Anime Review: Fate/Grand Order – First Order
Fate/Grand Order: First Order is the latest of a series of anime that have been adapted from mobile titles, and one of the small handful that received an adaptation contemporaneously or not long before their game’s US release.
The anime, which at 75 minutes is around feature length, adapts the game’s prologue chapter – which establishes the overall premise of the game, established most of the game’s mechanics (in the actual game), and the three main leads of the game.
The film follows the male version of the game’s protagonist Ritsuka Fujimaru, who is one of the last of the prospective Masters brought in to the Chaldeas facility. Their goal is to bond with a Servant, and to have their consciousness sent back in time to various temporal anomalies for the purpose of saving humanity’s future. When an explosion of the facility kills or critically injures all of the other masters. Ritsuka is the only master remaining who can investigate the first of the anomalies – in Fuyuki, 2004 – during an alternate version of the Holy Grail War from the original Fate/Stay Night game and anime.
He is accompanied by Mash Kyrielight, who was mortally injured in the explosion, but was saved by one of the Servants (who at this point has an unknown name) and is sent back as a Demi-Servant – Shielder. They end up joining forces with this Grail War’s Caster (Cu Chulainn) in order to defeat the other corrupted servants and fix the anomaly. The leader of Chaldeas, Olga Marie Animusphere is also sent back as well, and the characters have something of a solid team dynamic.
Olga has something of a semi-Tsundere personality, like Rin Tohsaka-light. Ritsuka, as written in the film, has less of Shirou’s condescending nature – trusting the women around them to do their jobs, though he seeks to help not because of an obnoxiously chivalrous nature, because he actually wants to help. Caster is interesting because this is probably the most badass Cu Chulainn has been in the Fate Universe.
The animation is generally good. While it’s not by Ufotable, the show generally looks really good. That said, the dark lighting in the show can make following the action in some scenes a little tricky. The game’s next chapter is set in Orleans, France, and is predominantly in the daytime, so hopefully if the second film adapts that chapter, we can get easier to follow action.
The film is currently available for streaming on Crunchyroll.