Episode 09 – “Welf Crozzo: Blacksmith”
We’re 75% through this series, and we’re finally introduced to the last main character that was hinted in every single opening and ending. Like Lili, our new guy Welf Crozzo makes for a unique addition to the already colorful cast of characters in DanMachi, and like the other characters, Welf is already appealing to me because he just seems genuine. He’s not an exaggeration of a stale trope like the happy-go-lucky, comic relief guy with an unexpected serious side or the extreme pervert. Welf is simply an aspiring blacksmith looking to make a name for himself, in spite of what trouble his family name may cause.
While on the topic of tropes, I’d like to assert how DanMachi is good about avoiding major, overused character archetypes. In a lot of shounen, we’ll have the cool hero and the comic relief, which I think stems a lot from the fundamental backbone of Japanese comedy, the tsukkomi/boke dynamic where one comedian plays the straight man while the other acts as the clueless funny man. While it can work, I feel that well-rounded characters can make for a much more interesting cast. For instance, there is no single comic relief character or cool character in DanMachi. Everyone has their cool moments, and everyone has their funny moments, and I think that’s great for creating a natural tempo for the episode and an overall light atmosphere.
I mentioned a few episodes back how the show barely avoided the pitfall of the damsel in distress trope when Bell saves Lili from the giant ants. Well this episode reinforces the fact that women in this world are perfectly capable of defending themselves from big perverts in a bar. No need for Bell to stand up and denounce the dudes for their actions. Nope, Ryu can just twist a guy’s arm with an ale jug, and the bar owner has the intimidation factor. Gotta love the women in this show.
“It’s not just a tool or a way to get famous. A weapon is part of its wielder.” ~ Welf Crozzo