Review – Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?
When the name of the show you’re watching gives you a major clue as to what the series is going to be about, without telling you the names of any of the characters, generally it’s pretty clear cut what you’re getting yourself into. Not in this animes case, as I expected to be fronted with a highly adult, ultra smarmy cheese-fest of a guy chasing down his dream girl by saving her inside of some big dungeon. I expected that she’d have been screaming “My hero!” and falling into his arms, whilst he sauntered away with the girl and made it apparent that he was the man. Thankfully, we didn’t get that, but rather a much more touching tale!
This is a story about a young adventurer who goes by the name of Bell Cranel. He’s a silver-haired boy, with a somewhat slender build and a generally quiet and sensitive disposition. Bell-Kun as he is affectionately known throughout the series, is looking to be a strong adventurer. He wants to be as strong as Aiz Wallenstein, the Sword Princess. She’s incredibly strong and one of the most skilled adventurers in their world!
As he has been saved by Aiz, Bell vows that he wants to delve into the dungeon and get stronger. In doing so, he can bring back money for his house, under the goddess Hestia. Hestia has a bit of a thing for her young rookie hero, so she doesn’t want to see him falling for typical run of the mill people. She gets jealous over Bells yearnings over other women and wants him for herself. Ultimately, this story is about Bell growing as an adventurer, getting stronger and bonding more with his goddess and eventually with his very own party. It’s a warming tale of friendship and loyalty, as well as having a rich back story.
I mentioned at the beginning of the article how I expected this show to be about a guy who bashes into a dungeon, saves a girl and is “the man“. I was dead wrong which pleased me greatly, as really I was hoping it would have made me think twice before judging. My beliefs that from the name of the anime alone that this would have been a relatively misogynous anime was grossly distorted and I feel I owe the series an apology for having that view of it before I watched it. Truly though, I picked it as I thought the name was kind of funny. Thankfully it keeps its playful charm throughout the series, whilst giving you a great action, comedy, romance mash up!
People may dislike me for bringing this up, but I feel the connection is too strong to ignore: This is what I wanted Sword Art Online to be. I’ve been told that this is nothing like Sword Art Online, although that is far from the case. In both series, we have a dungeon of sorts. In both series, they’re trying to reach “higher” levels of the dungeon. In both series, there’s a couple.. Although this one is more ambiguous than Sword Art Online’s relatively forced pairing. As natural a couple as Asuna and Kirito seem, they got together and were sharing a home and adopting AIs within just 10 episodes. As of the time of writing, I’m on episode 11 of Is It Wrong and it’s still uncertain who Bell will end up with. It’s clear they want to go for the romance aspect at some point, but for now we’ve got a great story and character progression to enjoy first.
The art of this series is superb. It’s really crisp and clear as to what’s going on at all times, with some exceptional character design to boot. One part of the design that is somewhat irksome is the incredible amount of human anatomy flaunting. There’s no adult content in the art of these figures, although a lot of the characters gear designs don’t leave much to the imagination. Considering this is an action anime that also couples in comedy and romance, you can’t help but think they did this so you would try to decide who Bell-kun is going to end up with, but I really don’t know how it’s going to go. Regardless of how that goes, I can’t deny the art direction is truly impeccable.
As well as the great designs, we’ve got great voice actors, who actually sound how they should, rather than the typically over squeaky voices I sometimes hear in anime. Whilst they are higher pitched, it’s not ear drum shatteringly high, so that’s a bonus to me! It’s quite down to earth in fact, along with the music of the series being relatively relaxing. Even when in a fight sequence, it doesn’t blast horns in your ears – But instead just a hint of what’s to come. The pace quickens, the mood changes and it’s all done with cleverly thought out music.
A rough gem overall then, one that I’ve mentioned is what I wish Sword Art Online was. I know I’ve ragged on that show in the past, but I think I was expecting something more akin to this series from Sword Art Online. Nevertheless, this is a great story that is pretty unique in its own rights.
Goddesses, enchantments, grimoires and little knives for weapons. Humans, elves, wolf-people and more, this show has a large variety in its cast and in the personalities that make up the cast. There seems to be quite a rich backstory and if you can get over the slightly gratuitous amount of skin on display (though it is nothing too obscene), then you’re going to be in for a pleasant surprise. As ever, if you’re in the UK you can watch some episodes of this series for free courtesy of Crunchyroll.
I’m going to keep up with this series. I’m hoping it remains as true to the sense of adventure as it has thus far, which I’m not doubting it will. With wonderful characters who I have truly warmed to, I don’t think this series needs to end any time soon. Step aside Asuna and Kirito, Bell and Hestia would be an adorable couple who seem to be here to stay. Whether or not they get together however is an intriguing concept to me… Only time will tell! Have you seen or heard of this series? Let me know what you thought of this review and as ever, message us on the site or on Facebook and Twitter!
Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? Maybe, but it doesn’t stop this anime being great!