Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
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Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? contains episodes 1-13.Some adventurers delve into the sprawling labyrinths beneath the city of Orario to find fame and fortune. Others come to test their skills against the legions of monsters lurking in the darkness below. However, Bell Cranel's grandfather told him a different reason: it's a great place to rescue (and subsequently meet) girls! Now that Bell's a dungeon delver himself, the ladies he's encountering aren't the helpless damsels in distress he'd imagined, and one of them, the beautiful swordswoman Ais Wallenstein, keeps rescuing Bell instead. As embarrassing as that is, it's nothing compared to what happens when goddesses get involved. Freya, Hephaistos, and Loki, with their powerful Familias, are intimidating enough, but there's one goddess whose relationship with Bell is certain to spark trouble. After all, Bell is the ONLY member of the goddess Hestia's Familia, and she's not sure if she wants to share him with anyone! Special Features:Clean Opening Animation; Clean Closing Animation.
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Life is a constant struggle, as adventurers risk their lives for fame and fortune. This anime depicts the struggles of a young man and his companions, as he sets out on a dangerous quest to become one of the best adventurers.
- Comments: A simplistic anime set in a fantasy world. The fan-service is moderate, and contains partial nudity (butt). Keep this in mind if you are a viewer uninterested in fan-service. I prefer the Japanese audio over English audio, however, I thought the English voice actors did a good job, as well. It sounded natural and had good delivery, as opposed to being cheesy and impromptu. If you are also into games such as JRPGs or to a lesser extent, MMOs, this anime may be suited to you, as many would be able to relate to the struggles of being a level 1.
- Analysis: This anime has emphasis on the relationships and interactions of the characters, among other things. Possibly to establish that these fictional characters are alive and well in a fantasy world. Thus, assists in generating empathy and sympathy from viewers. Moreover, this may infer to the fact that life heavily revolves around relationships. Additionally, there are some things that cannot be done alone. Possibly alluding to fundamental concepts addressed in Persona 4 The Animation, High School of the Dead, as well as BlazBlue: Alter Memory.
While the weak becoming strong is a cliche concept, it shouldn't be overlooked due to how relevant it is. After all, many of us were infants and grew up to become an adolescent, and then adults. The early years of our lives had to be the most vulnerable, as we were defenseless and at the mercy of the world.
As adults, life has more responsibilities, as well as more freedom and privileges. At least at this point in our lives, we have more knowledge and experiences to help deal with the various dangers of the world. In hindsight, the world isn't as scary compared to when we were at our most vulnerable phase. Unfortunately, not all of us are able to transition from children to adults due to the complexity and dangers of reality. Just like in this anime, life is a struggle between life and death.
- Features: English and Japanese audio, as well as English subtitles. Includes 13 episodes on 2 Blu-rays with a run-time of about 5 hours. Rated TV-MA for fantasy violence, blood, language, and moderate fan-service.
- Conclusion: This is a great anime for viewers/gamers that like fantasy worlds, as well as similar animes such as .Hack, Overlord, SAO, etc. The plot is simplistic and the main character is fairly common in which it showcases the weak becoming strong. The fan-service is moderate. While I prefer the Japanese audio, the English audio is also enjoyable. If any of these addressed points sounds unappealing, perhaps this anime might not be for you.
- Recommendations: Re:Zero, "Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri", God Eater, Buso Renkin, Persona 4 The Animation, BlazBlue: Alter Memory, Hyperdimension Neptunia The Animation, Code:Geass, Code:Breaker, Devil Survivor 2 The Animation, Dog Days, Fairy Tail, Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar, Sword Art Online, Overlord, and Tales of the Abyss.
I came across this show a few years ago and thought it sounded pretty dumb. I mean, look at that title. Not only is it a mouthful, but it's the type of title that many of us probably don't want to say out loud among non-anime fans because of looks we get. But eventually I decided to sit down and give it a shot, and I have to say I was hooked. (Please note that character names tend to differ between the anime and the manga/books, so be warned).
The story follow Bell Carnell, a young boy who dreams of being a hero. To do so, he has joined the Familia of Goddess Hestia. There's just one problem. Bell is the only member of the Hestia Familia at the time, because Goddess Hestia is basically a no-name Goddess. You see, years ago, the gods got bored of their lives in Heaven and came down to the planet seeking excitement. They sealed away their godly powers, but offered the children of the world (animal people, elves, dwarves, prums, and humans) the ability to level up. The children are basically living a fantasy RPG, where their stats--from attack and defense to magic and agility--go up the more they fight in the Dungeon. Nearly every god has a Familia, but Hestia only has Bell.
Not that she's complaining, as she is very taken with the white haired boy.
One day, Bell is about to be killed in the Dungeon by a Minotaur when he is saved by Aiz Wallestein, the beautiful Sword Princess. Too embarrassed (and too smitten) to even say thank you to her, he runs away, trying to find out as much as he can about her. Only, when he hears one of Aiz's party members mocking him later that night because of how weak he is, Bell's resolve hardens. He decides he's going to get stronger, strong enough to be a man worthy of Aiz's attention, and hopefully her affection.
