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YMMV / Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?

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Memoria Freese can be found here.

  • And You Thought It Would Fail: The announcement of the series getting an anime adaptation led to it being looked down upon, as the name and plot made people think it would be either another Sword Art Online clone or a generic ecchi harem series.note  Instead, the series became extremely popular, becoming easily the most discussed new anime of its season. Even with some amount of Hype Backlash discussed below, the series impressed many people.
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  • Awesome Music: "Argonaut", which plays during Bell's most climactic battles and serves as his Theme Music Power-Up.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Hestia has become a pretty polarizing character after the anime came out. Excluding the memetic ribbon, many love her and find her to be hilarious and cute especially in her interactions with Bell, while others hate her for her excessive clingyness while believing she doesn't deserve Bell and want him to end up with one of the other girls.
    • Loki's excessively perverted nature is either hilarious or just plain cringeworthy. There are some very obvious implications of an older woman groping younger girls.
  • Broken Base: The Animated Adaptations for both series is criticized to be pretty hard to bear... only for people who have read the novels. In general, both anime adaptations have adapted the source material in a way which allows for the overall story to flow better and to emphasize certain crowd-pleasing elements, but skips more minor Foreshadowing scenes and world-building details in order to do so. This appeals to the general audience as well as those who haven't read the light novels, but alienates more hardcore fans.
    • The rushed pacing of the original series' anime adaptation. On one hand, there are those who have been enjoying the show; particularly people who haven't read the light novels. On the other hand, detractors feel that the story is rough to follow due to the amount of detailnote  being left out in order to rush through, and show off just the major events. The worst of the criticism occurred when it was shown in episode 9 that the 4th light novel was done in a single episode. Skipping out on some pretty big scenes, such as the God's meeting, and pretty much everything concerning Welf's backstory.
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    • The anime adaptation of Sword Oratoria also has this. On one hand, as a normal show, it is a decent show focusing on the adventures of the Loki Familia, in particular its two lead characters Aiz Wallenstein and Lefiya. On the other hand, anyone who has read the light novels or read the manga heavily criticise the show for being rather unfaithful to the source material; in particular completely failing to get into the head of the singular protagonist, Aiz Wallenstein, in favour of staying with Lefiya, who was simply a major viewpoint character. Key scenes for Aiz are frequently told from Lefiya's perspective in the anime, especially when Oratoria overlaps with the main series, and thus much of the nuances of the source material and Aiz's character is lost. Some of this criticism abated between episode 4 to 8, when Aiz was given prominence, but resurfaced when series important interactions between Bell and Aiz were once again cut in favour of Lefiya's sidestories. These examples are especially egregious for Sword Oratoria, as a highly faithful and well-received manga adaption had already been in serialization long before the anime started which the adaption could draw from; unlike the main series, which had no other examples besides the original material to draw from.
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    • The Ishtar arc of the novels/second half of the second anime season is sufficiently Darker and Edgier than the preceding story, featuring several prostitute characters, several scenes of Attempted Rape and Cold-Blooded Torture, some of the most vile villains the series has ever produced, and even an on-screen character death (albeit of one of the aforementioned villains). As such, it is particularly divisive; supporters of the arc point toward Bell's Character Development and the character of Haruhime as examples of how the dark elements made the Story Arc more mature and emotionally resonant, but detractors say that the sexuality and violence is just gratuitous and doesn't mesh well with the series' ultimately optimistic tone.
  • Complete Monster: The dungeon isn't the only place where one will find monsters:
    • Goddess Ishtar forces her familia into prostitution and expands her ranks by kidnapping women, either right off the street in the pleasure quarters, which she runs with a Reign of Terror, or out of the dungeon. She also expands her ranks by buying slaves and putting them to work as prostitutes. She isn't content to have clients come to her familia prostitutes willingly either, and has men kidnapped and forced into being "clients". She demands absolute obedience—otherwise, she will send Phryne Jamil to have any and all dissidents beaten half to death and brought before her to be raped until they can no longer say "no". She sees nothing wrong with rape, even raping Hermes onscreen, and treats Hestia with disdain, because the latter is a virgin goddess. She has a petty, spiteful grudge against Freya for being considered more beautiful and having a stronger familia than herself, and so decides to declare total war, squashing everyone in her way, and to this end, forces her slaves, like Haruhime, into a Human Sacrifice ritual that would destroy their souls with no hope of recovery just for a cheap power-up. When Freya has finally had enough and retaliates, Ishtar abandons her familia while trying to escape, planning to set up shop elsewhere.
