Double Review: High School DxD vs. So, I Can’t Play H!

What’s up, miss me? After an arduous journey of waterfall training in the mountains, I have returned. Ok, just pulling your legs. I tripped into a deep pile of smutty gal games and shoujo manga.

Hiatus aside, of the many anime series I watched were two ecchi shows that are remarkably similar: High School DxD, and So, I Can’t Play H!

collage1

These series share many common plot devices, but the most apparent similarity is that both feature a demonic, red-haired love interest. (Above from left: Rias Gremory of High School DxD, and Lisara Restor of So, I Can’t Play H!)

High School DxD

Synopsis:

When Hyoudou Issei is saved by the charming president of the Occult club, Rias Gremory, he discovers that devils exist in this world. Rias herself is a high-ranking devil, and in exchange for his life, he must be her manservant pawn for all eternity. Of course, rather than dwell on the negatives, Issei is brimming with ero-energy! Fabulous secret powers are revealed. 12 episodes. TV-MA.

highschool dxd season1

High School DxD is a cross between a B-grade harem comedy, and a shounen fighting anime. With the forces of the underworld pitted against each other in a literal game of chess, it delivered a bit more in terms of plot than I anticipated, and had some nice flashy action sequences. Also, DxD succeeded in knowing its audience, and in not taking itself too seriously. If I had to be critical of anything, it is that the root of the heaven vs. hell vs. fallen angels conflict was a bit under-explained.

Aside from that, I really like Rias Gremory. For an ecchi series heroine, she isn’t shy about nudity, and our main guy doesn’t get pummeled for checking her out. Very rare. Also, In terms of animation, it was neat to see a mixed bag of personalities and body types of the characters. Worth noting: the closing episode sequence features the characters pole-dancing.

DxD is ecchi at its best, with plenty of anything and everything indecent. From full topless views to panty shots at least every 10 minutes. I don’t usually watch one of these shows with high expectations, but it was a surprisingly fun romp.

Both Seasons of High School DxD have been licensed by Funimation. Season 1 is available on Blu-ray & DVD, and includes a 2-episode OVA extra. Season 2, titled High School DxD New recently finished airing September 22nd, and should be announced soon.

High School DxD screenshots

So, I Can’t Play H!

Synopsis:

Ryosuke Kaga, a perverted high school student with no inner monologue, encounters a pretty girl wandering alone on a rainy night. Her name is Lisara Restor, an elite Grim Reaper from an alternate dimension. In forming a contract with Ryosuke, her energy is fueled by his libido, and he finds no end of creative ways to charge himself up – and thus her up – for crucial battles. 12 episodes. TV-MA.

So, I Can't Play H! promo image

I’m going to be candid about So, I Can’t Play H!.  After about four episodes in, I was feeling mentally fatigued. I toughed it out in hopes it would redeem itself, but this show was torturous despite seeking higher plot aspirations toward the final episodes.

Although Ryosuke is occasionally more amusing than typical male leads, this show seemed uninspired, and was so steeped in blatant misogyny it actually managed to disturb me. Every character, Lisara included, go on and on about breast size. Most harems touch on this at some point, but the writers managed to beat a dead horse. And sure,  teenage boys can be full of raging hormones, but Ryosuke’s personality is unnaturally shallow. Boys should be given more credit.

On the plus side, studio Feel did do a very clean job with the animation. I’m a fan of the fading effects used for the characters’ hair. Also, the animators weren’t shy about using well-depicted breasts. The ending credits are full of it. Another plus, for those watching purely for the fanservice, is that each episode contained at least some shots of bared chests.  Finally worth noting, is that most of the monsters the girls fight have plenty of tentacle action, though not very graphic. If you’re into that.

As a whole, I’m surprised that this series gained such glowing reviews around the net. The little bit of plot that did develop seemed rushed, and fell flat–then it was turned into a boob joke. I really wanted to like this title, and usually enjoy harem and ecchi shows, but I advise you skip this one.

So, I Can't Play H screenshots

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About Anne's Anime Blog

I am an astronomical anime fan. I enjoy watching it, collecting figures & merchandise, assembling models, and attending conventions. California burrito glutton. Let's be friends:)

Posted on October 22, 2013, in Anime, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I haven’t heard of “So I Can’t Play H” and haven’t watched any Ecchi anime before, but I’m thinking of checking out the Blu-ray of High School DxD because it came out here today. I wasn’t sure if it’d be my kind of thing, but it does sound fun and entertaining!

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