My thoughts on the eleventh episode of Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka.
Decent episode overall and even though both companies were trekking through the dungeon, the actual fighting was pretty light. It was a bit of a shame really with the setup from last week and especially concerning Ryu – I would have expected more than the 5 seconds of combat we got with her after her post-ED appearance last episode. If I had to guess, based on the number of episodes left, it could very well be that the final ‘conflict’ within the show starts where all of the characters are now located. The minimal action on the part of Hestia’s group alongside the 2 day delay before the Loki Familia will depart the dungeon leads me to suspect that they have all been gathered there for a reason outside of the direct narrative. I could also be completely wrong and the next episode might just open with them all back above the surface and going about their business as usual however if I had to put my money somewhere I think the better bet would be the prior.
To go alongside the comment of the episode being light on action, I had previously suspected that this episode would culminate with Bell and/or Hestia’s group combating the floor boss – Goliath. I feel that I have been conditioned by shows like SAO to believe that the only way to progress through the floor system was to beat the boss at the end however I was pleasently surprised that this was not the case. Bell instead running from the boss I think was ultimately a better outcome as, judging by how haggered and beat up he was, him taking on a floor boss and possibly even winning would have stretched the narrative limits of his abilities past breaking point.
It would have been the kind of encounter that SAO often takes flak for and I’m glad we have instead avoided such an outcome here. I can only imagine that Hestia and company also ran past the boss as Hermes mentioned that the Loki Familia would have to clear the way out however if another full group can run through the room even after Bell ran through while it was spawning, I do start to grow skeptical of how well this floor boss is doing his job.
A small gripe I had was the appearance of Aiz after Bell finally made it to the 18th floor. It makes sense enough that the Loki Familia would be somewhere in the dungeon however the sudden encounter just happening to be Aiz and additionally the poisoning of the Familia’s members seemed a little contrived in order to arrive at where we got to. I’m not saying that the Loki Familia shouldn’t have been there at all, in fact they may very well need to be if the coming events happen the way I predict they will, however it could have just as easily been a scout or any other member of the Familia that came across Bell instead of Aiz. The show has a sizable cast and I felt it failed to make full use of it this episode – creating some distance between Aiz and Bell would have been a better move here and after returning to the Loki camp they could have shared the same scenes they had before just not without the initial ‘saving’ encounter.
I’m looking forward to what’s going on between Welf and Hephaestus – not necessarily because of any stones we might turn over concerning his past, but rather I am just happy to have further character attention drawn to Welf who at this time still feels unexplored in comparison to the other big-name characters. Hopefully this adds a new layer to him and provides interesting developments as well.