「新しいヒトのカタチ」 (Atarashii Hito no Katachi)
“The New Humanity”
Say what you want about Nasu — there is plenty one can — but one thing’s for certain: he’s not shy about raising the stakes. There’s really only one value in an anything-goes fantasy setting like Nasu’s Fate universe, in which exceptions seem as numerous as rules. It’s in taking the ‘anything’ and really ‘going’ all the way with it, to truly embrace the outlandish and run with it, riding the emotional high without thinking too hard about it. Which is why, immediately after Ana goes Leeroy Jenkins on the Gorgon raid boss, we immediately move onto SUDDENLY ZOMBIES.
And of course, nobody as much bats an eye.
I’m quite fond of Ana (we’re definitely supposed to be, sympathetic backstory and all), so I’m a bit miffed that we hardly get to mourn her heroic sacrifice after she went and did a, as Fate fans would call it, ‘reverse-Emiya’. But I get it. We can’t stop here. After the Sisyphean task of pushing the meandering plot boulder up Babylonia mountain we can’t just let it roll back down again. Maintain the tension! Keep things moving! Don’t let them stop and think about whether it’s strange for Quetzalcoatl to be a shark onee-san!
Though perhaps they packed a wee bit too much plot into this episode. I feel like the rise of the lahmu could have used more impact. Sure, in animation they were suitably creepy (occasional derp art aside). But perhaps the horror of their lahmu apocalypse could have been left to linger for a while longer. Wouldn’t it have been more effective, perhaps, to have ended the episode in the middle of the slaughter, to let it hang for the week, without having the lahmu inexplicably retreat or the heroes getting to counterattack?
Perhaps this is one of those times FGO‘s game mechanics actually help rather than hinder the story. In the game, the lahmu were some of the most frustrating mob enemies the game had at the time, each fight was something of a slog, and meanwhile in the narrative cities were getting slaughtered while you were grinding through each fight. The player really got to hate the lahmu, in every possible way. Except, of course, that one lahmu that stubbornly refused to attack you and just ran away. I wonder if that had as much impact on anime watchers as it did on game players.
Speaking of game mechanics, next week is supposed to be a recap episode, so Kingu has to stay shivved for a while in our downtime. Yes, even in the anime, we have extended maintenance.