Episode 1 – Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV

There’s a lot to get ready for in this season of Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, so it makes sense that the first episode would be mostly about preparing. (And thank goodness there was episode 0 to get the recapping out of the way.) Fresh off of their Xenos ordeal, the members of Hestia Familia aren’t going to get too much time to recover, because they’ve done something that’s turned out to be a bit of a double-edged sword: prove themselves. After they did such an impressive job on their last Guild-assigned (secret) mission, no one seems willing to just let them sit back and rest on their laurels, and when Eina asks Bell to come see her, it’s because she’s got another mission for the Little Familia That Could. This one’s much less under-the-table, but that’s a gamble in its own way, because now all of Orario knows that Hestia Familia has been entrusted with a quest by the Guild, so if they fail, or if something goes wrong, that’s very much going to be public knowledge and could affect the familia’s standing in the city.

There’s almost certainly more to them being sent down to the middle levels than just a Guild whim, of course. Fels implies that it’s because of their work with the Xenos that Hestia Familia has been chosen for this particular mission, and they specifically say that the Xenos and adventurers cannot comfortably coexist until the last floor of the dungeon has been reached. Apparently there’s a covenant there, or at least the proof of one agreed to years ago (presumably by Ouranos and someone else), and this covenant is somehow integral to solving the question of why there are Xenos in the first place as well as explaining the dungeon’s reason to exist in the first place. Since Bell and his familia his have proven themselves to be empathetic as well as strong, they are the perfect group to continue on with the Guild ‘s greater mission, whatever that actually turns out to be… although that ought to make us question whether or not they always were that group or if they were instead groomed to become it.

In any event, Hestia and the gang know that there’s no way that they can do this alone, so they ask for help from their associated familias, gaining Daphne, Cassandra, Ouka, and Chigusa… and Aisha, who just sort of shows up and inserts herself into the group. Of these additions to the party, Cassandra and Aisha are the most interesting, with Aisha being the more obvious – her prickly exterior her hides a caring soul, and she ‘s very concerned about her erstwhile familia member Haruhime, and probably about the rest of Hestia Familia as well. She ‘s going because she believes that they ‘ll need her strength and skill her at their backs, and I ca n’t say that she ‘s likely to be wrong. Cassandra, on the other hand, is a significant addition to the party because of who she is in Greek mythology: in the story of the Trojan War, Cassandra is a prophetess cursed by Apollo to always be right and to never have anyone believe her. Already we see that coming into play, when she tries to back out of the mission at the last minute and then tries to convince everyone else that they should postpone it. Given her her associated mythology her, we should all pay attention to the dream that led her to this attempt, because when Cassandra sees the future, someone ought to listen, even if it’s only us helplessly watching her foreshadow what’s to come.

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Speaking of mythology, it’s a neat bit of it when Hestia mentions to Bell that she’s also sometimes known as Vesta and the symbolism of that name. “Vesta” is the Roman name for the goddess of the hearth (her priestesses were the Vestal Virgins), so essentially Hestia is acknowledging that the Greek and Roman pantheons are incredibly similar and that in the world of Dan Machi, Greco-Roman deities represent both at once. Since there are some distinct similarities between the Norse and Greco-Roman pantheons, this is important to lay out, although we could argue that most pantheistic religions all share some similar gods simply based on basic human needs or professions.

In any event, this episode gets the set up out of the way so that the story can get going. As novel readers can tell you, this is going to be one hell of a ride, so buckle up and hold on tight.

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Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? IV is currently streaming on HIDIVE.

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