Success brings with it a whole new set of problems.
After his victory over the minotaur, Bell is now level-two and with it comes the attention of not only the gods but all of Orario as well. Knowing that the floors of the Labyrinth below the lower twelfth become increasingly difficult and that it will require a larger party, the search for new members begins. Just who can Bell and Lilly trust?
Following the incredibly action-packed conclusion of volume 3, volume 4 turns its focus to the much calmer but equally important task of world building and exposition. The first chapter is spent not with Bell or the other adventurer, but instead with Hestia and a number of the other gods during an event know as Denatus. It really just boils down to a regular meeting that gods and goddesses of Orario are free to attend, as long as their Familia contains at least one level- two adventurer. As this is Hestia’s first time participating we get to experience the strange and radical eccentricities of the gods along with her. As much as I have complained about Hestia being my least favorite character in this series, the first chapter does a lot to repair my opinion of her.
What the first chapter accomplishes most is as a window into how the gods and goddesses act when there are no adventurers around to see them. The meeting, Denatus, has two primary purposes, the sharing of important information among the gods that reside in Orario and selecting the new names for adventurers that reach level-two or higher, but in reality the meeting started off as just a way for the gods to alleviate boredom and that fact shows. While some business actually does happen, much of the meeting is spent talking of rumors and otherwise making fun of each other and the adventurers. The best part of this whole sequence is the naming process, where it is discovered that many of the gods attend the meeting for the sole purpose of acting as trolls, doing their best to make sure the adventurers of other gods end up with the most ridiculous names they can think of. One other notable point from this whole affair is how the other gods view Freya, positively from the male half and negatively from the female, and that she has subtly made her interest of Bell made know, something that Hestia does not miss, thanks to her good friend Hephaistos.
The remainder of the volume is spent with Bell as he gets used to the attention that comes with his sudden and spectacular rise to level-two and with finding another suitable person to join him and Lilly as they venture into the next stage of the Labyrinth. Between these two the later takes up much more time, but the pages given to the former is well used. Though Fujino Omori’s treatment of fame is in no way subtle, it still manages to convey the worry that both Bell and his companions are experiencing, while allowing one of Bell’s defining characteristic, that of believing in others first and foremost, spend some time once again at center stage. This trust in placed in Wolf Crozzo, a blacksmith from the Hephaistos Familia, that has a complicated backstory all his own.
First off I want to say that I really like Wolf as a character, the bromance that he and Bell form is just want this series was in need of. There were just too many women around Bell and basically no other prominent men, even though this is and always will be a harem, the protagonist still needs his wingman. With the inclusion of Wolf into the cast of characters, the storytelling becomes a bit more balanced and Bell finally has someone that he can confide in, allowing him to open up a lot more about his thoughts then he ever would otherwise. Add to this some fun banter between Wolf and Lilly and the three party members feel like a real party very quickly. This is emphasized during a couple of short fight scenes, which lack the intimacy, tension and length that accompanied the previous fights in the series, but still do a good job of showing the power increase that Bell has undergone and demonstrates that the three of them can fight together as a single unit.
You may be thinking, “is that it?” Why yes, it is. While volume 4 does a great job with its continued world building and the introduction of an important and interesting new character, Wolf Crozzo, it stops before anything else really happens. Simply put, volume 4 suffers for being the set-up for the next one. Right at the very moment you think something is going to happen, about three-fourths of the way through the volume, it just ends and instead we are met with two short stories, which are nice and all, but feel like a consolation prize. For anyone reading this series I am not recommending skipping this one. But I will say it might be better to just wait for volume 5 and read the two of them at the same time.
Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Vol. 4 was published by Yen Press on December 15th, 2015. Authored by Fujino Omori and illustrated by Suzuhito Yasuda the series is currently ongoing and published by SB Creative Corp. The book series received a one-cour anime adaptation in Spring 2015; volume four corresponds to episode 9. Volume 5 will be available in English starting April 19th, 2016.
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