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Danmachi: Sword Oratoria – Getting Sidetracked


One of the rare and delightful moments where we got to see Ais being cool.

Yeah sure, the Sword Oratoria anime adaptation got off to a really rough start. I was a pretty harsh critic, culminating in a decision to drop coverage around the third episode. Do I regret my decision? Not at all. In fact, I even feel somewhat vindicated. Let the rant begin.

Sword Oratoria is not terrible. It wasn’t even the biggest trainwreck of the season. It would be a lie to say I wasn’t feeling mildly entertained, blasting through the whole thing in one sitting. But it was easily my biggest disappointment this season, fundamentally missing out on many things that made the original Danmachi adaptation so charming and fun to watch. My grievance comes from the fact that they could have done better, because a fantastic opportunity was totally blown to smithereens.

For an anime that was meant to focus on Ais Wallenstein, we got surprisingly little focus on the sword princess herself. All I can say is, JC Staff… what the blimmin’ heck? You were the chosen one! It was said that you would bring balance to light novel turned anime adaptations, not leave them in the darkness! Putting Lightsaber Oratoria behind us, my points still stands. It felt like JC Staff didn’t care about this hot dumpster fire of an attempted adaptation.

Now let me make it clear. As a piece of fiction, Sword Oratoria doesn’t actually have many problems – I enjoyed reading the manga and light novel. I know, hard to believe, right? But the execution left much to be desired, particularly how it was brought to life. And the fault lies solely and squarely with JC Staff. And it was apparent that JC Staff simply didn’t care.

Don’t get me wrong, seeing Bell fight the Minotaur again was pretty hype. But when the best moment in the series was an exact replica of some scene adapted two years ago, it really feels like JC Staff took steps backwards. This was a far cry from the improvement on Touma v Accelerator in Railgun S from Index, cutting out important moments such as the information displayed on Bell’s back, which was a huge reason for inspiring members of the Loki familia to prevail in their expedition to the 59th Floor. Don’t even get me started on the smaller scale dungeon style fights. We did not see magic or weapons carve up the monster mobs. It was just a few flashes and special effects before they vanished in a puff of black dust, like what you see in the picture I used together with this post.

JC Staff had no excuse for reusing so much animation footage at the cost of substantial content. I mean, come on. Perhaps some effort could have replaced these reused sequences with some important things that were actually cut out? Some of the best panels in the manga and light novel were nowhere to be seen, including almost all of Ais’s inner monologue. Removing a legion of infernal skeletons massively downscaled the Udaeus fight, and that wasn’t even the worst change. They removed Ais’ hallucinations, where she saw the entire Loki Familia being brutally slaughtered by Revis. Talk about the motivation that pushed Ais past her limit, and JC Staff turned it into some less than ordinary aspiration for greater strength. Why do this in a story that was supposed to be about Ais?

That isn’t to say everything was bad. Aside from the portrayals of the Amazon sisters, Revis and Filvis, I really enjoyed the small cameos from Bell and Hestia, as well as what little we actually got of Ais. There was also some good action, particularly with the epic spellcasting, though the original series had Sword Oratoria beaten with action as I previously said. Admittedly, Lefiya became a lot more tolerable as the series wore on. She became far less annoying and even had moments where her character shone. For example, the character arc with Filvis really demonstrated her good points. She may be lacking in confidence, and show creepy possessive tendencies towards Ais. However, these are usually by-products of being a clumsy and hard worker, things I cannot fault her for. Lefiya means well, and is ultimately a kind elf. But the damage has been done.

At the end of the day, none of these slight improvements addressed the most serious issue at hand, as Lefiya becomes something of a scapegoat – deserved or undeserved. We still know very little about Ais, who is easily the greatest victim of Sword Oratoria’s anime adaptation. Her character development was severely undercut by this inexplicable obsession with centring the spotlight on Lefiya, and a staunch refusal to let us in on the secrets of her motivation and thought process. For what was supposed to be an oratoria about the deeds of her blade, we basically got a limerick about a staff.

July 2, 2017 at 7:32 pm
44 comments »
  • July 2, 2017 at 8:14 pmScruffy

    There were so many things that were tepid about this show and it started right from the OP! Quite frankly the OP was a typical mundane ‘paint by numbers’ Light Novel song and the associated visuals that went with it were the ‘lets show off the cast pulling cool poses’ slideshow.

