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I’ll say upfront that I did watch the prequel episode that was released before this episode last week, so I’ll probably be incorporating comments on that episode into this impressions posts. This premiere makes me feel like that’s going to be necessary, since it focuses so much on setting Waver up. It’s been a long time since I watched Fate/Zero, but I’ll try my best with this one.
As you may have guessed, this series follows Waver Velvet, one of the surviving participants of the Fourth Grail War (which was depicted in Fate/Zero). After the events of that war, Waver has taken up the title left by his former mentor, Lord El-Melloi, as he seeks to honor the life that was saved by Iskandar.
It’s hard to judge what the series will be like based solely on the first episode, which is a more story-driven depiction of how Waver comes to his current title. But if the prequel episode is meant to be any indication, this series will likely be split into arcs based on “cases” that Waver must solve.
For the most part, this episode looked pretty good. It did a decent job of setting Waver up for his new life, incorporating aspects from its predecessor. I liked how Waver is generally portrayed. As Lord El-Melloi II, he often has a “tough guy” exterior, but this episode makes it clear that he’s the same person we saw in the Grail War.
The story of the episode itself felt somewhat incomplete. Perhaps I’m just forgetting too much from other Nasuverse shows, but I feel like a lot of information is lost in random magic technobabble. It’s interesting that he chooses to destroy the tomb of his friend, Iskandar, rather than let random mages desecrate it, but I would have liked to get more insight into why he made that decision.
I did like Waver’s motivations surrounding the El-Melloi class, though. Even if he disagreed with his former teacher, the concept of the class was still valid. So, he chooses to continue the class in a way he sees fit. It’s a reasonable motivation to push him forward.
In the end, I’m mostly curious what to expect from this series. I’d honestly be okay with random popcorn mysteries surrounding magical phenomena. However, I think it would be more intriguing if they were building towards something. Reines seems to suggest that they’re generally meant to bolster the El-Melloi family, so I guess there’s that.