One of the pivotal moments in High School DxD is Asia Argento’s transformation from devout nun to demon. Pursued by the malevolent Fallen Angels for her sacred gear’s ability to heal wounds, she is killed when her gift is taken away by Raynere—the same Fallen Angel who killed protagonist Issei Hyodo on their first date. Though Asia appears to be dead, demon mistress Rias Gremory revives the girl and brings her into the fold of Kuoh Academy’s Occult Club, a special gathering place for demons who operate under the direction of the buxom, red-haired Rias. Now a demon herself, Asia adjusts to her new life as hellspawn while maintaining her sensitivity, naivete, high moral judgment, and head-over-heels crush on Issei.
Asia and Koneko’s Secret Contract!? is a single volume spin-off of High School DxD that casts the spotlight on Asia and the quiet Koneko as they respond to contracts set up by desperate humans looking for a little infernal intervention. Issei’s interactions with perverts and losers from the original series sets the tone for the adventures the girls experience in Secret Contract. Whereas most human-demon pledges typically involve murder, assassination, and other vile acts, Asia and Koneko interact with a diverse collection of souls who need help with unconventional problems. In this collection, the two girls model for a cosplayer, catch a panty raider, help a young woman grow bigger breasts, fill in for sick performers at an amusement park, work at a maid cafe, and accompany a young man to a water park. These events are largely inconsequential to the overall High School DxD plot and as such, they are not even mentioned in the main series.
Secret Contract is further distanced from High School DxD by its markedly different artistic style. The character designs have a cutesy feel, as though they’ve been drawn to look as adorable as possible. The work caters to the cosplay crowd, as Asia and Koneko’s encounters enable them to parade around in cute outfits like swimsuits, cheerleader uniforms, maid’s outfits, and bikinis. There are a few glimpses of nudity, but unlike Rias’s voluptuous form, the girls seem to lack anatomical definition.
Funny and lighthearted, Asia and Koneko’s Secret Contract!? is a fluff piece about the Occult Club’s newest member. It is entertaining if somewhat vapid, as its flimsy pretense is designed only to engage the cuter demons of High School DxD in goofy hijinks that have no effect on the main story.
High School DxD: Asia and Koneko’s Secret Contract!?
by Ichiei Ishibumi
Art by Miyama-Zero, Hiroichi
Yen Press, 2014
Publisher Age Rating: 17+