Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III
by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III ?
It's a totally different genre, but in most romances, there comes a point where absolutely everything in the plot could be solved by the main characters stopping for a second to just talk to each other. Even though DanMachi is about as far from genre romance as you can get, that's the point we're at in the story this week, with most of the city of Orario determined to put a stop to something that they haven't taken the time to understand. Not that it would be easy for them to – after all, for adventurers, monsters are the enemy and always have been, so for them this has to look like a friendly raccoon approaching during daylight hours: probably rabid and definitely not something you want to approach. But that Bell, who has repeatedly defied the norms of the world, is somehow involved with these above-ground monsters is a pretty good sign that there's something else going on, if they can be bothered to stop and find out what that might be.
If anyone outside of Miach, Takemikazuchi, and Hermes' Familias is likely to make that call, it would probably be Finn. He's already figured out that Bell is most likely a diversion and he's put his trust in the idea that Ais is still too emotionally stunted to allow any feelings she might have for Bell to erode her mission in order to let her follow him and stymie whatever the Little Rookie is up to. But he's also the leader of Loki Familia, which means that he's not really at liberty to go against his goddess on a hunch, no matter how good it may be. He'd also have to go against many more years of fighting monsters and exclusively seeing them as the enemy than anyone in Hestia Familia has, and without the backing of Loki, that's not likely to happen. But we can see him really thinking about what's going on and trying to get a handle on the situation, and that definitely counts for something in the long run.
It also doesn't factor in the rest of Hestia Familia, at least not that we've seen, or the fact that Ouranos and Fels are on their side. (He may not even know about Fels; I don't think we've explicitly seen that one way or the other.) Lili's rogue status relies on others not knowing about Midnight Cinderella, her special skill, and that lets her really gum up Loki Familia's works – her masquerading as Finn himself is one of her best moments, especially since it isn't obvious what's going on until “Finn” starts skipping blithely down the stairs, a move we'd never see the real Finn do, although the episode tried to throw us off by having Finn hop down off a parapet early on in an uncharacteristically perky display. (Poor Raul, though – he's Loki Familia's perpetual underdog.) But Haruhime's still an unknown quantity and Welf's magic swords can't be predicted, to say nothing of everyone's invisibility cloaks.
Invisibility cloak or not, however, I wouldn't want to be Welf or Mikoto facing off against Gareth. That's one of the most fraught moments of set-up this week, upstaged only by the fact that Wiene has been separated from the rest of the Xenos and that Haruhime, the physically weakest member of Hestia Familia, has charged off after her. Bad idea that may be, but it is a wonderful indicator of how much Haruhime has changed since she joined Hestia Familia. She spent so much time being passive, a damsel in distress when she was with Ishtar Familia that the fact that she can disregard her own strengths and weaknesses to just go after someone she cares about shows that she's no longer the same person. She's not paralyzed by who or what she is anymore, and she's learned not just to stand up for herself, but to do the same for others, a characteristic that all members of Hestia Familia share. (Although I'm not sure Lili would ever admit it.) She may not be much help, but she's going to try, and that's something she never would have done before.
Haruhime and Bell may not be Wiene's only hope, though. Not only is Gros unlikely to relinquish his adorable new dad role with her (and this is where I'm really sad that we didn't see him and Bell reconcile; it would have made Gros' treatment of Wiene this week even sweeter), but there's someone else whom the other Xenos have lost track of. Someone whose name starts with an “A” and is awfully good at navigating labyrinths like Daedalus Street.
Even if he doesn't come for Wiene, the fact that Asterius is missing isn't something we should lose sight of. And neither should Bell.
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