Adventure waits around every corner, in this clash of Gods and Warriors. Which adventure reigns supreme?
EvilBob: Welcome, everyone, to Voyager’s doom.
Voyager: It’s cute how he psyches himself up to lose. Also makes it a lot more fun when I win.
EvilBob: Not this time!
Voyager: Yes… this time.
Voyager: Let’s get this over with. Our general thoughts, then the scores. I’ll even allow this mook to go first.
EvilBob: Um… thank you?
Voyager: Let it never be said that I’m not a gentleman. Though I’m also saving the best for last.
EvilBob: You know, Pride cometh before the fall.
Voyager: Who was it that opened this by proclaiming someone else’s defeat, exactly?
EvilBob: *ahem* Well, let’s get to it!
EvilBob: So the first episode of Vinland Saga was okay. They did something I didn’t expect and started with the beginning. In the manga, It started with Thorfinn as an adult, trying to get revenge for his father’s death. Then it flung us into a flashback. The anime decided to start with what was shown in the flashback. So the first episode wasn’t as gripping as it could’ve been. Action-wise that is. We also didn’t really get anything from the plot just yet.
Voyager: Meanwhile, DanMachi returns with a vengeance. And it’s like it never left! The whole cast of lovable characters, including our unbelievably dorky lead – Bell – is back. And they refamiliarize us with everyone in a quick, efficient manner before throwing us, headfirst, into the plot of the arc – the War Game between Hestia’s and Apollo’s Familias. Those runts in Apollo’s Familia reeeally need some humbling. And I very much look forward to seeing that come to fruition. As for everything else, it looks like the animation got a major upgrade. I think people wrongly call J.C Staff on poor animation (the controversy over the last season of One Punch Man helped nothing). But they really do pull out all the stops on occasion. And DanMachi is one of those occasions. That opening action sequence and the bar fight were superb. SO glad this show’s back.
EvilBob: But enough of our gushing.
EvilBob: …Your. Your gushing.
Voyager: As long as we’re clear. Shall we get on to my ‘inevitable defeat’ now?
EvilBob: Y-yes! Aha! Hahahaha! Ha…
Voyager: So. Tell us all about your incredibly memorable, captivating characters, Bob. Please.
EvilBob: Well, um… Thors is pretty cool!
Voyager: Uh-huh. Go on.
EvilBob: W-well… he’s the war veteran! Who ran away from the war. To start a family. And did you see the way he saved that slave? Such a nice guy and… he’s… he’s not gonna last, is he?
EvilBob: S-shut up! Your characters had a whole season to develop! How much would you know about them from your first episode if it hadn’t had that advantage?
Voyager: I’m glad you asked, my lumbering friend! You’d actually be rather surprised. For a show that’s picking up where its predecessor left off, there’s not a lot being left to the audience to figure out. They do a pretty solid job of taking the time to establish key details about just about every character. Bell’s motivation, Hestia’s reputation among the gods, the camaraderie between Bell and his party, the works. And all of that is on top of the dynamic personalities that lie all over the place in this thing. Had I not seen the first season, I’d have been completely fine with this episode as a starting point. And that is impressive for any Season 2.
EvilBob: …Show off.
Voyager: Oh dear. Looks like this category is my win. Not to worry, though. You can always get a reverse sweep.
Voyager: You’ve got this one, for sure.
EvilBob: Uh… yeah! Yeah… *ahem* It follows the everyday life of Vikings! While they’re not… you know… Viking…
Voyager: I see, I see. Fascinating. And tell me about the plot.
EvilBob: …Well… you see… what had happened was…
Voyager: Ho? Is something wrong? Then how about the character development? Surely that’s moving along.
EvilBob: Um… Thorfinn realizing his Dad isn’t what he thought he was? That was neat.
Voyager: Ah. Well, I suppose what I’ve got doesn’t even hold a candle to that.
EvilBob: Now you’re patronizing me.
Voyager: I am! Though I must admit, I’m surprised you know what that word means.
EvilBob: Hey, I know words!
Voyager: So it seems. But the fact of the matter is that my episode manages to fit in not only a heap of plot, but also somehow finds time to throw in a little character development! I will grant that most of that second one does mean more for people who’ve seen the first season, but the introduction to the story arc was basically seamless. Appropriately tense and very well built up, too. So. Does that make this my win again?
Voyager: Oh, hey. It looks like I’ve won the round!
EvilBob: Grr… But I’ll at least take you down in this category! Vinland Saga‘s a beautiful work of art! That first action sequence was amazing! And that’s just a taste of what’s to come! Get ready! These next few episodes are gonna blow you out of the water!
Voyager: Ah. The next few episodes, hm? But what about this one?
Voyager: Hm. 404 Error. Argument not Found?
Voyager: You know, DanMachi started with a pretty sleek action sequence, too. And another pretty good one with the bar fight, right after that. Oh, and can we talk about the actual characters. I’ll lend that Vinland Saga has a great eye for realistic character design due to its historical nature. BUT, DanMachi has the edge on aesthetically pleasing character design. Oh, and let’s just talk about how expressive all the characters are. Because that is where a lot of this show’s personality really comes in. Personality that the visual style really helps deliver.
EvilBob: . . .
Voyager: Hey. I think that means I’ve won this category, right?
EvilBob: You may have beaten me, this time. But next time, I’ll take you down for sure!
Voyager: Ho? I’m looking forward to it.
Voyager: Hey, this was fun!
EvilBob: For one of us, maybe…
Voyager: Oh, don’t be such a sore loser. You have whole 3 weeks left to take DanMachi’s crown. No need to act so pitiful.
EvilBob: That’s right! It’s not over yet!
Voyager: Aw, see? That’s the spirit.
EvilBob: …did you just-?
Voyager: Anyway, that’s it for Round 1, everybody! What do you think? Did DanMachi deserve that win? The answer might surprise-
Voyager: So spiteful. And can Vinland Saga shatter its pedestal?
Voyager: And now with the confidence. Thanks, as always, for reading, folks. Keep up the Awesome!
EvilBob: And Keep it Classy.
Voyager: Take care!