High School DxD: A Demon’s Work

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

Generally speaking I’ve been able to skate by on these High School DxD reviews because I can usually somehow get past all of the boob talk and the “funny” comedy antics and even more boob talk to find something I can actually discuss like a reasonable reviewer, be it the fights, the character development (it does actually exist), or the overall plot of that particular book. So, you’ll have to pardon me if this review in particular seems to be a little lacking in content, as this is a short story volume. Meaning there is no overall plot, and no character development. Oh, and almost no fighting either. In its place, we have even MORE boob talk and “funny” comedy. As such, we are forced to fall back on the usual rule of light novel short story volumes: the longer the story, he better it actually is. That holds true here, as the last story in the book is the longest and one of the few that deserves attention.

In this book: 1) Issei and Rias try to help a woman who summoned a demon to help her love life… but she’s American, and her idea of Japan is more samurai-oriented. 2) Issei and Asia are told they need to get familiars, but Issei’s choices are all super powerful rather than super sexy. 3) Issei explains to the club the story of how he became obsessed with breasts, which involves a creepy old man corrupting a child. 4) The club has to play a tennis match against a rival in order to complete a club activity report. 5) Asia and Rias are turned into little kids by a spell gone wrong. 6) Azazel accidentally clones Issei three hundred times, and the clones are even more breast-obsessed than he is. 7) Sirzechs and Grayfia show up at Issei’s, and remind Rias that she has to perform a ciming of age ritual with a loved one… i.e. Issei.

There are precisely three stories in this book that cannot be summed up by the words “Oh my God, fuck off.” The first story is actually pretty funny, especially Susan’s misplaced sense of what Japan is actually like. The story of Asia and Rias as kids is at least mildly cute, and features Azazel abusing Issei in a much more acceptable manner than the other story he’s involved in. And the final story is the most involved. We meet the other Demon Kings for the first time, and we get another example of the “they are wearing an obvious disguise but no one notices this except the protagonist” joke, which always seems to work for me for some reason. Other than that, please see above. High School DxD may be unabashedly horny, but I have my limits, and they were pushed hard here.

Despite the presence of one or two non-sucking stories, this is a volume that can easily be skipped, IMO. Next time we should get a school trip… and hopefully a plotline.

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