- Alt. Name
- Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka
- Release Date
- Spring 2016
- No. of Episodes
- J.C. Staff
- Light Novel
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? is a 2015 Fantasy Adventure anime series from a studio that made some of the most fan-favorite anime series of the twenty-first century, J.C. Staff. Though the studio has made some fantastic series in the past, it’s indisputable that no studio has a flawless track record regardless of the genre or number of fans they have. Though some studio fans will flock to whatever the studio creates, not all series are valued the same. Some anime series are an excellent choice for newcomers, and some are a terrible choice for starting one’s anime journey. Anime is like music; some genres are not for everyone, and some creations won’t respond well with someone younger or vice versa.
Life in the bustling city of Orario is never dull, especially for Bell Cranel, a naive young man who hopes to become the greatest adventurer in the land. After a chance encounter with the lonely goddess, Hestia, his dreams become a little closer to becoming a reality. With her unwavering support, Bell embarks on a fantastic quest as he ventures deep within the city’s monster-filled catacombs, known only as the “Dungeon.” Death lurks around every corner in these dark cavernous depths of this terrifying labyrinth, and a mysterious power moves amidst the shadows within.
Even on the surface, survival is a hard-earned privilege. Indeed, nothing is ever certain in a world where gods and humans live and work together, especially when they often struggle to get along. One thing is for sure, though; a myriad of blunders, triumphs, and friendships awaits the dauntlessly optimistic protagonist of this herculean tale. Can Bell reach his goal of becoming the land’s greatest adventurer, or is he too naïve and fall for the traps that will not only get him killed but others he loves dearly as well?
While this series has a few positives, the biggest is that the world-building is excellent compared to other series within this genre. The story has some fast-paced moments, but it will be hardly noticeable in the overall sense of the thirteen episodes. Having a story that is so short but able to expand throughout the entire season is attempted way too much compared to how many series do a decent to a great job at accomplishing the task. Perhaps this is due to the source material is a light novel and was still ongoing during the production. This somewhat significant accomplishment makes the series better without trying to figure out what is in this world.
Another positive within this story is that it’s easy to follow, the series has a primary goal, and that’s Bell wanting to become the best adventurer in the land. Throughout each episode, it slowly builds and doesn’t do too much throughout one episode. At the same time, each episode tends to be kept to itself and seldomly flows into the following episode. When it does, that’s the moment that starts the action within the episode, and the viewer will be glad the series doesn’t give anything away leading up to the epic moments.
The last positive about this series narrative, of the many, that it had, is something that isn’t talked about in most anime. This series narrative has magnetic elements for fans within the Action, Comedy, Fantasy, and even Harem genres. They seem to have made a wonderful tale that meshing these genres together that older fans and newer ones can equally enjoy, again and again. Many series seem to tail off on the story when viewed multiple times, but somehow this series didn’t and was just as pleasant as the first viewing.
However, this series had some significant flaws within its story, and some are bigger than others. However, the biggest one is that this series narrative is somewhat predictable in some areas, especially when it comes to the bare-bones story. This may not sound like such a negative, but other series like Pokemon, Love is War, and even Tsuritama all have elements from other series, yet they still do it better. Meaning even if the string of events is somewhat predictable, the viewer can still enjoy the series because nobody can’t truly understand a story until one has reached its conclusion. Some may not want the predictableness, but others won’t mind, which is why stating this fact matters so profoundly.
One of the other significant negatives within this story is that it simply has some problem with having a story supporting the plot. While the series is interesting, there wasn’t anything within a timeline to connect the characters to the plot. The entire point of having a story scheme is to support the story itself, not the other way around. Having each episode mostly on its own does well in some areas; overall, it makes it seem unconnected when thought of as a complete story.
While the story was interesting, this series’s art style lives up to J.C. Staff’s expectations. The dark and earth-toned colors are an excellent combination with the flat coloring of the background. The easily identifiable character designs and scenery are easily the better parts of the art style within this anime series. Though the most prominent negative within this series regarding its art is that it’s slightly cartoonish, meaning it lacks any real depth to its characters. Overall this is neutral, but some may be wanting more from this series design than what they’ll be getting.
Though when it comes to this anime series animation production, they somehow knew what would work. The music throughout the series was perfectly matched and didn’t seem generic like some series have. While the opening theme song was done exceptionally well, “Hey World” by Yuka Iguchi, the ending theme “Right Light Rise” by Kanon Wakeshima wasn’t as enjoyable. Whether it be the ending animation itself, or the song choice, something within this sequence didn’t fit appropriately throughout the series.
Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? It had many characters, some were greater than others, but some were just downright boring. For instance, the main character, Bell Cranel, is a novice solo adventurer and, at the beginning of the story, the only member of the Hestia Familia. While some may enjoy his character, others will find him rather tiresome as his primary superior skill is Liars Freese, which pretty much the writer’s way of having them overpowered whenever they want. He’s kind, brave, and even shy at times outside of this, but overall, he’s straightforward with what he wants to do.
Hestia is Bell’s goddess, in charge of taking care of his development as an adventurer. Her most significant character trait is that she’s jealous of any female who either is near or is interested in Bell’s life. Though she is devoted to protecting him, that has somehow crossed over to smothering him with love.
Ais Wallenstein is a beautiful and powerful yet very beautiful swordswoman, though nothing is known about her. She is very quiet and rarely talks for more than a few sentences, which is rather dull and boring. Wallenstein is the love interest of Bell, but it’s unclear if she reciprocates any emotion due to her being so cold to emotion. Concerning characters throughout the entire season, she’s at the very bottom when it comes to enjoyment.
Outside of these three characters, Lilly is a supporter when Bell goes into the Dungeon. She is an interesting character but has an exciting background story. Then there’s Welf Crozzo, the man who makes Bell’s armor and weapons. Outside of these two, there aren’t many characters that are worth mentioning. Of course, there are worthy of a mention, but they didn’t seem to help the story for more than one or two episodes within the entire story.
When any franchise spans over multiple volumes of Manga and Light Novels, the first season has a lot to live up to for not only fans of the franchise and as a studio. The franchise already has a massive fanbase, so one would hope any series will live up to the hype. However, sometimes the hype is too big, and it falls flat on its face, or in a worst-case scenario, it crashes and burns in a beautiful explosion. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? has avoided those pitfalls and created something worthy of its viewers’ enjoyment.
The enjoyment one will receive throughout this anime series is terrific for newcomers and old veterans alike. The easy-to-follow premise and beautiful art style compliment each other and have that J.C. Staff charm. Though this series has many negatives, some are unavoidable. They are muted by how each viewer will enjoy the action, adventure, fantasy, and even the friendship elements throughout its short run. After watching this series multiple times, one will quickly see why this series is loved and immensely enjoyed. Enjoy this series for all that it’s worth, and hopefully, the following seasons are just as good, if not better.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.