Sword Oratoria: Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side - Reviews

Alt title: Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darou ka Gaiden: Sword Oratoria

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Rbastid's avatar
Jan 12, 2019

Oh treasure hunting, where everyone sets out in search of boobs, boobs and boobs, or at least that’s what you’d think when watching yet another show that focuses less on plot and more on filling in that time period before you’re old enough to buy pornography.

Story - 5/10

Sold as a side story to the original series, we’re supposed to be given a glimpse at what a real familia, one run by Loki and starring “the Sword Princess” Ais Wallenstein, looks and acts like. What we instead got was a story that went no where, more useless vanity shots and a series that strayed far from the adventure show that drew us all in the first time around.

The show starts off with the familia already at the level fifty safety zone, which means all the fun of getting down there, and the need for the writers and animators to show some creativity, is skipped for us. While there the area is attacked by a new species of monster, one which has the ability to invade a monster free zone, as well as having attacks that are more powerful than anything known to exist. Due to the unexpected damage the group took, they head back to town, experiencing weird occurrences of monsters being out of their designated areas on the way up. That’s where our story crosses with the original, as Ais has to save Bell from a Minotaur they weren’t able to contain.

Back in the city Ais mopes around because she hasn’t leveled up, while the group’s young mage Lefiya does the same, because instead of writing an original plot they decided to just give her the same exact one as Bell, where she gets saved by Ais and then feels she needs to also level up to protect the one she has a crush on. At this point we have another crossover with the original, the out of control monsters from Monsterphilia. It’s here where we get some good story information regarding why these monsters and dungeons exist, pretty much all as entertainment for the gods to watch, as well as the release of the monsters being a plan to lure out Bell, as the gods believe there is something special about him.

For the rest of the series we deal with pretty much one storyline, though in the true fashion of this series it’s ruined by useless filler and unanswered questions. After the tough battle against the new monsters, Ais needs money to repair her unbreakable sword, so she heads down into the dungeon with a few familia members to find some items to sell.  While there they stumble across the murder of a high level adventurer who was on a mission to find and deliver an item. Ais and Lefiya eventually find the courier who he delivered the item to, a young girl named Lulune. She shows them the strange orb she was given, which contains a monster inside, and the three are soon confronted by a cloaked woman who demands the item. 

A fight ensues, which proves to be one of the toughest Ais has ever had to take on, and during the battle the woman refers to Ais as Aria, the name of her mother. After a protracted fight, where other members of the familia eventually come to turn the tides in Ais’ favor, the cloaked woman takes off, leaving our heroes to head back home to figure out what’s going on. On the way up the group runs into a floor boss, and determined to prove her strength to herself, Ais takes it on in a solo battle, becoming the only person ever to do so and also becoming the familia’s fourth level sixmember in the process.

Now Ais’ main goal is find the truth about the redheaded monster tamer who stole the orb from them and of her mother’s true identity and fate, a journey that first has her travel halfway down tfrom where they were, for a useless battle, all to be told to go even further down for yet another useless battle.

Before that can happen Ais has a few more run in’s with Bell where she see’s how quickly he’s been leveling, is now able to use magic without even chanting, and agrees to help him grow through sword training. This makes Lefiya jealous, as she wants to be Ais’ only focus, so in order to grow and gain her attention, she decides to start training with the guild’s other mage elf, so that she can become a real help while on expeditions. The training Ais and Bell have pays off in another crossover with our original series, as Bell is now able to single handedly beat a minotaur.

The climax of our show starts after being told they can find the truth about Ais’ mother on the Fifty Ninth floor. The familia, along with some help from other adventurers, make their way down to the levels few others have ever visited. This interesting sounding journey is no where to be found though, as Ais makes a detour to again save Bell, and then suddenly our entire group has made it down into the Deep Levels beyond the fiftieth floor.

When they finally arrive at their destination it looks nothing like what was described by the one familia who has seen it. Altered by evil spirits, the level has monsters who act just like adventurers, with the ability to cast magic and control other mobs. Now it seems as if we’re getting somewhere interesting, but instead all we’re getting to is another overdone fight with a big giant monster and lots of shouting.

And of course everything ends with little miss worthless summoning up the power to save the day, because they had to make this trash character be our ultimate hero, one who defeats the baddest boss and brings forth what we expected all along, an ending with absolutely no closure that forces us to buy the next money grabbing series they decide to make if we want real answers.

