High School DxD BorN – 20 Question Anime Review (Moderate Spoilers)

What’s the show? High School DxD BorN (2015).

Oh yeah, the demon boob show, you reviewed season 1 a while ago, so why are we reviewing this one now? Oh no reason…

It’s because there’s a new season airing soon isn’t it, and you thought might drive more readers to the site? Maaaybeee—

Right, so obviously you have something to say otherwise this would just be a rehash of the first season’s review? Indeed I do, because this, the third season of High School DxD, is actually quite disappointing.

Don’t cry, it’s not all bad!

Wait, 3rd season? What about the 2nd season? You haven’t done a review for that yet?! You want a review High School DxD Season 2 (a.k.a High School DxD New)? Okay, it’s pretty much the same as the first, it’s fun and entertaining and full of fan-service and interesting characters and good action and world-building. 89 out of 100.

Okay… thanks I guess? Well you asked for it!

This was hilarious btw.

I did, I did. Wait, season 2 was called ‘New’ wby is season 3 called ‘BorN’? No idea…

Well what do you know? I know that whoever was responsible for this season really dropped the ball. Like it’s kind of maddening, how that all the pieces were in place and yet there’s oh so many flaws with the execution.

Such as? Well first and most glaringly is the show just keeps adding more and more characters which might be fine if you’re reading the light novel version and you have chapters and chapters and even whole books to get to know about them, but in the show they are thrown in so quickly and in later episodes we’re even introduced to characters who are like seriously important and influential figures who’ve been secret masterminds behind things from as early back as season one only for them to be killed off in a single scene!

And to be fair this was one of the rare action scenes that was actually impressive.

Yikes, that does sound pretty bad. And I can’t speak for the source material because I haven’t read it, but I have to assume that so many of these big battle scenes had to at least go on longer in the books because otherwise I have to wonder what the point of them even is! Because in the show it doesn’t feel like they’re truncated because that’s how they’re supposed to be it feels like they’re abbreviated for budgetary reasons. And I get it, animating massive battles with a dozen main characters all with different powers and transformations fighting towering fantasy creatures would be expensive but if that’s the case then don’t put so much content into the season in the first place!

Oh noes the main character is dead in episode 3 of the series, I totally believe this…

How do you mean? This season feels so rushed, like I appreciate they probably wanted to have some pretty key dramatic moments in but they’re put in at the expense of making a well-paced story. Say what you will about seasons 1 and 2 but they never felt like they were skipping over things or cutting corners but here it just feels so lazy! Which is a shame because…

Because? The harem-y stuff is as good as it’s ever been, like the episodes that are at school or at home are genuinely fun to watch, even the irl waifu—who yes is still watching the show with me even after all the gratuitous fan-service and harem nonsense—was relieved when the show stopped being the confusing, rushed mess it was during the action and story oriented episodes and went back to the light-hearted, comedic toned harem episodes.

She’s just the best.

So it’s still got its head in the game as it were? I’ll take it that that’s some sort of crude innuendo.

Ahem, what I mean is that the show is still doing the whole harem thing right then? For the most part, just…

More of her please.

Just what? They kinda ruined Koneko.

Oh? How? Well she was always the one who was the most resistant to Issei, constantly calling him out on his pervertedness. While never full tsundere, the fact that she didn’t really want anything to do with him was a part of her charm. And that goes out the window here. Also they made her a cat girl, because of course they did. (And yes, I know it was foreshadowed because of her name, but it’s still kinda dumb).

Ugh.

So the harem grows ever further. I wouldn’t mind if it’d had taken the whole season for Koneko to warm to Issei, but it’s like a single episode from her being cold and critical to her sitting on his lap and purring. Like guys, you can have her be attracted to him and not make it upend her character, just do it gradually!

Sounds like you don’t have much positive to say for the show. Not true! The rest of the characters are great, there’s enough growth to make it feel like they’re not stagnating while enough humour to alleviate whatever inherent creep factor comes from the idea of a harem. There’s glimmers of the show it used to be and it’s almost worth it for that alone.

She’s still cool! Sometimes… rarely…

So with season 4 on the horizon are you hopeful? I just hope they have enough restraint to not rush the action and increasingly convoluted plot and focus on what made the show so great in the first place. But yes, I am hopeful.

Final score and recommendation? It’s hard to do a recommendation for a third season of something because let’s face it, if you’re reading this you’ve either already watched it and have your own opinion on it or never will watch it. So basically this is just my verdict on the season and an arbitrary numerical score attached to it. The problems of the show only compound when it comes to the plot and are alleviated by the light-hearted harem parts. But ultimately it’s the characters and their interactions and growth that has me coming back. 72 out of 100.

Ahem.

If you liked my review and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!

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8 comments

  1. I have read the source light novels, which are ok-ish, although the editing of the translations could have been better (but hey, whaddaya gonna do). A lot of the reason BorN felt rushed is because they crammed 3 books into a one-cour series, versus the two books they had done for each of the first two series. And the 5th book, which BorN starts with, is a big change in the direction of the series, to the “Young Devils” part, which honestly isn’t nearly as interesting.

    I think they increased it to 3 books for BorN so they could make the 4th series be 3 books also and get to the end of book 10, which is a huge story point. But the series really does just keep piling on girl after girl after girl, but the big thing that the anime really doesn’t do that the books do is make it super super clear that Rias and Issei are the OTP. I mean, it kinda hints that way, but there’s a big difference in feel between the books and the anime. In the anime, it’s everyone’s trying to win Issei. In the books, it’s that they’re all basically trying to determine the order they want to be in. Everyone (except Rias, and it’s a major point in the books) knows that Rias is #1. Asia is kinda feeling like a longshot #1 but favorite for #2. Akeno is going for a solid “on-the-side” #2 / #3, and Koneko is a future interest / lapcat which gets her closeness the others don’t have. Xenovia and Irina are more like “I wonder what that’s like”, and Yuuto is just kinda outside going “he’s so dreamy”. But the books make it really clear that everyone else in the world besides Rias and Issei are assuming that they’re going to be married, to the point where Rias’ family is training Issei up to be a high class demon, and introducing him around, stuff that Issei the idiot really doesn’t get the point of. But the anime really does a terrible job with this part of the story, which is disappointing, because it’s what makes it a lot more interesting than other harem LNs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thanks for that info! Very interesting, I always kind of figured the LN’s would be better but I didn’t realise they were that different at least with regards to the relationship between Issei and Rias. Hopefully season 4 can move more in that direction as that’d be a lot more interesting to watch but somehow I doubt it.

      Like

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