Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in A Dungeon Vol. 3 - Manga Review

Armed with an awesome new knife courtesy of Hestia, Bell and his new supporter Lilliluka venture ever farther into the dungeons. Will Hestia be able to get the romance she wants with all of this new focus on him?

The Lowdown

Bell’s adventuring has been going great thanks to the powerful and expensive knife he received from his goddess Hestia as a symbol of her devotion to her one follower. With Eina in tow, he heads into town to pick out some armour to complete his outfit, discovering Hestia working away to pay back her debt for the knife. Afterwards, Bell is propositioned by Lilliluka, a supporter looking for an adventurer to work for. Taking her up on her offer, Bell forges deeper into the dungeon with this mysterious girl. Meanwhile, Hestia sees all the attention that Bell is getting and despairs, plotting ways to keep him with her against all of the female attention he’s been getting.

How Was It?

While light on the overall story, Dungeon Vol. 3 continues Hestia and Bell’s enjoyable tale as Bell attempts to go deeper into the dungeon. New character Lilliluka is an interesting addition to the cast, providing a funny and mysterious foil to Bell as he journeys deeper into the dungeon. Their interactions are quite enjoyable, and her character is tough to read thanks to an overt effort by the author to foreshadow hidden intent. While somewhat predictably this leads to trouble for Bell as Lilliluka has a history of trouble with her familia, this still added an interesting wrinkle to help make the Bell’s adventuring a little more engaging with the added conversation. While it doesn’t do a whole lot to advance the story, Bell’s exploring is still interesting thanks to this addition, even if he hasn’t actually tried to pick up any girls yet.

Meanwhile, a significant part of this volume is spent showing Hestia’s perspective as she pines after her beloved Bell. While this is hilarious to see as her frustration grows to entertainingly extreme degrees, there isn’t a whole lot of depth to this storyline. At its core, Hestia more or less likes Bell because she considers him a swell guy, and while this is nice and all there isn’t a whole lot to see her beyond a surface level. For something that takes up as much of the volume as it does, I was hoping for a little more depth to her feelings which never really arrived in an important way. Similarly, Bell and Hestia’s eventual date was funny and enjoyable in a simplistic sort of way because there isn’t a whole lot of context given for their feelings for one another, making the entire thing feel like a diversion, although undeniably an enjoyable one.

One of the weakness’ of this series so far is that it lacks a sense of urgency, and this volume doesn’t do a whole lot to remedy this. There isn’t really a driving plot beyond Bell’s ongoing quest to become stronger, and although one chapter alludes to a sinister goddess plotting to steal Bell away it all feels rather divorced from this lighthearted tale. The whole familia system feels a little bit vague still at this point, not really affecting a whole lot in a tangible way despite its seeming importance to all of the characters. While the different familias are again alluded to in this volume, we never really get a tangible sense of any of them, making it difficult for me to really get invested with this. The world seems to have so much potential but without a stronger driving plotline it all feels lacking in depth at three volumes in as this volumes doesn’t do much to remedy this.

Kunieda’s art continues to be a roundly enjoyable highlight of this series, with character’s expressions vividly portrayed to entertaining effect. Much of the humour continues to come from the incredibly exaggerated expression portrayed, and I found it hilariously endearing to watch Hestia’s dramatic range of expressions as she pines after Bell.

While the action scenes aren’t particularly numerous or consequential to the plot of this volume, they were still enjoyable because of the fluidity which Kunieda imbues them with. The art also does a great job creating a feeling of magic and adventure inside of the dungeon as Bell fights against its various denizens, and while there are no massive battles to be seen these scenes were still fun to see.

Final Thoughts

Dungeon Vol. 3 is undeniably a fun continuation of the series, but it just doesn’t feel like there is a whole lot of substance to be seen here. While I enjoyed Bell, Hestia and Lilliluka’s respective interactions, there isn’t really an obvious overarching plot to create a meaningful sense of progression for these characters. This shouldn’t preclude fans of the series from enjoying this volume one bit as their interactions are still quite funny and enjoyable, but I can’t help but wish there was a little more to this volume than what it ended up being.


Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Vol. 3 was published by Yen Press on November 17th, 2015. 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 4 will be published in English on February 23rd, 2016.

Verdict:

B

Date of Publication: November 17th, 2015

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