Rias Gremory from High School DxD (Pole Dance Version) (NSFW)

Rias Gremory from High School DxD

High school harem shows are a dime a dozen in anime, and most of them aren’t particularly memorable. That’s not to say that I think that most of them are bad or that I dislike them, though; actually, I’ve wound up liking quite a few such shows, even though I’m often predisposed to think of them as stale, generic, and vapid. One such show that I’ve taken a liking to is High School DxD, which, admittedly, includes many aspects I do not like about anime but leaves out a couple of notable tropes, greatly improving its standing in my view. Furthermore, it features an engaging cast of attractive characters – particularly female characters. One such character is Rias Gremory, the lead girl, and that’s who we are going to look at today.

Rias Gremory figure

Unlike many shows of its kind, High School DxD is centered on a fantastic premise (vaguely) incorporating Christian theology. In the DxD world, the Earth – particularly Japan – is a battleground where three different groups – Devils, Angels, and Fallen Angels – wage war. Into this world steps Issei Hyoudou, an unabashed pervert whose avowed destiny is to assemble a harem of women (in fact, High School DxD’s anime website takes its URL from his life’s mission). He is killed very early in the show, only to be resurrected as a devil with mysterious and potentially awesome powers.

Rias Gremory figure

The appeal of High School DxD principally derives from its eclectic cast. Besides Issei – who, unlike many male harem show protagonists, is a fairly sympathetic character – there’s Asia Argento, the kind-hearted European girl who would give both body and soul to Issei if he would just ask; Yuuta Kiba is the good-looking blonde-haired male whose foppish looks conceal white-hot rage; Akeno Himejima is the vice president of the Occult Research Club, shrine maiden, and sadomasochist (unfortunately, we don’t really see much of this side of her) (Actually, we don’t really see nearly enough of her; she doesn’t really get a lot of plot time to herself); and Koneko Toujou is the taciturn brawler of the group, who typically only speaks to hurl acidic barbs at Issei.

Rias Gremory figure

And then there’s Rias, who is depicted as elegant, confident, and capable. She is also highly seductive and sexual, freely tantalizing Issei, much to his delight. In a humorous reversal of the typical harem show conventions, it’s typically Rias’s advances on Issei that get cockblocked (so to speak). She does occasionally show a vulnerable side, particularly when around her family, and she remonstrates Issei whenever another girl makes a move on him.

The second season of High School DxD introduces a few new characters: Zenovia, the stone-faced swordsgirl with no common sense whatsoever; Irina, another cheerful swordsgirl, and Gasper, of whom we will speak no more of.

Rias Gremory figure

High School DxD suffers from many of the same problems as other shows of its types, in particular an excessive predisposition towards exposition. The anime adaptation of High School DxD is based on a long-running series of light novels, and I’m sure that it’s much easier to present the mechanics of the DxD universe in prose. In the anime, however, there are too many instances where the characters stand around explaining vocabulary. Another problem that it has is that there are too many characters; again, I don’t doubt that this is less of an issue in the novel series but even two televisions seasons aren’t enough to allow the characters to grow while advancing the plot. It doesn’t help that the second season spends half its running time on a Yuuta arc; he’s a nice guy and all, but I don’t think many people watch High School DxD to see what happens to Yuuta.

Rias Gremory figure

The show does avoid a couple things that I cannot stand. First, there’s no character that can be readily identified as a tsundere, which pleases me greatly, as I dislike the archetype. Second, the male character is a likeable guy; there have been a number of anime series (Guilty Crown comes foremost to mind) which I despised because of my contempt for the male lead, but Issei shows bravery, decisiveness, and nobility both in his devotion to his club and in his fanatical pursuit of perversion. (Incidentally, both Guilty Crown’s and High School DxD’s protagonists are voiced by the same guy, which surprised me greatly when I learned of it.)

Rias Gremory figure

And so that brings us to this figure. There have been a number of harem shows that, for some reason or another, haven’t gotten a lot of figures – Kampfer comes to mind, as does Infinite Stratos, and High School DxD hasn’t gotten a lot, either. Off the top of my head, Akeno has gotten one or two, I’m not sure if Koneko and Asia have gotten any, and Rias has gotten a few, some of which present her in her school uniform. For this figure, though, Kaitendoh went with the best part of DxD, which was the credits sequence of the first season, which has the girls cavorting around a stripper pole while dressed in lingerie.