    The frustration with hearing so much from Lefiya, who to be honest was annoying to the nth degree, was due to the fact that as you mentioned the one persons head who we really wanted to get inside of was Ais! I eventually dropped this around episode 7.

    • July 3, 2017 at 5:57 pmLyfe

      They did nothing to hide the fact this was more a show about the Loki Familia in general than Ais in the opening too.

  • July 2, 2017 at 8:29 pmSmokex365

    It was entertaining but definitely not as good at the main series. I wish they would have expounded on Ais’s motivation to get stronger, her past and on the back story for events that took place in the main series. It seemed like they might but they always seemed to back off.

    We can at least hope Oratoria gets enough sales and recognition to at least get a proper S2 of the main series.

    • July 3, 2017 at 3:05 pmLyfe

      I thought Ais wanted to get stronger because her pride was seriously dented by being bested by whats her name?

      • July 4, 2017 at 6:14 amHanabira.Kage

        Nope, it has to do with her past. I didn’t read the LN, so I’m not sure exactly what went down, but whatever it was it gave her an obsession with getting stronger at the expense of all else. We’ve been introduced to Ais as she started to mellow out a little, so it’s not very obvious without her monologues which the anime cut out.

      • July 4, 2017 at 4:46 pmLyfe

        Ohh thanks for explaining. The anime wasn’t clear with that. She was brooding a little after she got rescued, and did seem a bit off afterwards. Then there was that whole thing of wanting to stay behind to get stronger by fighting that over powered floor boss. It just seemed like Ais made her the goal to surpass.

  • July 2, 2017 at 9:17 pmsonicsenryaku

    you mentioning the touma vs accelerator arc in railgun S put a smile on my face and took me down memory lane to a point in the index franchise where i truly respected the series. People are asking for an index 3 but im here like “where’s railgun season 3?” or what i predict may be called “to aru kagaku railgun D” if they follow the title trend of season 2. I certainly wouldnt mind if we got that before season 3 of index (although the trend seems to be to release an index series before railgun sadly). Nagai tatsuyuki has a good understanding of how to bring out the best in what works in Kamachi’s story and fix some (not all tho) of his writing missteps. To this day Railgun S remains the best index-verse adaptation

  • July 2, 2017 at 9:38 pmPurpleBomber

    Yeah, this was a pretty big disappointment. All JC Staff had to do was follow the script, and for my money they’d have made a better anime than the main Danmachi ship had. All those extra Lefiya moments came at expense of what actually mattered in the story, i.e. Ais’s thoughts, motivations, and perspective in many situations. Probably though, the most flagrant cut that happened was during the 24th floor episode. The anime cut out literally half of the Hermes Familia, and the whole battle was severely neutered for it.

    Thankfully, despite the best efforts of JC Staff to poison the entire well, I still enjoy the Sword Oratoria manga a lot and encourage anyone interested to give it a go.

  • July 2, 2017 at 10:01 pmLonghaul

    It feels like a series that tried to repeat the success of Railgun.

    • July 2, 2017 at 10:21 pmZaiden

      They didn’t even try :(

  • July 2, 2017 at 11:06 pmPancakes

    What primarily prevented Sword Oratoria from replicating Railgun was Ais IMO. Not because this adaptation did not focus on her enough (as it should have), but because it attempted replicating the original DanMachi too much. There Bell also saw Ais as a goddess and looked up to her as one, wanting to be her in strength and mentality–she was a summit to attain. Ais never needed much development then because her role did not require it.

    In D:SO though it’s like the writers wanted a similar relationship and tried forcing Lefiya into it. The problem is of course that Lefiya was never meant for that. Sure she idolized Ais (necessary) and provided fan service (somewhat necessary), but she was (and is) a minor character. Hell the girl was happy in the end to remain Ais’ follower, not even trying to get to her level (or even surpass her) as Bell was. Her last remarks basically negated any reason at all for her development. Why waste all that time building Lefiya up if there’s no tangible reward at the end of it? It’s like if Railgun spent all its time developing Kuroko and her Mikoto obsession while leaving Mikoto herself as occasional screen filler—it just wouldn’t work.

