I just recently finished this Fate series and I must say, I really really like this one. I haven’t seen much of the previous Fate series other than the spin-off Fate kaleid & Carnival Phantasm, so choosing this one as my entry point of the Fate series seemed to be one of the best decision I made last year.
Fate Apocrypha follows a different set of characters, in a different timeline/storyline. I think the only similarities of this one to the other Fate series would be the Holy Grail, and most of the rules in their war. It’s very interesting.
Many years later, the magi clan Yggdmillennia announces its possession of the Holy Grail, and intends to leave the Mage’s Association. In response, the Association sends 50 elite magi to retrieve the Grail; however, all but one are killed by an unknown servant. The lone survivor is used as a messenger to convey Yggdmillennia’s declaration of war on the Association.
As there are only two parties involved in the conflict, the Holy Grail War takes on an unusual form. Yggdmillennia and the Mage’s Association will each deploy seven master-servant pairs, and the side that loses all its combatants first will forfeit the artifact. As the 14 masters summon their servants and assemble on the battlefield, the magical world shivers in anticipation with the rise of the Great Holy Grail War.
I’ll be honest, I had very low expectations to this series. I really didn’t expect that I would like this one very very much. I didn’t expect I would invest a lot of time and feels to this Fate spinoff. It took me by surprise. Damn. I mean, this is a freakin’ A1- Pictures’ take of a Fate series, I think everyone expected this to be mediocre. Infairness, it holds up pretty well, especially the 2nd half of the series. I’ll explain that more later, let us first talk about the story itself.
The story is very interesting. The Fate series is quite known in the anime community, so I kinda know some of the important points about a Fate series. Fate/Apocrypha, in some ways, is the same with the previous Fate series. It follows the ‘survival competition to obtain the Holy Grail’ thing, and the ‘master & servant’ thing too. What made it very unique compared to the other series in the Fate Universe were the double amount of master & servant and rather than all of them going all out killing each other, they first are part of a team. The winning team would have their masters and servants battle against each other. This premise itself made me intrigued and interested. I do have some problems with the pacing of the series. It sometimes feel too slow, other times its too fast. I couldn’t count how many times my eyebrows almost touched each other. LOL. Its not really bad or very noticeable, it was abit irritating on my part.
The thing I like the most in the wholes series would be the characters. Each and every one of them are very distinct and easily to be remembered. And bruh, they are so fuckin’ many, but each and one of them surely left a mark in the series. At first, my fav character in the series was Mordred, but when the 2nd half of the story started, I see more of Ruler and how much rich her character was. First of all, I am a christian (not that I’m bragging, I’m just sayin’ it cuz I find it relevant to the topic, Lel) so I’m quite exposed to the life of the ‘saints’ and Joan of Arc’s story was one of the memorable ones. I really really like how her heroic story was intergrated in the main story itself, well not only hers but also the others….but mainly hers. I got to understand her more and it made me realize how much she loves humanity even after what they did to her. She’s…amazing. I still do like Mordred and her being so badass, but she became a side character in the 2nd half that it was hard to keep on eye on her. At least though she always leaves a huge impression everytime she shows up on screen. Those are my favs, now for my not-so-fond-of characters. Well, there is only one, and that is Sieg. He’s so bland, boring and too empty. I do understand that he’s a homunculus, but still, it was hard to watch him sometimes. Another thing I don’t like thats related to him would be the fact that he becomes too OP near the end. It was both reasonable and unreasonable. I do get it, I get how he becomes that powerful, but….uuuuggggghhhhh….that’s just me. At least seeing him struggle about humanity was nice to watch. He thought alot of good, real and definite questions about humanity. It also gave me an insight and a moment to think about stuff.
The art & animation though. Well, if you think of Fate, you would definitely remember the ufotable’s take of the franchise, those glorious animation. Eyegasms to the highest level. With studio A1-Pictures handling the Apocrypha project, I definitely expected it to be different in so many ways. And it did. The art & animation was inconsistent. There were some questionable character designs and out of nowhere burst of amazing animation, especially in the 2nd half of the series. I wouldn’t mind much, to be honest, but to do it s couple of times consecutively is a bit…uuuhhhh…disturbing my watching experience. I do hope everything would be ironed out in the DVD/BD release. Though I do want to point out that those amazing fight scenes in the last battle were very superb and definite eyegasms, I wish that those ‘amazingness’ was added too in the previous fight scenes. It would have been better.
Overall, this whole series is really good. I think despite the flaws, watching this series was still an experience to be remembered. There so many good scenes that you could easily overlook the bad stuff about the series. Definitely worth a try.
PS: Before I forget, I do want to mention how disappointed I am about the Ruler v Ruler fight scene in the last few episodes. I thought they would show an epic battle between Joan & Shirou but what I got was a short-lived and unsatisfying scenes. Rulers were supposed to be awesome. Tsk, tsk.