Anime

Fate/Grand Order

Review

As long as the lights of the tiny earth are alight then humanity is guaranteed to survive for another 100 years. If those lights go out, humanity nears extinction. It’s the job of the Chaldea Security Organisation to ensure the lights stay lit and to travel back in time to remove the threat that causes humanity to die. As you might expect, within the first half hour of the episode the lights go out and it’s down to our unlikely heroes to destroy the singularity responsible!

I want to get the one thing that caused alarm bells to ring out of the way first. There’s a Master and a Servant. Also a Demi-Servant but that didn’t make much sense to me – whether I just got lost in all the lore that was provided at the very beginning or whether it’s just not explained yet I couldn’t tell you. But let me reiterate; there’s a Master and a Servant. He’s the Master and she’s the Servant. The other Servant you meat (seemingly without a Master) is also a She. You do stumble across a male Servant a bit later on, but I have to say that to begin with this whole Master and Servant thing nearly put me off.

The latter half of the episode was much better, I provided the antagonist of the series and established the context we already knew in definitive tones. Ritsuka Fujimaru is the last remaining Master and Mash Kyrielight is the last remaining Servant. Each of them needs the other and they are the only ones who can save humanity.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the action sequences in this episode and I’m looking forward to seeing Ritsuka and Mash develop their powers together and unlock their full potential while travelling through time and destroying singularities. I hope the other episodes as enjoyable and explain a bit more of the lore for Master and Servant as it goes. Though it loses one star for being slightly confusing, and another for the Master-Servant concept that I’m still not sold on, I do think it’s worth watching if you like fantasy time-travel shows.

Rating

Synopses

Series
The Chaldea Security Organization was founded to focus on preserving the continuation of human history. They observe a world which magecraft couldn’t observe, and science couldn’t measure, all to prevent the certain extinction of humanity. But one day, the future that Chaldea continued to observe disappears and humanity’s extinction in 2017 becomes clear. Based on the assumption that Fuyuki, a provincial town in Japan, is the reason for humanity’s extinction, Chaldea issues an order to explore, investigate, and possibly destroy this singularity – a quest for the Holy Grail, the Grand Order.

Episode
The cause seems to be related to Fuyuki, a provincial town in Japan, in the year 2004 CE. There, an “unobservable region” that had not existed before appears. On the assumption that this Singularity is the cause of humanity’s extinction, Chaldea investigates and possibly issues the Grand Order, a quest for the Holy Grails… a mission with the objective to destroy.

Source: Crunchyroll

3 Comments

  1. I’m guessing that you haven’t seen other shows in the Fate franchise? To be honest, there’s a lot of crazy exposition that the shows themselves don’t even do especially well about the universe.

    When I watched the first Fate/Stay Night (2006), I had a quick primer from a friend who had played the visual novel the initial Fate anime was based on, which actually does explain everything in detail. There’s been a lot of spinoffs since then working on the same idea, none of them really explain things well.

    While I’m not sure exactly how they’re planning to work it in Grand Order, in the Fate universe in general, Masters are magicians who summon heroic humans from the past to be their Servants in order to battle for the Holy Grail which can grant wishes. If they win, the Master and the Servant both get their wishes granted. Mash seems to be special, but other Servants are heroes of history or legend. For instance Caster (who is actually Lancer in other Fate tellings) is Cuchulain, an Irish Folk hero and warrior, and Saber is King Arthur (Japan really loves turning male historic figures into girls). The servants can use special powers called ‘noble phantasms’ which are strong magic attacks tied into their human lives (e.g. Saber has Excalibur, a really powerful sword).

    I don’t think that it’s needful to have seen other Fate stuff to enjoy this, but if you like the basic idea, you may find that you enjoy some of the other Fate anime. People say all kinds of things about watch order and I don’t really have any specific recommendations as I don’t think that any of them makes more sense than the other. Just watch what you feel like, the exposition regarding world-building is kind of bad in all of them, but the storytelling is exciting and it’s a great world when you get immersed in it (which sounds contradictory, but it’s how I feel about it. Fate shows are far darker than my normal taste in anime, but the world is really engaging when you get a handle on what’s going on).

    1. No, I’ve not seen any of the other Fate shows; I wasn’t even aware there was a visual novel – I might look that up.

      I hadn’t picked up on the Masters being magicians but I had kind of glimpsed the Servants being heroes from history. I think Mash being different stopped that from becoming more obvious while I was watching. Your explanation of the noble phantasms is helpful too! I didn’t really know what to expect from that as it seemed to be related to the weapon they were holding but at the same time expected it to be a part of Mash.

      The episode seemed to standalone enough to grip me and I’m looking forward to see the story develop. The concept of going to different places to stop singularities sounds really good and I’m really looking forward to it.

      1. I don’t believe the visual novel has ever had an official English release, but there is a fan translation (be aware that the Fate/Stay Night visual novel contains adult content). The mainline Fate anime are all available on Crunchyroll, but there’s certainly no need to watch them to enjoy this series.

        Grand Order seems like it’s going to just be some fun in the Fate universe as a tie-in for the mobile game (which is available in Japan only), and I’m definitely looking forward to future installments!

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