Danmachi: Sword Oratoria

Danmachi: Sword Oratoria

Danmachi: Sword Oratoria anime cover art featuring Lefiya, Tione, Tiona, and Ais
Danmachi: Sword Oratoria Cover Art

Overview

Danmachi: Sword Oratoria is a spin-off season of the not-quite-isekai anime known as Danmachi (Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?). As a spin-off, instead of following the series’ main protagonist, Bell Cranel, we follow the heroine, Ais Wallenstein.

If you’ve seen the first season of Danmachi, you may remember Ais as that really strong, blonde swordswoman from the Loki Familia who saves Bell from a minotaur in the beginning of the series. She probably did other things, but it’s been a few years.

While Bell does make a few appearances in this season, he and Hestia are little more than background characters simply in place to remind us that this is, in fact, still Danmachi. But, while Ais is the star of the show, it’s really the Loki Familia as a whole that seems to be important.

The season follows the Loki Familia as they investigate the reason for high level dungeon monsters coming up to lower-level areas of the dungeon, and even the surface on one occasion. And, while this story doesn’t follow the same path as the original, it does happen alongside it, so multiple times we see events we’re already familiar with, but from a different angle.

The ultimate journey in this season is to level 59 of the dungeon, a place no adventurer has set foot before. Will Ais and the rest of the Familia find the answers to their questions here? No. Sorry to spoil it, but nothing really happens in the whole series and there isn’t really even an ending.

Maybe there will be a second season of Sword Oratoria which will continue the events of this season, but I think what’s more likely to happen is that season two of Danmachi (which has been announced, but doesn’t appear to have a release date yet) will be the converging point of the two current plot lines.

Ais Wallenstein and Lefiya Viridis from the anime Danmachi: Sword Oratoria
Ais Wallenstein and Lefiya Viridis

While I found the general premise of this spin-off to be fairly interesting, it still had some issues I felt were holding it back. Keep in mind that if I watched the original Danmachi season today, I’d probably have some of these same complaints, but since I watched it so long ago, I didn’t yet know what was good and what wasn’t.

My first issue is the art. I get it, art styles are a thing and who am I to say that the art in one series is any better or worse than the art in another?

At the beginning of the series, everything looked too flat, that’s the best way I can describe it. However, by the end I wasn’t noticing this issue as much, but I’m not sure if the art actually got better, or if I simply got used to it over the course of the season. I’m thinking it was a mixture of both.

The second issue is the animation. While there were certainly times when the animation was fairly good, most of it I would call mediocre. This mediocre animation combined with the flat art style really made a lot of the action sequences fall short for me. As the kids would probably say, their sakuga game was weak.

The final issue I want to mention were the enemies. Yes, there were a variety of enemies, from other adventurers, to minotaurs, to dragons, to giant skeleton floor bosses. However, the primary antagonist enemy was a plant. Now, this wouldn’t have been too bad, except we always came back to the plant, and a plant just isn’t that exciting.

At least the final battle against the plant boss was more interesting because it wasn’t just a plant with teeth (which I don’t even remember them using), this time it was a plant that was also a mage.

Characters

Ais Wallenstein is one of the two main characters of this series as well as its protagonist. She’s a member of the Loki Familia which is a guild-like organization led by the God(dess) Loki. She’s a level five swordswoman at the beginning of the series, and over the course of it becomes the fourth level six in the Familia.

For reference, there is only one level seven in the entire city of Orario where the dungeon is located, so being a level six is kind of a big deal.

The sword Ais generally uses is made of some material which is indestructible, although it still needs to be sharpened between battles. She’s also able to use a type of wind-based magic which allows her to drastically increase her speed, and therefore power as well.

Although Ais has the general appearance of a human, she’s actually a descendant of the Spirit race which were said to be the most powerful beings just below the gods. This is likely the cause of her great strength, although that’s not explicitly stated at any point.

My one complaint about Ais is that she doesn’t really have any sort of personality. She’s essentially a cardboard cutout, not unlike Violet was in the first episode of Violet Evergarden, although that was done for a reason. I don’t remember her character being this flat and uninteresting in Danmachi season one.

Lefiya Viridis is the other main character of the series. I don’t remember her at all from the original Danmachi, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she didn’t appear in that too, considering she has a number of run-ins with Bell throughout this season.

At the beginning of the series, Lefiya is a fairly useless, level one magic caster who belongs to the Loki Familia with Ais and the rest of the characters I’ll be going over in this section. She’s also an Elf, which seems to be the primary race of magic casters as far as I can tell.

The main reason Lefiya appears to be in this story is so that the viewer has someone to relate to. Unlike Bell, who started off weak and gradually became stronger through the effort he put in, Ais began this season already one of the strongest adventurers. So, Lefiya seems to be there so we have an underdog to root for.

Lefiya Viridis from the anime Danmachi: Sword Oratoria
Lefiya Viridis

The next couple of characters are less important, so I’ll go through them a bit quicker.

Finne, Riveria, and Gareth are the other three level six adventurers of the Loki Familia along with Ais. As the top three adventurers in the Familia, these three serve as the leaders just under Loki herself, and are the ones who are in charge when the Familia goes into the dungeon.

Finne appears to be a berserker of some sort, Riveria is a magic caster, and Gareth is the tank.

Below those three, as well as below Ais, at least after she becomes a level six, are Bete, Tione, and Tiona. I don’t remember if their levels were ever explicitly stated, but they’re more than likely either level fours or fives. Bete and Tiona are berserkers and Tione seems to be an assassin of some sort.

As a side note, you may have heard Bete’s voice somewhere more recently such as Bakugo from My Hero Academia, or even Zack from Angels of Death, coach Tachibana from Hanebado! and the Dendritic Cell from Cells at Work! He’s also in like every other anime ever made.

Conclusion

So how does Danmachi: Sword Oratoria compare to other anime? It’s a fairly solid 6/10. The story is really what makes this season what it is, otherwise it would have simply been a 5, or even a 4 if the story was bad. It’s nothing special, but it’s still a good watch as long as you have nothing better instead.

While I do plan to watch the second season of Danmachi, I’m not so sure I would watch a second season of Sword Oratoria if one was made.

The OP for Sword Oratoria is available here.

So what are your thoughts on Sword Oratoria? Do you like it more or less than the main story? Let me know in the comments, and while you’re down there, click the like button if you enjoyed this content. You can also follow me on Twitter or Tumblr, or subscribe to this blog via email to get notified every time a new post goes live.

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