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EP. REVIEW: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? II


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GhostD



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:26 pm Reply with quote
I could actually say that was a nice cliff hanger. I was intrigued by Ishtar's philosophy there but you can tell that she sees things from the eyes of a goddess who cares little for mortal ethics. Its been said before (in the LN anyway) that a goddess's jealousy is a terrifying thing.

Last edited by GhostD on Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Key
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:24 pm Reply with quote
Tanteikingdomkey wrote:
I am sorry but Steven Universe with a rating of Y-7 is able to have a far more nuanced discussion about rape and consent issues then this show does. I am not saying that this show needs to have that level of discussion, in fact I would argue it breaks the tone of the show, but it could have tried to do something and make moments like and bel and haruhime crying much more important and actually related to sex and rape.

And I fully agree that it would break both the tone and the focus of the show. Nothing in the franchise is meant to be a deep, contemporary social commentary; when it goes into any depth of social commentary at all, it's on topics intrinsic to fantasy RPG-styled settings. (The issue of how Supporters are treated and regarded, for instance.) That's one of my favorite things about the franchise, actually.

Concerning episode 9, yep, we're right on track to finish the arc with episode 10, as I can't imagine what's left taking up more than a full episode. They went very soft on depicting the damage Mokoto took from the deliberate backfire, but otherwise I thought they handled things very well.

GhostD wrote:
Its been said before (in the LN anyway) that a goddess's jealousy is a terrifying thing.

Oh, I think we haven't seen anything on that front yet. Ishtar managed to irritate Freya to the level of getting personally involved, and Freya might even top Loki as the most dangerous person in this setting to genuinely piss off. Next episode will, I suspect, be quite ugly for a certain familia, especially since their trump card has been ruined.

On an added note, I'm sure Rebecca will go into more detail about this in her review (which isn't posted yet as I write this), but Ishtar's description of her views on sex certainly make it sound like she's playing to the classic (if debunked) image of the temple prostitutes.
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FilthyCasual



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:45 pm Reply with quote
I don't understand why this episode changed Bell's resolution to his Haruhime quandary to having his whole familia leave Orario instead of just him, but it makes him horrifyingly selfish. I much prefer his answer in the novel, where he's willing to take personal responsibility without unduly harming his allies, even though it'll upend his entire life. The anime changed him from someone willing to sacrifice himself utterly for one person to someone willing to screw over his own allies on a whim.
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Covnam



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:22 pm Reply with quote
Couldn't help but laugh when Ouka just easily tosses that guard aside. Mikoto also probably just knocked those two escorts over the bridge to their deaths. Bell's charged up firebolt at the start probably took some people out too. Those comments about Orario (and the story) being pretty ruthless as the story went on earlier in the thread sure weren't kidding!

Quote:
We also see how far Ishtar is willing to go in non-sexual ways as well: using a potion to reveal Bell's status is a major no-no for a god, so she's crossing yet another line there.


Oh, it is? They've showed that statuses can be locked to hide them, so I would think that if you can't hide it it's up to the individual to keep others from seeing it, not that others can't try to find out or that there would be major consequences if they did.

FilthyCasual wrote:
I don't understand why this episode changed Bell's resolution to his Haruhime quandary to having his whole familia leave Orario instead of just him, but it makes him horrifyingly selfish. I much prefer his answer in the novel, where he's willing to take personal responsibility without unduly harming his allies, even though it'll upend his entire life. The anime changed him from someone willing to sacrifice himself utterly for one person to someone willing to screw over his own allies on a whim.


I think it makes more sense for his familia to leave too, selfish or not. It's not like him running away alone to take responsibility would absolve his familia of his actions.
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steelmirror



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:58 pm Reply with quote
For me, the subtext in this show with regards to sex has been much more straightforward and puritanical than the review seems to imply. Sexual activity (especially of the female variety) is scary, the province of villains and manipulators. No female character (that I can recall, please correct me if I'm wrong) has been portrayed as both unambiguously sexually active and morally good. Those female characters that are morally good are "stained" (at least in their own eyes) in direct proportion to how much they have been exposed to sex, as seen with Haruhimespoiler[, and from the spoilers I've seen here, even her sexual experience will have to be handwaved away in order for her to join the rest of the heroes on the good side.]

