This episode was just great to watch. I was really looking forward to seeing this part of the story animated and it absolutely didn’t disappoint. I may however have gone slightly overboard with the screencaps, and still didn’t manage to get any of Welf or Lily. What did you think Irina?
Um…well… It was not bad…
Ok, it was not my favourite. There were definitely aspects I liked but some of DanManchi’s weaknesses (in my opinion) were also on display in this one. It is a very pretty show though. I`decided to hold back on screencaps for this one but it took a lot of discipline!
Alright, this episode starts us off exactly where we ended last week with Apollo challenging Hestia familia to a war game. Hestia turns him down flat and leaves despite Apollo taunting her by saying she’d regret it. While I don’t think much of Apollo as a character given he seems to exist just to create motives for other characters to act, I really like the conflict this sets up. They have made such a big point about Hestia familia being so small and weak but given we haven’t seen conflict between the gods previously that hasn’t really been an important point. Now it becomes very important as Apollo has a very large family.
I also think Apollo so far is just to shallow a character to be an interesting antagonist. As are his goons. Mind you, this is pretty normal for episode 2. You got to give people a chance to grow. But they made him into such a moustache twirling bad guy that I have trouble taking him, or the threat he represents, seriously in any way.
This is the first weakness I was talking about, the lack of interesting villains. Again, this can change a lot but in the context of this episode only, I just couldn’t care about them much.
I was disappointed that Hestia didn’t accept the challenge. Don’t get me wrong, it makes perfect sense for her to react that way but I was just looking forward to it. In my head I imagined it as a hunger games type tournament or something. I like tournament arcs.
The rest of the episode is more or less Bell and Hestia running about the city trying to escape the pursuit of Apollo familia. It is really such a clear throw back to the time they were chased by the big gorilla monster thing in season one around the town, and just like then this was fun and thrilling.
This would be the second weakness. Designs and art are stunning but animation is a little stiff. Some of the movement were jagged, as if fewer frames were used and we got several stills or static scenery with the camera panning through to simulate movement. I always thought that a series as beautiful and action oriented as DanMachi could really benefit from more fluid animation.
I did like the sequence with Daphne and Cassandra where they point out that they don’t particularly want to fight Bell. More than that though, they make it clear that Apollo has done this to other adventurers as well and generally speaking Apollo gets what he wants. It kind of gives us a sense that Bell is a little more cornered right now than we might have initially thought. Then we have the other guy who just kind of hates Bell because he can’t figure out why Apollo’s interested. I’ve definitely noticed that Bell brings out strong emotions in almost everyone he is around. They either want to protect and help him, possess him, or crush him.
Did we know these characters from season 1? Either way, it was a nice scene and good foreshadowing for inner turmoil in the Apollo familia. I’m calling it now! I guess everyone else already called it but humour me.
No. Daphne and Cassandra are new and we haven’t seen very much of them yet other than the delivery of the mail.
If it isn’t bad enough that a large and powerful family are chasing them around, Hestia notices another familia is involved. While we don’t get much in this episode about it, Soma familia has made a move and suddenly Lily’s backstory and faking her own death as a supporter for Soma familia is becoming much more important. I’m really looking forward to them getting into that, though you have to wonder how Welf felt getting left on his own in a fight after Lily just picked up and left.
I always wanted to know a bit more about Lily’s past, so I find this turn of events promising, if not particularly happy. Welf didn’t seem to hold it against Lily in any way, he’s a very accepting guy!
One of the things I didn’t care for as much is how utterly helpless Hestia was during this entire sequence. I know it’s part of the character but we saw a glimpse of her being all goddess like in season 1 and that was one of my very favourite moments. I was really hoping that seeing Bell in such a though spot would bring it out of her again and I was disappointed that random returning characters had to do all the saving. It made her feel rather useless in that moment.
To make it worse, she chooses the worst possible time to have a high school do you like me moment with Bell. The guy could be killed any moment, maybe you can talk about this later? I think Hestia as a character deserves better representation. She’s cooler than this.
True, but the gods and goddesses seem to view the importance of things a little differently to us mere mortals. Apparently Hestia really needed to know right then and there how Bell felt even though she had to have known how he was going to respond.
Though thinking of things in this episode that feel like throwbacks, Bell ending up asking Ais to help train him again is definitely another point where it feels like we’ve come full circle. I’m not saying this as a complaint. I think it is nice that events and characters keep coming back and regardless of the progress Bell made last season, he’s still a fairly new adventurer so it makes sense that he repeats the same mistakes or scenarios and needs to go back to training.
I had forgotten how majorly stoic Ais is. She really has that robot girl trope down. If that’s what Bell goes for, poor Hestia doesn’t stand much of a chance«.
In the end, they just ended up accepting the War Game. YAY! but also why? Because Hestia didn’t get to smooch her child? That can’t be it. It also made the entire episode seem a bit useless. They could have just accepted the challenge in the opening tag and on to episode 3 we go. The only event of any real impact is Lily’s involuntary return to the Soma familia.
I’m making it sound way more negative than it is but that’s because Karandi said all the good parts. Also, one of my biggest problems is that I don’t remember a lot of the characters so I need to rebuild my attachments. Obviously, this is going to take a few more episodes for me. Still, I did enjoy the episode and look forward to finally learning more about this War Game.
I think your side is needed here. I’m clearly in love with the original series and the source here so objectivity got tossed straight out the window. I think your view is going to ground these reviews quite a bit because every issue you’ve pointed out, is actually an issue I just don’t care because I’m having too much fun.
I just had so much fun during this episode. I loved watching the chase and Bell’s friends coming to his aid. I’m really looking forward to watching Welf and Hestia trying to help Lily and I’m also looking forward to the War Game once it gets going for real. This was a delightful start and it really felt like getting back together with an old friend. Loving it so far.
Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi
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Images from: DanMachi 2nd Season. Dir. T Hideki. J.C. Staff. 2019.