The Holy Grail was in your heart all along.
What They Say:
The Laḫmu attack Kingu and steal the Holy Grail from his body! After being robbed of the Grail, Kingu makes a desperate escape into the forest. However, the Laḫmu discover him there, and so he prepares to meet his fate. But at that moment, Kingu witnesses something beyond comprehension… At the same time, Fujimaru and company pursue the Laḫmu now in possession of the Grail, but a Servant long thought dead appears to block their path…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Having a week off was almost enough to forget how bizarre this show has become since the arrival of the Lahmu, but not quite. The twist cliffhanger of the previous episode carried a slight implication that we may not even be dealing with any humanoid antagonists for the immediate future, though it’s not terribly surprising that several factors ensured that didn’t end up being the case. Still, the ubiquitous prominence of the Lahmu throughout this episode keeps it continually unsettling. It seems like you’d get used to them eventually, but what may be the most shocking is that a series like this, so dedicated to introducing new cool anime versions of historical, legendary, and mythological figures and often recycling existing cool anime designs for that end, would overwhelm us with these disgusting, identical creatures without a shred of appeal. The one element of humanity, or even earthly creatures, that they do possess is their mouth and the limited speech and other sounds that come out of them, which is unfortunate, since it means they’re constantly screaming and becoming perhaps more annoying than frightening after the initial shock. I’ll admit these things had a certain impact that I wasn’t expecting, but Fate in all forms has villains that the audience can enjoy in some capacity, and the continued focus on the Lahmu is losing its novelty.
As previously mentioned, it seemed unlikely that the entire episode would be dedicated to an enemy so far removed from the humanoid designs we’re used to, so it wasn’t surprising when another infinitely multiplying child of Tiamat appeared as an enemy, this time a corruption of an old face that we’ve been waiting to see resurface since a disturbing outcome for one of our most beloved allies. Being a puppet of Tiamat with virtually no agency or individuality, this opponent is still far less compelling as a character than Kingu, but at least there’s some sense of a character to be had, which is a step up from the hoards of Lahmu. Now that we’re starting to build up to a showdown with the true Tiamat, she begins to become the hope for a villain that we can truly hope to find engrossing characteristics in, because we’re down to relatively slim pickings before we get to her.
On the bright side, Kingu’s character is developed a bit more this episode, namely the residual links to the true Enkidu who should be completely gone. Seeing scenes of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and Siduri when they were younger friends with more innocent lives was easily the most emotional material of the episode, especially involving one of the apparent antagonists, despite being so brief. Seeing Gilgamesh in his day as a king is nice, but being able to see how he got to that point would be a lot of fun, as difficult as it still is to accept that character as such a truly good hero. Gilgamesh doesn’t have a lot of screen time this episode, but when he is around, he makes sure to subtly break the fourth wall to comically wave away how absurd the anachronisms of this series, especially those involving him, are becoming. The episode also gives us a new ED that is the actual highlight, sending a poignant farewell to Siduri.
The more the Lahmu are onscreen, the less pleasant this series becomes. In some ways, that means they’re serving their role effectively, but it gets old after a while. What the other antagonists lack, though, Kingu starts to make up for with a deeper characterization, and the intrigue around Tiamat herself builds.
Streamed By: Funimation
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