    • Phryne Jamil, Ishtar's top enforcer, is as hideous on the outside as her personality is twisted and cruel. Completely deluded into believing she's the most beautiful woman, even more so than both goddesses of beauty—Ishtar and Freya—she takes any and all men she finds "tasty" and drags them off against their will into her "love nest" dungeon, hidden in the basement of the Ishtar estate, pumps them full of aphrodisiacs and terror, and then rapes and tortures them until she gets bored, by which time, they are completely broken, bloody, and permanently impotent; she happily tells herself, and anyone she thinks will listen, that they're so love-struck that they will never be satisfied, sexually, by anyone else. She greatly enjoys beating her fellow familia members, or anyone else who happens to cross her, half to death, especially those men who try to escape her "affection". She calls Haruhime "ugly" for the fact that the latter is a virgin, and, in addition to chaining her up and happily preparing to kill and destroy her soul, smacks her around for the slightest resistance, real or imagined.
  • Die for Our Ship: Hestia gets this from Bell/Aiz shippers. She's accused of "cockblocking" Bell thanks to exacerbating the lack of interaction between the two, as she actively keeps Bell away from Aiz. On the other hand, many who ship Bell/Hestia constantly criticize Aiz for being seemingly cold to Bell, and argue that Hestia blatantly cares for him more.
    • It should be noted however, that this mostly comes from anime-only fans. In the anime adaption, Hestia is given more spotlight in favour Bell's actual target of affection. In turn, the animated series of both the main series and Sword Oratoria is accused of not giving proper perspective of Ais and her relationship with Bell, so she's less developed as a love interest and character compared to Hestia. It doesn't help that J.C. Staff blatantly favours Hestia as opposed to Ais.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Ryu is easily one of the fan favorites of the peripheral cast, for her stoic demeanor and badass tenacities.
    • Syr a lovable Nice Girl with an intriguing Beware the Nice Ones hidden side. Quite loved by fans despite her relatively limited role.
    • Eina, for being a Cool Big Sis to Bell and the least forward of his Unwanted Harem. It definitely helps she's voiced by Haruka Tomatsu.
  • Epileptic Trees: Syr and Freya potentially being the same person has become popular, especially after realizing that Syr was an old name of Freya when she was in disguise back in her mythology. It also helps explain how Freya claims to have met Bell, since at no point is the audience shown Freya meeting Bell. A scene in the anime right before Bell first meets Syr hints at the possibility. The way Bell gains his spell is very blatant about hinting the possibility, since the grimore just happened to be left at the same pub Syr works at, who gives it to Bell when she could have easily given it to someone else or sold it. Eventually, it is just outright confirmed to be true.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Freya, the Goddess of Beauty, and perhaps the closest thing this series has to a main villain so far.
    • Ishtar, even more so than Freya (evil-wise). She and her Familia are involved in a lot of unsavory activities including human (and demi-human) trafficking, forced prostitution and human sacrifice
  • Franchise Original Sin: Fans who bemoan the Ishtar arc's increased sexual content forget that the series was hardly devoid of Fanservice from the beginning; Hestia is practically a walking fanservice magnet and Bell gets caught in a few Accidental Pervert moments. But unlike the Ishtar arc, which played every single bit of its sexual content all the way up to and including Attempted Rape and its Serial Rapist villain dead seriously, fanservice situations in the early books were clearly Played for Laughs as much as anything. Making matters worse was that the fanservice jokes fit the consistent lighthearted Heroic Fantasy tone of the first few arcs, while the Ishtar arc would flip back and forth between using its sexual content as a source of angst, then go right back to the optimistic tone of the original novels.
  • Hype Backlash: Having enjoyed as close to an anime can get to "universal praise" during its run for its refreshing take on ribald RPG humornote , overexposure to the hype and especially to Hestia and her popular outfit drove significant portions of the anime community to lash out at the show and its fanbase, as evidenced by masses of reviews left long after the series' conclusion. Among many insular communities, DanMachi is simplified to "That Show With the Boob-Ribbon Girl" and rarely recommended, despite its relatively good critical standing.
