Supporters of the documentary Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
fans of the series will already be aware of the main distinction with this most recent manga spinoff: Memoria Freese, a mobile app, serves as the basis instead of Fujimori’s light novels. The story is set during the Holy Night Festival in Orario, a barely concealed Christmas, and is an adaptation of the non-canonical tale of the Träumerei on Christmas Eve. While exploring the event, Bell and Haruhime run into Tarvi, a young woman from the Beltane nation. Naturally, neither Bell nor Haruhime believes the scenario to be what it is; yet, they gladly assist Tarvi in her quest to elude capture.
Astute readers will see right away that Tarvi’s background is steeped in Celtic mythology. Tarvi’s attendance at a winter event is noteworthy because Beltane, the spring festival, falls on May 1st and signifies the change from winter to spring. The brief reference of “Bheara” at the end of the volume is even more intriguing; it appears to be a shortened form of the name of the Celtic goddess Cailleach Bhéara, a crone deity connected to winter. Since the festival of Beltane practically signifies the end of her reign, Tarvi’s attendance at this specific holiday celebration seems unlikely to be coincidence. She may be related to other Celtic deities, such as Cernunnos, the horned god, because of her double set of head ornaments, which include both horns and antlers.
Still, none of that really matters to the plot of this volume. Despite Fujimoto Mori’s involvement, the novel feels more like fanfiction than anything more firmly rooted in the DanMachi universe. It prioritizes shenanigans and jam-packs as many well-known characters as it can, without really giving them any depth. A portion of this stems from the focus on fanservice, which is prominently featured in this instance despite the main story’s constant inclusion of it, as Hestia’s introduction emphasizing her breasts clearly illustrates. (She also acts a little more lustful and possessive over Bell than usual, but it’s not abnormal at all.) In addition to using the infamous “brokenback” pose, which is when a female character is drawn so that you can see both her breasts and her behind at the same time, the artwork isn’t even particularly well done; instead of making the boobs look like an organic part of the ladies’ bodies, artist Yū Shiomura seems to have just sort of stuck them on.
Fanservice is one thing, but badly illustrated fanservice is quite another. The novel does have its moments despite these problems, and because Hestia seems to know Beltane and Bheara, there’s a strong indication that volume two will focus more on the plot. (This makes perfect sense, as hearth fires are a feature of various Beltane ceremonies; it also demonstrates Omori’s typical attention to mythological detail.) The bond between Tarvi and Haruhime is one of the main advantages here. Because of her inherent reserve and the trauma she had as an Ishtar Familia member, Haruhime is reluctant to fully participate in Hestia Familia, even though she wants to but is holding herself back. Though she has her moments when she is more assertive, Tarvi appears to be in a similar situation, and her happiness at meeting Haruhime and desire to be friends with her encourage Renart to come out of her shell a little. Tarvi’s claim to some Renart ancestry is sufficient to ease Haruhime’s nerves. There’s a feeling that it makes her feel quickly at ease with the other young woman, and even in their brief exchanges, Tarvi appears to be encouraging Haruhime to let go and have fun. In a sense, Tarvi is extending an invitation to the bashful child on the playground to join in the fun, and Haruhime finds it easier to accept the offer as she doesn’t feel as obligated to her as she does with Hestia Familia. It’s a pleasant moment for Renart, and it appears that Bell finds it as meaningful.
Regretfully, this is somewhat obscured by the remainder of the book. It seems to want to be approachable for first-time readers, which is a commendable objective but doesn’t quite fit the story’s style. Since this is a post-Ishtar plot, there is an instant barrier to admission for new readers since Hestia Familia has moved into Hearthstone Manor and is joined by Chigusa and Haruhime. That, together with a Sword Oratoria chapter and appearances by Lyu and Chigusa, renders the explanation of concepts like “the dungeon” and “the guild” unnecessary because readers who are familiar with Ais will already be aware of them.and a lot of the story will be quite confusing to someone who doesn’t know it.
Is Trying to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon Wrong? Memoria Freese finds herself in a strange kind of nowhere. It uses a plotline from a video game, assumes readers are familiar with the environment and source material, and takes a bit too long to set up the scenario. It’s not bad, and it demonstrates Omori’s customary devotion to real world mythology, but the clumsy artwork and unnecessary details detract from the experience. This is a fantastic chance to view one of Memoria Freese’s unique plot events if you don’t plan to play the game, but other than that, it’s very easy to pass over.