Maybe I need to change the title of this erm series? Uh, let’s call it series for the sake of simplicity. Maybe I need to change the name of this series because sometimes these aren’t full recommendations, such as this one here is more like… maybe you should try it… maybe you shouldn’t and obviously I don’t have a full opinion on it till I finish the entire season which wouldn’t be till like three months later. Well at this point it’s probably too late. Foreword over, onwards to the quasi-recommendation.
I actually checked this out before I did “MY love STORY!!”, but clearly the rom-com three way hooked me more so I felt compelled to write about it. Nevertheless, I do have some sort of interest in this anime, you’ve already seen it in the overtly long post title; Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Oh and the Japanese title is equally long: Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka. Based off the title, you can tell it sounds degrading to the fairer sex so obviously there was some reluctance to watch it on my part but the description sort of sold me, there’s a fine line between clearly objectifying and not so objectifying, this is not so objectifying. It doesn’t make it all that better but it could be worse (see Triage X).
The series comes across like a shounen of sorts and while it fills out most of the standard shounen clichés (in the same vein that all Marvel movies pretty much check the same boxes), the world felt fresh enough for me to want to dive in. Dungeons are sprinkled around the world and adventurers, under the patronage of gods (ranging from various mythologies, off the top of my head I saw Freya, Loki and Hephaestus), enter these dungeons for loot. It takes a lot of notes from video games or even D&D (I prefer the video game comparison since I have more direct knowledge on that). When you do certain actions in a dungeon, kill a monster, run, etc. , you gain stats boosts, literal stat boost inscribed into your body. The god you’re associated with is also the family you’re associated with. You also gain things like skill traits and what not. This distinct lore hooked me immediately more than the plot or the characters.
The main character is Bell Cranel, he’s the type of guy who somehow someway gets every girl to fall in hopelessly and desperately in love with him, but he’s only got his eyes on one lady so he essentially no sells every other lady’s advances. It’s a harem, plainly put. Most of these ladies surrounding him hit various archetypes stereotypes, and there is a tad of fan service (not on the level of Fairy Tail which is still a respectable shounen so again, it doesn’t go over the top, more so on the level of Magi).
Bell Cranel is the whole member of the Hestia family, Hestia being the god he serves (Hestia being one of the many who finds herself a victim of Bell’s love spell). When the Loki family allows a minotaur to escape from the higher levels of the dungeon into the lower dungeon, he finds himself hopelessly cornered until Ais Wallenstein, a member of the Loki family, (I think that’s the name) saves him in a spray of blood. He falls in love (the love so powerful it gives him a skill for immense growth, another checkbox on the shounen main character category).
With new found motivation Bell progressively grows stronger in his desperation to attract the attention of Wallenstein (who’s probably equally enamored with Bell for one reason or another, the harem factor most likely). I think you can tell I’m not too pleased with the one-dimensional characters, I enjoy the world enough and respect that it’s not a ground breaking anime either. It’s still a fun show to watch, the art style is terrific and the animation is there, just because they’re one-dimensional doesn’t mean they’re necessarily boring.
Do I recommend this? Only if you’re willing to look past all the standard shounen check boxes, on the other hand, if you want more shounen then this is the one for you. If you don’t like shounen then subsequently, there are better things you could do with your time. There are three episodes in as of yet (I’m just about to partake in the third episode and they’re bringing in the tragic backstory), so it’ll be a quick catch up.