Irina, you’re going to have to give me a few minutes to finish dancing, cheering, and maybe performing a cartwheel or two because I’m just that happy to see ‘Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?’ (which I will forever now just write DanMachi for) is back for a second season. I loved the first season so much and I’ve been devouring the light novels which means I’m super anticipating what this season will bring us.
Waiting…waiting… Actually, imagining Karandi dancing around like a little girl in her living room is pretty fun. I could do this all day. I quite enjoy writing out Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? It’s a very fun title and what drew me into the series the very first time I heard about it. In a showing at an anime convention. I’m glad it’s back to but I’m thinking you’re going to be the cheerleader on this one. My feelings are a bit more neutral.
I will admit that this first episode of the season is a lot of set-up and feels a little bit slow in places. We start with a kind of lack-lustre fight in the dungeon which doesn’t really show what this series can bring us in the action department. However, what it does establish is that Bell, Welf, Lily and the addition of Mikoto are a fine team in the middle levels of the dungeon and monsters that were previously terrifying and hard to combat are now fairly routine provided they are careful. So while it isn’t the most exciting opening it does nicely establish where the characters are currently sitting. What did you think?
I was sort of playing catch-up. Bell and Lily are well established and I knew exactly who they were. I have a soft spot for Welf so I remembered him as well but I honestly had no clue who Mikoto was and what her relationship to the rest of the party was. I’m currently watching Log Horizon so dungeon fighting scenes are pretty common in my life these days but it was fine. Like you say, nothing that special but you gotta start somewhere.
It did remind me how much I enjoy the simple but cute character designs though!
The bar fight was quick and brutal which clearly it is supposed to be. I know I found it really silly in the books that Bell gave in to that provocation and I found it equally silly here but it does get the ball rolling. Bete’s intervention disguised as being annoyed and his comment to Bell that he shouldn’t be cocky was nicely delivered. It is amazing that all up Bete has probably barely been in the anime for an episode and yet he usually leaves a lasting impression, though it is a mixed offering of good and bad impressions. I guess he’s just the kind of guy who does what he wants and damn everyone else and sometimes that works out and other times he comes off like a jerk. How did you see it?
I have not read the books but I found it in character for Bell to stand up for Hestia. His greatest weakness is his goddess and he’s always been pretty adamant about protecting her reputation. It’s the one stupid thing he does. Bell does run the risk of turning into a Mary Sue (Gary Stu) pretty easily so having him blindly hot-headed on a topic gives a bit of complexity to his character. I don’t dislike it.As for Bete, I think it may be the character design. I tend to remember silver wolf boys even if they don’t do very much… Then again I also have a soft spot for Bete. Hmmm, it seems I like the gruff guys in Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Then again, I also like Hermes so make of that what you will.
Hermes is fantastic. I love how he literally messes with everyone and then pretends he doesn’t do a thing.
However, then Hestia finally arrived in the episode and it felt like the anime finally kicked into gear. I love how she scolded Bell even while treating his injuries and fussing over him. Hestia and Bell’s relationship remains really complicated as she does treat him as a child but also flirts horrendously with him and gets incredibly jealous. Hestia and Loki’s reaction to Bell dancing with Ais at the part was hilarious and I love that Asfi just kind of tucked them both under her arms like they were out of control children and ignored their complaints.
I had forgotten just how intense the fanservice is. I suppose in many ways Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? shares a lot of tropes with harem anime so this would be in keeping with that.
I do like Loki a lot. I think it’s fun whenever she’s on-screen. And as I mentioned I like Hermes as well. I know enough about Greek mythology to be able to draw some parallels but I’m still a little fuzzy on the workings of Gods and their place in the DanManchi (I gave in) universe. Seeing so many of them together is always fun for me and having their “children” there as well, changes the interactions. I liked the ball scene a lot more than everything that came before it.
I kind of stopped trying to make real mythological parallels with the characters because it isn’t all the accurate and it kind of bugged me the very first time I watched the first anime. I made the decision to just assume that other than some vague correlations to the myths these characters were all their own.
As a first episode of the new season we had some new characters introduced with Daphne and Cassandra delivering the invitation to Apollo’s party and Apollo himself at the party as well as other members of the Apollo familia. We also got reunited with Freya and her minion (whose name I never do remember), Loki, Ais, Hermes and various other gods, goddesses and their children. The party is actually a good way for us to have a quick visit with each of the main players without lingering for too long and it served the purpose of getting the ball rolling for what is clearly going to be the first arc of this season.
A red-headed Apollo just melted my brain a tiny bit. As a concept. couldn’t quite explain why exactly but it looked off and every time I saw him, it bugged me a little.
Visually there wasn’t a lot of action in this episode and as normal DanMachi is kind of just okay during the rest of the scenes. There’s some fairly sketchy backgrounds and background characters with no faces in a few scenes and while it all generally works it isn’t exactly the prettiest anime out there. Hopefully once we get to some of the fights we see some cool visuals because season one set a fairly high standard with the Minotaur fight and I’d love to see something of that level again.
Like I said, I quite like the character design in DanManchi and was happy to see it intact and well. The ball gowns were a bit disappointing in that I was hoping for some ridiculously elaborate affair, maybe à la Black Butler. I was also a touch let down that the used stills during the dancing scene.
On the other hand, I honestly hadn’t noticed anything amiss the backgrounds and faceless extras have become so commonplace that my brain hardly registers them anymore. Visually I liked it. The sound design was ok and the vice acting decent.
Otherwise this episode was exactly what I wanted, more DanMachi. I’m really excited for the next episode and while this isn’t the slickest production coming out this season, this was definitely the anime I was waiting for. It would have to take a fair mis-step for me to dislike it and honestly there’s nothing here to dislike. For fans of DanMachi it continues the story well and sets up what it needs to set up. Your final thoughts, Irina?
As an episode in and of itself, I thought it was ok. Nothin that special really. As a set-up I liked it. This war game declaration at the end caught my interest and I want to know where it goes. That’s all you really want out of a first episode so I can’t complain!
Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi
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Images from: DanMachi 2nd Season. Dir. T Hideki. J.C. Staff. 2019.