friends, Matsuda and Motohama, are ecstatic about the opposite sex, so much so that not only are they addicted to porn but everyone in the school knows them as the perverted trio and attempt to stay away from them, however this alone doesn’t stop the guys from trying to get some. Like I said Issei Hyoudou is our main protagonist and after a comical once in a life-time encounter with Yuma Amano, a cute-girl from another school, Issei finds himself in the middle of a dream-date, or so he thinks.

High_School_DxD_Bluray_Screenshot1

This ‘dream-date’ instead acts as Issei’s introduction to the underworld, whereby Devils, Angels and Fallen Angels fight for supremacy, and it turns out that Yuma Amano is none other than a fallen angel sent to kill Issei. Fortunately for Issei a powerful well-known devil was watching out for him, and as such not only saves him but turns him into a devil, thus making Issei a servant for a red-headed devil known as Rias Gremory. This is where Issei’s “real” comical adventures begin, and while the war between Fallen Angels, Angels and Devils is an underlining storyline that stays prominent throughout the series; the simple fact is that Highschool DxD is nothing but pure fan service with a few harem scenes thrown in for good measure.

Amusingly despite its “inappropriate-adult-themed-nature” Highschool DxD is a lot of fun and can be quite entertaining, for both the wrong and right reasons. For instance when it needs to be the series can be quite serious, such as the battles with Fallen Angels, Helping out friends or Training to become a Devil, but at other times it can be a rather playful series that’s all about having fun in the most inappropiate ways. For example when certain scenes try to be serious, such as when Issei rescues newly found friend Asia from danger, you are still treated to panty-shots, sexual trash-talk and the odd naked breast being shown.

High_School_DxD_Bluray_Screenshot3

This is probably why people enjoy Highschool DxD,It has a decent story but mixes it with adult-rated content, furthermore it’s not your traditional ecchi/harem filled series either. For instance the main cast of girls are not interested in Issei, other than Rias and Asia, and better yet they do not get ‘annoyed’ at him when he sees them naked, instead it’s used as inspiration to stir him on into training harder – which is probably twisted in its own right.

Extras:

While some anime fans will object to the nature of content in Highschool DxD, as it is mainly big breasted woman being naked, there is no objection to the amount of additional content being included with this Blu-ray release.

As a whole the first Blu-ray discs features English Cast Commentary from a variety of voice actors from the series, both of which are quite interesting to listen to as they feature new voice actors, while the second disc features the remaining content which comes in the form of Japanese promotional trailers, Textless songs and trailers for other FUNimation produced anime series.

Disc 1:

  • Episode 1 English Cast Commentary
  • Episode 7 English Cast Commentary

Disc 2:

  • Fantasy Jiggles Unleashed:
    – Vol.1 Going to the Beach
    – Vol.2 Akeno’s Private Training
    – Vol.3 Koneko, A Bit more Bold
    – Vol.4 The Story of the First Dress Break
    – Vol.5 Making Udon Noodles
    – Vol.6 Asia Transforms
  • New Material from Ichiei Ishibumi Fantasy Full-Blast Gentleman Disc Club Promos
    – Introducing the Occult Club
    – The Ladies
    – The Loli-lolis
  • Promotional Video
  • Commerical Collection
  • Textless Opening Song
  • Textless Closing Song
  • US Trailer
  • Trailers
    – Is this a Zombie? of the Dead
    – Black Lagoon
    – Heaven’s Lost Property: Forte
    – Guilty Crown
    – Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine
    – Michiko & Hatchin
    – Remnant Knights Game

There is a lot of content to be viewed, so even when the series has finished you’ll still find yourself popping the disc back into the player to watch something else. In short 50% of extra features are some form of promotional content, but even these can be different to your usual promotional materials.

For instance the “New Material from Ichiei Ishibumi Fantasy Full-Blast Gentleman Disc Club Promos” gives a brief run-down of major talking points within the series, each from a perverted nature. The first trailer, Introducing the Occult Club, does exactly what it says on the tin but the second trailer, The Ladies, gives a brief run-down of all the specifics on the female character list. These are supposed to be trailers ‘promoting’ the series but instead feel like they are making fun of it.

Not everything is promotional material though, as the “Fantasy Jiggles Unleashed” are mini-episodes which see the main female cast in all-sorts of predicaments, most of which involve some sort of perverted and sexual nature. The final rundown of additional content sees Trailers for other FUNimation produced anime series, and since MangaUK are using the same discs authored by FUNimation in america we are also treated to trailers before the main menu, in this case Haganai (on Disc 1) and We Without Wings (on Disc 2), both of which have the constant theme of Harem & Ecchi, so at least FUNimation added some continuity to the type of content that is promoted.

Specs:

Media: BD 50 x1, BD 25 x1
Region: A & B
Running Time: 3:33:45 (Disc 1), 1:11:22 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English), Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Aspect Ratio
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

The story of Highschool DxD revolves around high-school pervert Issei Hyoudou, whereby we witness him get reborn into a devil and then take part in various activities with his new found friends. Each episode is about showing Issei the ropes and training him to become a true devil, while at the same time uncovering his hidden secret gear power – a power which has endless possibilities. It’s a pretty deep and meaningful story, which along the way brings out some ‘potential romance’ between Issei and Rias, but since everything is over-shadowed by sexual innuendos, cleavage and naked women it can be pretty hard to focus on the main topic of the series.

High_School_DxD_Bluray_Screenshot4

This is what I found rather annoying with Highschool DxD, we know its going to be about big breasts and naked girls, but it’s that constant reminder of them which (after awhile at least) becomes rather tedious, as it feels you’ve got to remind yourself why you are watching the series – that is unless you ARE watching it for the naked women. Of course to keep the topic ‘fresh’ new ideas are used, such as the Acid Familiar which causes the girls clothes to melt away or clothes being ripped off during battle, but at times it feels more ‘inappropriate’ then amusing, especially when the characters don’t react to their nakedness. This isn’t the only disappointment either, as since the whole series is foscused on Issei we never get to explore the backstories of the other characters within the series, such as their initial devil roots and so forth. This doesn’t exactly affect the storyline, as the story is intended to focus on Issei, but it would have been nice to explore some of the other characters origins.

Moving away from the series and episodic content itself we find ourselves with a pretty ‘jam-packed’ Blu-ray release, for instance not only do we get the 12 Episodes in superb high definition quality, but we are also treated to all of the original Japanese promotional materials and the mini ova episodes. It’s probably worth mentioning that all of the extra content is only available in Japanese with English subtitles, which isn’t nessacrily a bad thing as the English Dub isn’t exactly great. I have no real issues with the English Dub, far from it as it provides a few laughs and differs slightly from the subtitled version, but some character voices during ecchi scenes don’t exactly feel authentic or real, thus destroying the illusion. It’s another 50/50 scenario, the English dub has some great one-liners (especially when it comes to Issei’s perverted nature) while at the same time the Japanese Audio seems more authentic during those ‘raunchy’ moments of the show.

High_School_DxD_Bluray_Screenshot2

Highschool DxD is a hit & miss series, some will love it’s over-the-top approach to an ecchi anime series while others will hate it, for me I’m on the fence about the series as it has its own pros & cons, but in terms of this Blu-ray release by Manga Entertainment UK then you could not ask for a better quality product.

Score: review-stars-5

Highschool DxD – The Complete Series will be available on Blu-ray and DVD from the 26th May 2014.

Advertisements

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: