DanMachi – 06

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As her cold open makes almost too clear, Liliruca Arde is a well-traveled student of pain, suffering, helplessness and loneliness. Orphaned by her parents who were killed in the Dungeon, the Soma familia took her on as a supporter and proceeded to screw her over at every turn, treating her like garbage. The bad guys are so irredeemably, comically, Nobuyuki Sugou evil in their treatment of her, it leaves no room for nuance.

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With her past, and present in mind, it makes sense that she wouldn’t trust Bell, and also would deceive him just as she was deceived. It worked for her tormenters, why not her? Besides, she hates adventurers…ALL adventurers. She’s just trying to do what she can to free herself from subjugation. She’s just going about this all the wrong way, and very nearly gets Bell and herself killed in the process.

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Hestia doesn’t trust Lili, nor does Eina, though they come to this opinion of her independently. As Bell heads into the dungeon to fight on the tenth floor in an obvious trap set up by Lili, both Eina and Ais overhear her Soma familia planning to take out a guy who matches Bell’s description, and Eina asks a favor of Ais.

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Setting up the naive Bell is child’s play for Lili, and when the time comes to reveal her true colors and re-steal his knife, she doesn’t hesitate, and actually shows off some pretty good skills…if only she focused her energies for good instead of selfish purposes. Mind you, with everything she’s been through I can’t really begrudge her doing what she thinks is best for herself, but we also happen to know this isn’t what’s best.

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That becomes painfully clear when her ridiculously evil familia show up, ambushing her and taking everything she has, while getting some good stomps and punches in for good measure. The episode really lingers on this disturbing scene, but when a bruised and beaten Lili is left for dead, a decoy for a host of killer giant ants, Bell shows up with his Firebolt to take them all out, saving Lili once again.

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That resolution was a pleasant surprise. I expected Eina and Ais to corner Lili, rather than her fam, but instead Ais takes care of the orcs while obscured by the gloom, allowing Bell to rush to Lili’s aid. And why does he save her, as she asks, almost hysterical at the sight of his dopey, noble face? Because he felt like it.

He tells Hestia as much before he heads off to what he might have known could have been the trap it became. But he doesn’t care; he knows Lili’s kind, because he used to be the same before he met his goddess. And he’s not going to stand by and let her be destroyed or destroy herself. I especially like how Hestia defers to Bell here, and it pays off.

The villains were a bit over-the-top, but I’m glad Lili’s eyes are now open to the possibility not everyone in the world is awful.

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Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

7 thoughts on “DanMachi – 06”

  1. The Villains basically are your equivalent of Drug Addicts – imagine an incredibly potent Narcotic that will drive you to go at any lengths to get your next fix. I think the implication is that the Soma Clan is the equivalent of a Drug Cartel in Danmichi…. and made out of the type of people who would engage in Drug Wars.

    1. Very good point, and it’s also a “there but for the grace of god goes Lili” if she were as big and strong as her tormentors. It also explains how such a wildly destructive clan can even hold together when its members are constantly stabbing each other in the back: the lure of the Soma makes sure there are always soldiers to take the place of those betrayed and killed.

      What makes less sense is how the Soma Clan’s destructiveness remains largely isolated to their own clan. Sure, Lili almost made Bell a victim, but you’d think something like Soma and the violence it inspires would spread across the city like fire.

      Also, its strange how someone so supposedly weak and useless as Lili is always carrying such huge loads on her tiny back!

      1. I think that’s why, I personally don’t think you can necessarily draw a Sugou comparison here with the Soma Famillia. Sugou has a very terrible, and difficult to believe motive (envy of Kayaba, a dead man!) On the other hand, the motive of the Soma Famillia is very frighteningly believable – one needs to look no further than the Mexcian Drug War, or the Insurgency in Colombia to see similar or even worse kinds of people. Basically, I think basically Lili had the misfortune of falling in with the equivalent of Drug Peddlers after losing her parents, rather than say the Loki Famillia.

        “What makes less sense is how the Soma Clan’s destructiveness remains largely isolated to their own clan. Sure, Lili almost made Bell a victim, but you’d think something like Soma and the violence it inspires would spread across the city like fire. ”

        The thrashing of that Flower Shop, I think was one small example of how the Soma Clan’s violence and insanity can leak over into the City. On the other hand, I suspect that more profit can usually be made (and there’s a lower risk of massive retaliation by whoever provides order in the City) up in the Tower of Babel. This implies that the Soma Clan may well be the equivalent of Laughing Coffin, especially in more profitable levels further up in Babel – especially to Solo Adventurers from small Familias.

        They might well be infamous for engaging in the occasional player killing of the solo adventurer (but might rarely dare to attack big familias or significant parties), especially on the Higher Floors where it’s very worth while to perform Monster Kill or even engage in Player Killing. And of course, there’s always the risk of retaliation from the patron god too – I won’t be surprised if some Familias have occasionally exacted Retribution on parts of the Soma Clan – which kind of deters attacks on members of larger and more powerful Familias.

        Alas, since Aiza Walenstien is going to join the party soon, I don’t think the risk of Bell having to face Soma Clan player killers and Monster baiters would materialize itself this season. Only the most suicidal or desperate or powerful Druggie would probably dare to face Aiza Wallenstein’s blade just to try to pull off a PK on one of her party. So, I think the Soma Clan isn’t going to play a further role this season – in future arcs, who knows? Maybe we’d get the equivalent of the Drug Wars in the Dungeon as a future arc in the LNs?

        “Also, its strange how someone so supposedly weak and useless as Lili is always carrying such huge loads on her tiny back!”

        I chalk it down to magic, and suspension of disbelief due to Alien physiology – as well as the advantages of the Contract. Lili is not a human. I mean, Lili can change her apparent species… so, I chalk it down to the same Phenomena as World of Warcraft gnomes Warriors wielding Greatswords twice their size!

      2. Great thoughts, thanks! I used Sugou as an example of a villain one could never in a million years sympathize with, because pure evil is rarely anywhere near as compelling or engaging as something more gray…but the Soma clan is clearly grayer, and the concept of their god being not a physical person but a “drug”…that’s actually not a bad idea at all, and fits well in DanMachi’s world.

    2. Not quite, but close enough. The Soma familia do not sell the “completed” divine liquor on the market, so the chance of hooking everyone up is low.

      And even then, the divine liquor is still liquor, it does not supernaturally make every drinker an addicts/alcholics.

      1. And besides, drug cartels sells narcotics to make money, while Soma familia SPEND money to brew liquor. They are still dangerous, but not to the point that they could threaten to destabilize entire city.

  2. Whilst Bell has clearly redeemed Lili, the Soma Clan don’t know that and will need to be beaten or faced down decisively in the near future I suspect. Also hearing from Loki about the Soma Clan, and Eina’s ignorance about it, shows that, while its activities are known at the highest level, it is an something of an underground organisation to more ordinary people. Bell’s liberation of Lili now puts him in direct conflict with them perhaps…or maybe they have given her up for dead? We shall see no doubt. On the nature of the Soma Clan perhaps a better analogy than that of a drug cartel (which works to spread the use of the drug which the Soma Family don’t seem to want to do), is that of the Hashashin, active during the Crusades who worshiped the genii of Hashish, and who would commit any act in the name of the genii and who were rewarded with Hashish for those acts…

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