Fate/Grand Order – Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

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!

Watch Fate/Grand Order – Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia on Funimation

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13 thoughts on “Fate/Grand Order – Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)

  1. 100% Full of shit! As you say, you can get a feeling for who is who and how it fits together, but as usual, the Fate Universe doesn’t care for coherent storytelling and just wants to wow us with grand ideas and fancy animation. It’s not horrible, but why are we starting in the seventh arc???

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe Babylonia was voted to be adapted in a poll. And as I said in the Episode 0 review, it’s odd to make that decision because of feedback and really, why would the producers need to ask Fate fans if they want more Fate? What’s more mind boggling is that the sixth arc is getting a movie adaptation next year! Like come on, just start from the beginning to end.

      I’m with you, Fate is horribly inaccessible unless you do the homework for them. Even Fate/zero has a slight barrier of entry and that was a stinking prequel.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think anyone who overly praises or overly under rates something can be considered pretentious. Fate as a series is fine. it has a lot of interesting ideas and while granted it is a multiverse series connected by lores but that’s it. the stories themselves are very self contained. FGO is no different in the fact each singularity is one story and don’t really call back on them each one that often.

    I like the series fine and I’ve even made old journals on my DA account and repeatedly mention the issues I’ve had 2 fate fate adaptions as anime that had obvious problems. the pretentious aspect does come from the fact the fate series has one of the most annoying fanbases out there next to RWBY and a few other long running series. each singlularity is an entire story by itself where yeah I would’ve preferred they pick and decide which singularities could be told by OVA or episode formats but type moon and delight works went by poll votes where babylon would get a 23 episode run which at least says they have the story planned out and camelot would get a 2 part movie release.

    the plot itself is explained in the fact they mentioned the other singularities they’ve been to but they don’t tie in to what’s happening in the one they go to more so than anything the 2 FGO anime projects are being done for the fans who through just 4 years not only brought a largely successful game which as of now has over 18 million downloads and managed to break a billion dollars in money making.

    So whether you like it or can’t get into it calling it pretentious is dishonest to the whole franchise since a series that’s managed to be this successful with a dedicated fanbase both new and old and growing shows it’s at least doing somethings right. blaming an anime studio for doing what it’s supposed to do in telling a story and bringing it to life. and acting like the series never tackles anything is also pretentious. if your opinion is you don’t like it then that’s fine but you can’t ignore the good it’s managed to do and mostly on it’s own merit. for me I can’t stand devilman crybaby nor do I see its appeal and just see it as someone’s drug induced ideas put on screen but it’d stupid of me to pretend not to know devilman as a series has value to people and why it’s managed to still be in people’s minds since it hit a few things that made sense to its fans even if I’ll never really understand it myself. if you really want a prententious fate story I’d look up fate apocrypha cause… man even for most fate fans that one was a mess.

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    • I’m 100% confident that I say I don’t like Fate because I simply don’t like it. There’s nothing else to it. I don’t deny that it resonates with a lot of people but it doesn’t for me and I try my best to explain why (as well as admit what I did like about it) the few times I write about it. I’m also aware this is an unpopular opinion of mine and that’s fine.

      I’m pretty sure I didn’t use the word “pretentious” in the post but I disagree that calling something pretentious is dishonest because it’s successful and has a dedicated fanbase. That would imply it’s immune to criticism to some extent which it isn’t. Yes, it must be doing something to make people like it and I’ve tried to know what that is but that doesn’t mean it necessarily works for everyone. Also, I don’t think I’ve blamed the studio or said the Fate series never tackles anything. In my Episode 0 post, I admitted that Cloverworks is providing quality visuals and mentioned that I dislike UBW thematically. Hell, I really like Fate/zero because of its strong commentary

      I know that FGO is divided into seperate arcs but the best way to know that is if you either played the game or Googled ahead of time. Without prior knowledge, the recap in Episode 0 is confusing and gives little indication of how continuity plays out. It’d simply be easier, more sensical, more accessible, and still profitable to just adapt from the beginning. And I know these adaptations are for the fans but why not make it more accessible to attract new, potential fans?

      I have seen Apocyrpha actually and that might be the worst Fate series that I’ve seen. I agree that it says something about it if most Fate fans don’t like it.

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      • that’s where you got it wrong. you don’t need the prior knowledge to enjoy fate grand order since if we’re talking about the game it tells you some basic info on the servants while the anime is already set up as self explanatory and doesn’t need to explain the other stuff that otherwise would be info dumping. the OVA first order already leaves the set up for anime watchers only regardless what again the asshole side of the fandom may say about it.

        I think the prententious comment probably came from one of the other comments I probably saw since I was reading this at 4 in the morning since I do night shift security so morning drowsiness probably ended up mixing stuff around. my bad.

        but the reason I do feel it’s important to mention it is cause people have been using that as a excuse to tell others why they think something is bad which in this has been thrown at death stranding which says absolutely nothing to people if you’re trying to give a review. I never said it was an excuse to not criticize something but saying something is somehow pretentious doesn’t count as an excuse. you can view it that way if that’s how you see but it’s not a valid criticism or opinion for that matter. like what exactly does tell the people your saying this to?

        as for why not do the anime in a way to attract new fans well you’d still be starting at a later point cause there’s already a OVA of FGO called first order that’s about an hour long adaption of the first singularity that explains and sets up the whole adventure so realistically they already covered how this works anime wise as far as what to expect from FGO which again you don’t need prior knowledge to enjoy it and anyone who says that misses the point as to why unlike others fgo found a middle ground where anyone can enjoy. kind of like the fate extra games can be enjoyed without prior knowledge or the last fate anime based on waiver from fate zero solving random magic cases is another where you don’t need prior fate knowledge to enjoy it.

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        • Eh, self-explanatory and realistically established is not the impression I got but I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on this. Fair enough if you think otherwise.

          Don’t worry about the comment on pretentiousness. I took no actual offense to it. I kind of see what you’re trying to say now. When I do consider something pretentious, I try to elaborate on why I think so but it is common to see the word thrown around and being left at that.

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          • yep. and looking back on the original comment left I probably should’ve proof read but assuming you’v done all nighters wheter for work or gaming I think you can kind of understand how lack of sleep can make one say or type dumb stuff. I probably should’ve been a bit more tactful in what I said there too.

            but yeah I do have a problem when someone wants to use that term and then leaves it at that.

            Like

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