I love DanMachi, but there are times the story telling isn’t fully satisfying.
Of course this is coming from a Nisioisin fanboy who puts Monogatari as the new gold standard for story telling. To be fair I didn’t set the bar. Granted I don’t expect everything to meet that standard, and it’s good to have other stories that are told in different ways. Diversity in storytelling makes it more interesting and more worth reading or viewing. After all the way a story is told reveals plenty about the author, and I am fairly picky with who I want to spend my time with. After all, time is our most precious resource.
What I mean by this is that when I read a body of work, specifically fiction I am looking for writers that resonate with me. I consider a book to tell me less about the fictional world I am reading and more about the person who wrote it. If a fictional story is being told why did the author choose this setting, this character, this plot device, or this story?
My favorite authors from the east right now are Nisioisin, who wrote the Monogatari series, and Yuu Kamiya, author of No Game No Life. Their body of work speaks volumes to their imaginative capacity, and their ability to create succinct fiction that doesn’t break my immersion while reading or viewing the story no matter how absurd the fiction might be. They don’t even necessarily tell my favorite kind of stories which are Isekai and Dark Fantasy (though the argument can be made to an extent that No Game No Life is both Isekai and Dark Fantasy). I prefer stories like Claymore, and Akame Ga Kill, dark stories that characters have defined evil that they are trying to overcome. But do either of these have the best storytelling? My answer would be no.
The measure up to which I hold storytelling is fairly high. There are no perfect storytellers. There is always a flaw in writing because writers are not perfect people, nor should they be. The best stories are written because of the flaws in people and humanity.
Ok I need to stop contextualizing and get to the bulk of what we are here for: DanMachi.
So the reason for my frustration in DanMachi is that there are times that there are breaks in the immersion of the story for me. Season 3 Episode 6 is one of those moments. I don’t mind the reveal of information for the story itself. We needed that information to better understand the context of everything going on. But I disliked the way the information was revealed. Why would a villain monologue and tell everyone exactly everything that is going on? Even if the gig was up, it makes no sense for a villain to spill the beans. He isn’t trying to persuade you to his side. It would have been more interesting to continue to explore and get information as we arrived at a satisfying narrative conclusion for the problem at hand. Forcing the truth out of the villain after overcoming obstacles would have been more satisfying because it’s more in alignment with the reality of villainy.
Of course the storyteller might have reasons which I don’t understand yet for revealing Dix’s pasts and motivations for his actions. I consider it lazy storytelling. That doesn’t mean that I can’t get back on board with the rest of the season because I didn’t like this particular moment. I actually really enjoy DanMachi for the story it tells, revealing a darker side of humanity that willfully oppresses others for gain. I like the exploration of this side of human nature. But delivery matters.
I can consider the fact perhaps the reveal for Dix isn’t actually that interesting or pertinent for what is to come next in the story. It might just be the catalyst for something larger in play. I am open to the possibilities. Maybe the writer just wanted people to fight, and we will get a sweet hook-up with Bell adding additional members to his soft-harem. After all, the story is about picking up girls in a dungeon.
I might be a bit overly nit-picky, but when my immersion gets broken it’s hard for me not to say anything. The core of fiction is the suspension of disbelief. If that suspension of disbelief stops, a story begins to lose its appeal to me quickly. That being said I am confident that DanMachi will recover, and that I will end up having the same feelings about that I do Sword Art Online. There are great moments that are singular to that narrative alone which set it apart, but there are also moments that I wish had been better polished.
Do you agree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!
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