    Honestly D:SO had the right general idea, but overthought it too hard and gravely misidentified what the audience was looking for. If they simply focused on Ais (leaving Lefiya in the Kuroko comedic relief role) this show would have done everything required to keep the DanMachi train rolling.

    • July 2, 2017 at 11:53 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

      I have a bad feeling that JC Staff was trying to take advantage of Lefiya’s looks and tried to turn her into a yuri-bait moeblob for ecchi, yuri, etc. lovers to fantasize about, similar to Studio Pierrot’s use of Hinata in Naruto, and unfortunately, such things tend to work and a lot of people eat it up, even if it comes at the cost of (other) character development, the plot, etc.

      Even her shot with the light arrow comes off as a complete deus ex machina in saving Ais whereas the LN apparently had her sensing a build-up of magic from the corrupted spirit and so she was able to fire the arrow and direct it into the icicle. Just a few extra scenes and it would have made sense, but they even dropped that ball completely.

    • July 3, 2017 at 12:26 pmdaikama

      @Pancakes: “Sure she idolized Ais (necessary) and provided fan service (somewhat necessary), but she was (and is) a minor character.”

      I agree with a lot of what you wrote, particularly about Aiz & Lefiya, but I do question at least the first part of that statement. As for “fanservice”, I guess? Honestly, did she add anything given the fanservice from other characters? No big deal, just that I never though of Lefiya materially adding to the show’s fanservice. Where I take issue is the first part – “she idolized Ais (necessary)”. I don’t see that as necessary. Aiz is level 5 (later level 6) and just overall as the “Sword Princess” is idolized by many, including Bell as you note. OK, some kouhai in her own family idolizes her – just I’m sure some idolize Finn, Gareth, Riveria, Tiona, Tione and even Bete… on top of again, all the others such as Bell. So rather than “necessary”, to me Lefiya idolizing Aiz adds nothing and is completely superfluous. JMO and granted I’ve not read much of the LN (maybe 1/2 of vol. 01), but frankly my impression is that Lefiya could be written out of the story altogether with no negative effect. At any rate, I do agree that the anime made a big mistake amping up her role in the story.

      @HalfDemonInuyasha: Agree. That extra part from the LN would have made that scene come across much better and less deus ex. Seems like JC Staff didn’t full understand what was important in the LNs and what wasn’t. Either that or the writers tried to “improve” upon the story as they saw it. Don’t know.

    • July 3, 2017 at 8:46 pmZaiden

      Yo Pancakes, your analogy with Railgun regarding Kuroko completely hits the mark. For one, there’s learning from past failures. Then there’s ignoring previous success where Railgun and Danmachi are concerned. *sigh*

  • July 3, 2017 at 12:30 amdxanato

    I would had drop this series after first few episode but it was knowing about training of Bell and Bell encounter with minotaur kept my interest and hope to see POV from Ais that kept me going. Had I not know about this two events I wouldn’t had bother watching the series at all. The final battle was anticlimactic and Lefiya character still annoyed me from first episode down to last one. All other elves in this world shown a level of confidence, strength and skill yet Lefiya lack all of them.

    I hope that this series didn’t kill the chance for a return to Bell.

    • July 3, 2017 at 8:04 amroseline

      I concur, wholeheartedly. This was the Snooze series of the season. I dropped it twice, first after ep3 decided to come back, then dropped after ep7. Such a shame, at one point I had to go rewatch the main series to somewhat console myself that there might be light under the tunnel, sadly literally from the get go from rewatching S1, I could already the DSO had lost the Plot.

  • July 3, 2017 at 1:17 amAngelus

    Just one comment about the skeletons – I suspect that many anime producers these days are wary about including them if it’s not a major plot point because it rules out the Chinese market, unless they recut the episode of course.

  • July 3, 2017 at 5:09 amSeedStriker

    Maybe, just maybe, JC Staff has decided to put most of it’s focus on making Yamato 2202 instead of their other projects, as Clockwork Planet and Sword Oratoria has shown. But in SO’s case, it was as simply Aiz wasn’t enough to hold the whole series, so they diverted on the rest of the Loki Familia and the usual cameos for Bell and company and it just didn’t work.

