In Volume 3 of Danmachi: On The Side Sword Oratoria, Aiz confronted a red haired warrior who called her by the name, Aria. Picking up immediately where we were left, Aiz battles the red haired tamer, only to have been defeated while her teammates pick up the mantle. They emerge victorious, however being called Aria and losing to the woman has shaken Aiz in a way she cannot fully say. All she knows now is that she needs to get stronger…and she has the perfect idea of how to level up.
Sword Oratoria is made of the stuff of my dreams. A woman as the lead yearning for strength although she’s already considerably strong but she desires to outmatch herself. The story of Aiz is still far more fascinating than the original story she’s from as she battles her inner demons to grow strong enough to earn her own respect rather than the respect of others. This desire has some consequences though as her body pays the price for her attacks on the many monsters she slays in this volume.
One moment that sticks out are the few pages of a flashback of Aiz being left behind by her family. Whether they died or disowned her isn’t quite clear, (or maybe I’m failing to recall something previously stated), but what is clear is that Aiz wants to be like her mother. She idolized, loved, and admired her mother which makes the powerful juxtaposition of her sitting in the large pile of monster bones fighting back tears even more powerful.
Volume 4 of Danmachi: Sword Oratoria maintains its beautiful art, intriguing plot, and packs so much more action, suspense, and bloody fantasy violence that it’s no wonder this manga is one of my highly anticipated titles.
Rating: 10 out of 10