Is It Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon Light Novel Volume One Review

Dungeon Girls Front Cover Light Novel Vol 1

This is the first time that I read a Light Novel without any indication as to what the story might be about. I just read the summary and ordered it via amazon. I decided to share my thoughts and how I visualised each scene. =)

PS, I apologise for the long title. As far as I’m aware there’s no abbreviation to this title so I felt that it was necessary to keep the title long for now. =)

  1. SYNOPSIS

Bell Cranel is among the adventurers that fight in the “Dungeon” which is an underground labyrinth that is part of a city called Orario. However, unlike most adventurers, Bell’s main goal is not fame or fortune, but to meet a bundle of pretty girls, thanks to the influence of his Grandfather. Will he be able to meet pretty girls or will he get eaten alive in the “Dungeon”….?

  1. THEME
  • Action
  • Adventure
  • Comedy
  • Fantasy
  • Game
  • Harem[1]
  • Romance
  • Seinen[2]
  1. REVIEW

WARNING: I MAY GIVE SPOILERS AWAY

Prologue

It’s quite short so I can’t really comment much on this. I understood that some lad has been saved by this super strong girl from a Minotaur. She’s called Aiz Wallenstein with golden eyes and hair. Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon, the boy asks… my personal opinion is… no, in the slightest.

Chapter One

By what I’ve gathered there’s this adventurer called Bell Cranel and his goal is to, well…go into dungeons to pick up cute girls. He was inspired to do this by his wonderful “Gramps.” It’s a bonus by going into dungeons as well as powering up.

Along the way he goes into these guilds to do commissions and often meets his good friend, Eina. I think she’s an elf who works as a receptionist?

He gets these power ups from his Goddess called Hestia. Gods like Hestia are from this place called “Tenkai” whilst normal humans like Bell are called “Genkai.” It seems like the Gods want to live alongside normal people as they become bored being “Gods”. They travelled down to Earth or Genkai and gathered “children” for their own Familiars.
I was a bit confused at first. At first I thought they were brother and sister but it turns out that Bell is part of Hestia’s familiar. Hestia has the power to “level” Bell “up”. Strangely, he has this unique ability of in which Hestia is keeping Bell in the dark of. I’m not really sure as to why this might be.

Chapter Two

There is a typical cliché moment right at the beginning when Bell wakes up. “Huh? What’s this on top of me?” He pulls the covers up and surprise, surprise a pretty girl was on top of him. It should get old but to me it’s always charming when it happens to different characters in different stories. I liked how Bell responded to try and move in the gentlest way so he didn’t wake Hestia up. For some reason I can see the anime milking this scene and making him jump like scared rabbit, no pun intended. I hope they keep this scene of where he gets out of his “predicament” in a calm manner as it’s a bit unusual for guys, in this type of story, to act this way. I wonder if Hestia often sleeps on top of him?

I got a little confused as to why Hestia became uptight and pouty towards Bell. I immediately put it down to her having a bad day all until she said “go have fun someplace else.” It made me think. I think when Hestia reads Bell’s levels on his back she can sort of see what he did during the day and week.

Not so long before Bell interacted on friendly terms with this Syr girl… this made me think that Hestia saw this and got jealous. It all started to make sense to me. There’s no denying that she likes him, but on what level? Family love? Or is it much more than that? This makes me wonder as well if she is jealous of this Aiz girl. The one who saved Bell.

A sad moment happened right at the end involving the Loki Familiar…I really like Aiz and in my opinion she’s in with the wrong Familiar. I knew she was a good person to begin with as she saved Bell. I hoped she wasn’t arrogant and this chapter confirmed that she isn’t… I do wonder if something could happen between her and Bell? She recognised him a little bit from his eyes and hair when he ran off. If she knew him quite well then that must mean he’s been in her mind. I anticipate that they’ll meet again by the end of this book.

