「劇場版 Fate/Grand Order -神聖円卓領域キャメロット- 前編 Wandering; Agateram」 (Fate/Grand Order: Shinsei Entaku Ryouiki Camelot – Wandering; Agateram)
“Fate/Grand Order: Divine Realm of the Round Table Camelot – Wandering; Agateram”
For all of those uninitiated, this is the adaptation of the 6th singularity in the Observer on Timeless Temple Arc of the Fate/Grand Order mobile game. Babylonia is the 7th, and the upcoming Salomon arc being the 8th and final singularity of Arc I.
Confusing? Don’t worry, I know.
The Grand Order continues:
Before we get into the film, I would like to point out that my entry spot to the Fate/Franchise was with Unlimited Blade Works. Since then I have watched everything except Apocrypha (I know!) and the original Stay Night because I’ve only heard bad things about it. Therefore, I have stayed away from it. And keep in mind I do not know the other 6 singularities because I have yet to play the game, so please keep spoilers out of the comments section!
I’ll try to keep the review as loose as possible. But I will be talking about the real-world origin of some of the heroic spirits that appear in the film.
Human Order Incineration Protocol – The Grand Order:
This was unexpected in so many more ways than one. My favorite and most stunning moment was a particular bit with Shin Assassin (Inada Tetsu). Surprising, because I have only seen him in one light during my time with Fate. But this movie managed to give a second light while retaining the original concept for the character. Now, instead of a big baddy that scares the living daylight out of me, he became a big softie that has a warm heart but a cold exterior.
And it’s common with the Fate franchise to do this, after Heaven’s Feel, Assasin terrified me, and this movie managed to make me like him. Which like I said, was unexpected.
Da Vinci (Sakamoto Maaya) makes her first singularity debut! I loved how everyone just called her Leonardo, but after a while, it just started to feel weird, so they switched to honorifics. Calling her Davi-chan, honestly kinda cute.
Much more appropriate for the body she’s wearing now. Of course, her wacky personality stays true to the mad genius Leonardo was. He not only painted the most famous portrait in the world. But also designed machines and flying vehicles. He was a visionary.
During the opening moment’s Da Vinci, Mash (Takahashi Rie), and Fujimaru (Shimazaki Nobunaga) are riding a vehicle designed by Leonardo herself. It crashes, but Leonardo is back at it again in a couple of seconds (thanks to Mash), toying with new ideas on how to improve it, and finding out the reason why it fell over. As much as anime has imprinted a new personality unto the representation of this well-known historical figure, artist, and visionary. It still feels like they’re sticking true to the traditional inspiration. This later serves as justification for a scene with Leo and one of the Knights of the Round Table.
What’s more, the Holy Land, is in a way, an adaptation of the actual Holy Land. But inside the Fate universe, it’s a secluded castle with perfect harmony. Every blue moon a ceremony takes place to invite people into this palace. Only those of true heart can enter.
This movie from the outside might feel like a boring and bland film full of political drama and very little action to make it worthwhile. As a Fate fan, however, this was incredibly entertaining. I was hooked, al be-it, it took some getting used to, as the style and animation is somewhat different from the actual Grand Order anime. But I digress, as I quickly let go and found myself enjoying the film.
Do not be fooled. There are high intense action moments, and Noble Phantasm’s galore, but it’s not the high popping action jaw-dropping that say; Ufotable might deliver. There are beautiful moments, but its use of CGI for crowd shots, mixed with the 2D characters feels jarring and confusing. Don’t get me wrong, this movie did deliver on those jaw-dropping moments. But it was more because tidbits of Fate lore get filled out during some important conversations.
The Three Nations:
There are three nations in this desolate landscape. The Knights of the Round Table and their Holy City serving under the Lion King (Kawasumi Ayako). The land of King Ozymandias (Koyasu Takehito), the Sun King, and the land of the Nomads, the people of the mountains who refuse to serve under any king. These three nations oppose each other and are looking for ways to start a war. It seems Fujimaru, and Mash got stuck in a political drama that transcends even time and space.
It’s interesting because my favorite part is: How Fate uses history to fill out its lore and story. I’ve never heard of Ozymandias before, who happens to be a greek name given to Ramesses II, so the Egyptian imagery made sense. And his servant Nitocris (Tanaka Minami). Actually a pharaoh in the sixth dynasty. The caster Xuanzang Sanzang (Komatsu Mikako) was also a new heroic spirit. I took a personal interest in her because I’ve never heard of Xuanzang Sanzang and wanted to know her origin. It being of a Buddhist monk who traveled to India in search of a better understanding of Buddhism. And she shares the titular role of being the main character in Journey to the West. Which I’ve never read of course.
It was a little bit of a mixed wagon, but nothing that I couldn’t handle, as I’m already accustomed to how Fate handles its history and the research I’ll have to do after consuming any one of its adaptations. Which is another part I like about Fate. It gives me the opportunity and sparks the curiosity to search about these historical figures, that I would have never otherwise come across. They might be the general culture in some countries but my background and raising never presented them to me. Unless of course, specialized research was to be done
Fujimaru and Mash are not the protagonists:
Instead, the film centers around Bedivere (Miyano Mamoru) one of the earliest Knights of the Round Table. Bedivere, in real-world history, was the one who returned Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. Thanks to the flashback Bedievere saw,
Arthur Saber was slain, so I’m assuming it takes place after the battle of Camlann, yet I am not enough of a history nerd to tell you any more than that. Partner in crime to Bedivere is archer Arash (Tsuruoka Satoshi). But it’s difficult to talk about Arash without going into spoiler territory as his role is titular in the final moments of the film.
I regret not having watched Apocrypha before viewing this film as I am now realizing some characters have important roles in this film that I didn’t know about until researching them. And finding out they are prevalent in Apocrypha. I guess it’s finally time to dig into that spinoff.
Changing gears; As I said, there’s a lot of CGI here that might pull some people out of the experience as it is quite noticeable. But only during crowd shots. Production I.G. does not have CGI of The Land of Lustrous or Subarashiki Kono Sekai The Animation. Instead, they look and feel like old PS2 graphics. Against the 2D characters and backgrounds, they become quite noticeable but are mostly only prevalent during the first part of the film.
There is however a takeaway as the fights are well choreographed and explosive in their own way. The final moments of this film felt different from how a scene – like that – would play out in the Fate universe, but a welcome change. In hindsight, it makes a lot of sense.
The never-ending Holy Grail War:
I thoroughly enjoyed this film and meeting the new characters it came with. It had its bombastic moments mixed in with political intrigue, and tidbits of lore came to a new light. There are still some unanswered questions that are sure to be addressed in part two. War is coming to these three nations, how will Fujimaru and Mash fare this time around? We’ll have to wait and see.
I’ve said my peace, remember to stay safe. What did you think of the movie? Have you had a chance to watch it? Let me know in the comments.