DanMachi is finally returning! Seven years and three seasons after episode 1, DanMachi Season 4 is soon upon us. So, what better way to celebrate than a massive DanMachi recap?
This recap is designed for fans who have not seen Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon before and wish to get involved. It’s also for fans who, like me at first, dropped the series a few seasons ago and want to get back on the wagon!
Table of Contents
Could You Watch DanMachi Season 4 Without Watching Previous Seasons?
It is possible to watch DanMachi Season 4 without having seen previous seasons. However, it would be very tough.
The good news for people wishing to join the series now is that each season has a self-contained story, and the overarching narrative isn’t really at the forefront.
The bad news is that one of DanMachi’s great strengths is the different relationships between characters and Familias. Often, characters will arrive in a moment from nowhere, and it’s important to understand who they are and their particular motive.
Ultimately, many of DanMachi’s characters fulfil tropes that are quite easy to work out after a while. However, if you’re starting from season 4, be prepared to research and question pretty much anyone outside of the main character Bell’s Hestia Familia.
As mentioned above, this recap will try to help you get up to speed with some of the key relationships and facts you should know ahead of season 4.
Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Basic Summary
Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon, or DanMachi for short, follows Bell, a hopeful adventurer hoping to make it big (and get some girls) in Orario, a bustling city built on top of a giant dungeon.
The story takes place in a fantasy world where gods live amongst men for entertainment. These gods create groups known as Familias, with the biggest Familias essentially being small armies.
Most Familias are filled with adventurers, people qualified to explore the sprawling, monster-filled dungeon underneath Orario which is run by the Guild. Adventurers in Orario are often popular and well-off, but the competition between adventurers and Familias can be intense.
The full Japanese title for the series is Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka. This is obviously super long so is often, and officially, shortened to DanMachi – Dan from how Dungeon is pronounced in Japanese and Machi from Machigatteiru (translated as Wrong).
DanMachi is an adaptation of a light novel series of the same name by Fujino Omori.
What Happened in DanMachi Season 1?
In DanMachi Season 1, Bell Cranel arrives in Orario and, obviously, discovers that becoming an adventurer isn’t straightforward.
Firstly, there is no Familia that will take him in as an adventurer. Becoming one is competitive, and there is no room within the main parties.
Eventually, he joins the small goddess Hestia as her first member, thus creating the Hestia Familia.
On his first visit to the dungeons, Bell nearly dies at the hands of a minotaur. He is saved at the last second by Ais Wallenstein, a powerful and beautiful swordswoman who Bell instantly falls in love with.
Ais is the star of the Loki Familia, one of the biggest and strongest in DanMachi. Bell is considered a laughing stock by the rest of her Familia and he runs off embarrassed.
This starts Bell’s new objective, which has lasted ever since – to become strong enough to stand alongside Ais Wallenstein.
Hestia quickly discovers that there is more to Bell than meets the eye. He possesses an unnatural ability to level up his abilities at an extraordinary rate, which she keeps a secret.
Bell begins attracting the interest of other people across the city, too. In particular, the much-feared goddess of beauty Freya, leader of the incredibly strong Freya Familia, decides that she has to have Bell for herself.
However, Bell is focused on nothing more than getting stronger. He slowly amasses a team to explore the dungeons with him, including transporter Lili and forger Welf.
Bell also develops a relationship with swordswoman Mikoto and Ryuu, now a waitress but previously part of a now-disbanded Familia who is blacklisted by the Guild.
The first season ends with Bell saving adventurers in the dungeon from a gigantic monster with the help of his new allies.
The ending is overlooked by Hermes, a questionable god who deals in information. Hermes reveals that Bell is related to the god Zeus, and proclaims that he might be the hero the world has been waiting for.
What Happened in DanMachi Season 2?
DanMachi Season 2 starts with Bell dancing with Ais during a party, at which Bell’s Hestia Familia is challenged to a War Game by the Apollo Familia, with Bell on the line.