I thought Bell was going to confront this arrogant man from the Loki Familiar. To me, I think he did the right thing to take himself out of the situation rather than start a fight. But, if it was me, I would have controlled my emotions better and pay attention to the pretty maid next to me but hey that’s just me. =D

Chapter Three

I enjoyed the fight between Bell and those… wall shadows. I couldn’t really picture the wall shadows very well. In my head I pictured them as pray mantis. Anyone know Schyfer from Pokemon? Schyfer is like a pray mantis. I sort of pictured the wall shadows like him but a dark version of him. I also replaced Schyfer’s head with the letter “V”. Haha.

I’ll be interested to see what they look like in the anime as I get the feeling that my imagination is totally off the mark. Haha.

Bell is getting a bit of a power up. Perhaps this is something to do with what Hestia saw on his back in Chapter One. Rapid Growth. Since he is dodging and defending a lot I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues to get stronger.

Chapter Four

I’m really growing on Hestia. The picture I have of her in my head is becoming clearer and clearer. I find her to be really cute. Her clothes are cute too. By the way she acts, dresses and represents herself I do get the impression that she is the youngest out of all the gods. It’s incredibly sweet how she actually went to this God’s party for Bell’s benefit rather than have a good time. I decided that after Chapter Four, Hestia is my favourite character in the story.^^/

I can’t really make up my mind if she’s mature or childish. I’m under the impression that she’s a little bit of both. She is carefree and playful during the day but she’s mature when she needs to be, I.E., when Bell is in trouble. So, I deduce that Hestia acts in certain ways depending on the situation and who she is spending her time with.

By the way, Hestia’s name can also mean altar and fireplace. If I recall the dialogue correctly she and Bell live in the underground of the church near the altar part. I wonder if there’s a deliberate connection there. All the gods seem to have different names. Hestia is named after a Greek goddess whereas both Loki and Freya both not introduced yet at this point, stem from Norse mythology.

Chapter Five

The mistress, I noticed, is called Mamma Mia…I wonder if that’s a plain coincidence or if that’s a deliberate tribute to Abba’s song “Mamma Mia”? It’s a fun name regardless. =)

I’m really getting into this story. It’s getting really exciting. =D

Admittedly I thought all the Gods were going to be female, given the nature of this type of story. My assumptions were crushed upon the introduction of Miach. He appears to be in a similar situation to Hestia as he works as well. Good for him.

Hestia was sweet to spend all that time kneeling for 2 days running just so Hephaistos could build a weapon for Bell. That was certainly a cool moment. I think there’s a fancy word that she used for it but for now let’s call it a prostrating position. =) It was especially sweet how she decided to enjoy the festival now that she was in the same atmosphere as Bell. It was full of cliché moments, especially when Hestia tried to feed Bell. Instead, Bell fed Hestia. Goddess or not I think being fed by a beautiful girl is always a plus point in my book. 😉

I think it’s pretty much confirmed by now that Hestia is pretty smitten with Bell. Who comes up with the name “Love Dagger” with no romantic intentions? She got jealous and suspicious of Aiz, Syr and Eina the receptionist, mostly for no reason as she read into it. I was suspicious but now my thoughts are confirmed. =)

I liked Bell’s explanation on the map of Orario… He lives in the North East part of Orario. However… when he described Orario in like a pie chart way I immediately pictured the city as a pizza with mushroom toppings divided into eight pieces…it’s incredibly silly, I know, but that just goes to show how crazy- ahem- imaginative my mind is. Haha. Now I’m picturing Bell living in the North East Pizza with thick crusts.

I didn’t expect for Freya to have eyes for Bell, or at least not so soon. I think if Freya would go after Bell, it would happen in the future books rather than in the first volume. I knew she was a mischievous type of character. She has a very fearsome yet appropriate ability. An ability which can charm anyone or any beast.

It will be interesting to see how Bell and Hestia get out of this pickle. Or pizza…

Chapter Six

So…Bell and Hestia proceed to run from this big ape. Like a true hero he protected Hestia with all his might. Naturally, for most young newbies, he gets scared of the beast. But, I feel that he’s able to fight because he’s thinking about protecting Hestia rather than protecting himself.

It was quite a teary chapter, for me. He left her so she wouldn’t get hurt. To Bell, the familiar is more than a group of adventurers and a God, Hestia is part of his family.

