OP 2 Sequence
OP 2: 「Phantom Joke」 by UNISON SQUARE GARDEN
「王の死」 (Ou no Shi)
“The Death of a King”
Hello! This is Iskendaris covering for Passerby this week.
Fate/Grand Order: Babylonia returns after the holiday break with a new OP animation and ED sequence. The OP Phantom Joker is the same song as the first OP, but set in the second verse. Honestly it wasn’t very impressive. Compared to how expensive the Fate/Grand Order franchise feels, using a bunch of particle engines swishing across looks rushed.
We’re in for another long, long exposition-filled episode and we don’t even get a fight scene. Thankfully there’s a lot of ahem, golden comedy moments to be had. Merlin freaking out over Gilgamesh’s death, Siduri’s explanation that he died from overwork and Romani’s response: “If Gilgamesh can die from overwork, the same thing can happen to me!”
I really feel you Dr. Romani! I don’t want to go back to work either! This comedy setup was perfectly executed, and something everyone can relate to, post holiday haze. This 3-person comedy setup happens again with Ishtar, Mash and Fujimaru over the Three Goddess Alliance misunderstanding.
This 3-person comedy setup definitely makes all this talking more interesting, the sharp flash cuts where the spoken dialogue is narrated over someone else’s reaction. It’s nice directing and clever mirroring, plus it helps establish the different group relations using dialogue instead of visuals, which is rare in anime.
Most importantly, we finally learn the third goddess’ name……. ERESHKIGAL! (Eresh-chan, as she’s fondly known by players)
Underworld is bleak, but the gameshow atmosphere is hilarious to watch. I wish they did all seven gates!! It’s probably a time/budget constraint to keep the story moving, but it’s these comedy bits that keep me watching. I don’t really want a serious introspection with Mash and Fujimaru; I want Gilgamesh being silly (CasGil is best Gil) and all the sidequest stuff like making bricks and Siduri chasing him to do paperwork.
“Who is the most beautiful?” is the kind of question that’ll launch a war (Helen of Troy anyone?) but Mash’s response is best. The glimpse we get of Ereshikigal’s personality with the cute spooky voice and silly questions makes her a mirror to Ishtar’s equally tsun behaviour, and this mirroring continues visually as well.
Things I never knew I needed in life: smol Ishtar riding Fou!!
Tiny Ishtar so freakin’ adorable, and I know it’s all fanservice, but it’s just too cute!!! I like that this episode doesn’t take itself too seriously, and just let the weirdness take over. Oh my god when King Gilgamesh popped out from the side of a rock to laugh at tiny!Ishtar, I can only thank the whales of Fate/Grand Order for making this beautiful moment happen.
With a giant bone monster ghost emerging from the cold depths, we’re all set for a battle of… grand order (hah!). I can’t wait to see more of Ereshkigal! Hopefully they will be a good fight scene next week!!
Unlike the new OP, I love the second ED. I’m biased toward Gilgamesh, and the song coupled with the flashback scenes gives him a softer, more melancholic feel. Truly the weight of being a king! I like the minimalist style as well, and the use of sand mirrors nicely with the OP without overdoing the particle effects.
ED 2: 「Prover」 by Milet