King Gilgamesh shows up to give Ritsuka, Merlin, Mash and Ana their assignment personally. The mission, “survey the water quality of the Persian Gulf.” Their basically expected to retrieve seawater. Merlin and Ana remain behind, but Gilgamesh tags along. As he walks through a village her greets the villagers. He seems very pleasant. The reason he seems to tagging along is largely due to boredom. He demands that Ritsuka and Mash “entertain him” with tales of their past adventures. Gilgamesh is amused by the stories. They arrive at the observatory. Ritsuka introduces himself and they retrieve the jars of water. When Mash and Ritsuka take a break, the King remains behind.
While waiting on a beach, something heads towards them at high speeds. Mash activates her shield. It’s Enkidu. However, Mash doesn’t believe that it Enkidu. Mash charges toward Enkidu, while blocking and dodging chains. Dr. Romani tells them that the fighting style is a “specialty” of Gilgamesh. Enkidu says that it is the most “optimal” way to fight. Mash is overwhelmed and drops her shield. Before Enkidu can manage to land a devastating blow, Gilgamesh blocks his attack. Enkidu seems to have an adverse reaction to seeing Gilgamesh. Enkidu attacks, but King Gilgamesh blocks it with ease.
King Gilgamesh verses the impostor Enkidu
Mash tells King Gilgamesh that this Enkidu is a fake. The battle between Gilgamesh and Enkidu is epic as is typical for this series. However, the fighting seems to always be secondary to the conversation that accompanies it. Usually there’s no sense of urgency when watching these conflicts. From a cool standpoint there worth watching, the just never seem to match to the story. Regardless, Gilgamesh parts the sky, attacking Enkidu with thunder. Simultaneously, Enkidu attacks with chains, grabbing Gilgamesh’s leg. While going in for the “kill,” Enkidu appears to glitch. The attack misses it’s mark, leaving a crater. Enkidu flees. Unexpectedly, King Gilgamesh admits that “if he [Enkidu] had intended to do so, all of them would have died.”
It’s been a month since they’re arrived. Mash and Ritsuka continue to do hard labor to appease King Gilgamesh. While walking home from work, Fou notices a man in an alley. Ritsuka offers the man food. However, he responds that “compassion without reason is an evil.” Despite this reaction, he accepts Ritsuka’s food. In return he gives them a warning. “Three storms will soon sweep over Uruk,” he says. He say to “empathize not with the hateful one,” “Celebrate not with the joyous one,” and “extol not the pained one.” Obviously, the old man is referring to the three goddesses. But it’s unclear what he means. The following morning Ritsuka and his crew are called to the King.
A direct order form the King
Ritsuka, Mash, Merlin and Ana have finally become worthy of King Gilgamesh. At least enough to give them a direct order and speak Ritsuka’s name. He sends them to the city of Ur, to investigate. Ritsuka notices that the Holy Grail the King has is different from the other six they collected. Merlin suggests that this means the King doesn’t have the Grail they need. Outside the village, Ritsuka and the others encounter a demonic beasts. Ana kills it. Called a “Mushussu,” Merlin explains that it’s one of the demonic beasts called the “Eleven Offspring of Tiamat.” While walking through the jungle, Merlin whines about the flies. Ana senses something following them. Turns out the person following them is a woman in a costume called, Jaguarman.
A battle with the goddess, Jaguarman
They arrive in Ur. Everyone appears fine. However, the next day Merlin asks to speak to all the townspeople. He wants to know why they feel that their safe. They state that the jungle goddess protects them. Merlin is buying it. He asks them “how many sacrifices.” The villager responds there isn’t any sacrificing. However, Merlin notices that there’s a lack of men in the village. Exposed, they finally admit that they sacrifice one man a day to Eridu. The men where “sacrificed” to the Jaguarman, but it turns out that they became slaves in Eridu. Jaguarman arrives and attacks. Jaguarman while wielding a weapon with a paw at the end, is quick footed. She also has tremendous strength.
Merlin confirms that she’s a “divine spirit,” and they need to have a servant with divinity. Tasked with abandoning another city, Ritsuka is conflicted. Mash has faith in his choice. He choose to flee. Ritsuka promises to return to rescue the villagers in Ur. The decision to retreat would have been more harrowing if the men in the village were actually sacrificed. However, they’re still alive. While being a slave isn’t good, it’s better than death. This makes Ritsuka’s decisions much easier. I really like Jaguarman. It’s a little weird that she doesn’t call herself “Jaguarwoman,” but she’s a strange character. I wonder why she dresses that way and like the fact that she talks like a cat. Considering that she evil it’s a odd and interesting characterization.
Merlin asks Ana to help Mash. However, neither one is able to do any damage. Gilgamesh aborts the battle, claiming that it’s “waste of his time.” As a result of their inability to challenge him, he tells them to leave. When Ritsuka asks for a “word,” Gilgamesh tells him he already know everything. Ritsuka wants him to hear them out. Believing that Gilgamesh can help them find the Holy Grail. However, Gilgamesh reveals that he’s already in possession of the grail. Anticipating their request, Gilgamesh warns them not to ask him to give them the grail. Ritsuka offers to defeat the three goddesses in exchange for the Holy Grail. However, Gilgamesh doubts that they can manage to do anything against the goddesses.
Ishtar, one of the three goddesses arrives
A servant arrives to inform King Gilgamesh that Ishtar is approaching at “high speeds.” She bursts through the roof. Ishtar turns out to be the nameless woman from episode 1. She attacks Gilgamesh. Ana and Mash interfere. Ishtar uses Ana’s chains staging her and Mash. However, Ishtar stops fighting, taking a closer look at Ana. She suggests that “things are getting complicated.” She changes her mind and leaves. Meanwhile, King Gilgamesh acts as like nothing happens and resumes his previous activates. He tells them that if they want to help the need to “work from the bottom.” In order to get the Kings attention, they need to have some “noteworthy achievements.” They’re tasked with jobs from within Uruk. Despite the Kings attitude he’s taken to the group.
