So the kid became an “adventurer” because his grandpa died. Did he really die, though? They say he died, but they also said that Bellri couldn’t search for his grandfather’s body. But whatever. He’s probably dead. We don’t need to entertain ourselves with conspiracy theories just yet. The point here is that Bellri soon decided to become an adventurer. Why? How would your grandfather’s death motivate you to become an adventurer? Don’t most young people his age crave adventures anyway? I mean, c’mon, look at all those Tinder bios. Everyone’s an aspiring adventurer, apparently. Well, it’s not like Bellri has any other family member to rely upon. It seems like his grandfather was the only one left in his life. So imagine that… tragedy strikes, and now you’re all alone. You don’t even have a shoulder to cry on, because your family’s gone. Bellri’s essentially an orphan.
So he goes searching for a familia to join, but nobody wants him. Of course not. He’s too weak to join their familia. Sure, for family, you might be willing to overlook a person’s weakness. For family, you will love and accept them unconditionally. But Bellri’s not family. He’s just a an adventurer who is desperate to join a familia. A familia is a family in a way, but not all familias are that sort of family.
Luckily for Bellri, Hestia is alone, too. She’s an unknown goddess, and at the time, she has no one in her familia. Seeing the lost, wayward Bellri, she accepts him with open arms. She’s the first person to accept him unconditionally after his grandfather — again, probably the last surviving family member in his life — passed away, and he’s the first person to join her familia. But Hestia’s familia hasn’t grown since that fateful day. It’s not as if Bellri was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Rather, the goddess seems almost content to have Bellri and only Bellri as a follower. It’s like a mother feeling as though she doesn’t want to divide up her love, so she is reluctant to have another kid.
Bellri cries a lot. He’s really a crybaby. But Hestia never minds it. It might annoy some of us because we expect someone his age to have a little more backbone. Male or female, we expect them to be tougher.
But he’s lost his family, so it might be fair to say that his development in that regard is a little stunted. One needs to spend some time crying to the people who unconditionally love us before we are strong enough to become independent. Maybe Bellri never had that luxury that many of us often take for granted — for granted only because we usually graduate from that stage of development at such an early age.
In any case, Hestia cheers him up, embraces him, and loves him unconditionally. We’ve already seen from previous episodes that she’ll go to great lengths to do anything for the kid. After all, that custom-made knife isn’t cheap. But we’re not just talking about monetary sacrifices. She makes all sorts of sacrifices. Even blood sacrifices. And it’s pretty obvious that she’s romantically interested in Bellri in that maddeningly naive sort of way that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in anime. Y’know, the sort of sex-less passion that an anime character will have for each other. She knows that helping Bellri grow up and become stronger will only increase her chances of losing him.
As a reminder, Bellri’s on a mission to prove his worth to Eyes. I don’t doubt for a second that he’ll always remain loyal to Hestia, but we’ll play along and put ourselves in Hestia’s shoes. It frustrates her that he’s growing so fast, because his growth is directly linked to his feelings for Eyes. But again, the focus here is on his growth. She’s like a proud mother and she measures her “son’s” improvement on a daily basis.
Bellri improves on a daily basis because it’s a story, and we can’t sit around for months to watch the guy grow up. We also hear that his attributes are over 600 or something, because we don’t have time for anything else. We don’t have time to show you Bellri’s incremental improvements and self-growth. So per usual, a dry, boring number is thrown out there. 600. I have no idea what it really means, but Hestia makes a big deal out of it, so I’ll just pretend like 600 is significant.
The episode starts off with Bellri leaving Hestia behind against her wishes, because he wants to protect his family at all costs. He couldn’t do anything for his grandfather, so he’ll be damned if he loses his goddess now.
But Hestia returns to Bellri’s side at all costs. ‘Cause she’ll never abandon him. They’re family, unconditional love, so on and so forth.
They’re literally being chased by a rampaging… monkey thing, but she’s incredibly happy. Cause he’s carrying her? Maybe. But the themes of the show reinforce the idea that Bellri’s quickly growing up, and that Hestia is like a proud mother. The cold opening is thus very important, because it pretty much establishes Bellri’s level of personal growth. No, not the sort of growth that can be illustrated by a number. We’re talking about the sort of growth that a child goes through. He first looks for unconditional love that a family member would provide.
