Fate/Grand Order: Shinsei Entaku Ryouiki Camelot 1 - Wandering; Agateram (Fate/Grand Order THE MOVIE -Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot-) has just released the first of a two-film franchise. After the huge success of Fate/Grand Order’s first full-length animated epic Babylonia, it was clear that the Type-Moon train had no intention of slowing down. Choosing to adapt one of the fan-favorite singularities from the popular mobile game, fans were excited to relive the adventure in stunningly fluid and fully voice-acted animation. After covid-related pushbacks and a creeping worry that the film may never see the light of day, we finally received what we had been waiting for all this time. However, fans seemed a little disappointed in what they had been served. Let’s see how Camelot tried to make a name for itself but possibly made a few mistakes along the way.
From Start to Finish
Firstly, let’s take a look at the entire part one storyline of the Camelot movie, from beginning to end. We are first thrust into the world of Jerusalem with out three main protagonists. As the story progresses, we come to learn that the people of this world live in merciless poverty, with their only means of escape being royal selection. Those free from sin are chosen to leave their previous life behind and live a life of prosperity inside the city’s capital. We discover soon after, however, that those not selected are brutally murdered by the king’s royal guard. After escaping into the desert with a number of survivors, they encounter Nitocris and the Sun King Ozymandias. Ozymandias explains that he has been summoned to this land as the one true pharoah and beckons Fujimaru to become his slave. After refusing his offer, Fujimaru returns to the wastelands. Cementing their resolve to topple the Lion King’s cruel empire, a battle between Fujimaru’s side and the Knights of the Round Table ensues. However, after the Lion King herself emerges and unleashes her final attack, one of Fujimaru’s envoys, Arash, is forced to sacrifice himself to keep her at bay. The team resolve that they will defeat the Lion King by any means necessary.
What is FGO? How Does Camelot Fit In?
For those only familiar with the animated works of Type-Moon (namely; the popular Fate/Stay Night series), it may be confusing to be dropped into this world with no recognizable characters, seemingly halfway through an already progressed story. This is due to the fact that this series’ storyline has been lifted from the popular mobile gacha game Fate/Grand Order. FGO’s story is divided into subsections known as singularities. It is understandable that newcomers would be confused as Camelot is the 6th Singularity in the list (coming directly before Babylonia). As such, there is a wealth of backstory and character development that has already occurred offscreen. Veterans should have no qualms diving straight into the action, but it shouldn’t help to familiarize yourself with the plot so far to enhance your viewing.
Ask any FGO player, they will tell you that most of the early singularities are not particularly interesting. While FGO is often praised for its writing nowadays (many players fed up with the terrible rates and lack of a pity system, only stick around for the story), it is a slog to make it through those early chapters. However, Camelot is where people say that this freight train really kicks into gear. Camelot sees our team of Fujimaru Ritsuka (the final Master of Chaldea), Mash Kyrelight (Fujimaru’s kouhai and most trusted pseudo-servant), and Leonardo Da Vinci (a gender-bent servant-form of the once renowned genius), investigating the holy land of Jerusalem in their quest to restore humanity from utter obliteration. There, they will do battle against the Lion King and her knights of the round table in a battle for supremacy. We run into several supporting characters along the way including Bedivere and several other Knights of the Round Table, as well as Ozymandias and Nitocris.
Rank A: Voice Acting
FGO players must do their best to ration what little voice lines we have. Some of the most hyped-up events in the game include those that introduce new voice lines for each of our favorite characters (such as Valentine’s events). Due to this, being able to experience all of the written dialogue beautifully voice acted is very moving. Every voice actor goes above and beyond to deliver the audience with what they had been longing for. In particular, Ozymandias has always been beloved for his boastful and elongated phrases. This anime adaptation did not disappoint. It truly shows how much thought and care is put into each of these FGO adaptations. Surely, it would have been just as easy to replace character voices with similar-sounding actors. Yet, they ensure that each voice actor returns time and again to play their specific character.
