Meikyuu Black Company (The Dungeon of Black Company) started off strong. Kinji Ninomiya’s weird ploys often trigger multiple hilarious catastrophes. As someone who has already reached the top of the corporate world, Ninomiya has more than a few tricks up his sleeves. When he gets transported to another world, he shows us that the skills and achievements he has accrued are not mere flukes. Using these skills and knowledge, he’s determined to conquer this new world. Indeed, he manages to do that in just 12 episodes. We’ve taken the liberty to review everything that has happened during these 12 episodes.
The best thing about Ninomiya is that he truly believes he’s the best. He doesn’t fear anybody and has a hundred percent belief in his abilities. Because of this, Ninomiya can maintain his calm no matter what the circumstances are. Be it in the face of a powerful dragon, the head of a slave-driving company, or even the literal demon lord, Ninomiya can keep his cool and devise some sort of shrewd plan. In order to achieve victory, he is prepared to do anything, literally.
Ninomiya doesn’t even think twice before pulling every dirty trick he knows. He easily resorts to manipulation, blackmailing, and even brainwashing if it will help him achieve his goals. Even though he prioritizes his friends later on, this personality of his never truly vanished. Up until the end, he forces monsters to work while also using the visitors of his theme park as resources. Ultimately, his cunningness takes the spotlight as he outwits Berza, the main villain, and ends the show with a bang.
The Confusion Didn’t Really Go Away
The Dungeon of Black Company’s first few episodes are a bit in disarray. This isn’t really that rare in anime, as shows usually need a few episodes to find their footing. The Dungeon of Black Company, however, fails to establish its pace, ever. The storytelling is as chaotic as Ninomiya’s personality. For some reason, this anime likes to start each episode in a completely new setting, which takes us a good few minutes to figure out what’s actually happening. There are even multiple occasions wherein we actually have to check if we are watching the correct episode. More often than not, it feels like we’ve somehow missed one or two episodes. The corresponding confusion then makes it difficult to focus on the show’s highlight—its comedy.
An Example of Good Comedy
One thing that this show does perfectly is the comedy. It somehow manages to tackle corporate culture, both healthy and toxic, and put a comedic twist to it. Interestingly, it does that without the jokes sounding forced or edgy. By establishing Ninomiya as a capitalist genius early on, the anime manages to lay the foundation for its satirical quips. It’s no exaggeration to say that The Dungeon of Black Company doesn’t miss any chance to poke fun at hellish working environments, slave labor, and surprisingly, even worker benefits. While the corporate theme is the nucleus of its humor, The Dungeon of Black Company has more in its arsenal. It likes joking about typical anime tropes, like that ball-grabbing scene, as well as doing slapstick comedy. Needless to say, each episode has more than one funny bit to make its viewers laugh.
Pretty Average, Overall
The show may not be a complete dumpster fire, but it’s also nothing special. Even though the opening is lit and the ending is fun and cute, the plot and pacing is meh. The art and animation are decent with occasional spurts of awesomeness. The characters, albeit diverse and fun, are quite generic. Ninomiya, of course, is the exception. The only thing that’s really exceptional about The Dungeon of Black Company is its comedy, but that also gets balanced out by the confusing and jumpy narrative.
Even though it’s not without flaws, The Dungeon of Black Company is still an enjoyable watch. The show has made us laugh a couple of times with its exceptional humor. This anime manages to tackle a sensitive topic and put a comedic twist to it without making it insensitive or without taste. Honestly, the show has lots of potential. While it did manage to harness some of that potential, it’s unfortunate that it fails to bring the most out of it.