Fate/Grand Order – Babylonia EP 20 – Critiques & Physics

This article contains spoilers for Fate/Grand Order: Camelot, Babylonia, and Solomon. 

*Author’s Note Post-Writing: I worked a lot more on this article than I thought I would. I think it’s my longest article so far. Weird seeing how it’s an episode review. Kinda. It turned into a full blown analysis… Also, there’s some cool math down below.

An episode review? That’s a first for me, but I really want to talk about Episode 20. Is there enough material to even consider writing something for a singular episode (relative to how I usually write)? You have no idea. If you’re not too big a fan of Babyonia, don’t worry! This is probably my last article on it unless Episode 21 is exceptional. The third Heaven’s Feel movie and Camelot movies on the other hand… 

Listen. I loved Episode 20, I really did; but I wouldn’t be writing this if that was all. I have some major gripes as a general anime watcher and as an FGO player. Let’s get started.

What Went Wrong?

It hurts to critique, but there are some obvious flaws about the anime in general that are accentuated in Episode 20. The top two among them: the music and quality of art. These two things are fundamentally important and viewer impressions are based, in large part, on them. That’s why the Episode is such a mixed bag of emotions.

MUSIC

I’ll bang out the complaints about music straightaway since it’s a simple critique: there’s not enough variety. This might be because I’ve heard a lot of the tracks in FGO (they remix FGO OSTs or put in hints of the original score for some songs), but I still think they’re reusing some tracks way too much. It’s not like any of them are bad, but they’re far from standout. Prover and Tell Me by Milet work really well as inserts, but what’s the equivalent to, say, the Unlimited Blade Works track or The Sword of Promised Victory?

ART & ANIMATION

Same as the music, there’s not a lot of bad animation. It’s just that there were very noticeable dips which detracted from the overall experience. CloverWorks took an all-or-nothing approach and, in this instance, it didn’t work for me. King Hassan’s appearance was the most egregious. In fact, all scenes he was in lacked that impact FGO players loved him for. 

Compare this close-up shot from Episode 19 to the one in Episode 20:

They’re worlds apart and it’s really disappointing that Gramps doesn’t appear in consistent high-quality. He’s a Grand, a servant summoned specifically to fight a Beast. Yet, all he really does is apply the concept of death to Tiamat in a moment that goes by quickly. This isn’t the absolute, no-nonsense, powerhouse, master swordsman we know him to be. 

He clouded the skies in Camelot, completely nullifying the Gift granted to Gawain by Rhongomyniad. During that time, Gawain couldn’t lay a finger on him. Then, when Gramps cleared it as his assistance was no longer needed, Gawain still couldn’t touch him. The only reason he wasn’t killed was because of Gramps’ adherence to the Lord’s code. Do you know how powerful Gawain is? His swordsmanship is the best of the Round Table, matched only by Lancelot and far above Artoria. In Fate/Extella, under the light of the sun, only Karna can match him. Yet, Gramps doesn’t look great at all. 

Another scene that looked pretty bad was Fujimaru’s action scene, where you can tell that the budget was diverted. It doesn’t help that the scene the budget was diverted to occurs at the same time which results in the juxtaposition of high and low quality. 

Again, I’m not blaming CloverWorks for this, but I do find the lack of quality to be interesting. Isolate Fujimaru’s scene from Ereshkigal’s. If CloverWorks produces mediocre (or bad) quality scenes, it doesn’t usually look like that. From what I’ve seen in their Babylonia adaptation, they still retain flow even if they have to abandon detail. It’s peculiar that this is the exception.

I also had a slight problem with Gilgamesh’s Gate of Babylon, specifically when his Archer variant is first introduced and he’s firing downward upon her. It just looked like the projectiles were going too slow. (I have a picture a bit farther below) That said, it was an extreme wide shot so perhaps it’s merely perception. But I’m not satisfied with that theory so I decided to do some math.

In FGO Material IV, Tiamat is said to have a height of 60+ meters when in her draconic form. I’m uncertain as to whether this is her height while on her hind legs or on all fours. I’ll calculate both:

Assuming She’s 60+ Meters on Her Hind Legs

(Also Generously Assuming No Contraction of Her Legs)

To calculate the speed at which Gil’s treasures are fired, we can use the simple formula:

Velocity = Distance/Time

Speed is our unknown and the Distance is at least 60 meters. All we need now is time and we can find speed. 

