“War Game (War Game)”
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.
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.
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!