Review: High School DxD BorN 3.1 - It's Summer break, To the Underworld Let's GO!

The third season of High School DxD has begun and my goodness they didn’t waste any time getting to the fan service. It was almost a little too much even for this series, but hey… it’s fan service so I’m not going to complain. After a very long opening of F.S. we see that Issei’s house has been completely remodeled so that basically everyone can live there. It’s ridiculously large and it happened overnight and his parents don’t seem to care because it’s ridiculously large. We learn that school is almost out for the summer and that the “club” will be going to Hell to train for the break. Issei continues to have thoughts about the woman that killed him and put him on the course of becoming a demon and other bad moments in the story like when he almost lost Asia. The Rias’ hang up this season is the fact that Issei won’t call her by her first name like he does everyone else and Akeno is poaching Rias’ turf aka Issei a lot more already this season (which personally I really liked).

There is some action (not like that), but it’s the first episode so it doesn’t mean anything really. The set up for it is predictable as well. Also it seems that our forgotten character Koneko (she was more of a background character last season) is being put in the spotlight this time around and it’s very forced. Very.

mainAs much as I like the fan service of this show I really don’t care if it’s there or not. I get that that’s where it gets a lot of its popularity, but for me I’m more interested in the story of heaven and hell and fallen angels. Something I don’t like that they’ve done each season now is make Issei weak. He’s built up to be this wrecking ball of force and power by the end of the season in which he’ll overcome some huge obstacle and while I understand the formula at play… they just make him too damn weak. Instead of maintaining any strength he comes across as pitiful. With them training at least there’s the hope that we’ll see him level up sooner this season, but they really need to stop dropping him so hard because it makes it makes it less believable each time he overcomes someone more powerful.

As for the storyline I have little doubt that it will improve, but I can’t say that I’m interested in what they’re doing or setting up for Koneko. Frankly she’s been the weakest character since the beginning so unless they’re going to finally give her some form of personality, I can’t say I really care. I don’t particularly care for the “why won’t he say my first name” storyline, but hey it’s a trope. Frankly since the first season they’ve really nerffed Rias’ power as well, but unlike Issei, they don’t level her back up each season. I can’t tell you one new thing she’s learned or that’s been revealed about her powers and the only other character that’s like that is unfortunately Koneko.

The animation is great. I’ll admit that I found an uncensored version (much to my surprise) and it definitely caught me off guard. Though I found it to be a purer version because of it. With as much fan service as this show has, having giant censor “stickers” pop up tends to just make it pointless to watch anything since most of the screen is covered. But even the non-fan service parts were animated incredibly well. I’ve enjoyed the look of this series from the beginning and it only gets better with time.

There’s some hiccups in this first episode for sure and if you haven’t watched the other two seasons/series then you’re going to be lost. There’s no recap and really at this point there shouldn’t be. Fan service or not, I’ll be here for this story and can’t wait to see how Issei transforms this season and when we’ll see him in full on Dragon mode… or doorbell a booby because that’s probably going to happen first.

Score: 3/5

High School DxD BorN 3.1 "It's Summer break, To the Underworld Let's GO!" Official Website