It was clever of Hestia to upgrade Bell’s level just in time. Likewise, the “Hestia Knife” also upgraded along with its user. It was clever how Hephaistos did this, but it did require Hestia’s hair. Credit to Hephaistos for doing a stand up job, even if Bell wasn’t a part of her familiar. I get the impression that Bell is going to get mega strong since slaying that silverback. When Hestia checks his level next time I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s borderline level two.

I can’t work out Aiz’s feelings for Bell as she is the silent and cool type. I also get the impression that she’s very awkward with socialising, choosing to let her action and kickass fighting abilities speak for her.

It’s clear that he is in her mind and she reacts whenever he’s around or is talked about. However, her relationship and feelings for Bell are not so clear. Perhaps she’s known him longer then he’s known her but we don’t know that yet? Was it really just a coincidence that she saved him from that Minotaur? I’m slightly gutted that they didn’t get their reunion as I thought they would. I’m certain that they will cross paths again as she owns him an “apology” and he owns her a “confession”. Hoho.

The ending was so lovely and heart-warming when they embraced. Hestia proclaims her love for him which I thought was very sweet. Whether Bell took it in a romantic way or a platonic way doesn’t matter as he knows that Hestia likes him. And being liked by someone you like, in all levels, is certainly a nice thing. =) Unless, of course, you have Freya stalking you… if I was Bell I’d either get out of the country or request a restraining order. 😉

Epilogue

That was a really nice epilogue. In some ways, I wonder if this should have been a prequel, since this little tale is about how Bell and Hestia first met.

Strangely, I did picture their encounter in this exact way but this was a much better encounter then the one I had pictured in my head.

Bell couldn’t get into a Familiar and Hestia couldn’t find any adventurers but they eventually found each other. It was a really nice metaphor set-up in this part. A new story begins in a room full of stories and books. I think this was clearly a love at first site in Hestia’s case.

  1. CONCLUSION

Conclusion… I really, really like this. In fact, I actually stayed up until the early hours of the morning because I was eager to see how this book ended.

It was probably a little slow at the beginning as this is the first time that I actually read a Light Novel of a franchise before reading the Manga or watching the Anime. The style and language was a little tough for me to grasp and visualise, and if I read the manga first then I probably would have grasped the concept of this story quicker. I think I got used to the writing style by Chapter 3 as I was able to visualise the scenes in my head.

I really got into it by the end of Chapter 4 and beginning of Chapter 5. I got the impression straightaway that Hestia had a deep affection for Bell. Sometimes I couldn’t really picture the scenes properly in my head. They were plenty of cliché moments which are part of the anime charm like festivals, and the girl pulling the guy along in excitement.

At this point I can’t really remember most of the terms used in this book. I think the gods like Hestia use these Hieroglyphs when they level up their children like Hestia does with Bell. However, instead of trying to remember the terms I just sort of look at the bigger picture and enjoy the story. I’ll probably be able to remember all these references and names of places when I read more of the Light Novels or when I probably re-read this book.

I really like Bell and Hestia’s relationship, and it’s even confirmed to me that she has feelings for him. Bell likes all the girls but at this point I think he sees most of them as friends. I wonder how this story will turn out. Will Bell possibly go down Issei Hyoudou’s route and have a harem or will he chose go with one girl in the end?

I would do my research on these references but I’m very determined not to be spoiled. I was often spoiled by what happened in future events of different anime, like High School DxD, Haganai, Is This a Zombie? andStrike the Blood. As this is the first time that I have read a Light Novel with no prior knowledge I’m resisting the urge to do any research, in case I am spoiled. =)

Two Thumb’s-Up. ^^/ (My Rating System)

Two Thumbs-Up

THANKS FOR READING

Is It Wrong To Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon Anime

This book has put some things into perspectives, especially the writing style. I was slow reading it a first but I got more enthusiastic as I read more of it. I’m certainly looking forward to reading Volume Two when it’s released. =)
Thanks for Reading. =)
Sayonara.^^/

Ryan.

[1] In this anime all the ladies are gunning after one man and/or lady.

[2] The target audience of this manga is towards an older gentleman with the age range from 18 to 30.

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