It’s about finding someone that he can trust. He lost this person when his grandfather died, and it’s likely he had lost it before when his parents disappeared from his life for reasons unbeknownst to us. Thanks to Hestia’s unconditional love, however, Bellri can now move onto a different stage of social development.
He now seeks love from his peers, because it’s a measure of his worth and place in the world. What does it even mean to be an adventurer? It’s a rather vague assertion. Where are you going? What are you doing? Mindlessly killing “monsters” for EXP and loot? To what end? That end is the prettiest girl in the world. Game respects game. Other people — men and women both — will admire you if you have the prettiest girl on your arm.
We don’t really know anything about Eyes. We know she’s pretty. The other characters in the show seem to repeat this fact quite frequently. We know she’s a great swordswoman. This is also a fact that’s oft-repeated. And she seems rather tight-lipped. It’s hard to say if she has personality, because she’s not inclined to show one. So as a character, Eyes doesn’t really have one. She’s not really a character at all. She’s a trophy. She’s a personification of your achievement points. What have you done with your life? Say no more. I see you have the hottest girl with you. Of course. Hestia and Hestia fans need not despair. The hero need not actually wed the hottest girl. He only needs to show that he can get her.
Near the end of the episode, Hestia collapses even though Bellri manages to defeat the big, bad gorilla. Maybe the excitement got to her. Maybe she’s just exhausted. Still, the concerned Bellri huddles up beneath a staircase with his knees to his chest.
Like he might lose Hestia or something. Like he might be an orphan again. Unwanted and unloved. But this is anime, so haremish tendencies start to show themselves. Syr shows up just to tell him that she’s fallen in love with Bellri thanks to his heroics. It sure seems to me that she fell in love with him a couple weeks ago, but whatever.
That’s the truth, though. She’s loved him before he’s ever accomplished anything. Hestia also loves him unconditionally. And we sit there and we wonder why. Why do these girls love a guy like that? He’s not worthy. It doesn’t line up with our experiences. Only my mother loves me unconditionally, we might think. On the other hand, your girlfriend still needs you to prove yourself. You still need to be an object worth desiring. Smart, rich, determined, funny, etc. It doesn’t matter. Most girls won’t just love you because you exist. It’s not that Bellri won’t eventually prove himself to be a hero. We’ve already seen from this episode that he’s going to start doing heroic things. But the girls love him before he even does anything. So why are these stories embedded in fantasy land?
Well, maybe some mothers stop loving their children unconditionally. Or not as much. Maybe you are measured every step of the way, and your sense of worth is determined by some stupid number. Maybe it’s a stupid exam score. Maybe it’s something else. I mean, you can give your life and blood to a familia much like how you can give your entire life to a company. You can toil away for years, and they will always demand your loyalty. But let’s face it. Business is business. If your performance starts to drop, can you trust that the familia will be much like a family? They can and probably will drop you like a rock.
Bellri’s very concerned about getting stronger. After all, how else will he impress Eyes? And likewise, your mother may not come out and say it when you couldn’t get into that prestigious high school, but her look and sighs say everything. These devoted shoujos, however, will never lose their faith. They wake you up, they cook for you, and they dote on you every single day. Some of these harem leads even confess that they don’t do all that well in school. Does this particular fact ever seem to bother the haremettes all that much? Not unless you’re trying to woo the valedictorian in an eroge. Maybe only then will you have to concern yourself with academics. But the girl-next-door type usually won’t give a shit about your intelligence.
On that same token, where are all the parents in anime? That’s something we always amusingly wonder. It’s almost like an airline peanuts-esque joke for anime at this point. But truth be told, maybe having the parents around just hits too close to home. Maybe it’s just so obviously unbelievable if the harem lead brings home an average test score, and the mother doesn’t say anything. You know she would. You’ve lived it. This is your life. It’s better — somehow more believable — just to pretend she never existed. And just displace the mother’s unconditional love into the haremette instead.