DVD Review: Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side – Complete Collection

MVM Entertainment brings us Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side, a side-story of sorts to that runs parallel to the events of Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon?; but what can one expect from this series and more importantly DVD release? Well let’s take a look!

Synopsis:

Contrary to what the adventures of Bell and the Goddess Hestia might imply, not everyone goes into the dungeon of Orario to pick up girls. The veterans of the Goddess Loki’s Familia have lots of reasons for risking life and limb facing the monsters and mayhem lurking within the deadly labyrinth’s multiple levels, but new member and mage Lefiya just wants to prove that she’s worthy to be on the same team as her hero, the famed sword princess Aiz Wallenstein.

As for Aiz herself, she’s seeking something that no one else even suspects, and she may find it when trouble comes after her from the previously unreached 59th level! If you thought you knew the Danmachi universe, be prepared to think again as the adventure continues from an all-new point of view!

Our View:

Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side, or simply known as Sword Oratoria, is the spin-off (and alternative story) to the events of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Which has previously been released as a Deluxe Edition Blu-Ray & DVD Combo Pack in the UK by Animatsu Entertainment. In Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? The story line focused on Bell, and his goddess Hestia, as he braved the dungeon in order to become a stronger fighter while looking for that perfect girl; but in Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side the storyline focuses on Ais Wallenstein and Lefiya Viridis as they overcome personal obstacles as well as takedown an enemy threats in the depths of the dungeon.

The world of Sword Oratoria will be familiar; with gods descending down to earth and creating familia’s with adventurers who wish to explore the depths of the dungeon that is situated within this relatively peaceful town. The story of Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side follows the Loki Familia guild and in this case specifically follows Ais Wallenstein and Lefiya Viridis with its two, if not three, pronged approach to storytelling.

At the first the series begins by following Lefiya Viridis obsession with Ais and her dreams of being able to stand by Ais side with her strong magical abilities; but alas this is a dream that seems unobtainable. For the next portion of episodes at least we see the Loki guild attempt to help Lefiya become a better mage; but elsewhere a darker storyline begins to develop.

It’s here where the storyline changes to focus on Ais Wallenstein, otherwise known as the Sword Princess, and her obsession to become a stronger warrior as well as discover her true self. This storyline shift allows Bell, from the main series Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, to enter the fray and from here the two series heavily intermingle with each other.

In this case we get to see the events of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, such as the monsterphila and the training with Ais, from Ais’s perspective rather than Bells; and at the same time we begin to see Lefiya’s obsession turn to jealously when she learns that a mysterious adventurer has been receiving special training from Ais.

At this same time we see the third storyline within Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side begin to surface; with a mysterious –seemingly once thought dead- opponent appear controlling monsters in order to obtain Ais who is being mistaken for Aria.

Three different storyline perspectives but all blend together to deliver the final portion of this story; a raid down to the 59th level of the dungeon to find out the answers to the monster tamers and the truth behind Aria and Ais.

Unfortunately these revelations never really come to pass and instead we see Ais become the strong warrior she wanted and Lefiya able to achieve her dreams of being next to Ais in battle with strong opponents. A side story indeed; but in some instances can be considered a stronger storyline than the original series it is based off.

Extras:

Although this DVD release of Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side is split across three discs the selection of bonus contents on offer is minimal at best; with the only additions being textless opening and closing songs and Japanese promotional material for the series itself.

For a title that was originally a Sentai Filmworks release it is surprising to not see any Trailers, for other Sentai Filmwork related titles, being included; but at least the important content is included on these discs; and these can be found on the first DVD disc of this set.

Specs:

Media:  DVD 9 x3
Region: 2
Running Time: 1:40:53 (Disc 1), 1:40:52 (Disc 2 & 3)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side is its own unique story that supplements the original series of the same name; namely Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? In this case Sword Oratoria follows the journey of self-discovery for Ais Wallenstein and Lefiya Viridis as they attempt to better themselves within the Loki guild. For Lefiya this is about becoming closer to Ais in order to become her number one partner and friend while for Ais it is about becoming stronger and, at the later stages of the series at least, uncovering the truth behind her parents and the mysterious enemies that are attempting to capture her.

Regardless of the personal discoveries we have numerous storylines taking place of which intertwine with the main characters of this series and as well involving those from Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? With Bell and Hestia. This storyline, which begins with the Monsterphilla event, expands with Ais teaching Bell how to fight – of which we saw in the main series – before being expanded upon to see Ais teaming up with villagers to defeat monsters overtaking a pantry within the field.

This storyline expands again when the main enemy mistakes Ais for Aria, who seems to be Ais mother, and challenges her to reach her at the 59th Level for all of the answers to her questions. Unfortunately these answers do not bear fruit and is left on a rather sour cliffhanger; but the journey we took to get her was violent, entertaining and comical – which is what Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?  Should be and remains consistent with the main series.

Although the events of these episodes are a mixture of violence, fun and fan-service (in a mild form that is) these DVD discs – of which have been encoded in PAL format – seem to have their own issues. Namely the PAL coding has result in some bizarre ghosting issues and washed out effects. Fortunately the presentation of a mediocre English Dub (which retains English Dub voice actors from the main series) with a superior Japanese Dub (with English Subtitles) makes up for the lack of visual quality. Naturally at this point we suggest going for the Blu-Ray and considering the disappointing visual quality (on a relatively decent show) we hope you take our advice.

Overall this DVD release of Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side is an entertaining disappointment; as while the events of the episodes – and the story that is presented – is adequate the visual quality issues with the DVD make this ‘DVD release’ a no-go unless you strictly have to.

Our suggestion would be to go for the Blu-Ray (or Collector’s Edition) release as we would expect no such issues with that release; on the flip side Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side offers everything one would expect from Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? But instead focuses on two characters that didn’t get the spotlight on the main series with their own unique story.

Score: review-stars-3

Sword Oratoria: Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD from the 3rd September 2018 within the UK.

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About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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