Fate is back with another of its hilarious and adorable spinoffs. The Fate franchise as a whole is known for some of the most bombastic and jaw-dropping action scenes the anime world has ever seen. The show is also infamous for crafting intricate storylines with wells of depth to them. However, sometimes, we don’t want to see Saber duke it out with a cavalcade of enemies as she fights for her life. Maybe we just want to see her eat an onigiri and maybe go to the mall. Let’s take a look at Fate/Grand Carnival (a spinoff centered around the popular FGO mobile game) and why it does its job of entertaining us so well.
The Fate franchise started out as nothing more than a spicy and erotic visual novel series. It has since risen to immense popularity spawning games, animated series, and more! The franchise is heavily rooted in difficult-to-understand lore and a timeline that only a mother could love. At times, the show takes itself very seriously. Almost too seriously in fact for a game featuring a gender-bent King Arthur obsessed with food as one of its main protagonists.
For all the action sequences that run wild during Unlimited Blade Works, sometimes it’s nice to relax with something like Today’s Menu for the Emiya Family. In these light-hearted spinoff series, we get to explore more comedic moments and intimate character interactions. We get to see the characters having fun and not exhausting themselves trying to save the world. Fate Grand Carnival is another addition to the many Fate spinoffs and showcases lots of comedic moments and fourth wall breaks catered toward veteran FGO players. Fate Grand Carnival is to the Fate franchise as Hearthstone is to World of Warcraft. All the backstory you know and love is taken but reduced into hilarious bite-sized chunks.
The Plot (?)
The (contained within the largest quotation marks you have ever seen) “plot” of Fate/Grand Carnival sees a large tournament hosted by Nero to decide which servants are worthy of serving under master Gudako and which servants are nothing more than a Rare Prism! However, this storyline is nothing more than an excuse to have the different characters of Fate interact with one another. Oftentimes, characters in FGO will have some kind of connection with one another but will rarely meet. Here, we get to see lots of kooky antics play out between these otherwise serious entities.
As Atalanta and Achilles ready up for their race, each is quietly confident in their own supersonic speed. However, all it takes is one footstep from King Protea to humble these speed-demons real quick. Jeanne D’arc Alter, everyone’s favorite tsundere, finds herself forced to work at a maid cafe to make extra money to buy Christmas presents. As one would assume, her mix of obtrusive embarrassment and volatile anger leads to many patrons avoiding her services. Jalter becomes ever further enraged when the likes of Tamamo-no-mae, Helena, Medb, and Saber Lily show her up at every turn. Those who play FGO will know that in each story, we meet with around five-ten key servants who play a role in the story. It can be disheartening when you speculate how different characters would interact should they ever meet, knowing that they never will. Surely, we’ve all spent long hours pondering who would emerge victorious in a shoulder-riding cavalry battle waged between our favorite characters. Fate/Grand Carnival knows what it is. The show is a light-hearted romp used to cater to FGO veterans. Ultimately, it does not disappoint in this regard.
Excellent Source Material
One of the reasons these spinoff shows do so well is because of the wonderfully vast resources the writers have to draw from. Each of these characters is already fully fleshed out in the FGO mobile game. Whether it be their speech and role in the various storylines or the detailed lore created on each servant’s profile page, there is more than enough information for the writers to use. This then frees up even more time to focus on writing the jokes and perfecting the vocal delivery.
In FGO, most characters only receive a set amount of spoken voice lines (the rest being text). Valentine’s is a particularly special event in the FGO world due to it introducing even more spoken lines for our favorite servants. When these servants are featured in animated works such as these, we get to witness even more of their personality in wonderfully animated 2-D.
Fate/Grand Carnival is a nice pitstop in between the Fate/Zero’s and the UBW’s of the world. For the times when you want to watch Saber enjoy her dinner, or relieve some of the anger after failing to roll her in over 1000 Saint Quartz, Fate/Grand Carnival will be able to put a smile on your face. What did you think of Fate/Grand Carnival? Who is your favorite servant featured this time around? Let us know down below!