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Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia

Score: 7.87/10

Fate/Grand Order: Zettai Majuu Sensen Babylonia

Eng Title : Fate/Grand Order: Absolute Demonic Front - Babylonia

JP Title : Fate/Grand Order -絶対魔獣戦線バビロニア-

Year : 2019

Genre : Action, Fantasy, Magic, Supernatural

Season : Fall 2019

Status : Complete

Rating : PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Episodes : 21/21

Duration : 23 min. per ep.

Studios : CloverWorks

Synopsis

A.D. 2016, the foundations of humanity have been incinerated by the Mage King Solomon. Chaldea, a secret mages organization with the mission to preserve humanity's future, foresaw mankind's extinction in 2015. Thus commenced the operation to repair the Singularities in history caused by Holy Grails dispersed across time and space—Operation Grand Order. Using the Rayshift time travel technology, Chaldea's last master Ritsuka Fujimaru and his demi-servant Mash Kyrielight have traveled to and resolved six Singularities. Now, they depart for their most dangerous destination yet: a civilization in the Age of Gods, B.C. 2655 Mesopotamia. Ritsuka and Mash soon discover that Demonic Beasts roam the land, attacking people and towns. Amidst chaos and terror lies humanity's last defense—Uruk, a fortress city that acts as the frontline for the battle against the beasts. The battlefront is commanded by none other than King Gilgamesh, the King of Heroes, who sought aid from Heroic Spirits and took on the role of a mage to protect his city. Along with Gilgamesh and the summoned servants, Ritsuka and Mash must protect Uruk against the magical beasts' onslaught and defeat the Three Goddess Alliance who aims to eradicate humankind; all the while, a greater threat looms over Uruk, preparing for its awakening. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

One thing must be made clear up front about this series: regardless of your experience with other branches of the Fate franchise, you must either be specifically familiar with the Fate/Grand Order mobile game or else have, at the least, seen the Fate/Grand Order: Last Order special (available on Crunchyroll) in order to make any sense of this story. The first episode is meant for established game players and does nothing to make itself accessible to newcomers. Its characters and concept are not introduced and the brief recap which happens early on only clarifies at what point in the game’s story these events take place. Still, even if it is targeted specifically at game players, choosing to jump ahead to adapting the seventh and final Singularity, without previously doing any of the earlier content except for the introduction, is an odd choice.

Get beyond those set-up concerns and this is fairly standard franchise fare. It has individuals from throughout history popping up; Da Vinci is present in the future as a pretty woman, Gilgamesh is clearly shown in the intro in his proper context, and Enkidu, who by some accounts was the bosom companion of Gilgamesh, also appears and looks like he’s going to be a major regular player. It also has a guest appearance from another part of the franchise, with a version of Rin Tohsaka garbed as a classical Middle Eastern dancer but sporting capabilities way beyond the original Rin also briefly popping up; I know what’s going on here from seeing mention of it in other Fate-linked content, but since this episode doesn’t give even a faint hint about that I’ll refrain from mentioning anything for now. The episode also offers up plenty of CG-supported action, first with Mash getting to show off her stuff, then Rin in a mix of magical and physical attacks, and then finally Enkidu. This mauling of Demon Beasts can get quite graphic and also seems intent on occasionally tweaking its camera angles for light fan service shots, more so than in other franchise animation. Free Fate/Grand Order: Absolute Demonic Front – Babylonia anime watch and download.

The story aspect is weaker, really just a shell at this point to allow for showing off all of the characters and action, but presumably this will develop more as events progress. Technical merits from CloverWorks allow for some nicely-designed backgrounds and respectable animation support for the fights, though the CG use in some places is a bit weak and the integration between character animation and backgrounds is not flawless. Overall, I have to mark the episode down heavily for its utter lack of set-up, but it otherwise provides all of the expected elements.

I feel like I should write a review because I kept hearing that this arc was going to be really good but now I feel like the recommendations were biased from FGO players since I watched this as someone who only enjoyed the Fate Zero adaptation, and the FSN VN and adaptation and never touched FGO. I guess this is an unpopular opinion but I really liked the cocky Gilgamesh from FZ so I was excited that he got his own anime, but was disappointed that this Gilgamesh is completely different. He still has hints of cockiness but it's definitely dialed back a ton, which I'm not a fan of. The story is really weirdly paced, and also weirdly spread. I'm not sure how the FGO game works but the story feels like an adaptation of various quests in the game that partially complete themselves as the plot goes on, in addition to continuing from other quests that were already finished in the game. It's spread across a lot of different plot points which definitely feel like they all eventually reach the same place but as an anime-only it's really boring to watch everything progress at a snail's pace and only getting bits of each plotline. The sound design was pretty good until they started showing off some of the more powerful moves in recent episodes, then they try using more impactful sound effects but it just turns into earrape which is really unpleasant to listen to. Visuals are great, not Ufotable quality but still better than most anime I see. There's way too much fanservice though, it's really annoying having a fight scene focus so much on girls' butts, even if it is just for a few seconds each fight, it's definitely distracting and meant to pander to waifu enthusiasts despite being a bad angle for the camera to be at and taking away from the action of the fight. Fanservice in general is kind of the problem I had with this show. I feel like it's way too moe compared to what I was expecting with FZ and FSN, and I'm probably missing or straight up disliking a lot of in-jokes with the FGO community. It's just that as someone who was expecting some serious plotline, it got annoying with all the fanservice, the turning point for me giving this show a chance to actively disliking it was one of the main antagonists just being an FSN side character in a onesie. Maybe it is a good adaptation like everyone else says, IDK, but if you're coming in expecting a good show that stands on its own like FSN or Fate Zero, I think you'll be really disappointed. However it did kind of give me the same vibe as Apocrypha so if you enjoyed that I think you'd probably enjoy this show too.

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