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Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV
Episodes 12-14

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV (TV 5) ?
Community score: 4.4

How would you rate episode 13 of
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV (TV 5) ?
Community score: 4.6

How would you rate episode 14 of
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV (TV 5) ?
Community score: 4.6

danmachi-iv-ep-12-14
© Fujino Omori/SB Creative Corp./Danmachi4 Project

The deep levels are no joke. Not that any floor in the dungeon is to be taken lightly; as we have seen demonstrated over and over during the run of this series, the dungeon holds dangers that are underestimated at the risk of your life, whether that's from things like the passing parade in season one or irregular monsters. To go into the dungeon is truly to take one's life into one's own hands. But the deep levels are a whole new degree of dangerous. Bell and Ryu are only down there for a short time before they learn the hard way that everything is magnitudes of order worse than anything seen before. The first monster they encounter is a skull sheep. While real-world sheep may only be moderately dangerous if provoked, the skull sheep is not only creepy looking but also very definitely carnivorous. Watching one bite a chunk out of Bell's shoulder may not be the bloodiest thing we've seen in this show, but it is one of the most visceral.

It would be one thing if the entire party was down there, but that's not what's happening. Following the attack of the Juggernaut, Bell and Ryu alone tumbled downward, and now they're stuck in a place where they have no map, no support, and very little concrete knowledge of what they need to do to get back to safer territory. That they're in a lot of trouble is driven home in a horrible fashion when, after following the flickering light of a magic stone lantern, they stumble upon the corpses of three adventurers who perished in the deep levels. They've been there long enough that they have skeletonized and their lantern dies shortly after its final flickers drew Bell and Ryu to their resting place. That their deaths were not easy it's abundantly clear and seeing the two living adventurers settle down against the wall in positions hauntingly similar to those skeletons seems like anything but a good sign.

Unsurprisingly, the situation causes Ryu to dream about her lost Familia. We see her briefly in her younger and more innocent days before she cut her hair and stopped wearing pants. How we are introduced to Aline, the captain of the now-gone Astrea Familia, indicates that Ryu's past will be doled out in pieces as the story progresses rather than having episodes dedicated solely to it. That would make a lot of sense with the way that the season is running thus far; rather than having episodes that focus only on one of the two groups that were following, these three episodes share the runtime between the two, letting us know what's going on with both halves of the separated party. Doing the same with Astrea Familia would add another parallel line to enhance our understanding of what's happening and the risks thereof.

We already see this in episode fourteen, where we can compare and contrast Cassandra's and Ryu's reactions to their situations. Cassandra, as always, is caught up in her latest prophecy and trying to figure out what it means, with no real expectation that anyone will believe her. Meanwhile, Ryu is half hope and half agony, trying not to give up while simultaneously already doing so where it concerns herself. She doesn't say that she needs to get out of the deep levels with Bell, only that she needs to find a way to get him out. This may indicate that her survivor's guilt from being the sole remaining member of Astrea Familia is taking over; she's already lived through one unthinkable tragedy; therefore, she doesn't deserve to live through this one, whereas Bell does. It may be up to him to show her that they can both come out of this alive, something potentially foreshadowed in Daphne's decision to believe in Cassandra's prophecy. Mythologically speaking, this is game-changing because the specifics of the curse Apollo laid upon Cassandra were that her prophecies would always be accurate, but no one would ever believe them. To have Daphne change her mind and agree with Cassandra shows that they are breaking his hold on them. Cassandra and Daphne were ill-used by Apollo in their respective myths, and seeing even this version of them overcoming his stranglehold on their narratives is wonderful.

Help is on the way, although whether it gets to anyone in time is up in the air. But the people Bell left behind are coming into their own – Haruhime's appearance from within the blue flames is nothing short of breathtaking - and Bell and Ryu are unlikely to let some sharp-toothed sheep write the end of their story. And after all, if Cassandra can break Apollo's curse, anything we think we know about these characters and the lore they come from could change at any second – in a good way.

Rating:

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


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