Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III ‒ Episode 6

3 weeks ago 23

I find it interesting that the word the Xenos use for the capture of their kin is “poach.” It potentially says a lot about how the Xenos see themselves, both as themselves and in comparison to others, because “poaching” is something you do to animals that you aren't supposed to hunt. If you're capturing humans the word is “kidnap” or possibly “enslave.” Do the Xenos refer to Ikelos Familia as poachers because that's what the humans would call it? Or does it suggest that, despite their efforts and the strides they've made and their desire to live on the surface, the Xenos still see themselves as monsters?

It would be telling if they did. That's not just because it would suggest an internalization of human reactions to them, much in the way a survivor of bullying or assault can see themselves as somehow deserving of what was done to them, but also because of who doesn't see them that way. Bell certainly heads that pack up, but Fels (who also perceives themselves as no longer quite human) and Ouranos also see the Xenos as more human than not. They look like monsters, but as we can see from Dix and Ikelos, the actual monsters rarely function like poison dart frogs and wear their danger on their skin.

This is worth mentioning because both Dix and his god are among the most mundane-looking characters when it comes to design. They lack the bright coloring of Welf, the animal ears of Haruhime or Bete, or the semi-ridiculous outfits worn by Aisha, Ryu, and others. They wouldn't look out of place on any modern city street; instead, their monstrosity is only revealed when they open their mouths and begin to talk. That's on full display in this episode, when both of them start to tell Bell and Hermes about the tainted legacy of Daedalus and how Dix is, in his own way, carrying it on. The main difference is that sources agree that Daedalus went mad – Dix is just evil, not insane. And honestly? If he limited his activities to capturing Xenos, there are probably plenty of people who would even question his evilness.

Of course, that's not all he's doing, and even if we leave out Astraea Familia (which has its own book that hasn't been animated as of this writing), there's still the fact that he's keeping Knossos a secret from Orario at large. This is where things really start to come together mythologically, and as is generally the case, original author Fujino Ōmori has done his research. Knossos was (is) a real place in Greece, and in terms of Ancient Greece, it was a city on the island of Crete, which you may recognize as being the site of the labyrinth of myth fame – you know, where the Minotaur lived and Ariadne's thread helped Theseus to find his way in and out again to defeat the monster. (Not that Theseus deserved it. Poor Ariadne…whose name shares a few letters with something Aiz is occasionally called. Hmmm…) In myths, Daedalus is the man who built the Labyrinth at Knossos, among other things, and while most of us know him better as the father of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun, he was also the uncle of a man named Perdix – which you may recognize as Dix's last name. (Dix, when not an acronym, means ten in French, so it was probably just intended to throw us off the scent until Omori was ready to reveal Dix's full name.) Daedalus was horribly jealous of Perdix, who invented the saw among other things, and now Dix seems to be all too willing to use his ancestor's extra labyrinth for his own purposes, emphasis on his own. This is a man who gouged out his relatives' eyeballs to make special Knossos keys, so it's safe to say that in DanMachi, Perdix is no more fond of Daedalus than Daedalus was of him in mythology.

All of this may very well be setting up for one very specific thing. Remember who it was lurking in the Labyrinth at Knossos? Even if Bell doesn't know, he's about to find out.

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Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? III is currently streaming on Crunchyroll and HIDIVE.

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