To pick up a girl…

So I usually try to give every series I watch at least 3 episodes so it has an opportunity to develop properly the world and ideas it’s trying to portray, together with an appropriate screen time for the main characters and art. That being said… “Danjon ni Deai wo Motomeru no ha Machigatteiru Darō ka” or Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? did not leave the best impression on me.

If you’re not familiar with the setting I’ll fill you up. This is straight from Wikipedia:

The story takes place in the fictional world of Ororio whose main feature place is the Dungeon (ダンジョン Danjon?) which contains an assortment of monsters from goblins to dragons. Each monster has a magic shard that can be used to craft magic items; some of the stronger monsters have “drop item” shards that are especially powerful. The people of Ororio join groups called Familia (ファミリア?), who serve a range of functions from dungeon crawling to crafting items. Each Familia is named after and serves a resident deity. Prospective adventurers must join a Familia and a Guild before they can enter The Dungeon. The adventurers are ranked by a level (1-5, 5 being the highest) and their attributes and abilities are also rated on a letter scale.

Now, this could be very promising. This kind of setup has actually been approached before in a more VRMMORPG centred stories like SAO and the amazing Log Horizon. and that’s fine as long as the execution and characters have a good chemistry. Yet here starts the problems.

Again from Wikipedia:

For Bell Cranel, a 14-year-old solo adventurer, he has bigger plans: To pick up a girl. However on the day he meets the one he feels destined to be with, it is he who ends up being the “damsel in distress”. How far will Bell be willing to go to pursue the girl of his dreams, and what will happen when more divine eyes have him in their sights?

To pick up a girl… let me remind you that this kind of trope has been used before but for a less important kind of character, you know, the lame clown of the group you only see for comedic relief. That guy who does allot of big talk and recurs to shady antics to make people do what he wants, and make the girl he’s interested in to get mad with the actual MC. Don’t get me wrong, Bell’s personality in the series so far has been mostly pleasant, don’t mind that his goal’s justification is debatable and he’s basically a clean rehash of the archetype underdog hero… emm let’s just agree that he fits the setup.

 photo Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darouka - 01 - Large 36_zpspngqckwy.jpg

Let’s talk about Hestia… She’s awesome, that’s pretty much it. Her seiyu, “Minase Inori” it’s amazing and her personality it’s so bubbly and lovable. I must say though, girls that young looking should NOT have those attributes. You should look the original, greek portrayal of the goddess Hestia and compare. But this is anime, so anything counts! 😀

So basically this world is populated by heroes and wannabes that are working in a world build upon some very RPG’ish structure. Going into dungeons, hunting monsters, collecting stuff and levelling up to get beautiful girls and more stuff. A nerds dream. I don’t really mind that the actual story is so heavily targeted to an specific audience that it’s becoming the new standard to define this genre. Thats not a bad thing at all. I mean, it’s about making sales by pleasing a certain demographic. That’s why ecchi harems also exist and they’re broadly accepted and loved. And if you don’t like it, then just don’t watch it, don’t consume it. But I do believe that if the writer could make an effort to give more brushes of different tones to the story and characters, we could have something really great here.

 photo Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darouka - OP - Large 06_zpsod0z200s.jpg

Should you watch this series? Why not? is fun. As long as you don’t mind some misogynistic moments every now and then. I personally won’t though. I rather dedicate that time to more fulfilling series. Now where’s my dose of “Ore Monogatari”?

Here are some random thoughts I shared on Twitter that might illustrate a bit about how I feel about the series. They might give some info from the third episode, so you have been warned!

See you in the next post!

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