「天命の粘土板」 (Tenmei no Nendo-ban)
“The Tablet of Destinies”
I mean, I’ve played this part of the F/GO and all, but even I was starting to forget that there was supposed to be an existential war against an army of monsters going on in Babylonia. I just never envisioned ancient warfare to involve so much picnicking, you know? I’m going to assume that the CGI for the demonic army takes a lot of work, which is why we haven’t even gotten a cut back to it to remind us what the stakes are, but it’s easy to lose track of the scale of the conflict when our point-of-view protagonist hasn’t had any direct involvement in it and is basically in his own little world with his supernatural kouhai anyway.
Evidently, the anime staff are also concerned that we may confuse the show with an anachronistic Middle East tourism commercial and has thus gone out of its way to remind us that war is hell. Duly noted. In pivoting our attention back to the war we also it’s also a good opportunity to spend more time with the warriors, in particular Ushiwakamaru. We’ve been telegraphing that she’d be getting further development for some time now (otherwise, why is she even in the story?) but she hasn’t gotten much of anything other than brief acknowledgements of her existence now and she’s not happy about it. This week, she gets an entire scene! Sure, it’s not enough to promote her to full party member status but it’s something). Exactly what, I’m not sure Show Spoiler ▼
And we still know basically nothing about her (including why she’s a her, other than Fate/ history). I assume that the Japanese F/GO was written for would be familiar with the tales of Ushiwakamaru and require no further introduction, but it seems the rest of us will have to Google it.
We’ve already dedicated so much to characterisation, though, so I understand if it’s hard to drum up excitement for even more of it (they even threw in Ritsuka’s exercise routine). Thankfully, in this episode we have plot! Remember, we had a plot? Yeah, I’m honestly as surprised as you are. There was something about an alliance of three goddesses (creatively named the Three-Goddess Alliance) so it’s probably useful to get ourselves a goddess (Rin sure gets herself tied up a lot. And that’s as far as I’ll take that analysis). Here I’ll note that it’s sort of hard to talk about this part of the episode without spoilers. I’m sure you anime-only viewers have a sense of why; the anime has made use of a lot of visual storytelling not available to the game to do some foreshadowing, to give a sense that there is something here that we’re not supposed to understand yet. I like these additions; in the game it was hard to tell that we were supposed to be paying attention to this part, even after the reveal. The extra foreshadowing will likely help smooth out the flow of the story in the long run, since this is less of a shocking twist and more of Nasu-lore shenanigans and I’ve probably already said too much.
In the end we didn’t really learn much about the Three-Goddess Alliance other than the fact that there are three goddesses and they do indeed have an alliance, because Ritsuka has a catch and release policy. I suppose that’s just the kind of good-hearted hero he’s supposed to be so there’s no helping it. And random acts of kindness bailed him out of the underworld once already, so something iss working. It’s not like he can contribute much other than moral fibre anyway. If all you have is a hammer… make hammernade. That’s definitely how that saying went.
I definitely enjoyed this episode more than last week’s. Unlike how distant they’ve insisted on making Gil be, Ritsuka’s interactions with Ushi, Ishtar and Merlin feel a lot more organic and as someone who puts Shinjuku on the same level as Camelot and babyl Babylonia it because of the great character interactions it’s definitely a step up to me even if the animation isn’t quite as good (though I found the emoting for Ritsuka better this episode).
I really liked the scene with Ushi, though I’ll admit I coughed awkwardly when she called Ritsuka the second person to understand her (Ushi, your brother wanted you dead…). And Ishtar is so much fun! Her round about way of helping is really like Gil’s, which in hindsighy explains why they hate each other
Yeah, that was unnerving XD
That said, given that she’s called “Ushiwakamaru” (his childhood name) instead of the most famous “Minimamoto no Yoshitsune” (his adult name), I bet she was summoned from an earlier point in the timeline. Like how Archer Gilgamesh probably comes from the time when he hadn’t undergone the character development from the Epic of Gilgamesh.
Archer Gil is specifically from after Enkidu died and before his quest for immortality.
I don’t know if the anime will cover this, but Ushiwakamaru states in-game that she prefers being summoned as ‘Ushiwakamaru’ than ‘Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune’.
Ishtarin: “Why don’t they understand that I’m blowing them up and stealing their jewels to help them?!”
This, I can understand. In fact, I appreciated the scene more because it focused on a natural reaction: Ushiwakamaru is a famous Japanese hero and Ritsuka is Japanese, so it would make perfect sense for them to bond over it. “Wow, you’re the famous hero I remember from plays and songs!”, “Wow, I’m still remembered 900 years later!”