Hestia is definitely interested in Bell romantically and sexually, but it's an implicit part of her static character that she'll never be able to actually consummate that desire because of Bell's interest in Aiz, another women whose general innocence about interpersonal relationships is definitely meant to imply that she's a virgin, as well. Also of course, virginity is literally a part of Hestia's mythological deityhood.

The Amazon members of Loki's familia are at least good guys who are confident in their appeal, though the fact that they just happen to go into combat dressed in swimwear also pretty clearly pegs them as primarily fanservice characters, imo.

Freya is very forward in a sexual sense, and shockingly, she's a villain. She even dresses more revealingly when she's being villainous, in case the association was too subtle.

I don't hold the show too accountable for any of this, because I think it's overwhelmingly likely that this is a result of having a target audience on the younger side of the cusp of maturity, for whom sex is still a big scary unknown and women who have experience with that are incredibly intimidating. Hey, I've been there. By that reading, the subtext about sex in the show is just a result of the intended audience, instead of any sort of intended message or cultural norm. I think it's possibly to come at the subject from a different perspective and make a good argument, but that explanation is good enough for me, especially since there is still another ep left in this arc for it to tie things up.

I do think it would be nice for even a show aimed at this demographic to offer positive examples of adults who manage to have sex (as in like, they can be really into each other and imply that things have moved to that point, they don't need to literally portray them doing the deed) who approach it in a healthy and affirming way for both sides. Having some positivity and openness is important, to demystify and remove some of the stigma surrounding the subject for adolescents just figuring out what it is. But that's a whole different topic, and I've probably talked this topic to death as it is. Very Happy
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Key
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:34 pm Reply with quote
steelmirror wrote:
For me, the subtext in this show with regards to sex has been much more straightforward and puritanical than the review seems to imply. Sexual activity (especially of the female variety) is scary, the province of villains and manipulators. No female character (that I can recall, please correct me if I'm wrong) has been portrayed as both unambiguously sexually active and morally good. Those female characters that are morally good are "stained" (at least in their own eyes) in direct proportion to how much they have been exposed to sex, as seen with Haruhimespoiler[, and from the spoilers I've seen here, even her sexual experience will have to be handwaved away in order for her to join the rest of the heroes on the good side.]

You could carry this point further and add that male characters who seem at all interested in sex are uniformly regarded as perverts at best. That's commonly true across the width and breadth of non-hentai anime as well; consider that even in cases where male characters are inclined to be frisky, they're either regarded as lovable perverts or barely tolerated because they're "a guy at that age." (See Issei in the High School DxD franchise.)

Though there are exceptions, anime generally hasn't been a format open to healthy involvement of sex.

Quote:
I do think it would be nice for even a show aimed at this demographic to offer positive examples of adults who manage to have sex (as in like, they can be really into each other and imply that things have moved to that point, they don't need to literally portray them doing the deed) who approach it in a healthy and affirming way for both sides. Having some positivity and openness is important, to demystify and remove some of the stigma surrounding the subject for adolescents just figuring out what it is. But that's a whole different topic, and I've probably talked this topic to death as it is. Very Happy

I'd recommend the manga Ideal Sponger Life for you, then. What you say here is why I would very much like to see that one get animated at some point.

Concerning Rebecca's review comments about how Ishtar sees sex, I think that attitude comes across more clearly in the anime version than the novel. It's an interesting angle to consider, though I have to wonder how much of that original writer Omori actually intended to convey.
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Yuvelir



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:41 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
(Hestia is Vesta in the Roman pantheon)

Hestia is Vesta is Besta
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zrnzle500
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:12 pm Reply with quote
steelmirror wrote:
For me, the subtext in this show with regards to sex has been much more straightforward and puritanical than the review seems to imply. Sexual activity (especially of the female variety) is scary, the province of villains and manipulators. No female character (that I can recall, please correct me if I'm wrong) has been portrayed as both unambiguously sexually active and morally good. Those female characters that are morally good are "stained" (at least in their own eyes) in direct proportion to how much they have been exposed to sex, as seen with Haruhimespoiler[, and from the spoilers I've seen here, even her sexual experience will have to be handwaved away in order for her to join the rest of the heroes on the good side.]


