High School DxD: Holy Behind the Gymnasium

By Ichiei Ishibumi and Miyama-Zero. Released in Japan by Fujimi Fantasia Bunko. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Haydn Trowell.

I think the author just enjoys suckering people in. For most of the sixth volume of High School DxD, the series is at its default level of horny, which is to say: high, but not beyond all human reason. Sure, there are cosplay battles to see who can turn Issei on the most. Sure, there’s the endless amounts of breast comparison shopping he seems to do as easily as breathing. And yes, I probably should have guessed what was going to happen when we got to the television interview and it didn’t show Issei at all. Still, no amount of preparation could have prepared me for: the theme song. As with the previous volume’s “I can talk to enemy breasts and get them to divulge secrets”, it goes above and beyond in making you wonder what the hell the author is thinking. I have to assume that the author thinks that all this is necessary as otherwise it’s a generic shonen battle manga. Which is a shame as the battles are absolutely fine.

The start of this novel is sparked by two things: Irina returns and transfers into the school, now a full-blown angel but seemingly exactly the same as she’s always been. The other is the upcoming sports festival, where Issei and Asia have to run the three-legged race together. This is difficult, as they’re overly conscious of each other’s bodies, and also because the demon who Asia healed at the start of the series is back, and he wants Asia for himself. The answer is a Rating Game, which is a bit of a surprise so soon after the last one. Unfortunately, that’s far from the only surprise, and our heroes end up fighting against a horde of demon mooks in order to save Asia from a hideous fate at the hands of a demon who turns out to be even worse than we thought – and we already hated him.

I will admit, much as this is Asia’s book, she is mostly a straight up damsel in distress here, though I did like her slapping Diodora for insulting Issei. Unfortunately, she’s still in ‘meek healer’ mode, so her role in this book is to get kidnapped and threatened with rape. This made me grumpy. Other than that, it’s a perfectly good book in regards to the standards of High School DxD, which bear no resemblance to other light novel standards. Issei gets to be cool a few times, and has started to think on his feet much better. The solution for getting Akeno to one-shot kill all the bad guys was hilarious. The theme song, jaw-dropping though it was, was also pretty funny, I will grant you. I have to hand it to High School DxD, it does not do anything in half measures. It is here to talk about tits and it will talk about them until it is blue in the face.

This is apparently the end of the second “arc” of the series, and does include several tantalizing setups for later events. Overall, it was decent. For a value of decent that is a High School DxD book.

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