Book Review: “Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon!? Volume 6 and 7” by Fujino Omori

Warning: If you have not read “Is It Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon!? Volume 6 and 7” by Fujino Omori, do not read this review if you don’t want spoilers!

I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s “Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon!? Volume 6” by Fujino Omori, as well as Volume 7! I’ll review Volume 6, and then 7.

Volume 6:

“”Hestia, I challenge you to a War Game!”

“What’s with you, Apollo?”

A War Game–an all-out proxy war between gods, and the winner takes all. But what is it that Apollo wants? Hestia’s beloved Bell Cranell, of course! With a week to go until the Game, things are bleak enough, but then Lilly is kidnapped by the Soma Familia. The outlook isn’t good , but Bell has made many friends through his adventures, and they won’t stand idly by. The familia myth continues!”

Apollo’s appearance was short-lived in this book, thanks to Hestia utterly destroying his Familia and seizing his territory after winning the War Game, but for the length that he was here, it’s very clear that Freya is not the only one completely obsessed with Bell. Even the male gods want him, Apollo included, and they won’t stop at any chance to nab him while they can! I have a feeling that Apollo might return later in the series, however…perhaps he will ally with Freya to nab Bell for themselves? Time can only tell.

The plot itself was fun, though admittedly a bit on the long side. I thought the actual War Game part of the book would take place across the whole of it, rather than the training and preparation leading up to it. However, it did allow for some interesting character interactions and relationship developments, and I thoroughly enjoyed the combat scenes written in this book.

I do wish there was more of Aiz, however, as well as having her interact more with Bell. I kind of missed not really having her around as much as she was present in Volume 5.

Overall, 4 out of 5 stars!

Volume 7:

“Having triumphed in the War Game, Lilly, Welf, and Mikoto have forged new bonds with each other and with Bell, and the new-and-improved Hestia Familia is feeling distinctly more familial. But when Bell has to venture into the pleasure quarter of Orario to come to Mikoto’s aid, he’s soon tangled up in more intrigue than he bargained for. Ishtar Familia owns the night here, and none of Bell’s experience can prepare him for their courtesan wiles!”

I think it’s really fun that Hermes came back, though it’s hard to say in the beginning where his loyalties lay. However, it’s soon made clear that his loyalties lie with Zeus, who we’ve basically known since Book 5 as being Bell’s grandad, and therefore his loyalties are mainly with Bell himself. Even when Hermes realizes he’s contributed to Ishtar’s horrid master plan (albeit kind of by accident), he immediately does all he can to try to help Bell out, though he is cautious to make sure his own Familia isn’t at risk. Clearly he means well for Bell, for the most part, and it’s good to see there’s more gods and goddesses than just Hestia on Bell’s side.

It was nice to learn more about Mikoto and her connection to the damsel in distress (a literal one this time), Haruhime, though I wish there had been more involvement of Welf, Hestia and Lilly in this book. I also still miss Aiz and her interactions with Bell and the others, and I do hope that she returns in Volume 8 as a more prominent character.

It’s also extremely clear that this volume is the darkest out of all the series, and the worldbuilding contributes heavily to this, as well as the new characters that get introduced. Probably helps with the fact that Ishtar Familia basically runs a whole operation of prostitution, literally sleeping with the enemy to get what they want. There’s a lot of dialogue that delves into the morality of this as well as how prostitute-type characters are often the ‘ruin of heroes’ due to them being associated with the notion of lacking morality and being too lewd for heroes, something that Bell subverts by deciding to rescue Haruhime despite her being a prostitute and seen by many, including herself, as ‘impure.’ This sort of worldbuilding definitely made me think a lot about this sort of thing—when it comes to the perceived ‘darker’ parts of worldbuilding such as prostitution, it usually seems to be swept under the rug or just used to add to someone’s backstory as a negative attribute. Despite what viewpoints one may have about this sort of thing in general, it really made me think hard about it all.

Because the book has a darker tone, it unfortunately offsets a lot of the usual humour and makes it quite uncomfortable to read instead. For  instance, the scenes involving Bell being chased by a ton of Amazon prostitutes feels more disturbing than hilarious (and I had no idea that Bell was underage until the time of reading this volume on top of that), and him being mistakenly assumed to be Haruhime’s client when meeting her for the first time also equally disturbing. The scene involving Hermes and Ishtar, with her ‘Charming’ of him to get information out of him is meant to be played for laughs, but for me it was just disconcerting and more a case of dubious consent at best, potentially rape or some form of sexual assault  in worst-case scenario interpretation. It’s clear the humour was meant to try to lighten up the otherwise difficult themes and concepts introduced for this volume, but I don’t think it worked the way it was intended.

Overall, 3 out of 5 stars for the uncomfortable humour, and arguably the weakest volume in the series so far.

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