Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Episode 11: Suspenseful bidding

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Gray comments on the complaints

Yeesh, this series really does enjoy its cliffhangers, doesn’t it? Anyway, it seems like we’re right up at the conclusion for this story. Given that this week’s episode ends with Waver seemingly pointing out a culprit, I wonder what is left for the last episode in the arc. Hephaestion’s story is still unresolved, so it could just be an extended battle.

Waver doesn't recognize Hephaestion

Well, Hephaestion’s comment about being a replica like Gray is becoming more interesting. I forgot that Waver saw all of Iskandar’s subjects, so he has more expertise here than I thought he did. Waver later acknowledges that she could just be using the name Hephaestion, so maybe there’s more to it.

Olga-Marie despises Waver

I get that Olga-Marie didn’t have the greatest relationship with her father, but this statement makes her incredibly pitiful. I can certainly understanding wanting to hear praise for your effort, but she’s not giving herself the best of representations.

Waver realizes Adashino was holding out

Adashino’s not making a great case for herself in this episode. As I’ve said before, I mostly see her as too obvious to be the culprit, so I have a hard time accepting it. However, the scene at the end of the episode certainly seems convincing. She seems to be activating something with Trisha’s head.

Waver makes an outrageous bid

The auction scene seemed a bit off to me. Waver puts effort into winning the auction only to effectively give it up in the end. Is there meant to be more to the bidding after his deduction? I get that he most likely needed to see how the auction played out to make his conclusion, but I wonder if the series will explain that. Stopping the auction seemed like a desperate play for him, which makes me wonder how much he actually has planned.

No head then dead

I mean, I guess this is what I should expect from a Fate show.


Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Episode 10: The nature of the crime

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Waver has a mental argument with Kayneth

It’s certainly starting to feel like the pieces of this mystery are coming together. It’s nice to see Waver back in action this week, since many of the characters seem somewhat hopeless without him. I’m not sure I’m totally on board with how the time manipulation is being used in this episode, but the way it’s invoked is interesting, at least. I don’t know if it’s because I inherently have trouble following this series, but I’m not sure I’m convinced of the culprit yet.

Waver wishes to see Iskandar again

I liked Waver’s mental argument with Kayneth, even if Kayneth isn’t my favorite character in the world. I think Waver has decent motivation for joining the Grail War again, even if he acknowledges that Iskandar wouldn’t recognize him. He just wants to prove that Iskandar had the qualifications to win all along.

Gray is a replica

I think I’m okay with the fact that the battle between Gray and Hephaestion just ends. I wonder if Hephaestion’s interactions with Gray are meant to parallel Iskandar’s past with Waver in some way. I’m curious about the fact that Hephaestion says that she and Gray are the same while commenting on Gray being a replica of Saber.

Trisha prepares for her death

Trisha’s involvement in her own death didn’t go the way I expected, but I like how it was used here. Adashino as a character seems to perpetually rub me the wrong way, but I do like the idea of Trisha attempting to hide her eyes even if she couldn’t avoid her death.

Waver asks for motive

I have trouble buying Adashino as the culprit, even if the series seems to be pointing at her. The scene cuts to her after Luvia mentions the “man without a heart” having a sister-in-law on the train, and she certainly seems to know too much. I definitely don’t buy Karabo as the culprit, since he seems to have no control over his eyes.

Melvin attempts to buy back the eyes

Well, that’s one way to solve the problem. Hey, Melvin’s here to be useful, right?

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Episode 9: Zombie chef

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Hephaestion questions Iskandar

Well, I guess the plot continues to thicken. This week’s episode seemed like a weird detour (a bit literally), but I suppose Waver needs some time to wake up. I think I can somewhat see things starting to come together, so I look forward to seeing how the series progresses.

Waver explains Invocation

I don’t know if I’m being unintentionally dense with this series, but I always find myself second-guessing my understanding after seeing the explanations. So, let me get this straight. Invocation is basically a budget version of the Servant summoning used in the Grail War that involves allowing the Heroic Spirit to temporarily possess a mage’s body. That certainly makes the identification of suspects more interesting.

Olga-Marie deduces Waver's intentions

I liked seeing Olga-Marie figure out Waver’s intentions on the Rail Zeppelin based on what she’s seen already. She’s pretentious, but at least she has a brain to back it up. I always find characters who go through that kind of deductive reasoning to be cool.

Shishigou talks with an old friend

Jean-Mario was a pretty funny character to introduce to the series. I wasn’t expecting Trisha’s death to be linked to a series of deaths from the past, but it certainly makes me feel better about suspecting her. That’s especially the case after hearing that Trisha also asked Jean-Mario about it. I’m sure it’ll just end up being revealed that she was independently looking for the culprit, but I can always hope.

