Is It Wrong To Expect a Hot Spring in a Dungeon – DanMachi OVA Review

DanMachi OVA

This one barely needs reviewing really because to be perfectly honest between what people already know of the DanMachi (Is it Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon) series and the title, it kind of tells you everything you need to know. This OVA was released on HiDive and I was happy enough to return to watching Bell and his friends given I’ve been reading the light novels and feel like I’ve been waiting forever for a second season of the anime, but even I didn’t have high expectations going in. Simply put, it was obvious from the beginning that this is strictly filler and won’t be advancing the plot in any meaningful way. I did have some minor expectations that it might fill in some of the character development I’ve come across in the light novels that wasn’t present in the original series, but sadly that is lacking as well. Still, if you are a fan of DanMachi then you’ll probably know more or less what to expect here; just keep in mind the title is not lying.

DanMachi OVA

We catch up with the characters directly after the events in the series where Bell has just slain Goliath and they are making their way out of the dungeon. After the usual Lily and Hestia antics fighting over Bell (wait, you guys know you are still in the Dungeon right and should be paying attention) they are attacked and in the process Hestia ends up finding a new tunnel which leads to a hot spring (because anime).

Now we all know DanMachi has never been afraid of fan service and so behold Hermes preparation of swimsuits for the girls to change into, including one too small for Hestia that eventually snaps while trying to dress and an ‘improvised’ version is constructed. I will point out that while lingering shots of the girls (and guys at times) and various camera angles are simply blatant pandering to fans, but the banter going on between the characters as they relax and unwind from their adventure is genuinely enjoyable. The chemistry between the group is pretty solid and if you like the show then you already like these characters and so listening to them here will be a genuinely good time.

DanMachi OVA

Of course though, they are in the dungeon and DanMachi is aware that fan service is not its only selling point. Introducing monster fish that use the hot spring to pray on adventurers for a few minutes of exciting action toward the end works well enough to let Bell do the hero thing, and I’m only going to vaguely mention the whole water suddenly melting their swimsuits off but somehow not dissolving Lily’s back pack when she drops it in the water at the end. Basically, whether you are into this show for the girls, the action, or the character interactions, this OVA actually delivers on all 3 and about the only thing it doesn’t do is deal with the overall plot (and no one ever really expects and OVA to do that).

DanMachi OVA

This is not your introduction to the series though and will make little to no sense if you aren’t familiar with the world and the characters. Even for fans of the series, this is decidedly something that can be ignored. But, if you are in the mood for twenty minutes more of Bell and Hestia, then its worth a shot.


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Karandi James

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ReLIFE OVA: What Happens At The End of a ReLIFE?

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Having watched ReLIFE last year and managing to ignore the blatantly ridiculous premise long enough to get into the story and actually enjoy it, I was kind of happy to hear that we were getting more. Closely followed by unhappy that the anime only got a 4 episode OVA to try to wrap things up. So how did they go?

Review:

As much as I found the first ReLIFE series a pleasant binge experience, there was little staying power or any reason to really remember it, so before I could watch this I actually had to go and read the episode synopses for the first anime and as I did it kind of came back to me and I remembered it was kind of fun if I ignored the basic premise that somehow living a year of high school over again would change anything about your adult life.

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Well here is the OVA and in four episodes it takes us to the end of the school year which means the ReLIFE experiment draws to an end for Arata Kaizaki. So the questions we now need answered (other than the old question about what is with the punctuation in the title) are whether Hishiro and Kaizaki will actually make it work out.

And this is where this OVA really comes into its own as it narrows the focus right down onto these two characters. Sure the rest of the classmates are still there, but most of their baggage was addressed in the first series. Kaizaki and Hishiro take centre stage and both have their own worries that they can’t talk about as the audience already knows these two are both test subjects.

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Where the anime shines, is that it begins with a focus on Hishiro who firmly suspects that Kaizaki is another test subject (she’s somewhat brighter than he is). She also figures out fairly quickly that because they are both test subjects, they will both forget everything about the other no matter what they do. This makes her hesitate even as emotions grow between them and it feels fairly natural. When she finally does give in to her growing ling for Kaizaki it is a bittersweet moment and likewise for Kaizaki who honestly believes Hishiro is a high schooler and while emotionally he is growing attached to her, he really understands that he is actually 28.

Where the story goes after the experiment ends you will have to watch and find out for yourselves as I won’t spoil the fun of watching but I will say that all the way through this OVA you do need to watch through to after the credits and given the final episode has nearly five minutes still to go after the credits are finished it really means you need to stay watching or you are going to miss the final resolution.

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Much like the first series, this isn’t exactly groundbreaking or memorable but it was a fun and relaxing way to pass a Saturday afternoon. Clearly this isn’t aiming to amaze with its art or animation, with the majority of students in the school either generic blue and pink shapes or when a character is in the background they are frequently motionless, but it isn’t the kind of story that is relying on its animation. It really is just trying to tap in to how we feel and to make us feel for these characters.

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Ultimately your enjoyment of the series will come from how much you actually would like to see these two characters overcome their past demons and make a new life for themselves after their ReLIFE. If that works for you, then definitely check out the show.


