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.

ED2 Sequence

ED 2: 「Prover」 by Milet


  1. “‘Who is the most beautiful?’ is the kind of question that’ll launch a war (Helen of Troy anyone?)”

    Or for the “men of culture” in this audience: “Who is the best waifu?”

    Anyway, time for a take 2 (with the proper subject this time around):

    “♪ You are harboring a fugitive
    (Dat a**!)
    And my justice will be punitive
    (I’mma smash!) ♪”

    But Ishtar gets smashed in a different way… Also loved it as a mythology gag to Unlimited Blade Works episode 14 where Rin literally gets shocked and thrown back by a magical barrier.

    And at least it’s not Luvia seeing (Ishta)Rin in this situation… One would already hear Luvia’s gloating from a mile away if that were the case. (“Ara ara araaraaraara…OHOHOHOHO!)

    Lastly, that off-hand mention of karoshi definitely feels like black comedy, especially if you’re aware of that phenomenon.

    1. Since Ereshkigal and Ishtar are basically both Rin, or at least have her looks, isn’t asking about their beauty a super tricky question?

      Another thing would be asking about their character (Ereshkigal seems more brooding, but also more gentle and caring) or their fashion sense (Ishtar wears a fantasy bikini, whereas Ereshkigal has a cape). In which case, Ereshkigal wins ;D

      No, seriously, I liked a lot the interactions between “Night Ishtar” and Fujimaru in previous episodes. I have the feeling Mash is supposed to be the main love interest, but I can’t wait to see more of that chemistry between mortal and goddess in the next episode.

      1. Ah see, they’re Rin-face but not Rin; kinda like how every other blond looks like Saber (Arturia) but is not Arturia…. regardless, the right answer is always Gilgamesh ERESHKIGAL! lest you get blasted at the gates of underworld.

        It’s set up for Mash to be the main love interest, but it’s hard since she has so much less personality than Ishtar/Ereshkigal or any of the other goddesses really (Quetz-neesama!!)

        1. It’s an odd case here, because Ishtar and Ereshkigal are each merged with a part of Rin’s being.

          As for the Artoria look-alikes… some of them are other people entirely, and some are alternate Artorias.

    2. Asking who’s the best waifu is inviting trouble from the entire FGO players hahaha… speaking of Luvia, the whole blondie-bullies-Rin type– does that mean that Gilgamesh is Luvia’s role in Babylonia?!?!

      Yes unfortunately I am (living in Tokyo…woe) but the way its played out is perfect

  2. Yeah, I didn’t like the opening either. It does feel… low effort? It’s not just about the visuals; reusing basically the same song feels like a missed opportunity too. In contrast, the end song was gorgeous and very fitting for Gilgamesh.

    I also agree with the comedy. I know I haven’t been a fan of it in previous instances (coughepisode4cough), but I feel it’s getting better and better with each passing episode, especially since Ishtar’s recruitment. I wanted to see how they went through the other six gates of the underworld, because the first one was hilarious (sooner or later, I’ll reach Babylonia in F/GO and see it myself).

    I wasn’t such a fan of “Ishtar and Ereshkigal as two sides of the same coin”, because that seems to be derived from certain modern readings of Inanna’s descent to the netherworld, basically the only myth where those two interact and whose influence permeates the entire episode (Ishtar’s fate was as brutal as she desribes, although in the end she was saved by having Dumuzid take her place, as punishment for being a lousy husband that didn’t mourn her when she died). That said, given how the game has adapted other figures (Artemis and Orion, sigh), this was relatively true to the original myths.

    Except the cages. I don’t know if it’s artistic license or they were inspired by Nungal, Ereshkigal’s daughter and goddess of judgement and prisons, but that’s not exactly how Mesopotamians imagined the afterlife (the cold, darkness and barrenness are 100% accurate, though).

    CasGil is best Gil

    Truer words have never been spoken. It would be really interesting to have CasGil meet his Archer counterpart from F/SN.

    By the way, Iskendaris, are you going to review Babylonia from now on?

    1. Nah I’m just covering for Passerby this week. I play F/GO though, so it makes sense for me to help out.

      YES CASGIL! Actually I also like chibi!Gil in Prisma Illya. I don’t think the “Gils” ever meet, which is a pity because that’s comedy gold right there. Archer Gil will probably bully CasGil into doing his share of work as well, and they’ll “zasshu” each other in a staredown.