This the scene I was talking about up there.

I recorded the time it took for a projectile to go off-screen, starting at the height of Tiamat’s head. These were the values recorded:

0.88 seconds

0.75 seconds

0.97 seconds

0.62 seconds

0.74 seconds

That gives an average time of 0.792 seconds. Put that into the formula:

Velocity = 60 meters / 0.792 seconds

Which gives us an approximate answer of 75.7576 meters per second. I’m not that used to the metric system for daily life though so let’s convert to imperial by multiplying by 2.237. That gives us 169.4649 miles per hour. As a reminder, that’s a minimum since her height is 60+ meters. Therefore, Gil’s treasures travel at a speed of >169.4949 mph or >75.7576 meters per second.

Assuming She’s 60+ Meters on All Fours

(Still Generously Assuming No Contraction of Her Legs)

This is a bit more difficult to calculate since we need to find the individual length of her legs. Difficult, but not impossible.

Using a CG from the game, I quickly scribbled and wrote up proportions.

Since green is her height in pixels, and we know her height in meters, we can convert. 

628 pixels = 60 meters

1 pixel ≈ 0.0955 meters 

Therefore, the length of her leg:

427 x 0.0955 = 40.7785 meters

Add those together in order to simulate her approximate height when standing on hind legs and we get 100.7785 meters.

Apply this once again to the Velocity formula:

Velocity = 100.7785 meters / 0.792 seconds

Which gives us an approximate answer of 127.2456 meters per second. Convert to imperial and that’s 284.6403 miles per hour.

That sounds really impressive. It is. But even more impressive is the fact that some of his treasures are able to achieve fighter jet speeds. Anyway, I concede the point this time. Gil’s weapons are really fast and it’s the extreme wide shot messing me up. Good job CloverWorks.

NOTABLE ADAPTATION DIFFERENCES

Fujimaru didn’t do anything in the mobile game. He commanded his servants, but he certainly didn’t STAB TIAMAT IN THE HEAD. That’s fucking ridiculous. And you know what? I don’t know if I hate it or love it. It’s a cool scene because we see Gil’s treasures are batshit overpowered and Fujimaru gets his own hero moment, but he isn’t that type of hero at all. 

Another thing I can’t make heads or tails about: Gramps biting the head off a Lahmu. WHAT?! That has never been hinted at. EVER. It’s absurd! He’s King Hassan! I know that’s a title given to him, but… WHAT?! What maniac would think Gramps bites things to kill them?!

On a less serious note, Fou. Fou is adorable and I love him, but we got to see him use his powers a little prematurely. Until the end of Part 1 of FGO, we don’t know what or who he is. We don’t even know he’s special in any way. For Fou to teleport Fujimaru is unravelling the surprise a bit too early. Oh well. Solomon probably isn’t getting adapted anytime soon though so maybe they just gave us that as a bonus. 

Lastly, Fujimaru’s conversation with Tiamat. Love it. Don’t care that it wasn’t in the game. Anything we get with a sane Tiamat is beautiful and she’s beautiful and I love her. 


Now, I could make this article extremely long and talk about what I liked in-depth, but I’ll just touch base on them.

GENERAL

Tiamat’s CG looked a lot better than previous episodes.

The SFX sounded great and a lot more varied.

SPECIFIC

Ereshkigal’s Noble Phantasm was well used.

Ereshkigal’s death was beautiful. 

Merlin using Excalibur and alluding to his training Artoria was lovely.

Merlin’s NP itself was great. (But I’ve heard that “incantation” so many times in the game that I hate it.)

Gilgamesh using Ea is always a win. No holding back!

The conversation with Tiamat was amazing!


Long story short, I liked the episode. I feel iffy about some changes and a bit sad about the inconsistent quality, but it was undoubtedly enjoyable. Did you enjoy Babylonia? Did you play the game? Is Tiamat a waifu?

