This review contains SPOILERS. You’ve been warned.
Last week’s episode revealed a shocking truth: Dix Perdix, captain of Ikelos Familia, is a descendant of Daedalus, the creator of Knossos. Accursed with an obsession to complete the maze, Dix began hunting the Xenos to supplement his income, and thus captured Weine. Both Adventurers and Xenos came to blows until Dix unleashed his magic, Phobator Daedalus, causing the monsters to enter a mindless rage. With only Bell left to fight, the Little Rookie engaged Dix to put a stop to the spell and free the monsters.
Episode 7 begins with the continuation of that fight, and it is quite a sloppy beginning in terms of choreography and portrayal. While Bell still struggled, and Dix’s attacks are certainly fast, the anime failed to properly display their skill level. In the novel, it was a back-and-forth fight between them, and Dix even managed to disarmed Bell before our favorite Little Rookie utilized the same strategy he did in the War Game: trick his opponent into thinking he is winning before surprising him with an attack. In this case, Bell used the second minotaur knife that was absent from the anime adaptation.
We never saw any of those in this episode. Instead, the first half of the fight was more about Dix’s crazed personality and what kind of a person he is, even to the point of removing Weine’s jewel just so she could become a true monster to force Bell into killing her. It is a truly heartbreaking moment for Bell, and we finally saw how cruel Dix is.
But this is Bell we are talking about, someone who wishes to become a hero. And we saw how far he would go to save someone like Weine. His speech is incredibly moving, and even Fels was in awe of Bell’s actions as the young adventurer managed to briefly placate a rampaging Weine. His words had an adverse effect to the Xenos too, and it is satisfying to watch as Lyd, despite still being under the spell, controlled himself to help Bell against Dix.
The resulting fight is simply EPIC. For the first time in the series, man and monster fought together against a common enemy. Bell and Lyd’s fighting styles simply complimented each other; both are fast, strong, and relentless in their assault. Dix’s panic and terrified expression at facing not just a pissed off grandson of Zeus, but an enraged Xenos as well, is simply too fun to see, and I can’t deny that I was smiling throughout the scene, especially when Bell unleashed a full-powered Argonaut punch. And seeing one of Dix’s subordinates getting his face torn off by Gros is simply icing o the cake.
But of course, this is Dix Perdix, the most cunning adversary we’ve seen so far. He wouldn’t just go down easily, and his schemes would have serious repercussions as he tricks Weine with an illusion of Bell and sets her loose upon the city.
Meanwhile, Ganesha Familia is not faring better either. As they corner Rei, the last and strongest member of the Xenos arrives to save her. Now the full fight itself was not shown, unlike in the novel where we get to see how this Minotaur wrecked the entire force. Instead, we immediately witnessed the aftermath of the one-sided battle where only Ryu was left standing and ultimately defeated as well.
And I liked it! As a storyteller/novelist myself, I often use the “less is more” approach in narrative, and this is one of the best ways to tease what a strong character is capable of. We saw the bloodied and unconscious members of Ganesha Familia, as well as Asfi and Aisha, both of whom are level 5. And Ryu, the Gale Wind who single-handedly destroyed an entire Familia, was even injured. We didn’t need to see the whole fight to know just how powerful this Minotaur is, and I just really loved that they cut that sequence. It made the scene itself even more chilling rather than spending five minutes showing a battle which we could guess the ending.
The last few minutes of the episode is every bit as heartbreaking and suspenseful as in the novel. Weine is on a rampage in the city, and Bell rushes to return the jewel on her forehead. What the anime somewhat failed to portray is how desperate Bell has become, though I think they will just merge that part with a scene in the next episode. Basically, Loki Familia was not the first one to respond. In the novel, other lower-ranked Adventurers arrived first to kill Weine, but Bell struck them with his Firebolt and called Weine his “kill”, resulting in their anger.
Of course, I am quite certain that an essence of this cut scene will be combined with what will happen next week. After all, a distraught Bell finally made a decision that will forever change his outlook as an Adventurer: to face the full might of Loki Familia in order to save a girl he picked up in the dungeon.
To sum it up, this episode may have a sloppy beginning, but it soon picked up with a great fight and an exciting cliffhanger ending. Definitely an 8.5/10.