Through the fire and through the flames.
Oh DanMachi, what am I going to do with you? It seems like every time you take a step forward, you end up collapsing under your own weight. That isn’t to say you aren’t making progress, there’s just a better way to go about it. All you need is a push, but there’s no one there. They’ve all abandoned you to go buy blue ribbons. It’s not me (it certainly isn’t me); it’s you. Or maybe it’s them. But it’s definitely not me.
The date with Hestia was unnecessary. The only development that came out of it is that Demeter was given a brief introduction, but seeing as how she hasn’t shown up again, her inclusion is also extraneous for the time being. In fact, the best thing that came out of the whole scene was seeing Hestia in that dress. At least I think it’s a dress…that is a dress, right? There are some interesting things to note, an entire bathhouse devoted to gods and goddesses (I swear there’s got to be something about it that’s interesting), for one, and that the proportion of gods to goddesses is heavily skewed against the gods, so they must be rarer for some reason, but unless Hestia’s hesitance toward coming back to the tower and having dinner is foreshadowing a later event, there really wasn’t any point other than fanservice. Which is fine and all if it didn’t take up a decent chunk of time (which it did) or that was the point of the series (which it’s not), and it didn’t happen in the middle of important developments (which it did). Don’t make me wait any longer to see Lili than I already have to.
I just wanted to put another picture of Lili.
Luckily, the remainder fared better. Most of the RPG elements are wooden and tacked on, but the introduction to magic courtesy of Freya’s grimoire was one of the better meshes. In comparison to the status system which hasn’t been explained at all, “I learned magic from reading a magic book” is indeed an improvement. Completely in accordance with Bell’s character, he goes magic crazy until he wears himself out, which lead to my favorite observation that had nothing really to do with any of that. You have to walk back through every floor of the dungeon when you return. Just think about that for a second. Sheesh. It still felt slightly odd previously spending all this time devoted to building up Lili and then mostly shoving her to the side in favor of several (mostly interconnected) smaller stories, but I’d attribute the feeling to how nonchalant the whole thing was. After Freya’s cliffhanger and Lili’s situation, it appeared like there might be another big conflict coming, but none happened (right away), so there was a consistent atmosphere of indifference looming for quite a while.
As predictable as it was, I still kinda enjoyed the (pseudo-)ending to Lili’s conflict. Don’t burn me to the stake yet, I said “kinda!” Or maybe I just like seeing Lili. Yeah, that’s probably it; forget I said any of that. Where’s my pitchfork? I’m joining the angry mob. There are quite a few issues someone could have with the conclusion. It was too forced. It dragged on too long. Bell is a knucklehead. Kanu is some weird half bear human creature thing and can’t be taken seriously. The other adventurer in his party had an afro. That was orange. I found it hard to watch from the adventurers beating Lili. Physical abuse doesn’t sit well with me to begin with (and it shouldn’t for anyone), but seeing her literally get kicked while she’s already down makes it entirely uncomfortable, and not in the good way something like WataMote can achieve. The adventurers had to be brutal to maintain Lili’s “I hate all adventurers because they are cruel” mentality to the end, but everything after she was tripped was just excessive. There’s a fine line, and it was crossed.
Let’s focus a bit on the end here. Why did Bell save Lili? “Because you’re a girl.” Ughhhhhh. I really don’t think DanMachi is trying to be chauvinistic (even though harem series generally are implicitly inherent), but this is at least the second time Bell has associated being weak with gender by stating he’s protecting them (and therefore that they need protection) because they are that gender, when he already believes himself to be inadequate as a male. There’s plenty of evidence against the argument that it is: Bell was rescued by Aiz, all other males except Miach have been portrayed rather unflattering, the strongest characters thus far are female, etc., so instead of being sexist, it feels like Bell is just using the second lowest common denominator as the excuse (because the first would be “because you’re a person in danger).” At least Lili still called him out on it. Maybe if Bell gives us another reason why he’d save Lili then we’d know for sure. Just to ease any confusion. Wait, here we go. “Because you’re you.” UGHHHHHH. Yep, Bell’s just a big (or small, get it? Get it? Cuz he’s…nevermind) cornball.
The market was all out of blue ribbons. Also, me meditating on my posts.
Looks like we’ll finally get to clear the fog surrounding Aiz soon, which can only mean one thing: more Aiz reactions. There better be more Aiz reactions. And that Bell is probably going to wimp out again. Okay, that was two things, but who’s counting? Don’t answer that. Even after the long time coming meeting of Aiz and Bell, there’s still plenty of loose ends to tie up. The aftermath of Lili and her Familia hasn’t been taken care of, Freya’s undoubtedly going to have some evil lovey dovey scheme, and there’s still the unknown third member of Bell’s party yet to be introduced, but for now, I’m just happy if I get more Aiz reactions. Or Lili time. Or Ryu. I’m not picky.