Dungeon People Episode 1: A Person In The Dungeon



OLM as a studio is… interesting, to say the least- something that extends to Dungeon People episode 1 as well. While I was fairly critical of the PVs heading into this summer season, I must say that I’m comfortably surprised with this first episode. It’s certainly far from perfect, and still contains many pieces that bother me, but there’s a lot more charm and quality to it than I expected to see. So taking that step back and taking the good with the bad, Dungeon People episode 1 offers a high octane introduction that tapers off into its proper explanation for this world and its story.

One of the first things I want to comment on is just how frustrating the character designs are. As cut and dry designs they’re certainly not bad, but the color design that incorporates that sort of airbrushed style just completely sours them. The art direction got the memo, so I can’t fathom why the character designs didn’t. Either way, the art direction is arguably the foundation of this debut episode. A lot of the creativity that allows the series to prove itself past the action comes from the environment art, after all. Within those cramped corridors and never ending hallways, Sayaka Yamai proves to viewers that they’ll be able to make things interesting. In particular, the way they approached the scene of Clay sensing some goblins down the hallway was outstanding– far better than I would have expected.

Alongside the creative effort to make endless beige walls interesting, OLM provided Dungeon People episode 1 with a surprising amount of animation. Of course, you’ll still see plenty of “sparks flying and swinging swords” going on in the episode, but even with that lack of choreography there’s a surprising amount of good work. It may not dominate the episode, but it does a lot to add to the air of the first half of the episode. As a word of warning, though: I wouldn’t expect to see a whole lot of the same throughout the rest of the series. It won’t make it worse, but it’ll certainly be leaning more towards the quieter moments of the episode. Either way, OLM is able to effectively prove that Dungeon People isn’t about to be left in the dust of this packed Summer season.

Putting the creativity and execution together, Dungeon People episode 1 has me surprised that I doubted the director of Life With an Ordinary Guy Who Reincarnated Into a Total Fantasy Knockout (a very real title). It will certainly be interesting to see how they tackle the far more mundane nature of this series, but despite being chained up in OLM’s basement the last two years, I feel like they’re up for the challenge.

…and that’s about it, really. Dungeon People episode 1, much like its source material, isn’t all that much about giving viewers a gripping story or incredible characters. It’s a fun ride that has some curiosities like Macho Goblins, has its fair share of unique ideas, and a very nice side of subdued humor. It’s the kind of series that’s great to unwind with, and the adaptation seems poised at providing that same feeling. Much like this review, it’s meant to be short, sweet, and easy to digest- the right kind of anime to cool off with on a Friday afternoon, so I’m very much looking forward to seeing how it manages as the season goes on.

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