    Quite frankly, I dropped this when Lefiya was turned into Bell 1.5

    • July 3, 2017 at 5:19 amsonicsenryaku

      But that’s the thing; Aiz would have been enough to hold the series together. There’s plenty you could do with her character regardless of the fact that she’s the stoic archetype. If the staff had been smarter about this, they could have pulled off a pretty strong spin-off series. JUST KEEP THE DAMN FOCUS ON THE CHARACTER THE SHOW IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT!!! how can you make a mistake that detrimental when the story is supposed to be about Aiz. The show was doomed to be mediocre from the rip

      • July 3, 2017 at 7:46 amerohakase

        I agree. Aiz could easily have carried this. The focus on Lefailya and her delusions made this feel incredibly weak. Like someone else mentioned earlier it feels like they were trying to go for the yuribait which has been proven to work(Hibike, Nanoha and so on).

        I think the Sword Oratoria novels are pretty damn good. The first volume is a bit meh but after that I’d say they are consistently better than the less great DanMachi ones.

        It’s just so sad seeing this be so meh. DanMachi after vol 5 has some really amazing arcs and it would be really sad if this dud makes an adaptation of those novels unfeasible.

  • July 3, 2017 at 10:27 amdaikama

    It was OK… I guess? I thought this was too often dull/flat and a bit disjointed as well. On some level I suppose it all fits together and it’s primarily linear in term presentation, but the storytelling never felt all that cohesive to me. Pacing wasn’t bad, but it did feel uneven. Kind of slow and then speeds up by the end. Voice acting was fine and visual quality OK as well. Some individual problems I had.

    1) Aiz: I liked her in DanMachi . She as the “main” character along with I the fact I like the DanMachi world in general were the draws for me with DanMachi SO. Agree 100% with Zaiden others that the anime didn’t focus enough on her, and cutting out some of her internal dialog made matters worse. For a spinoff about Aiz, I don’t feel like I learned very much about her. Just some tidbits here and there (e.g. got fairy bloodlines). To be fair, her story is probably parceled out as the LN goes on (have NO idea how many LN volumes the anime covered), but still not enough, especially for a quiet, introverted character. One comment I’ve read stated that the viewer never felt like he got a reason to care for Aiz.

    2) Lefita: TOO. MUCH. LEFIYA!!! Maybe she’s better in the LN and while on paper she’s fine (nice girl, not weak (at least in combat ability), tries hard, etc.) I never liked her. STFU Lefiya, I don’t care. My impression is that the anime amped up her role which was a big mistake. For me this might be a combination of source and anime issues, but from what I can tell, the anime made things worse. Lefiya almost, if not actually, reaches co-MC status. Bleh. Lastly, agree with SeedStriker that she comes across too much as Female Bell.

    3) Where’s the fun?: Was the clothes shopping supposed to be that? Loki glomping on some female family member? DanMachi just seems more fun to me (even if the anime cut some funny stuff such as the gods during the level 2 naming council :<). Frankly, I expected Loki and her shenanigans to be more entertaining, but she was a one trick, female glomping pony. :/ Loki was a kind of a cool character in DanMachi, but she was pretty much “just there” in this story, largely relegated to “meh” at best comic relief.

    4) High level party syndrome: IMO it's much easier for a story like DanMachi to work because the MC is a level 1 rookie just starting off. ANY encounter can potentially be deadly and there is a lot of struggle to survive and level up. Bell making level 2 is a big deal. Aiz making level 6 feels like a billionaire throwing another 100 million on the pile. Not the same thing. Bell also at the start is the only member of Hestia’s dirt-poor family. IMO that’s a much more compelling situation as they struggle to build the family from literally the ground up. Compare with Loki's family.

    DanMachi had a number of at least fairly good battles with the peak (IMO) being Bell vs. Minotaur. Here, the only decent battle IMO was the last one where there was some degree of struggle (though outcome never in doubt). That's to be expected though. High level parties being high level parties will mow down most opponents until you get really deep into the dungeon and face high-level foes. How it works. I'm NOT suggesting you can’t have good stories with powerful, high-level characters. You definitely can. I just think it’s tougher to pull off.

    I get the obvious Railgun comparisons, but I never went into this expecting another Railgun. Some material differences between the two stories including the relationship between Mikoto and Touma. Mikoto NEEDS Touma at that part in the story. It's Touma vs Accelerator because Mikoto can NOT beat Accelerator. Mikoto also needs Touma's emotional support to handle the pain & guilt she feels over the Sisters (clones). What does Aiz need from Bell? Outside of I guess a little extra motivation, not a damn thing really. As for Lefiya – see above.

