Highschool DxD Episode #05 Anime Review

Highschool DxD Episode #05 Anime Review Will Asia be relegated to the whipping girl of the series? Or will the other girls step up?

What They Say:
While Kiba and Koneko back him up, Issei rushes in to rescue a critically injured Asia. Leaving the others behind, Raynare and Issei become engaged in a duel to the death! Elsewhere, Rias and Akeno have their hands full with Raynare’s fallen angels.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With the Fallen Angle having made her play in the last episode, and putting Asia into quite a pickle of sexuality and bondage, it’s been fun to see how Issei has stepped up to the plate here as well as everyone else. The rescue attempt isn’t exactly the most thought out thing in the world, but it’s well done in terms of action and emotion as it feels like he’s getting the support he needs to save her. Which is surprising to some degree since she’s a demon hunter of the church herself, though one of those that isn’t completely behind the thing and actually works a bit of understanding. Made even more prominent since meeting Issei and discovering what he is. The two had a quick relationship to be sure since her introduction, but it was fun. Well, except for the whole bondage thing for her.

Of course, having Issei being so strongly involved with Asia and essentially begging for a miracle in a church, this doesn’t sit too well with most everyone else on some level. The Fallen Angel just finds it comical while Rias has her own issues with it, though she’s at least a little compassionate about the whole situation since she can understand it, even if she may not agree with it outright. What it does is just drive Issei to action and he does have a fair bit of untrained and unfocused power to him. It’s the kind of fight where his passion will be what drives him and gives him an edge against someone with a whole lot of skill and experience. There’s that element to it where it feels like just too much emotion from Issei considering how little he knew Asia, but it’s also right for the age and the way feelings and hormones drives everything over the top.

While the action side is a big factor here, and a lot of it is emotionally driven, it also works well in the epilogue to the fight in dealing with Asia herself. The idea of the devils helping someone like Asia certainly leaves you questioning the reasons for it, but Rias actually manages to come up with a fairly decent and logical reason, one that naturally does further her own ends. And that of her group as she knows they’re only going to face tougher and tougher opponents as time goes on. It’s also an element that works very well in bonding Issei closer to Rias while giving him a very specific mission of his own to deal with. He’s largely come around to Rias’ way of things, but she shows him some real attention here, even if she does continually go on about how he’s just a pawn to her overall. It’s not a complicated relationship, but it’s one that has a good bit of fun about it and Rias’ style definitely works well.

In Summary:
I had low expectations of Highschool DxD based on the promos and that lovely, lovely ending sequence, but it’s proving to be a real charmer in the story and character department as well. While the members of her occult group aren’t fleshed out in the slightest yet, Rias and Issei are definitely shaping up well and Asia gets some solid attention here as well. It’s playing with familiar themes and story ideas, but it’s the kind of use where it all comes together surprisingly well and has a good, polished feel about it. The smutty level doesn’t hurt either but even as overt as it is, it’s not been a detracting factor for me. It fits the mood and feel of the show and even as ‘bad” as it gets, it doesn’t feel wrong like a lot of other series do.

Grade: B+

Readers Rating: [ratings]

Streamed By: FUNimation

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

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