Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka?

Title:Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka?
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
ダンジョンに出会いを求めるのは間違っているだろうか (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - JC Staff
MATSUOKA Yoshitsugu
Bell Cranell is impressed by Aiz Wallenstein, a famous swordswoman who saves his life during a MMORPG-like dungeon adventure. The problems are that he's an absolute beginner, and also he already has a sort-of girlfriend, the Goddess Hestia.

13 episodes
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 8 7 7 5 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:3027#1552]
Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon mixes around story elements typical of medieval/ fantasy adventure titles with some elements of harem comedy in its focus on our male lead, Bell, improving his abilities as an adventurer with the support of the goddess Hestia and gaining allies as his abilities improve venturing through dungeons and slaying monsters. The anime has a hodge-podge of character types that you would typically find in adventure or otaku-oriented titles that many of them don't grow much out of, though some major characters like Bell and members of his party get fleshing out of their back stories and gradual developments from befriending one another. Beyond that, the storytelling milks a mix of tropes typical from harem and adventure titles with Bell being some sort of "chosen one" that can become ridiculously stronger quickly and being able to attract a number of cute and attractive girls to him from his brave and bashful personality. There are hints dropped that Bell might be of far greater importance to the world of his series, though the series ends inconclusively due to its light novel source material (as usual) being ongoing as of the time that the anime aired. While having some decent fleshing out of some of its major players, Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon is still typical fare for otaku crowds with the assorted fantasy-adventure and harem comedy tropes that the anime offers up.

Last updated Friday, March 10 2017. Created Friday, March 10 2017.
Watch Stretch [series:3027#628]
(All episodes watched):

Dungeon was a show which didn't implode the moment the characters started speaking, which is an impressive performance for an anime whose title is worded as a long question. At first I thought that this must be some sort of SAO or Log Horizon type show, in which characters are trapped within a malfunctioning MMORPG, but it turned out that it is about a fantasy world that happens to work pretty much just like such an online game would, with dungeons and monsters that conveniently transform into jewels when you kill them and so on. Somehow 'Gods' take part in this, each one apparently creating it's own 'Familia' or clique of followers; Hestia is a pretty minor Goddess whose Familia consists only of Bell. It's unclear if her supernatural powers consist of anything beyond fanservice. Episode one of Dungeon didn't give me much of an impression one way or another whether this show would be worth watching, and indeed the series as a whole sort of walked a tightrope between being worth and not worth it. If there had been more than a handful of good anime this season I probably wouldn't have watched Dungeon. The plot doesn't seem to consist of much more than 'get stronger so that you can impress the girl you like', and character development is not a high priority. It is slightly funny, however.

In episode two it seems that something secret is going on among the Gods/Goddesses, but I didn't catch much of an idea of what it is or whether it would be of much interest. Is it Bell that another Goddess has taken an interest in? I dunno. It was unclear if this story would go anywhere. In episode three Bell manages to accomplish something noteworthy, with Hestia's help, which was nice. We also learn how they first met. They are truly underdogs, and as such we can root for them to win some respect and fame in this strange world. This show is by no means brilliant, but I didn't mind watching. As is usually the case with anime which have long titles which end with a question mark, this show wasn't as intriguing or sassy as the title made me hope. I was seldom surprised by what happened. Bell accumulates a small team of fellow adventurers, as we see in the OP sequence, and each gets a little arc in which we get to know them. I was left wondering what the main thrust of the story would be--that is, what is the goal of Bell and his companions once they have all arrived? If any hints had already appeared, I didn't catch them; maybe they were among that gobbledygook about Gods and Goddesses conspiring among themselves to do something. I sometimes wished this show would pick up the pace a little, and prayed it won't be more than twelve episodes long.

Bell finally manages to accomplish something remarkable in a grueling battle in episode eight, which transforms him from a mediocre adventurer who often needs to be rescued by the really good ones into a good one himself. It reminds us again of the question 'is this a video game or real life'? Are the player's lives really at stake when defeated opponents just go 'poof' and transform into crystals which act as money? The idea is supposed to be that bored deities are intervening in the human world for their amusement, but have they infested the software of a video game? It doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Has any good person gotten killed so far? Also, what's the deal with Bell's rapid improvement? Did he really earn the skills he now possesses, or is some God or Goddess manipulating things from behind the scenes? If so, why? And will this anime ever provide an answer? As a result, Dungeon is a show which narrowly held my attention.

You know what would really be mind blowing and turn this show around in a hurry? What if Bell somehow got the idea that he is only a fictional character in a game that somebody else is playing; and that his entire world is nothing but a fantasy that somebody, somewhere, dreamed up. In other words, a computer has become self-aware. Of course it won't happen, but somebody ought to make an anime with that premise someday.

Well, episode 13 gave me some good news and some bad news. The good news is that this unremarkable series wrapped up rather than continuing for another season, in which case I probably would have dropped it. The bad news is that the way in which it wrapped up was rather disappointing. I really had no idea whether this would be the final episode of the entire season or just the conclusion of an arc, because the plot was so unfocused and confusing. Basically, Bell finally manages to make himself into a renowned hero who is admired by everyone--and that's about it. We get no answer as to whether Aiz will ever respond to Bell's crush on her, or if he has chosen Hestia as his girlfriend instead. And what was the deal with that suspicious Goddess who had been watching Bell? Bell has basically demonstrated that he would be very good at playing a video game, because that's basically what this was. In the end Dungeon seemed like a series which was cut off after a relatively minor arc and never delivered the critical climax and conclusion.

Last updated Thursday, March 24 2016. Created Monday, April 06 2015.

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