Let the semifinals BEGIN!
EvilBob: …Well this is awkward.
Voyager: Hm? Why’s that? ‘Cause you don’t have a competitor in this round?
EvilBob: N-no. It’s just that these are both so good!
Voyager: Ahaha! You’re a terrible liar. That second part’s pretty true, though, yeah?
EvilBob: …Seriously, can you go back to being the smarmy, low energy version of you? I like that one better.
Voyager: So mean!
EvilBob: Look who’s talkin’! Whatever. On to the opening thoughts then, right?
EvilBob: Well, this one’s gonna be hard. DanMachi is still delivering on everything that makes it great and Fire Force looks to be starting on giving as a payoff for the buildup it’s presented so far. I think DanMachi has a higher chance of winning this thing but that could change. I loved being able to see the mansion after Hestia had it made over. That was some payoff all by itself. I had forgotten how she got him the dagger though but seeing the debt brought up was fun. But that Fire Force episode. I can’t wait to see how this’ll end. I do wonder if it’ll keep its stride once it gets there. If it does it may just come out on top.
Voyager: Hmm. This episode of DanMachi was basically a cooldown. But it was a good one! Cooldown episodes can be pretty hit-or-miss so it’s good to see that this series can manage to do even that exceptionally well. The episode makes up for an almost nonexistent plot with small matters that help thrust the characters forward in their development. Especially Hestia. Meanwhile, Fire Force does the exact opposite, ramping up, rather than cooling down. It delivers an episode with a simple but dense plot and a lot of stuff going on while taking the time to establish characters more so than develop any. Though we can reasonably expect that part to come soon. It does develop its heroes a bit and has a bit and shows us some really sweet action, to boot. Even if it is a bit on the short side.
EvilBob: One word. Hestia.
Voyager: Yeeeah… but Bell’s still as adorkable as ever. And that’s to say nothing of the other plethora of lovable characters throughout.
EvilBob: Still though…
Voyager: Yeah… Hestia.
Voyager: I mean… that action, tho.
EvilBob: Dude, right? DanMachi can pull out some pretty nice action, every now and then, but… this was nooot the episode for it. Meanwhile, David Production did David Production things… again.
Voyager: Kinda makes me wonder how it’d look if it was Studio Bones. Same studio that did Soul Eater, so…
EvilBob: Ooh. That is a good question. Still, though. For right now?
Voyager: Yeah. No contest, really.
Voyager: Y’know what? This one’s actually pretty tough.
EvilBob: Yeah. I mean, they’re both really good, so far.
Voyager: Like I’ve been saying, story is the sum of Plot and Character Arc. These two episodes each took really different approaches, though. Minimal plot from DanMachi, and yet a hefty amount of character development, keeping it afloat.
EvilBob: But Fire Force went all-in on the plot with a lot of character establishment, but not much development.
Voyager: If I had to choose then, at least for this particular episode, I’d probably say Fire Force walks away with it. What DanMachi brought was really good. But Fire Force had the more complete package. It had less character development, sure, but less isn’t none. And I think character establishment does definitely count for something. There was a lot of establishment for the Sister, as well as a little for various other members of Company 8 and the chief of Company 5. Plus a more proactive stride from Shinra.
EvilBob: Kinda feels like cheating, frankly…
Voyager: Yeah. To its credit, Fire Force did do a bit of worldbuilding. Just not an overwhelming amount that adds much depth to the world as a whole. DanMachi might not have built more of the world in its episode, but it definitely used its world more.
Voyager: Much like how Story is the sum of Plot and Character Arc, Atmosphere is the sum of Mood and Tone.
EvilBob: That makes this pretty hard, though. Tone is already difficult enough to figure out, on its own.
Voyager: True. And they get confused a lot. But I think in order for Tone to be determined, there has to be at least one prominent and visible theme. We can pretty much ignore mood because, let’s face it, both of these shows handle that masterfully.
EvilBob: Then we need to figure out the themes to get to the tone.
Voyager: The theme of DanMachi is pretty straightforward. It’s all about Family – especially Found Families – and how they help one another by pulling their own weight and coming to one another’s aid when there’s a member in need. And it’s very genuine in its approach to this. It’s made especially clear when Bell delivers an extremely heartfelt monologue about his Familia and how thankful he is for those in it. I mean, the term “Familia” was likely chosen for a reason. It could’ve easily been “clan” or “creed” or something.
EvilBob: Then the theme of Fire Force is… uh…
Voyager: Yeah. They’re… not as obvious. They’re definitely present, but this particular episode doesn’t really delve into them much. As such, the tone can’t really be discerned from it very easily.
EvilBob: So… DanMachi then?
Voyager: Phew! That was tough!
EvilBob: Tell me about it.
Voyager: But that just makes it more fun! Way closer than SSSS.Gridman vs. Yagate Kimi ni Naru or The Promised Neverland vs. Mob Psycho 100.
EvilBob: . . .
Voyager: So what do you guys at home think? Should DanMachi have picked up this win? Should it have done so move convincingly? Let us know, down below! Thanks, as always, for reading, folks!
EvilBob: And for letting us waste your time.
Voyager: Keep up the Awesome!
EvilBob: And Keep it Classy.
Voyager: Take Care!