DanMachi – Anime vs Manga

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.


In my Spring 2015 preview, I said that DanMachi would suck cuz the manga was boredom incarnate. Rather than admitting that I was wrong, I am going to painstakingly detail out how Japan failed to adapt the series properly, by making it legitimately entertaining instead.

Anime vs Manga – Timeline’d

Everything here applies for episodes 2 and 3 as well, but I think you’ll get the point with episode 1 alone. I’ll be going play-by-play here, so I expect the writing style shift might throw some of you off. Ganbarre with it though, cuz I’m way too lazy to rewrite it for a different format.


Manga (chapters 1-3):

Spoiler for

Bell is rescued by Aiz.

Bell x Aiz 4never

The narration takes place in a generic, harem, power-trip fantasy of Bell’s.


Bell wakes up to Hestia on him, remarks that she’s cute, then freaks the fuck out and leaves the room — the only piece of her character that we’re introduced to here is her attraction to Bell.

Hestia sleep mode

Flashback to Bell running up to Eina, asking about Aiz.

Profile pix plz

After getting her “profile”, Bell gets lectured.

Eina's lecture

Bell goes on his way and meets up with Syr, who foists off food upon him because he’s cute or something.


With lunch in his tummy, Bell goes badass mode on a bunch of mobs and picks up loot like a (mid-)boss. Some more monsters come and he picks up motivation by thinking he’ll win Aiz from it.

Bell Manga

Hestia is finally fucking introduced as a character, but for the most part spends her time being whiny.

Hestia Manga
This is all you get until she starts crying while excited. What a character.

Hestia reads Bell’s status off to him, then decides she needs to cry more.

Hestia's Range
Not exactly easy to take her seriously as a character.

Bell goes to the inn, cuz he wants to collect more pokemon women for his self-insert harem. There, Wolf-kun makes fun of Bell and Bell runs out of the bar, angry.


Because the author wants to sell more copies to middle school boys, Bell runs to a dungeon and murders the shit out of fucking everything cuz he’s just so cool.

sodark sodeep

Bell returns home after beating the shit out of everything, glaring at Hestia like a wifebeater after his third shot.

I recommend expanding this image, unless your eyes are *really* good.
I recommend expanding this image, unless your eyes are *really* good.

Fabulous relationship, fabulous end to the chapter.


Anime (episode 1):

Spoiler for

Bell rescued is by Aiz.

Red Bell

Still bloody, Bell runs up to Eina, asking about Aiz, but the villagers all think he’s a fucking loser.


Bell gets lectured, but appears legitimately flustered, and Eina gets more range than just “I’m so worried about Male Protagonist A.”

Eina so waifu-tier

Hestia is introduced, as a character rather than an accessory.

Genki Girls Best Girls

She pouts, Bell indulges her, cute ensues. He’s clearly fucking loyal to her, and they have an already developed relationship that’s fucking kawaii to the max.

I mean, just watch this and tell me it didn’t make you uguu:

Bell goes on his way and meets up with Syr, who foists off food upon him because she’s very clearly looking to flirt till she hits pay dirt.


Bell picks up monster drops like a fucking mook, cuz the bills gotta be paid.


Some monsters come and Bell gets scared before getting #tricked by his delusions.

Genki Bell

Bell returns home (somehow victorious), Hestia reads his status off to him, then decides she needs a smoke after finishing with her boy toy.

RIP your balls Bell
Boss. So boss.

Bell goes to the inn, cuz he owes Syr her money. There, Wolf-kun makes fun of Bell and Bell runs out of the bar, crying. ;_;

Gosh darnabbit

Bell runs to a dungeon and reflects on his own weakness.

Japan are you trying to make me gay for Bell cuz it's working

Bell returns home, victorious, and makes me cry.

Pretty sharp contrast to that manga ending, huh?


Even if the anime adaptation kept the cardboard personalities of the manga characters, it would still be objectively superior. If you paid attention to the timelines, pretty much every happened in the anime that happened in the manga, except it was arranged more sensibly. In terms of pure pacing, the anime settled on the most interesting parts and skipped over the boring shit — managing to build a world that the manga never really was capable of.


Look, I’m not saying that a series can’t have a badass male protagonist or a weak female lead. What I am saying is that characters are more interesting when they’re more than just one-tone tropes. And that’s why, for example:

I fucking love you guys

Would this be the case if we got an adaptation that was “faithful” to the manga? Pretty sure in that scenario, only >reddit has enough shit taste to be getting off to her. Hats off to J.C Staff for going all-in on quality for once.




By taking an objective look at the quality of the manga, it’s clear that no sane human could have made the prediction that an anime adaptation would be enjoyable. As such, I was de facto correct in saying “Nothing in Dungeon is unique, nothing is interesting, and nothing matters about it.” Note that I’m only clarifying the middle statement here since those other two still apply to the anime.

My 100%-accurate preview stat remains unchanged.

Go me!
Go me!

35 thoughts on “DanMachi – Anime vs Manga”

      • Or you could buy it much cheaper than the $300 or so of stuff you said you bought at the con and will be probably forgotten about before you get home =P

          • First volume was already released by Yen Press for LN and the second volume is being released I think on the 21st so today or tomorrow depending where you are

          • It was also fan translated way before being published by Yen Press as well.
            What has become of the meticulously and rigorously researched in-depth journalism that maybe someone somewhere who glanced at the site thought it was?

            Gone are the days when this site embodied the truest of art as exemplified by Tehching Hsieh. No greater purity can be found than Dark_Sage’s inimitable articles that are without content. By which I mean literally, not figuratively, though they are essentially the same.

            For CryCon, D_S instead was channeling Marina Abramović’s heartrending and tearjerking sitting on a chair. Truly there is no greater spiritual transcendence.

            In other words, what the hell is with the pacing? The first two episodes covered most of the first volume of the light novel and then the third episode covered basically nothing. At first I thought they were going to cover the six volumes in one cour. I haven’t seen such condensation since Guin Saga, though the omissions on that were an entirely different scale.

  1. I thought I wasn’t gonna enjoy something this season. I tried watching 6 other shows which just barely entertained me.

    Then I watched this show and everything was better.

  2. >If you paid attention to the timelines, pretty much every happened in the anime that happened in the manga
    >every happened

  3. I´m assuming that you are ok with the translation for the first chapter of the manga. I don’t know if they released a 3rd version of that first chapter, but the first one was utter crap, the second was readable.

    I “think” quality improved once the first group that relased it decided to do a collab with another group. I said “think” because i can at least read it without fucking my brain out, but i have no idea if the translation is accurate.

    I’m still reading it, this is a nice change of pace between my doses of dorohedoro, zetman, vinland saga, goodnight pun pun, i am a hero, and some other real man manga.

  4. Makes sense that the anime is better than the cardboard cutout manga since the source material is a light novel.

    Manga adaptations of light novels are always crappy because they just hand it off to some newbie that isn’t good enough to get their own series but at least knows how to hold a pen.


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