    So going in I didn't have very high or even high expectations. I did, however, expect better than this. DSO could, and should, have been better, but bad adaptation decisions dragged the anime down. There were some interesting points in terms of the overall DanMachi story such as the threat of Enyo (right name?). Ouranos showed up and like to know more about him. Here’s the thing though. I still like Aiz and have some interest in her story, but no more than I did before the start of the season. If there’s a Railgun comparison to be made, IMO it’s that Railgun did a LOT for Mikoto’s character. What did DSO do for Aiz?

    • July 3, 2017 at 12:16 pmErimaki

      Just a note about Loki’s role in this, since you brought her up: I think she got the same “let’s add yuri” treatment Lefiya did in that out of her scenes the booty glomping was emphasized most of the time. I was massively disappointed when her trolling Bete during the sewage investigation was cut short, for instance. Difference between Loki and Lefiya here, as far as I know, being that the former got her different kind of scenes cut while the latter… Just doesn’t have other types of scenes and those were emphasized (interestingly enough, Hestia’s pining after Bell was similarly emphasized in the first anime, but since that didn’t take away from the actual story as heavily, not as many people minded it).

      • July 3, 2017 at 12:52 pmdaikama

        Erimaki; Thanks for the info on Loki. For me Loki was disappointing in this anime. Seems she’s better in the DSO LN. Perhaps, there was some “yuri undertones” added/emphasized with her and Lefiya (seems anime made a lot of changes with Lefiya). Still, while I can’t remember all the details from the DanMachi LNs, but I do recall that Loki was kind of besotted with Aiz. Maybe not in that way, but certainly possessive beyond simply Aiz being a valuable, strong member of her family.

        As for DanMachi anime & Hestia. I don’t think the anime amped that up much, if at all. Hestia’s quite besotted and possessive with Bell – much more than Loki & Aiz. There’s a lot of that in the DanMachi LN, and my impression was that the anime was pretty much per LN in that regard. Just in general, it seems that the DanMachi anime did a much better job with adaptation than this did.

      • July 3, 2017 at 2:24 pmErimaki

        Just to clarify, when I say they emphasized yuri undertones, Loki groping female members of her familia and Hestia’s love towards Bell, I meant they emphasized those parts when choosing which scenes to adapt and which to cut or where to focus the budget. Not that the source necessarily had less of such elements (though I’m almost certain we got more Lefiya’s Aiz dreams or Loki groping in the anime).

        For instance, they could have shown slightly less of Hestia’s possessive love and shown the name choosing meeting instead, or done some less “Loki’s a perv” jokes and have her troll Bete more instead. (Yes, I’m as sad about that getting cut as we both are about that hilarious meeting. Bete getting trolled by the trickster god/goddess was awesome.)

  • July 3, 2017 at 11:53 amdaikama

    @Zaiden: “Don’t get me wrong, seeing Bell fight the Minotaur again was pretty hype … Don’t even get me started on the smaller scale dungeon style fights. We did not see magic or weapons carve up the monster mobs.”

    Regarding the battles in general, I agree they perhaps could have used a bit more “spice”, some additional flash. Definitely agree that some of the things you mention in the review which were cut should have been kept since that might have given a bit of illusion of tension (also appreciate you mentioning such discrepancies). However, overall it still ends up as effortlessly mowing down mobs – “high-level party syndrome” as I mentioned above. So while I’m fine with adding some more visual flair, I wouldn’t be for dragging such battles out either. It’s just mowing down mobs and that can get old fast. Being judiciously succinct in such situations has its merits.

    As for Bell vs. Minotaur and Railgun’s Touma vs. Accelerator comparison, I disagree – at least in part. For me, it’s a different situation than Touma vs. Accelerator for two reasons. First, in Index Touma vs. Accelerator was arguably a bit disappointing on multiple levels. IMO Bell vs. Minotaur was the best battle in DanMachi anime. In fact, outside of visual quality IMO it’s a good anime battle period. It’s hard for me to find any major issues with that battle (again except for visual quality). So what would you improve with DanMachi Bell vs. Minotaur beyond maybe Ufotable level visual quality? Second, per my post above, it’s a different situation. Touma is rescuing Mikoto. Again, she canNOT beat Accelerator, only Touma can. Exact opposite situation here. Aiz is nothing but a perfectly safe spectator. This maybe Aiz’s story, but it is not Aiz’s fight. The impact of this battle on her (and others) is inspiration. Not insignificant, but hardly equal IMO. Thus, I don’t fault the anime for using old clips and truncating the battle.

