Spring Anime 2015: Is It Wrong To Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

Welp. It's that time of the year again--where the anime fandom is flooded with new series to insult, fall in love with, or otherwise obsess over. Frankly, I couldn't be happier. The winter season wasn't exactly packed with new series for me, so I was basically running on the fumes of October's releases. But they're finally here, so let's start talking about them. This time around, I'll be going one by one and hopefully getting a bit more in-depth. First up on the list...

I do this almost every season--pick out some series with a questionable story summary from one of the chart sites, and burn through 22 minutes of a day to see whether or not its shit. And without fail, I hate them. Last time I tried this, it was Fall's Madan no Ou to Vanadis and I was barely able to finish the episode out before I was trying to forget I ever saw it. This time, it was another of those "Why the fuck is the title for this so long?" Light Novel adaptations in "Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?". So, how much did I hate this?

....Actually, I didn't hate it at all. It's not great, I'll admit that. But its scraping at the doorway to good, which is enough for now.  I'm a sucker for an anime with a potentially rich lore, and the first episode of this engages in quite a bit of world-building to show me that it has exactly that. In Dungeon, it seems that at one point the gods decided to descend to the human world and live out their days among the regular folk. Of course, they refused to be just normal, and instead have a bunch of followers that join their "Families", where they are given a blessing from a god and allowed to become adventurers, working through a dungeon/labyrinth near the town to earn money for their family.

So what about this otherwise generic series caught my eye? Well, mainly that it's a world where RPG mechanics actually apply in real life. Whereas series like Sword Art Online and Log Horizon have denizens of the real world become trapped in a video game, Dungeon has decided that their characters are IN the real world, but that the real world is some mish-mash fantasy setting where characters ACTUALLY talk about levels, receive money (and item drops!) from killing monsters, and get stat increases from their gods every night after spending all day in the dungeon.  There's even a bit of genre savvy-ness going on, with the main character developing a skill that explicitly exists to allow powerlevelling, which at least explains the inevitable rapid growth I'm sure he'll be enduring, and gives viewers a good laugh.   After all, what RPG fans haven't wondered how their character went from a zero who struggles fighting wolves and bears to a complete heroic bad-ass slaying dragons? 

Now, more likely than not, this series will end up as another boring harem anime. All the signs are there, with all these beautiful women inexplicably giving so much attention to an otherwise normal dude. But it DOES have the potential to be so much more if it delves into the other god families besides the two we see this episode, and shows the main character's goddess actually manage to grow her followers, there's so much developing that can be done for a setting like this. So for that reason alone I'm going to stick with this show and hope it lives up to its potential. Wish me luck.

Result: It's got to episode five for now.  


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