“War Game (War Game)”

「戦争遊戯」 (Sensou Yuugii (Wougeemu))

If I never made it clear beforehand, S1 is where my source material knowledge came to an end. And I never bothered to catch up, because I couldn’t be bothered to consume the gradual drip feed of slow translations. To my noob eyes, that was an awesome episode. Everyone assembles like they’re the god damn Avengers 2.0, then proceeded to go to town against Apollo’s familia, dishing out an extremely heated version of revenge served hot. You can say that Lili’s infiltration and subsequent scrambling of the enemy logistics was extremely underhanded. However, as the saying goes, all is fair in love and war.

Initial Assault

The segments featuring Ryuu and Mikoto were straight up badass. They had graceful fighting style full of strength and conviction, while the animation was beautifully fluid and action-packed. My favourite moments from their respective scenes were when Ryuu initially used the magic swords to attack the fortress, and for Mikoto, it was when she used gravity magic to lock down multiple members of the Apollo familia. Unfortunately for Welf, there’s only 20 minutes of time in an episode if you take out the OP/ED themes, so he got shortchanged in terms of screentime. But he still did a bang up job wiping out some groundforce by causing a magic rod to implode, before holding his own against Daphne.

The Argonaut Rises

Undeniably, through all the eye candy, these were merely the entrees for the main act. Bell really blew this episode wide open, figuratively and literally, when he powered up a fireball with Argonaut to blow up an entire section of the castle. That was an extremely epic scene and when ‘Heroic Desire’ started playing, shivers ran down my spine. It’s really up there with ‘You Say Run’.

But while I enjoyed the heck out of the Argonaut moment, Bell’s subsequent fight with Hyakinthos didn’t quite hit high notes in the same way as last season’s minotaur fight. Apollo’s second in command ripped off the destructo disc from Krillin, and it was a move he could only pull off because Cassandra got in Bell’s way (and he was too much a gentleman to cut her down). Despite being put on the back foot, Bell’s lessons with Ais really came in handy. He ended up capitalising on Hyakinthos lowering his guard, as he was going in for the kill, to launch a lethal counterpunch that won the war game for Hestia familia once and for all. When that lesson from Ais came up last episode, I didn’t think it would just be any old gun lying around, when the smoking nozzle seemed to indicate Chekov. Only I didn’t think they’d blitz through to the war game’s conclusion so soon. Still, I’m really pleased at how it was tied in, especially since it was a believable way for Bell to prevail when backed into a corner like that. My only letdown is that the Apollo Familia were portrayed as these easily toppled and incompetent stooges, which massively took away from the challenge, threat and high stakes that they posed towards Bell. The achievement became diminished.

Concluding Thoughts

Did I like the episode? Hell yeah. Smug Hestia is bestia. Hestia’s retribution upon Apollo was magnificent to behold, and I got one heck of a justice boner from seeing him get his dues. Satisfaction too that the Hestia familia were justly recompensed for their troubles with a whole entire mansion. But I can’t help but get this indescribable feeling that maybe the episode could have been better. Maybe they didn’t need to pack the whole content into two episodes, and could have given the Welf v Daphne and Bell v Hyakinthos fight significantly more oomph. Anyway, that’s just my opinion and I’m sure those familiar with the source material would be in a much better position to provide input. As always, thanks for reading my post and feel free to comment your thoughts and feelings below!


  1. Most of the Apollo Familia was made up of Level 1s and 2s. Ryuu Leon is a Level 4, so it’s no surprise that she soloed about half the Apollo Familia without many problems – that’s how big a two-level gap really is before we consider that Ryuu Leon has soloed entire Familias into destruction before. Mikoto stunned lock another good proportion of the Apollo Familia with her gravity magic, thanks to Lili directing them to bunch up against her, preventing them from interfering. Welf one-shot all of Apollo’s Mage Line with his anti-magic spell and Lili kept Cassandra occupied. Bell proceeded to wipe out all of Hykanthios final reserves with Argonaut and Firebolt combined.

    The Apollo Familia was an upper-mid tier Familia, but once Bell’s allies had the initiative and tactical advantage, a one on one battle with Hykanthios and a Bell Carnel trained by sparring with Tiona and Aiz could be engineered. Hestia was betting it all on Bell’s Liaris Freese being able to make Bell fast enough to keep up with Hykanthios with a week’s worth of training aginst two of Orario’s strongest adventurers.

  2. I do like seeing that smug bastard put in his place.

    I can agree that this could have been paced better to ramp up the drama, but after watching the episode I went to read the relevant portions of volume 6, and it’s… well… basically the same. Yes some stuff was cut, but nothing that I think would really have improved the dramatic aspect. It’s basically the same quick run of Hestia familia and friend curb-stomping the Apollo familia, brutally and hard.

  3. I liked the episode but it did feel a tad predictable. While sure, you know the protagonist will always triumph (or at least never totally lose), this one was especially blatant with its “you already know the outcome” storyline.

    It didn’t make it unwatchable, not at all. I very much liked this episode, but it kinda felt like the arc laid the setting for the series going forward, and the creators felt they needed to just kinda get it out of the way so the next arcs IN the setting could get covered.

    I’m not sure how much better this would have been or could have been, had they taken more time, but I do kinda hope they slow down in future arcs now the the “dirty work” establishing the setting is finished.

  4. I haven’t actually read any of the light novels or the Manga. (which I really should start soon.) The last three episodes had me going I thought the writers were going to have take a page out of Tate no Yuusha no nariagari and frame our much beloved Bell-kun, using a ploy hatched out by Apollo and Hyakinthos.

    Thankfully no, I couldn’t stand these two at the start of episode two.



    1. “rooting” or just expecting?

      He’s one of the few to know first hand what Bell is capable of, and that he tends to somehow overcome situations where he outclassed so to speak

  5. So I guess the author felt that the whole “poor one person familia living in a run down church” setting had pretty much run its course and that they were too good for that now. So, instead of slowly improving the size of their familia and their situation, they just went with this “war game” deus ex machina to jump them forward to a mid tier familia.

    Ehh, better than going with a time skip I guess

    1. I thought it was Hermes as well.

      One of the downsides of taking a blender approach to mythology is that everything gets mangled. Freya is a goddess, not a valkyrie. If there was a single visual trait for the valkyrie, I think it would be long, wildly flowing hair. Not saying that you don’t see imagery of them wearing winged helms (although typically the wings are more grandiose than displayed here) but the hair is the thing.

  6. I have read the novel and the Apollo familia kind of are incompetent stooges. The only real aspects of this novel that the anime has decided to skip was that Hestia actually gave Soma the Hestia knife as payment for Lilly leaving his familia and joining hers with the promise of buying it back once they won the war game. Also they cut some of the back and forth between Bell and Hyakinthos and the latter’s shock at just how much more powerful Bell had become in such a short time.

    I don’t know if this is really a spoiler since it was in the novel at this point, but Bell’s stats during the war game were Show Spoiler ▼



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