DanMachi 7-13 [END] – METANORN

Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Darou ka 07-13 [END]

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No context needed.

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DanMachi, why couldn’t you have been like this every week? I know why; you just want to torture me. But I get it, I really do. You just don’t want me to be happy. But it’s alright. You know why? Because Bell’s scream made everything right in the world. No it didn’t. Seriously though, is it wrong to try to judge an entire series off a few seconds of aural bliss? Maybe, but that’s not important. What’s important is that, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, you’ve done it again. I’ve found my new ringtone. Someone call me, quick. No, don’t. That’d be kind of creepy.

Maybe I just like seeing Bell in distress. I will not confirm or deny any of the rumors going around. I will admit I really like Training Time™ though. Why do I like Training Time™ so much? Because it reinforces the idea that a character isn’t entirely entitled to be the best just because they have been singled out in a work of art. Put it this way: if you take a soldier from an army (I’m thinking Dog Days, Baka to Test, etc.), is that soldier anything special? Probably not. Take another soldier; how about that one? Now how about one of the named characters? There’s a fairly strong chance. Are the characters defined by what’s been given to them or what they will have to work with? Soma, for instance, has been defined by the skills he’s had since that series started. In the scope of the whole show he isn’t the greatest, but only recently has he started to have any kind of a struggle against a challenge. He’s confident and can backup his talk with his abilities. Bell, on the other hand, has lacked basic skills from the beginning. He’s taking what little amount of improvement he can get, just having enough to barely get by as is, because for a grand majority of the time, he isn’t anything special. Soma had an almost perfect environment; Bell (minus his skills that are likely affiliated with Zeus in some way) has had less than ideal conditions. Training Time™ gives those last type of characters the development they need to shine. And the scars to prove it.

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This doesn’t need context either.

While some events, like the conclusion to Lili’s arc, seem more often than not to fall victim to a heavy hand, Welf’s inclusion was just odd. It was odd in a few ways, but mainly because it felt like his arc was squeezed in with his introduction and huge chunks of it were missing in-between. It went from him meeting Bell, to “treat me more like companion like Lili” after they’ve squabbled together once, and then being gung-ho about going on an adventure together. It felt off. There’s understandably time constraints with introducing a new character so late when you have an endpoint to reach, but it could also be from coming down off of the despair strewn throughout Lili’s tale. There was a whole lot of indifference being felt towards Welf’s predicament. I didn’t have much of a reason to care about him until he was already injured. Wait a second…

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Nobody seems too concerned when hands randomly start to sparkle.

Did I say something about liking when Bell was in distress? Forget that, I like it when everyone is in trouble! Yes, maybe I am raft with the effects of a severe schadenfreude. No, you can not introduce me to this “doctor friend” of yours. One of the simplest ways to get an audience to care and empathize with characters is to chew them up and spit them out. Make us pity them; make us triumph with them. I didn’t feel anything towards Welf at first. Then, he gets hit by a boulder. Things change. Next you’ll be cheering at how he makes an explosion so big it takes himself out. Then you feel bad for him again. It’s a vicious cycle. Bell is a great character because he’s weak. He knows he’s weak and struggles to overcome that one step at a time. We know he’s weak and hang in the balance of never quite knowing whether he’ll be able to save himself or have to be rescued again. We watch how hard Bell tries to succeed, and it isn’t always sufficient, but we’ll be rooting for the little guy and celebrating when he does. The lesson to be learned here though is that if you don’t like someone, try throwing a boulder at them.

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I AM EVIL INCARNATE. FEAR ME!

However, a scenario that consistently manages to bug me whenever it shows up is when the “bad guys” try to pick a lone fight with a character that they know has powerful allies. The only situation I can think of at the moment that managed to subvert this trap involved the hilarious Evil Orchestra of Fourteen in D-Frag! (Full disclosure: I just want to talk about D-Frag!) The Evil Orchestra didn’t know Kazama’s ties to the Game Dev Club, and they actually did manage to beat him and his gang senseless beforehand. In DanMachi, Moldo gets thrown down by Ryu, sees Bell with Aiz of all people, and still wants to tangle with him? You should know what they say about having friends in high places. It doesn’t matter if you can get Bell alone if you end up paying for it later when everyone else finds out, which they will. Instead of using your jealousy to fuel assault you could always use it to better yourself. Attacking someone isn’t going to change their position or yours. Aspire to be more than a second-rate villain! Like a carpenter.

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I think I’ve seen this in a certain Titan series.

The revelation that Bell is the grandson of Zeus in the show’s final moments felt rather abrupt, but in retrospect, it explains much of what was left without for so long. Why does Bell get random skills no one’s heard about? Why does Freya find Bell so…”interesting?” Why was Bell’s grandfather so into picking up women? Well…now we I know. Since Bell’s grandfather is apparently dead I can deduce that Zeus adopted Bell, and/or he’s not really dead. Everything’s fair game until you see the body. Having a god as a relation grants plausibility to what I call the “shounen hero syndrome” (I have never described anything with that before). If you’re going to give a character power-ups, alright. Let them struggle a bit to create suspense (as much suspense as plot armor allows), then give them a freakish power surge so they can conquer the foe, and save the day. But try to give some kind of explanation for it. The more powerful a person becomes, the better that reason should be for it. Bell growing up with a god for a grandfather is essentially as good as it gets for justification in this story, since there’s been no confirmation demigods exist yet. It’ll all depend on how far the series ends up diving into the mythos. With Ganesha and Takemikazuchi, I really don’t know what to expect.

