Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls In a Dungeon? Ep. 11: Safe and sound

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Those poor animals. What if they’re just trying to level up, too? What if they need to harvest human organs for money? It’s a dog eat dog world out there, son. So we’re back with yet another installment of DanMachi. When we last left off, our heroes were in dire straits. Surrounded by tough, scary rabbits and puppies, Bellri and his friends had no choice but to push on towards the 18th floor, a.k.a. the safe zone. But they have to hurry, because there’s a floor boss on the 17th floor! Wow, that sounds intense! Chased by dungeon mobs on one side, and a race against time on the other side! So how much do you want to bet that all the tension and drama will be sucked away from the narrative in less than half the episode?

— Hestia’s search party easily makes their way through these early floors of the dungeon. In fact, Loki’s group has gone a lot, lot further. Unfortunately, we’re stuck tracing Bellri’s development. Supposedly, he’s advancing faster than anyone ever has… but when the end result is still battling axe-wielding bunnies, we have ourselves a terribly boring narrative. Think about it, though. The first hour of an RPG might be slow as it sets the player up for a grand, epic adventure. But after that hour, the game doesn’t hold back. On the other hand, for an anime series, we must sit here and painstakingly wait a week between each episode. And after eleven weeks, our hero is only level two. After eleven weeks, he’s still traversing nothing but bland cave tunnels. After eleven weeks, the most exciting monster encounter is some Attack on Titan ripoff Goliath. Even SAO didn’t do it this bad. Could you imagine the first eleven episodes only dealing Kirito grinding on mobs? Now, SAO had the other problem: Kirito was instantly the best. He never had to grow, he never had to truly struggle, his duel-wielding prowess was just handed to him on a silver platter (much like Bellri’s traits…). But on the bright side, his Gary Stu strength at least allowed him to actually go on adventures… kind of. There were still a lot of boring caves and dungeons in SAO, but not 100% of the time. What adventures do we see here?

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Give me a break, mon cheri.

— Hermes admits to Hestia that he has taken a very keen interest in our boy hero because the latter might just take them to a new era. A new era. Are you serious? What new era? What do gods and goddesses even do? What is the point of this whole universe? But expect nothing, because this little scrap of plot development is all we get after eleven episodes.

— Like I said, it’s an Attack on Titan ripoff. Bellri doesn’t stay and fight this time, though. He just runs as hard as he can and jumps down a hole. When we next see him, he is perfectly safe and sound. Not only that, good ol’ Eyes is here!

— Now hold up. We’re not even halfway through the episode (I’d say about 40% of the way through), and Bellri is already okay. And suffice it to say, you know the next 60% of the episode is just going to be fluff. Bellri’s going to spend time with Eyes, see that his friends are okay, reunite with Hestia, blah blah blah. And they’ll just talk and talk and talk. Like… isn’t this such an ass-backwards way to tell the story? This started out as a search-and-rescue subplot. Bellri and his group are in big trouble, and Hestia has recruited the best adventurers she could get at such a short notice in order to save her kid. If anything, we should have barely seen Bellri this week. We should have only gotten glimpses of him and his friends, and those glimpses would do nothing but drive home the drama and tension. Are they okay? Did they make it? Meanwhile, Hestia’s frantic search should leave us at the edge of our seats. Here, a desperate mother and the neighborhood are moving as fast as they can to find Bellri and his friends.

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It’s no different from, say, when some children go missing in the woods, and everyone starts looking for them in the dark of night. In doing so, you might even feel pity for Hestia. Then finally, her group makes it to the 18th floor, and they find that Bellri’s okay… but that’s not what happens. Instead, we know ahead of time that Bellri’s okay. In fact, we spend all of our boring ass time with him. Then when he and Hestia finally unites, it’s hardly special. It certainly isn’t emotional one bit. C’mon.

— And of course, you can argue that Bellri is a hero, so nothing bad would happen to him anyway. Sure, stories are predictable. But that does mean you shouldn’t even bother to do the bare minimum? Is the alternative, i.e. watching these boring moments on the 18th floor, really that much more entertaining? I fucking doubt it. If the writer was really brave, then something tragic would have happened. Bellri might have lost a limb, or even worse, one of his friends. But this is one of those hugfest shows, so of course, nothing truly bad ever happens. Some faceless adventurers might die once in a while, but I’m sure they’re just smirking assholes anyway. In fact, have we even seen a female character get slaughtered in this series?

