What They Say:
Our band of bold adventurers has just blown through the 18th level of the world’s most fearsome dungeon, so what do they do for an encore?
Since the city of Orario doesn’t have a theme park, the next choice for Bell, Hestia, Lilly and the gang would seem to be a trip to the hot springs… and, conveniently enough, a battle with some hellhounds has led them to an undiscovered underground oasis! However, there’s something fishy about these springs, beyond the fact that Hermes happens to have bathing suits for all the ladies in their correct sizes! Will the secret be discovered before it’s too late? Will Hestia finally come clean with Bell? It’ll all come out in the wash when our heroes learn the answer!
The audio presentation for this property brings us the original Japanese language track in stereo as well as the newly created English language dub done up the same, both of which are encoded with the lossless DTS-HD MA codec. The series is one that works a good balance with its action and dialogue as we get some fun and creative things with monsters and the dungeons as well as a few bits and bobs here and there outside of the dungeon. These action pieces aren’t big and exciting for the most part but they get better as it progresses and they work the forward soundstage well to make for some solid pieces that keep you engaged. The show works its dialogue side in a similar manner where there’s some good placement as needed and overall it moves across the forward soundstage without problem. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any problems with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally released in 2016, the transfer for this OVA is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. With just one episode, well, there’s a lot of space here for the show to utilize. Animated by JC Staff, the show has a really nice look and feeling about it with some very fluid action sequences to be had. The color tone, in particular, works well throughout as there are some very vibrant pieces but also a good sense of earthiness attached to the detailed backgrounds that make this feel like a lived-in world. The character animation is solid throughout with no problems and the high motion pieces are free of breakup or other noise related issues. The series, in general, is one that definitely looks a few steps above average and it pays off with a clean and pristine kind of encoding here that brings it to life wonderfully.
The packaging design for this release brings us a standard sized Blu-ray case with a hinge inside to hold the Blu-ray itself and the two CD soundtracks that are included. The front cover is pretty nicely done as we get Hestia in her fanservice-y best as her outfit is disintegrating right on her. It’s given a simple grid paper background that’s light while framed with the same kind of design as the TV series release was as well to provide some good continuity. It’s listed as a limited edition with what it includes and has a little OVA nod along the bottom with the traditional hot spring symbol. The back cover keeps to the white background with a decent summary of the premise while also including an ugly creature shot. The images from the show are small when they need to be big and bold and we get a good breakdown of what’s included with the set. The bottom has the usual production credits and technical information that gets it all cleanly and clearly and, most importantly, accurately. While most releases don’t get inserts included these days, this one has a couple of pieces. We get two sheets that provide a tracklist for the two soundtracks and we get a small full-color booklet that breaks down the episode and shows off some cute and fanservice oriented images from it.
The menus for this release stick to the kind of simple but appealing approach from the cover with the white background dominating the static pieces. The left side features the navigation that uses the same framing as the cover artwork in a good way that makes it easy to read but also with a bit of creativity about it. The rest is given over to character artwork where the cover image of Hestia that’s really full of white material. Menu navigation is a breeze and it looks great both as a top-level menu and as a pop-up menu.
The extras for this release are kept simple as we get just the clean versions of the opening and closing sequences.
Listed as the thirteenth episode of the TV series that was released in December 2016 as a separate OVA project, the Is It Wrong To Expect A Hot Spring In A Dungeon?! is one of those projects that fans enjoy. The main TV series is one that’s definitely got its fill of fanservice, which was a big part of the draw for it, but coming up with an OVA that’s devoted pretty heavily to fanservice essentially means that the creative team understands its fans. These kinds of shows may bother some – and I’ve had a few where it felt really inappropriate considering the cast – but with this property, it simply clicks right. The downside is that it’s a single OVA that Sentai Filmworks has to try and sell. They’ve put a limited edition label on it and included two soundtracks from the show as a part of it and knowing how difficult it can be to acquire the rights to those sometimes that can warrant it for a lot of fans.
The premise is very simple in that following the fight with Black Goliath, the team is making their way back down the levels and have come across an unknown hot spring along the way. The fact that it’s not on any map really is surprising to them considering how well mapped out this dungeon is but they’re all pretty worn and the idea of a good hot soak is definitely good by just about all of them. Naturally, the episode has to end with a bit of a threat and a sense of danger about things but that was a given going into it. It works pretty well in that regard and the reasoning behind it all is the kind of thing that you can roll with since the idea of some high-level folks coming through and getting suckered might mean they’d never actually mention it.
The bulk of the episode is the cast just enjoying the hot spring itself and all its wonderful warmth. There’s some amusement in getting everyone in bathing suits since they don’t have any on them (though, surprise surprise, someone has a set) and there’s always a little struggle there, most notably with Hestia’s being intentionally too small while everyone else’s is spot on. There’s the usual cuteness in how they all interact with each other and as the guys wait for them to change and it delves into the standards with the male gaze being a big thing and a whole lot to take in. All the girls involved here get treated to a good bit of time so that fans of all of them get to see their favorite stand out nicely. There’s no real story to be had here, though we get a few nice little character moments with how some of the pairings or potential pairings interact with each other, but it succeeds where it must. It provides lots of appealing sexuality and sensuality amid its cast as they’re in various states of undress – particularly when the water starts to dissolve all their outfits. It’s every teenage boy’s gaming fantasy, plain and simple.
Standalone OVA releases that are produced after the rights to a TV season are picked up are hard sells in general, which is why a lot of them get lost in the cracks of licensing. Sentai’s handled them well for the most part over the years and this one is one that they try to go a bit bigger with by including the soundtracks. It’s a pricey release if you have no interest in those and just want the show so it’s hard to recommend from that view even if I do really enjoy the episode itself. It’s definitely good for collector’s with it including the soundtracks and we get the nice booklet that I believe replicates the Japanese booklet as well, but it’s easy to understand why a lot of fans of the show may balk some at the price/value of the release. If you need more mostly naked girls from this series, however, this is the place to get it.
Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, Clean Opening, Clean Closing, 2 Original Soundtrack CDs
Content Grade: B+
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B-
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: May 8th, 2018
Running Time: 25 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.