“The Congress Dances”
This week’s episode begins with our heroes riding on dinosaurs to cross the seas so that a Japanese high school girl possessed by a Mesopotamian goddess can shoot a planet at her mother.
This is the thing to love or hate about anything-goes stories: anything goes. Stepping back a bit to holistically survey where we are, really think about what’s going on, and we might realise that it’s all a bit ridiculous.
At the same time, though, one has to admit that it’s rather awesome.
As impressive as Ishtar is, did anyone think she was just going to one-shot the final boss? No, of course not. For one, we know that Babylonia has 21 episodes lined and nobody wants to watch our heroes chill and pat each on the back for four episodes in a row having managed to speed-run the game. And, even considering all the protagonist factors Tohsaka Rin possesses she’s not actually the protagonist and there’s no way she’s going to be allowed to so quickly resolve the plot with simple violence all by herself. This is the problem with having a literal goddess as a party member; is she was too useful then the deus ex machina might be a bit too on the nose. So the goddess, while divine in theory, is in practice going to have to be disappointing. This is also known as the Konosuba principle.
Hence the memes.
Good thing we’ve got a backup Rin. I know I’ve talked about this before, but one of Nasu’s favourite techniques is to use Rin’s powerful personality to control the mood of the story. Written yourself into an apocalypse scenario, with only 500 people left alive to face off against some CGI-mecha-kaijuu straight out of a super sentai show? Don’t know how to turn the mood around naturally? Don’t worry, just have Rin make funny faces and we’ll be shrugging off the extinction of civilisation in no time. Not even the usual comic relief is enough; nothing less than the fearsome power of two Rins will do.