Rias Gremory figure

This figure of Rias Gremory is sculpted in 1/7 scale and measures about 19.5 centimeters at the top of her head, and about 26.5 centimeters in total height, including both the base and the pole. As befits the series, Rias comes with a detachable chest part which reveals her rack.

This is not a particularly complex figure – it’s a girl bent over, stroking a stripper pole – but when I looked at the promo photos, I thought it was difficult to get a sense of Rias’s pose and facial expression. Indeed, this figure does convey a sense of imbalance and to explore what this means, we’ll dispense with the club background.

Rias Gremory figure

There, now it looks like Rias is dancing in heaven or something. First off, let’s start with the construction of the figure. Kaitendoh isn’t regarded as premier manufacturer, and while I’m generally wary of pigeonholing companies like that, a close inspection shows considerable coarseness in the paint application. That said, such an inspection would require a magnifying glass or a macro lens. A more obvious and curious design decision is the usage of transparent material for her hair. I’m not at all a fan of transparent hair and Rias does nothing to shift my opinion; I don’t think it looks that great and any light going through it puts a conspicuous red shadow squarely on her ass.

Rias Gremory figure

Presumably, the intended viewing angle for this figure focuses on her left side. From this viewpoint, it’s hard not to think that something about her hips looks strange, as if her right leg were disconnected from her body. A quick look suggests that the right side of her ass is too low.

Rias Gremory figure

But then you look at her ass and you see that it’s not really misaligned, it’s just that she’s supposed to be shaking her ass or twerking or whatever it’s called these days. However, her legs still look unbalanced, and I think it would have been wiser to have dispensed with putting an angle to her backside.

Rias Gremory figure

Rias’s facial expression is one of the oddest things about this figure. For one thing, if you’re looking at a close-up view of her face, it’s hard not to think that her eyes are looking in two different directions. Further, even if you get past that, it’s hard to determine which direction she’s actually looking in. And even if you decide that’s not important, it’s difficult to not think that a happier look would suit her better. Rias is generally in complete command of her sexuality and she doesn’t mind flaunting her body, so seeing her with this nervous, perhaps even fearful expression is a little disconcerting. That said, I won’t deny that there’s something appealing about this strong, assertive character exhibiting distress and vulnerability, but I think I’d like to see her with a seductive and knowing smile instead.

Rias Gremory figure

Rias comes with only one face but she does come with two pairs of breasts, one clothed and one not. Swapping out her chest is rather difficult, as the position of her arms makes it very tricky to get her bust aligned with her body (no instruction sheet is provided, unsurprisingly, and I’m assuming that her upper torso does not detach from her body; it almost looks like it should be able to but I pulled with quite a bit of force and did not see any indication that the parts can be separated). Her breasts look nice, as they should, being the core focus of Issei’s pursuits. Unfortunately, while there is a bit of play in her arms, I don’t think they are flexible enough to place the pole between her boobs.

Rias Gremory figure

All in all, while I wouldn’t call this a great figure, I think it’s a nice representation of Rias. It falls apart under close scrutiny – or any kind of scrutiny, really – but from a normal viewing distance, it looks alright. Under normal room lighting, the transparent hair isn’t as noticeable, though the awkward position of her hips is still evident. One thing I noticed about this figure is that she tends to look better viewed from a higher or lower angle; a low-angle view would, of course, correspond to the sort of position from which one might watch a real-life dance performance. And perhaps that’s the best way to think of this figure; it’s the lead girl of High School DxD in racy underwear, dancing around a stripper pole while wiggling her ass. It’s definitely an imperfect figure, but the premise is still good.

Rias Gremory figure
Rias Gremory figure
Rias Gremory figure
Rias Gremory figure
Rias Gremory figure
Rias Gremory figure
Rias Gremory figure
Rias Gremory figure
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28 Responses to Rias Gremory from High School DxD (Pole Dance Version) (NSFW)

  1. Asa says:

    Not my cup of tea figure-wise, but I have to agree about the show. I like mindless harem well enough, but I dislike worthless male leads many tend to have (or, Generic-kun as I name them all) and also loathe the tsundere archtype. It’s nice when shows avoid those two key things, and even if there is no story (not that I ever expect one from harem) simply having fun with the character interaction is fine. As long as the lead male is worthwhile.