Well, except the “her” part. That does require an explanation even if you’re a Japanese history buff. Remember the good old times when Saber’s true identity was supposed to be a major twist?
Well, we do learn a new, interesting detail: the Three Goddesses are competing for the Holy Grail. That could be exploited or foreshadow a heel-face turn in the future.
In universe reason is that people wrote what suited the times, rather than what actually happened. Like a lot of history back then. Thus quite a lot of female heroes become male heroes.
I like to think as well that the reason why Merlin disguised Arthur wasn’t probably to actually hide that she was female. I think it was to get Arthur to think and act like a King would. I don’t mean as a male, but I think Artoria and Arthur were two very different people (with the two sides becoming one after Fate and UBW).
I’m of the belief that Merlin realized that if Artoria got to the throne as Artoria, everything that needed to come to pass would not have. Hence, disguise her and thus she had to be someone entirely different.
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So, yeah. Took a bit of a side tangent, but regardless. Scholars made them male and the Artoria thing is how I look at why she specifically had a disguise.
And within seconds of my post, I realize I posted a bloody spoiler and I didn’t mean to, because I was thinking of game stuff and not from an anime perspective. DAMMIT. I’m so sorry about that.
Editor’s note: I tagged the thing I think you’re talking about.
You have to read between lines or research of the 6Th singularity to get spoiled, and in a away, the Lord El Melloi chase Files anime already hints that something does goes on with Artoria’s lance.
Unless you mean the Fate Stay Night spoilers, then I think 99.9% of readers already know.
Is it explained in the game, then? As mentioned before, I’m not familiar with Grand Order, but in previous Fate installments, gender flipped characters were supposed to be a big twist (Artoria, Nero, Mordred), and so far in my FGO playthrough, there are no surprised in that regard.
Fastforward to the 7th Singularity and Ritsuka isn’t surprised at all that the famous Ushiwakamaru is a girl? From an anime-only perspective, it feels odd, suggesting that the reason she doesn’t get an “introduction for newbies” is more about players already being familiar with her than a Japanese audience being fmailiar with the historical character.
Pour Ishtar-Rin has a lot of bad luck, doesn’t She?
She falls from the sky loses her belongings, gets captured an tied up, doesn’t get to keep her stolen “Offerings”, gets mocked by Gilgamesh, her former worshipers hate her for being a bother while she try to protect them, Show Spoiler ▼
, and more…
(Check her in-game Lick parameters… Luck “A”….)
Never mind. Maybe just Rin and her Karma.
They’re really dragging this out way too much than it needs to be. Things like all the filler/recreational activities in the mobile game work better because you spend less than 3 minutes reading them in text form before the next major event/battle happens. But animated they just drag on forever and its just not that interesting at this point. These 6 episodes really could have been 3-4 in term of plot and development.
I really hope the pace picks up soon.
Yeah, I must admit that Passerby described it perfectly with that “anachronistic Middle East tourism commercial”. I appreciate that they’ve cut down on the gratuitous battles and condensed missions and quests while trying to flesh out the characters and the setting, but the pacing still feels odd.
I think the intention is to give a sense of time and scale. Uruk is supposed to be big, right? Like, we basically skipped through a month of bobbing around Uruk doing odd jobs, if they condensed this much more it’d feel like they sewed the whole Last Singularity thing up in a few days and Uruk, Kutha and Nassur were just over the next hill from one another.
Anime logic, the less you wear, the more protection you have. Like any female samurai would wear the same as what Rider is wearing.
What are those ropes made of? To be able to bind a goddess. Anyway, if only EMIYA was here, Ishtar can easily be controlled. I like to see Ishtar’s original form, it was said to be a form so repulsive that Gilgamesh show great disgust.
The ropes are special ropes made from lapis lazuli and the hides of Demonic Beasts.
Everyone knows that game avatars like Ritsuka are bland because they function as the vehicle for the player to insert themselves into the game. If they showed too much personality, say like a mass-murderer, a much smaller proportion of players could related and immerse.
My pet theory is that this extends to the in-story people they get along with. (In FGO, that’s the Servants). They have to get along with EVERYONE. Strong personalities inevitably rub some people the wrong way to the point of engendering hatred (Gilgamesh would probably descend into holy war with half of Chaldea’s servants), but inoffensive good people rarely do. They might be considered annoying, but are rarely hated. A person who is genuinely good might be annoying, but they’re also trustworthy.
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Awww they changed the part where she’s supposed to fall head down. That could have been way more funnier.
I did like the bit about Uruk deities all being blonde, and then Ishtarin goes blonde for a minute at the end, there. That felt significant.
Good line, too. ‘Too good a sacrifice for the other goddesses’…