Anime at a Glance: Fate/Grand Order

In the year 2016, the Chaldea Security Organization created a machine that resonates with the soul of the planet entitled the Chaldeas. Through observation of the Chaldeas soul, Chaldea is able to ensure the survival of the human race for the next 100 years. As a precaution, they search around the world for mages capable of performing a Rayshift, which allows them to send the mage to periods of time to help fix situations to continue to ensure the survival of humanity.

Mash Kyrielight is watching the outside weather, cold and snowing a blizzard hard enough to obstruct the sky, when a little critter named Fou races by and she chases it to find someone unconscious on the ground. Fou licks his face and he begins to regain consciousness. After a brief explanation he remembers where he is and why he’s there, he’s the last of the 48 candidates for the Rayshift experiment to send a mage back to fix an error in time. Upon introducing himself as Ritsuka Fujimaru, a staff member from Chaldea arrives to collect Mash for the experiment briefing, and subsequently Fujimaru as well. At the head of the briefing is Olga Marie Animusphere, lecturing all the new candidates in a heavily condescending tone, explaining that they’re all tools for the experiment and that they possess the qualifications for becoming a Master and being part of the Rayshift to potentially save the human race. She was less than impressed when her briefing is interrupted by the still-exhausted Fujimaru and kicks him out of the first mission. Mash takes him back to his room before heading back to the briefing to be part of the first mission.

After another brief introduction to the head medical staffer, Romani Archaman, who was squatting in Fujimaru’s room taking a break, they get interrupted by an alarm that the Rayshift room had been destroyed. They race over to prevent the facility from being destroyed, and Fujimaru was looking to make sure Mash got away. They arrive to find that the entire room is on fire and Romani aims to get to the power plant to shut down the power to save the facility while Fujimaru searches the room for survivors, finding only Mash under a large piece of rubble in the room consumed by fire. As he gets locked in, he sits with his new friend in their final moments as the computer system locks the date and coordinates for 2004, Fuyuki City.

The Rayshift begins.

Fujimaru once again finds himself waking up somewhere he doesn’t recognize. He watches a bolt of red trace through the sky until it’s nearly over head. It descends and breaks apart over him into many fragments and he braces for the impact. He opens his eyes a moment later watching the bombardment shielded by a strangely dressed Mash, wielding a giant shield. The bombardment of arrows comes to an end and they race towards the scream of a girl, finding Olga in that direction attacked by creatures. After rushing in to her aid, Mash explains that as the Rayshift began, the servant prepared by Chaldea had contracted Mash to investigate the source of the problem, and merged with her to turn her into a servant capable of going through time.

The three of them aim to find out the source of what went wrong to devastate the world in 2004 during the Holy Grail War.

I always look forward to new stories in the Fate series, and Grand Order was no exception. A mobile game in Japan had released over a year ago for Grand Order, but there is still no North American release for it sadly. On the upside, it must have been received very well to have an anime based around it. The upside is that with the direction the series takes we’ll see a ton of different Servants with this series, as it doesn’t follow the traditional Fate plots. We see several familiar faces to start with, and hopefully we’ll see more episodes to follow, with new faces and new servants. This series would also be one of the plots that would expand from the traditional class types to have alternatives like Shielder and Ruler, which opens up a few other ways to perceive some heroes, or introduce a new line of heroes altogether.

The studio behind Grand Order, Lay-Duce, is also new to the Fate series, presumably because ufotable is already working on the Heaven’s Feel movie. However, they didn’t fall short when it came to action and overall I feel like the quality of the show was on par to previous studio’s works various works in the series. Now we can only hope that the open-ended conclusion in the show leads to a continued series or more movies to be produced. If I had any complaint about the movie, it would be that it was too short. They made due with the time and resources they had to fit into the show and left it available to have a series follow it in a following season to gauge the interest for the show. If it had been able to get a full 12 episode series or longer we could have seen another amazing Fate anime, but we’ll have to settle for a great movie instead. For now, let’s hope that more people taking an interest in North America to this series will help convince Aniplex USA, the license holder for North America, to bring more Grand Order our way.

As always you can watch the movie on Crunchyroll. If you’re in Japan you probably already enjoy the Grand Order game on iOS and Android, but maybe it’ll grace the North American mobile devices in 2017, as Grand Order was one of the most popular mobile games in Japan, and North America has to settle for stuff like Clash of Clans and Pokemon Go. Keep an eye out for Grand Order in the future as hopefully a series of Anime or the Mobile Game!

In the mean time, we have another Fate release coming up this month that I can’t wait to share. It’s time to dust off the old PS4 and prepare for the next best thing to Grand Order.

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