In Arrow of the Orion, Bell Cranel has been through a lot in his time traversing the dungeons of Orario as the sole member of the Hestia Familia. As Hestia’s lone champion, he deserves a little vacation, and he gets much more than he bargained for when the goddess Artemis appears with a desperate request for the only champion capable of pulling it off. If you think this is all going to result in a much-needed break—or perhaps even another trip to the dungeon hot spring—you might change your tune when you realize it’s the setup for the first full-length Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? anime film.
In Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Arrow of the Orion, Bell isn’t just chosen at random to be Artemis’s great champion. He just so happens to have been the only one capable of removing a mysterious spear from its crystalline prison and wield it with ease. That’s good news for all of Orario and the rest of the world, because this spear is the only weapon capable of defeating the monster of the week, which is something better left as a surprise to those who haven’t seen the movie yet.
Getting to this mighty beast involves a bit of a road trip, hence the aforementioned vacation. Joining Bell, Artemis, and Hestia are Welf, Lili, Hermes, and the other usual suspects from the DanMachi series proper. In true anime film fashion, director Katsushi Sakurabi (Gunparade March, Flying Witch) and the rest of the team at J.C. Staff squeeze in as much fanservice as possible over the course of the brisk 82-minute runtime. That’s not to say it’s full of cheeky fare—outside of an extended bathing sequence that manages to cram in most of the anime’s ladies in the buff, of course—but it just covers a lot of aspects of the series fans would want to have showcased in a film.
Arrow of the Orion even features a script by original light novel author and series creator Fujino Omori. It’s not the most daring of scripts, and its high stakes don’t extend beyond its end credits, but there are some solid emotional beats and a couple character reveals DanMachi faithfuls will want to see for themselves. It may be inherently skippable as far as connective narrative tissue is concerned, but big-time fans aren’t going to want to miss out on this one.
Beyond the key dramatic moments, there’s some decent action peppered throughout. An early battle against some demonic-looking scorpions gives Artemis a chance to show what she’s made of, and most of the characters get a hand on the ball during the third act throwdown. Animation is about on par with the TV series, but J.C. Staff’s work on the latter already looks pretty great, so that’s not much of a detractor.
If this is your first exposure to the whole world of DanMachi, you might find yourself scratching your head over the various familias, why Hestia is so impossibly enamored with Bell, and how he always seems to come out on top of his encounters. Arrow of the Orion may not be the best entry point into the franchise, but if you’ve already seen the first season of the anime, it’s definitely worth digging into at any point. With the second season now over and the third on the not-so-distant horizon, now is the best time to relax and chase it with another succinct yet sweet shot of DanMachi flavor.
studio/company: Sentai Filmworks