Melvin makes his entrance

I have to hand it to Melvin. He makes a strong entrance. Yeesh, how did he even find the train?

Olga-Marie finds the secret spell

Hmm, this definitely looks like some sort of storage spell that was specifically intended for Olga-Marie to find. Given the comment about the precise coordinates of the spell within the train, it certainly seems like something that a person who could see the future might prepare. I’m just throwing that out there. I don’t know how Adashino is supposed to factor into this, though.

Gray resolves herself

Gray seems to be having a lot of fun out there. Add certainly seems to have some cool powers, so I’m curious to see more of their fight in next week’s episode.

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Episode 8: Old friends

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Mage killing is common

It looks like this arc is going to justify its length by balancing multiple stories at the same time. It’s probably still too early to tell how that will go, but it seems interesting so far. Waver seems to handle some of his Iskandar issues in this episode, so not too much time is devoted to main mystery. For whatever reason, it looks like the episode ends with Melvin deciding to join the story as well.

Karabo attempts to look into the past

Ah, isn’t this just always the case when you have a convenient power? It just fails to work for story reasons. That being said, I do like this idea of having a perpetrator who is invisible to time. I have no idea what it means, but it could be cool. I’m also wondering whether the same perpetrator is meant to be responsible for everything on this train. I think it’s better if it isn’t just one common culprit.

Adashino reveals her investigation results

I appreciate the story’s efforts to bring the side stories from earlier episodes back into the spotlight, but I really do hope the story doesn’t settle on a single person to explain every mystery. I think at least Iskandar’s mantle should be something different. Either that or the train itself is responsible for everything somehow.

Hephaestion attacks Waver

It wasn’t hard to guess that Hephaestion would be someone related to Iskandar, but her entrance was pretty cool. I’m not personally a fan of the warrior mentality in general, but I think she does a good job of challenging Waver in a meaningful way. She’s not just a powerful presence, since she also has some personal significance.

Waver holds Gray back

I also like that Waver personally faces off against Hephaestion after her speech. He’s generally a weak fighter, but he’s still willing to step in for his friend, even if it ends up injuring him in the end.

Shishigou discusses Kayneth with Luvia

I don’t really know what Luvia and Shishigou are doing on the side, but it’s fun to watch the two interact. I’ll be curious to see how that investigation eventually comes back to the main story.

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Episode 7: Murder on a train

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Waver is joined by the tech guy

It looks like we’re locked in to this story for a while. Looking back, I probably should have noticed that the full title for this series mentions Rail Zeppelin. This sketchy train for trafficking Mystic Eyes certainly explains why the series has spent so much time on them so far. I’ll be curious to see how Waver fares in a longer mystery story. He tends to solve things immediately, so I wonder how things will change up over six episodes.

Olga-Marie introduces herself

Most of this episode was spent introducing characters, so there’s not too much to comment on so far. It certainly seems like we’ll have plenty of suspects for this mystery. It’s also kind of hilarious that Olga-Marie is a familiar face despite the fact that I know very little about her character. Thanks for that, Fate/Grand Order.

Shishigou gets a request

It also looks like there will be a bit of a parallel story in this arc involving hidden support from Shishigou. I think it would be cool if this brought in the other side characters as well. Flat and Svin really didn’t get much more than an episode to do stuff in this series so far.

Olga-Marie proposes a deal

I’m admittedly not very versed with auctions, but I’m not sure how Olga-Marie’s recruitment of Waver helps her. Isn’t adding another bidder just a way to increase the final price? I suppose it’s a magic auction, so the rules could be anything.

Karabo sees Gray's past

So, this train has a set of Mystic Eyes to see the past and another set to see the future. I wonder if that’s supposed to be important or something. Karabo has certainly been suspicious throughout the episode. His dramatic entrance makes me think he’s just a distraction, but he was definitely listening in when Waver reads the letter from whoever stole Iskandar’s mantle.

Waver finds a body

Honestly, Trisha’s mysterious personality made me wonder if she’s the ultimate mastermind in this story. I suppose it’s still possible since her head was missing. However, it could just as easily mean that it was taken because of her Mystic Eyes.

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Episode 6: Adding too many toppings

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Luvia strikes an ojou-sama pose

Well, I don’t have too much to say about this episode. It’s largely a side story, focusing on Gray, Luvia, and Reines. I think it’s entertaining enough, but it largely felt like down time. It’s interesting to see more of Luvia, I suppose. I didn’t expect her to be a major character. The episode seems to end by setting up a larger story, so I’m curious to see where the series goes from here.

