「こんにちは、太陽の女神」 (Kon’nichiwa, Taiyou no Megami)
“Hello, Goddess of the Sun”
Ah, now we see what Ritsuka is good for. Sure, he doesn’t bring much to the table as a protagonist. But simply by virtue of being the protagonist, a self-insert no less, he has access to the most potent weapon in the protagonist’s arsenal: preternatural charisma. Protagonists are just positively magnetic. If you’re the hero you can basically expect women (and men, for that matter) to fall head over heels for you for no discernable reason. Even Mesoamerican goddesses have no defence against the average Japanese pretty-boy.
Speaking of Quetzalcoatl, she’s an excellent demonstration of why it doesn’t pay for Babylonia to take itself too seriously. Carnivorous onee-san (look, retractable teeth) just has a silly design in general. I suspect she’s half the reason Jaguarman even exists in this story; next to Taiga’s hyperactive ridiculousness everything looks sane in comparison, so at least we’re already anchored appropriately low. Why is Quetzalcoatl a female wrestling-aficionada from Dinotopia? Basically, ‘because Fate/‘ and we just roll with it (the philosophy being, I suppose, that common sense only gets in the way of stories like this). I also suspect that the average Japanese media consumer doesn’t actually know that much about Mexico so lucha libre it is. Granted, the average person anywhere probably doesn’t know much about Mexico other than taco, drugs, and piñatas, unfortunately, and a piñata goddess would be lacking in combat effectiveness. That said, I’m sure with enough imagination one can kill with a piñata. Let’s say, via diabetes.
Speaking of diabetes, how about that other goddess who also seems to be inexplicably smitten? Following the ad hoc motif of Babylonia, it appears that not only is Tiamat not really Tiamat, Enkidu not really Enkidu, Benkei not really Benkei, Ishtar may not actually be Ishtar either. Or at least, not when she has hayfever. Babylonia is basically falling over itself to spoilerise Blonde!Rinface at this point (after having already plastered her all over the OP/ED). We don’t exactly know is up with that yet but we’re definitely invited to be highly suspicious of Ishtar(?)’s, shall we say, inconsistent behaviour.
Speaking of behaviour, it sure feels like nothing much happened this episode, doesn’t it? One would have expected that the introduction of our next major antagonist would have prompted more fanfare but, nope, she just barges in, announces herself, then promptly exits, stage left as if she’s read the script. Well, next week there’s supposed to be a confrontation at her seat of power, so we’re sure to be in for… something. I dare not telegraph what.