It seems to me they will ultimately reject that notion that people in Haruhime's line of work are tainted by that experience, that they are evil temptresses unworthy to be saved, even if that message may be muddled by other events in the arc. I also think they have set up Aisha to not be an out and out villain. Not exactly unambiguously good granted, but not unambiguously bad either. While I agree that it may not have the unambiguously positive portrayals of sex that one would want, I don't think it is as negative as you are reading it.

I think, in addition to the demographic factors you mentioned, there are also cultural factors at play, particularly Japan's notion of purity, as exhibited by their idol culture. But that is also a whole other topic.
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steelmirror



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:19 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
You could carry this point further and add that male characters who seem at all interested in sex are uniformly regarded as perverts at best. That's commonly true across the width and breadth of non-hentai anime as well;

Though there are exceptions, anime generally hasn't been a format open to healthy involvement of sex.
Good point, well made.

Key wrote:
I'd recommend the manga Ideal Sponger Life for you, then. What you say here is why I would very much like to see that one get animated at some point.
Always happy for good recommendations, I'll look into it! Ironically, as I was trying to come up with an anime that did a good job of this, the first thing that came to mind was Asuna and Kirito's relationship in SAO (season 1). For all that I love to hate that show (yes I'm a hater), it was super cool when they actually let a relationship progress in a healthy and consensual way.

Not talking about stuff after season 1, but yeah, that was a good idea (while it lasted) that would be neat to see in other shows as well.

zrnzle500 wrote:
I think, in addition to the demographic factors you mentioned, there are also cultural factors at play, particularly Japan's notion of purity, as exhibited by their idol culture. But that is also a whole other topic.
I absolutely agree with this too, and I think it's not at all a coincidence that the demure, shy Haruhime evokes Japanese mythology and customs, while the forward and aggressive Amazons evoke foreign (to a Japanese audience) tropes, are promiscuous, and are shall we say visually distinguishable from the rest of the cast.

I'm not calling the show racist, but I do think that there are stereotypes in Japan about foreigners and promiscuity, and that the show is consciously evoking them. It doesn't bother me excessively, though I wouldn't say I'm exactly on board with it either. It's just something I can't help but notice as I'm watching. Yell at me if you think I'm projecting, it's possible.

In any case with respect to Aisha, I have come around on her character a bit since her first appearance. At first I was completely ready to hate her as a horrible rapist and predator...which of course she is, unfortunately. The backstory that they've revealed since then certainly humanizes her, and makes her understandable.I wouldn't go so far as to say that she's not "unambiguously good or bad", because I think her actions have been unambiguously bad, but that also there is no such thing as a human being who is unambiguously just one or the other. To me, she's a character that has committed unforgivable acts, but just because I can't forgive someone of something doesn't mean they are completely beyond any possible redemption.
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Princess_Irene



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:33 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:


Though there are exceptions, anime generally hasn't been a format open to healthy involvement of sex.


I've noticed that shoujo manga for a slightly older demographic (running in Dessert, for example) does a much better job of it, although their anime adaptations don't always pan out that way. Say I Love You's creator has a specific note in one volume about the topic (14, I think?), and even going back to the 80s and 90s Kaoru Tada's work (Love Me, My Knight, ItaKiss) has looked at sex in a healthier light. The only male demographic manga I can think of off the top of my head that fits the bill is Domestic Girlfriend, although obviously that has a host of other issues. Smile (I never finished the anime of it, so I'm just talking about the manga.)

EDIT: Thinking about it, Fairy Tail also does a surprisingly decent job with it as well.
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Tanteikingdomkey
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:42 am Reply with quote
Based on (my guessing and side characters brought up) there probably is a version of this story somewhere that actually tries to say something about sex, and do something with it.
THE Problem is that it looks like the author was basically pulled out of it by the editor or just didn't give certain things the focus they needed to actually make that message come across well, so it gets morphed into a generic at best and toxic at worst message abut purity.