    I agree that the anime probably should have kept the “OMG! All level S abilities”, but I don’t think it’s critical. The important part for the story is that Bell’s fight inspires Aiz (and others). True, the S-rank abilities discovery (which one did see in DanMachi) might be part of said inspiration, but not all of it. FWIW, my take is that biggest factor of inspiration is Bell’s undying desire to fight, to improve, to go on an adventure. IIRC, the “adventurers are those who go on adventures” theme was brought up again in DSO. It’s like over time, Aiz (and maybe others) forgot about that. Adventuring became a “9-5″ job. Maybe I’m wrong (haven’t read the LN), but that’s my impression. At any rate, at the end Finn in his rallying speech did specifically mention Bell so I think the inspirational effect was conveyed more than adequately.

    – “They removed Ais’ hallucinations, where she saw the entire Loki Familia being brutally slaughtered by Revis.”

    Wait, what!? Yeah that certainly does seem kind of important. Not sure why that was cut. Again, thanks for bringing in the LN comparison. Certainly makes me want to read the LNs to get a better picture of the story.

    Lastly, while I do understand your points on Lefiya, sorry but MEH! Haven’t read the LN, but to me she kind of feels like an unnecessary, superfluous character. There to just have a jealous, idolizing kouhai character. :/ My impression is that she has a markedly reduced role in the LN which for me at least would help.

  • July 3, 2017 at 1:02 pmMentar

    This was much less than underwhelming, it was terrible. I fully agree with your assessment.

  • July 3, 2017 at 3:03 pmLyfe

    I thought the show was so much better watched in batches of 4-5 episodes at a time. I didn’t go into the show with high expectations though.

    I can see how the show would have fallen flat with those watching weekly. The biggest mistake I would say is marketing it as an Ais spinoff series. They should have straight up said it was a Loki Familia show.

    As for show content…

    I find it hard to believe that those weird monsters were present during the Monster festival while Bell was getting chased down. I found it harder to believe that Bell had absolutely idea about the weirdness happening.

    I get that they wanted to make a story arc for the Loki Familia set during the events of the main series. But there was like no sign this stuff was happening during the main series. The writing kinda sucked there.

  • July 3, 2017 at 5:38 pmDorian S.

    Going by the manga, there was so many things that they didn’t actually decide to do that it is not only just disappointing, but incredibly frustrating. Also, the series could’ve been entirely carried by Ais, which just… It is things like this that make you go “how did you manage to pull off the original series”. I honestly wonder if they know how to deal with the show long term.

    If they do make a second DanMachi season, I would be going into it with a worrisome thought. Feels like they might’ve caught lightning in a bottle with the first season.

    • July 3, 2017 at 5:54 pmLyfe

      @Feels like they might’ve caught lightning in a bottle with the first season.

      The pacing of the first season made me wonder if they ever planned on producing a second season. They covered something like six novels right? That’s a lot when at the time I don’t think there were that more out there. Judging by the merchandise out there, they’ve struck gold with fans buying up anything Hestia related.

      • July 3, 2017 at 6:44 pmdaikama

        @Lyfe: As I recall, DanMachi S1 covered 5 LN volumes. Fast paced no doubt, but I think they thought it was a better ending point. The way the story arcs work, it’s either end S1 with vol. 03 and the Minotaur battle, or go to vol. 05 as they did unless you want to end the season on a big cliff hanger (i.e. vol 04). Perhaps slower pacing and ending on Vol. 03 might have been better. Hard to say IMO.

        Right now there is enough source material for a DamMachi S2. I think there are 10(?) volumes out for DanMachi, but they don’t have to go at the same pace (arguably shouldn’t). Personally, I’m not worried about DanMachi S2 being affected by this adaptation. If anything, I’m more concerned about rapid pacing because I’m not sure future LN volumes will compress well. Lot of stuff going on.

