DanMachi Episode 2
Today we open with particular focus on Bells newly acquired skill Realis Phase with its power Precautious Maturation, an ability that buffs Bells stats and is maintained so long as his feelings are and heightened by the strength of said feelings.
If you care to remember that in the previous episode, Bell's ability seemed to be growing tenfold. Furthermore, Hestia has kept this information to herself and it seemed that her reasons for doing so were majoritively personal, however, Hestia believes that in order for Bell to continue progressing along the path that he has embarked on, that he must be unaware of the new talent. Still, a certain degree of jealousy is unarguably at play. What's more is that this new ability can be seen by, and, undoubtedly, will attract the attention of other gods in the realm of Orario.
Overall, it seems like the best thing to do is to leave Bell to progress at his own pace, unaware of his new power. Hestia informs Bell that she has business to attend to that will keep her away for a few days and immediately after Bell makes his way to Mama Mia's tavern, to foot the bill he ran out on in the first episode.
Hestia is at a meeting of the gods and goddesses, an event she attends with a view of meeting up with a certain 'old friend' but not before she makes the acquaintance of some other well-known goddesses. Hestia can be seen on the floor, packing away the buffet for later consumption when she is interrupted by the goddess of Beauty, Freya. Head of the Freya Familia, one of the more powerful characters in the plot and owner of equally ridiculous breasts. Hestia shares a slight displeasure at meeting Freya but makes it clear that she feels Freya is more tolerable than certain others. Cue Loki's entrance, head of Loki Familia and boasting a particularly flat chest, much to the ridicule of Hestia. It's becoming apparent now that the size of their bosoms is almost a symbol of status to these ladies. Should you look past all the mammaries, somehow, you might notice certain undertones to the conversation being had between the ladies and their pertinence to the sub-plot.
Hestia spends some time arguing with Loki over nothing important when Hephaestus enters.
Hephaestus is the head of Hephaestus Familia and is known as the Divine Smith or artisan. Despite the Goddess' inability to use their powers on Earth, Hephaestus is still a master class smith and we discover that this is who Hestia has been waiting on. Freya says she has what she came for and departs, leaving Hestia to ask for Hephaestus' help; So as to guide Bell on his journey through the dungeon, and in aid of his new skill which will undoubtedly continue to result in rapid growth, Hestia commissions Hephaestus to make her a new weapon. Hephaestus unwittingly informs the viewer of Hestias past, when she was poor and without a Familia. Something that Loki and others take joy from in making fun of her for. Hestia and Hephaestus are friends after all, despite Hephaestus' initial distrust, given Hestia's past begging, she decides that she will help on a loan like basis, deciding to make the weapon herself so as to keep it private. I personally was hoping at this point that Bell would upgrade from a knife to a sword or some other form of weapon, alas, a high-quality knife is made. Which is not to say that its an unimpressive tool.
Yet another (currently) unknown character is in this episode. This character appears on screen but momentarily and it won't be long before the identity of both of these unknown characters (that includes the ??? from episode 1) is revealed.
Bell stands at the front of a store, doing a little sad window shopping for equipment he cannot afford when he is approached by Miach, head of the Miach Familia. Miach is possibly the first god we meet outside Hestia Familia that seems genuinely kind-hearted. Although Hephaestus has agreed to help, her stern nature makes her seem cold. On the contrary, although Freya seems kind, she may well be quite the opposite. Whereas Miach has a habit of helping others to the extent where he often puts his own Familia in a financial crisis. Miach and Bell and friends and Miach's act of kindness in this scene, giving away potions for free, will later prove to be a bit of a lifesaver.
A sinister plot is underway and nearing the end of episode two we lay witness to a conversation held between two Goddesses. It would seem that all of Bells progress has drawn some unwanted attention. Despite it being unusual and against their practice, Freya has grown to have a peculiar interest in Bell and the conversation had between the two has something to do with the comment made in passing at the God's party near the beginning. This scene is probably my favourite aesthetically, its use of contrast in direct comparison with the light out on the streets makes me feel like I'm watching some 30's Noire drama. Said lighting is a sort of pathetic fallacy which seems to serve the purpose of adding to the ominous nature of the conversation being had. Ais also appears by Loki's side, quiet and watchful, she is the only one who spots Bell running through the crowds of adventurers out on the street, making there way to the festival Monsterphilia.
Seen near the beginning of the episode, when Bell goes to pay his bill, Syr heads off into the midst of the festival, leaving her purse behind at work. Later on in the day some of Syr's colleagues hail to Bell and ask that he return it to her. Something of a sly plan perhaps? Only, when Bell heads off to find her, he himself is found by our returning heroin, Hestia. Delivering the funniest line in the episode, in my opinion, Hestia demands that the two of them go for a date, despite Bells protests that he has been asked to find someone. Hestia suggests that they can do both, 'two birds one stone'...two birds one stone, get it? Because Syr and Hestia both crave his attention? Bell just can't keep the girls away. So Bell and his beloved Goddess spend a day in the park, eating sweet things and looking for Syr, totally unaware of the chaos yet to unfold. Yes, that sinister sub-plot I mentioned comes closer to fruition when a hooded Freya heads down below the city's coliseum to unleash an incredible beast in what we can only assume is an attempt to test Bell...or eat Hestia, who knows? Funnily enough, we don't get to see Syr again due to all the commotion.
Giant ape monster
The episode ends with the first and only fight scene in this episode. Bell and Hestia are pursued by a creature that is much bigger than its cage initially suggests. Some kind of giant, ape-like, cyborg monster chases our heroes through the city of Orario, smashing buildings and disrupting the festival. Bell quickly realises that he is no match for the monster, breaking his knife in an attempt to rescue Hestia from almost certain doom. The pair head off down winding alleyways, gaining momentary vantage over the creature. Bell decides that the only thing that he can do, so as to protect his Familia, is to lock Hestia away behind a gate in some sort of cove and face the creature alone. Showing us yet again that he is as brave and kind as he headstrong and heart foolish. So you know, no, Hestia does not brandish the new blade any time during this episode, despite helping Hephaestus finish up her work before tying it to her backů maybe next week.
One of the best things about this episode, especially after our chaotic first encounter with the protagonist, Bell, is that he is in it as little as possible, serving the purpose of taking one scene to the next. The episode focuses more on Hestia and business with other Gods and Goddesses. This episode is more about the plot and less about fighting in the dungeon. It's hard not to be entranced by the inner workings of the shows various plot lines, I mean you know from the outset that something bad is on the horizon, only for the episode to finish in large-scale climactic fashion. Forgetting for a moment about the Dungeon that sits in waiting, the city of Orario comes alive with the festivities. Bell can be seen running this way and that way while every other character is talking about him, or more, taking actions to help or hinder.
Fun notes to end on
Hephaestus is named after the Greek god of smithing, and similarly to said god boasts a deformity of her own, covered by an eyepatch. Like Hephaestus, and pretty much every other god, Freya has been named after a god in real life too, a god in Norse mythology by the same name. Ganesha, name after the Hindu God of the same name, is the provider of the festival Monsterphilia.