Book Review: “Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon!? Volume 8” by Fujino Omori

Warning: If you have not read “Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon, Volume 8” by Fujino Omori and illustrated by Suzuhito Yasuda, don’t read this review unless you want spoilers!

I’m back with another book review, and it’s “Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon, Volume 8” by Fujino Omori and illustrated by Suzuhito Yasuda! It’s been a while since I last read books in this series, so I’m glad to get back to it. Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

“The Rakia Kingdom dispatches soldiers. The God of War Ares leads the army of 30,000 on a sudden invasion. As the sounds of their thunderous march approaches the Labyrinth City Orario…not much changes. On the other side of the wall, the invaders raise their war cries but inside, the adventurers continue their peaceful daily lives. A prum marriage proposal, a city girl’s secret, romantic ballads serenading the deities–and a goddess weaving her own love song. These are the ordinary days of the gods and their children in Orario.”

This book is structured differently from the other volumes so far in the fact that it’s a collection of short stories.

HOWEVER, THIS IS NOT A SKIPPABLE VOLUME, AND YOU BETTER NOT SKIP IT. There’s an overarching main plot of the whole war going on, and this does affect all the characters involved in the short stories (more particularly in Welf’s short story as well as the last one featuring Aiz, Bell and Hestia but mainly Hestia). The plots were all managed well overall, and I understood everything going on, which is good given how this book is structured compared to having the main plot take higher precedence with the subplots/short stories in this case being lesser. I also liked that each of the stories centered on specific characters, making the stories incredibly character-driven, and that’s a good thing because the world of this series has such strongly-written characters so even though the structure of the book is different, we still have the characters we know and love taking the lead and driving the stories forward.

What I noticed a lot was there were attempts to clarify the whole god/adventurer relationship, which is an ongoing theme in most if not all the stories, and in the end there really is no right answer. I really liked that there wasn’t a standard answer that solved all problems, because it gave a variety of interesting plots and endings to each of the short stories overall.

The most enjoyable stories for me were Welf’s, Syr’s, Eina’s, and Lilly’s stories. Out of those four, Welf and Lilly were my most favourite to read. Yes, all of them have romantic elements involved, but it wasn’t just the romance alone that shaped their character development. Welf deals with the pressure of his relatives to make magic swords, with Welf still being vehemently against them—but for good reason that I won’t spoil here. Welf really gets the chance to shine and stand his ground overall, which I liked about him. Lilly gets a kind-of love triangle involving a fellow one of her kind proposing to her, as well as her unrequited feelings for Bell, and this doesn’t just push Lilly to figure out what she wants most in terms of her relationships, but it pushes Bell just as much to do so.

I found Syr and Eina’s stories pretty touching, too. Syr is revealed to be helping take care of an orphanage full of kids, leading to tons of adorable moments as well as giving Syr a lot more depth in her short story. Eina’s was, like Lilly’s, a  love triangle, but much more aggressively so as Eina has the opportunity to realize her feelings for Bell. Eina’s story also emphasizes how much she really does care for the adventurers coming in and out of the Guild such as Bell, which was also touching.

Hestia and Mikoto’s stories were the ones I liked the least. Mikoto’s is the most straight-forward story out of the six, with her having feelings for Lord Takezumachi, and despite the spotlight she got, I felt that she did not have much development overall in her short story compared to the others’ stories. As for Hestia, I can clearly see that a love triangle is developing between her, Aiz, and Bell, between them, but at the same time it’s not a new issue for Hestia, Aiz or Bell to face, given that we as the readers already know that both Aiz and Hestia have affection towards Bell (with Bell being his mostly-oblivious self as always).

Overall, I’m rating this book 4 out of 5 stars!

I look forward to reading the next volume in the series!

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