Picking Up Chicks in Dungeons

So I haven’t been watching that much new anime this year. There has been one show that I’ve been waiting to watch after it finished airing: “Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?” That’s a mouthful; thankfully the abbreviation in Japanese is DanMachi (which is what I’ll use here on out). DanMachi is an adaption of a light novel of the same name. In addition to this anime adaption, there is a manga adaption as well.

The only reason this show caught my eye is the character design of the female lead. Her name is Hestia and she blew up in a big way with fans everywhere — part jest and part admiration. The defining feature that brought her to the top is the blue ribbon she wears; it’s tied to her arms and runs under her boobs and across her back. It’s never explained in the anime, but my guess is that it’s used as support for her large breasts. Granted, I don’t know how a girl’s bosom works in the first place.

I was curious if DanMachi had any more substance than Hestia’s character design. I went into this expecting the worst.

I was captivated from the very first episode. This is the show I wanted Sword Art Online to be. It really has nothing to do with actually picking up chicks in dungeons. It takes a lot of its inspiration from RPGs and has all the systems you’d expect; yet even the most mechanical aspects like leveling are presented in an in-world manner that makes sense. There’s also some Greek mythology sprinkled over the whole thing.

I don’t want to spend the whole review describing the premise and world of DanMachi. I don’t think reviews should; that’s the show’s job and I don’t want to take away the sense of discovery and surprise. What I will briefly say just to provide some context is that it’s about a boy named Bell and his goddess, Hestia. Bell was inspired to become an adventurer from his grandfather. The show is about his journey in traversing what is simply known as the dungeon. His goddess and every other deity are each the head of a Familia, which is basically what you might call a House. As it stands, Bell is the only member of Hestia’s Familia.

Let’s get down to it. DanMachi is really good…

No! Please come back! Just hear me out; I’m being serious here.

It’s like really, really good. I loved it.

I already touched a little bit on why I enjoyed it so much; its representation of an RPG is top notch. This representation grows throughout the show — growing at the same time as Bell. That’s what brings everything together. Bell, and the show itself, may suffer from some standard anime tropes, but what it doesn’t suffer from is development. Bell is just your average nice guy to a fault, but he’s always improving. He’s the driving force, and as he develops, so does everyone around him. It’s really well done, including some wonderfully choreographed action and some tearful drama. It’s an exciting and fast paced show to watch.

Then there’s Hestia. She wasn’t just a well designed character. She’s like the most perfectly engineered waifu I’ve seen. She has the looks, the voice, and that tsundere charm. It’s quite astonishing. DanMachi wouldn’t be the same without her.

Well, it has me in its clutches now. There is no escape. I see light novels, manga, and merchandise in my future. This is my curse. I had no idea this would happen.

Hestia truly is the bestia.

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