It feels like the whole point of the show wasn’t to showcase Ais, show comparisons between the Hestia Familia and the Loki Familia, or just to reminisce about the fun of the level grind and reaching a new achievement, no the main point of our story was to show that jealousy makes you stronger, in the case of the psychopath Lefiya. Her power and desire keeps growing every time she sees Bell succeed, which doesn’t lead to a healthy competition, but just to a weirdo doing things that would almost make it seem like she’ll be the villain in the next season. Bell, even though he did have a crush on Ais, was for the most part leveling up for himself, as he wanted to no longer be a weakling dependent on others, Lefiya was spite leveling.

It’s not all bad, I did enjoy how they tried to tie in scenes from the original series, to help us understand at what point and time this was all happening, but they unfortunatly just gave us the same exact scenes, rarely expanding on it or really showing us Ais’ point of view. They also had that very tiny bit of useful information about the gods, but again without expanding on it there wasn’t much added to the overall universe.

Animation - 4/10

While much of the animation resembles the first season, this time around it just lacked the locations and feel of an MMO that we sometimes were treated to. More so than the original, which seems almost impossible to do, this lot of episodes made it appear as if the animators were even more focused on drawing the female figure than actually creating an interesting world for us.

We’re given a handful of locations, even less new monsters, but many many more scenes of girls squeezing their own chests or having their clothing ripped off. I almost feel as if watching this show would create a whole new wave of feminists, as this apparently one of a kind fighter, “The Sword Princess,” has the basis for most of her fights be so that the animators have an excuse to tear off her pants.

I could almost look past the reuse of so many scenes if everything else didn’t point to this version of the show being a bad money grab from fans.

Sound - 3/10

The opening and closing songs for this iteration of the series are so terrible it almost hurts. The first is a squeaky and annoying song that I can see fitting many anime series, but not this one. The real pain come in the closing song, it sounds like a high pitched, mush mouthed child trying to, well I don’t want to call it singing for fear of insulting that ability. I can’t see how they made a series that obviously is focused on fidgety teen boys, but with music for infants.

The music played within the series is pretty good, well when it’s actually there. Unlike the first season I didn’t get that sense of an RPG, where background music is always playing to help bring the environment to life.

Most of the great V.O. artist that took us along the journey in the first thirteen episodes take a back seat to some of the more annoying voices in anime. The two that really make you want to hit the mute button are our Bell replacement Lefiya and the leader of the familia Loki. Both just have that screechy and overly comical sound that I’ve come to hate from all the other characters voiced by these same actors, who go series after series without trying to make any discernible differences in those they voice.

Others that aren’t great, but were less prominent throughout the series, were Ais and the group’s resident “Bro,” Bete. What’s also disappointing is that when the show incorporated artists I generally enjoy, like Cynthia Martinez, they still weren’t as good as they usual are.

The only saving grace to the audio in this series was that I believe our party’s Gimli ripoff, Gareth, is voiced by the same guy who does McGruff the Crime Dog in the insurance commercial.

Characters - 4/10

So most who watch this series will already know who Ais is, a young girl who has become something of a legend, as she’s already attainted level five by the time she’s turned sixteen. Now after a particularly grueling battle she starts to wonder why she can’t hit level six, and in turn goes out on reckless expeditions and tries to solo monsters in order to level up. During one of these expeditions she gets into a fight with what seems like another adventurer, one who refers to her as Aria, the name of her mother. The battle is tougher than others Ais has had, but it ends in a stalemate, so now Ais is determined to best her new foe and also find out what the connection to her mother is.

Through this process of leveling and searching for information we learn very little about Ais. Outside of finding out she lost her parents at a young age, and later that her mother was a spirit who is held in almost as high a regard as the gods themselves. 

Although the show would have you believe Ais is the main character, in reality the person the show revolves most around is Lefiya, and boy is she just an awful character to lead a show. Where Bell was a new adventurer, trying to level up so that he can both impress Ais and be a protector, Lefiya is a seasoned mage who has no idea what she’s doing and instead follows Ais around like a creepy stalker. Too much of the series has her fantasizing about our princess and being jealous of anyone she’s around. They wanted to integrate her and a story similar to Bell, of her leveling up to impress someone, so that she could have a big ending, but instead she was just a drag on the story and could have easily been replaced by a more interesting member of the familia.

