「英雄切望 (アルゴノゥト)」 (Eiyuu Setsubou (Arugonouto))
“Longing to Be a Hero (Argonaut)”
It’s okay to whip up a minor ruckus in Orario – that’s just mere entertainment for the gods and goddesses. Killing stone rituals and planned insurrections? No problem. But never touch anything that Freya finds fascinating, in this case Bell Cranel, or else you won’t be long for this world. Ishtar bit off way more than she could chew trying to make the boy hers. In a matter of minutes, Freya’s ground forces raze the red light district into molten piles of burning rubble, effortlessly putting an end to Ishtar’s devious plot and putting on quite the statement of deterrence for anyone who dared to think along similar lines. And the way Freya sadistically plays around with Ishtar before slapping her back to heaven couldn’t make it any clearer – never ever mess with Freya. In a hypothetical situation where Phryne desecrated Bell, I’d feel a potent mix of anticipation and terror as to how Freya would rip an abyss into Orario. If this sequence of events was all within calculation for Hermes, taking down Ishtar while rescuing Haruhime and getting laid, good gracious me that was quite the master plan indeed.
On the other hand, though the soundtrack ‘Heroic Desire’ always gets my blood pumping and Bell’s fierce resolve impressed me, I wasn’t that impressed with the first fight that JC Staff came up with. Bell vs Phryne felt awfully flat as the marquee fixture we’ve been anticipating. You had your moments where their blades clashed, while he was encased with glowing energy. But that was it really. There was nothing more to that fight in a technical sense, and it’s a shame because it really could have been on another level with the stakes and emotional gravatas at hand. That said, Bell’s subsequent bout with Aisha proved a lot more entertaining. Admittedly, I can’t help but use the Minotaur fight as a standard for Danmachi, because the series has proven it can be breathtakingly incredible. But I did enjoy what the final fight put on the table, with an excellent display of skill from both combatants tied together with neat choreography, and it definitely hearkened back to the core themes of heroics and legends. By definitively rejecting the heroes of old and their selective approach in deciding who should be saved, Bell rewrites a new legend himself and creates a much worthier hero in the process. At least from my perspective.
I suppose you can’t get a better outcome than that. Sure, the most powerful and ax-crazy goddess is still obsessed with Bell and she even sees his immunity to divine charms as an exciting challenge to be overcome, meaning that the future cannot be easy for the Hestia familia. Nevertheless, the Ishtar familia have been vanquished, Mikoto is safe, Freya herself will likely avoid directly interfering in a way that would affect Bell’s personal growth, and Haruhime has been saved. She might not have seen the worth in herself, believing a prostitute is not worth saving. However, she was able to become true to herself with some encouragement from Bell, reaching out to him and requesting for his aid. Without her assistance, it would have been impossible for Bell to take on and defeat an adventurer that was two levels above him. Bonus points when Ottarl caved that sadistic toad’s head in once and for all (not that I condone violence against women, but I make an exception for Phryne).
What does the future hold? With something like one or two episodes left, I’m expecting some much needed fluff to pad things out and end the season on a high note. And Hestia better watch out, because a new girl’s in town vying for Bell’s affections and threatens her once untouchable status as best girl! Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading my post and see you next week