It would be really nice to see what the original drafts for this book looked like and how they changed before the book was published. I am pretty sure that the really horrible rape "jokes" from the beginning are probably still there but that could have been reframed with writing that the series is could be capable of to bring that around to make a point of some kind.

The series has always done things close to the line of being generic but with just enough spin and genuinely solid execution to make it enjoyable and fun. I am just going to assume at this point the author got cut off at the knees with what he wanted to do with his creative ideas, and then had to apply bandaids to the story in order to make it hold together still. resulting in the weakest of the books in the series.
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Covnam



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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:47 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:

I'd recommend the manga Ideal Sponger Life for you, then. What you say here is why I would very much like to see that one get animated at some point.


Not to go too far off topic, but I just recently read this and loved it. I'll definitely throw a vote in favor of it and hope that it eventually sees an anime =D
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Key
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:52 pm Reply with quote
Tanteikingdomkey wrote:
It would be really nice to see what the original drafts for this book looked like and how they changed before the book was published. I am pretty sure that the really horrible rape "jokes" from the beginning are probably still there but that could have been reframed with writing that the series is could be capable of to bring that around to make a point of some kind.

The series has always done things close to the line of being generic but with just enough spin and genuinely solid execution to make it enjoyable and fun. I am just going to assume at this point the author got cut off at the knees with what he wanted to do with his creative ideas, and then had to apply bandaids to the story in order to make it hold together still. resulting in the weakest of the books in the series.

I think you'd be disappointed. Based on what Fujino Omori said in the Afterword for this novel, deeper meaning was never part of the plan. He focused on a Red Light District partly because he wanted to show that there was more to the setting than just the Dungeon and partly because he felt that such a thing existing in the setting was only logical and worthy of being addressed, even though he felt that prostitutes "belong in a different world." He also mentions that he was heavily influenced by period plays and dramas featuring prostitutes. I reconsidered what's been shown in the arc with that in mind and that influence is actually pretty clear. Haruhime isn't meant to be a statement character; she represents the tragic heroine of one of those period plays.

Now, could this have been written a different way to make more of a statement? Sure. However, I don't believe that having to make a statement is (or should be) a necessity. There are movies and series that I watch for deeper insight; this is not one of them.
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Tanteikingdomkey
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:00 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:

Now, could this have been written a different way to make more of a statement? Sure. However, I don't believe that having to make a statement is (or should be) a necessity. There are movies and series that I watch for deeper insight; this is not one of them.

I would absolutely agree with you except that dan machi willingly stepped on the RAPE and NON COM landmine because the author felt like showing off that his characters like to have fun when they are not in a dungeon.........

The author himself even admits that prostitution is not something that fits into the world dan machi......SO WHY!!!!!!! because he has a thing for period pieces involving prostitutes...

Does anyone else not see a huge problem with this? Dan machi can get dark and do it will just look at lily. You know what just compare and contrast everything about lily and haruhime. You will immediately start to understand why this arc is terrible and should have just been skipped over in the anime really.

I thought steelmirror was just being overly harsh to the series but NOPE that is exactly the point and type of story the author of dan machi likes. SEX IS BAD! people who have sex ARE BAD! People who like free sex will all rape you!
WHY IS THIS BEING SAID IN DAN MACHI!!! it's like that random episode of captain planet that suddenly has the characters talk about AIDS
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TarsTarkas



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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:50 am Reply with quote
WHY you ask, the answer is plainly that it does exist. Just because it is in a D&D RPG setting doesn't mean this isn't part of the world too. You can be sure plenty of human D&D pencil and paper gamers have included this as part of their gaming,. Not to mention what those who role play as evil characters get up to.

Depictions of rape and non-consensual stuff is only a landmine in the west. Not saying there is nobody who would be offended, just that it is not such a big deal in Japan, as we in the west make it out to be.

The author is not saying sex is bad. He is merely showing it as part of his world, as it is in our world. The world depicted in DanMachi is not a Disney world, or a sanitized ("think of the kids") western cartoon. It is a Japanese anime, which typically has no problem stepping in western landmines all the time.

Considering all the sex written out in the Greek and Roman mythology, it would make it seem natural to be part of the world of DanMachi. Zeus would be on the FBI's top ten list of wanted criminals for all his sex related activities.
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