Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? II
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 3 of
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (TV 2) ?
There's a lot of good stuff going on in this episode, so it's really a shame they don't take their time to pace it out better. Basically three major events go down this week: Lili is rescued from Soma Familia, the terms of the War Game are laid out, and Hestia gets a few new additions to her familia. That the three are all interrelated is so evident that I probably didn't have to mention it, but what's interesting about it is the way that things all connect.
Technically, a few of these threads have been being followed since season one and only now are we seeing why certain events were so important. Perhaps the most major is the Pass Parade incident in the dungeon with Takemikazuchi Familia. We've known that they've been feeling badly about the whole thing since it happened, especially since the two gods are friends, and now with Hestia and her sole familia member having to go up against Apollo's significantly larger and more organized forces, along with his petty declaration that Hestia may only have help from a familia outside Orario, she and Bell are in desperate need of additional troops. That's partly why she's so desperate to get Lili back from Soma Familia, who captured her last week, although it may not be strictly right to say that she's hoping that will force Soma to release Lili from her contract.
Lili's basically gotten a raw deal from her affiliation from day one. She was born into Soma Familia rather than choosing it, and Soma barely knows who she is. Although we're not fully given the information here, we can infer that he finds most of his children boring because all they want is his divine wine – they're with him because they're addicted to it, not because they value him as a god. That's why his test for Lili is to repeat her request of him (stop the fight in the courtyard/ask to leave) after having consumed a cup of wine. If she can do that, she'll have proven more interesting than pretty much everyone else. It's also perhaps a bit of punishment for Soma himself, because after having proven that she's stronger and more interesting (to him), he'll have to let her go. Granted, he may be hoping that she won't repeat her request for that – I do think he heard it the first time she made it; he just was letting his Evil Commander do the talking – but after the way his familia's treated Lili, it would be nice if there was an element of atonement to his actions.
Lili overcoming the divine wine should have been one of the most impressive moments for her to date, and if we think about what she did, it certainly is. But it's also symptomatic of what's wrong with this particular episode, which is that nothing is quite given the time it deserves given how major most of these events are. If you think about it, in at least two cases here people are doing things, defying gods, that are nearly unheard of: Lili becomes one of the first people to overcome Soma's wine and Welf successfully leaves Hephaistos Familia to join Hestia Familia. Yes, leaving Hephaistos for one of her friends' familias is much easier than, say, if Ais wanted to leave Loki Familia for Hestia (or anyone), but it's still a big deal and deserved a bit more fanfare. It's not a surprise that he (or Lili) want to make the switch, but that they can should be. (It's worth noting that while Loki, being Loki, is egging on the whole War Game thing, Hephaistos is absent from the whole Denatus ordeal.)
Bell himself is largely absent from these major events, off training with Ais and Tione. That's not a huge detriment to the episode, however, since mostly it needs to be Hestia handling things and the other gods scrambling to deal with Apollo's sheer unreasonableness. He is a twit and, as everyone keeps saying, petty, and at this point it shouldn't be a surprise that other gods who aren't Loki are starting to get mildly annoyed. I do wonder if Loki kept her mouth shut if the other gods might not have been a bit more outwardly sympathetic to Hestia, but really, she wouldn't be Loki if she did. Fortunately the Greco-Roman pantheon has a trickster of their own, and it looks as if Hermes not only gives good dance pointers, but may just come to the rescue as well.
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