There’s a lot of pressure. Crow hosted last week and got this huge, deep review of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III/DanMachi III/IIWTTTPUGIAD III episode 11. Now it’s my turn and on the final episode nothing less!?! Will I be up to the challenge? (spoilers – not really). Also, there will be many more spoilers to come. 

But before we get into any of that.

How goes Crow? Ready for the Holidays? Getting into the spirit of things and such?

Yep, I’m pretty much ready for the holidays, though 2020’s cast a strange, dim light on everything. On the positive side, my family’s still healthy and I’m still employed, so that’s good. How about you?

Just to throw a spaniard in the works, I’m going to be not bold this week. Like normal text. This means Crow is all bold and stuff. Shaking things up at the final minute! That’s how I roll.

Wait. I’m bold? My world’s been turned upside down! I just know I’m going to get all confused. I’ll try my best, though!

I’m going to be straight with you all, the charm of this season of DanMachi was starting to really wear off for me a few episodes ago. Maybe around the time of Dix’ death. I really didn’t think I would miss that guy….

Anyway, I was pretty over it and this episode didn’t really make it up for me. Although there were some good parts.

For one, I really liked that Bell lost. Like honestly! I think it really elevated the episode. What about you, Crow? Are you the type that hates to see the hero lose no matter what or was this a nice little subversion?

The hero has to lose sometimes, or the challenge isn’t engaging for us viewers. I did think it was interesting that he lost, but there was a part that bothered me, and it dealt with the first point you raised. The series had built Dix up as the antagonist. Then, Asterius just snuffed him out. That, plus some other troubling developments we’ve talked about in our review, deflated my suspension of disbelief. So, I questioned almost everything that happened. Like, why did Gros have to die to save Bell’s reputation? Why didn’t Asterius kill Bell? Or are we supposed to infer that it was Freya or Ottarl’s influence? Why did Asterius want to fight Bell, anyway? Bell killed the original minotaur. 

I also really liked that the animation added in a bit of flair in the fight between Black Minotaur and Bell. There was that sketchy line art moment and later on a full over exaggerated ragdoll sequence. That was hella cool! I don’t think Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III/DanMachi III/IIWTTTPUGIAD III has ever taken such visible  chances with the animation. Colour me impressed.

As far as I’m concerned, both were a success. I really enjoy seeing shows mix art and animation techniques though. I know that some viewers find it more annoying than anything else. What about you Crow?

I enjoy it when animators experiment with different effects, and I thought the extreme loss of color communicated Asterius’ force very well. My complaint about the fight isn’t about the animation, but about how it compared to Bell’s last fight with a minotaur. In that scene, it was hugely important. It elevated Bell’s role in front of the Loki Familia and others. Here, and maybe it’s because of what we just talked about, it just didn’t feel like it had the dramatic weight.

I liked less that the episode seemed sort of pointless. Like why? Hermes’ plan sounded half baked to me and not at all worthy of the character. And then it was so easily unravelled that I guess it was half baked.

But more specifically, what was any of this for? Maybe the Xenos come back in later seasons, and so they needed an introduction, but that could have been done with just the episode of all of them drinking together.

The episode — and this season, I hate to say — had a lot of moments like that. Why did Eina follow Bell into the pit Asterius hurled himself and Bell into? It was a live combat zone, and she’s decidedly not combat-capable. Why did Asterius have two arms in the last shot we see of him (21:13)? That’s the problem with losing suspension of disbelief — once it’s gone, it’s really tough to earn back.

I actually really liked the beginning of this season and for the most part, I like the basic premise and the new characters introduced. However, when it’s all said and done, it seems like everything that happened was a bit unnecessary.

The events don’t seem to have changed anything about the DanMachi universe in any way. None of the main characters seemed to have changed at all either. I don’t think anyone learned anything or decided anything.

And in the end, was the takeaway that monsters all have potential intelligence and we should treat them like people or that monsters are scary and strong and we should attack them in the middle of a cheering crowd? Both? Some monsters are good and some aren’t? Like people… Maybe the true message is that we should attack people more often!

I think you brought up the two main complaints I have. First, the last show was Bell asking Ais for more training — which we’ve seen before. And the Xenos — how is Ray enough different from Haruhime that Ray is a monster and Haruhime is considered beautiful and desirable? That lack of distinction contributed to the muddled message, I think.

You know, I’m just not very skilled with appreciating dramas. I really had a moment of joy seeing all the Hestia familia gang under the invisibility cloak along with the stray monsters. That was fun. I liked that no one had to die for that silly plan. 

That’s where DanMachi excels — in those little moments. It just couldn’t pull everything together for a successful, heavy drama. I’d have to say that based on your other reviews, your appreciation of drama is just fine! This season of IIWTTTPUGIAD III didn’t give us enough to appreciate! 

All in all, for me DanMachi III didn’t quite stick the landing. It ended up not really tackling any of the questions the premise brought up and left us more or less exactly where we were at the beginning. 

There were some pretty cute character designs though! And that might be enough to bring me back for season 4.

Between Eina and Ryuu, I’d watch season 4. There’s so much potential in this world and characters! I think that’s what disappointed me the most about this season — the lack of potential explored or realized. 

8 thoughts

  1. I wouldn’t say the season was pointless. Before they went into the dungeon playing a DnD rpg, and now it’s more like Street Fighter. That said, I hated the ending. I thought it made perfect sense for every character involved (except Hermes who’s probably suffering from the I’m-a-genius-but-my-writer-isn’t syndrome). They were rubbing it into my face that, when all is said and done, Danmachi is a shounen fighter and there has to be a fight. So, both the Minotaur and Theseus are going to train, because they respect each other, and that’s COOL!!! (Ah well, what did I think.)

    They can’t ouright question the dungeon yet. I’m also not sure what’s going on with the monsters, but they don’t really leave corpses, so maybe their energy gets recycled and that translates into those dream-like memories (Wiene had them, too).

    So, yeah, there are changes, and there’s things the show can pick up and expand on, but there’s nothing I’m particularly interested in.

    My fave moment in this episode was Hestia’s dropkick.

    1. I’m not as optimistic as you are. I have a sinking feeling all these tweaks will simply not be taken into consideration as the story progresses. But I have not read the novels, I could be wrong

  2. Asterius had both arms at the end because Fells healed all the Xenos. However, I completely agree that this entire season felt as pointless as Hermes plan, which was completely pointless. Had he not done that nothing in the story would have changed.

    The only thing that I can pull out of this season is that Bell realized he wasn’t strong enough and needed to level up… which has been kind of the point since season one.

    This was my least favourite of the three seasons even with some nice moments.

    1. “Asterius had both arms at the end because Fells healed all the Xenos.”

      Thanks for pointing that out. In retrospect, I should have been able to figure it out. Trouble is, once I lose faith in a narrative, it’s hard to expend the energy.

      “which has been kind of the point since season one.”

      I think that’s a good summary of where we ended up!

    2. I still liked it better than s2 but it was pointless. That in itself could have been worked with but the subtlety and depth to make it a reflection on how sometimes things are meaningless and people will revert back to old habits or something, just wasn’t there

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