Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Vol. 13

By Fujino Omori and Suzuhito Yasuda. Released in Japan as “Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darou ka?” by Softbank Creative. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Winifred Bird.

When I had reviewed the Lyu spinoff of this series, I had wondered why we did not get the actual flashback showing how her Familia were all killed, and what set her on her roaring rampage of revenge. As you read this novel, it becomes clear: the author wanted to save it till we got to this point. Picking up right where the last book left off, and not even allowing Bell and company to emerge from the Dungeon (Hestia gets a small cameo to remind us she exists), this volume points and laughs at all the people who thought that we couldn’t possibly get even more over the top. A murder that sees Lyu as the prime suspect drives a bunch of 18th floor mercenaries and adventurers to hunt her down, and Bell’s team tag along because they think something more is going on here. They’re right, but the murder investigation soon becomes secondary to something far more important: trying not to be killed and left in a bloody mess.

As noted by the author in the afterword, we also get a much larger role here for Cassandra, the adventurer who, like her namesake, has prophecies that no one ever believes. She’s aware of this, and so this time decides not to lay it all out for people (it’s hard to interpret anyway, beyond “everyone will die), and instead tries to go along and see what she can do to help stop it from happening. Sometimes this is really great – the extra armor she has Welf make for Bell (which, amusingly, is a scarf, making it look like a present from a girlfriend) is ridiculously strong, and Bell would absolutely be dead by the end of the book without it. Unfortunately, she can’t really stop a landslide once it’s actually started, and once the true monster of the book gets going, she almost completely shuts down in despair and fear.

Speaking of which, this is a very different Lyu to the one we’ve seen before. To no one’s surprise, she’s not the murderer, but that doewsn’t mean that she isn’t rampaging through the dungeons, having spotted someone she thought long dead – because she killed them all. As I noted above, here we get the full story of what happened to her Familia, and why she’s so traumatized by the whole thing – in addition to the juggernaut killing everyone, she actually “sacrificed” some of her family members to escape… or at least that’s what she and the bad guy think, I suspect the actual reality is likely a bit different. Fortunately, she has Bell by her side, who is ridiculously impressive in the fights towards the end of this book, which are mind-bogglingly good. No one writes non-stop action and deep emotions at the same time quite like Omori does. The 5th chapter is worth the price of the book alone.

Sadly, and with the author apologizing to us for doing it again, there’s a cliffhanger here, so we’ll have to wait till the summer to see how Bell and Lyu get out of this. Not to mention Cassandra and the rest of Hestia Familia are still down there. I suspect it’ll all work out, but I dunno, DanMachi can get pretty dark. It’s still in the top tier of light novels right now.

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