Right, I’m starting with an apology for this post being hopelessly late and even with the delay it is still going to be a little shorter than normal. Irina has been incredibly patient as I’ve been unable to keep up with posting during this latest round of sickness, though hopefully now I can start getting back up to speed.
And on the note, DanMachi gave us a very nice episode to watch this week. I have a few issues with the way things play out here, but these were issues I had with the light novel in this particular section, so honestly I’m pretty happy with how the anime has covered it. What did you think of the episode, Irina?
OK, it’s been a few days so I may be mushing the last two episodes together but I remember it as an action packed jamboree. Also, I think I may be getting a crush on Takemikazuchi so that fact that we got to see him a little means it was aces in my book!
The episode starts with Freya’s familia moving in on Ishtar and if we thought the amazons were bad news they’ve got nothing on Freya’s children as they are pretty much razing the pleasure quarter. While the episode doesn’t linger on this, it is our first real glimpse at just how powerful Freya’s familia actually is.
And a good set up. I find that a lot of the gods sort of overlap each other. The ones we don’t see that much that is. A powerful but mysterious goddess who is unusually taken by Bell is sort of the default “other” god archetype for DanMachi but by keeping Freya both a little extreme and shrouded in enigma, it makes her way more interesting than the norm. At least to me. This episode made me want to know more and that’s a good thing.
Of course, we need to focus in on Bell who has made the decision not to abandon Haruhime. Just breaking the killing stone isn’t enough. He wants her released but Phryne isn’t going for it. A fight between Bell and Phryne was kind of inevitable, though I find the way this story goes out of its way to not have Bell directly take down any human opponents to be a little bit dissatisfying. I know they want Bell to be the hero, but the narrative never forces him to get his hands dirty and that kind of feels like the author just liked the character a little too much.
I’m with you on that one.
Not that Phryne’s end is actually a problem. Seeing her grovel pathetically before shoving her foot clean into her mouth was pretty satisfying. It just feels like Bell’s being protected by the plot a little too much.
I don’t know if it was like this in the books or are they just streamlining Bell’s success for the sake of run time? That’s something that happens a lot in adaptation so I wouldn’t be surprised if this entire episode was originally way more challenging for Bell than it seemed onscreen.
Though on the note of things that feel a little less than satisfying, Welf and Lily really don’t get to do anything here. There’s a brief moment where they get in a scuffle but that is resolved almost instantly and other than the recovery of Mikoto there’s almost nothing to their story in this episode.
One of the things that bugs me personally about this season is that we really don’t get any development for Welf. We got a bit for Lily and I was really happy about that. But I was so psyched to see that Welf was joining the main cast this season and it still feels like he’s a very secondary supporting character so far. This said, there are a lot of characters in DanMachi, I understand if they decide to wait another season to give Welf his turn. To be fair, we hardly got to see Hestia this season as well but at least we had already gotten to know her from the previous season.
Hermes on the other hand continues to get the best bombshells to drop in the story. For a character who has limited screen time he really does steal the best revelations and shows up just in time for the most exciting moments. It fits well with his character and it means when he’s moving about you kind of anticipate something happening. Still, it would have been nice if he’d answered the question of how much he’d planned this whole scenario out because to be honest it all works out very conveniently for Bell, and for Hermes when all is said and done.
Hermes is a troll mastermind character so I would expect things to go his way most of the time. And her is a supporting character so personal conflict isn’t quite as important for him. But I would like to see Bell outright fail just once. We learn a lot from our failures and it would be a great chance for character growth,
Which leaves us with Freya, who is one scary lady and I still don’t know why Ishtar thought she could take her on. I mean, no competition at all. I’m not sure the episode gave enough weight to Ishtar’s demise, though it was pretty and sparkly, but it definitely left me wanting to see more of Freya.
From their respective mythologies, I would have expected Ishtar to be way more powerful than Freya. I mean Freya is a very important and powerful goddess in her own right but Ishtar’s influence spans so many civilizations and she was a supreme divinity while Freya is usually overshadowed by her husband Odr/Odin.
This episode did what it needed, the pace moved well enough, characters came to logical ends and events resolved themselves enough though with still enough loose ends that it doesn’t feel all wrapped up. Basically it all works perfectly fine. I’m not sure this has in anyway reached the excitement of season one or even the winning of the war game earlier this season, which is a small problem for an episode so near the end of the series, but honestly, this arc just never quite managed to get there, even though it did bring some important bits of information and world building into the story.
The episode was nice, the only thing missing for me was how Haruhime got herself involved with Ishtar in the first place. Honestly I’m burning with curiosity. How did a kind and reserved little fox like that, with a good and loving family around her get herself into this type of trouble. Why didn’t she seek out the Takemikazuchi familia? It sounds like it would be a great story and I don’t know why they won’t share it with us… I guess every lady needs her secrets.
Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi
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Images from: DanMachi 2nd Season. Dir. T Hideki. J.C. Staff. 2019.