Fortune Quest is the tale of a bunch of adventurers. Imagine your classic D&D party—Fighter, Thief, Bard, Mage, Healer ...and Porter? Okay, don't know where the Porter comes from, but Pastel and her group of adventurers are broke and need a job. They can't afford to buy any of the adventure modules from the module seller, so they have to take part-time jobs to pay off their debts. And an innocent job to fetch holy water leads to world-threatening danger ...and a white dragon.
Fortune Quest: Yo ni mo Shiawase na Boukensha-tachi is a JC staff anime based off of an eight volume light novel. It also has a SNES game, which you can't avoid knowing about if you watch the anime because they have a segment in the middle of every episode where they have a joke advert and then a real advert for the SNES game. And JC Staff is one of those studios that can hit lofty heights with the likes of Yami no Matsuei & Flying Witch and also mine the crustiest excrement with works like Shakugan no Shana or Garzey no Tsubasa.
But hey, at least they've never made anything as horrendous as Evangelion. They've also had quite a few mediocre works. So, let's see where this one happens to land.
We open with our heroes having some financial problems. They decide to try and get a quest, which they can't pay for. So, they offer the quest giver a deal. He'll get a percentage of the profits from any treasure they find (he'll be disappointed when the RNG ends up with them finding a wooden dagger, a used condom and a Solid Snake Dakimakura with stains in odd spots) in exchange for the quest. He agrees, but first he gives them some simple work to get them out of debt. All they have to do is fetch some hot spring water. Before you can say “something will definitely go askew” things go wrong and the group finds themselves with a far more difficult job than they imagined. Who could have foreseen this besides everyone?
The big issue with the series is simply that a lot of it is rather predictable. There might be one twist that you won't see coming a mile away. Most of the events that happen are just so bog standard that they're really obvious if you have any experience with fantasy works. Another issue is that the OVA is meant to be comedic but it's not all that funny. The jokes are just mundane.
That being said, the OVA does have a strong aesthetic sense. It does manage to capture the whole “old school D&D inspired RPG” feel pretty nicely. And it does capture your attention pretty successfully. Don't imagine it could maintain that if it were much longer, but with four episodes it can manage.
There isn't much to say about the cast. Clay is the leader. Pastel is the good, caring woman. Trapp is the one who causes friction. Knoll is the gentle giant. Rumy is the childish one. Kitton is the amnesiac who, oddly enough, knows the most about adventuring. Okay, let's be fair to the others. He only knows how to handle the shit they encounter because he carries a strategy guide. Oh, and the antagonist is basically motivated by boredom. I know how he feels. I always build doomsday devices and hold the world for ransom when my Internet goes down.
The OVA doesn't look bad. It's not good looking either. The action sequences are a bit lazy and the character designs aren't very interesting. They look like someone was trying to make the most generic D&D characters they could, except without the Drizzt clone because literally everyone hates the person who plays as a Drizzt clone. About the only exception is Shiro. He looks like a cuter, more canine version of Nall from Lunar Silver Star. Except this came out first, so I guess I should be saying Nall looks like a less cute, more feline version of Shiro. I actually do like Shiro's design.
I can't really complain about the acting. They got some good people like Touma Yumi, Canna Nobutoshi, Nishihara Kumiko & Furukawa Toshio. I don't think anyone is going to point to this OVA as the best performance in any of their careers but they're perfectly capable. The music is all right.
There really isn't any. Maybe the series could develop some if the characters had compelling or somewhat complex interactions with one another, but that is not the case. It would have to be betwixt the lads, though, since there are only two major female characters and one is a child.
Fortune Quest is not a bad series. If you're really starving for something short of the fantasy persuasion, it might serve you. But there are a lot of better fantasy comedies out there. JC Staff has been involved with at least two franchises that fit that description. The Slayers & Mahou Senshi Louie. That being said, it's not bad either. And there are probably as many fantasy franchises that are worse than it as there are better. So, again, if you're really desperate it probably won't be intolerable by any degree. For myself, I give it an indifferent 5/10. Next week, Witch Hunter Robin.