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« Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia – 08

Fate Grand Order Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia – 09

「おはよう、金星の女神」 (Ohayou, Kinboshi no Megami)
“Good Morning, Goddess of Venus”

Remember that episode of Unlimited Blade Works where, after a bunch of intense action pieces, and after the villain basically stomped on the protagonist party but lets them go for no good reason, the anime brings the tension down by basically just having Rin make faces for 20 minutes?

This is exactly the same episode.

Other than the brief but mandated action sequence (though they really should have lead with the magpie-bait if it was going to be Super Effective) this episode was entirely exposition. But it was exposition featuring the face of Tohsaka Rin so I suppose it was far more palatable. It’s hard to be a Fate/ fan without also being a Rin fan (if only because she is arguably the franchise’s most pervasive fixture) so an episode of Rin-service is an automatic slam-dunk. And it serves to reassure us that whatever weird tenancy ratio that is happening inside Rin’s body due to strange mythological permutations, there are still constants.

I suppose the reason Nasu so often throws in a Rin (or any of her prototypes) into his works is that she’s just a really useful type of character to have around. Rin was designed to be a heroine. I don’t means this in terms of waifu-metrics (though I’m sure she’ll score high with any rating board). I mean that she’s assertive. She knows what she wants, she knows how to get it, and proactively works towards it. From a storytelling perspective she can be counted on to do things and have presence. That is, she can steer the plot in specific directions. Sure, an author can just drop a plot device from the sky to spur the protagonist, but such blatant author intervention feels unnatural. Better to have the story feel character driven.

You can see Ishtar being employed in this fashion this episode. It would usually be a tad difficult to come done from all the emotion of last week, whether it be hype about the action or grief at the loss of our heroes. Enter IshtaRin who, with her huge character presence, can just pull the entire narrative towards herself and it doesn’t feel exceptionally forced because she’s designed to have that kind of gravity well. If you need someone to demolish a pensive mood and move on? She’s your girl.

And there’s more in her character to tap, yet. It’s a bit obvious what’s going on but I’ll avoid spoilers all the same. I will say, though, I recall that in an earlier interview about the original Deen Fate/stay night anime, Ueda Kana talked about not being entirely sure how to play Rin and being doubtful about the casting. It amuses me that she’s now voicing like three versions of her in the same episode with complete comfort.

November 30, 2019 at 6:39 pm
24 comments »
  • November 30, 2019 at 8:21 pmboingman

    I admit, I enjoyed this episode a lot more than the previous action one, for one because Ritsuka actually did something useful, but the main one being that it featured a lot of Rin in different character aspects.
    The prefight felt a bit unnecessary and I don’t remember if it also happened in the game (I guess it did because it felt tacked on), though once again nicely animated Ishtar, so not too much complaints from me.

    • December 1, 2019 at 4:19 amMistic

      I admit, I enjoyed this episode a lot more than the previous action one, for one because Ritsuka actually did something useful, but the main one being that it featured a lot of Rin in different character aspects.

      Gilgamesh probably felt the huge “generic harem protagonist” energy that Ritsuka exudes. The best agent to conquer a tsundere goddess.

      It’s even funnier because, from what I’ve heard (and seen), Male Ritsuka’s appearance was designed as a genderbent version of Rin, so, in a way, it’s Rin having ship-tease with herself (fitting). Of course, since Female Ritsuka is a genderbent version of Shirou, it would have been equally ironic if the series starred the female protagonist XD

      Bu seriously, yes, I also appreciate that Ritsuka finally did something that only he could do, going back to episode 6 to forge a special connection with Ishtar. Merlin or Gilgamesh himself wouldn’t have had the same success, I think.

  • December 1, 2019 at 12:07 amBloodHunter

    Yes!!Next up is Rider onee-san!!

  • December 1, 2019 at 2:24 amHenrietta Brix

    • December 1, 2019 at 4:05 amworldwidedepp

      Well, in this Fate Spinoff she has the Body of a Goddess, right?

      • December 1, 2019 at 4:27 amMistic

        Isn’t it the other way round, a goddess having Rin’s body? Although you can say that Rin has a body fitting for a goddess…

      • December 1, 2019 at 4:40 amworldwidedepp

        Well, if it would be a Goddess of fertility, then her Boobs would be bigger…

      • December 1, 2019 at 7:45 amHenrietta Brix

        Rin is the Tsundere Goddess and Goddes Ishtar is merely borrowing the body of another goddes

  • December 1, 2019 at 4:56 amMistic

    I suppose the reason Nasu so often throws in a Rin (or any of her prototypes) into his works is that she’s just a really useful type of character to have around. Rin was designed to be a heroine.

    That makes me wonder: who came first, IshtaRin or the Babylonian Singularity? Was she created as blatant fanservice gacha bait (“How can we allow players to summon Rin as a Servant?”) and then given a role in the most fitting singularity for her, or was she modeled specifically for this tale?

    In any case, the combination is perfect. In the myths, Inanna/Ishtar had basically the same qualities as Rin: assertive, passionate, proactive. Even when she showed less than stellar moral qualities, every scribe knew that any tale would be more interesting with her in it. It’s no wonder she was popular in both Sumerian and Akkadian mythologies. Heck, the reason she chose that mountain as her base of operations in the anime is that once she declared war on it because it didn’t show respect to her! And it was glorious.

    • December 1, 2019 at 5:11 amLelo

      iirc, in Fate/Extra CCC it was vaguely mentioned that Rin is a bit like Ishtar in many aspects, so I think a very basic idea for this mix came way before FGO was conceived.

