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Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV
Episode 16

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 16 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

A few scenes from the source novel for this set of episodes stick with me, and we cover one of them this week. Bell and Ryu ransacking the corpses of the dead adventurers in the dungeon is one of the clearest signs of how vicious and unforgiving life can be below the surface. There are no guarantees that doing everything right will get you home safely. Bell comments that the dead had plenty of food and potions left, and we can see that they were well-equipped – they even had a map. So what went wrong?

As always, Ryu provides the dose of clarity: she points out that the one potion missing from their stockpile is an antidote. She extrapolates that the adventurers were poisoned, with two succumbing and the third opting to commit suicide rather than waste away all alone. It's a horrible end, especially for that last man, who faced the looming reality of his own end long before he picked up his dagger. Nothing is assured when people venture into the dungeon, and they are the sad, skeletal proof of it.

Of course, neither Bell nor Ryu wants to loot their corpses, but I wonder if the dead would mind. Ryu and Bell try to make it so that their robbing of the bodies means that the dead can at least send word back to the living; just because they can't make out the Familia crest on the back of the map doesn't mean that the Guild won't be able to piece things together. But it's the silent moments that drive the point home – Ryu doesn't comment on finding the miniature in the dead woman's hand, but we see it hit her hard, and later Bell notices that the woman's corpse has been laid out, arms crossed over her chest with the portrait beneath them. It's Ryu's tribute to the lost and her meager offer of comfort, either to the dead in front of her or for her own dead, who, from what we've seen thus far, were in no shape to be laid out peacefully. Whether the deceased care or not is less important than the effect tending to them has on the living. The tenderness Ryu exhibits says more about her experience with loss than anything else, especially when we contrast it with Bell's more ham-handed approach.

We all have our own ghosts and demons. As Ryu is nursing hers in the Deep Levels, Welf struggles with his own as he forges a magic sword unlike any other he's made under extreme pressure. Yes, part of that pressure comes from the fact that the rest of his party is literally fighting to give him the chance, but the more dangerous elements come from inside his head. Hephaistos may be there encouraging him, but our insecurities often overpower outside voices, and his baggage about being a Crozzo and issues with forging magic blades stand to overpower the answers the quieter voices know. It's not as striking as Ryu's part of the episode. Still, it's just as important because, ultimately, the ability to keep moving depends upon Welf's ability to turn the ore into something that will save them all.

Everyone seems to have their way forward now, even the dead. Whether the groups will be able to meet and how much Ryu's trauma will hobble her remain to be seen, and with her party of two setting out into the White Palace, that's a ticking bomb that we'll have to hope doesn't go off.


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

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