    Then again, there are plenty of harem shows out there I’ve liked even with a Generic-kun, simply because the female cast is so much fun. But it’s better when the lead can play as part of it beyond simply being a punching bag.

    • Tier says:

      I was surprised by how much I like Walkure Romanze, particularly since I didn’t much care for Princess Lover. Then again, the earlier show had not just one, but two tsundere female characters (and, I think, a bizarre plot thread involving terrorists or something). Walkure Romanze has none, and although the male lead has no personality at all, he’s at least a decent guy and doesn’t spend the whole season tripping over things and ending up with his face stuffed in girl crotches. The female cast is pretty fun, too, even though they are almost all fully copied from the cookbook of generic female archetypes.

  2. Wieselhead says:

    DXD was fun in season one, the second one was too full of new stuff and like so often 12 episodes are not enough to turn everything in a satisfying anime. Well, good that the characters are fun. Akeno is my favorite girl with Asia close behind. Kinda sad to know, that there won’t be any decent figures of both in the near future, or should I say, at all.

    With Katsuaki Nemoto, I really had put quite a bit of hope on this Rias figure, too bad that she has some more flaws. I still think that she looks lovely from the correct angle, like in picture 02 and 05. I like her detailed eyes and the fancy outfit a lot, but I probably won’t get her-

    thx for the review and pics

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, that’s what I thought; the second season reminded me a bit of Sora no Otoshimono Forte, which I didn’t like nearly as much as the first season. Both second seasons had to introduce new characters, re-introduce old characters, and spent too much time on uninteresting storylines when the best part of each anime was the interaction between the male leads and the female harem candidates. I wonder if anime directors will ever figure out that what works in a light novel or manga doesn’t necessarily work in animation.

      It’s interesting to note how much poorer in quality this figure is compared to a Native figure; admittedly, Native and Max Factory are perhaps second to none in terms of figure quality, but while I can excuse the paint, the sculpting quirks are harder to rationalize. (It’s also odd how Kaitendoh has employed guys who’ve done some really nice sculpts, such as Ken Yokota.)

      Maybe FREEing will do some bunny figure versions of Akeno and Asia; Rias is getting one and it seems like they like making their bunny girls in full sets. I think I’d say Xenovia is my favorite girl, though she just showed up in the anime, more or less.

      • Garrett says:

        I have watched both Highschool Dxd and SnO and I think that their second seasons are better due to the fact that the ecchi parts are overexerted and they need some actual plot to light fires for the fan bases (mostly highschool dxd for this one) and to attract more fans. I liked to see Issei progress into a total badas* and deter away from his constant attraction to breasts (although the english dubbed imported choice words to increase comedic value).

        *Issei gets hit in the crotch* Kiba says “Right in the one eyed-snake” lol

  3. BostonBrandon says:

    “There, now it looks like Rias is dancing in heaven or something.” 🙂

    The lighting and background here do this figure a great deal of credit, I’m sure that she looks nice tucked away on a shelf but still. I get the feeling that Kaitendoh owes you a commission for this set.
    As for crazy eyes and being able to move your body into positions only a circus performer can manage. I can deal with those as the positioning of the character seems to dictate what looks strange vs normal. Transparent hair on the other hand will always make me feel kind of bleh.

    • Tier says:

      I wonder if anyone who works at a figure company has ever come across this website. I kinda wonder what they think when they see what figure reviewers and photographers do with their products.

      Yeah, my dislike of transparent hair goes back to one of my earliest figures, and it’s particularly annoying when a company shows off a figure with solid hair but then the production figure shows up with transparent hair. Strangely, Alter seems to like doing this, and I have no idea why.

      • icelava says:

        I have a funny feeling, because you’re from a foreign market writing in a foreign language, figure vendors would mostly ignore the opinions and reviews; they probably already have enough feedback with their local market in a language they can properly understand.

        With the exception of Good Smile, I don’t know if other companies even bother hiring English-trained editors to have better grasp of the global market…

        • Tier says:

          Kotobukiya definitely does; they have an English-language Facebook page and they make a lot of products based off of Western properties. Orchid Seed, of all companies, has started including English translations with their instruction sheets, which is curious, since they never showed a lot of interest in the international market before.

  4. bear says:

    Great job on the shoot. I passed on her because she looked trashy, but you managed to make her look gorgeous (even with the weird jelly hair). Maybe if I had more money and time, I’d light up my display cases like photo shoots.

