I very much enjoyed this prequel more than I have anticipated!
However, viewers who are unfamiliar with Fate and even more so, Fate Grand Order, will find themselves often lost or confused about the setting. For maximum enjoyment, it is suggested that you should play the mobile game. The anime is under the assumption that the viewer has played the game and as such caters towards that viewer base.
NOTE: I will be reviewing this in the perspective of a Fate Grand Order Player.
Story - 7
While it is short, I very much enjoyed the pacing. It doesn't give us any additional new information but rather further expands on previous character backstories. It gives us a glimpse to Romani's past as well as his relationship with Mashu in her younger years. While it might not be any new information, seeing it animated is quite lovely and welcoming!
Art - 8
The animation is rather brilliant with stunning visuals and great incorporation of CGI effects. The initial 'fight' sequence is a great example of brilliant anime battle choreography. The rest of the episode is also just as great as it makes great use of colors and visuals.
Sound - 9
Beautiful. From the background OST to the ending song, it simple is beautiful. The background soundtrack does a wonderful job conveying and setting the tone. The voice acting as well is exceptional especially with Rie Takahashi's being lovely as ever. This is not to say that the rest of the cast wasn't as good, they all played their characters really well.
Character - 7
The characters are pretty great. They feel natural and true to the game and gives us a great backstory to Mashu's development as a Designer Baby.
Enjoyment - 10
From the beginning to around 2/3rds of the runtime, it had been fairly good for the above-mentioned reasons...until the ending sequence. That's when my excitement as an FGO Player went through the roof! It truly was pure fan service to all Fate Grand Order fans. I had goosebumps throughout the whole duration of the sequence and was in true awe of what I was witnessing. Very unexpected but very welcomed!
At first, I was very skeptical of the production of the anime as the previous Fate Grand Order adaptations have been subpar but all those worries have been blown away by this prequel.
The purpose of this prequel is to generate hype and a sneak peek to what will be coming soon, and this prequel certainly did the job! From its initial eye-catching fight scene to the beautifully executed ending sequence, it did its job in that regard. I cannot wait for the anime to air in October!