    • December 1, 2019 at 8:52 amKristian64

      That is hard to guess. If you see the Japanese Teasers of the game when it firs launched there ,it looks like at least they already had decided each singularity names, time period and civilizations they wanted to cover, but I think, since they already had the Idea of IstaRin and Gilgamesh has always been a popular character,they decided to work with Babylonia as a singularity because of the characters.

  • December 1, 2019 at 6:03 amLyfe

    Generally speaking in some Fate shows some of the supporting characters are a lot more interesting than the protagonists. Especially in Fate/Apocrypha. Seeing the same sort of trend with this show, though I won’t openly call some characters bland as its still early in the series.

  • December 1, 2019 at 7:43 amKoeix

    “With that, I want you to buy me a goddess”. This made me laugh in the game and made me loled so hard in the animation voiced.

  • December 1, 2019 at 8:56 amKristian64

    Greek Gods and their banal disputes always mess things up. Then again, Ishtar has quite the family drama.

    • December 1, 2019 at 2:30 pmMistic

      I must say I’m quote surprised by Gorgon’s backstory as explained here. In almost every myth, Stheno and Euryale live together with Medusa by the time Perseus arrives to kill her (in fact, he can’t kill the other two sisters because they’re explicitely immortal, whereas Medusa was mortal). I haven’t heard of a myth where Medusa killed her sisters, who also share her fate of becoming monsters.

      • December 1, 2019 at 8:25 pmKristian64

        Another Fate lore Liberty (And One that was established way back in Fate Hollow Ataraxia)In my eyes, Stheno and Euryale where called monster because of their cruel personalities; They never became beasts like Gorgon. In this version I guess they need to…Show Spoiler ▼

  • December 1, 2019 at 10:49 amGreed

    https://randomc.net/image/Fate%20Grand%20Order/Fate%20Grand%20Order%20Zettai%20Majuu%20Sensen%20Babylonia%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2008.jpg
    So Da Vinci studied some modern wrestling moves.

    https://randomc.net/image/Fate%20Grand%20Order/Fate%20Grand%20Order%20Zettai%20Majuu%20Sensen%20Babylonia%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2031.jpg
    I actually am curious what the original Isthar looks like, she was said to be so repulsive that Gilgamesh had to insult her. This Ishtar is more like an angel with Tsundere habits.

    I do wonder what would happen if EMIYA was in this anime. Anyway, based on the Fate/Stay Night novel, Rin Tohsaka is bisexual that is attracted to Saber. So I do wonder if Rin would act the same with the female Ritsuka.

    • December 1, 2019 at 11:43 amworldwidedepp

      think of the Times they where living in. What they found repulsive could today be super sexy slim body. Because in the ancient a full belly woman show the wealthy of her Man. even today there are some cultures that use this

      So. perhaps Gilgamesh had the wrong taste for today’s sexy woman

    • December 1, 2019 at 2:18 pmMistic

      I actually am curious what the original Isthar looks like, she was said to be so repulsive that Gilgamesh had to insult her.

      Is that from the games? Because in the myths, Ishtar’s beauty was proverbial; the reason Gilgamesh was repulsed by her wasn’t her appearance, but her track record. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, after she proposes to him, Gil lists all her known lovers and how badly she treated them, rejecting her with colorful insults such as “limestone that weakens the wall it builds” or “shoe that cuts the feet of its wearer”.

      Anyway, based on the Fate/Stay Night novel, Rin Tohsaka is bisexual that is attracted to Saber. So I do wonder if Rin would act the same with the female Ritsuka.

      I’ve heard that the female Ritsuka has exactly the same lines and scenes than her male counterpart, doesn’t she? So I expect the answer to be yes ;)

      • December 1, 2019 at 6:01 pmGreed

        When I said “appearance” I meant in every manner. IF I was Hans Christian andersen, with a Human Observation skill, I am sure I would be repulsed by what the original Ishtar looks like, due to her bad personality, despite her external beauty. Taking Tate Yuusha (Shield Hero) for example, with a certain girl, I am sure bad personality can easily make the “ugliness” of a woman very visible. Though I am curious what Ishtar looks like original, and if her external beauty could overwiegh her bad personality

    • December 1, 2019 at 6:39 pmRuneGrey

      There has been concept art of the original divine spirit Ishtar, who is not surprisingly blonde and somewhat weirdly dressed. A big part of the lore of the Gods of Mesopotamia is that they are all blondes, which is how its easy to tell that Ishtar is possessing a human’s body (and that her timeshare is taking over, which changes her hair color).

      Given that Ishtar is the basis for almost all of the goddesses of love, beauty, and war in early human civilization, its almost certain that Gilgamesh is more repulsed by her attitude and lack of empathy for anyone else who isn’t in her favor, rather than her actual looks. After all, Ishtar sort of *beat the hell out of a mountain* because she felt it wasn’t showing her proper respect…

    • December 2, 2019 at 11:07 pmMami

      The game writes about every scene under the assumption that the player is a straight man so absolutely nothing would change in the interactions considering that the few times the players gender is acknowledged its usually for “I’m okay if its you” Yuri scenes.

    • December 3, 2019 at 7:47 amOverMaster

      Ask around Beast’s Lair. I once saw a link there taking to an Imgur where someone had posted a Japanese scan of what Ishtar really looks like. She’s still beautiful, but the face is much sharper and more cruel and she has these strange long fingernails, almost like talons.

      By the way, in Fate/Strange Fake Ishtar also shows up, posessing a homunculus and thus letting a lot more of her real nasty personality shows up, even though her appearance stays the vessel’s.

    • December 3, 2019 at 10:36 amworldwidedepp

      Also as a side effect of her sharing many Goddess in her Body… the Animators only need to change little effects and can reuse the Body many times. Saves money, Time and Animators

      Well, perhaps Hair color and then try to let her Voice actor also change “tune” a bit

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