      I think Eresh/Ishtar as two sides of the same coin was really an excuse for F/GO to re-use Rin’s design because she’s so popular and making her blonde basically up’ed her rarity so everyone wants her. Nasuverse has a weird thing about myths, some are accurate and some are so way off charts that it’s hopelessly impossible to untangle (I don’t want to spoil the game or series for you). If it’s weird and doesn’t match up with the original myth, just take it as a ride lol

      That said, F/GO is probably the only reason why I went and re-read Epic of Gilgamesh and the other Sumerian myths. Thanks for the info about Inanna’s descent! That was really interesting.

    1. I re-watched a couple of eps back as a refresher, and she does take Ishtar’s form when everyone is awake. That’s why when Fujimaru talked about the 3-Goddess Alliance at night, he’s talking to Ereshkigal (not Ishtar) who confirms it.

      Lancers are stronger than Archers! Players will say — which makes Ishtar weak to Ereskigal (Lancer class) I agree with Mash too, both are beautiful!!!

  3. I suspect given the overall developments of Babylonia that we may get a new opening for the final arc of the show. I agree it does feel kind of low effort, which is unusual given the crazy budget this show has. But we may be surprised – we’ll have to see.

    The comedy is great this episode – they can’t draw it out like the game, but what we got was amazing.

    Rune Grey
    1. Considering how much money F/GO has, I don’t wanna settle… I want EVERYTHING! Give me Ishtar crying over her tablets and all that stuff. They can also cut down on the Fujimaru/Mash introspection, it’s just way too much

  4. YES! I was dying to see Chibi Ishtar! Now if they can add Ishtar being punished to hold a tablet that saying “I’m a useless goddess”, that would awesome.

    I hadn’t realized that the ED showed Gil’s 4 fallen servants until I saw Koutarou and I was like why is Koutarou is in the ending and then it hit me that Koutarou was part of Gil’s summoned servants.

    I recently got CasGil and his Arts buff can really pack a punch like Merlin’s Buster buff.

    1. That’s a spoiler!!!! I don’t think non-gameplayers know about the previous ones.

      I want to see that too, as well as all the other comedy moments. It feels like what the anime/director wants to make is a serious thoughtful show, but what the audience wants is completely different.

      Did you roll during the new year banner? I finally got a full Gil team (baby gil, casgil, archer gil). It was on a summon ticket though (ZASSHU indeed)

  5. Whoah, that looks like proper english on Romani’s screen. For a moment I thought that they might have simply used the Servant descriptions from the english version of the game…

    The new OP would be a big disappointment if it were to stay, but as already said above, it’s probably only a placeholder in order to not spoil anything. Though I hope that they also get rid of “Phantom Joke”.

    1. Yeah, I was surprised that the screen was in English (and good English, at that); first time, I didn’t even bother to check, assuming it was in Japanese.

      In hindsight, I should have expected it. While Ritsuka Fujimaru is canonically Japanese, Chaldea is an international organization sponsored by the UN and the Mages Association and led by the Animuspheres, with an equally varied staff. There’s no logical reason they’d be using Japanese instead of English.

  6. It’s a pity that they omit the names of those servants. They were all great servants especially that one “cute” berserker oni who I love to bully and then bribe her with sweets XD

    I do agree that they are trying to make it more serious rather than slapping all those comedic moments from the game. It’s not bad but it sometimes make the whole thing look really bland like in Ep10 where Ritsuka was doing that Leap of Faith.

    The New Year banner really broke my spirit. 200SQ and 20 summon tickets for Hokusai and all I get are crappy CEs and 3* servants.

    The only Gil I left is Archer Gil. I can feel the King of Heroes mocking at my effort to roll him.

    1. I think it’s done on purpose ’cause something does happen with one of the previous CasGil summons………. ((no spoilers please for the non-player audience))

      Yeah I get why they went with Fujimaru, but I prefer Gudako. That would’ve made F/GO: Babylonia a lot less dull certainly (all that talking zzzzz )

      I tried rolling for Hokusai too and it was just terrible. Then when this ep aired I used a summon ticket and got ArcherGil! So my Gil-trio is finally complete. It’s annoying ’cause I wasn’t trying to get Gil but Enkidu though — must be all that desire-trigger, F/GO trying to mock me


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