Most of the members of the familia are those we know from the series itself. There’s the group’s goddess Loki, a horribly annoying character who is there just to have someone molest the family members and make pointless dirty jokes. Tiona and Tione, the twin Amazon type members who, again, are just there for the breast jokes and running around in next to nothing. Lastly there’s Bete, the jerk wolf man who was a bully to Bell in season one, and whose role doesn’t change much here.

Of those in the Loki familia, the three senior members, who have all attained level six, are the most interesting and, for the most part, least focused on characters. With so little story occurring in the series they could have replaced some of the pointless filler with stories of these three, how they’ve made it this far in their leveling and some of their exploits along the way. But then again that would need to involve having a creative team that had some idea how to write an interesting and original story.

The new enemy created for this show is pretty standard and not very well written. Revis is a monster tamer who no one has ever crossed paths with. Despite being unknown she is very powerful and has the ability to create monsters that are a handful for even the greatest adventurers. After calling Ais by her mother’s name, she becomes the target of our “Sword Princess,” though she also has the desire to raise her level in order to defeat our blonde heroine. Unfortunately they don’t do a good job of actually building her character beyond that, pretty much being nothing more than a lazy plot device that leads to an unfinished story.

For some reason they needed to put in a new version of the exceedingly annoying Liliruca, this time under the name Lulune. She’s another character just there to get in the way and make the audio hard to listen to.

While they tried to at least build up the characters a bit more than they did in the original series, too many of them were just worthless, and those who weren’t either were ignored or in Ais’ case, left with a million questions. 

Overall - 3/10

When it came to the first season I had commented that the show was fun to watch and made you look forward to the next episode, though it had very little value in rewatching it. This time around I can’t say the same. The show seemed to be more focused on Loki’s perversions or Lefiya’s fantasies about Ais, than an actual engaging story.

There was a very good plot for them to run with, as well as the overall fun of having these parties dungeon crawl and act like the characters of an RPG, but instead they just tried to shoot for an audience that considers the same repeated boob joke “high art.” For what they were trying to do they should have just given us a small three episode OVA, but then again it’s tough to have an OVA that just creates a million questions and leaves all them unanswered.

While the original story ended with a lot to be desired story wise, it at least had a proper arc and ended in a way that would almost make you feel satisfied, but kept you looking forward to the next season and Bell’s next adventure. This time around the story was left incomplete and seemed as if they wanted to force you to buy the next installment. In no way can this be looked at as a complete season, it was instead one pointless battle and a hint at a future story.

5/10 story
4/10 animation
3/10 sound
4/10 characters
3/10 overall
kevinms's avatar
Jun 4, 2017

The long awaited second season of danmachi! It is actually more of a filler than an actual season. The content should be essential for fans to know more about the depth of the story. I enjoyed all the animation so far but the story can be flat at some time. Im a huge fan of Danmachi and I expect more of bell's story!

This second season solely should be given a 7. But due to my huge fandom, I actually enjoyed it more that I should have, so an 8 would do for me!

6/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall
LittleRosie's avatar
Jul 7, 2017

I was waiting with bated breath for a season 2 of Danmachi and yet, when the actual season was aired I was left sorely disappointed. Here I was, hoping beyond hope, Bell's story would continue and we'd get to see how much he would grow and prosper, along with just how much Freya would become obssesed with him, and lastly how Zeus is his Grandpa. 

Instead of that feast, I get the same story but from the Loki Familia's POV with a little more added in. Even worse? They used A LOT of footage from the previous season! They didn't even bother to make new content for some of it, for example- Bell's Minator Fight. The entire scene was straight out of S1 with the only change being  that it was cut. I was not a happy camper.

Plus, to top it all off, they added in a totally new character and tried to insert her into S1 even though she was clearly not there. The addition of Lefiya just totally ruined it for me. Her becoming the new MC and supplanting Bell just made it all boring and shallow in my mind. What was the point? I almost gave up on watching it after the first episode, but then my brother informed me that Bell was in the latter half of the season more so I continued, thinking, "Oh, maybe it'll get better!". I was sorely mistaken. The only times we saw Bell, was when he was training, fighting the minator, and the one new scene with him, Aiz, and Hestia. That made me pretty said.

