This episode covered a lot of things in just a short span of time, and despite some scenes being cut, the pacing is pretty solid. But before we breakdown every scene, let us refresh our memories of the previous episode.
Last week proved one of Bell’s lowest point as almost the entire city begins to hate him for defending the Xenos. The deities generally didn’t want to help him except for Hermes, and even Eina was disappointed, though she still believed that Bell never did anything wrong. Meanwhile, the Xenos is trapped with Loki Familia’s tightening noose, forcing them to seek the help of Hestia Familia.
In this episode, we begin with the scene that I loved most: Eina acting like a pissed off girlfriend. Haruka Tomatsu, famous for her role as Asuna Yuuki in Sword Art Online, displayed her magnificent voice acting talent once again as she perfectly portrayed Eina. Her lines were funny and cute, and it is even more special since Bell shares the same voice as Kirito. As a Bell x Eina shipper, this is definitely one of the best scene for me in the entire season.
The operation to help the Xenos escape back to the Dungeon has began in earnest. Hestia and Haruhime has taken the role of supporters this time, overseeing the map while the others fulfill their respective missions; while Lili and Bell provide distractions by capturing Loki Familia’s attention, Welf and Mikoto rendezvous with Wiene and the gang. One line that stood out here is Gros’ dialogue to trust Bell. This is a far cry from his initial hostility toward the boy, and shows how much he has grown as a character despite his limited appearance.
The scene between Bell and not one, not two, but four different women meeting him in a span of five minutes, while a curious Ais is watching, is every bit as funny as it was in the novel. This is the point where the fact that Bell is a chick magnet is finally cemented, and I was really laughing throughout the scene. It is even funnier with Ais’ expression, being intrigued and curious at the same time. One thing they have removed in this scene was the presence of several Loki Familia members, with even better reactions than Ais. Personally, I wished they could have kept this minor scene just to show how the other Adventurers got envious of Bell.
As the Xenos finally made their move, the action also picks up. Much like the War Game, Lili becomes an important participant once again as she ruins the formation that the Loki Familia has set up, even disguising herself as Finn to personally command a few members. Meanwhile, Nazha of Miach Familia and the elf Ryuu help as well, with the latter engaging Ais in a duel to keep her away from following Bell.
One slightly important scene they have removed during the ensuing chaos was how Finn realized that they have been tricked. In the novel, he deduced that Lili is the one who had disguised as him after seeing her in the war game. It is a scene that should have given some insight on how he thinks as a master tactician, and in fact, he begins to have some doubts until Loki gives him a pep talk. However, the scene was ultimately removed.
The flight of the Xenos has been compressed with several major scenes removed, one of which is fine since it would make the ending scene has more sense. For one, the Hyrute twins intercepted the monsters before Gareth did, and the fight was one big all-out brawl. The Amazons proved why they were feared, and it was only Welf’s Hien that stopped them cold(no pun intended) in their tracks.
That fight was removed in this episode, and instead we went straight to the showdown with Gareth. And while the scene is more or less the same, it failed to properly coney the strength and ferocity of the dwarf Adventurer. In the novel, it took the combined might of Fel’s smoke bombs, Lyd’s swordsmanship, Welf and Mikoto’s ice daggers, and a surprise appearance from Hephaistos’ right-hand woman, Tsubaki, to even stall the dwarf long enough for the Xenos to break through. Once again, I wished they have kept this scene since it showcases the capability of Loki Familia’s third leader.
The absence of Tione in that fight made the final scene more sensible. Wiene, having been separated from her group, accidentally encounters the youngest Hyrute twin, who is prepared to kill her. It is a terrifying scene, especially for Wiene who had just been revived a couple of episodes ago. However, the anime made the scene slightly better. In the novel, Tione and Tiona pulled out of their pursuit of the Xenos to search for anyone left behind. And it was only sheer luck, or bad luck if you are Wiene, that Tione encountered the Vouivre girl. But in this episode, it looked like Tione was stationed there on purpose, which for me is a better take on the scene.
Episode 10 may have less fights than we expected, but the interactions and tension more than made up for that. Definitely a solid 8/10. We just have two episodes left before season 3 ends, and depending on how they would animate the scenes, I have a feeling they would be the best last two episodes of the season.