Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? On The Side: Sword Oratoria, Vol. 7

By Fujino Omori and Kiyotaka Haimura. Released in Japan as “Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darou ka? Gaiden – Sword Oratoria” by Softbank Creative. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Liv Sommerlot.

First of all, I apologize, as it turns out I’ve been crediting the wrong illustrator for this series all along. The main series does indeed have illustrations by Suzuhito Yasuda, but this side story uses Kiyotaka Haimura, the illustrator of the A Certain Magical Index series, instead. Honestly, it’s pretty obvious if you just look at the style – it feels very Index-ey. As for the content, this takes place just before the events in the 7th book of the main series, and involves the Loki Familia hunting down more evidence on the Evils and the other things they’ve spent the last six books trying to deal with. Unfortunately, though most of the book is a dungeon crawl, it’s not the main dungeon they have to deal with here, but one created by Daedalus, and it proves to be far more deadly for the familia than the lower levels of the main dungeon.

Ironically, though Aiz is alone on the cover, this isn’t really her turn to shine – she actually gets beaten up worse than ever here. In fact, that sets the tone for the book itself, which is separated into halves. The first half shows our heroes getting into big big trouble and dealing with seemingly insurmountable odds. The threat is made significant by taking out Finn early on, meaning everyone is having to rely on their wits rather than do what they’re much better at doing, which is following orders. That said, the second half shows our heroes regrouping and kicking much ass, though they don’t so much win as survive. Several of the more minor characters show off their strength – though Raul showing off his strength just leads everyone to laugh at him, alas. But it gets the point across. Unfortunately, not everyone is so fortunate – a few minor characters who’ve been around since the start are killed off in a brutal last-minute downer ending. This is not Loki Familia’s finest hour.

Loki Familia is joined in their quest by Filvis, and in case it wasn’t really obvious beforehand, Filvis has a massive crush on Lefiya that everyone but Lefiya can see. Honestly, I think that Lefiya would be much better off with Filvis, but a key running theme in the Danmachi books is that the most obvious pairing isn’t going to happen because we cannot control who we love. Lefiya loves Aiz. Likewise, as much as Finn is correct that he and Lilly would be a really awesome pairing, she loves Bell, so oh well. Much of DanMachi’s harem elements run on frustrated unrequited love, and the author is good at simply letting it speak for itself without belaboring the point.

The next volume is supposed to focus on Bete, which I’m not all that wild about, but he’s much more tolerable in this side story. I also hope that it’s just a bit lighter in tone. The last two volumes have been pretty damn bleak. For those who enjoyed DanMachi, this is a very good side story, even if you didn’t like its adaptation.

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