- Titles: Meikyuu Black Company, The Dungeon of Black Company
- Genre: Fantasy, isekai, adventure, venture capital, comedy
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: SILVER LINK.
No matter where you go, it’s always the same. The rich get richer while the little guys get screwed. So you know what you have to do? Be one of the rich! At least that’s how Ninomiya sees it and from everything he’s learned so far, he’s right. So after climbing his way to the top of the capitalist ladder in one world, he finds himself sucked into another one and right back at square one. But hey, he did it once, he can do it again. All he needs is a plan, a lackey and a little luck. Also, he has to make sure he doesn’t get eaten by a dragon in the process. That’s a pretty important factor as well! Still, surviving deadly magic and fantastical foes is no big deal after having spend years as a corporate slave!
Last year I came down with a case of isekai fatigue. I was watching all these flagship shows that take themselves ever so seriously and I just got really bored by the whole thing. They just all started to look like the same show to me and I knew I needed a break. But I think I’m ready to dive into the genre again and why not start with an unassuming short comedy!
I wouldn’t say that The Dungeon of Black Company is anything all that special to look at. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean it looks bad just sort of a run-of-the-mill isekai. However, I had this uncanny experience where Wanibe kept reminding me of Dorohedoro (which has a very striking look to it) so I had to keep resetting my expectations of the visuals. This made The Dungeon of Black Company probably a lot more memorable for me on a visual level, than it would be for most folks.
I think by far the production element that works best in this show is the voice acting. The cast is pleasant to listen to and the actors seem to enjoy their roles, but the thing that gives it an advantage over a standard isekai cast is that there is great audible chemistry between the characters.
I figure that the world of voice acting in Japan isn’t all that huge and if you’ve been working for a while, you’ve probably made a few friends in the industry. And that leads to some really nice chemistry in some casts. It’s one of the reasons I tend to really like Japanese voice casts. They seiyuu industry and tradition dates back a lot more than for English voice casts and from time to time you get to really hear that in the performances.
Story & Characters
Personally, there were two things that really struck me about The Dungeon of Black Company. Generally speaking, I’ve noticed two basic types of isekai main characters. Either they are the impossibly good and righteous author/audience insert types. Like in Danmachi, Slime or the little I’ve seen of SAO. Or they are sort of jerks that are openly derided by the audience, but that’s what makes them sort of funny and appealing in a different way. KonoSuba is probably one of the best examples.
Ninomiya falls into the latter cathegory. He’s very selfish, openly greedy and has little to no qualms about using others to achieve his goals. To the mild horror of those around him. I don’t tend to identify much with perfect characters so I don’t dislike the loathsome types. The show makes it clear that Ninomiya is not to be admired and often punishes him for his more questionable actions but at the same time, it’s generally in good fun. As such, this was a main character I found easy to take.
The second thing that stood out to me, was that there was an isekai within the isekai. As in the main character gets ported to another world from Japan, and while in that other world, he gets ported into yet another world. That’s when I realized that The Dungeon of Black Company wasn’t just a comedy isekai, it was actively making fun of the isekai genre itself. In a gentle way. I mean it clearly is an isekai that embraces all the tropes, but there’s just enough self-awareness there to border on parody.
I have to say that those two elements made The Dungeon of Black Company a surprisingly fun watch for me. I’m not sure I’ll remember it in a year or two but I enjoyed it while I watched it.
For those of you who may be considering this show, let me give you the general deets. Like I said, it’s mostly a comedy. Don’t expect sweeping emotional themes and epic 6 episode battle arcs. In fact, don’t expect too much battle at all. There is some, for sure, but Ninomiya is, well, a business bro. I don’t know how the “bro” archetype is interpreted in Japan but to me, this character was a classic example.
As such, The Dungeon of Black Company has characters that are more interested in market values and return on investment than they are in armour or saving princesses. It’s an isekai with a good amount of board meetings.
For those curious about the fanservice aspect, it exists. There’s even a 4th wall break making fun of fanservice when Wanibe gets captured by a tentacle monster and Ninomiya muses that he wouldn’t want to meet the fan this particular situation is servicing… However, I would say that The Dungeon of Black Company is generally fanservice light. A few camera angles some revealing costumes but that’s about it.
Other than that, it’s a mostly harmless and silly adventure that could be a fun distraction for when you don’t want anything too serious.
You might like this anime if:
You want carefree isekai that isn’t demanding
My favourite character:
Wanibe – he’s the goddess good boy
- Every time Ninomiya is a jerk – take a very small sip
- Every time Rim is hungry – go get a snack – quick!
- Every time we see any of the company directors – take a sip
- Every time Wanibe is the moral center – raise your glass
- Every time Ninomiya wants to be the King of the Neets – sounds like a good plan
- Every time anyo ne says Raiza’ha – take a sip
- Every time Rim changes shape – take a sip
- Every time a plan backfires – oh no
- Every time anyone asks Ninomiya to save the world – oh boy!
- Every time Ninomiya is wearing black speedos – take a sip
- Every time we see Rim’s sister – take a sip
- Every time there’s a commercial – you’ll see what I mean
- Every time Ninomiya gets misunderstood as righteous when he’s really being awful – take a sip
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.