Fate/Apocrypha Episode 25: We made it!

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Okay, let’s finish off this last remnant from the fall season before starting the new stuff. While this ending wasn’t great, it was better than I expected. For many of the scenes, I found myself thinking I could live with that explanation, which is something I don’t think I say often for this series.

First off, let’s deal with Semiramis. While I was annoyed that she survived, her final scene with Shirou was one of the scenes that I accepted as fine. She briefly explains why she fell in love with Shirou, and the explanation wasn’t terrible (that he saw her as a partner rather than a pretty face). Also, I assume her final line is some reference to the real Semiramis that I didn’t get.

So…just don’t direct resources to the immortality wish? Problem solved? I’m sure there’s some rule about magic in this world where you can’t easily stop a spell in progress without additional effort.

The episode also did the thing where the character says something that’s intentionally kept quiet until a few moments have passed. I always get annoyed when I see that.

Is the “Reverse Side of the World” something that’s established in the Fate world? I’m not super familiar with all of the lore in the series, so I don’t recognize it. But it’s brought up as the solution as though anyone should know about it, so I can only assume that it’s an established place.

As for Jeanne and Sieg’s ending, I want to be upset about it, but I can somewhat accept it. It was literally the first scene in the series, after all. I also don’t know enough about this reverse world to know whether it’s possible for a dead Servant to appear in it anyway.

Final Score: 6/10 Could have been worse…it had its moments and some of the characters were solid.

Fate/Apocrypha Episode 24: Battle of the blurs

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I find it really depressing how far this series is willing to go to make Sieg the main character. At this point, Astolfo, Siegfried, Fran, and Jeanne have basically been tossed to the side to give Sieg the spotlight for no real reason. This episode was truly rough to watch.

Jeanne got through her issues surprisingly quickly. I was expecting at least an episode of agonizing, but Sieg’s arrival was enough to fix her.

Honestly, I really want to agree with Shirou’s plan, but it seems so poorly explained. As far as I can tell, it’s a pretty simple “get rid of all human suffering” plan with very little thought behind it. Maybe there’s more information in the light novel or something, but it seems like the series focuses too much on the result of his plan rather than the mechanism.

This attack looked really awesome for how ineffective it ended up being. Also, the fact that this scene looked great made it even more frustrating that the sword fight didn’t look great.

Sigh…why did Semiramis have to live?

I’d be more willing to accept Fran’s return if there had been some kind of hint at it. Sure, Sieg got electrocuted by her, but I’m pretty sure that was written off at the time as just a means to revive him. Having the scene suddenly become relevant again just seems cheap. Maybe you could call it pandering to the fans.

Fate/Apocrypha Episode 23: Identity problems

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All in all, I felt like this episode was pretty interesting. While it’s sad that Mordred and Sisigo were almost entirely sidelined in this series, their last stand was a lot better than I expected. I was pretty worried when the fight started with Mordred getting slapped around by Semiramis.

Aww…Mordred just wanted to help her father. I think I’m fine with this.

Also, isn’t it a bit weird that both Semiramis and Jack the Ripper used poison gas as a weapon?

In the end, how much did we really know about Sisigo? He worked well with Mordred in pretty much every scene that depicted the two, but I feel like he was just there as cannon fodder. Still, I can very much accept Mordred’s death as going down with her partner.

I’m not fully sure I understood the ending, though. My take was that Jeanne had fallen for Sieg despite her resolve to treat all people equally as a saint. She probably blamed everything she felt along the way on Leticia, but she actually had her own feelings for Sieg. And when Shakespeare reveals the inconsistency, it breaks her. I suppose the girl apologizing in the end is Leticia. It’s really hard to keep track.

Fate/Apocrypha Episode 22: Pretty hype

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I’m really not anywhere near knowledgeable when it comes to animation, but I would say that the animation in this episode made the fights kinda hard to follow for me. I think there are good scenes to be found in the fight, but I felt like too much was covered with explosions and crumbling debris (even if I understand that it provides hype).

