DanMachi Series

Anime Hajime Review: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III

More from the DanMachi series:

Original Run: October 3, 2020 - December 19, 2020
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Based on the Series Created By: Fujino Omori and
Suzuhito Yasuda

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

While exploring the fabled Dungeon, adventure Bell Cranel (voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) of the Hestia Familia finds a young female monster being hunted. While most monsters are considered mindless and dangerous, this is different. This one looks scared.

Taking pity on the creature, Bell takes the girl back to his Familia. To everyone’s surprise, the monster girl, who they name Wiene (voiced by Rina Hidaka), can speak. It turns out she is one of many intelligent monsters known as Xenos.

Knowing there are monsters who feel, think, and hope like humans, Bell is compelled to protect them. However, doing so would mean going against the basic instinct of every other adventure. Should he continue down this path, Bell and his Familia will outcasts.

Series Positives

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III (DanMachi III) was always going to be an interesting watch for me. Assuming you read my review of this season’s predecessor, DanMachi II, you will have noticed the list of predictions I made.

To boil it all down, a successful DanMachi III would subsequently justify the solid, albeit lackluster, DanMachi II.

For this season to have any chance, the story needed to move forward in a significant way. Its sole purpose could not have been to serve as a staging ground for a DanMachi IV – a continuation that, as of me writing this sentence, I have no information about.

That was what things were when I went into this show. Having now sat through it, what’s the verdict? Unquestionably, DanMachi III did precisely what it needed to do and then some; this was an excellent sequel.

I maintain that the DanMachi series is visually memorable, particularly with its character designs. Especially the petite, twin-tailed, big-breasted goddess variety. With many of this show’s characters, they are unmistakable.

The same cannot be said for the DanMachi storyline. I highly suggest marathoning all three seasons to help ensure you don’t lose track of specific details — more on this in a moment.

Aside from how its characters look, there is another enduring aspect of DanMachi. It is really good at having moments. I am talking about the scenes meant to instill emotion, be they happy, sad, tense, or exciting. Granted, I don’t recall an example from season two (an obvious detriment to my point). However, from season one, I still remember when Bell Cranel defeated the minotaur.

Before I get called out in the comments, yes, DanMachi III directly referenced that fight. Thus, it was almost guaranteed to be at the forefront of my mind. Had the callback not been present, though, I would still have remembered it due to its power alone.

DanMachi III had, potentially, several of these types of moments. I say “potentially” because only time will tell if this turns true. The scene that I found most enduring, hence the one most likely to be memorable, was when Bell publicly protected Wiene, a monster and, therefore, a thing that needed immediate killing.

 This season did an excellent job at conveying how significant such a move was. You could also see how scared Bell was to do it since it meant challenging the people he considered friends and allies. And that was probably DanMachi III’s best aspect.

Recalling season two, this series did well to differentiate between antagonists and villains. The former is more an obstacle where the latter is an obvious threat. DanMachi III took this idea to its natural next step.

The first half of this season revolved around Bell and the Hestia Familia taking on a group of poachers. This gang’s leader was a sadistic, cruel, and violent man who didn’t mind killing people who stood in his way. He took pleasure in his evil acts. Thus, he and his team were more in line with what can be considered a villain.

The second half of this season, which was even better, centered around something less black-and-white. Bell and the Hestia Familia took it upon themselves to defend the Xenos and get them safely back into the dungeon. Their opponent in this matter was some shadow organization trying to establish dominance or control. Instead, it was their allies in the Loki Familia. For Bell, this meant going against his idol/crush, Ais Wallenstein (voiced by Saori Oonishi).

Remember, there have been times through the DanMachi franchise where we were rooting for the Loki Familia. Hell, Ais was the protagonist of the DanMachi spin-off series Sword Oratoria. To have them suddenly be thrown into the antagonist’s role was a bit jarring (which is why it worked so well).

This season was a brewing storm. Mix that with excellent action, upgraded animation, and kick-ass music, you have the recipe for a proper follow-up chapter. Here’s hoping the fourth isn’t too far off.

Series Negatives

Although I said I am anticipating a fourth DanMachi season – and I have no reason to doubt one’s eventual release – I am also a bit worried. It happened at the start of season two and again at the beginning of season three. Be it a four-year wait or one, but I can never seem to remember much about this series from one installment to another.

I don’t deny that my recollection between seasons has never been great. With DanMachi, though, it seems to be quite a bit worse. I can’t help but wonder why.

While things occur in this series, not a whole lot happens. And what critical details and plot points there might be, they rarely leave an impression that can survive a long wait time.

In DanMachi III’s case, the most frequent instances of me not knowing what the hell was going on was with the side characters. As a heads up, with this being the third chapter in a series filled with characters, there are many people to keep track of. And barring a handful of exceptions, if someone is not apart of the Hestia Familia, then their importance drops dramatically when they are no longer a necessary part of a scene.

If you are a diehard fan of the DanMachi series, I doubt following along with everything isn’t too tricky. However, if you’re just casually enjoying this show as I am, there might be an issue.

With that said, and this is a testament to this season, this isn’t a persistent problem. Eventually, enough comes back to you, and it’s easy to make sense of what is taking place and why.

So, when it comes to negatives for a series to have, there are much worse ones.

Final Thoughts

I don’t recall enjoying season two as much as I did this one. It would take rewatching the entire series, to be sure, but I believe this was the best installment yet.

Everything about this season did what it was supposed to do.

The story hit harder. The characters became even more likable. The animation improved incredibly. There was so much more excitement, heart, and fun.

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III has earned a recommendation.

But these were just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this series? How would you advise Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

More From The DanMachi Series

Anime Hajime Review: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? II

1 comment

  1. I definitely enjoyed season 3 more than season 2 and the story here was one of my favourite parts of reading the light novels so I really enjoyed watching it come to life in anime. I still don’t think this season managed a memorable high the way Bell’s original minotaur fight in season 1 did, but it certainly provided some key moments for Bell’s character growth and it definitely made me want a season 4 of this to eventually come around.

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