Anime Winter 2020 will end this week, which means giving out thoughts on all the series that came out. Series that were more than two cours are also finishing, so our final thoughts on those longer anime are also due! Fate is a series that is no stranger here, so I won’t bore you with any more words. Join me after the cut as I dive into the second cour of Fate/Grand Order: Absolute Demonic Front – Babylonia!
Mobile games making the jump over into anime has been a difficult process, with few becoming real hits, and fewer becoming home runs. Babylonia however is the first to break not only this trend, but a trend that many anime that have multiple cours fall into: it’s actually better in the second half.
I enjoyed the first half of Babylonia, despite it being ‘part 7’ in an eight part story. The characters were well done, the animation was solid, and being penned by Fate creator Nasu also made sure that the story (as crazy as all Fate ones are) was actually here. However aside from the show’s gratuitous use of booty shots (and hot DAMN is there so much booty in this show), I wasn’t blown away by this show, and I expected that the second half would keep that feeling. Thankfully though, I was dead wrong.
I don’t know what it was, but for some reason Babylonia was just able to turn everything around in its second half. It might have been the story finally kicking into high gear, the absolute jaw-dropping fight scenes (second only to Ufotable’s work on the series), the better opening theme, the killer ending theme in Prover, or perhaps all of the above. Something just seem to click for Babylonia in the second half, and all the love and excitement I feel when watching a good Fate series just came rushing back. I was exciting every week to sit down and watch the latest episode, and I clearly wasn’t the only one. Again, this is a very rare thing in anime; too often series tend to lose steam after the second half, or go through plot changes or character beats that turn off viewers. Babylonia however, seemed to follow in the footsteps of shows like ReZero, Steins;Gate and YU-NO, where the slow first half builds up characters, while the second half focuses on plot.
Now Babylonia isn’t anywhere near those greats, but again, to see this effort from a mobile game is impressive. The show still has those same marrow-deep problems that it had before. The fact that this story is part 7 of 8, series lead Fujimaru pretty much being a blank slate of a character, and the plot being a little light in some places. However, compared to other mobile game adaptions such as Azur Lane, everything Babylonia does shows that actual love, effort and time was put into this series. This wasn’t a quick cash grab to try and sell the mobile game (as if it needed it), and that shows so much in this second half.
Fate/Grand Order: Absolute Demonic Front – Babylonia, ranked in the lexicon of the Fate series is probably in the higher middle tier. It is absolutely better than Last Encore, and Last Order, and probably just squeaks by Fate/Apocrypha, and Lord El-melloi Case Files but no where near the Ufotable entries, or even Fate/Kalied Liner Prisma Illya. It honestly has no right to be as good as it has been, but again I think all of our expectations were so low, that the surprise is pleasant. Babylonia stands proudly on its own two feet in the second half, and is able to be an actual story, not a glorified commercial. If you watched the first half and didn’t care for it, absolutely give it another shot if you are a fate fan. It’s a well animated, fun popcorn show regardless if you can name all of the servants from memory.
And also, its just got so much fucking booty.