Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV episode 5

Rating: A-

Over the course of the franchise, Bell Cranel has fought a number of epic battles, but in most of those he has been fighting from the underdog position. The circumstances are always desperate, the foe is always stronger, and the look of grim determination is always on his face. But not this time. This Bell is calm and collected despite facing a magic stone-boosted Enhanced Species which gave even a level-boosted Aisha a hard time. For the first time this season, everything is in sync for him, and he is, if not the master of the situation, at least not at its mercy, either. He takes the lessons he has learned since his fight with Asterios and puts them to good use in another spectacular show against the Moss Huge. After watching that fight, it’s not at all hard to understand why the middle parts of the episode seemed to be skimping on the fight animation. The animators were saving their efforts for this.

But Bell isn’t the only one who gets to show off this time. We finally get to learn what Haruhime’s new spell – Kokonoe – is, and it’s worth the wait: an enchantment which allows her to apply another spell she knows to a number of targets equal to the number of mystical fox tails she can manifest (currently five). Anything in an RPG which can turn a single-target spell into even a dual-target one is potent, usually requiring the spending of limited-use points or or higher spell slots; to put this in perspective, a Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition spell which can be multi-targeted this way would require a slot four levels higher than normal (for example, 8th level instead of 4th) to accomplish what Haruhime is doing here. Add that to how incredibly strong a Level Boost is in this setting and you have a group buff worthy of its lengthy casting time and playing defense just to allow her to use it. (And it’s perfectly understandable why Aisha didn’t want anyone knowing about it, too.) Under any other circumstances, this would be a game-changer, but the Moss Huge is clever enough to get around even that. Unfortunately for him, Bell’s arrival is imminent, and Welf still has an ice magic sword left to seal off the Moss Huge’s retreat.

As fun as the fight is to watch, the exact finishing move Bell comes up with is even more satisfying. Hestia Knife is a unique weapon that is a symbol of Bell’s bond with his goddess, and Hestia is the goddess of the sacred flame of the hearth. (In fact, her Roman equivalent Vesta was even sometimes regarded as the physical manifestation of the hearth flame.) Combining his Argonaut skill and Firebolt spell with Hestia Knife to create a super-charged flaming blade is a sweet combo move, and the name for it – Argo Vesta – symbolizes the unity of its origins from both himself and Hestia. Like many previous major fights, this one is very much the summation of what Bell has experienced to date. Certainly doesn’t hurt that Keiji Inai’s musical score is in its finest form during both Bell’s fight and the earlier one by his companions, either. Almost lost in all of this is that Lily gets another fine character moment in the midst of all of this and Marie gets to make one more cameo appearance as well.

This mostly – but not entirely! – completes the adaptation of novel 12. All that’s left is a relatively short epilogue (certainly not warranting more than a few minutes of episode time), but it’s a big one which sets up the rest of the arc. Since the end of that would make a perfect episode-ending cliffhanger, I’m curious to see what the adaptation will do with the next episode.

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