What follows is the start of Bell's climb up to the top. Along the way we get to see his kind heart, his childlike innocence, and his frightening combat abilities that are growing faster than any other child in history. He's also picking up friends along the way, from a beaten down supporter, to a smith who's hiding a secret past.
And he's also drawn the eye of a certain goddess who has decided that Bell will be hers once he's stronger, and she's not above putting him in danger to make him so.
Okay, I want to go into that missing star now, and to do some I might have to spoil a few things. Before I begin, let me make one thing clear: I love this series. I watched it again and again, and when the manga and light novels started coming out, I gobbled them up. If you like animes about fantasy worlds with cute girls and swords and magic, this one is worth checking out. I'm really hoping we get a second season sometime this year.
But it's this same love of this series that causes me to hesitate a little. It's no secret that the anime of a popular series often ends up having to cut out things from the source material. They need to make room, and get to the important stuff. And frankly, if you've never read the light novels or the manga, there is really no problem with this anime.
But if you HAVE, oh man...this anime really feels like cliff notes in some ways. Some serious stuff gets cut out.
In the anime, all we hear about Welf's family line cursed. I just assumed that it was some sort of magic thing, but no. He has an entire backstory that is not even mentioned, one involving elves, greed, fairies, and the destruction of an entire forest. By cutting all of this, Welf's reasoning for not making magic swords just seems silly, but when you understand the story behind it, you understand him so much better.
Magic stones are never really explained. This isn't a big deal, until an episode where Bell uses a lamp made from one to escape. In the anime, it just looks like he throws some random item, but that is not the case.
There's a reason the blood-red Minotaur is attacking the group of adventures. The anime gives you a literal one-second glimpse of a smashed cage, but never explains what it is and just assumes you'll figure it out. The book explains this, and it makes sense as to why the Minotaur suddenly seems to attack this exact group.
The anime never mentions--at least as far as I remember--that the Dungeon is ALIVE. It has a will of its own, and it does NOT like the gods and goddess being inside it. The monsters are not just coming out of the wall, they are being BORN from the Dungeon. Because this fact is never touched on, the final battle of the series seems a little...odd. Why is this monster suddenly showing up? But if you know that the Dungeon is alive, then it makes sense.
The woman following Lord Miach around is named Narza, and while the anime doesn't get to the point where we hear her story, she does play a role in the series up to this point. However, she has no lines and just randomly shows up at a meeting, leaving keen-eyed observes wondering why this woman is at this meeting is she's not there to help.
Those are just a few of the things that are cut out that make a world of difference. They are not enough to take off a star, because as I said, if you don't know any of this stuff and just watch the show, the show works just fine, but knowing they are missing because of the manga or books is like a bucket of cold water now.
However, the cut stuff COMBINED with Sentai's decisions is enough to take off a star if you ask me.
When I first heard the English dub trailer, I wasn't sure about it. Bell seemed too...old, maybe? Hestia seemed okay, though maybe not as bubbly as I would have thought. However, as I watched the series, I admit those voices grew on me. Welf's voice works as well, and Lilly's is good too. But Aiz's voice actor has too much emotion. The book makes it very clear that she's often seen as a doll, unable to express her emotions very well, but she seems to be letting too much emotion into her voice. The same goes with Ryu/Lyu, the elf barmaid. She comes across as aloof and reserved in the manga and novels, but here she sounds like just another girl.
Also, when Hestia activates her god powers, her voice doesn't really sound any different--no commanding presence, no power in it. These are pretty jarring, and I can't help but feel that they take away from the characters.
But here's the thing that pushed me over the edge and forced me to take off a star. Lilly does NOT speak in third person. I have no idea why this was changed, because in the original Japanese version, as well as the manga and the light novels, she uses third person. "Lilly thinks this, Lilly wants to do that, Lilly Lilly Lilly." This is a key part of her character, and Sentai took it out! Worse, in their Japanese sub version, the subtitles don't use third person either, even though you can clearly hear Lilly saying her name!
Now, why is this so important? Well, like I said, I think it's a key part of her character--not just some weird quirk. Lilly's entire life up until this point has been nothing but hardship. She's been called trash, scum, and much worse. She's been beaten, starved, and cheated time and time again. Any time she tried to escape, she was always dragged back into her own personal hell, and she hates herself for it. I believe she speaks in third person as a form of psychological defense, because she can't stand herself. She hates herself for being so weak, for having such horrible life, and so she distances herself from herself.
And no, this is not a trait unique to Prums, because Finn doesn't talk about himself that way, so seriously Sentai, what the heck were you thinking?
Bottom line: It's a good show. If all you're interested in is the anime, pick it up. It's a fun little journey, and the odds are good that we'll be getting more sometime this year (they've already started the spinoff series about Aiz). Just be warned that there are some serious lore and backstory points missing, and if you've read the the manga or the light novels, they're going to stick out pretty bad.
Also, Sentai has got to do some serious work on their dubbing, both in terms of the voice actors and actually translating thing that the characters are saying.