    • Tier says:

      Thanks XD I take an inordinate amount of pride in being able to make a subpar or otherwise uninteresting figure look good. Admittedly, it helps a lot that even if Rias’s figures leave something to be desired, she does have a really nice character design.

  5. GREW says:

    First of all, thanks for the review for this figure.
    I would like to comment a bit on the anime:
    In my opinion, DxD is one of the much better Harem shows out there. Why? Issei is not the usual shy person like many other male leads (IS for example). He is quite a pervert and does makes him amusing. Sure, even he doesn’t get much oppai as he wants, he still aims and its funny to see how he fails (or not – reading the LNs).
    Also the story, DxD has actually a pretty interessting story, its rather complex for a 2×13 episodes long Anime. As a big DxD fan I wished they would make more episodes each season. Sadly, it’s kinda a curse that Anime nowdays only 12-13 episodes long.
    Recently I did read the latest translated LN of DxD and must say, I enjoy this series pretty much. Also, there will be so many nice characters, but also the main cast liek Rias, Akeno, Asia and all get pretty nice moments. Give the LN a try if you find enough time. I did the same and got hooked xD

    back to the figure:
    Very nice shots you made there. But for me the most ‘strange’ thing is her hair. It just doesn’t look creat. I don’t know why it has to be transparent in all area of the hair. Maybe only the tips of the hair would be plenty enough but not like that. Reminds me a bit of the Shana figures. Body wise, simply love. Dat oppai gets me either in the Anime, pictures or LNs. Rias fanboy to the max. Also I’d like the mouth would be rather smiling like in the ED of the first season. Rias has a such nice smile. Also when I look closer to her eyes, it looks quite ‘bad quality like’. Not much details.

    As a huge Rias fan, I would like to own her, but as a figure collector, sadly not so active anymore, I don’t want to pay that much for such figure.

    Still, nice post you made there!

    • GREW says:

      Also btw to the comment that I’m huge Rias fan – I even named my first car like her, Rias! xD

    • Tier says:

      Yeah, I liked that Issei was a standup guy who didn’t spend a lot of time moping and angsting like so many other anime characters. There have been a lot of series that have been dragged down by that (including the series that the next figure I plan to photograph comes from). I wish the anime had spent more time focusing on him and his harem-constructing plans rather than the stuff with Yuuta and the sword collection.

      I looked through the wiki pages for the light novel and I was surprised to see how long it’s gone; that really puts the anime adaptation at a disadvantage. I wouldn’t be surprised to see DxD get a third season as I’m assuming it was reasonably successful, but if it does, I hope they keep it more focused. I’m up to the last episode of the second season and I have no idea what the last few episodes were about, and none of them felt like they were leading to an ending.

      Thanks for the recommendation, I might see if I can make the time to read through them; I’m not expecting great literature or anything but that’s okay.

      Yeah, the figure is not fantastic. I’m still waiting for the definitive version of Rias; hopefully a different company will take a shot at the DxD girls.

    • icelava says:

      I was pleasantly surprised to find the “deeper” (than the ecchi average) political background the story carries. That gives a series a lot more room for complex expansion on the dynamics between the three factions.

      However I found it rather hasty that the top leadership would already congregate by the second season – that usually represents the nearing of a climatic end. There are still so much development potential for Issei and crew, and time should have been spent there.

      • Tier says:

        The second’s season plot structure was a big huge mess (not that it wasn’t entertaining, but still). There was that holy sword stuff at the beginning, and then Xenovia and Irina showed up, and then Irina sorta did her thing, and then they focused on the three factions. If it gets a third season, hopefully it’s more cohesive.

  6. Tsunami3k says:

    Her perplexing expression confused me enough (and continues to) such that I never really entertained getting this one. Of course your glamorous treatment of her as me re-thinking that yet again because, as you mentioned, she is a rather intriguing character design.

    I do have the Griffon one which I quite like and I’m intrigued by both the upcoming Orca Toys rendition and the obligatory 1/4 scale Freeing bunny figure. If either turns out well then I may very well end up with more than one Rias which is hardly a terrible fate.

    • Tier says:

      Hopefully this figure will get discounted or priced cheaply at Mandarake or something; it’d make it a more reasonable purchase, I think, as it’s otherwise not a great figure. I mean, I like it, but a large part of that is because I like the character and the general idea behind it.