Gray is put into outfits

It’s a minor point, but I really question how this story is structured. The episode starts out with the girls in the middle of their crisis, and then goes back to tell the story of how they got there. I feel like this technique is generally intended to make you wonder a bit, but I didn’t get that sense while I was watching. I guess I question how much is really gained by doing it.

Gray and Luvia deal with Reines

That being said, I did enjoy watching Reines, Gray, and Luvia interact with each other. Luvia and Reines seem to have fairly similar personalities, so they clash well. Meanwhile, Gray feels like she’s stuck between them despite arguably being the strongest of the three.

Gray tries to figure out the situation

It’s also kind of nice to see Gray attempt to think like Waver in the situation. She doesn’t get all the way to the answer, but I think that makes sense. The mystery becomes more of a collaborative effort.

Trim learns some sketchy stuff

Trim’s outburst in this episode was surprisingly hilarious. I wasn’t expecting her to be anything more than background noise. It’s probably more hilarious than Luvia’s sudden wrestling moves, which are funny in their own way.

The mystery is solved

I do like that the reasoning behind the incident is addressed in the end. It’s a bit of a shaky conclusion, but I like that it fits with Gray’s initial deduction. I’m just not sure how I feel about a security system deeming the three girls as treasures that shouldn’t leave the store. I mean, it’s Luvia’s store, right? Why doesn’t this happen to her more often?

Granbelm Episode 5: A desperate wish

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Japanese is okay

Okay, this episode didn’t go where I thought it was going, and I feel like I enjoyed it more as a result. I think this episode did a lot to sell Mangetsu as a character. I had a fairly low opinion of her before this point. It also had some cool robot fights. That aside, it looks like next week’s episode might be making attempts to address Anna’s character issues. I sure hope she has a decent reason for being upset with Shingetsu.

Nene chooses to fight fairly

I definitely fell for the show’s trick in the previous episode. I was convinced that Nene would try to form a team with the main characters, but she had much more pride than I thought. I respect that she’s willing to recognize that she was everyone else’s target and choose to fight fairly despite that.

Mangetsu tries to track Nene

I do think that the fights in this series are interesting, but I question how they split the time between Granbelm and normal life. It’s starting to feel like the months just past by in an instant, which makes me question why the fights have to happen monthly in the first place. I get that the full moon has its own significance, but I feel like there should be more of a story element to it.

Kuon finds out about her sister

It’s strange to see Kuon struggle against a single enemy when she seemed to easily handle multiple opponents in her introduction. I’m sad that this fight didn’t get much development with Mangetsu’s fight against Nene taking most of the focus. I really liked the idea of splitting the mages up into smaller fights, but it felt more like they were drawing people away from Mangetsu.

Mangetsu awakens some power

Wow, Mangetsu’s powered-up mode has a sinister aesthetic to it. I’m actually all for this. The series seems to be portraying Mangetsu as a villain of sorts, and it makes a lot of sense. In this episode, we see that Nene has an innocent reason for joining the fight, wanting desperately to reconnect with her mother. In response, Mangetsu spends the episode hearing Nene’s calls for her mother and crushes her anyway.

Mangetsu looks menacing

I’m curious to see what Mangetsu’s real past looks like. So far, her main purpose is to stand out as someone special. It’s a pretty weak wish in comparison to Shingetsu or Nene. And since Mangetsu’s power come from the power of her wish, it makes me wonder if there’s a message behind it. Maybe the most selfish reasons are the strongest? I look forward to seeing what the show does with it.

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Episode 5: Fairy magic

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The group examines Waletta

I guess the extra episode is meant to show off more of the combat in this series. Honestly, I’m still not sure I’m convinced on the mystery aspect so far, but the series has been entertaining so far. I do like the general principle behind the mysteries, but I get a sense that too much is kept from the audience to make Waver look more impressive. It’s funny to see him in actual combat this week, though.

Waver speculates

It seems to me that most of these stories revolve around Waver immediately coming up with the right answer and spending most of the runtime proving himself. I don’t mind this approach, since it emphasizes evidence over just coming across the solution.

Gray's secret is revealed

I think Gray’s story is interesting, even if I also think it’s just a way to inject Saber (Arthur) into the story again. At least, she seems to have a legitimate reason for being a clone of Saber. It seems like that was actually her intended purpose.

Reines is used as a catalyst

Reines and Waver have a surprising amount of give-and-take in their relationship. Given how smug Reines tends to be, I’m totally okay with this.