— Oh yeah, this is a much better way to tell the story.

— In fact, the safe zone is more like the harem zone.

This is just case there are still any lingering doubts about what I just said…

— So how is there light on this floor? It’s all thanks to this ugly mass:

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And these crystals somehow exactly just like the sun would. After a few hours, they’ll dim and thereby give way to nighttime. Hilarious. What if there was actually a sun on this floor? What if there was actually a blue sky? Of course, it wouldn’t make any physical sense this way. How do you jump down cave tunnels only to end up in an open area? But then again, it would make this dungeon so goddamn trippy. Not only that, the dungeon should be a main character in this narrative. It should have a role just as important as the one that Bellri plays. Alas, the dungeon feels like an afterthought.

— That looks like some diseased scrotum.

— Like I’ve said, Hestia eventually reunites with Bellri, and it’s an emotionless scene. Neither of them had to struggle all that much, so there’s no payoff here. Bellri did struggle for a little bit, but we quickly get to see that he’s just fine, so…

— As you can see, the girls are quite repentant and eager to apologize for their misdeeds. The guy, though…

— Again, most of the guys in this universe are assholes. I wonder if the writer even notices the gender bias in his characters, because it’s fucking hilarious.

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— Oh shut the fuck up. No, you wouldn’t have. You would have done some heroic bullshit just like you always do and try to save everyone.

— There’s some subplot involving Welf and Hephaestus, but… meh. I’m so disengaged from the story already. I might as well just tell you that he ends up clutching that thing in a scene after the credits as he recalls a painful moment with Hephaestus. There, we at least got that out of the way.

— Meanwhile, there’s supposedly a town down here. So it has people living there. Enough people to keep the town running for generations. People who have needs. Like food and running water. And medicine. And do they trade for supplies whenever a good group of adventurers make it down here? Like once in a blue moon? I mean, I can hardly imagine how a town would function in a place so cut-off from the rest of the world, but we’ll see…

— Of course, we can’t do any proper world-building, because he must focus instead on the barely-tangible love triangle

— But tune in next week for an exciting adventure… to a town!


12 Replies to “Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls In a Dungeon? Ep. 11: Safe and sound”

  1. Sometimes I’ll see these obvious harem shows on the season charts and think, “Maybe I should watch this. Even if it is pandering, it might be fun to just turn my brain off and enjoy the cute girls. How bad can it be?”

    Thank you for describing exactly how bad it can be. This show isn’t even a trainwreck, it’s just boring. You put up with it so I don’t have to.

  2. It’s just baffling the way the female character’s are handled in this series. Obviously, pretty much any woman who happens to be a hot chick will inevitably end up falling for Bellri, because he’s this oh so awesome alpha male despite how generic he is and how Gary Stu he’s become over time. Those girls who met him at the entrance of the tent already started flirting with him just because he slaughtered a Minotaur? If said reason is enough, why haven’t they fall in love with other high-level guys who are perfectly capable of killing Minotaurs and more threatening monster? Is it because Bellri is oh so special? Is it because those other males are inherently evil or jerks who mistreat women?

    The way all this show is kinda centered around a guy who’s got convenient abilities to conveniently level up in a rush is just SO jarring. There’s even an evil Sex Goddess keeping her eyes on our increasingly Gary Stu character. Now we are presented with Hermes saying the guy has picked his interest. *sigh* More and more this series just prove itself to be a generic, wish-fulfillment show, with and equally dull setting and sluggish world building that doesn’t even try to sound interesting or make sense. Having respawning monsters and a Dungeon everybody ventures on, while no one seems to be not even the slightest interested in where all this stuff came from is just laughable. Or not, considering this has been based on a RPG esque world anyway.

    1. I hear he has another ability along with that shitty Argonaut, get this his other ability is Super Luck (don’t know what shitty name it’s called).

      1. Yep, there is a “luck” stat in this show… it’s really just a way for the author (It pains me to call the writer of this show an author) to use Deus Ex Machina whenever he feels like it and not to get called out on it.