Swordswoman Mikoto officially joins the Hestia Familia and, with good planning, they manage to overturn a huge manpower disadvantage to win. The Apollo Familia is dissolved and their mansion base is claimed by Hestia.
The rest of the season focuses on the Ishtar Familia, a female-led organisation that manages the adult quarter of Orario.
The Hestia Familia discover that a childhood friend of Mikoto, a fox-girl (renard) named Haruhime, is being held captive by the Ishtar Familia in the red-light district.
The Ishtar Familia is feared for their strength, so Hestia implores Bell and Mikoto not to do anything rash. They initially plan to save up enough money to buy Haruhime, but when Hermes informs them that she’s being kept to create a Killing Stone, they decide to act.
Bell and Mikoto try to save her but are unsuccessful. Ishtar reveals that the Killing Stone is being created so she can take down Freya, her rival in beauty. However, Freya decides to launch an attack on the Ishtar Familia at that very moment.
The Freya Familia overpowers the Ishtar Familia, with Freya killing Ishtar herself while Bell watches on. As with Season 1, Hermes also watches events from a distance.
With the Ishtar Familia disbanded, Haruhime is freed and joins Bell and Mikoto at the Hestia Familia. The season ends with a failed attack on Orario by a lowly god which sends Bell, Ais and Hestia to a remote village where stories about a giant dragon are revealed.
What Happened in DanMachi Season 3?
In DanMachi Season 3, Bell comes across a young, crying monster that he can’t bring himself to kill. Instead, he decides to adopt the vouivre.
The idea of protecting a monster is seen as both ridiculous and dangerous. However, Hestia and their Familia reluctantly agree to Bell’s wish.
At first, the monster is kept under wraps at the Hestia Familia base. It learns to speak and interact, developing an affinity with the team who name it Wiene.
However, when an overheard conversation leads to Wiene running away and being discovered, the Hestia Familia is put into jeopardy – to be seen shielding a monster would almost certainly lead to the Familia being disbanded.
Bell and his team find themselves in the middle of a major development being overseen by the rarely-spotted leader of the gods on Earth, Uranus.
Uranus explains to Bell that Wiene is part of something known as Xenos, a group of monsters with human thoughts, feelings and speech that wish to live above ground. Uranus has been trying to support them for generations with the help of his skeleton sage Fels.
Bell tries to help the Xenos, but when crazed monster collector Dix Perdix kidnaps Wiene and sends her on a rampage above ground, he has to publicly stop adventurers from killing the monster.
Bell’s actions make him and the Hestia Familia an enemy of adventurers, particularly Ais and the Loki Familia.
However, Bell finds a new ally in Aisha, one of the now-defunct Ishtar Familia’s leading fighters and close friend of Haruhime, who has now joined the Hermes Familia.
The series ends with the Hestia Familia working with the other Xenos monsters and Fels to help return Wiene and them to the dungeon where they can live peacefully. Bell just about manages to hold off Ais, who initially wishes to kill Wiene but decides to let them go after seeing her humanity.
Despite being double-crossed by Hermes, Bell, Fels and the Hestia Familia succeed in saving Wiene and the other Xenos.
What Will Happen in Season 4 of DanMachi?
Unlike previous seasons of DanMachi, Season 4 is likely to have more focus on dungeon exploration, more like season 1 than 3 and 4.
We won’t be spoiling anything here, but for those that are looking to jump back into DanMachi at this stage, there’s likely to be a lot around Ryuu Lion.
So far in the anime, she’s been a largely cut-off character with incredible fighting ability but no attachment to any particular group or Familia.
While Ryuu hides her emotions and comes across as quite cold, she has a close affinity with Bell and wishes to help him, albeit from a distance.
Beyond that, the new season should be filled with new discoveries. The Hestia Familia are rewarded for their actions in season 3 but are tasked with exploring even deeper into the dungeon as a result.
New allies and new missions abound in DanMachi season 4, and we can’t wait to see what happens next!