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Is it wrong to pick up girls in dungeons? IV (TV 5)?
Whether we know it or not, the past is always with us. For Ryu, this means she is constantly aware of the events that brought her to where she is now, living more in the past than in the present in a world without the Astrea Familia. That’s what this arc seems to be pulling out all the stops, and her entire character in episode fifteen is dreaming about a past she can’t stop. In his sleep, Ryu relives the fatal moment when Astrea Familia captain Alise announces that the guild asked them to check what Evilus and Rudra Familia are doing on the twenty-seventh floor, and there is nothing Ryu can do to stop them. It’s a nightmarish moment that makes everything worse because we know the real horror is yet to come.
This episode ends with Astrea Familia Parallel Tragedy and the Current Situation of the Hestia Familia. Even though Hestia Familia and friends didn’t experience what Ryu did, they at least tangentially knew about it, and that’s probably what kept them going and moving on. At least Aisha has this information to fall back on, and as the most experienced member of the party, she knows her role is to support others and be a voice for them when they are at risk of falling apart. Her presence probably had the greatest impact on them, as her stern calm freed Welf from the panic he felt, and remembered what his predecessor, the god Hephaestus, told him about becoming a blacksmith: He has fire, ore, and a hammer, and he can do whatever he needs to do.
In many ways, we see The difference between Dragon’s memory and Hestia Familia’s now is that more and more people support Hestia Familia. They have members of three separate families present, which gives them even more philosophies and talents to draw upon. Their motivation comes not only from the work they have to get done, but also from their determination to reach out to Bell – and when the possibility of saving Bell is taken away, Lily nearly breaks down. In that moment when all hope is lost, Lily looks very much like Ryu when it is pointed out that no one actually Seeing Bell’s body, she knew she still had hope. Ryu is even deprived of this, and Aisha helps Lily see that it still exists at the divide between her two paths. It’s enough to have a one in a million chance.
Bell and Ryu take a backseat, although this Makes sense – they need healing – but also kind of frustrating. Bell realizes that it’s important to be threatening enough to keep the deep monsters back, but he still has nothing to do this week. On the other hand, he’s holed up in a relatively safe place while his Familia is battling kelpies (water horses from Scottish mythology), lizardmen, and giant toothy beavers, so his danger is slightly less imminent. (If you’re curious, there is at least one beaver monster in Aboriginal folklore, the Wechuge from North Athabascan lore.) Still, it’d be nice to see the episodes spread out more evenly, since that’s where adaptations have been. Deciding to take, though, intense scenes like Lily’s near meltdown makes it hard to complain about the overall work of the show.