  3. I think it is because e minor has been forced to watch so many bad anime that he is just throwing hate right now, from the very beginning we know that this anime is light hearted, it’s not even trying to compete with SAO. Only 3 girls are in love of Bell(such low number) and those are Hestia(some people say that this adaptation of wrong and she actually threats him as his younger brother), the girl that carries all the stuff and the maid. The tanned girls are interested but how he managed to reach level 2 that quickly and reach that floor, Aiz is interested in the same thing.
    We actually see him running like hell carrying his team like crazy. We are actually watching him struggle. He felt fricking unconscious after reaching the hole (since it was the entrance to floor 18) there are reasons of why loki’s familia was there.
    Hestia reached the floor so easily because her team was fricking OP. I bet she had 2-3 level 2 and 2 level 3 minimum. Actually the fact that in an earlier chapter they said that the sword princess is level 6(if I remember correctly) and she is like the greatest one we currently know we see that it’s appropriate that he is only level 2.
    This world works different that most rpgs don’t try to compare it because the leveling system is totally different.

    1. I think you may need to reevaluate why the “romance” aspect is bad to understand why people dislike it. It is not the number but the reasoning behind each one with the reasoning being in essence that he is a special snowflake.
      As far as struggling goes this is less struggling and more exertion. Bellri is never really challenged for the most part as the plot or other characters always bails him out. The struggle that E Minor is probably looking for is an event which a character reaches their own limitations and must affect a profound change upon themselves to prevail.

    2. Well it’s good that you aren’t resorting to personally insulting e minor but don’t say something silly like “throwing hate” just because he doesn’t love the series.
      A light hearted series can’t have serious moments? Is a light hearted tone even appropriate when your trying to frame the dungeon as dangerous? Did they make me watch Hestia gather adventures in a room with sad then motivational music playing as they resolved to face the challenge of finding bell, just to have bell escape and them have some cuddly meet up?
      What we have here really isn’t a rescue mission. They go into the dungeon and come out to find bell safe and sound, sure a little worrying here and there from Hestia but that’s it.

      Nahh man they’re all in love with bell. Sincen when does being interested in someone mean throwing yourself all over them? Aiz? she clearly displayed signs of jealousy in this episode when those other girls were hogging him at the feast. Don’t forget the sex goddess, who is obsessed with him. Some super hot girl he hasn’t even spoken to gets off watching him fight. Really?

      He passes out right before reaching to safety and wakes up to face plant in Aiz’s bust.

      You were the person last time explaining the leveling system and yet the episode after those comments just made them lose credibility. I don’t feel like they were op either. The three loser who caused this mess in the first place, 2 gods, and two other people. One of which throws needles and burns opponents. The show didn’t make me feel like she even did it with super speed or anything, just throw some needles and the target slowly burns.

      1. It’s hilarious. It’s like when you ask someone to stop taking a shit on your lawn, so they go “Well, there’s a reason I’m taking a shit on your lawn,” and they think that explanation suffices. No, dude, you’re still shitting on my lawn. Likewise, a bad story is still a bad story no matter how many stupid justifications people can come up for it. Like that asshole apologist last week who was like, “Yeah, sure, we can make a female character stand up for herself, but it wouldn’t have been realistic.” They’d rather write shit characters than go outside of their comfort zone for just one moment.

    3. Nope, Mz Wallenstein wassername is always super-excited when anything to do with Bell happens. She’s obviously smitten, but she’s a deadpan character. So it’s at least four girls. If not more. Every girl at least has a “special interest” in Bell.

  4. So, uh… why does this episode exist? There’s a serious search party whose whole purpose is to… search and save the person/people they’re looking for right? Right… okay.
    “Hey guys, there are twelve episodes in cour, so… Let’s try and fill this “whatever”-this is in. Okay, let’s go for lunch.”
    Did the writer completely forget what a “search party” is and why such a concept exists? Like, was this plot-point included to fill a couple of pages/episode?
    Why not an episode where the universe could momentarily stop revolving around Bell and have him slogging his ass through some knee-deep-shit and the search party equally struggling to reach him? Like you know, like fucking Black Hawk Down? That movie has some dire shit where some BAD shit happened to simply survive. Yeah, I guess a merciless dungeon filled with homicidal monsters is more amicable than war-torn Somalia.
    Yeah, this shota got to level 2 faster than everyone else to make THE WHOLE TOWN aware of him. So what? Let’s see some actual shit where that actually pays off. Let’s see this boy sweat, cry, and bleed so we know that he DESERVES this promotion. Uh, I guess carrying two useless fucking characters proves that? Okay? The only thing that proves is that these two idiots that needed to be carried by Lead Idiot probably shouldn’t be that deep into the dungeon in the first place.

