「神の宴」 (Kami no utage (Paatii))
“Banquet of the Gods (Party)”
DanMachi is back! For those who don’t remember what happened in the first season, you’re in good company, because I only remember bits and pieces. But the long and short: The struggling Hestia Familia, led by the titular (and tit-uluar) goddess Hestia (Minase Inori), is once again trying to make a name for themselves, with a grand total of one mortal among their ranks. That’s our boy Bell Cranel (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu), AKA Little Rookie, the adventurer with the fastest time-to-Level-2 ever. Because yes, this is DanMachi, which means yes, there’s gonna be video gamey artifacts treated as real, because the gods said so.
All very interesting, but here’s the crucial question going into this episode: Does it set us up for season two? For a good intro shouldn’t just remind you of the characters you haven’t met in a while; it shouldn’t be naught but an animated cast listing. It should set up the intrigue—extending our theater metaphor, it should set the stage. How does this episode do that?
It does well! By the end of the episode, we’ve met the presumed antagonists for at least part of this season, the Apollo Familia, including the ridiculously campy Apollo (Osaka Ryota) himself—though I have many questions about that mega-creep face, though I’m not sure I want those answers. If this is depraved homosexual plotline, I’ll be annoyed. If it’s a god being a petty dick, though … well, we’ve all studied a bit of mythology, right? That’s right on brand.
The point is, the first episode sets up the intrigue well. What is the War Game? Why did the Apollo Familia set this up? How are them Duke boys gonna get out of this one? (I’m not even sure that’s how the line goes tbh.) It also did a good job of reminding us of who some of these old characters were, and what’s more, in fancy clothes! Much appreciated.
Last of all, let’s confront the elephant in the room: Bell and Ais’ dance. Ais Wallenstein (Oonishi Saori) is not my favorite heroine ever—no, I did not see the spin-off, which from the weeping and gnashing seems like was a good idea—but her story does fit well with Bell’s. Or at least she does, cause that girl is awkward too. It’s like a teen romance up in here. Anyone else seen Far From Home? That, but less awkward. Honestly, I think I like her more as a feature of Bell’s story than a character in herself, but that’s mostly just because Hestia blows her out of the water in the personality sphere. Hestia is just so fun! Gotta love her.
That’s the first episode of DanMachi II! Oh, as for the other elephant in the room: No, I’m probably not blogging this season. I just wanted to intro this one show. Sorry! Maybe next season. Just a feeling…
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OP: 「HELLO to DREAM」 by Yuka Iguchi