Fate/Grand Order – Absolute Demonc Front Babylonia – The Best of Humanity

*This article contains heavy spoilers for Fate/Grand Order – Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia.

Siduri is unequivocally the best character of Babylonia. In a cast filled with standouts, husbandos and waifus alike, she takes the spot for best character. Not best girl. Best character. This either sounds completely absurd to you or you fully agree with it. Let me explain.

Since we’re talking about the all star cast, let’s list them:

Gilgamesh

Enkidu

Merlin

Ishtar

Ereshkigal

Quetz

Gorgon

Ana

Mashu

King Hassan

Ushiwakamaru

Leonidas

Benkei

When I first wrote this list, I separated a few characters into another group since they weren’t as popular as Gil or Eresh. Yet, with these characters coming to life on screen, they’ve all garnered many more fans. (Even Benkei! A lot of his story was cut from the anime, but even he got a cool moment the audience loved). As a minor tangent, I think Quetz gained the second most fans from the adaptation. CloverWorks did a great job with her NP(s) and everyone was in awe. 

Who gained the most? Siduri. 

All F/GO players who have played through Babylonia beforehand know the tragedy of Siduri. We all remember her and what she did. Thus, we waited with dread about how poignant the anime’s portrayal of it would be. Miraculously, it was phenomenal. I’ll bear the flak if anyone disagrees, but I believe every player loved the beautiful scene. Would it hit as hard to non-FGO players? Actually, it’s very close.

Since Siduri was never introduced to players beforehand, all backstory and emotional attachment had to be formed in Babylonia’s narrative. That means her story arc starts and ends in Babylonia, leaving no room for people (even anime-only watchers) to get lost. There’s only one minor reason it wouldn’t be as impactful.

The Flashback of The White Flag

This was a small directing mistake that’s done a lot, but I’m not surprised. It’s the classic: “I don’t trust the audience.” They didn’t think we’d be able to connect Siduri’s initial waving of the flag (back in episode X to the Lahmu’s gesturing. These sorts of “mistakes” will most likely never be remedied as they’re somewhat useful. The entire reason it’s made so obvious is for less astute viewers to catch on. What that means for detail-oriented watchers though is that the reveal of Siduri being converted is wasted. Instead of the heartbreaking reveal and realization occuring at the end of Enkidu’s chase (which subverts the expectation of his death), it jumps the gun. 

I’ve said all that, but a tragic death doesn’t constitute being titled best character. Why is she so compelling? The answer is simply thus: she’s human. 


All of the cast that I listed were/are/can be servants. At the minimum, that means they have all gone through mythological trials and tribulations in their lives. Their lives have been meaningful enough to be recorded in history. Siduri has no great feats; however, she still fits comfortably among the heroes of old. Her actions, though not on a comparable scale, embodied heroism despite being a human with no special powers. [Let’s ignore MC-kun (Ritsuka Fujimaru) for now since he’s supposed to embody the player. Besides, even he has some ability as a magus, even if average.] 

The entire reason she died is because she chose to sacrifice herself for the people of Uruk. It wasn’t a spur of the moment decision. She knew that by leaving Gil’s side at the throne room, her death was cemented. She didn’t need his clairvoyance to know it either. 

Gilgamesh is described by Merlin as, “A judicator who tries to keep humans on a fair scale. That’s why he protects mankind, but he doesn’t favor individuals.” Yet, as Siduri proclaims that she will go assist with the evacuation of citizens, he shouts in disapproval. Does that sound like he doesn’t favor Siduri? No. That was a completely emotional outburst as he foresaw the outcome which doesn’t go unnoticed by her. In her mind, she accepts everything and with a smile that shows full understanding, Gilgamesh has no choice but to concede to her.

Even when Gilgamesh was a child who took the throne, she was there to watch over him. Even as Enkidu, a being devoid of a soul was brought in, she welcomed him with open arms. Even as Gil left Uruk to find immortality, she waited for him to return and maintained Uruk in the meantime. And when he finally did, she scolded him for shirking his duties and, in no uncertain terms, told him to do his job. She scolded him. I can’t express that enough. She is respected by all the citizens of Uruk as well as the gods and goddesses. When Ishtar and Gilgamesh threatened to fight each other once more in the Singularity, she stopped them easily with a few sentences. Let me remind you that Ishtar caused the death of Gil’s only friend, yet neither are able to oppose Siduri. 

