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!


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


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!


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


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. 4 Comments.

  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!

  2. I love High School DxD but So I can’t Play H doesn’t sound great. Then again, the review did leave out what makes HSDxD “a fun romp” aside from fan service – all the otaku-parody’ing based humor!

  3. Guys, both of them are really good. Of course, if you ask me which is better, I would say Highschool DxD. There is just no competition for it and it is ranked at the top in list of ‘Best Ecchi Anime’. But, I wouldn’t rule out ”So, I can’t play H”. It is also a really cool anime. The fact that it is being compared to Highschool DxD is injustice to “So, I can’t play H”, even if they are kind of similar. Highschool DxD Is just too high for most of the ecchi anime to compete against it. Both of them are worth checking out.

  4. High School DxD is pretty top quality, but I dare say you aren’t giving enough credit to Boku-H, or rather you’re missing the point. Ecchi, like most fantasy genres doesn’t exactly hinge on depth of premise for the most part, given premise in fantasy is all logically bullshit if you think about it. Furthermore, girls of the harem aren’t what drive ecchi either. You can have exceptionally interesting females in an ecchi, and it can still be an absolute pain to watch as is the case with Shuffle! What actually drives ecchi is the main character, and there’s a lot to really appreciate about Ryosuke.

    1. He’s extremely honest to himself and others…to a fault.
    2. He has a female childhood friend that recognizes his genuine kindness.
    3. He’s such a badass he even says openly breast size doesn’t matter.

    Now, something to keep in mind is the reason why High School DxD is so ridiculously good is not because of Issei, who’s actually kinda lame, but rather the show focuses more on Rias, who is exceptionally compelling. So again, ecchi is driven first and foremost by a main character. While Boku_ is pretty shallow in many ways, I do think it generally meets the necessary requirements to be pretty fulfilling to watch. Ryosuke is an extremely cool manly guy that deserves a lot of credit for the way he’s executed, and you can more or less ignore everything else about the show as long as the main character is compelling and interesting.

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