    I’m pretty open to the sharing of ideas, but fucking seriously: THAT is an AoT rip-off. There is NO way of bullshitting around that. Let’s think about what the traditional giant is: a middle-aged European Caucasian man/woman dressed in Medieval Europe clothing who happen to be 100x the size. Huh, muscular, young-built giant person giant. I wonder where they got that idea? Yeah, probably original. I guess it’s too hard to be original right? OR maybe they’re paying HOMAGE.

    Like really? You run into a bunch of “savages” and they’re wearing rags, I’m sorry “native clothing”? Native clothing that show off the cleavage of supple, nubile young girls? Oh, geez, I wonder where the fan-service appeal to that is. I’m sure when the Spanish conquistadors landed onto Aztec shores, young and sexy native girls (of course 18+ years of age, duh) THREW themselves onto the Spaniards and swooned from their bravery.
    You’d think that these two different cultures would be somewhat antagonistic. One being a more developed culture and one lagging a little bit behind. Wait, if adventurers know about this place where it’s safe to rest, wouldn’t they to forcibly try and build another town in its place? That whole expansionist/imperialist idea? I’m sure some inn-keepers and merchants from the town would (kinda)-literally KILL to operate and profit on that level. Why would you go back to Town 1 if you could conveniently buy potions and equipment from Town 2 that’s nearer to you?
    Oh yeah. This is some kind of hoity-toity clean fantasy world where such brutality doesn’t exist.

    I laughed when Bell said that shit about “making the hard choices”. Fuck no, he wouldn’t. From some shitty plot reasons, Hestia, Eyes and every other chick that knows him would’ve heard about it. Does that mean they’ll stop clinging onto him? No, because within a single episode, he’ll do some “chick-appreciation”-thing to win their “love” back over to maintain the status quo. Like seriously? Our main character isn’t a hero that everybody loves? Nobody would like him!
    He’s simply an idealistic hero in a setting that is idealistically suited for him. That’s why he’s survived this far and why he’s this plot-powerful. Otherwise, this idiot wouldn’t have made it past the babby floors.

    Huh, it’s pretty interesting how nothing Eyes is. You’d think that Love-Interest-Girl #2 would maybe be a bigger deal in the story. Hmmmm… Hey Eyes, maybe you should wear a string that wraps around you to hold up your tits. Maybe that’ll up your standing in your show. Oh, too late, that gimmick is taken already by Love-Interest-Girl #1. Too bad, I guess, the meh blond hair princess role will have to do for you.

    I’m pretty much waiting for the beach episode. What, you think there wouldn’t be? Why do you think they gave Hestia her primary assets in the first place?

  5. I……… nothing to say that has not be told, even the replies to the guy who keeps looking for ways to convinces us that this show isn’t just another forgettable piece of garbage are pretty spot on. So I’ll resume watching Sourcerous Stabber Orphen, a better fantasy anime that shows more than one boring ass location with an actual objective.

  6. You know, watching this one from the start, back when the cast was reasonably sized and there seemed to be a clear narrative arc forming with decent pacing… I actually thought it had a chance. It didn’t, though – it dropped that ball (I’m assuming the moment it looked like the novel would be serialized) and set about throwing out every magical adventure harem cliche in the book.

    Maybe it’s just my inner optimist speaking, but there was an earnestness to those first few episodes that’s long since died, and now the corpse of this series shambles gormlessly on towards another season or two of distressingly lucrative marketing without meaning or purpose, compelled by the necromantic forces of terrible LN writing. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this, either. In fact, most series like Danmachi start stronger than they finish and dwindle to halfhearted, unsatisfying hogwash after the first arc. The LN-based story that can even manage to resolve itself at all before it stops airing is a rare marvel these days.

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