All in all, I guess is was okay. The animation was great- except that they reused too much footage. The sound was really good, though a few things sounded a bit strange, but that's perfectly acceptable. The characters were disappointing and so was the story, in my opinion at least. Others might disagree and that is perfectly fine- you do your own thing and so will I. I just hope they come out with a Season 3 that continues Bell's story a lot quicker than this season took to come out!

5/10 story
7/10 animation
9/10 sound
6/10 characters
6/10 overall
Bravo0723's avatar
Dec 25, 2017

not a seconfd season continuation but a rehash of season 1 through Loki's familky view giving you as what it seems to be a perspective of what had happened that we hadn't sseen and a bit of knowledge about what Bell is actually being tested by the greater Gods to face later on.

 For this fact it seems nearly as good as the 1st if not completly so. So don't be disuaded by the nasayers that complain that it is not a good second season. It would onlyh be better if they were not so long in between Bell's story when the source has already been written for a while now.

9/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
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EvilSMores's avatar
Aug 24, 2017

DanMachi Season 1.5.  As many have complained, this anime is not a continuation of Bell Cranel's story, but is instead focused on his one sided (?) crush, Aiz Wallenstein.  The most boring protagonist ever.  Aiz's airheadedness and stoic personality are not enough to carry a show, and the writers seemed to know this when they added a new (sort of ) character to focus large portions of the show on.  More on that later.

Story (Mild Spoilers) 7/10

The setting takes place at the same time as Bell's season one story arc, following the members of Loki Familia during that time frame.  We get a good idea of what point of DanMachi we're at due to the frequent interactions of members of Loki's Familia wit Bell or those in his orbit.  Far more frequent than I had remembered, actually.  The plot in this show is centered on the investigation of Loki and her captains into strange happenings around Orario, largely instigated by the Monsterphilia incident of season one set off by Freya, and the appearance of strangely powerful demons with unique demon stones.  Meanwhile, Aiz gets caught up in the machinations of a strange hooded mage that seems to be connected to the incidents, and a powerful fighter who calls Aiz by her mother's name.  All of these seem to be tied together, and they help to spur Loki Familia's excursion to the 50 somethingth floor mentioned in DanMachi.

As a whole, the plotline of this season helped to expalin a lot of what was happening during season 1 that Bell was completely oblivious to.  He was solely focused on getting stronger and making personal connections, so a lot of little hints and occurances were missed by him, and could be easily missed by viewers.  This was less a "filler" or "side story" as many have claimed, and more a peak at the bigger picture, and a teaser for the trials and tribulations that Bell and his friends will eventually face.  Viewed from this perspective, Sword Oratoria accomplishes its goal well, and could score a perfect 10 out of 10 for story...  If this was the only perspective.

As a standalone story, however, this season seems incomplete.  It raises a lot of questions, few of which it provides answers for.  Cliffhanger plotlines are nothing new, and are important for piquing viewer interest, but the conclusion of this story felt untidy.  While season 1 felt like Bell had completed a few story arcs, growing in the process, Sword Oratoria feels more like one story arc, spanning a longer period of time and ultimately left unfinished.  Without going into detail, the ending is rather anticlimactic, and ultimately led to my dropping a 10/10 plot down to a 7/10.

Animation 10/10

The animation is just as outstanding as season 1 in every way.  I love the character designs, though they get a bit muddy at times, the reactions and gags are great, and though the fight scenes aren't quite as epic as season one, it's still easy to tell what's going on.  If you've seen DanMachi, you know what to expect of the animation.  If you haven't seen it yet, than what are you doing reading reviews for Sword Oratoria?  Go.  Watch DanMachi now.  Shoo, shoo!

Sound 10/10

I always struggle when grading sound in anime.  I'm terrible at paying attention to sound effects unless they're so bad that they pull me out of the story, so I can at least confirm that the sound effects weren't distracting.  Additionally, I tend to skip OPs and EDs unless I really like them.  I skipped these.  However, I'm not going to dock points for that, as it's largely subjective.  So Sword Oratoria gets a 10 out of 10 from me on the strength of its voice acting.  Whether you like a character or not, their personalities were very well conveyed by the voice actors.  There weren't any poor performances, and a lot of my least favorite characters actually had some of the best voice acting.

