Review of DanMachi IV: Episode 3 "Parasite (Viscum Album)"

Review of DanMachi IV: Episode 3 "Parasite (Viscum Album)" ...

"Parasite (Viscum Album)" is now streaming on HIDIVE. The following are spoilers for Episode 3 of DanMachi IV.

The first true terror of DanMachi IV has revealed itself, and the expectations of a darker season this time around were not overstated. However, there was a sense of hope and optimism throughout that was well-earned and continues to grow.

A strange monster appeared at the end of the party and pierced Chigusa, causing a plant-like infection through her, just as it had through Luvis, and all the other adventurers caught in the monster's traps last week.

The Next Step

The more intelligent the monster, the more frightening its brutality is, as proud adventurers are robbed of arms and legs and found hiding in fear. It's an uncomfortable sight that conveys the proper threat without lingering in the violence too long.

These conversations that take place during important fight scenes can be helpful in summarizing the learned information, introducing new information, and reducing tension as a result of disagreement. However, moments like this can also devolve into talking in circles, which is why this incident between the parties was so helpful.

As the situation becomes more and more detailed, it becomes clear that this will not work. It would be better to confront the monster so it doesn't have a chance to grow stronger before they return to kill it.

Playing on Hard Mode

The action in DanMachi was successful before, thanks to some occasionally exceptional sakuga and the personal struggles of the characters going into the fights, as the opponents were just monsters. But this new foe and the uncertainty of their situation have added a new dimension to the battle, which brings half the thrill to seeing how both sides play a brutal game of chess.

Bell is the glue that keeps everyone together and is the strongest of all of them, so his being temporarily separated from the others as a result of this week's fight should be crippling. However, this episode was far more optimistic than expected, and Lili's confidence is making her an MVP this season.

Keiji Inai's score has been outstanding throughout the whole series, but at darker times like these, the horn section's ominous mention of an upcoming confrontation gets the blood pumping just right.

Small Obstacles / New Friends

Bell's proudest moment in this episode is also the one that feels admittedly weak given the buildup. In episode 1, Eina told Bell about a particular beast that was particularly deadly, but its revelation and how quickly it is vanquished here was a little underwhelming. Perhaps it's because there's a much bigger threat now, but it felt like such a small moment to build up.

To the scenes' credit, the video is nothing if not impressive, but maybe that energy could have been saved for a scene with more weight. At the conclusion of the battle, Bell stumbles upon a new ally - or at least one hopes that they're friendly - and the episode closes with the party in the midst of trouble, but confident in their chances.

As DanMachi's cast expands, so do the tensions that are injected into the plot and the emotions that go into each confrontation. Even at three episodes into, the performances have been outstanding, and each setback and comeback really highlighted how far the party has come, and how things will only get worse next.