Exploring Leads to Oppai and Ecchi
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Action, Adventure, Harem, Ecchi, Fantasy
- Airing Date : January 2021 – March 2021
- Producers : Okuruto Noboru
Introduction and Story
Noir Starga might have the fancy title of baronet but that doesn’t mean he’s looked at as a special individual. In all actuality, Noir’s family is considered the bottom tier of special classes and that means, like most adventures, Noir needs to prove his worth. Thanks to a powerful—but headache-inducing—spell, Noir is able to locate a dungeon hidden away filled with special monsters and abilities. Upon his entry, Noir meets a chained woman who bestows the young man with an even greater power, giving Noir the chance to finally prove his worth. Can Noir become a renowned adventurer or will he die unknown to all?
Harem Dungeon Start
The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter—Hidden Dungeon going forward—knows what it is and doesn’t at all try to shy away from it. This is a harem/ecchi adventure anime that revels in oppai, butt scenes, and pantsu imagery when and where it can unleash it. Unlike many ecchi that overdo fan service, though, Hidden Dungeon is smart and makes the ecchi a main component of the entire anime. Our main man Noir needs sexual interaction for his special abilities—Get Creative and Edit—or he will run out of the energy he calls LP and could die. Hidden Dungeon reminds us of older harem anime and we always appreciate the golden age of ecchi anime.
Oppai-Focused but Not Overloaded
Now, while we do miss the series like To Love Ru, Love Hina, Heaven’s Lost Property, and Negima! these shows tend to overload the viewer with oppai and patsu in droves. Hidden Dungeon tries to tell a fun adventure story by not constantly using ecchi/harem themes in every scene and that makes the story just a bit better.
We loved watching Noir grow as a young adventurer as he used his newfound skills to not only help others but also build up his own life. Noir goes from semi-weakling to a strong warrior who owns his own shop and does incredibly well in his adventurer-focused life. In our minds, it is to be applauded that Hidden Dungeon remembers us otaku care about more than just pantsu and also want a good story in our ecchi series.
Likeable Cast of Girls
Many harem shows live and die by their cast of lovely ladies. Thankfully, The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter has quite a slew of beautiful—and oppai-blessed—girls. From the childhood friend Emma Brightness to the guild girl Lola, the girls of Hidden Dungeon all fulfill some form of anime girl love we desire. If you want a caring—but semi-clueless—elf girl you have Luna, and if you want that sister who probably cares a bit too much for you, then you can fall in love with Alice. Some girls get a bit less screen time than others but we appreciate that the girls we fell in love with get ample time to show their…big hearts and large personalities.
Despite Hidden Dungeon doing an admirable job trying not to be a clone of every harem anime ever made, it still failed to impress in terms of plot and character development. Noir is overpowered thanks to his skills and that means you can almost always figure out how a battle or situation will play out. Hidden Dungeon is predictable and that is one of the biggest failings of the show.
Every scenario that Noir has to face he usually handles in the same ways. Noir will either use his Get Creative power to give himself a new skill or Edit to change an enemy’s power. In the few battles where Noir is overwhelmed, he will be lucky to get his harem girls to come in and either buy him time to come up with a plan or will take down the threat themselves. It can be comical in some situations—like the harem tournament of episode 5—but often leaves us saying “called it”.
Weak Final Battle
Episode 12—the possible conclusion of this anime adaptation—has a great setup for a final conflict. Noir versus a clone version of his master—Olivia Servant—and for the first time in The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter, we think Noir might be at his limits. Noir’s skills fail and the girls all go down one after another despite their fighting prowess. This last battle should have been great…but it wasn’t.
Noir—for reasons we still don’t fully understand—gains a significant amount of energy and is able to somehow overpower Olivia’s clone when only a few moments ago he was on his deathbed. This final conflict just gave Noir the win when he really didn’t seem capable of it. Yes, as we mentioned, the story of Hidden Dungeon is formulaic and Noir is OP but this felt like a tease. Noir could have maybe given up his last two abilities—as he gave the others up using the power-up Sacrifice—but he didn’t need to and just won…kind of a lame ending to one of the few battles that had us truly mesmerized.
The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter might not be the next revolution of an ecchi harem anime but that didn’t mean it wasn’t enjoyable. Our time with Hidden Dungeon was mostly positive as we loved the comedy aspects and equally enjoyed the cast and watching them grow. Yes, Hidden Dungeon did disappoint with a formulaic plot and a less than stellar final battle but, in the end, the ride itself wasn’t bad and we fully recommend watching this fun anime series.
Did you fellow otaku enjoy The Hidden Dungeon Only I Can Enter? Tell us in the comments below and stick to our oppai-crazed hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more anime reviews!