What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?! And another one bites the dust! The latest binge led me to this underrated gem. I was honestly shocked by it. You don’t think much of an anime series like this at first, but it managed to turn into something exciting pretty quick. I mean I was nervous it was going to be something perverted, because when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. That gets stale pretty fast. Yet this one dodged a lot of it and managed to offer more than what you expected.
What made this one an easy sell too was the fact that the premise of the story was straightforward. The story follows the exploits of Bell Cranel, a 14-year-old solo adventurer under the goddess Hestia. As the only member of the Hestia Familia, he works hard every day in the dungeon to make ends meet while seeking to improve himself.
As the main character, Bell was an interesting one. Off the bat I had to get over the fact that he was yet again another character who had white hair and red eyes. There always has to be one. But that aside, the important thing was quickly understanding the kind of character Bell is. As I said, one of the best things about this series was the fact that it wasn’t as promiscuous as you would have thought it might be. Bell is a kid, and there definitely would have been some awkward moments if he was exposed to too much unneeded nudity. So with that said, I admired that he was written as someone who simply had a dream and went after it. He went through the dungeon to make ends meet, to get stronger, to keep up with the one person who inspired him most, and most of all to keep his Goddess happy. He could have easily been another kid who
When it came to Hestia, she was a funny one. They definitely indulged themselves in everything they could get away with through this character. This is not to say hat she was always trying to show skin, but Hestia is always there pining after this one human. She could choose anyone with her status and personality, and yet goes for someone like Bell. not only this, but they had funny creating tat one God who should be living the good life and yet somehow spends most of her time laboring to also make ends meet. With that said, she has some good qualities about her. The one thing you come to learn from Hestia is the value of the members of a Familia over the quantity. You would be baffled by how lackadaisical she is about doing what the others do to succeed, but then you find an understanding in how humble she carries herself. A very nice change of pace from the usual Goddess we would be introduced to who is full of hot air.
The rest of the supporting cast was standout as well. I felt as though they all complimented each other very well. There wasn’t one character who we didn’t manage to get to know to a certain extent and from there find a reason to invest in. Lili and Welf, and Mikoto in particular who made up Bell’s party and the Hestia Familia were all great characters for the roles they played. The support, personal armourer, and even the DPS as I would call her. They each had a role they fulfilled, something which helped Bell continue improving himself, and more importantly something which gave them their own path to walk. Who they even pick up in the second season wasn’t a bad addition either, though I’ll refrain from getting into that for the sake of spoilers.
Maybe the only characters who could have used some depth would be the antagonists of the story, but I do believe they did fine just making certain that these characters created enough of a challenge foe the adventurers. I would bet that if there was something to learn, we would probably have to wait for the third season. Though till then that is worth the wait after the rings the main characters were put through. Personally I loved just the challenges which the dungeon levels offered. That consistently felt like something straight out of a video game or board game.
Aside from the characters, the plot was easy to follow. Initially I did have some worries about this story because there is only so much you can do with stories like this where the main character is trying to level up through a dungeon experience. However, it did not take long to see where the story was more thought out than you would have assumed if you didn’t read the manga. The efforts towards world-building is key for a fantasy series, and they nailed that. There was never a lack of exploration of what made this world tick either. After that, there was no shortage of moments where we were getting to better known what it meant to be a God on Earth, the history that they share with one another, and how they are really the orchestrators of a lot which goes wrong for the mortals who get caught up in their affairs.
The action impressed me. I wasn’t expecting too much from the animation, but the work from J.C.Staff was stunning. Well the fact alone that it is J.C.Staff should have sent the message that this was going to captivate us visually. Either way. every scene where the action hit was high quality between the way that the characters moved, the choreography of their movements, and how one action flowed into the next. Let’s not forget the colors and effects as well. That was the true star because of course a fantasy adventure like this will miss the mark if there isn’t some spectacle to take from art.
If there was one thing which did take some time getting used to, it was the way they referred to these families as Familia. When you think of familia, the first thing which comes to mind is the way that word is used in Italian or Spanish culture. It just feels out-of-place when you are talking about a Japanese anime, and a story set in a fictional city. As the series progresses it does get easier to overlook this because at the end of the day it is what the familia means to these characters which resonates with you more than anything else. They did not waste the opportunity once to emphasize the importance of family, friendship, trust, and let’s not forget loyalty. These things shaped the very foundation of what brought some of these characters together and allowed them to achieve what would have once been impossible on their own.
Now I should say that there is a movie to go along with these two seasons. Fortunately this one takes place between the two seasons which places Bell and Hestia at a point where they are better equipped to handle more dangerous threats, they have a party, and an overall stronger reputation. The gist of “Arrow of the Orion” is that far from the dungeon beneath Oraria rises a new threat, one that Artemis has sworn to destroy with the help of her chosen warrior. As you can already guess, that chosen warrior is Bell. The mission Bell and company set out on is full of exploration, action, and even the emotional depth. The quality of animation was even at it’s best, which isn’t saying too much since the visual work for the series is consistently impressive.
Overall, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? is much more than what it seems on the surface. Do not be like me and make the mistake of overlooking it because the name of the series makes you uneasy. It has character, depth, adventure, and visual appeal. Give it a try and look forward to the third season!