Review: HighSchool DxD BorN [DVD]

Release Date
Combo Pack
Studio / Publisher
TNK / Funimation, All The Anime
Audio / Subtitles
Japanese 2.0, English 5.1 / English
4 (2BD+2DVD)
Run Time
300 Minutes

Highschool DxD BorN is the third season in the Highschool DxD series. The first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD a couple of years back by Manga Entertainment, but as of the release of this season, Highschool DxD New remains absent in the UK. This Funimation UK release is a combo pack and distributed by All The Anime. Other popular works from studio TNK include fan-favourite School Days and loli-tacular Bladedance of Elementalers. Highschool DxD BorN was directed by Tetsuta Yanagisawa, the director of both previous seasons of DxD, and I’ve Always Liked You, a charming movie which appeared on Crunchyroll last month.

“Issei and his harem of hotties are back to take on their biggest, boldest, bounciest adventure yet asthey fight to prevent Ragnarok (aka the end of the underworld)! With summer vacation just around the corner, Issei’s got one thing on his mind spending sunny days with bikini-clad babes. Unfortunately, the Chaos Brigade is planning something big, and with heavy-hitters like the Norse God Loki in their corner, the House of Gremory is going to have to survive Rias’ underworld boot camp if they hope to stand a chance. While they prepare, dark forces gather strength behind the scenes, Koneko’s family reunion turns into a real catfight, and Asia must survive an indecent proposal from a high-ranking demon. With plenty of balls-to-the-wall battles and bare-it-all beauties, fans of High School DxD should start making room on the shelf their perfect pair is about to become a ménage à trois.”All The Anime

Just like the first two seasons, BorN remains focused on sexual humour throughout, and that is really what it does best. However, it does make sure to deal with some important topics, such as accepting yourself for who you are. This affects a few of the girls in Issei’s harem, which perhaps lessens the impact by ensuring it seems more forced than need be. For the most part, BorN continues to be exactly what its fans want and expect; don’t go in expecting more than some guilty fun, and you’ll probably be in for a few hours of enjoyment, and maybe some cringing. However, I haven’t read the light novels for Highschool DxD, and even I could tell something was off with the last three episodes of this season. They just felt out of place compared to the first two seasons and first three-quarters of this season; turns out they are anime original. I do wonder how this will impact on the fourth season that has since been announced.

The only noticeable issue with the video quality for this release was that slow panning shots seemed to be more affected by judder than other releases tend to be. Aside from that, despite being a DVD, the quality was good enough to binge, and with a blu-ray available in the combo pack anyway, it doesn’t really matter. The English dub of this series was produced as a broadcast dub by Funimation, and as such the dub doesn’t sound as polished as one would hope for in a home video release. Thankfully that really works for this type of anime. The over the top perversion lends itself well to a “bad” dub, and it’s somewhat of a guilty pleasure for me personally. I’m rarely a fan of re-versioning over straight-up dubbing, but the liberties taken in the dub script only ever spin the basic meaning in an even funnier way, and I can’t help but love it when the characters talk all “gangster” for no reason other than to elicit a laugh from the viewer.

There’s nothing overly impressive in the collection of extras; promo videos, textless opening and ending videos, and English trailers are on the disc, alongside the 6 mini OVAs from the Japanese home video release. The mini OVAs are sub-only, seeing as how Funimation created the dub for this season as a broadcast dub. Sadly, the sequel OVA is not included.

Fujimishobo/HighSchoolDDBorN PARTNERS

High School DxD BorN is another enjoyable instalment in an over the top fanservice anime. It never really does anything exceptional, but the English dub is one hell of a guilty pleasure. The dub is far from brilliant, and it takes some liberties with the script, but it gets the point across well enough, and often in a much more amusing way. It's a shame the second season is missing in the UK though, so hopefully, All The Anime can rectify that.