Now, this is the kind of battle we were hoping for!
Voyager: Hm. So. Let’s take notes from a certain eSport I happen to be fond of and open this with what I’m just gonna temporarily dub the Anime TKO Pre-Show.
EvilBob: Eh? We’re doing a pre-show, now?
Voyager: Well, you don’t have a horse in this race, so in lieu of our competing, might as well fill the gap with something.
EvilBob: Sooo what does this involve?
Voyager: Us talking about the future of the tournament. Actually, this bracket’s pretty interesting. It might not look like it, but this round has some major implications going forward, for both shows.
EvilBob: Yeah. This is turning out to be a really good matchup. Both shows are 1 and 1, right now. Taking a lead, here, is huge for both of them, frankly. But looking at it, DanMachi definitely needs this win more, in the long run.
Voyager: I’d say so. Just as a reminder to you all, the tiebreaker round is still a competition between the OP of each series. And… looking at the OPs for these two…
EvilBob: Yeeeah. DanMachi basically needs to secure a 3-1, here. It can’t afford to let Fire Force take a single point, from here on out.
Voyager: Meanwhile, Fire Force would be delighted to take just one point, now. And there’s absolutely no pressure on it to do so here because it has two whole rounds to do it.
EvilBob: Now that’s what I’m talking about. A match with stakes.
Voyager: Whichever show wins this bracket, let’s be honest, is favored to win in the next one. So either one of these shows would love a win in this round.
EvilBob: Yea- waitaminute…
Voyager: And now it’s on to the opening thoughts!
EvilBob: Good god does Fire Force ever not deliver in the visual department? Once again the action is amazing. Also, the Princess has decided to help after the “joint exercise”. And the next target of the 8th? The 1st. Oh boy, this is gonna get good. I mean it’s good already but it’s gonna get… nevermind. Meanwhile, in DanMachi, Bell faces the music of what happened in the last episode and it seemed at first that he wouldn’t be rescuing the fox lady he met before. I don’t really see why it was so hard for him to say something to her, last time. But Voyager already went over that. I also think it was a waste of time showing him struggle with it since it’s a foregone conclusion that he’ll help her anyway. Also, if that ambush works, I think another Familia is going down.
Voyager: …I really don’t have anything else of great significance to add to that. Fire Force is visually stunning and while others find the show to be slowly paced, I have a theory that I’ll bring up later. As for DanMachi… it’s good. I’unno what more you want me to say.
Voyager: As with before, DanMachi just wins this category, basically forever. Its characters are lovable, well thought out, and fun.
EvilBob: Fire Force is getting around to having more fun with its characters, for sure. But none of them really stand out in the same way as DanMachi’s do.
Voyager: The problem is basically just that they aren’t as well-rounded. The implications are there for just about all of them to be. The foundation definitely exists. But they’re not really taking advantage of that yet. Which is what makes them fall behind.
EvilBob: So, Point – DanMachi.
Voyager & EvilBob: Fire Force.
Voyager: This situation is a lot harder to peg. I personally think that, for this particular arc, Fire Force actually has a generally superior plot. The mystery setup and intriguing questions surrounding it are interesting. But Story is ultimately about the progression and evolution of characters through the plot.
EvilBob: And, if we’re honest, that’s a metric that DanMachi has in the bag. The plot isn’t really anything special. In fact, it might even be getting a little bloated. But the character work is excellent.
Voyager: Even with Bell’s weird little slip of not knowing what to say in a situation he’d definitely have some words about, the progress of his character and those around him is great. So. Point – DanMachi.
Voyager: I dunno how many times we’re gonna make me say it. DanMachi’s world is just so much fun to play in. The framework of the world is set up and every arc seems to expand it just that liiittle bit further, giving us more points of interest.
EvilBob: You can tell they’ve already built the world and they’re just taking advantage of different pieces of what they’ve constructed with just about every arc. And not just the actual physical space, either. But the rules, the power systems, everything.
Voyager: And the Familias are an excellent narrative device to the end of worldbuilding because with each new one introduced, the world seems to grow a little.
EvilBob: In this case, that’d be the Ishtar Familia. And hoo boy, do we learn a good deal about them.
Voyager: While also whetting our appetites with a bit of mystery about them, on the side. Overall, DanMachi just keeps taking a gold star in this category.
EvilBob: Gotta be Dan–
Voyager: Fire Force.
Voyager: Yeah. It’s part of that pacing thing I was kind of alluding to before. I think Fire Force’s slower pace is an intentional narrative decision to instill a certain mood in the audience. It’s like the burning down of a dynamite wick. When the anime isn’t being funny to sort of relieve the tension, it’s taking its time to remind you of that tension. It’s just as apparent through its inclusion and – at some points – exclusion of music, background noise, or sound effects. It also pops up with some of the weird camera angles and some of the model-breaking animation.
EvilBob: Huh. So that’s why I’ve felt so unnerved when watching the show, from time to time.
Voyager: Yeah. And I think it’s doing a lot for the atmosphere of the show. Building tension and releasing it with humor, then proceeding to remind us that there’s still plenty of reason to be tense. It’s setting up what’s almost a false sense of security, that way. But that anxiety is exactly what it’s going for. And I think that really works because it’s something the people in this world experience on the regular – the feeling that everything could suddenly go up in flames for them at any given moment. It’s really clever stuff.
EvilBob: …Can I borrow your powers of observation?
Voyager: No, but I’ll tell you what you can do.
[Insert Git Gud Image]
EvilBob: …I walked into that.
Voyager: Ya did. Point – Fire Force.
EvilBob: Well, that was fast.
Voyager: Also close. Don’t forget close.
EvilBob: If DanMachi had lungs, I’m sure it’d be breathing a sigh of relief, about now.
Voyager: Yeah, but its troubles aren’t done yet. It still has one more round to worry about. All it managed to do, this time, was put Fire Force under some pressure of its own.
EvilBob: Can you imagine what’d have happened if these two were in the finals?
Voyager: Pro’lly a repeat of Yagate Kimi ni Naru vs. Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai.
EvilBob: Yeah, glad we’re nipping this one in the bud!
Voyager: Dude, right? Anyway, that’s that, everybody. What’d you think? Is DanMachi primed to win the whole thing?
EvilBob: Or could Fire Force steal a point, next week, and pull off a massive upset?
Voyager: Let us know, down below. Thanks for reading, as always, folks. Keep up the Awesome!
EvilBob: And Keep it Classy.
Voyager: Take Care.