      I hadn’t noticed that Orca Toys was going to be making a Rias figure, but it does look promising, as does FREEing’s 1/4 scale one, though I wish she were standing up instead, as it’s much harder to find space for a figure that’s lying down (I just cleared out some shelf space to display Rana Linchen a few days ago; she’d been lying in her plastic clamshell packaging for the last few months). It would’ve been fantastic if they’d done their own pole dance version; a 1/4 scale Rias with a stripper pole would have been amazing.

      • Tsunami3k says:

        Wow, I hadn’t thought of that but a 1/4 scale pole dance variant would be pretty mind-blowing.

        I’ve come around to really appreciating reclining figures as they’re almost ideal for displaying figures on a shelf more than one layer deep. I have one Detolf for figures, the rest is the 9″ top of my DVD shelves so having all of the standing 1/4-1/8th scale figures in the back with Nendoroids, trading figures and larger figures in reclining poses up front really lets me get a lot of figures into some relatively modest real estate without everything looking too crowded.

        I guess it largely depends on the ratio of figure types vs. one’s shelf constraints but I definitely empathize with your figure display woes.

        • Tier says:

          It would! They did have one 1/4 scale figure (Amane Shiratori) who was sort of clutching a pole (a medical stand, but close enough). Rias would look pretty amazing if they did a pole dance version, but I suppose they do love their bunny suits. I’m hoping that if and when they do the other characters, that they are standing up, since I really don’t think I can make room for both the Freezing girls and the DxD characters.

  7. icelava says:

    I never felt any visual appeal from the anime character designs for Highschool DxD (in fact was sort of put off by Rias’ shape), and never rushed to it with excitement; my biased mind pre-established a certainly it is yet another pathetic composition of uninspringly lame story and characters. But as always, I eventually went against my “better judgement” to watch lousy productions just to confirm my opinions.

    I ended up being wrong. And am glad to be.

    For being a blatantly ecchi title, DxD actually showed itself be surprisingly touching on character and relationship developments. I stated this with relative comparison to other titles of the genre – it really is among the best. The great irony being my strongest attraction turned out to be President Rias herself.

    Since i wasn’t directly aroused by her bodily curves, the mat under my feet was alternatively swept off by her personality and disposition. The way she treats and cares for her servants, especially her object of affection. Not to mention this is totally accentuated to a new level by Hikasa Yoko’s seductive voice with the way she purrs out “Issei…” and toys and plays with him. It was only then did I change my mind into “Rias senpai is burning hot”. I must have an incredibly soft spot daisuki onee-sama characters.

    However, I still won’t acquire any Rias figures. 😉

    • Tier says:

      Rias is a really cute character and it’s great how she’s usually in control of things. I watched a couple of other romance anime shows recently – White Album 2 and Golden Time – where I had to roll my eyes at how weak and submissive the female characters were. It doesn’t help that the male leads of both shows could use a beatdown, too. (Koko Kaga is at least a lot of fun to watch otherwise, though, and aside from the uneven characterization, I do like Golden Time.) If the show gets a third season, it would be nice if they chopped out the filler (all the stuff with Issei’s friends; all the exposition; most of the stuff involving Kiba) and focused more on progressing Issei’s relationships with Rias and the other characters.

      • icelava says:

        I haven’t read the light novel or manga to determine how faithful the anime is in terms of storytelling, but i hope the third season provides better character development.

        Forget Golden Time; you should watch Golden Boy. 😉

        • Tier says:

          I should! I am not familiar with the title but I remember seeing it around, and the Wikipedia article says the manga becomes “almost pornographic”, so that’s something in its favor.

  8. Wrathkal says:

    Bought this a while back, haven’t found a place to display it yet. I also bought the 1/4 one where she’s leaning over in an apron.

    Your pictures are always nice to look at as always.

    • Tier says:

      Ahh, I missed responding to this comment. Apologies. Thanks for the kind words! It’s good that Rias is getting a lot of figures in recent times; hopefully the rest of the DxD cast (particularly Xenovia) gets the same love, too.

  9. John says:

    I’m a big DxD fan, but this one was a pass for me. I’m happy with bigger Rias as well. Once again a great review.

    Thanks.

    • Tier says:

      Bigger is generally better in my view. I’m still kinda hoping someone does a 1/4 scale version of Rias pole-dancing; it’d be pretty awesome, I think.

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