Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

In the world of Orario, adventurers band together to look for treasure in the underground dungeon labyrinths. Bell Cranel is one of these adventurers. However, for Bell, the treasure and fame pale in comparison to what he really wants to find in those dungeons: girls. Whilst on his self-made quest to find Aiz Wallenstein, the Sword Princess, it’s Bell who ends up being the damsel in distress down in the depths of the dungeons.

Is it Wrong to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon? is based on a light novel of the same name written my Fujino Omori with illustrations drawn by Suzuhito Yasuda. Also, some of you will find that the protagonist Bell Cranel sounds a little familiar. That’s because he is voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka, who also voices Kirito from Sword Art Online.

IMG_2105.PNGWhen I first began watching this anime, I wondered what path it was going to travel down. The setting and action scenes suggested something similar to Log Horizon, but the amount of ample-chested scantily-clad girls made me think that maybe it would fall into typical harem pitfalls. It has serious potential to become a solid adventure anime, but the amount of female characters wanting to exhibit their unexplainable attraction to the painfully normal good-guy protagonist bothered me.

I braced myself for this one to fall at the first hurdle, but I was pleasantly surprised. Having stuck with this anime through to the middle of its run, it seems to have found its feet and has since moved away from the jiggling breasts and Bell being beaten up for no reason three times an episode. Well, except by Hestia. He still gets beaten up my Hestia. But she’s literally a goddess, and she’s cute, so I’ll let this one slide. Which moves me onto my next point.

I really like the character designs in this anime. They’re cute and detailed which, for this type of anime, is instantly appealing. Both Bell and Hestia are very charming main characters to watch as well as Aiz, the Sword Princess, who is the object of Bell’s obsession. And the animation isn’t too bad, either. The dungeon battles and chases are fluid and swift with no jars and stutters, and the sparring scenes between Aiz and Bell are very sharp, which is something I appreciate.

However, the plot isn’t up to the expectations that I had for it. From what I can gather, apart from the humorous back-and-forth between Bell and Hestia, and some of the other supporting characters, the premise is essentially Bell being rescued by a beautiful and capable female adventurer. Bell becomes both intimidated and enamoured by her and is determined to become an adventurer of her caliber so he can be worthy of dating her. That seems to be all there is to it.

There do seem to be a few other elements, but so far these are nothing but distractions. He forgives and befriends Liliruca, who steals from him time and time again until she realises what she’s doing and is crushed under her own guilt. And Bell’s ignorance to Hestia’s obvious romantic overtures is a rather typical cliché for this type of genre, and this obvious behaviour does kind of grate on you after a while.

A particular point of interest for me is Bell’s capability for “special abilities”. His game-style stats are literally written on his back and Hestia is both impressed and worried at the speed in which Bell’s stats are improving and his potential for magic and skill development. So far there hasn’t been much focus on this but I’m hoping it will have more significance in later episodes as this could be what gives this series the extra level of depth that I’ve been hoping for.

Is it Wrong to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon? is essentially a “lite” adventure title. The fights aren’t as complex as Log Horizon and the premise doesn’t have the depth of Sword Art Online. The fan-service elements cheapen things a bit, which is a shame, but that doesn’t mean that this one is a write-off. It establishes itself as a comical adventure anime fairly quickly and, though I would have liked a bit more intricacy to the characters and the world they live in, that’s not to say I’m being suitably entertained.