King Gilgamesh’s summoned servants
Ritsuka, Ana and Mash are introduced to King Gilgamesh’s servants. In addition to Merlin, there’s Ushiwakamaru, Benkei and Leonidas. In mythology, Ushiwakamaru is the childhood name of the legendary samurai, Yoshitomo. Benkei is named after the legendary monk that Yoshitomo defeats in a duel. Leonidas was the name of legendary King of Sparta. The following morning Mash, Ana and Ritsuka are given a series of mundane tasks. They are given a day off. Ana asks them to help her. Together they fight and kill evil spirits. Elsewhere, Enkidu reassures his mother that she will rule the world.
At the wall, demonic beasts attack in massive groups. According to Enkidu, the men have been holding the wall for “six months.” Humans manage to kill more demonic beasts, than get killed. This is all despite the fact that the humans are outnumbered. Enkidu dismisses their effort though. He says that they will “go extinct without even doing anything anyway.” As they head to a boat to get to Uruk, a mysterious stranger interrupts them. When he asks them to introduce themselves he becomes confused when he learns Enkidu’s name. Apparently, King Gilgamesh didn’t set out on his quest until after “the death of his friend, Enkidu.” He exposes Enkidu for an impostor. Enkidu was working for someone called the King of Mages all along. They engage in a fight that was well done. The mysterious man asks his companion, Ana, to help. Armed with a sickle and chains, Ana, engages in an acrobatic battle with Enkidu.
So if not all of the battle is an illusion. With Ritsuka and Mash rescued, our mysterious man reveals that his name is Merlin. Fou knows him and attacks (all in fun though). Doctor Romani tells them about his history. Apparently, Merlin is “the world’s greatest kingmakers and the world’s biggest scoundrel. ” Mash says there are discrepancies in the legend of Merlin. He was believed to be “a mage that built a tower in Avalon and watches over the world from there.” Dr. Romani tells them that Merlin is “useless in battle,” but he can see the present “like a telescope.” This is unlike Solomon, that see the past and future or King Gilgamesh can see the future. Merlin clams that he was summoned by a powerful summoner. Merlin offers to join the group. Ritsuka ask Ana to join as well. The following morning, Merlin asks Mash and Ritsuka to find the “Holy Grail that the King of Mages” sent to the era and take down the “Three Goddess Alliance.” King Gilgamesh rules over Uruk. Merlin describes him as a “tyrannical ancient King.” That has horded all the beautiful women and treasures.
He is willing to “kill you regardless of agreeing or disagreeing with his opinion.”Mash explains that he was a hero born of a “god and human.” They finally arrive to Uruk. A massive ancient city that’s filled with many people. They head to the ziggurat, a alter for the Mesopotamians. Inside is King Gilgamesh. When they arrive he challenges them to a battle. I’m starting to really enjoy this series. I was skeptical at first but I’m really invested in the story and the action is great. I’m still a little confused regarding who is the good guy or the bad one. The way Merlin described Gilgamesh doesn’t add up to the behavior we witnessed. It was a brief introduction, but I suspect that Merlin (who was described as a liar) is merely jealous and made up the story of Gilgamesh being a tyrant. Regardless, I’m looking forward to the upcoming battle.
Season 1, Episode 1: Absolute Demonic Front Babylonia
The Fate/Grand Order is a series based on the Type-Moon Fate/Stay night franchise. The game is extremely popular in Japan, rivaling Pokemon Go. Personally, I’m always leery of anime made from games (Pokemon being the exception). The “Fate” series has so many different titles that I have a hard time keeping them straight. Created by the Japaneses animation studio, CloverWorks (formerly A-1 Pictures), Fate Grand Order Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia focuses on Mash Kyrielight and her master, Fujimaru. They’re sent to the ancient city of Uruk, Mesopotamia in the year 2600 B.C. Located between Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Mesopotamia is in the Persian Gulf. It’s at this point that the Age of Gods “came to an end.” At this time monsters and Gods coexists.
When, Fujimaru and Mash are sent into the world they “bounce” off a shield that protects the city of Uruk. Mash deploys her shield to brace their fall. They’re attacked by some saber tooth “demonic beasts.” Mash attacks them, defeating them easily. Fujimaru is landed on by a woman that refuses to introduce themselves. She asks them if they found something “precious lying down.” The demonic beasts return, but this time they are dispatched by nameless woman. She shows off her power, defeating them in epic fashion. However, more of them show up. The mysterious woman begins to leave. She tells them that if they can’t “deal” with the demonic beast of “this level,” the “restoration of humanity is no more than a dream.”
Mash and Fujimaru are rescued by Enkidu. He’s been waiting for them to come to Age of God. Enkidu defeats all the demonic beasts. Enkidu is a “weapon of the Gods,” created to “return Gilgamesh to the gods.” According to Enkidu humanity is at war with the gods. Specifically, the “Three Goddess Alliance,” have taken over 60% of the lands in Mesopotamia. One of these Goddesses creates the demonic beasts. To counter these Goddesses humanity created a wall called the: Absolute Demonic Front Babylonia. I’m not sure about how I feel about this series. The 2D/3D animation mix isn’t terrible, but I don’t think it works that well. The biggest issue is that it’s clear that at least in this episode, having prior knowledge of this series or at least the games. I was confused by many of the things discussed, at least early in the episode. Regardless, I’m interested in what this series has to offer and will probably learn more as it goes along.