It’s kind of a shame that we didn’t see much of Karna before this point because he seemed like a pretty interesting Servant overall. The reveal at the end that he’s colloquially considered to be a Hero of Charity was a nice surprise. It explains why he’s so willing to save his former Master and why he was so adamant about fulfilling his promise to Siegfried.

I mean…I’m kinda with Ruler on this one. This is the oldest villain promise in the book. “Join me and together we shall rule the world.” Why the heck does Semiramis believe this?

So with regards to the fight itself, I want to give a specific example of a scene I liked but had trouble seeing. With this attack in particular, Karna throws his flame-shrouded lance at Sieg. Sieg manages to sidestep it and slice the flames away with Balmung. To me, this is a really cool sequence, but I feel like it gets lost under all of the flashy attacks.

I really should have expected that Shakespeare would be the final boss.

Fate/Apocrypha Episode 21: The great war rages on

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This week’s episode was more entertaining than a lot of the previous ones have been, but I wonder if it’s just because more stuff was happening. I still think the episode runs into issues with figuring out where it wants to put its focus. And while the highlight of the episode may have been the fight between Achilles and Chiron, I felt like that fight relied a bit too much on sound over visuals to make its point.

Am I really supposed to feel for Achilles here? It’s not like he’s the only Servant to ever get a scene like this.

Look, I know we need to give Shakespeare a decent role in this final fight, but a new moon means that the moon is still there. I’d understand if it was some sort of loophole, but it doesn’t strike me as something that would be as obvious as Shakespeare seems to think.

There’s definitely a lot to like about this fight. The extent of the fight seemed to give it meaning and I really liked the way that Chiron fought, especially when he uses the scarf against Achilles. It makes it a bit more annoying that he lost, but I can understand the typical “student surpasses the teacher” message.

It seems a bit weird to cripple your enemy right after you ask him for a favor.

Okay then, Atalanta. Let’s get this over with?

Fate/Apocrypha Episode 20: Beginning of the end

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This finale is starting to look a lot like the mid-season finale, an extended skirmish between Yggdmillennia and the Hanging Gardens. Still, we’re in the final stretch, right?

While the fight scenes still seem pretty sketchy, there were two moments that I thought were really cool. The first was the one where Archer of Black used airplane to roll over on Rider of Red. And second was Ruler deflecting Archer of Red’s attack to block the second one. These definitely made the fight more bearable.

Hey, remember that plot point from the last episode that seemed pretty important? That whole deal where Rider didn’t know the true name of his Noble Phantasm? Yeah, it turns out that was actually no big deal at all…

Given that Sieg basically confessed that he was prepared to die earlier in this episode, this point seems a bit moot. I guess it’s just meant to show how much Ruler cares…

It must really suck to be Shakespeare. He contributes basically nothing so far, and he gets bullied anyway.

I’m not even gonna pretend like I know what this means. But hey…Heaven’s Feel was mentioned, am I right?

Fate/Apocrypha Episode 18: Break time

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I guess this week’s episode was cooling down from the Jack interlude and preparing for the final fight. I guess the only exciting part of this episode was the Astolfo reveal, but the internet has already systematically made sure I knew about that already. There’s also the continuation of the Sieg struggle, which I’m not sure was necessary.

I can’t really be bothered to look back through the episodes leading up to this point, but was it ever suggested that Astolfo wasn’t fighting with a real Noble Phantasm? This reveal seemed really random and I was pretty convinced that it was just put here to randomly give Astolfo a purpose. Wonder if I missed something…

I didn’t have problems with Sieg’s doubts from last week, but they felt overblown in this week’s episode. I guess I was expecting him to investigate these things more subtly, but he has a full-blown conversation with Saber of Red of all people. Talk about unproductive.

Yeah, this whole sibling thing was set up, but I wasn’t really interested in it. When I saw the shadow fall over Caules in this scene, I was honestly wondering if the Hanging Gardens had suddenly appeared outside of the castle. That would have been pretty funny…

Did Sieg realize that Ruler’s into him? I sure hope that’s what this line meant.

