DANMACHI SEASON 4 SEASON FINALE REVIEW – The End of Despair, The Beginning of Love
Danmachi’s season finales were always heart-pounding and engaging, even if the entire seasons themselves were above average. Each season always ended with an impact, usually after a great fight scene.
The season finale for season 4, however, tweaks that tradition a bit. The fight scene is great indeed, but it is the emotional and satisfying happy conclusion to a gloomy and serious arc that sets it apart from its predecessors, and one that is arguably the best of all.
Her True Justice
Ryu’s survivor’s guilt has been this cour’s prevalent aspect. In fact, it is the main driving force behind all of her actions, to the point that we can even say she is suicidal.
And that comes to its peak during the first few minutes of this episode. An injured Ryu is finally ready to give up, and as expected in this situation, she sees another vision of her dead friends. For a fantasy series, this is no longer a surprise. However, even if the entire vision is a figment of Ryu’s imagination in her delirious state, it just shows the emotional turmoil within her.
For one, her friends’ spirits never blamed her for their deaths, a fact that Ryu knew deep within her heart, even though she’s been seeking for forgiveness. In truth, she’s the one who couldn’t forgive herself for her failures, and the trauma of her past has affected her to an extent that she couldn’t face the Juggernaut without shaking.
But the thing is, Ryu is full of contradictions. Even the apparitions of her friends noted this. While she wanted nothing more than to die, her heart also longs to be with Bell. And more than that, as Alise has said, her justice lies in the hope that the boy has given her.
The scene, in a way, perfectly displays Ryu’s warring thoughts. And as mentioned above, whether it is her imagination or an actual visit from her dead friends, it is obvious that Ryu’s heart is torn; one part wants to rest, while the other desires to continue living.
In the end, her affection for Bell is strong enough to give her the resolve she needs, and the Gale Wind rises once more.
The End of Despair
Throughout the latter half of the first cour, and the second cour as well, the Juggernaut has been an invincible foe—a boogeyman, so to speak. We’ve seen how easily it massacred entire familias, and all in a span of minutes. But while that is the case, we know that in the end, Bell and Ryu would prevail.
As such, the final battle’s conclusion is expected, even typical in stories like Danmachi. It is arguably less engaging than the battle with the Moss Huge even though the stakes are on the same level, if not higher. However, it is the emotions throughout the duration of the short but impactful showdown that solidifies this as a satisfying clash between Adventurers and a nearly undefeatable monster.
In previous battles, we saw how Bell mostly defeated the enemy on his own, albeit with some help from other people. That is not the case here. While Bell does fight it alone initially, Ryu eventually arrives to help. And unlike those previous battles, Bell is merely a supporting fighter.
Of course, it is only natural. After all, this is really Ryu’s fight; it only makes sense that she will take the lead.
Much of the battle is simply a contest of strength and raw power from both sides. There are less choreography this time, and everything comes down to pure skills and magic. The tag team of Bell and Ryu is a strong counter to the Juggernaut’s many abilities, and as always, Bell’s Argo Vesta skill is a game-changer, easily weakening the monster.
But as expected, it is never him who should deal the final blow but none other than Ryu, and the way she does it is as emotional as the tragic fate of her familia. Only this time, it is with triumph that she casts Luminous Wind, each charge representing her friends in the order they died, and there’s something poetic about seeing their images superimpose in every attack, like they are indeed participating in the battle itself.
The Juggernaut dying in an explosive way is simply icing on the cake.
While the final chapter of this harrowing arc ended in a victory, there’s still much that is left unresolved. Thankfully, the epilogue ties all plot threads in a satisfying way.
First, of course, is the reunion of Bell and Ryu with the rest of their friends. This wouldn’t be possible without the help of the Xenos who provided significant help throughout the season. Sadly, Bell could only spend so much time with Wiene, though we would certainly see them together in the future.
In any case, the challenges that the two Adventurers has faced were no small matter. Spending four days in the Deep Floors, and surviving, is already a miracle. For Bell, his astounding luck allowed him to recover quickly. But for Ryu who has been exhausted physically, mentally, and especially emotionally, sleeping for three days seems only fitting.
Her reunion with Syr and the other waitresses is pure bliss, but the highlight of this particular scene is when she immediately rushes out to check on Bell. The fact that his wellbeing is her first concern speaks much about Ryu’s newfound affection, though it does result in a risqué and hilarious scene that is very much a running gag in harem shows.
In any case, with the defeat of Juggernaut comes the return of normalcy for our heroes. Ryu has been cleared of her crimes with her moniker, Gale Wind, listed as dead in a heroic sacrifice—told by an overly dramatic Bors, no less!
But while everything is back to normal, Ryu’s life will never be the same. And it’s all thanks to a certain Rabbit Foot.
The Beginning of Love
A hero deserves a reward after defeating the enemy. As such, it is only right that Bell and Ryu would get theirs after everything they have suffered inside the Dungeon.
And what better way to celebrate their survival than a date?
Despite being an adventure fantasy anime, Danmachi is also a harem series—hence, that hilarious and overly long title. Thus, it wouldn’t be complete without a romantic scene.
The thing is, the date isn’t so much romantic as it is a form of closure for Ryu herself. And there are quite a lot of nuances and details here that makes the scene works well. For one, Ryu is splendid in casual dress (courtesy of Syr). We wouldn’t even realize that she’s an Adventurer, much less the Gale Wind.
But more than that, this is Ryu finally at peace. A Ryu who no longer has hatred in her heart. A Ryu who is happy at last. Of course, she’s more happier with Bell near her, even if the Rabbit Foot is as dense as always.
And that’s the heart of Ryu’s new trial: understanding this newfound feeling of hers for the young man who went through Hell and back alongside her. As the audience, we definitely know what this feeling is. But for Ryu, this is an entirely new problem that she’s not ready to deal with yet, no matter how Alise’s spirit urges her to never let go of Bell.
In any case, at this point, Ryu is a prime contender as Bell’s love interest. And to be frank, she has the best chance so far. We can only hope that our dense Rabbit Foot would realize her feelings for him and give Ryu the happiness she deserves.
Season 4’s final episode doesn’t disappoint. With just the right amount of action and emotional scenes, it delivers in its goal in providing a satisfying ending to a great season. Though this cour began in despair, it ended on a hopeful note, making this finale the best one in the series yet.
Episode score: 9.5/10