The DanMachi anime franchise is an enigma mostly because of the variety of source materials from the Is It Wrong To Try And Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? light novels. Will J.C. Staff do Sword Oratoria Season 2 and tell more of the story of sword princess Ais Wallenstein? Will DanMachi Season 3 diverge once again from telling the main story of Bell Cranel? If that’s the case, there’s the remote possibility that the light novel for Episode Ryuu, or Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no ha Machigatteiru Darou ka Ryuu Gaiden Grand Casino wo Buttsubuse!, will be turned into an anime.
The only fact known for certain is that light novel publisher GA Bunko confirmed that Bell Cranel and Hestia will be making their comeback in DanMachi Season 2 along with a new anime movie called Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? Arrow Of The Orion (Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka? Orion no Ya). Unfortunately, they did not specify the story for the feature film, nor did they give fans a year for the premiere. Everyone is hoping the release date for DanMachi Season 2 will be confirmed soon, but it is possible the movie will come out before the new anime season.
Years ago, I successfully predicted that the Sword Oratoria light novels would be turned into the second season in the DanMachi anime series way before the anime was officially confirmed or even produced. After all, it only made logical sense. At the time, author Fujino Omori was already up to Sword Oratoria Volume 4 and the DanMachi Season 1 finale ended in a climactic moment which happened to correspond with the end of Volume 5 of the light novels. The Japanese releases of the light novels were only up to Volume 8, which meant there was not yet enough source material for a second season.
The main light novel series is now up to DanMachi Volume 13, with author Omori planning more to come. According to Anime News Network, as of May of 2017 over eight million copies of the light novel series has been sold worldwide, and there have been multiple spin-off mangas and light novel series, so you know there’s definitely a financial incentive to keep generating more anime. The Sword Oratoria anime has finished airing on Amazon’s Anime Strike for English viewers (which is now “free” for Prime members), but since there will only be 12 episodes it makes sense to speculate on what may come next in the Is It Wrong To Try And Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? anime series. (Check out our article on DanMachi: Sword Oratoria Season 2 spoilers!)
As it is, the Episode Ryuu light novel, or Ryuu Gaiden as it was once referred to, is a standalone story released on March 16, 2017. An English translation of Episode Ryuu has not yet been released, but the story is being adapted into a manga, with the first volume also released in 2017.
Spoilers For Familia Chronicle: Episode Ryuu
The story focuses on Ryuu Lion, the female elf who debuted in the first season of the anime. She was once an adventurer known as Shippuu but when her fellow Familia members were murdered she sought revenge, taking her down a bloody path that left her alone and injured in an alley. She was found by Mia Grand, owner of the Hostess of Fertility pub, and nursed back to health. So when anime audiences first see her that’s why this adventurer is in green maid attire working as a waitress at the pub.
The Episode Ryuu light novel lets fans see Ryuu Lion in a completely different light through two related side stories. The first has Ryuu infiltrating a casino in order to retrieve the kidnapped daughter of a man with a gambling debt. Bell does make an appearance but his blundering almost undoes her mission. The second story shows more of Ryuu’s backstory and how difficult it was for her to transition to her new life as a pub waitress. Ryuu’s past also won’t let go of her quite yet since a large bounty was put on her head and fans get to see the elf in action.
DanMachi Season 3 Could Be Based On Familia Chronicle?
While the light novels were good, unlike Sword Oratoria the problem is that there simply is not enough content to make an Episode Ryuu anime season, although it’d make a good standalone DanMachi OVA. A continuation of the story will be centered around multiple Familia since the spinoff’s name was changed from Ryuu Gaiden to Familia Chronicle: Episode Ryuu, making it obvious the long-term plan for the third light novel series is to have each book focus on different DanMachi characters, or at least a different Familia.
Adapting the story of Episode Ryuu into an anime now makes sense since the plot is set in the same time frame as DanMachi Volume 7. With the second act of the main story now pending, there’s no major reason to not include Ryuu’s story as part of the new anime season for the Is It Wrong To Try And Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? series.
The big problem is the lack of source material for an entire 12-episode season, but that could change in the future. In the afterword of the Episode Ryuu novel, author Omori made his longterm plans explicit by saying he’d like to write about the Freya Familia for Familia Chronicle Volume 2. It’s also possible the Ryuu character will be more involved in the main DanMachi story.
Regardless, let’s hope DanMachi Season 3 once again focuses on the adventures of Bell Cranel. Since this is a “boy meets girl in a dungeon” story, it’d be best if there were only two anime series — DanMachi and Sword Oratoria — running parallel with each other rather than introduce a third anime. That’s not to say Ryuu should be ignored; the best approach would be to include the side stories of the Familia Chronicles as anime episodes within the two main series based upon the linear progression of the timeline. If that occurs, anime-only fans won’t be missing anything, getting the best bang for their valis.
[Update January 15, 2018] Added the announcement about the new DanMachi project.
[Update February 19, 2018] Added confirmation of DanMachi Season 2. Changed article to reflect new information.