The anime left a bad taste at the end of the season.
DanMachi, also known by its formal name Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon, is a fun anime that explores breaking social norms to advance the moral good. DanMachi explores what Bell Cranel considers to be right. It doesn’t matter if the rest of the world tells him he is wrong, or to give up on the idea.
This has led to several situations that would have better left alone, such as Bell stepping in to help Lilly (Lilliluka Arde) or going the extra mile to help Haruhime. Bell confronts indifference when dealing with Lilly’s situation. Bell confronts violence to get Haruhime out of her situation. Bell’s actions make the story. He chooses the harder path if he believes its right, even if it’s easier to keep out of others business. So there is no surprise when Bell wants to help monsters who can talk and have consciousness.
All of this is in the spirit and character of the anime, so how did it go wrong this season?
I have a few thoughts on that. My first thought is that the execution of the story surrounding Dix, the villain of this season who sets into motion the showdown on Daedalus street, is poor. Dix is developed as a jackass and is just a jackass. He isn’t interesting as a villain, he just captures and sells talking monsters because it gives him a rush. But we need someone to be evil so I guess it works on the loosest of levels.
The other obvious issue is the story telling in general appears to be rushed. It feels like they are trying to cram too much into the last several episodes. There isn’t enough time for development and things just move very quickly. This leads to confusing and disjointed situations. Two prime examples of that is when Hermes tries to create a stage where Bell can regain his hero status. Then to make the situation extra special, Freya then interferes and sends the minotaur to fight Bell. At this point all you can do is blink, and ask yourself did you miss anything?
The answer is yes, we are missing a lot of information. I have come to this conclusion by reading some of the light novels for the series. While I haven’t caught up to the point where the anime is at, there is more information and world building available. This information makes certain things that happen in the anime make more sense. DanMachi the anime has a problem of just jumping to the conclusion but missing why things happened the way they did. There is more intrigue and facts that aid understanding to the situations at hand. I am confident there is proper build up and execution in the light novels for this season. In short if you have the opportunity to read the light novels it’s worth the effort.
My wish going into the future is that DanMachi will slow down and give us proper context. I know given the history of the anime, it’s not likely to happen. But I still enjoy DanMachi from the anime watching perspective. This season was a tough swallow.
Do you agree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!
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