High School DxD New

High_School_D×D_NewA more fitting title for this anime would have been High School BEF—BEF for boobs, exposition, and fights. The first word spoken in the first episode is “oppai” (breasts); some stuff is explained, usually with boobs in the frame; then a long fight scene soon followed, with boobs. Repeat ad nauseam.

On the plus side, the fanservice was impressively gratuitous and occasionally diverse (needed more Souna and less Gasper though), and the artwork was better than average for an ecchi anime. The gainaxing was sometimes animated with surprising realism, and the perverse attention to pantsu details was commendable; it looked like some girls had a different pair for each episode.

Disappointingly, the lukewarm characterization and story made it difficult to engage with anything. Issei, the main male character, had a personality that volleyed unconvincingly between lusting pervert and nice guy. His shtick, which hadn’t evolved since the first season, is beyond stale at this point. And the girls in Issei’s harem are still shallow archetypes with little agency to reach outside of their designated roles.

These faults could have been overlooked if the story hadn’t taken itself so seriously with abrupt asspulls to justify its game-esque action sequences. With the exception of some chuckle-worthy moments scattered about, the brief attempts at humor often stemmed from cliché overreactions and yelling.

High School DxD New had the potential of joining the ranks of Bakemonogatari and To Love-Ru as one of the few non-crappy ecchi-harem anime. With less contrived drama, more surprises, and better comedy, it could have been more consistently entertaining.