Waver figures everything out

This again? How many of the mysteries in this series are going to be caused by the supposed victim? To be fair, the mysteries have some distinctions that give them their own layers, but it’s strange how similar they are at a fundamental layer. Maybe I’m just reacting more to the idea of researchers doing sketchy things.

Gray uses Rhongomyniad

Oh look, it’s discount Excalibur. That aside, I think my favorite part of this stormy fight was Shishigou’s interaction with Waver in the middle of the fight. In comparison to the other abilities used in the fight, Waver uses some fairly wimpy magic blasts.

Cop Craft Episode 4: And suddenly vampires

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Kei attempts to disarm the bomb

I honestly enjoy watching the dynamic of the main characters, but I have a hard time getting behind this show’s pacing. After an extended betrayal in the previous episode, this week’s episode largely forgets about it and resolves its main conflict in a few minutes. I think that this can be fine in some cases, but I got the impression that the “heavier” scenes in this episode didn’t have time to sink in.

Tilarna faces off against Zelada

I feel like I have too much trouble with the fight scenes in this series. The flames take up so much of the screen that it’s hard to tell where they’re hitting. It also seemed like Tilarna’s movements were a combination of stills and jumpy cuts. It seemed better than the previous episode, but that’s probably not saying too much.

Tilarna remembers her friend

I honestly feel that Leahyah’s sacrifice could have benefit from a bit more development. As it stands, her entire connection with Tilarna and her eventual sacrifice cover about a minute of run time. It’s hard to feel too bad about it. That being said, I did like the scene where Tilarna lies about Leahyah’s death to Kei. I’m not sure what to fully make of it, but my interpretation is that Kei basically knows what happened despite that.

Tilarna returns

So yeah…I guess we’re getting started on a completely new arc now. Cool? Casual Tilarna is pretty funny, to be honest. In all fairness, I understand her reasoning for staying. Zelada certainly doesn’t seem like the type of character who would die so easily.

Tilarna wonders about the mummy

Honestly, I look forward to seeing how Semania’s magical phenomena map to things on Earth. As it stands, I get the sense that there’s too much of a divide. Tilarna tends to throw out a lot of undefined magical terms, so I think it would be cool if they were just a different pathway of advancement.

Tilarna protects Cecil

Tilarna ends up building a funny relationship with Cecil, but I guess we’re right back into the swing of things. Cecil’s poor assistant sure got taken out quickly. I feel like I came out of the previous arc without much information about how Semanians work, so I hope to see more of it in this vampire story.

Granbelm Episode 4: First in line

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Kuon schools Anna

I’m enjoying the character stories that this series seems determined to tell, but I think they’ve been fairly superficial so far. This week’s battle once again ends much sooner than I expected, so I’m curious to see what the series does with the extra time in the real world. The fights in this episode were cool, but the battle royale aspect of it made it pretty chaotic.

Nene remembers her mother

I feel like we didn’t get too much information about Nene’s past in this episode. It felt to me like the episode was giving us just enough to know that she’s the first character that the series will focus on. I guess we can gather that her mother was an advocate of hiding magical abilities, and that it was probably related to why she abandoned Nene.

Anna gets more upset

I’m still not sure how I feel about Anna as a character. I get the sense that she will become sympathetic in the future, but I’m not seeing any proof that my initial evaluation of her issues was false. On the other hand, we got a brief moment with Shingetsu in this episode where she seemed to be apologizing. So, I wonder if Shingetsu’s story is just that she wanted to be close with Anna, but she ended up making Anna resent her in her efforts.

The fight rages on

It’s mentioned a couple of times in this episode, but I find it interesting that the characters reference a “larger fight” at the beginning of the Granbelm. Just how many mages participated in it? This revelation almost makes me feel less sympathetic for Mangetsu and Kuon, who seem to have avoided the hard part.

Kuon introduces herself

I’m surprised that the alliances are forming so quickly, but it certainly makes things more fun. I’m hoping that this development breaks the chaos of large-scale fight. I think it would be a great way to validate the combat so far. Also, I guess Kuon could be easily explained as a replacement if we find out that her sister was one of the initial participants in Granbelm.

Nene does some recon

Next week’s episode isn’t looking great for Nene. The fact that we’re getting into her backstory probably means that she’s the first to go. The preview makes it look like Mangetsu will find out about Nene’s true wish, and she’ll feel sorrow when Nene fails in her attempt to get it. Nene painted a large target on herself in this episode, so it makes a lot of sense.

Mangetsu is the chosen one

Excuse me while I pretend to look shocked.