One of the things I loved about roleplaying games, is the part where your character began to grow and gain experience. Or as most people call it, leveling up. When I was a teenager I encountered my first roleplaying game in the form of Dungeons and Dragons. If you have seen Stranger Things you might know a bit of how that game works. What it comes down to is that you create a character, role up some stats like Strength, Dexterity and others with some cool looking dice, and then you start playing the game. The first order of business is trying to survive against the horrors the dungeon master will throw at you. You see, with your character you will be entering a fantasy world, and thrown into an epic adventure where you will have to face all kinds of challenges. Rescuing fair maidens, fighting dragons, capturing a foul necromancer, you know: the good stuff! And surviving an adventure means you get to grow as a character, developing new skills and abilities, in short leveling up. Jeez Raist, why this longwinded intro? This is a post for an animeseries right? Why do you always feel the need to talk about stuff that is not important. Well, erm because in this case the series certainly feels like it has more than a passing resemblance to that game. Although I never picked up girls in a dungeon, just saying.
I wrote this post a while back, before I went on my long hiatus. At that time I had decided not to watch seasonal anime, because I was already behind on so many other things. Yeah, that lasted for about a week. Seeing there were so many good shows out, and with so many bloggers talking about them (you all know who you are) I eventually caved in and added four shows for that season. Yep, I know I’m weak. This show with probably one of the silliest titles ever, was on it’s second season several months ago. Since I had never seen it, I ofcourse first immersed myself in it’s first season, because well that makes sense right? Bell Cranel is a young adventurer who tries very hard to carve a reputation for himself. Under the goddess Hestia (who quite frankly looks totally not like a goddess at all) he spents time in the dungeon fighting monsters in order to acquire crystal shards that they leave behind when defeated. These are then used to craft magic items and other cool stuff. One day though Bell bites of more than he can chew when he encounters a terrifying Minotaur. Just when he is about to get crushed he is rescued by the warrior woman Ais Wallenstein. From this point on Bell vows to become better as he wants nothing more than to be just as good as Ais. But someone else watches his progress from the shadows, and she might have entirely different plans for him, plans that may be not so benign….
I already said this a few times, but I am not a huge fan of comedies. When this anime first started off I really thought this would be just that, a show where the focus was solely on the comedy part. But I’m not one to give up easily and I’m glad I didn’t. I really had a lot of fun with this series. In part because in some ways it reminded me a lot of one of my favorite animes Sword Art Online, for the other because it had a really great all around feel good vibe going for it. That last part is hugely caused by the many colorful and fun characters. The hero of the show Bell is at first for lack of a better term, quite a weakling. He is very unsure of himself, and even runs away in terror whenever the woman he looks up to and rescued him, makes an appearance. This resulted in some hilarious scenes. But then a change comes over young Bell. He grows stronger and more confident, and his abilities keep increasing exponentially. I always like it when an underdog all of a sudden grows into the stuff of legend, and that’s certainly the case here. In a way Bell’s journey reminded me of Kirito. In either case he is a really fun character that is pretty hard not to like. But it’s his interactions with deity Hestia that are one of the things that give this show it’s heart.
I mentioned it above, Hestia looks as far from a goddess as you are ever likely to see. She is a scantily clad big breasted girl, that seems to be totally in love with Bell. Whenever a woman comes near him, like for instance Ais Wallenstein (or as she likes to call her Ais Wallenwhatsit) she becomes insanely jealous. Each time Bell returns from another venture she lifts up his shirt, climbs on his back and tries to sees if his statts have increased and/or give him new abilities. Yes, if that sounds weird, it’s because it is weird. The first time this happened I really was wondering what in blazes was going on. But it seems that’s just part of the show’s sillyness as Bell has an adventure sheet on his back, and Hestia is able to read his statts in that way. Yep it still sounds nuts, I know. I guess this is as good a time as any to adress the fanservice in the show. Yep, it’s there, and we get the stumbling into breasts gags, bouncing breasts, seductive poses, in short all the usual stuff. But for some reason it all seems, I don’t know, not offensive in any way in this show. If you have seen this one, you might know what I am talking about. It’s just a part of what makes this anime work and it’s all fairly mild and well one could even say cute.
Now, there are many more characters I could talk about, but I will leave you to discover them. (Although pay special attention to Lili, she is way too cute for her own right) What I do still want to adress is the various fightsequences in this show. They are without a doubt pretty awesome. The final rumble in the last episode of this season was particularly epic. Flashy magic, swordfights, some frightening looking monsters, all of these blend together to make this a fun fantasy anime that will appeal to anyone who loves this genre. One thing that had me a bit mystified was the mysterious and somewhat evil goddess, that popped up at various points during the show. But I still haven’t quite figured out how exactly she fits into the overall story. I’m hoping this will be adressed in season 2, because really I want to find out more about her. So IS it wrong to try and pick up girls in a dungeon? I guess it isn’t. I had a really good time with this fun anime, and while in the beginning it took me a while to fully get into it, I’m glad I stuck with it. If you love shows with humor, fun characters, a great and ligthearted storyline and try to keep an open mind when it comes to the fanservice, you could do worse by checking this show out. And who knows, you might even pick up some girls yourself along the way.
I give Is it Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon: Season 1 a 8 out of 10 score.