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I like how they included the guy who tried to kill Bell one episode ago.

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DanMachi is rather unfortunate. Unfortunate that it doesn’t have a decent English title. I bet I could come up with something better in three…I’ll get back with you later. The premiere was strong enough to draw me into its world, and while I still hold some lesser grievances (grumble grumble status system), the series managed to improve to such a state over time that it stands firmly as more than your typical romcom. There was even a distinct lack of harem high jinks for the most part, as the story continuously pushed forward to unveil its true identity as a coming of age tale for the hero Bell. This is a story for the ages, a legend, and it’s just getting started. Wow, that sounded really cheesy.

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I am a fear of life, I am afraid of life, and I am a fantasm of life, always a flame, always aflame, and always the same.
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13 Responses to “Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru no Darou ka 07-13 [END]”

  1. Samsura says:

    Danmachi is an average show in a genre filled with average to terrible shows. I do agree Kyon, this show is the best when Bell is about to be WRECKED, those moments often have good set pieces, great panic acting (his VA sure can scream) and generally high production values. I mean sure, the final boss reminds me of fighting a raid boss in WoW, but I guess that is a strength of this show? If there was a second season I might watch it, but I will NEVER re-watch this. It wasn’t as much of a slog as Triage was for me, but just barely.

  2. skylion says:

    DanMachi shares quite a bit with last Spring’s No Game No Life and this past Winter’s Absolute Duo. All three were designed and payed for advertisements for the source material. As such, we get what we get in terms of story. I mean, the only bigger life it can get is if Hestia explodes in popularity again…

    I’ll go one more on Samsura and say it was mildly above average. It was mostly cursed by introducing elements for the LNs that couldn’t get full credit because of time limitations; Welf’s character, the Status System.

    I came out mildly above mostly due to my own tastes, in that “JC Staff can do no wrong”. I’m mostly kidding there. But that studio has become quite adept at lifting up the average as far as adapting source material goes.

    All in all I enjoyed watching this one. And I admit that for the past 11 or so weeks my fingers did itch to write about it every odd Saturday. Thanks for jumping on it Kyon!

    • Di Gi Kazune says:

      Poor, poor, poor Hestia. What happened to her cult?

      JC Staff is incredibly hit and miss with their works. The last decent one I watched was Henneko.

      And, no Izuna dakimakura for you! 😛

      • BlackBriar says:

        JC Staff is incredibly hit and miss with their works. The last decent one I watched was Henneko.

        Is that so? Then what’s your take so far on Shokugeki no Soma, another JC Staff production which coincidentally has Yoshitsugu Matsuoka also voicing the lead? Personally, I find it’s doing very well for itself though I’ve never read its manga version.

        • skylion says:

          …I think they have a fair work-man-like feel at the bottom-most; just showing up they can do something that is decent. I enjoy Soma quite a bit, and even rewatch it at times.

  3. zztop says:

    The last arc cut out Welf’s inner conflict, which relates to his family legacy.

    Show ▼

    • zztop says:

      The Syr-Freya connection (if there is one) has still not yet been addressed by Danmachi’s author in later volumes. What I can tell you is that she’s definitely his yandere guardian angel for now.

      Would you want a Season 2?

      • Kyon says:

        I’d want a season 2. Even if we were to get one, it’d likely be awhile since it sounds like the anime caught up with most of the source material, and I might not be as enthused then depending on how long it would take but yes.

  4. Rathje says:

    Honestly, the season needed to be about a third longer than it was. We needed more time with Welf, even Lilli, and… team purple samurai outfits (whatever their names were). All the people who got in their big impressive attacks on the last boss (and let me just say – that fight was pretty cool), not to mention some explanation for where Bell got that double-handed sword attack… The show just needed to be longer. If it had been longer I’d have absolutely no objections to the show and it would have been a perfect addition to my “dumb fun” category.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Overall, DanMachi ended as a series that performed better than expected, and those were fairly average expectations. Matsuoka pulls through once again, though Bell is a different from most leads he’s played. Hestia and the other characters were interesting and colorful as well, making it an altogether agreeable show to watch. Not to mention battles that did better than they had any right to.

    • skylion says:

      …didn’t you think that when Bell took on the three minotaurs, “Heck he could eat them for lunch now”?

      • BlackBriar says:

        Not just that. The battle against the giant ape and the final battle against that massive dungeon floor boss.

  6. Highway says:

    I liked the show overall, although it felt like a few times it decided to get stuck in honey and sloooooowwww doooooowwwwwwwn to something interminable. I was kind of hoping for more growth from Hestia, but I liked the Bell – Aiz pairing. I’d definitely watch more of this story if they made it.

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