Characters 7/10

The Good  There was a lot that went right with the characters in this show.  Many of them were already established in DanMachi, but Sword Oratoria served to expand upon them.  I especially liked getting to know Loki Familia's captains.  While not a lot happened with the dwarf (I'm terrible with names, BTW), the elf mage, Riveria, from season one got to show more sides to her personality, and was great anytime she was onscreen.  As for the blond haired prum, Finn, well, that dude is just a badass.  If there was another spinoff focusing on his beginiings, I'd watch the shit out of that.  My only complaint is that we saw him in action too few times.  The DBag werewolf (wolf beastman?) Bete got a little more character development, which was great.  It turns out he's a DBag with a heart of gold.  Errrr...  Maybe copper.  yeah, probably more a heart of copper.  Other characters like the Amazonians remain largely unchanged from season 1, with underdeveloped personalities whose screne time is mostly to raise the ratio of boob jokes per minute.  Loki is much the same, but while she serves to dish out boob jokes, she is also shown to be fairly clever beneath her mask of lecherousness.

Then there's Whatshername.  You know, Whatshername. The young, new elf mage girl who has a huge crush on Aiz.  I really wasn't sure where to put her on this list.  Good?  Bad?  Ugly?  As for her personality, she falls on a spectrum that ranges from adorable to painfully annoying.  Closer to the painfully annoying side than adorable.  I placed her in the Good category for a few reasons.  For starters, as I said in the introduction, Aiz cannot carry a show.  Whatshername serves to compensate for that.  Her story arc is similar to Bell's.  She is working hard to get stronger, has a huge crush on Aiz, and is said to have a lot of potential.  Her story's not as exciting as Bell's, however, as she is constantly surrounded by strong adventurers who look after her and who largely eliminate any sembelance of peril.  On the contrary, when she screws up, it puts her teamates at more risk than herself, which is irksome.  Given how strong her teamates are, this provides a lot less tension than Bell's battles.  One area where she excels is in comic relief due to her jealousy of Bell, and the one sided competition she has with him for Aiz's attention.  But the biggest reason I put her in the Good category is because I thought she was a new character at first, added in arbitratily to take some weight off of Aiz as the protaganist.  Then I rewatched season 1, and saw how beautifully planned out these two seasons have been.  There are little animations of Whatshername in the backgorund of DanMachi, usually reacting to Bell or Aiz, that make very little sense until you watch Sword Oratoria.  It was well done by the animation team and story writers, and I've got to give props for that.

The Bad  The villain.  There's nothing more boring than an underdeveloped villain.  What's her goal?  Just to get stronger?  Why does she know Aiz's mom?  Just to make us curious?  Well, it's not really working.  Not for me at least. I'm not at all curious about the villain of this show.  If they had actually faced off against her at the end, maybe I could have gotten a little more story on her, and felt a little development.  Instead, I'm far more interested in characters like the god Ouranos and his hooded henchperson. Are they good  Are they evil?  Why are they more interesting than half the other characters in the show?  I don't know, but I want to find out.  As for the villain, if she never showed up in future seasons, I'd barely notice.

The Ugly  Aiz.  Aiz may be beautiful, but she is the ugly.  Sword Oratoria led me to believe that there's a lot more to Aiz than we've seen, but somehow managed to not actually show that there's more to Aiz than we've already seen.  Even getting to hear some of her thoughts shows us that she has a one track mind, with little depth.  Maybe someday they'll break through that stoic demeanor and single mindedness, but it wasn't done here.  She undergoes zero change, which makes for a terrible protaganist.  At this point I really just want Aiz and Whatsehername to ride off into the sunset together toward the land of cute lesbians.  This would free up Bell to develop a relationship with a more deserving partner, like a certain badass green haired waitress.  Heck, if I can't get that wish, I'd be happy with a certain amusing grey haired waitress.  (Sorry, Hestia.  Bell's just not into you like that.)

Overall 8/10

As I've said, this is neither filler nor a side story.  It's clearly important information for the future of this franchise.  While this is by no means a great anime, if you're interested in DanMachi and potential future seasons, this is a must watch.  As a standalone, I'd probably give it a 6 out of 10.  As a part of a bigger whole, it gets an 8.  My only recommendation would be to watch DanMatchi first, Sword Oratoria second, then watch DanMachi again.  Trust me.  It's totally worth it.

 

7/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall
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