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Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia Episode #17 Anime Review

4 min read
What this episode lacks in action it makes up for in comedy.

Ishtar is the worst, and that’s why she’s the best.

What They Say:
The power of the Grail, now in the hands of the Laḫmu, has transformed the Persian Gulf into the Chaos Tide. Any living thing that touches this sea is instantly mutated into a Demonic Beast. As the Chaos Tide advances toward Uruk, Fujimaru and company form a desperate plan to destroy Tiamat as a last-ditch effort to save the city. Fighting with Ishtar at his side, Fujimaru uses a Command Spell to empower an attack against Tiamat who resides at the heart of the Persian Gulf. However…

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The final showdown is here. Fujimaru uses his second Command Seal, Ishtar fires an explosive blow, and Tiamat is no more! Yeah, that’s not going happen halfway through the cour and within seconds of actually meeting the presumed final boss. No, Tiamat just comes back bigger and stronger, rendered predominantly in surprisingly decent CG as the former enemy who assumed her name was at the same scale, and the crew from all sides of the matter unanimously agrees that she’s impossible to defeat, to the point that the concept of death doesn’t even exist for a being of life like Tiamat.

Well that’s a bummer, isn’t it? We’ve only just come face to face with this great evil, and we’ve already established that there’s no hope for the future. What’s more, Gilgamesh reveals that the people of the land that were meant to be saved are dying in enormous qualities. The only consolation is that he and some other key figures can survive to carry on the legacy of the great Mesopotamian civilization, but with a giant CG Tiamat untouchable as she belts out an unsettlingly siren-like song and births countless disgusting Lahmu, it doesn’t seem like there’s a happy ending in store.

But there is one character that may not have formally joined the party, but was won over as an ally, and she has a unique position as she rules over a separate world, one devoid of life, the one element making Tiamat invincible. And so Ereshkigal and her underworld become our greatest hope. She doesn’t exactly want to invite the beast down to her holy land, but now that her main arc has passed, she’s more or less devolved into the same tsundere Rin that Ishtar has been for the majority of the series. Her comments that she’ll be able to cut a ten-year process down to three days because she’s been secretly planning an attack on Uruk all along are quite amusing, particularly with her somewhat bashful acknowledgment and Gilgamesh’s conflicted indignant reaction to the fact that this is why they’ll actually have a chance.

But the real gold comes from the other Rin, our very own Ishtar, as the gang realizes that her bull Gugalanna will be an invaluable asset and begins cheering in such a unanimously joyous fashion that it feels like a very different show, or at least a different cast of characters. We’re in full comedy mode now, a somewhat strange time for it, but perhaps exactly the time for such levity to be required to cut the tension. Sometimes trying to shove the comedy into otherwise serious moments doesn’t work at all. The scene earlier in the episode where Jaguar Warrior was asked her perspective on the situation based on her “animal instincts” didn’t work at all, because she’s so out of place in an otherwise legitimate discussion. But here, we go so off the rails that it all works together to build the best comedy the series has had in quite some time, possibly ever, and Jaguar Warrior’s annoyingness is actually crucial to making it work, carrying on after the first big comical reveal cuts everyone else’s enthusiasm short in an instant and culminating in a literal punch line courtesy of Quetzalcoatl that can elicit some actual laughing out loud. With Ishtar’s final punishment feeling like something out of KonoSuba, it’s a great bit of fun.

In Summary:
What this episode lacks in action it makes up for in comedy. Surprisingly hilarious, a number of factors are used effectively to keep the laughs coming through a seemingly serious plot line, and the worst qualities of several characters prove to help its impact immensely. It’s a strange episode for sure, but it ends up being a lot of fun for reasons you’d never expect going in.

Grade: B

Streamed By: Funimation

Review Equipment:
LG Electronics OLED65C7P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

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