This week, things heat up. In more ways than one.
Voyager: Welp. This is it. This is the tense week.
EvilBob: That’s right. One of these shows ain’t makin’ it out.
Voyager: ‘But Voyager! DanMachi has two points!’ Yes. And if Fire Force won a single point more, a tiebreaker would be inevitable… in which case it’d be a duel of the OPs.
EvilBob: And, if that were the case… Bye DanMachi.
Voyager: So this is absolutely for all the marbles. For all intents and purposes, whichever show wins this round wins the bracket.
EvilBob: It’s like we said. Things are heating up… and, speaking of heat…
EvilBob: Fire Force is still amazing. One of the guys in the 1st squad was using bugs to turn people infernal. I knew at least one of them was involved but I’m a little surprised as to who it was. It’s a really solid episode with a nice clip hanger at the end. I’m not sure I can say much else besides it looked awesome. Meanwhile, in DanMachi, I don’t know what’s wrong with Bell but it’s annoying. If he was gonna be a useless lump it should’ve been much earlier than this. He wants to save her but, for some reason, he’s afraid of another war, even though they just won an impossible battle before this. Am I missing something here? This just doesn’t make any sense to me with what’s already happened.
Voyager: Heh? It makes total sense. Just because you won one doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to win another against an entirely different faction. What’s more, the game (assuming it is, in fact, a war game again. Which doesn’t appear to be the case) could be different. And the even then, the outcome of this could very easily have much, much more dire consequences. Beyond that, wanting to save the girl doesn’t mean he’s totally okay with further inconveniencing his family or his goddess and dragging them into this. Bell has never boasted that kind of bravado. Frankly, this is very in-character for him and is indicative of a great arc – dealing with the idea of what one is willing to do to be a hero. The issue lies in his earlier problem with the situation where, for some reason, he seemed completely meek in the face of the very idea of being a hero and saving the girl. As for Fire Force, I’m… actually a little surprised that we’re here already. I mean, there was a little more buildup to this in the manga. The mystery lingered around for a bit longer. But I suppose it’s not that much of a loss, in retrospect. The tension of the series has already been building a lot, as it is. Though the tension of this particular scenario hasn’t really had that much time to build, I suppose. Either way, the payoff is still every bit as awesome as it is in the source material.
Voyager: In. Perpetuity.
EvilBob: He really likes his big words.
Voyager: Just sayin’. DanMachi hasn’t really dropped the ball on this yet. It fell on Fire Force to reasonably outshine it. And while it’s managed a little improvement in this area, it was in no way enough.
Voyager: I’ll put it this way. DAMN, That Entrance.
EvilBob: Yeah. Fire Force.
Voyager: This one is kind of easy and tricky at the same time. There’s definitely a clear, definitive winner. But the reason behind that victory isn’t quite as clear on one side.
EvilBob: DanMachi has a very clearly laid out plot, driven by the characters and with several revelations and character actions that come as a result of it. The pacing is spot on and the buildup to the most impactful moments is basically perfect. Or pretty close to it.
Voyager: Fire Force, by contrast… it’s difficult to really say. On the one hand, skipping over a lot of that speculation and mystery definitely hurts the narrative pacing of the arc. It just robs it of a lot of the impact it would’ve otherwise had. No matter how awesome that payoff is on a presentational level.
EvilBob: But it was also probably the right call in other ways. It makes Shinra come across as a bit more decisive and also gets straight to the meat of the arc, which the series probably needed, since it’s been such a slow burn, already. The placement of this bombshell episode would’ve been essentially perfect, had the buildup been there.
Voyager: I’m not even really sure if this speaks more to the show having a problem or audiences. I certainly could’ve waited to get to this point. I have the patience and nothing but time. But most audiences probably aren’t that interested in something that moves that slowly. It’s very atypical of a Shounen, in that regard. So yeah. It’s murky. Easy to say that DanMachi is the winner, but difficult to say where the actual problem with Fire Force‘s episode lies.
Voyager: …Well, I mean… DanMachi continues to use its time to expand the world, in one way or another. Things like the Killing Stone, for example.
EvilBob: Creating this sort of legend around it and what it means, how it factors into everything, DanMachi really has mastered the use of its world.
Voyager: Honestly? This category could pretty much go either way. The presentation of Fire Force genuinely contributes to its atmosphere a lot.
EvilBob: Meanwhile, DanMachi’s atmosphere is carried almost entirely on sharp writing and character performances. It thrives on that strong character work.
Voyager: But I do think that Fire Force just honestly has an edge in establishing the atmosphere. When things are tense in Fire Force, they feel tense. Through and through. It’s an unnerving idea of uncertainty that it builds within the audience. In DanMachi’s case, it doesn’t always deliver on that. Some scenes that should feel tense… don’t. I may not be the best judge since my emotional responses are generally veeery neutered. But, in certain scenes, I was watching far more passively than I get the impression they wanted me to. It’s something in Fire Force’s editing, I think.
Voyager: And there you have it. DanMachi can officially breathe a sigh of relief.
EvilBob: And so can we. That’s one more show off of our list for the season. Things are getting easier.
Voyager: Yeah. And… judging by the other bracket, the final is gonna be… um…
EvilBob: A massacre?
EvilBob: What? I’m just being honest.
Voyager: Too soon!
EvilBob: Oh… well, what do you guys, at home, think? Should this round have gone to Fire Force? Or did DanMachi earn this victory?
Voyager: The answer might surprise- YES. Seriously? Did that question even require any thought? Anyway, thanks for reading as always, folks.
EvilBob: And for letting us waste your time.
Voyager: Keep up the Awesome!
EvilBob: And Keep it Classy.
Voyager: Take Care.