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Karandi James

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Natsume Yuujinchou Roku OVA 2

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Review:

While the first OVA didn’t really do all that much for me in terms of bringing on the usual Natsume feels, this second one kind of nails what I love about Natsume. While the focus of the story is on a girl who rescued an owl and ended up in possession of a ring that she’s now trying to return, Natsume’s encounter with her is something that is really beautiful to watch unfold.

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Which of course is what makes the end of this OVA so bitter-sweet, as Natsume endings often are. But it is the journey, the growth, and the reflection along the way that makes it all worth while.

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Unlike the first OVA here, this story isn’t focused on a single yokai but rather looks at a normal human who has had their life intersected by an encounter with a yokai. Something Natsume can relate to quite readily. However, other than Nyanko-Sensei, this story doesn’t bring in any of the other characters we love so much from the series so it really is a fairly independent story and quite enjoyable, though I imagine some of the impact would be lessened for those who aren’t already fairly familiar with Natsume.

All and all, this was a great story and a nice addition to season 6 of this series.


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Karandi James

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Natsume Yuujinchou Roku OVA 1

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Okay, fairly late on this one, but I finally watched the OVA. I’ll check out the second one fairly soon and review as well.

Review:

Once again Natsume comes across a yokai who asks a favour of him and Natsume complies. I kind of felt the story this time lacked much in the way of emotion compared to Natsume’s usual fare. While he helped the yokai out, he seemed fairly detached from the entire situation and didn’t quite have his usual contemplative moments.

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Still, Natsume is always charming and there are plenty of moments here to enjoy such as him receiving advice from the middle-class yokai on how to deal with the memory loss and Natsume spending time with the Fujiwara’s.

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Basically, if you’ve watched six seasons of Natsume, you’ll have a great time here being reunited with the cast you love. However, if you are a newcomer to the series, this is decidedly flat (for Natsume) and there are better entry points than this one. Particularly as even Nyanko’s design seemed a little off in more than one scene of this.

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Not that I’m being overly critical. I had a great time watching this. It just wasn’t quite strong enough to really stand alone. Had this aired as a mid-season episode it would have sat much better.


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Karandi James

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Recovery of an MMO Junkie OVA (Episode 11)

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Review:

Recovery of an MMO Junkie didn’t really need this episode and clearly it was aware of it. So rather than pretend to be an 11 episode series, they released this two part add on as an OVA and to be honest that made it easier to swallow. Basically, Morioka and Sakurai are charming and they continue to be charming here but it adds absolutely nothing to the series and is merely a chance to spend more time with two characters you may have made a connection with if you liked the show.

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The one thing it did contribute was to give a sense of the couple as they become a little more couple-like even if they are moving forward in tiny little steps. Sakurai offers to help Morioka build a computer after her hard drive dies and the two spend a pleasant day together giving the computer a test spin as they go on a quest online.

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This is followed by a semi-nonsense plot that is a dream sequence and seems to exist only to bring all the support cast into the story in some way. There’s certainly fun to be had here but really it is all just a bit pointless.


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Karandi James.

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The Ancient Magus’ Bride Part 1

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Review:

I went into this knowing nothing but I saw it when looking at what was updated on Crunchyroll and thought it looked fascinating so decided to give part 1 a go. Kind of glad I did. It’s definitely slow moving but there are little bits of magic interspersed throughout which means that the scenes are never boring. While at first I found Chise to be a fairly bland character, by the end of this I genuinely felt for her and wanted to know more about her. I loved the study and the library in the forest. I would genuinely love to have a room like that (with or without the magic – just having that many books and that sort of space would be fantastic). Mostly the problem you end up with is this is a part 1 and so the story is just kind of starting when it ends. I will be looking out for part 2 because I’d like to know what happens next.

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The Ancient Magus’ Bride is available on Crunchyroll.

Noblesse: Awakening OVA – Insufficient Time To Flesh Out A Story

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Noblesse: Awakening Review:

At 30 minutes, Noblesse Awakening doesn’t really have time for anything complex. Or really do much of anything. Then again, even when Noblesse is given a whole series to play with it doesn’t really accomplish much.

Noblesse Awakening gives you a text-based introduction about the setup and then we are pretty much straight into coffin opening and then vampire goes to school.



At times I wondered if this OVA was paid for by Japan’s education system given how many plugs going to school got in the 30 minute run time. That said, I give the human characters credit for knowing when to run away unlike in most shows where they would see the weird creepy thing and run toward it.

I’ll also point out it is very unfair that they weren’t rewarded for their actual and credible survival skills. I sometimes feel smart characters are unfairly punished in these types of stories where as it is remarkable how often morons survive.

Overall Noblesse: Awakening was enjoyable enough but it doesn’t have enough time to really make you care about anything that is happening and then it is over but feels like it really is just starting so unless we get something else you just kind of wonder what the point was.

Fans of vampire anything will enjoy this, if you like an okay action story you will enjoy this, and if you are just looking for a way to kill 30 minutes, there are worse ways to do it than Noblesse: Awakening. But that’s about as far as I can recommend it.

Nobless: Awakening is available on Crunchyroll.


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Karandi James