I’ll make this quick, because this anime is that type of show that’s really only about one thing. Or two things, I guess I should say….

Rating: 0.5 out of 5.

Characters

Rating: 1

The characters are typical. The lead male, Noir, is the diminutive ganbatte adventure-fantasy hero type. He’s the same height or shorter than all the girls except his sister. While I don’t really care one way or the other about that, it’s a little too overt in this show, and is nonetheless an ordinary stereotype for this kind of character. Also stereotypically, he’s OP when the situation doesn’t really matter, and a near invalid when it does. I will never understand this. I believe this indicates poor character design, and certainly poor development. But why do this at all? It’s always convenient to the scene of course. But it just seems like such a copout, and it diminishes the character it happens with. In Noir’s case, it wastes him into a pathetic nothingness. He’s simply the central character, nothing more.

The rest of the characters are oppai. I mean, you know, they’re all, you know…never mind. This is the kind of harem anime I really don’t like. The girls are all insanely busty and that’s all they’re reduced to, essentially. They’re all really pretty for sure, but the excessive focus on this single aspect of their appearance is always distracting and heavily detracts from their characters overall. They cannot be taken seriously. One reason is the oppai thing. The other is how they mindlessly throw themselves at the male MC. This is the kind of harem anime I detest.

I could expound on this for a long time, but I’ll make it brief. I can certainly imagine that a nice young man who’s mostly a gentleman could attract the attention of every girl he comes into contact with who appears to be remotely near his age. But I think it’s rather ridiculous to premise a show simply on that. And not only do the girls throw themselves at him, they do so in an ecchi way. This is that clown-ass-dumb end of the harem spectrum that you’ll hear me refer to occasionally. It’s frivolous and blah.

The only reason I don’t rate the characters as a zero is because Olivia is somewhat interesting, even with her visual portrayal that I find egregious in so many ways. And Noir’s interaction with his family is kind of fun (not including his imouto). But the rest are reduced to their visuals only. This is how to do stereotypical wrong.

Artwork

Rating: 6

The coloring is pretty. The drawings are carefully done. Eyes and faces are nice. Everything is like you’d expect of lighthearted fantasy anime. Bright and clean and attractive.

That is, if you’re looking at any of that. Because most of the time you’ll be distracted by a certain distinctly bouncy motion….

It’s very distracting. And it’s the entire basis for this series, and others like it. This is ecchi at its near worst in my opinion. I can point to shows like High School DxD and say that while both The Hidden Dungeon and it are heavily fixated on this oppai aspect, it’s used to decent effect in HSDxD but is just plain stupid in this show. These are mostly just ordinary adventure-fantasy character girls, but they’re equipped with this overwhelming feature that takes everything else away from their characters. Should we really even try to differentiate between Emma and Lola and Luna and Olivia? It’s disappointing.

I mean, it’s ecchi, I get it. You might even like watching this kind of thing. While I won’t debate about that here, I think that even if you liked this part of these types of show, you’d grow frustrated watching this show. It’s overused and there’s way too much of it. If any show only centered entirely on a single visual point of any kind, and then throws that visual aspect in front of you over and over again, I’d say the same thing. It’s not fun to watch no matter how interesting you might find it, as it’s overdone. Imagine if every ghoul in Tokyo Ghoul cracked his or her first finger’s knuckles every time we saw one of them. Of course we’d say that’s overdone. It’s the same here, just it’s oppai. That doesn’t qualify it for special treatment.

So the artwork is nice as I’d expect of this genre, but overwhelmed by this physical aspect.

Story

Rating: 0

So only Noir can enter the dungeon. There a vulnerably manacled, scantily clad female stands in a torturous trance, able only to communicate with Noir through some kind of weird ass telepathy. We don’t even know why Noir is the only one who can get in, or if that’s really the case at all, or just that he happened by first. Eventually we’re let in on the big secret, that Olivia knew a boy 200 years in the past that looked like Noir (or was actually Noir?) and he died tragically. What exactly happened after that is unclear. Olivia ended up in the dungeon, was overcome by this chain monster thing, and has been held there in stasis, why we don’t ever know, for 200 years.

Noir comes along, doesn’t really make much of an attempt to free her, and she teaches him in her adoration of him. Of course, his ability to use the things she teaches him relies on a stereotypical game-like energy system, where you expend points to use a skill. And this is the killer. Noir can regain those points by being sexually stimulated.

Yep, if a girl kisses him, he’s powered up. If a girl holds his arm, he’s powered up. If a girl presses said arm into her breasts, he powers up even more. You know what conclusion the girls rightly come to? The more they touch him in this way, and the more of them that do it at once, the more points he gains. So we get the sandwich….

Ugh.

Overall: 1

It’s an oppai show, but of the dumbest kind. I’ve seen worse examples, examples that touch the very border of the Hent-erlands, hence I don’t give this a total zero, as it’s not quite to that point. But it almost is. Near enough to be blah and uninteresting artistically. It was hard to watch.

I will gladly argue about the artistic merits of ecchi, and degree of it, with anyone who has valid points to offer. But my initial position is always that there’s anime and then there’s that other thing, and one has high artistic potential and value, the other has little to none. So the closer an anime gets to that, the less artistic quality I will give it. And unfortunately for The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter, it’s too close to that for me to think much of it. I’ll gladly accept that only Noir can enter that dungeon.

The truth always comes out in the end.

5 Comments »

  1. Yeah, I only made it to the ear nibbling moment in the first few episodes when I could see this anime wasn’t going to actually care about its characters or story and just wanted to set up situations for more interactions between Noir and his already growing fan-club. Glad I made the call to drop this one.

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    • Good call. I’ll usually stick with things to the end just so I can actually review them. If I’m always writing good reviews that wouldn’t feel right somehow. And yeah, this was the worst kind of ordinary.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I will watch something I think I might like or might improve and so I still have many anime reviewed on my blog that get a negative review in the end. However I don’t tend to watch something that clearly isn’t for me when there’s little hope of a positive outcome. I kind of hope people who prefer that type of story will cover it and move on.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how they tried to get around being a normal fanservice show by adding a reason why he needs to get the fanservice. Absolutely hilarious to imagine the author starting off brain storming with “fanservice” and building around that. Didn’t work out in the end but at least they tried?

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    • Let’s not get too crazy and start accusing them of making too much effort! But that’s kind of funny, imagining people sitting down and planning stuff like this. I’d never really thought of that!

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