Fate Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front Babylonia Episode 14: Mesoamerican Baseball

Hoho boy, here we go.

So unless this Gorgon fight takes longer than expected, we should be due for the fun stuff in two weeks time with a foreboding end to this coming week’s episode

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Music of the Week #432

Got a bit side-tracked

Babylon is written up but I don’t want to get it out the same day as this so it’ll be up tomorrow

Let’s break away from all the negativity for a bit and shift focus back onto how the music for the sub-series hasn’t suffered compared to the writing quality. While it’s no Looking up at the Sky, this is definitely one of the better overworld map themes in the sub-series for me and it features some beautiful violins. For what it’s worth as the first 3D entry in the series, I will say Erebonia has some great visuals but I couldn’t exactly compare or really tell you a location that ever really matched the visuals and feeling when running around Crossbell’s country-side and the sea-side cliffs in Liberl.

Music of the Week #431

Babylonia is continuing into the new season while the rest of the shows all seem to be primarily made up of 2nd seasons and even some 3rd seasons which I most likely won’t be looking through at the moment. I might change my mind if I overlooked the rest of the Winter season though.

Continuing along my rants for Cold Steel, this week’s tune is the theme of Blade, a card-game that you play on the train-ride to each locale you visit and raise some bond points. Blade as a mini-game gets replaced by the 3rd game and beyond so we’ll be tackling more critical issues with the Class VII members again. Because certain characters don’t exactly get focus chapters or moments outside of bond events, gee doesn’t that sound problematic, we’ll go over Fie next because she doesn’t really have a problem to be of note aside from what when we get to Laura later. Zephyr is introduced as one of the two big Jaeger/mercenary groups in the world of Kiseki. Zephyr was the arch-rival to the Red Constellation group that Sigmund, Shirley, and namely, Randy Orlando from Zero/Ao were a part of and compared to them, Fie doesn’t get that much in comparison. Fie was a part of Zephyr but she was more or less like a pet cat that was picked up by the boss who took care of her, took her everywhere they went, and trained her to fight but not kill others. Following up Randy’s act is no easy task and Fie’s lack of significant character growth from approachable and snarky to snarky but appreciative isn’t all too great comparatively. Her struggle is introduced WAY later in the saga doesn’t really amount to much either since even by the end of the 1st game she considers Class VII her family now instead of her former group, and even then, it’s hard to antagonize anyone in Cold Steel due to a plot point that ultimately broke the franchise for me. I don’t hate Fie necessarily, I just find her unnecessary, which turns out to be my complaint for most of the cast, but damn does she make evade-tanking solo memes fun.

Fate Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front Babylonia Episode 12: Back from the dead

Back to your weekly scheduled doses of groin and butt shots.

Joking aside, the new opening is a lot more visually stimulating with its stylistic rendition and the ending decided to acknowledge Tomoe and Ibaraki being summoned to the singularity despite dying off-screen and being part of something else afterwards. The opening also chock full of some choice imagery which depicts the real stuff I’m waiting to see for Babylon

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Music of the Week #430

Hope everyone had themselves a good holiday and Happy New Years

So Bokuben’s final episode last Saturday apparently went ahead to confirm an Uruka end which I would feel good about, but the way they conveyed it felt off since she went off to Australia anyway. It’s a sensible decision for her future but it isn’t so great as a romantic send-off, see Seiren’s Tsuneki route for something similar, only I actually like Uruka. But hey, I got some other criticism to talk about since Bokuben’s publication has yet to end and confirm the real ending.

Let’s start with Alisa, the front and cover girl who is unfortunately billed as the main heroine of this saga and this fact is played with incredibly developer favoritism despite my experiences of seeing incredibly little chemistry with Rean aside from the bog-standard “he was nice to me” shtick. Admittedly, they tried to start off things on the right foot and had Alisa be the first person to interact with Rean before the school year starts and have a friendly conversation. Then later a group fall has Rean faceplanting to her chest which she gets mad about but that problem solves itself by the first field trip, so I can’t complain about how she’s a dumb tsundere. No, my complaint about Alisa is that she and Rean don’t have chemistry, and that this is made doubly worse when you consider my last point about how characters have a tough time interacting with others organically. The most you get when you decide to waste bond points on her is that she’s fallen in love with Rean ever since their incident and some side-bits about how she’s a bit more tech-savvy than most. Given that her character never amounts to anything, we have to look towards her family tree to find something to hold on to but even then, it’s not interesting. Both games feature chapters in Roer, Alisa’s hometown and around the fact that she’s the heiress to the Reinford Company, the Erebonian equivalent to the Zeiss Factory and Epstein Company in Sky and Crossbell sagas. Despite the tech background, very few of Alisa’s characterization is all that focused on the company despite it being the most important part of her character and how both games have her mom view her as not being able to succeed her in the company. You could say not being that focused on that side of her is a plus because she’s supposed to be her own person but not like it matters because she does take part of the company starting from 2’s ending onwards. Both Roer chapters being so mindbogglingly boring made me skip out on the music for it.

Music of the Week #429

Just waiting around but Merry Christmas to everyone

Enter week 2 of dead-air for the two series I’m covering. Bokuben S2 ended on a Fumino-centric note showcasing her not only her big multi-chapter arc detailing her estranged relationship with her father but also the school play that got her a kiss. The dance CG however was awful enough for me to consider not really bothering to review S2 as a whole because it mostly kept on Fumino and not much else on everyone else. It was more of the same while only treading upon a single character’s arc so you’re definitely more likely to see a manga review of it since the publication seems to be reaching its end with how the recent chapters are going.

This week’s Cold Steel theme is yet another relaxing theme that mostly plays during school moments and in damn near any leisurely occasion in both games so I’ll take this chance now to finally vent about my frustration with the series has fallen into. The whole bond points thing as discussed earlier leaves many of the characters rather flat. Cold Steel 1 gets somewhat of an excuse considering it was the first game and how it actually did have some group-bonding moments with two characters instead of one. The problem for bond points with me is that it isolates a given character to everyone else and focuses their relationship with Rean and Rean only. Sure, certain characters get their little conflict arcs with an opposing member of the class on a chapter per chapter basis but that only leaves an even bigger gap to the characters who don’t share such animosity towards their fellows. Compare this to Lloyd, whose bonding moments were quite limited, but still retained a ton of character bonding as a whole for the SSS. You can definitely chalk this up to Class 7 being too big for its own purposes and the developers don’t seem to have minded this because they keep adding MORE FUCKING CHARACTERS who won’t get developed and only exist to siphon what little development the main core cast can get. Against that excuse however, Estelle did this sort of dynamic much better with around the same amount of total characters as well and they’re wel emphasized by having relationships outside of constant praise of Estelle and/or Joshua. Class 7 feels more like a bunch of Rean’s friends who only slightly know each other instead of a fully cohesive group.