Furthering how pure of heart Siduri was, let me clarify that it isn’t wrong to say she died twice over. While protecting the citizens, she died once as she was converted into a Lahmu. Then she died once more as a Lahmu. Through all of that, she retained her sense of self. Nothing could corrupt her. If you’re more familiar with these terms, it’s as if she was under Madness Enhancement but was able to control what she did. That’s literally Heracles levels of willpower as seen in Fate/Stay Night. Overall, she got little screen time. That said, every moment we did witness was as poignant as ever. 


Now that we’ve established who Siduri is, how do we incorporate a character like her into our own stories? 

First, we demonstrate hopelessness. We can see an abundance of examples of this everywhere in Babylonia. That’s literally what Babylonia is: a hopeless situation where the people of Uruk still continue to resist the gods. 

“I will say it once again. Uruk will fall! It is a fact that we can no longer change!” 

Gilgamesh, Fate/Grand Order – Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia, Episode 18

“Everyone has tried everything under the sun to get even this far. But it’s still not enough” 

Merlin, Fate/Grand Order – Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia, Episode 19

Second, carefully distinguish your character. Once you begin writing, you need to actively pay attention to the character you’re creating. Think back to Ritsuka Fujimaru and Benkei. They aren’t the same as Siduri. In the game, Fujimaru is depicted as a survivor who barely manages to scrape by. He’s performing his tasks out of necessity and survivor’s guilt; only later developing the courage to stand fast by meeting other servants. Hitachibou is also driven by guilt and regret about leaving Ushiwaka and Benkei. 

Siduri is unlike either. She didn’t help out of necessity or because she would feel guilty. She helped because that was her nature. To not be compassionate and selfless didn’t make sense to her. 

Third, watch your scale. A small reminder that characters specifically like Siduri are best left as side characters. What she did was, in the scope of the narrative, small. While she saved Enkidu, it isn’t as if she held back an army. She defeated three Lahmu that were playing around with their prey. Two were ambushed and the other traded stabs with her through the chest. 

*Also remember to plan out the history of a character too. It’ll have implications on the future, add depth, and allow you to get a better feel for them. 


What better way to end the article than with the special ED made for her? Both the visuals and song were used for this tribute and only recur when Siduri is mentioned. Undoubtedly, best character.

Fate /Grand Order: Absolute Demonic Front Babylonia – A Triumphant Will

*This article contains spoilers for Fate/Grand Order. I will cover Fate/Grand Order: Camelot, Babylonia, and the final Singularity of F/GO Part 1 (Going beyond what the anime will cover). 

I love Fate. While I doubt anything will take the place of Code Geass as my favorite anime, the Fate universe as a whole is the best thing I’ve ever embraced. And let me tell you what; this is a great time to be a Fate fan.

The Fate/Grand Order mobile game is currently getting an anime adaptation of its Babylonia Singularity. This year, its Camelot Singularity will also be animated. Coming to the game itself, the Global version of FGO will also be witness to Part 2 of the story: Cosmos in the Lostbelt. Oh, and the third movie of Heaven’s Feel is getting released in a few months. Not bad.

Still, at the release of the article, nothing is going on in the immediate moment. The Babylonia anime is taking a two week break and we’re floating in hype and suspense. Does that mean we sit back until the next episode? No! I’m going to make damn sure everything that’s been released so far is properly appreciated!

Do I think the Babylonia anime is the best Fate has to offer? No. It doesn’t reach the heights that Zero and UBW did. I say that as an FGO veteran who began from the day it was released in NA. That doesn’t mean it isn’t amazing. So, as a self-proclaimed FGO veteran, let me talk expound on an underappreciated moment that is:

Ereshkigal v Mashu

There was certainly lots of talk around this fight, but not for the reasons I’m about to bring up. People love it because Ereshkigal is a great character and it’s the first time Lord Camelot has been animated. So, it certainly is appreciated. But even then, not enough so!

Time and time again, we’re continually told of Ereshkigal’s power in the Underworld. Her Authority makes it so that no one can match her power in that domain. Both Gilgamesh and Ishtar support that claim.

That said, Ishtar does qualify Eresh’s power once more. While her powers are effective against Servants and gods, the power draining effect doesn’t reach living humans such as Fujimaru and Mashu (A demi-servant rather than a complete one. 

Furthermore, Gil explains Eresh’s power like this:

That makes it sound like Eresh isn’t particularly powerful, but let’s get this straight now. Ereshkigal is a proper goddess through and through. Despite the setting taking place at the tail end of the Age of Gods (With humans beginning to stand for themselves, rejecting the gods, stopping worship, and therefore the gods’ power declining)  she is incredibly strong. Take the King of Heroes’ words with a grain of salt. He can only talk so confidently because he’s used to fighting those of immense power, e.g., Gugalanna, The Bull of Heaven: a Divine Beast that the gods themselves couldn’t tame. 

All that to say Fujimaru’s party doesn’t stand a chance. Ignoring Gil’s Authority which allows him to fight Eresh despite being dead, Ishtar has been stripped of most of her divinity. She’s quite literally a useless goddess in this situation. Mashu’s offensive power is also null in the face of Eresh. It doesn’t matter whether she’s dead or alive, that shield is going to be used for defense the entire time. 

What about Fujimaru himself? Yeah, no. He’s an average Master who’s only human. His little shots of magic aren’t gonna cut it. In fact, if he didn’t have a contract with Mashu, he probably wouldn’t have survived the environment, nevermind Eresh. 

I say all that, but have a look for yourself what happens: 

Mashu and the rest triumph in their battle against Eresh. But how? Most viewers will assume Mashu’s Lord Camelot was just an effective counter to Eresh, but there’s a little more to it than that. The point I want to highlight is this:

The battle was not to determine who was more powerful. It was to determine whose will was stronger. The terms will and resolve appear repeatedly through the entire F/GO story and are very apparent during Babylonia especially. This whole fight is prefaced as Ereshkigal’s “first choice of her own free well.” And that’s why she lost. 

From the beginning, she didn’t stand a chance. She explained that she wanted to kill all the humans and dominate over the souls, but this was all a lie; a lie that neither Fujimaru nor she could fully believe. She loved humans and only wanted to protect them. Believing that humans would die to Gorgon, she would take their souls and care for them gently in the Underworld.  Even if she did believe more strongly in her own lie, the result would actually be the same. To explain why, let’s talk about Mashu and Lord Camelot.

Mashu is a demi-servant; a human whose body houses the heroic spirit Galahad, a Knight of the Round Table. As such, she is able to deploy Lord Camelot. For a sense of her power, prior to being able to deploy Lord Camelot, she deployed an extremely limited virtual noble phantasm: Lord Chaldeas. This alone was demonstrated to be able to protect from Excalibur Morgan. 

Another feat we can ascribe to Lord Camelot is in the final Singularity of the game. Lord Camelot takes on a beam whose power can penetrate through Earth entirely. Even faced against such overwhelming power, it doesn’t falter and stands tall. Thus are White Walls of Camelot: a shield whose power is proportionate to the user’s will. 

“So long as the heart doesn’t break, those castle walls shall never crumble.” 

With complete trust in herself and her Master, she will never lose. 

[Mashu] “To protect you… That is my Master’s wish! And… I believe it’s the right thing! Because that is… the path I have chosen!

[Eresh] “My… Resolve…”

That’s the true beauty of this fight and a recurring theme in the Fate franchise: “Whose ideals are stronger?” Just as Archer and Shirou fought in UBW, so to do Mashu and Eresh. Even with all her Authority and power, Eresh knew she had been defeated. There was no more point to fighting, even if she likely had strength remaining. She failed to be true to her heart and hid away her intentions. Her will was incomparable to Mashu’s; a girl who has full faith in her Master. Even when faced with the collapse of Proper Human History, gods and goddesses, she will remain by her Master’s side and believe in them to the very end. 

A heart that believes that humans are truly beautiful- That our lives have meaning- That our fleeting existence is all the more precious because of it.