Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Vol. 4 - Manga Review

Bell gains magical powers and plunges further into the dungeon! Although he’s had success so far, it seems as though Bell might have been a little bit too trusting in his travels...

The Lowdown

With the help of his new supporter Lilliuka, Bell has managed to get even stronger, venturing on increasingly risky adventures in the dungeons. Bell suddenly receives magical powers after mistakenly opening a grimoire, giving him another powerful weapon to use as he adventures. After getting cocky and going too far into the dungeon, Bell is knocked out by goblins but is saved again by Aiz Wallenstein much to his embarrassment. Meanwhile, Lilly is acting suspiciously, giving Bell one more unneeded thing to worry about on his quest to become an adventurer.

How Was It?

This volume makes up for the seeming lack of a central plot in the previous volume by delivering a well-told story, concluding Bell and Lilly’s first adventure in a satisfying and action-packed manner. Although the actual sequence of events was not a surprise in the least and was telegraphed quite blatantly, the execution of this story actually ended up being quite touching. I enjoyed that Lilly’s backstory was fleshed out at an opportune time, providing some needed context to anchor the events appropriately. This made the understanding that she eventually reaches with Bell feel earned if a little bit convenient, but the volume did a good job portraying the emotions involved with some excellent close-up scenes. The emotional catharsis at the volume was enjoyable to see, and I left the story feeling satisfied.

While the emotional beats underlying Bell and Lilly’s story were generally well done, the action-packed culmination of their storyline was the true highlight of this volume. Again, nothing of particular surprise happened here but the action was very well done and cleanly portrayed. I’ve enjoyed the way that Kunieda’s art has depicted fight scenes with a wonderful degree of clarity, and this extended to this volume as the action flowed well from one panel to another. This is backed up with appropriately detailed close-up shots that perfectly express the emotions of these characters, punctuating several of the more dramatic moments in a pleasing way.

While Bell and Lilly’s story was the main focus of this volume, I enjoyed that we finally got to see some more of powerful knight (and object of Bell’s affections) Aiz Wallenstein after having only seen her at a distance so far in the series. Interestingly, the dynamic between the two flips the “damsel-in-distress” trope around again to put Bell in the position of repeatedly being saved by Aiz, and it was funny to watch Bell overreact sheepishly upon being saved. Additionally, the volume marks the first time that we really get to see a little more of Aiz’s personality, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes as the series moves into its next arc.

One of the odder aspects of this series is that after starting off with a solid side of comedy in the first volume, this aspect of the series has more or less dropped off the map in recent volumes. As noted above, I enjoyed watching Aiz make Bell her damsel-in-distress, with her relatively blank personality making her indifference towards the entire act funny to watch. Additionally, Hestia had a few funnier moments of her own, but they were based again on her pining after Bell just as in the previous volumes. Other than that, this volume was pretty sparse but I can’t fault it too much since much of the time was spent depicting the entertaining fight scenes.

Final Thoughts

Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Vol. 4 is another entertaining volume in this series, wrapping up Bell and Lilly’s story with an enjoyably climactic finish. While the emotional stakes involved were nothing surprising, they were well portrayed and hit the emotional beats without problem. Kunieda’s art anchors this volume effectively, portraying the expressions of these characters vividly while making the action scenes feel fluid and easy to follow from panel-to-panel. It was also nice to see some more of Aiz as the series gears up for its next arc, and this volume is definitely one which will satisfy fans of the series as well as those just looking for a light-hearted action-comedy.


Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Vol. 4 was translated by Alethea and Athena Nibley and published by Yen Press on February 23rd, 2016. Authored by Kunieda and based off the original light novel by Fujino Omori and character designs by Suzuhito Yasuda, this manga adaption began in 2007 and is still ongoing in Square Enix’s Young Gangan magazine. Volume 5 will be published in English on May 24th, 2016.

Verdict:

B+

Date of Publication: February 23rd, 2016

Translator: Athena and Alethea Nibley

Author: Kunieda + Funjino Omori

Publisher: Yen Press



Matt

Matt is a broke law student by day, broke law student by night, and one of the co-founders of Taykobon in his dwindling spare time. Although his favourite series tend to be shonen adventure series, he also has a soft spot for slice-of-life shojo romances. He enjoys following the manga industry, and is a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Blue Jays in other nonexistent spare time. 

Favourite series: Bakuman

Favourite author: Io Sakisaka