Is It Wrong to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? - or DanMachi for short - was one of those shows that received unfair criticism for its similarity to other divisive programs like SAO. However, as time has passed, it has only found more love due to its cast of characters, its action, and its unexpected world.
DanMachi began as a light novel by Fujino Omori, who received its first animation in 2015 from J.C. Staff and director Yoshiki Yamakawa, who continued to shine in 2019 with a spectacular second season and a shocking third season in 2020, all of which came back strong in 2019. Bell Cranel will lead the team on a new adventure, though how it will fare well in season three is a mystery.
A Wannabe Hero
Bel Cranel arrives in Orario to become an adventurer. These adventurers travel to the Tower of Babel to pay money and become famous.
Bell is the sole member of a Familia led by the goddess Hestia, a poor goddess who is a laughing stock. Hestia is no more successful, feeling ashamed for having been saved by his idol, Ais Wallenstein, a first-class adventurer. However, once he begins adventuring more, he realizes that he's improving faster than others.
Adventurers level up like in a video game, despite not being an MMO at all. It's an odd trope, but one that makes DanMachi's power scaling very easy to comprehend. Bell is starting to gain some more renown, and while it's not great, it attracts Ais.
Hestia pleads to goddess Hephaestus to make a dagger that will become stronger with him. While a powerful monster escapes and wreaks havoc, Hestia slays the beast.
The Talk of the Town
Bell maintains his position while realizing that he may require a supporter for his transportation and supplies, and thus hires Liliruca Arde. Lili secretly harbors a deep hatred for adventurers and leads them to their doom for her own profit. However, after meeting Bell, she begins to question her opinions.
Lili is surprised when Bell still rescues her after she betraying him and then getting caught in some trouble. She accuses him of being stupid and tells him she's a terrible person, but he simply tells her "I wanted to save you because you're you." They make amends and Lili joins the Hestia Familia.
Bell is surprised to receive instruction in fighting from Ais herself, a most unexpected honor. When a Minotaur begins wandering the depths of the tower where it shouldn't be, she fights it alone and, after a long-fought battle, kills it.
Bell receives the nickname "Little Rookie" after achieving his current level faster than anyone had before. He decides to change his armor and thus meets Welf Crozzo, a former member of Hephaestus Familia, a smith who left his Familia believing their entire potential as a smith was unveiled.
Bell sneaks down to the 18th floor with Lili and Welf on his tails, and another group of adventurers races past them with monsters on their tails, damaging the Hestia Familia, leaving them in dire straits, and Bell having to transport his companions to safety.
Hestia is kidnapped by a mischievous group on the 18th floor, the "Under Resort," and all seems to be well. The heroes heal and meet with other heroes who have remained there during their raid. Bell and his aides then intervene.
A floor boss appears on the 18th floor, requiring the Hestia Familia, the Loki Familia, and everyone else to join together to execute it. Bell is hurt, but with some familiar encouragement from Hermes that reminds him of his grandfather, he rises and downs the floor boss, aided by his friends.
War Games and Other Inconveniences
Everything seems to be ok at the start of Season 2. Bell catches Apollo's attention and the lustful god challenges Hestia to a War Game. If Apollo Familia wins, he will take Bell for himself. They must choose whether or not to fight.
The Soma Familia wants Lili, a former member, back and exploits the conflict with Apollo to kidnap her. Bell and his friends must work together to save her, while assisting her in finding her past god.
Hestia Familia faces Apollo and wins against all odds, taking Apollo's entire mansion as a prize, a devastating blow to the god.
The Ishtar Familia
When Bell confronts the Ishtar Familia, who controls the Pleasure Quarter, he finds Haruhime, a fox person with a force useful to the Ishtar Familia. Haruhime is a prisoner that Bell wants to free.
Ishtar is defeated, Haruhime is saved, and she joins the Hestia Familia with unexpected help from the goddess Freya. Some of Ishtar's warriors even join Bell, like Aisha, who was always protective of Haruhime.
Wiene, the Vouivre
Season 3 starts off in the depths of a dungeon, with Bell encountering a powerful creature that can speak, whom he calls Wiene. There's resistance among the party to bringing her in, but Bell is determined to bring her home. Xenos is a powerful creature that can speak.
Our heroes, who hunt monsters for a living, have to reconcile this shocking new information that drastically alters their worldview. Bell and his friends are asked to assist the Xenos in the hope that they might one day live alongside humans on the surface.
The Xenos are affected by a curse imposed by Dix Perdix of the Ikelos family, but not before Wiene's terrible form unleashes. On the surface, Bell protects Wiene from being hunted by other adventurers, namely the Loki Familia and Ais.
Wiene is struck fatally but saved thanks to a supremely powerful spell by the mage Fels. Still, the damage is done: Bell is ostracized for having defended a monster, and several Xenos are trapped on the surface after assisting in the battle.
The Hero's Return
The Hestia Familia band together to assist the Xenos in their journey underground to safety, although it means fighting other adventurers. In the midst of the fight, Hermes reveals his true intentions to assist Bell and asks the Xenos to sacrifice themselves so Bell may regain his honor.
The goddess Freya gives Bell another opponent to fight in order to avoid killing any of the Xenos, so he doesn't have to fight them all in the same place. They cross blades and fight through the city, wearing each other down to the last, while the Xenos escape safely.
The Minotaur defeats Bell but promises to fight again to settle things. Despite losing, the hard-fought battle regains Bell's honor thanks to the ever-mysterious Freya. The Xenos are still underground, although Wiene is still trapped underground.