    • The anime adaptation of Sword Oratoria also received a bit of backlash, though less than the original, with many viewers (generally the people who had knowledge of the manga, light novel or even the main series anime) lashing out at the overall more rushed pacing and lower budget of Sword Oratoria compared to main series, as well as the anime's failure to deliver on the in-depth look into Aiz Wallenstein which had been advertised and which had drawn many people in.
  • Les Yay:
    • More than a bit in Sword Oratoria. Mostly from Lefiya towards Aiz, but also from Tiona and Loki.
    • Also between Filvis and Lefiya in the spin off as well.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Hestia's blue ribbon, and it's often used for bondage play as well.
    • "Hestia is Bestia" / "Hestia is Breastia"
    • Hestia and Bell's teeth brushing dance in the opening. Numerous videos and gifs have been compiled for this scene, and it's always accompanied by the song "My Shiny Teeth and Me" from Fairly OddParents.
  • Moe:
    • Bell is so adorably helpless it's hilarious. He ends up being cuter than any of the girls.
    • Even so, do not underestimate the Moe power of the strongest woman in the world. Aiz is definitely adorable, and quite badass.
    • Liliruca, a pint-sized Prum girl with a heartwrenching backstory. Bell just can't help but want to protect her.
    • Hestia is also quite adorable, being shoulder-high to Bell, who isn't particularly tall himself, her affection for Bell and her cute determination.
  • Padding: Bell's fight against the gorilla during the Monster Festival is seen as this for a lot of people with claims being made that all the running around was unnecessary had Hestia just given Bell the newly crafted goddess-knife right away. It's worth noting that while this was true to the light novel, in the manga (which was written by the author afterwards) they give Bell the knife right away.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Lefiya gets a lot of hate for being essentially a worse version of Bell. To elaborate; Lefiya has a crush on Aiz, wants to be strong, and is very timid, the same way Bell is. The problem is Lefiya is a level 3 adventurer, compared to Bell being level 1 at the start, has a extremely broken ability that allows her to essentially use any magic she wants, and can easily one-shot a Minotaur. The kicker is that Lefiya is a Static Character and never develops while Bell does. This can be seen in how Bell's response to being called weak is to go and actually train and improve, and he tries making some progress with Aiz while Lefiya just acts awkwardly around her and when called weak simply curls into a ball and cries. She can also be highly vindictive and prone to jealous rage, especially towards Bell, whom she has actually attempted to seriously maim and kill for minor incidences; which has furthered her detractors. This issue is compounded in Sword Oratoria's anime adaptation, where she frequently has anime-original daydreams of Aiz which either breaks the serious atmosphere of the scene, or eats up time which could have otherwise be spent on Aiz's backstory/development. The anime also flanderizes her clinginess to Aiz to the point where she seems more like an actual abusive stalker than a frequent comrade. She is also outright dismissive towards Bell for spending time with Aiz in the anime, compared to the Light Novel where she was a bit nicer. It just makes her more intolerable.
  • Shocking Moments:
    • Bell's fight against Ottar's trained Minotaur in episode 8.
    • The fight against the Goliath in the season finale ends with a lot of "main" characters (basically all the familia members excluding the Loki Familia, who left to go back to the surface before the Goliath appeared) having a CMOA, and in the very end of the fight they all release their limit breaks, sure it does nothing as it was just to stall for Bell's attack to charge but it's still completely epic looking, then topped off by Bell's new skill Hero Strike, which cuts the monster in half, it isn't even enough.
    • Bell attaining the Argonaut Skill and using Firebolt, where he One Hit Kills a baby dragon.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: A lot of fans consider this series to be one to Sword Art Online due to the vastly similar premise and the fact both protagonists are voiced by Yoshitsugu Matsuoka. Some scenes such as Bell's minotaur battle feel lifted right out of its predecessor.
  • The Woobie: Liliruca. It's hard not to feel sorry for her when you see more of her backstory, such as losing both of her parents, then being constantly abused by adventurers and betrayed by people she thought she could trust. The anime makes sure to portray her getting kicked around by selfish people who seem to do it For the Evulz. It's tempting to also call her a Jerkass Woobie given she still left Bell to die after stealing his gear while he was fighting tough monsters. Yet, considering how she gets treated in the rest of the episode, it's still very hard to not feel sorry for her.


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