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Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV
Episode 15

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 15 of
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV (TV 5) ?
Community score: 4.5

©Fujino Omori/SB Creative Corp./Danmachi4 Project

The past is always with us in the present, whether we know it or not. For Ryu, that means that she's constantly aware of the events that brought her to where she currently is, in a world without Astrea Familia, and she lives more in the past than in the present. That's something that this arc of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? seems to be charging into full force, and her entire part in episode fifteen is to dream of a past she's helpless to prevent. In her sleep, Ryu relives the fatal moment when Alise, captain of Astrea Familia, announces that the Guild has asked them to check out what Evilus and Rudra Familia are up to on the twenty-seventh floor, and Ryu is helpless to stop them. It's a nightmare moment, made all the worse because we know true horror is still to come.

This episode finishes drawing a parallel between Astrea Familia's tragedy and Hestia Familia's current situation. Although Hestia Familia and friends didn't live through what Ryu did, they do at least tangentially know of the event, and it may be that that's what is allowing them to carry on and keep forging ahead. At least Aisha has that information to fall back on, and as the most experienced member of the party, she's aware that her role is to support the others and teacher-voice them when they're at risk of falling apart. Having her there may make the biggest difference for them because her stern calm allows Welf to cut through the panic he's feeling and remember what his former god, Hephaistos, told him about being a smith: if he's got fire, ore, and a hammer, he can do anything he needs to.

In many ways, the difference we see between Ryu's memories and Hestia Familia's present is that a wider variety of people supports Hestia Familia. They have members of three separate Familias present, giving them a greater pool of philosophies and talents to draw upon. They're also motivated not just by the job they have to do but by their determination to reach Bell – Lily's near-breakdown comes when the possibility of his rescue is ripped away from her. At that moment, Lily looks awfully like Ryu when all hope is lost, and when it's pointed out that no one has actually seen Bell's corpse, she understands that she's still got hope. Ryu was deprived of even that, and Aisha helping Lily to see that a sliver of it still exists for her is where the two paths diverge. Having that million-to-one chance can be enough.

Bell and Ryu have taken a backseat here, and while that makes sense – they need to heal – it is also a little frustrating. Bell's realization that threats are enough to make Deep Level monsters back off is important, but it still leaves him without much to do this week. On the other hand, he's holed up in a relatively safe place while his Familia is fighting off kelpies (water horses from Scottish mythology), lizardmen, and giant toothy beavers, so his danger is a little less pressing. (If you're curious, there is at least one beaver monster in First Nations folklore, Wechuge from Northern Athabascan lore.) Still, it would be nice to see these episodes divvy their time up a bit more evenly since this is the tack the adaptation has decided to take, although, with strong scenes like Lily's near breakdown, it's hard to complain about the job the show is doing overall.


Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV is currently streaming on HIDIVE.

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