Fate/Apocrypha Episode 18: Random interlude done

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I’m really struggling with this Jack story. It might have been better with a bit more information, but I couldn’t see it as much more than an excuse to split the party. I had way too much questions about why characters were behaving the way they were. The random scene at the end where Shakespeare basically says “and now back to the story” was pretty funny because of how true it was…

Atalanta’s the big culprit in this episode. The opening of the episode explained that her dream for the Grail comes from the fact that she was abandoned as a child, but it doesn’t explain why she completely turns on Jeanne. If Artemis treated her well, I don’t see why she would have so much resentment bottled up. Why was she so viscerally offended by the fact that Jeanne wanted to destroy the kids that made up Jack? The only explanation I could muster was that Jack brainwashed her, but Jack was willing to accept death in the end.

And on that note, why did the kids change their mind? From my perspective, I saw Atalanta and Jeanne arguing about what the right thing to do was, and suddenly a child walks forward ask if there’s any other way. Then, they just accept when Jeanne says “no”. That scene kinda cheapened the background to me, making me think that the only reason it was there was to force Atalanta to hate Jeanne.

Still, there was one part of the episode that I liked, which was surprisingly Sieg’s scene. The fact that he’s a homunculus that has only seen the benevolence of humans is used well when he’s shown the suffering of London in Jack’s past. His response makes sense when he questions why humans can act in this ways, because he’s rightfully surprised to see it. I just wish that there was more to Jeanne’s response. I kinda want to know why she accepts human cruelty so easily.

Fate/Apocrypha Episode 17: Zombies?

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I guess the Jack train is still rolling. Still, most of this episode’s first half seemed like a simple excuse to force Ruler and Sieg together some more. I’m not convinced by the “decoy” plan because Ruler immediately returns to being a Servant at the first hint of the acid mist. At least try to confirm that Jack is there first…

Still, the contrast between Shiro and Jeanne wasn’t bad. Shiro’s declaration that he threw away his hatred of humanity makes me think he channeled it into his current plan. On the other hand, Jeanne doesn’t forgive humanity, but instead understands why they turned against her.

Question: why wouldn’t Sieg be worried about Leticia? Jeanne is kinda taking advantage of her and sticking her into a dangerous situation. Isn’t that a bit messed up?

Semiramis is definitely not copying Medea here by falling in love with her Master. She’s obviously an Assassin, so it’s completely different!

I would totally care about this death if this character had gotten more than a single sentence of backstory.

I guess I’m supposed to conclude from the continuous use of plural pronouns that Jack the Ripper is actually an amalgamation of the street kids from this scene. If Jack only said “we”, I would think that she just has some strange attachment to her former friends. However, other characters refer to Jack as “they”, so there’s clearly more to it. This is why we can’t have nice things, translators.

Fate/Apocrypha Episode 16: Very spooky

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I’m trying to decide whether the flow of events in this series makes any sense, and I’m having a really hard time. These past few episodes have made me feel like someone said “oh, we haven’t talked about X yet, so let’s just throw it here”. In this situation, Jack the Ripper’s entrance almost seemed like a convenience given that they have three days before they assault the Hanging Gardens.

If I had to point to one thing that I liked in this episode, it would be Jack’s ability to keep her identity hidden. I really wasn’t expecting an ability like that and I think it’s cool.

However, that ability is deeply contrasted by the acid mist. It’s probably the most frustrating ability I’ve seen because it seems to just work whenever the story wants it to work. In some scenes, a character will cover his or her mouth and still get affected by the acide. In other scenes, characters will blatantly breathe it in and be okay. Make up you mind.

This might be another case where I just missed something obvious, but I was hoping for a bit more setup for the fact that Jack’s true aim was to invade the castle. I know it was mentioned that the dead mages were linked to the Yggdmillenia family, but that’s all I saw.

As for the whole situation with Sieg’s arm, I really don’t care that much. As far as I can tell, it’s just a way to tell us that Sieg is not surviving until the end unless something completely dumb saves him. He basically has multiple points of failure now between the Command Spell that should never be used and the power that’s slowly killing him.