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This review contains spoilers. You’ve been warned.

Last episode was arguably one of the best Danmachi episodes to date. The fight scene between the Loki Familia and the Xenos was excellent, and Ais’s duel with Asterius was one of the season’s main highlights. But it was the last ten minutes that sold the episode as a perfect one. Wiene was ultimately killed, but Fels performed the greatest magic in the story, fully reviving her. It was truly a tearjerking moment in the series, especially with how the music and voice acting blended together to create a perfect scene.

Episode 9 then begins with the aftermath of the battle, and it is anything but a back to normal life. Ikelos is finally exiled for his crimes, but the people’s hatred has turned toward Bell. And it is evident in their words that their opinion of him has fallen low, though there are people like Mord who remain somewhat skeptical. Even the entire Hestia Familia suffers from the same stigma.

But of course, Bell is not without allies. We have a tender moment with Syr, something that we haven’t seen since season 1. This scene is really sweet as she comforts Bell by becoming a lap pillow, and tells him that there are still people who believes in him, including her.

Then we have Hestia’s moment as well where she takes the blame for Bell’s actions while inserting her not-so-subtle devotion toward our Little Rookie that goes beyond the relationship between a goddess and a familia member.

There are three things that the anime skipped or glossed over in this part of the episode. First, before encountering Syr, Bell meets with the three orphans that our secretive Freya-lookalike waitress were taking care of. These kids have grown close to Bell, being introduced in a side story that season 2 should have adapted as it is dedicated to Syr, but was ultimately removed due to time constraints.

The orphans looked up to Bell as a hero and big brother of sorts, but that changed when Bell decided to save Wiene, and they started treating him with hostility. And I wished they could have kept this scene in some form, even if a brief one, since this is the part where we would see how Bell’s actions had an adverse effect on his reputation. Not that it was evident in this episode, of course, but the scene with the orphans could have further enhanced his characterization.

The second scene they removed was the meeting between Finn and Bell, something that took place immediately after the one with Syr. This one would have tied directly to an ending scene in this episode where Finn was preparing to battle the Xenos and realized that Bell would be the decoy. Frankly, I wished they have retained this as well since it would give us insight on how Finn thinks on a strategic level, and how he would do everything to bring glory to his race.

The next scenes afterwards were mostly true to the novel. The various deities and Adventurers were skeptical about the Xenos, and only a few like Ryuu would help them. But that was why they have Bell and the Hestia Familia, who all decided that they would help them while ensuring that their Familia would remain safe. Of course, the enemy this time is the Loki Familia. And even with Fels’s magic items and Welf’s weapons, the mission would be difficult, especially for Bell.

This episode is more of a set up than anything else, a calm before the storm. Nevertheless, it gives us quite a few good moments of character interactions, especially for Bell x Syr shippers. It didn’t surpass the last episode’s epic scenes, but it is still a good buildup for the last three episodes. Definitely a solid 7.5/10.

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