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Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side: Sword Oratoria, Vol. #08 Manga Review

5 min read
Uncertainty is a powerful enemy ... who can only be defeated with determination.

Uncertainty is a powerful enemy … who can only be defeated with determination.

Creative Staff:
Illustrations By: Takashi Yagi
Original Story: Fujino Omori
Character Design: Kiyotaka Haimura & Suzuhito Yasuda
Translation: Andrew Gaippe

What They Say:

With the deadly clash on the twenty-fourth floor over, Aiz and the others return to Orario to deal with their losses. However, Aiz and the rest of Loki Familia are not long for the surface, as they declare an expedition to unknown dungeon territory – floor fifty-ninth floor – in search of answers. Preparations begin, and soon the Familia sets out with allies alongside.

All the while, Aiz is still determined to spend some time with Bell. Thanks to some help from a friend and a little bit of “luck,” Aiz may actually get more than she initially hoped for …!

Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

The battle continues to violently rage between Sword Princess and red headed beast tamer Levis with neither willing to admit their weakness of succumbing to the other, however after her weapon shatters in the midst of Aiz’s ferocious onslaught this monster hybrid has no choice but to regretfully surrender. And yet as she backs from her blonde adversary the comfort of snatching victory from her defeat is just a few steps away as she gently places a hand on the central column of the northern pantry. With the same emotionless detachment she shown throughout their conflict Levis calmly slams her fist into the support creating fissures which quickly shatter the rocky confines of the cavern, allowing tons of rumble to rain down upon Aiz and her allies. While all are desperate to flee the area the two combatants cannot part eyes from each other and the tension grows until Levis breaks the silence by bluntly telling her foe to visit the fifty-ninth floor, hinting all of her questions will be answered there.

After reporting the events of the twenty-fourth floor’s pantry to the elite members of Loki Familia and receiving an appropriately embarrassing punishment from her goddess, Aiz still could not feel weak compared to Levis considering the losses Hermes Familia suffered from this failed quest. With these thoughts still weighing heavily upon her mind there was still one more thing the Sword Princess needed to accomplish – report the completion of her errand to Eina for rescuing Bell and return the armguard dropped by the white rabbit. Although the half-elf stated she would return the item to her student, Aiz still wished to do this small task all in an effort to apologize to the novice she scared so long ago after rescuing him from the minotaur, but he always ran away. Thus as the pair discussed a plan to corner the timid boy, the person in question calmly walked into the Pantheon and was immediately stunned once he saw his idol at the counter, causing him to turn and swiftly attempt to flee once again. But even his quick reflexes were no match for the speed of the Sword Princess once she found her quarry, the chase over as briskly as it had begun with the two nervous teenagers almost simultaneously apologizing for their own inadequacies and the misunderstandings of not confronting their own shyness. And yet as the silence between them became unbearable, it was Aiz who broke the stalemate and questioned how someone who clearly had only begun his solo career as an adventurer had made it to the tenth floor so rapidly. While Cranel tried to stutter forth his answer it was clear to Aiz there was something unusual behind his growth and she wanted to learn this secret, so as he attempted to clear his mind she made an unexpected proposal … to train Bell on how to get stronger.

In Summary:

While any faithful fan of the anime or light novel may be familiar with the events leading up to Aiz wanting to train Bell, it is the small details which writer Omori-sensei has woven into this volume which make the unfolding of that memory all the more powerful and spectacularly repercussive for loyal readers. Although we may subconsciously known the risks adventurers take when exploring the Dungeon, to have mangaka Yagi-sensei portray the somberness of Hermes Familia as they mourn their losses is heartbreaking and it is made all the more distressing to now comprehend they had to leave their friends behind in order to save themselves; however what makes their tragedy all the more excruciating is Lulune’s willingness to collect the reward for the quest, to see this thief genuinely enthused by the hundreds of millions of valis worth of treasure, only to recall the memory of her friends being reduced to meaningless monetary value and then break down in sincere rage and tears. The powerful impact of this devastating moment cannot but make the reader also feel the honesty portrayed so simply by such a powerful image they cannot but also wish to comfort the chientrope in this time of need. But the most moving point of the event is to show while Aiz may not be as visibly moved by the sadness, she is still motivated by the weakness they both feel for not being able to protect those who needed help at that time. It is this drive which makes her want to train Bell all the more understandable, and though she may state later it may also have been for selfish needs, this foundation makes her an honorable character and noteworthy protector.

This volume of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? On the Side: Sword Oratoria truly allows readers to reflect on the real tragedy suffered by adventurers when they feel the need to explore the Dungeon. To see members of Hermes Familia affected in such subtle ways is genuinely moving, allowing us to acknowledge while the excitement of their employment may thrilling it the understated fact death may lie around the corner, grounding this occupation with the honor it may bring. And while their may be some truly humorous moments such as seeing Aiz being embarrassed in a maid’s costume, the main focus is how the Sword Princess is now driven once again to grow stronger all to protect those she holds dear and not allow the horror which she witness to ever happen again.

Content Grade: A+
Art Grade: A+
Packaging Grade: A+
Text/Translation Grade: A-

Age Rating: Older Teen
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: August 06, 2019
MSRP: $13.00

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