Anime  

DanMachi 4 – 02 [The Great Falls]

DanMachi is continuing its winning ways from last season.  Even though this episode is still very much in the “setup” stage, we’re starting to see the key themes of the season emerge.  Let’s dive in!

First – Bell.  We saw it last episode, but his growing maturity from the traumatic events of last season are still being explored.  The party dynamics shown around the mundane camp are great – we see all the facets of how Bell is really becoming the central “hero” he’s supposed to be.  From Lily’s complaints of being left behind, to Aisha’s outside observations, it’s clear: Bell is the star of this show.  I also really like how no one is just letting the fact that monsters can have feelings just go away – everyone seems concerned about Bell’s bleeding heart (rightly so).  However, no one should feel bad for those murder hornets – yuck.

I am really coming around on Aisha.  When’s she’s not turbo ho’ing, she’s actually a pretty important character.  She shows a different perspective on the main cast, which helps keep things from getting stale after 4 seasons.  Her character design is also getting a lot of love this season, with the rolled up garment (looks like a sweater?) replacing those stupid transparent pants from earlier seasons.  She’s not dethroning Ais by any means, but I’m definitely liking her more than from season 2.  Still don’t really care for Haruhime though.

Finally, the dungeon as a concept is being explored more.  From “hurting” it so it has to regenerate to our better AI monster, we’re exploring deeper into the world concepts and the dungeon itself.  Visually, I’m digging the giant waterfalls and the “Water City” level.  I’ve always enjoyed the different “floors” and the different scenery they bring.  I was thinking – we saw Ais adventure down to the lower floors before, but we didn’t see the Great Waterfall, I don’t think.  Maybe someone with a better memory can remind me.

Despite being a bit heavy handed at times (with Bell’s development and the impending dooooom), this is DanMachi at its best.  Not the silly bath jokes or the overbearing deities – just some good ‘ole fashioned monster fighting and dungeon progression.  I don’t know if this is just the source material finding its way, but this feels like peak Dungeon to me; the animation is even holding up as well.

TL;DR – this looks to be a good season.

P.S.  I really hate parasitic plants as a mechanic.