This month’s anime challenge is an epic fantasy anime, an anime that no-one could stop talking about when it came out in 2015 – Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Darou ka (lovingly shortened as DanMachi by the anime’s fan base).
Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Darou ka (Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?) plays off in the city of Orario. In Orario there is the Dungeon – a place inhabited by an assortment of monsters, ranging from goblins to dragons. Adventurers visit the dungeon to take on these monsters, defeat them and harvest their crystal shards, which in turn are used to create magical items, or to be exchanged for currency. These adventurers all join groups which are called Familia. The Familia each have its own function, some focus on dungeon crawling while some focus on crafting items. Each of these Familia is named after and serves a resident deity.
Our story follows the adventures of 14-year-old Bell Cranel, the solo adventurer of the Hestia Familia, as well as Hestia herself, the deity of the Hestia Familia. Bell works very hard every day in the dungeon to make ends meet and to improve his skill ad adventurer. He was once saved by Ais Wallenstein, a famous and powerful swords-woman, to whom he looks up to and fell in love with. He is unaware that several girls, mortals and deities, also developed feelings for him, Hestia included…
Week 1 - 02 - 08 April
Episodes to Watch: 1 to 3
We take a look at the goddess Hestia. In DanMachi* she is the Goddess that is the head of the Hestia Familia and like the Greek Goddess of the Hearth after which she is named, she is the epiphany of home. She is a kawaii, beautiful and petite Goddess who in appearance looks like a young girl or teen. She has beautiful round blue eyes and lightly black hair that she always ties in two twin tails and it reaches down to her mid-thighs. Her favourite attire in the anime is a white mini dress with a blue ribbon around her collar and another blue ribbon tied under her breasts around her arms, and on her arms, she has a pair of elegant white gloves. Our pretty Kami-sama usually walks around barefoot but wears white flip-flops occasionally.
Hestia dreams of being in a relationship with her charge, the adventurous warrior Bell, and see all other women as her rivals in love. She is energetic, kind and a hard worker, proof of that is the way she worked two jobs to pay off a debt she made with Hephaestus to get Bell a specialized knife called the Hestia Knife. She and Bell are a perfect team. He tried to find a familia and she wanted to start one, both have tried to do that until they met each other. (A familia is a type of family guild adventurers belong to, which all have a deity as parental figure or family head).
* Danmachi is also known as Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka (Is it Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon?)
Week 2 - 09 - 15 April
Episodes to Watch: 4 to 6
Last week’s challenge a lot happened. In episode 1 we saw how Bell was saved from a Minotaur attack by Aiz Wallenstein, after he ventured in an area in the dungeon where he is not strong enough to go yet. After that he met up with the patron deity of his Familia, Hestia. She voiced her concerns about how they need to recruit members, but that the Familia is too unknown to achieve that and Bell cheered her up. We also saw how she later did a ritual, by reading the runes on Bell’s back to see how much he leveled up. She deliberately hides knowledge from him of a new skill called ‘Realis Phrase’ that he gained, as well.
The next day a tavern girl stops him as he Bell is on his way to the dungeon. She gives him a shard he lost and when she realizes the young adventurer is hungry she gives him a bento as a present. She invites him to visit the tavern any time he wants. He returns to that Tavern, The Benevolent Mistress later that night and learns that the tavern girl’s name is Syr Flover. While eating a generous meal he sees the girl of his dreams, his heroine, Aiz Wallenstein enter the tavern with her fellow members of the Loki Familia Then the conflict begins when a member of the Loki Familia starts to pick on Bell because Aiz saved him. What happens next in the episode is amazing, but we will not spoil it further for those that still have to watch the anime.
So far the anime is brilliantly animated, the character designs are impeccably crafted and the voice actors did a superb job of bringing life to their characters. If you have not joined this challenge yet, you may be missing out on a gem in fantasy anime. This week we are watching episode 4 to 6 but to the late comers there is still time to watch episodes 1 – 3, so join in and have super sugoi fun with us!
Week 3 - 16 - 22 April
Episodes to Watch: 7 to 9
Last week’s episodes introduce new characters and fleshed out the world our hero Bell inhabits. Episode 4 “Supporter The Weak’ starts off with an argument between Bell and his dungeon hunting adviser, Eina. He tries to convince her that he is ready for the dungeon’s seventh floor and she thinks it is too early, the memory of the beating he received in episode 1 of the anime still fresh in her memory. Bell then shows her his stats and his level up information. Eina then reluctantly agrees that he is ready for more dangerous dungeons. She then invites him to go shopping with her the next day.
The next day they end up shopping at the Goddess Hephaestus’ shop where they run into Hestia and Eina is introduced to her. There is definitely a little rival tension between the ladies. Bell and Eina leaves Hestia and Eina starts to give Bell some dungeon hunting advice. She urges him to form a party and hire a supporter class dungeon hunter, who will make dungeon hunting go more efficiently. During the shopping, she also buys him a present saying that ‘many adventurers die in the dungeon and that she does not want him to die.’
On his way home after shopping, a young girl runs into him. She is followed by an angry adventurer with rage in his eyes, he wants to hurt her. Bell runs to her defense and they start fighting but then Ryu, a tavern girl that works with Syr, stops the fight and scares the angry man away. She then says to Bell: ‘If you got hurt, Syr would be very sad. Be careful!’
The episode has a lot more happening, such as another run in with the girl, who is named Liliruca. She forms a party with Bell. Also there is a moment of panic when something gets stolen, but we will not spoil the rest of the episode for those that must still watch it. If you have not joined this challenge yet, join us, we dare you to have fun! This week we are watching episode 7 to 9. We hope you have a super sugoi week and that you enjoy the challenge.
Week 4 - 13 - 29 April
Episodes to Watch: 10 to 13
After the aftermath of Episode 6 where Bell saved Liliruca (Lili), in Episode 7 ‘ Aiz Wallenstein Sword Princess’ we explore their relationship a little more, as well as a blooming friendship between Bell and Aiz.
In the episode Bell introduces Lili to Hestia. Hestia sends Bell on an errand and while he is off on said errand, Lili makes a promise to Hestia that she will never betray Bell again. Hestia scolds the girl a little but then asks her to keep watch over Bell, and make sure no-one else scams the good natured adventurer.
A little later in the episode Bell runs into Aiz Wallenstein and she returns his sword guard he dropped while he was fighting orcs (back in episode 6). She apologizes for the Minotaur incident but he shakes her apology off and apologizes to her in turn. When she finds out that he is not well versed in fighting, Aiz offers to train Bell for a little while before her next quest.
Next we see how Aiz mentors him, and she is not going easy on our hero either. After that Bell and Lili goes dungeoneering and we see the fruits of the rigorous training Aiz gave him, he fights a lot better and he better assess every situation. There is also a funny scene in the episode where Aiz teaches Bell that sleeping is also good training. She falls asleep immediately and Bell is very tempted to kiss her… The scene is well written and hilarious.
Episode 7 – 9 had great character building, humor, and also some sinister side story in the background, but we will not spoil it for you. We will give you another taster though. In Episode 8 there is a very interesting battle between Bell, a Minotaur and… oops, we almost gave it away!!! If you missed out on this great anime, jump in and join us! This week’s challenge is Episode 10 to 13. We hope you enjoy the challenge and have a super sugoi week, Minna!