By Fujino Omori and Kiyotaka Haimura. Released in Japan as “Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatte Iru Darou ka? Gaiden – Sword Oratoria” by Softbank Creative. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Dale DeLucia.
(Note: I spoil the ending for this one, be warned.)
Sigh. I can’t say it wasn’t hinted – it’s been hinted since she first showed up, and there’s a massive deadly flag in this volume where Lefiya and Filvis promise to visit the elven country after they finish this next battle. I almost smacked my forehead. But yeah, there are two characters in this series who are fairly obviously coded as lesbians, and Lefiya has protagonist armor, so the other one had to go. The death is handled well and all – Filvis is not shot by an impossible bullet or anything – but yes, I am grumpy that we get to throw another dead lesbian on the pile of dead lesbians. Lefiya is in a sort of grief coma after this, so I’m not sure whether she’ll turn evil and try to destroy the world. Probably not. And Aiz makes for a poor Buffy in any case. And now I will drop this stretched analogy and look at the rest of the book.
For about three-quarters of this book, it’s actually fairly triumphant. Finn and company are getting ready to defeat the evils once and for all. It’s a plan in two stages, the first of which is to map out as much of Knossos as possible, with help from other families – including the Hermes Family, with Hermes being fairly straightforward for once, and the Dionysus Family, with him basically begging to come along so that he can avenge the deaths of his other family members. Things go well. They have a SUPER POWERFUL healer with them on this one, and therefore cursed weapons don’t work like they should. They manage to defeat the guy who makes the dungeons and his hideous monster form. All is going pretty swimmingly, in fact, till Dionysus sees something off to the side and splits off down a different corridor…
I have to admit that I’m much of the same mind as Loki and Hermes are at the end of this – I suspect Dionysus to be a double agent of sorts. That said, I also do wonder if there might be some self-brainwashing going on, as he really does seem to care about the fate of his family. Which, every single one, is killed off at the end of this book, in one of the biggest massacres we’ve seen in DanMachi to date. And Levis is alive and has escaped again, which is frustrating as the start of this book, which features Aiz making a deal with the devil and being told exactly why she’s having trouble fighting Levis – implied that a great final battle was coming. The reader feels as frustrated as Loki does.
The next volume is huge, and the afterword implies it may wrap up this plotline once and for all. As always, it’s very well told and has some great fights. But yeah, at the end of the day, what a miserable ending to a book.