Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? II
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 5 of
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (TV 2) ?
Let us take a moment to honor the one character who worked harder than anyone else to make this episode safe to broadcast: the wooden bucket. When Hestia has Goibhniu renovate her familia's new Home (a choice that makes excellent mythologic sense, since he's the Irish god of metalsmithing and is associated with hospitality), she makes sure to add in the special touches requested of her children. Welf, obviously, wants a smithy, but Mikoto asks for an Eastern-style cedar bathhouse, and that, of course means plenty of scenes that take place there, because the show's fanservice can't hang entirely from Hestia's boob string. But this isn't a fanservice-heavy show, so steps must be taken to preserve the innocence of the viewers, and DanMachi is ready to go the extra mile. No concealing shadows or sparkling fog for this series! Instead we have an army of rubber duckies, well placed hands, and, of course, the arm of one very special wooden bucket. Breasts, butts, and crotches are all shielded from our gaze with its sturdy construction, and it even manages to do double-duty, hopping over to the men's bath to protect us from the sight of Bell and Welf's nakedness. Truly, the wooden bucket is the unsung hero of this episode.
That's probably a good thing, because Hestia sure isn't filling that role this week. When Mikoto is scrambling to find her clothes in order to welcome prospective familia members, she stumbles upon Hephaistos' bill for the Hestia Knife, revealing to all and sundry that the goddess is 200 million valis in debt. It's a poorly timed revelation – Hestia may have been embarrassing everyone with her excited antics prior to the reveal, but she also stood to gain a huge number of children, even if Lili was looking askance at some of the ladies. But no one wants a goddess with that much debt, and the opportunity is lost, which all of them are going to regret very soon, as the end of the episode implies.
Every series does need to have transition episodes between exciting storylines, but I feel like this could have been a transitional half-episode, or at least spent some time going over the bits and pieces that the previous arc just sort of slipped past, a few of which stand to be important details depending on how far into the novels this season adapts. While Mikoto's love of her Eastern-style bath is perhaps more relevant that it appears (if only because of what it says about her feelings for where she comes from), there are still pieces that we're missing that I'm a bit surprised haven't come up. Although I do try to leave the source books out of these reviews as much as possible (on the assumption that not everyone is a reader as well as a viewer), I also think that leaving these things out may be doing those who haven't read the books at least a mild disservice.
In all of the relative fluff of this episode, we do touch on one very important point. That's the way that Bell feels about his fellow familia members and Hestia, and how he sees himself as being carried rather than pulling his weight. While we know that isn't true, the fact that Bell doesn't see himself as being anything great despite his accomplishments (he's just hit Level 3, which is no small feat) says a lot about his personality. He's the kind of guy who's always going to do his best without realizing how much good he's able to do, someone who charges ahead even when he's convinced victory is impossible because he genuinely cares. That's what draws people to him and always has been – when he's the only person who believes Cassandra's prophecy, that's the second time we've seen him believe in someone no one else has: it's what he did for Lili when they first met. It may be called Hestia Familia, but Bell is its heart, and that's something that Mikoto is going to be thankful for going forward.
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