Episode 8 of DanMachi Season 4 was simultaneously rough to watch and intriguing at the same time. While I explained last week that we could be heading into a part of the series that would make the entire first six episodes look like a snoozefest, the new season still hasn’t really hit the way I thought it would. And this week’s episode is a reflection of that.
The best part of this episode was undoubtedly anytime Ryu was on the screen. For some odd reason, the camera shots of her felt proper and not over-emphasized. The artwork looked sleeker. And every time she spoke, a chill ran down my spine. The episode did a wonderful job of just catching that overwhelming bloodlust presence the moment we finally saw her and it continued throughout the rest of the episode until the final few minutes. This episode was set to focus on finding Ryu and it delivered big time when the moment came.
I cannot begin to count how many times this episode had close-up shots of Bell’s face and the constant overuse of the Dutch Angle. I fully understand the use of the dutch angle, like Shingo Adachi did back in Episode 4 of Lycoris Recoil, but using it almost a dozen times in a single episode is way over the top. The Dutch Angle is meant to add emphasis to the current situation for a certain character in the shot. But for this week’s episode, it almost felt like I had to watch half the episode with my head tilted one way.
The same goes for the Bell close-ups. If they wouldn’t show 20-something close-ups of Bell every time he was part of a scene, it could’ve made that moment he saw Ryu for the first time this season that much more impactful. Unfortunately, the episode not only had Bell close-ups in almost every cut it felt like, but I couldn’t take his facial expressions seriously either making it difficult to sympathize with the situation he’s in seeing a friend do something he never thought they would do.
DanMachi Season 4 is now 8 episodes in and the one thing that is bugging me the most above all else is the constant use of still frames whenever action hits. In episode 8 there were a solid amount of times action took place and it’s just the voice actors screaming over still images. It’s not just this episode, it’s been almost every other episode as well. And the shots like the two below aren’t captured in motion. These are actually still frames during moments of action from episode 8. Rather than seeing Bell and Ryu cut through everyone and everything, we get a still shot with some sound design thrown in.
DanMachi Season 4 Episode 8 Wrap-Up
Ryu being the highlight of the episode definitely gave the season the push it needed. And now going forward we know she’s going to be a problem, along with Cassandra’s vision, has still amped up DanMachi Season 4 a couple of notches on the entertainment meter. However, the rest of the episode felt like such a waste. Unless the rest of Bell’s party has something in store for a possible betrayal, as Cassandra envisioned, the other moments with them this episode really felt like episode time fillers.
Hopefully, now that they’ve caught up with Ryu, a lot more will take place and the production team over at J.C. Staff can start to flex their muscles a bit and show us what we all know they’re capable of. Episode 9 of DanMachi Season 4 will air on September 15 on HIDIVE.
Screenshots from HIDIVE
©Fujino Omori, SB Creative/Danmachi 4 Production Committee