Picking up Chicks in Dungeons and Other Ideas About Chivalry


A few seasons past, I started a podcast with my incredibly handsome friends Owningmatt and the equally handsome GeneralTofu about anime and, specifically at the time, what all shows we were watching.  If you’ve seen it (which is quite literally one person besides ourselves so congratulations to you, dedicated fan of a very small anime blog), you might have caught a thirty minute discussion (read: accidental rant) surrounding a show that had come out during the spring 2015 season of anime called Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru noha Machigatteiru darou ka or otherwise known as Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?  It’s probably an easy guess that this anime was based off of a light novel series with a name that long, and while I haven’t read the source material, the show itself is interesting.

The idea of Dungeon is to take your typical MMORPG anime storyline but make it based in an actual fantasy realm instead of a game.  Inside of this realm, heroes fight dangerous monsters in ever more difficult levels of a dungeon most likely constructed by the same architect behind the Wayside School building (shout out to Scholastic Book Fairs).  As they explore, heroes collect gems that litter the danmachi_1-3different levels. These gems are found inside monsters, with the larger and more powerful gems residing in higher level monsters and more dangerous floors of the dungeon.  The heroes use these as a sort of currency by exchanging them for money and resources that they need to continue to take on more and more difficult challenges.  Heroes are sponsored by various gods and goddesses who form a higher social class and rely on their heroes’ worship and gem collection in order to grow their power.  In exchange, the gods and goddesses give the heroes special powers as well as use their own abilities to assist in the exploration of the dungeon.

The interesting aspects of this show come from the fact that this entire universe is based around the difficult floors of the dungeon that the heroes face.  Currency, sports, jobs, etc. are all centered around either the heroes who go into b8d543d5f281fed58c3f5a9774ecb8bb253a9909_hqthe dungeon or assisting the higher class of gods and goddesses with their daily lives.  Even most of the powers the gods exhibit are centered around helping the heroes, with some gods being legendary armor and weapon smiths and others holding monopolies on wine and food trade.  There are even jobs surrounding support classes for the hero.  Some people are hired to do management and consultation for the heroes, while others are hired to collect gems and hold the different heroes’ items while they fight, sharing a percentage of the profits found.

This show had a lot of potential and though it didn’t live up to it, being a bit run-of-the-mill, sans the very elaborate and creative structure of the world and setting, it was a fun ride.  However, the extent of my thirty minute discussion during the podcast was actually not about the plot or setting of Dungeon but on a very central theme that the series explored:  The idea of chivalry.  Specifically, the idea of courtly love that was spawned by chivalry.

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Genshiken vs. Genshiken Nidaime:  Old vs New.  My Nostalgic Ramblings and how Changing Views in Otaku Culture Show a Great Future.


Every now and then, the anime industry loves to poke fun at itself.  Sometimes, this self-awareness from the industry is like Watamote (the real name is way too long to type), where it makes us uncomfortable with how accurate it is to our own awkward lives, basking in our memories of awkward situations and episodes, completely departing from realism to the chagrin of those around us.  However, other times, the industry uses a softer approach, taking our wonderful memories of reveling in our nerd culture and both poking fun and celebrating their importance to us.  Genshiken and Genshiken Nidaime are anime of this latter approach.  Genshiken or, as it’s subtext defines it, The Study of Modern Visual Culture is a manga/anime about a college club of the same name and their experiences loving, hating, and discussing all of the merits of otaku culture.  The series takes all of the games, anime, manga, etc. that we know (as well as some fakes ones it invented so wonderfully that they were spun off as their own anime) and takes pride in using their likeness for comedic and celebratory effect.  In fact, a surprising thing from this series is that it doesn’t just parody other anime, games, manga, etc. with alternative names or other ways to get around copyright.  For most references, the series straight up calls out the names of the anime and shows actual gameplay of certain games.  Genshiken was always very upfront about what it referenced and used each name or character from a different series as a badge of honor, showing how the creators, like their readers, were also otaku of a high pedigree.

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Kill la Kill – Feminism, Sexuality, and WHY IS EVERY EPISODE MORE INTENSE THAN THE LAST!?


Important note from author:  This is a much older piece and no longer really depicts my true feelings on Kill la Kill.  I will keep this up as I do think I had some good points but if you’d like to see how I feel several years later, please read this linked article after reading through this one where I critique this article in-depth and come at it with a more mature understanding, disagreeing with myself on particular points.


Let’s talk about feminism and sexuality.  For those that inwardly groan at the mention of these sometimes over-discussed topics, I can promise you that there will be massive fan-service and tons of ridiculous action.  Fair?  But a warning up front:  Given the show we’re discussing, this isn’t exactly going to be safe-for-work at all times.  I’ll also try to be vague about many particular instances in the show, but this will be a spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t seen, or cares to see, the show.  Now that we have our NSFW tag and SPOILER ALERT included, let’s begin.

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