Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka, blessedly abbreviated as DanMachi, is a fantasy, adventure series that focuses on a boy named Bell Cranel, an adventurer who quests in the city of Orario where a huge dungeon resides in the underground area. In this fantasy world set-up, gods, goddesses and humans coincide with each other. The deities have a tendency to take adventurers under what is called their “Blessing” and house and protect them in a guild-like set-up called “Familia.” Our hero Bell is in a Familia of a very small and unknown goddess named Hestia. Living out his adventurer days, trying to get stronger and swayed by pretty girls (or deadly sword princesses), Bell endeavours to get stronger alongside Hestia.
My first impressions of the series itself came from the manga. It was after reading a few chapters in graphics that I realized there was a light novel originally. I found the manga difficult to follow initially because of how many supporting characters appeared in the first few introductory chapters. It helps in the light novel when you read and follow the narrative through Bell’s perspective and stream of consciousness. The first episode of the anime series however opens up like the tutorial section of an RPG game where the player – in this case, the player, protagonist and audience – are being settled into the dynamics of the world system.
While I enjoy Bell’s determinated hero mould characteristics, he’s really not as interesting as the other characters of the show. Specifically in the first episode, I found Hestia’s utterly girlish antics more entertaining than Bell’s clumsy and oblivious moments. But then again, this is anime, and an oblivious stubborn hero is typical of most adventure fantasy series.
What keeps me attached to the series is how the goddess’s inscribe their “Blessing” on an adventurer’s back, with all his stats and skills as well. Bell starts out with virtually no skills, a total newbie, who ends up being saved a strong and cool swordswoman from the famous Loki Familia. By the midpoint of the first episode, he acquires quite a unique skill – one that helps him increasingly grow his strength and stats in correlation to his emotional drive.
Overall, I’d say fans of Log Horizon who enjoys the game attributes of that show or fans of Sword Art Online Season one who prefer more of a fantasy-quest focus, DanMachi might just strike a medium for you.
What are you pondering today?