In the past 2 weeks or so, I got into a 1.5-hour long ‘discussion’ about Sword Oratoria. Specifically, about a 30-second scene in the last episode.
From 2:18 am to 3:56 am, even though I had to be up early the next day, I was locked in a fierce battle the likes of which had never been seen by non-anime viewers. I was in a battle to defend the continuity of the timeline of Sword Oratoria and DanMachi. My opponent was shrewd. Heartless. He kept bringing up facts. I knew this game and how to play it. I needed to hit him where it mattered. His self-esteem.
It started innocently enough. My friend brings up that he thought it was stupid that Oratoria ends connecting back to DanMachi. I was inclined to agree with him because Oratoria had essentially relied on Bell cameos instead of spending time and care crafting their own characters like Lefiya (who clearly had no effort put into her). This was until he sent a second message. The second message he sent declared war in my heart. He claimed that the ending of Oratoria makes no sense with the ending of DanMachi. I was petrified. A blow directly to my blood pumping organ. A man I thought to be my friend had turned on me. Like any decent fan of a franchise, I began berating him on a personal level, completely ignoring the formation of any logic or arguments he introduced. I had learned this technique from my parents and people discussing politics. It always seemed to work.
Now, I’ll say this. I have officially reviewed the evidence and I was (technically) right. Technically right as in I could argue so ambiguously and such huge gaps of information are missing that I can’t be proven wrong. The glory of DanMachi remains untarnished!
To make this more clear, this was the argument in its entirety. Towards the end of ep. 12 of Oratoria, once the boss battle ends, there is a short montage of pictures. Contained within these pictures (in this order) is,
- Loki familia celebrating victory on level 18 of a dungeon
- Bell (with Welf and Lilith) going into the dungeon
- A parade celebrating the return of the Loki familia
- Hestia cooking at a food stall
- Bell walking in some underground space alone
- Perverted goddess overlooking the street where they are returning from
7. Loki familia back at home base
OK? Now, Danmachi’s ending was,
- Big boss fight on level 18 including Loki familia and Bell’s party
- Everyone returns to the surface
- Welf confronts Hephaestus with his decision about crafting magic tools
- Perverted goddess overlooking Bell
- Huge feast in a tavern with Hestia familia and Loki familia
And that was that. Sure some, or most (whatever), of the details don’t fit. That’s where extrapolation comes in. By loosely connecting with ‘what ifs’ I was clearly in the right. Besides, the ending of both series deviates from the manga anyway. Who’s to say, maybe the details that are left out are an entirely different universe loosely based on the one from DanMachi? They just happen to have the same names and lives. As you can see, I’m a very petty person. But, I’m totally right… And this is why I love anime.
After an hour and a half of this, I just started laughing. It was the most fun I’d had in a while. Shit talking, yelling, and slowly shedding our arguments in favor of making fun of each other with the inclusion of anime. Anime is my preferred past time whether it’s watching a new series, something I’ve seen many times before or reading up on aspects of the community.
I think the real gems though are watching a show, screenshotting something, and saying, ‘Oh shit! I need to send this to my friend ASAP’ or ‘What the hell was that? Please tell me someone else noticed this’ and posting it online. The connections I can build with complete strangers over something like a toothbrushing scene are really why I think I love anime as much as I do.