      • July 4, 2017 at 4:50 pmLyfe

        Thanks for clarifying. Are you familiar with the material in any detail? I’m assuming that they were able to compress a lot of the earlier novels because much of it took place inside the dungeon or something right? I was actually okay with the pacing, I think slowing it down would have been detrimental to the adaption.

        I’m actually surprised that the series never took off the way some other hit fantasy shows did. From what I remember the sales were at break even level for the studio. Though I can imagine(Judging by the sheer amount of merchandise out there) that a lot of companies had some kind of vested interest in the animes production.

      • July 4, 2017 at 7:45 pmAex

        Most of what was cut was side-character development like Miach Familia, a few retellings of events with POV shifts, internal monologues that were good but not vital, and fun side-stories. The novels are heavier on detail than the typical LN, especially with exploring and fights, so really the only huge scene lost was the meeting of the gods where Bell got his Second Name. It was f*cking hilarious, and explains why Hestia was so hell-bent on “normal”.

      • July 4, 2017 at 8:33 pmdaikama

        @Lyfe: I’ve read throught DanMachi LN vol. 08, but only about 1/2 of Sword Oratoria vol. 01. I do plan at some point to read the more of Sword Oratoria to fill in anime gaps and see what the difference is since so many have commented on bad adaptation cuts/changes to source. Even what little I’ve read, I do see the point about the adaptation cutting too much of Aiz’ internal dialog – at least at the start.

        As for DanMachi S1, it worked out well enough IMO. Personally, I think it was a little to fast. 3 to 4 LN volumes per episode pacing would have been better. Unless they are quite short LN volumes, 3 episodes per volume is still pretty fast pacing. DamMachi S1 got the main points, but some of the cut material is part of the series’ charm IMO and was better left in. 3 LN volumes in 12 episodes might have been a tad slow, but it’s give and take. Really it just depends upon the series and each LN volume. Some stuff you can compress (cut material) with less detrimental effect than others.

        As for popularity, your guess is as good as mine. I’d think a series like this would be fairly popular. From random comments I’ve read, some viewers may have issues with Bell as a character.

  • July 3, 2017 at 7:31 pmZephyr

    It seems like I’m in the minority here, but I actually enjoyed the series for a decent chunk of its run. Sure, I was annoyed with Lefiya at the beginning, and from time to time she detracted from Aiz–who was supposed to be the main attraction–but she did contribute when it counted towards the end, and I felt like the beginning (however rocky it was) was a necessity to set that up and the relationship with the Hermes Familia.

    Regardless, the fact remains that Aiz was expected to be the main attraction, and it was clear she still was despite the occasional shift in focus. I suppose much of the difference here comes down to the fact I never read the source though, not to mention I had the chance to watch the series in a batch rather than on a week-to-week basis and came in to the series without much expectations due to its supposed “side story” nature.

    With the latter in mind, I think where the anime does succeed in my view is being just that: a side story that complements the main one.

    Sure, from what I’m reading they’re missing a lot of stuff from the source, but it doesn’t change the fact that someone who hasn’t read the novel generally gets a nice fill-in the blank in terms of what the Loki Familia’s about and what they were doing before/during/after some of Bell’s adventures in the main line series. At the same time, the fights/action brought us a bunch of additional enemies and spells we never got to see, gave Aiz a bit of the limelight we also never really got to see either, and in some parts (I suppose part of this is because it’s been so long since the original DanMachi in my head) even eclipsed some of the bits of the original while giving us a better perspective of what’s really going on with the big picture.

    Could it have been better? Definitely. The ending leaves much to be desired even if it’s probably intended to set up for more material should they need it, but I don’t think it was nearly as bad as some would put it atm.

  • July 3, 2017 at 10:18 pmRedRocket

    This one I put down to executive or producer meddling. A work that is loved as well and even more by some fans of Oratoria than the Bell story is trashed by not adapting it well. Me I was here for a serious story about Aiz not a clone of the original work.

    Producer and Director meddling is why so many Hollywood adaptations of popular books fail. They get the idea I could have written this better or they get the idea that if they don’t change things they will be ignored in favor of the original material author.

    Also here is lowest fanbase pandering. They might have been the core fans will not watch without some yuri bait and a beginning character like Bell being featured. So they made the huge mistake of upgrading a minor character to replace in many ways the main character.

