Six episodes in and rising in the Anime Trending Top 10 ranks, it has become quite apparent that the Fate Babylonia anime is proving to be quite the success. Even when faced with overwhelming skepticism, Cloverworks has brought their A-game into faithfully adapting the game and exceeding expectations by making it even better than its source. Granted, animation can make things more memorable and everlasting with its combination of music, camera angles and execution of dialogue to name a few.
Episode 6 delivered on what many fans were hyped about, seeing Ereshkigal grace the screen. While most fans of the original Fate Stay/Night remember the series as an action-heavy story, the franchise is also known for its tense dramatic scenes and character development that enhances the overall plot. Fate Grand Order is no exception, while the latter is currently true, the story is building up to its intense moments that will be arriving shortly. The first six episodes so far have established most of the main characters as well as focused on developing them and the world around them. Kind of like a slice of life at certain times. Up to this point we have seen Mash and Ritsuka going about their lives in Uruk and following King Gilgamesh’s order to make the capital a more prosperous place, gaining his trust in the process. The recent episode then sees our heroes receive their first true mission from him and arrive at the city of Kutha to retrieve a tablet for him shortly after. Upon arrival, they discover that everyone there had died in there sleep. It is then revealed that the city is connected to the Underworld and the dead attempt to stop them from escaping. Upon escaping, Ishtar reappears and joins their cause.
Within the episode, we see a lot of focus on Ushiwakamaru and other side characters. Seeing side characters get more attention, strengthens their character and provides stronger development for what’s to come in the story. It’s moments like these, and with Ishtar later on, that reflects the love and passion that’s being poured into this anime. The majority of screen time has been devoted to following our characters instead of condensing everything to forward the plot. For those who haven’t played the game and are just watching the anime, trust me, this will not be the entirety of the story. There will be intense moments and the stakes will be raised higher, as the story advances.
Having a character focused narrative will enhance the moments to come by giving the audience a larger payoff. The pay off will be worth it due to the character first approach that heightens the emotional attachment we’ll have towards these characters by the end of the series. The series offers a combination of the typical Fate series combined with something greater; a focus that isn’t just concerned with a Holy Grail War. Until then, expect the series to continue to rise in the rankings and popularity as the episodes’ structure and pacing have been extremely consistent and has yet to disappoint.
Unlike many other series with strong character driven stories, Fate Grand Order Babylonia has yet to fall in the in the rhythm of “one and done” like Persona 5 is debated to have. In Persona 5, there is a lot of powerful character development in each character’s respective arcs but once their arc is completed it seems that their development is then done for in the main story. Their confidant stories aside. Aside from characters like Ushiwakamaru, the anime has done a great job of introducing Ereshkigal, the blonde “Ishtar” that we see at the end of the chapter. In the game, it is difficult to pass along the small indicators like the anime has successfully done. When they capture Ishtar it is hinted that it is not Ishtar they are speaking to but rather Ereshkigal who possesses her body when the sun sets. The reasons for such I will leave up to the anime revealing.
These small indicators and introductions coming up earlier in the anime’s story will hopefully allow for future characters to come to receive equal development to the main cast.