Episode 7 of Season 2 begs the question of should we save Haruhime Sanjono? Regardless of what Bell should be doing in terms of normal adventuring the kid has always had a knack for finding trouble. Not that he is entirely to blame, some situations are literally out of his control. This time we find ourselves at first trying to figure out the if we can save a prostitute. Lili, Welf, and Mikoto all tell Bell they should just give up on trying to help Haruhime. They aren’t wrong, there is a lot of danger involved and the pleasure quarter has a reputation that can’t be associated with Bell as the leader of Hestia’s familia. Bell puts all those considerations on hold as he decides that he is going to save Haruhime and thereby breaks the taboo that a hero should not save a prostitute.
Deciding to save Haruhime is breaking a taboo for a heroes. In the books that Bell Cranel reads, and he himself already seems to know, that the Hero is not expected to help a prostitute but is supposed to kill them because they have destroyed the hero and many other lives. He asks to himself and his dead grandfather what the right thing to do is. While it may seem like the right thing to do to help someone in suffering the decision to help a prostitute isn’t one that can really lead to any great outcomes. The best outcome is they save Haruhime and the affair is closed in private by purchasing her. If the city of Orario finds out well there could be more to it than just Bell just trying to save a prostitute. First off is that Bell would have to buy Haruhime, who is a slave. So not only would he be engaged with prostitution but he would be engaged in slave trade. In modern society it would destroy a reputation, even if it was well intended. In Orario the pleasure quarter seems to be one that no one really talks about since it seems to be bad business all around. Its been how many episodes since we started Danmachi before being told of its existence? Hermes also desperately tries to hide the fact he has been there. Even Hestia is appalled that Bell would be in the pleasure quarter all night and assumes the worst. While on the surface Bell wants to save a friend, the ugly reality is there is more going on than just helping someone in need. There is also status and reputation to consider as well. The taboo is a societal one.
Haruhime even tells Bell that to a hero, a prostitute is a symbol of destruction. Bell knows from the books he has read that a prostitute never stands next to a hero. While Haruhime may want to be saved, she knows that cannot happen. In a heartbreaking moment she denies knowing Mikoto, she does not want anything associated with her past life to be a part of her new life. To be involved with Haruhime is to be involved with filth. She said it herself to Bell. Why would a hero want to save filth like her? Haruhime is a broken individual without will and her purpose is to pleasure customers. While she may have wishes, a slave will never have them fulfilled. When she is all used up there will be nothing left for her. Haruhime is in her lowest state possible, she has fallen from nobility to slavery. While the circumstance may not be entirely her fault this is the situation Haruhime is in.
Despite Haruhime’s circumstance Bell is moved to break taboo and to save Haruhime. It is a bold move one that will come with consequence. We have already seen the forces of the other gods and the politics of the city. If we thought Apollo was bad news, Ishtar is shaping up to be worse news. Life doesn’t always come with positive outcomes. I just hope that Bell’s decision to save Haruhime is one with a good outcome. I am cheering for Bell, but there is a limit to what his power can do.