    Still, I like it but it could have been much more.

  • July 4, 2017 at 6:23 amHanabira.Kage

    I have no idea what JC Staff has against Danmachi really. First they butchered that, and now they’ve butchered this. Gone is the JC Staff of old, from the days of Shakugan no Shana and Zero no Tsukaima. Now, they’re just creating glorified advertisements that don’t even do a good job at selling the product.

  • July 4, 2017 at 8:12 amChoya

    Sword Oratoria really wasted its potential with how they told the story. Comparing it to Railgun, where the side characters are given a good amount of screentime and Misaka comes off as a fleshed out, fully realized character, Sword Oratoria was a letdown. For Aiz to not only play second fiddle to Lefiya, but for her own personal story and struggles to be boring didn’t help save the show. And I think that’s the biggest cardinal sin of the show; the fact that Aiz is the main focus of the spin-off, but has no personality or character to carry it. If it comes out more in the LN, we sure didn’t see it with the anime adaptation. It’s a shame because I like Aiz more as a character than Bell, but the show didn’t give her much to work with.

    However, I will say the show was a guilty pleasure of mine, mainly because I started to like the Loki Famiglia. The best thing about the spin-off was seeing more of Tione and Tiona, and getting to know the story from their perspective. I also liked Loki, but I understand why people got tired of her boob obsession and drinking. Still, if they did make a Danmachi 2, I wouldn’t mind seeing more Loki Famiglia as long as Aiz wasn’t as bland of a character as she was in Danmachi 1 and Sword Oratoria.

    • July 4, 2017 at 4:56 pmLyfe

      @Aiz wasn’t as bland of a character as she was in Danmachi 1

      I thought you were spot on there with that description of Ais. She didn’t seem like anything more than someone Bell had a crush on(And someone he viewed as some kind of goddess). She never really had much in the way of personality or presence beyond her fight scenes.

      • July 5, 2017 at 6:54 amPhrunicus

        @She didn’t seem like anything more than someone Bell had a crush on(And someone he viewed as some kind of goddess). She never really had much in the way of personality or presence beyond her fight scenes.

        Which to me, is perfectly fine for S1 of DanMachi, when it’s Bell’s story, but a cardinal sin in a spin-off that’s supposed to be *her* dang story.

      • July 5, 2017 at 8:53 amChoya

        That’s what I was thinking. The spin-off is necessary because from Bell’s POV, Aiz is a goddess, or rather the concept of a successful warrior in their universe. She’s supposed to be this vague, empty husk that Bell projects himself onto to have someone to work towards being like/with.

        Seeing the story from Aiz’s POV would’ve helped cast a light on how she feels about being at the top, how she feels about being a warrior, how being Aiz isn’t as easy as Bell thinks it is, and her personal investment in her friends and hobbies. That’s why it’s horrible that in the one opportunity they have to show a more personal side of Aiz, we have as vague of an impression of what she’s really like as we are when we first saw her in Danmachi 1.

        And I don’t think it’s because of Aiz as a character, but rather the show’s inability to capture what she’s really like without just replicating the relationship Bell and Aiz friendship have, except with Lefiya.

  • July 4, 2017 at 3:46 pmVoid

    I;m just going to mention here that this is actually a very good adaptation of the MANGA. It’s not JCs fault that the MANGA is not as good as the main Danmachi manga. But none of this is the fault of the anime studio. They adapted a sub-par spinoff manga, and they did as good a job as they could based on the job they were given.

    • July 4, 2017 at 4:31 pmRyuutobi

      Then, let me tell you that the manga is not even the original material of both DanMachi main series & side story. They’re both based on light novel. The manga is just another adaptation beside the anime. JC Staff butchered the main series by compressing 5 volumes of novel into one season run & ruined the side story by shifting the focus from Aiz to Lefiya.

      • July 4, 2017 at 4:52 pmLyfe

        Poor Ais, she wasn’t the primary protagonist in her own anime adaption lol..

  • July 6, 2017 at 9:11 pmDiyedas

    I’m so disappointed in how this was handled. Ais is the whole reason I was interested in Danmachi in the first place and I heard her spinoff novels/manga was really good. I’m kinda glad I never got around to watching this.

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