Rank B: Faithfulness
Camelot’s adaptation was fairly faithful to the original source material. Several lines were taken directly from the mobile game and most, if not all, the memorable scenes present in the original were also here in fully animated glory. Several anime-only scenes do rear their head here and there (including pure fan-service scenes that were not present in the game such as the bath scene between Mash and Nitocris) which may turn some veterans away. However, these were few and far between enough that it does not detract from the story too much. During the game, fights play out in a turn-based combat style. Obviously, that would not work for an anime adaptation and so the creators were forced to improvise. Some scenes enhance the source material to a degree never thought possible. Arash, another fan favorite of the game due to his suicidal screaming whenever he unleashes his Noble Phantasm, does battle with the Lion King herself. Their NP clash was truly breathtaking. However, for every great scene such as this, we also receive slightly less polished scenes such as the fight with Gawain. A great fight in the game but a little lackluster in the anime version.
Rank C: Storytelling and Action
Unfortunately, many fans were not very impressed by this adaptation of Camelot when compared to its source material. The Babylonia anime did a great job explaining more difficult plot points and made the story accessible for any newcomers experiencing FGO for the first time. Camelot, however (possibly due to a reduced runtime), is forced to make cuts making it less newbie-friendly than its predecessor. Additionally, while it is always great to see a static mobile storyline visualized in real-time, Camelot’s animation is not as crisp as fans had hoped for.
Babylonia often used CGI animation in times that rubbed fans the wrong way, but when it animated a scene; it ANIMATED that scene! In some cases, Camelot looks positively beautiful. However, for the times when it doesn’t, it is much more noticeable. Several action scenes, in particular, suffer due to this drop in animation quality. This isn’t bad enough to justify skipping the movie by any means but be warned that those venturing over from Unlimited Blade Works will be thoroughly disappointed (although, to be fair, watching almost any anime after Unlimited Budget Works will leave a sour taste in one’s mouth).
Rank D: Pacing
It can oftentimes be difficult to keep track of what is happening in this movie for newcomers. However, even for veterans, some elements were just too jarring to follow. Each main event was hit as if checking off marks on a list but more humanizing scenes which are prevalent in FGO, are amiss from this movie. In most singularities, we spend time getting to know the locals and forge connections with them, making it that much more heart-wrenching when they are possibly taken away from us. It’s understandable that most of this would have to be cut but any and all downtime in this movie was reserved to a voiceless montage. It would be impossible to include every scene featured in the game’s storyline, but choosing to only hit on key points results in a very disconnected story with a very weak throughline connecting the things on-screen.
Rank EX: Hope for the Future
Luckily, this movie was not the be-all-end-all for the Camelot plot. The second movie has already been released in Japan and has been receiving seemingly positive reviews. A short fight scene between Mash and Lancelot circulated around popular forums recently as well which seemed to show a drastically improved animation quality. Nevertheless, the sequel or part 2 to the Camelot singularity is shaping up to improve on everything that this original movie couldn’t quite manage to accomplish. Newcomers deterred from watching the upcoming release due to the negative press surrounding this movie, should rest assured that things will most likely improve in the future. As mentioned previously, the Camelot singularity is home to some of the most memorable moments and wonderful writing from the entire FGO franchise. Perhaps this release was a little mishandled but with the excellent source material to draw from, it shouldn’t be too taxing to get back on the right track.
Fate/Grand Order THE MOVIE -Divine Realm of the Round Table: Camelot- was surrounded by a mountain of hype before it even released. While many people may claim that nothing could satisfy these elevated expectations, enough people have come forward that it brings the quality of the Camelot movie into question. While it certainly has moments where it shines, there are just as many moments where it, unfortunately, falls flat. However, fans of FGO understand that this is merely a bump in the road to an otherwise unobscured perfect adaptation. The second movie will hopefully provide everything we have been waiting for. What did you think of the Camelot movie? Did it live up to your expectations or were you thoroughly disappointed? Let us know down below!