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Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side: Sword Oratoria, Vol. 6 (light novel) Paperback – June 26, 2018
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About the Author
Fujino Omori is the author of the hilarious fantasy light novel series, Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
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For the novel click here: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Vol. 3 (novel).
For the manga click here: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Vol. 3 (manga).
Note: Another reason for purchasing both is that some manga volumes include text pieces apparently cut from the novels. For example Vol. 3 (manga) includes a Special Episode "An Elf's Story" apparently cut from Chapter 2 of Vol. 2 (novel). This story is particularly significant because it adds a heretofore unsuspected member to the would-be harem Bell is so clueless about, thus helping to explain her actions later in the series.
Note: An animated TV series has also been produced in Japan and made available at various digital outlets in this country though not yet officially released on home video. Having seen it, I can assert that it is excellent also and tracks the light novels and manga very well, though of necessity it cuts out the most story. TV episodes 7-8 are the adaptation of this novel.
Dungeons & Dragons the Fantasy Roleplaying Game has inspired countless novels and stories (and a hilarious comedy sketch about some gamers with goals somewhat similar to Bell's on Take Down The Grand Master by The Dead Alewives), not to mention an entire industry of roleplaying games, but very few good novels and stories incorporating anything of the game system itself. In fact I'd venture to say that this series is the first success at it and a true joy to read for gamers and non-gamers alike, besides.
The story continues from Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Vol. 2 (novel).
Just as predicted, Lilly had betrayed Bell in the final chapter of the previous novel, and just as no one had predicted, Bell turned around and saved her from what even she had considered her well deserved fate. Now a still guilt wracked Lilly has to face the judgment of Bell's goddess, Hestia. Hestia frankly HATES Lilly, both for what she did to her beloved Bell-kun and for what she now is: yet another rival for Bell's affections, but in the end has little choice but to accept Bell's choice if she would avoid causing a rift with him. Wisely, she chooses to make the best of it, ordering Lilly to guard the gullible Bell from scam artists like she used to be. Hestia's warnings to Lilly to back off pursuing Bell romantically, however, fall on considerably deafer ears.
Next, thanks in part to Eina Tulle's lecturing on manners, Bell for once doesn't bolt (well, not successfully, anyway) when he sees her talking with his multiple rescuer and crush, Aiz Wallenstein. So Aiz FINALLY gets to apologize for endangering him, and he gets to thank her for all the times she's saved him. Relieved to find that he doesn't fear her as some kind of monster, she offers to train him in fighting, something he's never had the opportunity to receive. Her motives aren't ENTIRELY pure, however. She wants to know how he's getting so strong so fast (it turns out Bell's not the only adventurer driving himself to excel); trouble is he doesn't actually know because Hestia hasn't told him yet. The upshot is a good solid week's worth of sparring, that is, Bell getting the living crap beaten out of him, but because of his secret skill and because he stubbornly keeps coming back for more every time he regains consciousness, he does learn, he does improve, and though Aiz fails to discover his secret, she does, as her oft worried friends in Lokia Familia note, appear to be having fun for the first time in forever.
Which is a good thing because the Goddess of Beauty, Freya, who is becoming more and more obsessed with Bell, decides it is time to "improve" Bell some more by getting him to face his (understandable) fear of Minotaurs by having him fight a Minotaur her best warrior has been secretly training. In the event Lily gets the chance to feel she has earned at least some of the redemption she has received and Bell gets the chance to face down his greatest fear right smack in front of his secret crush and the Lokia Familia members who laughed at him before. It's a storybook climax!
The adventure continues in Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Vol. 4 (novel).
Picking up shortly after the second volume ends, Bell Cranell and his new supporter, Lilly, are dungeon-crawling together to earn money. Despite their successes, Bell finds himself at a tough position. He wants to get stronger and level up, but he constantly sees how weak he truly is. Not only does Aiz seem so incredibly distant and unattainable, but he is tormented by his fears due to the near-death he suffered in the first book. Thankfully, he's about to get some help from an unexpected, but ideal, source.
I loved the expansion in the world-building and characterization in this third volume of *Dungeon*. We saw new facets to many characters. Aiz, in a preview of what she is like in her own series eventually, gives a stoic and slightly goofy, but ultimately good-hearted heroine. I mean, even when her motives are not *entirely* pure, her resolve to do right and be kind and pure makes her truly good regardless. We also see some hidden depths to Bell with his struggles, and we see that, despite her goofy demeanor, Hestia *is* a goddess still and not to be trifled with or underestimated. Of course, this is true for all of the deities, even with their powers sealed. And Lily? Well, she went from just tragic and sad to a hoot to read about.
Finally, the fight at the end was truly epic and kick-ass. *And* there is advancement in Bell's hopes to have some contact with Aiz Wallenstein. This was a great voliume that is one of my faves in the series. Highly Recommended.
Rating: 5/5 Stars.
With good pacing and very good translation, the book is engaging with only a few parts that you need to re-read in order to understand the writer's original intent, which is always something to keep in mind when reading a book translated from it's intended language. Unless you have some grounding in Japanese culture, you may find some of the behaviors of the characters to be confusing, but in my opinion this is slight compared to other light novels that I have read. While the main character may be considered overpowered for his rank by the time of this book, the author goes to great lengths to put the character in situations and circumstances that push him to the limits in a believable manner that feels natural.
This was one of the best stories of the lot, with many twist, and the usual humor you come to expect. I can not wait for the next one and the next season of the anime.