Has Bell finally picked up a girl in the dungeon? Maybe not, but it doesn’t hurt that he’s got Aiz Wallenstein teaching how to fight now in this manga adaption of the hit original light novel series.
Bell and his supporter Lilly managed to get out of one sticky situation in the dungeon, and now things are back to normal at the Hesita familia. Bell continues to train to become strong enough to go even deeper into the dungeon and finally catch up to his idol, the beautiful swordswoman Aiz Wallenstein. Luckily for Bell, Aiz has him in her plans as well, and to learn what has made him grow so quickly she takes him on as a pupil to teach him how to fight more effectively. However, Aiz may not be the only one with Bell on the mind as he grows stronger, and the competition for the young adventurer heats as an ominous shadow approaches.
How Was It?
One of the moments I really enjoyed in this series’ previous volume was beautiful adventurer Aiz Wallenstein making Bell her damsel-in-distress in a funny turn of events, and I was pleased to see the partnership between the two continue in this more laid-back volume. Bell’s own development has been great to see over the past few volumes in his adventure with Lilly, and this volume focuses almost entirely of showing Bell’s progression into a better adventure under Wallenstein’s tutelage. Watching the two of them train together was thoroughly entertaining thanks to how delightfully awkward Bell continues to be around his crush, leading to some really funny moments and making for an enjoyable read. If anything, this was the most slice-of-lifey volume we’ve had in this series so far, and a bit of a breath between the action to set up the next arc.
I had noted in my review of the previous volume that it seemed like this series had gotten away from being a bit of a comedy, so I was pleasantly surprised at how funny this volume turned out to be. A lot of the humour comes from Bell and Aiz being paired together by playing off of how flustered Bell gets just from working with Aiz. There’s something innately funny about the way that he just runs away from her at first glace, and her general puzzlement displayed throughout the volume was also amusing to see. That said, this volume does a good job incorporating the other characters into the story for fun, with Hestia, Lilly and other making appearances during Bell’s little training arc. Although some of these appearances (such as a weird old man trying to push Bell into kissing a sleeping Aiz) weren’t all that clever, it was quite funny to see scenes such as Bell and Aiz bump into a jealous Hestia working at a food kiosk, playing off of these characters’ now established personalities well.
Although the primary focus of this volume is Bell and Aiz’s training sessions, the overarching story moves forward in an interesting way by showing the interest that Bell is starting to garner among the various familias. I enjoyed that this mostly stayed in the background to focus on more entertaining and character driven story of Bell’s training, but it was a still a good inclusion to push the story further and provide a catalyst for a few interesting battles. In particular, a battle scene where Bell and Aiz are attacked by a gang of adventurers was fun to watch because of Aiz’s sheer domination, and I thought this scene did a great job cementing her utter strength that felt in line with the description of her so far in the series. Additionally, these battles did a great job cementing Bell’s growth from his training with Aiz. I really liked that small panels showing Bell acknowledging his newfound strength were used to reinforced the results of his training, making this volume feel more cohesive as a result.
Kunieda’s art work continues to hold up very well in this volume, accentuating speed and motion of the action scenes in a clear manner. This was especially appreciated in demonstrating the impact of Aiz’s movements in battle to establish her overwhelming power in contrast to Bell. The character designs are also similarly well-done, and I continue to appreciate the distinctiveness with which each character is drawn. The exaggerated facial expressions came through in a big way in this volume in terms of complementing the general humour, and it was funny to watch Bell and Hestia’s respective meltdown moments reflected in their faces for laughs. Overall, the art continues to complement this story effectively and make this a stronger manga overall than it otherwise could have been.
Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Vol. 5 is a fun continuation of this series which lowers the stake just a bit after the dramatics of the previous volume. I really enjoyed seeing Bell train with Aiz throughout this volume, and even though it felt like more a transitional story to set the plot up for the next major event it was still very fun to watch. It’s been great to watch Bell’s progression throughout this series, and this volume continued that in an enjoyably tangible way that brought plenty of laughs. Although not the most original volume, those invested in this series and these characters will find plenty to enjoy here.
Is it Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Vol. 5 was translated by Alethea and Athena Nibley and published by Yen Press on May 24th, 2016. Authored by Kunieda and based off the original light novel by Fujino Omori and character designs by Suzuhito Yasuda, this manga adaption began in 2007 and is still ongoing in Square Enix’s Young Gangan magazine. Volume 6 will be published in English on November 22nd, 2016.
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