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Sword Oratoria: Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side Episode #02 Anime Review

4 min read

Sword-Oratoria-Episode-2It’s just another day of shopping, dress-up and boob-groping.

What They Say:
The members of the Loki Familia recover from their most recent adventure. After a long day of errands, they visit Loki’s favorite tavern where Ais runs into a familiar face.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In case you were missing Hestia’s costume and the attention to boobs it drew, this episode has you covered. Not only does said costume make a couple of cameos, both on Hestia and not, there plenty of boob focus and other fanservice outside of that. Let’s meet the members of the Loki Familia with whom we spend the most time. There’s the Goddess Loki, whose role in this episode consists primarily of diving at the members of her Familia to grope them, and also trying to do the same to Ais specifically when she has her shirt off for plot-related reasons. There’s Lefiya, whose role seems to be that of the true protagonist, despite Ais being advertised as such. Still, most of her time is spent lusting after Ais and being sexually harassed physically and verbally not only by Loki (as she always lands on her) but by most of the other main members of the Familia. This includes Tiona and Tione, who take the crew to a shop of revealing female clothing to try to get Ais to wear them, also assisting Lefiya’s fantasies. The two are nearly identical aside from their juxtaposed bust sizes, Tiona being the flat one and Tione being the extremely well-endowed one, and you can imagine that this is the subject of a great many conversations within the group. Tiona’s role is largely to compare her flat chest to all those around her and conjure animosity toward them for this reason. In fact, it’s the only actual purpose for the Hestia cameo we get near the end of the episode. Oh, and there’s Ais, purportedly the main character, but one that gets more real focus in Lefiya’s fantasies than in real life, and certainly shows more character in them. That’s basically our cast and their roles in the episode.

This isn’t a franchise that has ever been devoid of fanservice by any means, and that’s fine. A good sprinkling here and there can make for some amusing comedy, and of course the fanservice around Hestia’s design is one of the original show’s most iconic features. But when you have the same boob joke repeated five to ten times within a single episode, it gets very tiring. There’s a lot of yuri pandering tied into this as well. With a female protagonist surrounded by a primarily female team, there could be great potential for real romantic tension between some of them, but this chooses to go entirely with the “girls who are into girls are so erotic” school of thought. The same is true in many shows with the genders reversed, and it’s always a shame. None of these characters feel like people worth caring about nearly as much as sexual figures to fit into some part of a gag meant to titillate more than to actually be humorous in a creative way.

While I do truly believe these subjects take up the majority of the episode, there is a bit more here, which is what keeps it worth watching in the end. The paths of Ais and Bell again intersect for more than a brief cameo, and it leads to a moment that does remind us that we’re supposed to be caring about Ais as the protagonist, if not one that necessarily delves into her own mind in a way that might be helpful for it to really pay off. We get more of Lefiya’s assumptions of how Ais must be feeling than finding out for ourselves, which is better than nothing, but still not quite ideal.

In Summary:
Most of the hope that the first episode gave me is diminished as the next one spends almost all of its time on tired fanservice jokes of one kind or another. There are a lot of the same boob jokes and yuri jokes and not much else. When it does get down to business, it’s good, but all too brief.

Grade: B-

Streamed By: Anime Strike

Review Equipment:
Roku 3, Sceptre X425BV-FHD 42″ Class LCD HDTV.

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