Is It Wrong to Try To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV episode 12

The first half left off on one hell of a double-cliffhanger: Bell and Ryu are stranded in the Deep Levels, while the rest of Bell’s expedition must face off against the floor boss of the Great Falls, the double-headed dragon Amphisbaena, without him. There’s plenty of despair to go around!

Though both sides get addressed to some degree, the bulk of the attention is on the Amphisbaena fight. This is a classic “the troops must rally” scenario, but this time they must do it without their normal leader to inspire them. Aisha finds she’s not the one who can do it, in part, I think, because her approach is too practical. That Welf is the one who gets the ball rolling is a little bit of a surprise, but he’s right that they have to prove that they don’t need to rely on Bell as a finisher, and that fits with his character. Daphne is the other star here, as she first rallies their Commander (Liliruca) and then their resident pessimist (Cassandra). That results in one hell of a beautifully-choreographed fight, one which mostly smoothly mixes CG with 2D and 3D effects as the team dodges and strikes against the dragon while avoiding its devastating combo of napalm and anti-magic breath weapons. This is how fantasy battles should look, and I cannot say enough about the excellent variations on the franchise’s core adventure musical theme which are used to back the battle.

13 floors below, Bell’s situation is even more desperate, though he and Ryu are stuck in a bit of a holding pattern. The series nails the ambiance of the Deeper Levels and delivers a convincing sense of desperation; how will those two rally, since overcoming despair is the prevailing theme so far? But not much actually happens here until the Juggernaut arrives. Really, the series has just extended the cliffhanger on that front to the next episode. That connects to the one minor negative in the Great Falls fight: for a franchise not known for lengthy battles, it sure seems to be stretching things out. I’m giving it some leeway here because the execution is high enough and the themes in play are worked in well enough.

But those are not the only interesting things going on. Hestia is visiting the Hostess of Fertility to let Ryu’s fellow staffers in on what’s happening below – or at least as far as Ryu being accused, anyway. Curious that she approaches the maids Anya (brown-haired catgirl), Chloe (brunette catgirl), and Lunor (human) about getting reinforcements, isn’t it? All three are briefly shown in the new OP in battle pose, so it looks like we’re going to find out that Ryu is far from the only tavern waitress that can hold her own in a fight. The OP and the ED also both show a bunch of characters that will be new to anime-only viewers. The presence of those characters, and the presence of Ryu with longer hair, both strongly suggest that this season may delve more deeply into Ryu’s backstory to help fill up space. As long as that doesn’t bog down the pace, I welcome it, as understanding where Ryu’s coming from is going to be critical to understanding what goes on the rest of this season.

Overall, this is a strong return to action for the franchise, even if it is stretching things just a little.

Rating: A-

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: