You know, I probably could’ve settled with the Episode 0 post. A lot of what I said there applies here and it’s pretty obvious where I stand with this show along with Fate as a whole. But since this episode is the real premiere, it oddly feels more “right” to at least write up to here so here I am again.
So after rushing through introductions and providing us with a clip show for seasons that weren’t actually produced, we finally have a semblance of a story in Fate/Grand Order – Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia. Ritsuka and Mash are off their next time-traveling adventure, this time in Ancient Babylonia. Along the way, they meet monsters and
rare gatcha characters people from that era. Roman and Da Vinci stay in the present with Chaldea to provide some support.
I get all that and yet, I still question why we’re watching the seventh arc out of who knows how many. There’s an ANN interview where the producers of this show claimed this show will be accessible to non-players and frankly, I think that claim is full of shit. Sure, you eventually pick up who Ritsuka and Mash are, what Chaldea is, and what they’re trying to do but there’s no denying that the show has done a less than stellar job establishing them. Episode 0 rushed through the set-up and Episode 1 gives even less of a fuck whether or not you’re in the know by moving straight to the time traveling and even bringing up stuff from past arcs. I still think it would’ve been better to adapt the whole game from start to current but that apparently makes too much sense.
To give credit where it’s due, it is kind of cool seeing the Fate universe in a different time and place. It’s a good excuse to show off more of the franchise’s bizarre takes on historical or mythical figures. The question to be begged then is how well this will be all done. Gilgamesh (Tomokazu Seki) showing up again makes sense and I’ll admit that it was neat to finally see Enkidu (Yuu Kobayashi) after Gil briefly alluded to them back in Fate/zero. The same currently can’t be said about Ishtar (Kana Ueda). It’s such a waste having her take on Rin Tohsaka’s appearance, as well as be an excuse to put Rin in a skimpy outfit. Not only that, she feels emblematic of one of Fate‘s biggest problems: pandering to the audience. I know Fate/stay night is where it all started but it’s also now one of many stories in this franchise. You don’t have to reference it in every new installment now. Move on already. Then again, maybe I should be glad Ishtar isn’t another Saber clone.
So there you have it. I’m sure fans will enjoy this but to me, this is just another Fate anime in all its dense, obnoxious glory. After Episode 0, I had a feeling I’d drop Grand Order and the actual premiere does little to make me reconsider. I guess I’m content that I tried but I do wonder why I still bother with this franchise. Maybe I liked Fate/zero that much.
Thanks for reading!