DanMachi IV – 22 (Fin) – More Beautiful than Before

DanMachi didn’t seem like the kind of show that would kill off one of its more endearing characters, but in the final episode of its fourth season, anything could happen. Thankfully, it didn’t go that route, and with good reason: Ryuu Lion has too much left to do in the world of the living.

Her familia tells her as much as she wanders towards them on the etheral plane. There’s still hope in her heart, and they know she wants to save Bell and go to back home with him. So she wakes up, stands up, and joins the fight against the Juggernaut.

Ol’ Juggyshit may have added a bunch of tricks to its repertoire, but in doing so it sacrificed its most devastating advantage—its speed. Now it’s slow enough that Bell can not only dodge (most) of its attacks, but actually land damaging blows on its weak points. A Fire Bolt-infused dagger and an Argo Vesta spell later, and Juggernaut is officially on the ropes.

That’s where Ryuu comes in, chanting an incantation not just for Luminous Wind, but to summon the spirits of her dearly departed Astrea family, if only long enough to deliver an attack or two by her side. You could say they’ve been waiting all this time not for her to join them, but to forgive herself so she can call upon them when she needs them most.

After a decisive Luvia right to its kisser, the long nightmare that is Juggernaut is finally, satisfyingly ended. Bell and Ryuu managed to do it all by themselves, fueled by each others’ determination, refusal to give up, and digging deep into their abilities. Neither could have won alone, but as a party of two, they achieved the impossible.

This leaves them in an exhausted, critically wounded heap on the ground, still on the 37th floor. But they managed to survive just long enough for Wiene and the Xenos to find them. They administer Marie’s healing mermaid blood to both of them, then make themselves scarce before Lili’s team shows up (since not everyone among them know the Xenos are good guys).

Once Lili and the others do arrive, the elation and celebration begins. It’s just such an enormous relief that Bell and Ryuu can finally stop fighting and worrying about dying every waking moment and see the damn sun again. When Ryuu comes to in the hospital after three days, she’s so concerned about Bell she leaps out of her bed and runs to his room.

When he finds him, flanked by Hestia and Lili, their faces make her realize she’s wearing nothing but a skimpy pink hospital gown…that thanks to her alacrity becomes undone and allows Bell to see the sun, moon, stars…all of it. Hestia and Lili reflexively slap him, forgetting that he’s critically wounded. Thankfully a doctor gives them a stern talking-to.

As their convalescence continues, Bell tells Hestia by his bedside that he wouldn’t be there without Ryuu. Bell’s friends thank Ryuu for saving him, but she tells them they’ve got it backwards: it was Bell who saved her from her own despair. She also learns that as far as the Guild is concerned, “Gale Wind” is dead.

Taking the new lease on life she’s been given and running with it, Ryuu borrows a gorgeous white dress from Syr and meets Bell on a date when they’re both discharged from the hospital on the same day. Rather than be cooped up indoors, they decide to have a walk around the city, under the blessed sky.

At the peak of their adorable date, Ryuu takes Bell to a breathtaking view from an ornate stone balcony where she and Alise used to spend time. That she’s shared both the story of her familia and this space to Bell shows how far she’s come in opening up to him. He notes that the way she smiles at him “from her heart” makes her more beautiful than before.

Bell, unfortunately, isn’t aware of the critical damage such comments make, and Ryuu, suddenly unable to look him in the eye anymore, turns around and makes a break for it. As she runs, she clutches that heart of hers, now released from all that guilt and regret. In its place, love now resides, and Ryuu finds herself asking Alise what the heck she should do with it.

Alise’s reply, and the parting words of the fourth season, are “don’t let him get away.” Bell has his share of suitors—from Ais to Ryuu’s bestie Syr—but no one but Ryuu can claim to have been to hell and back with him. But for now, All Hail Ryuu Lion, the Champion of Justice, and absolute legend Hayami Saori for yet another phenomenal vocal performance.

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