Random Curiosity

Fate/EXTRA Last Encore – 02 »

Fate/EXTRA Last Encore – 01

「今は旧き辺獄の底 プレテリトゥス・リンブス・ヴォラーゴ」 (Ima wa Furuki Hengoku no Soko -Pureteritusu Rinbusu Voraago-)
“The Present Lies in the Depths of the Past -Praeteritus Limbus Vorago-”

The original Fate/Extra for the PSP was Type Moon’s first foray into the role-playing game spinoff, created in partnership with Marvelous Entertainment. And I hate to say it, but it was not the kind of videogame that I would necessarily call, er, ‘good’. No no, it was a worthy addition to the all-consuming Fate/ franchise, but it was a very flawed game. It was developed at a time when ATLUS was doing very well with Persona 3 and Persona 4, so there was this industry pressure to make JRPGs with high schoolers crawling through dungeons without really understanding what made Persona successful. So, out popped Fate/Extra, which did all the story-centric, visual novel stuff that Type Moon was familiar with well enough, but choked on the gameplay. Dungeons were basically just mazes with textures, enemy design was minimalistic outside of boss fights, and the combat system failed to be interesting for all but one of the three playable characters. Type Moon’s head writer Nasu Kinoko still wrote a fairly good story with some fairly neat characters for Fate/Extra, but the gameplay could not reach the same heights and ultimately dragged it down a peg.

For a videogame, this is crippling. For an anime adaptation, though, this is actually rather promising.

In the preview I mentioned that Nasu is personally writing this anime, and even if you haven’t played the source game you may have heard that Nasu is going to be rewriting. I suspect that Nasu is doing this not just because he changes his canon more than he changes his socks, but also because Fate/Extra the game fundamentally does not work as an anime. The gameplay is too artificial, too abstract and really not that interesting to watch even if converted to anime form. So, it needs to be excised, and I guess Nasu will just write over any holes that may be left from the surgery. This is actually a good way to do things; it’s very difficult to translate game mechanics to a non-interactive medium like anime, and the most successful videogame adaptations prefer to strip out the mechanics entirely, take only the fluff, and build on that from scratch. Keep the spirit of the source, and use it to create something new.

The end result for Last Encore is that it may well be as unfamiliar to those who have played the original game as it is to those who are only encountering the Fate/ franchise for the first time. For those familiar with the franchise and its motifs, there are many familiar faces, but there is something off with them and nothing is quite right. For those joining us for the first time, this entire pilot is off. This is not the usual high school setting. This setting does not conform to the reality we’re familiar with (and nobody knows how to play the chess we’re familiar with). And the fact that all of the characters take the madness in stride just makes everything all the more uncanny. It’s obvious now why SHAFT was the studio chosen to adapt Fate/Extra; the surrealist style of Madoka Magica and the Monogatari Series is a perfect fit for this world. And they may be a surprisingly good fit for Nasu’s writing style, too. If you’ve read any of Nasu’s works, you know it: he totally wrote this episode. The heavy-handed internal monologues, the exposition cut with strong doses of cryptic nonsense, the tortuous use of language that drive translators insane — these are his hallmarks. But if there’s one crew that can turn Nasu’s twisted prose into something visual, it’s the veteran staff of SHAFT.

I’ve played the game and can mostly tell what’s going on, but I still found this pilot to be a welcomed fresh take on the Fate/ formula. I’d love to hear how anime-only viewers found the artillery barrage of weirdness they were bombarded with this episode. Either way, though, this is an interesting start to any anime. The mystery is thick here, and nothing hooks viewers like mystery. Yet, they still managed to squeeze in the boy meets girl angle in the tail end for those who need something more traditional to anchor the narrative. It’s definitely not a show that should be judged with a single episode. And that’s the best case that a pilot can ever make.

Standard warning, folks: tag your spoilers. Thanks.

 

ED0.01 Sequence

ED (but actually the OP): 「Bright Burning Shout」 by 西川貴教 (Nishikawa Takanori)

End Card

January 28, 2018 at 11:19 am
39 comments »
  • January 28, 2018 at 11:30 amKurisu Vi Britannia

    Fateogatari.

  • January 28, 2018 at 12:05 pmseregios

    Played the game too way back. Tbh, it is kinda confusing. I guess, that was Nasu plan all along when he wrote the script.

    • January 28, 2018 at 5:43 pmAlexis

      This isn’t based on the game. It’s part of the same universe and shares characters but the original PSP game was written by someone else (Nasu wrote the sequel that didn’t release in English though). Nasu who wrote F/SN, Tsukihime, Kara no Kyoukai, wrote this series as something new but sharing elements from the games.

      • January 29, 2018 at 12:18 amPasserby

        Pretty sure Nasu wrote Fate/Extra. He’s credited with the scenario, at any rate. This anime is definitely based on the game, though not strictly.

    • January 29, 2018 at 6:04 amJeremyTMH

      This feels more like they’re plugging the holes to link to Extella later. Extella’s story is after Extra but some of the events mentioned in the Extella game I definitely know never occurred in the original Extra. So yea its a reboot.

      • January 29, 2018 at 8:33 amPasserby

        Every time Nasu gets to write a sequel — Kagetsu Tohya, Melty Blood, hollow ataraxia, Extella — he makes up a whole new canon built out of whatever he liked from each of the divergent routes and random ideas he came up with at 3:00 in the morning. Every entry of a franchise retcons the one before it, and Extella is no different. Last Encore is probably going to be the new canon Extella was built on.

  • January 28, 2018 at 12:26 pmbassgs435

    All I’ll say is that red Saber is best girl. I love her even if other people don’t

    • January 31, 2018 at 10:44 amsnappycow

      UMU

  • January 28, 2018 at 1:39 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    So Red Saber finally gets an animation. Maybe now they could make another Carnival Phantasm and finally have her on “full time” rather than just a single minute-long cameo in an episode preview, along with the Fate/Apocrypha cast, lol.

  • January 28, 2018 at 1:54 pmRictek

    and now every week my dose of UMU will make me feel better each day until sunday

  • January 28, 2018 at 1:55 pmMasterDragonKnight

    I hope we get to see more of the female Hakuno than just the prologue. Also, hoping that Tamamo makes an appearance in the future.

  • January 28, 2018 at 2:22 pmfragb85

    I mentioned that Nasu is personally writing this anime

    Ugh… I can tell already. The Mushroom Eggplant’s fingerprints are all over the dialogue. Especially the tendency to use purple prose and long exposition dialogues. While he’s really good at building worlds and characters, I question if he should be penning the script for an anime cour. It’s not the same as writing for a VN or LN.

    I will say though that SHAFT is the perfect studio for this, since EXTRA often delves to surreal images to portray is digital world.

    • January 28, 2018 at 5:58 pmAlexis

      If you don’t like the way it’s written, don’t watch.

      Personally I absolutely love it and think the writing and pacing is really well done. It makes a nice change from all the formulaic fare that airs every season and refuses to try anything new.

      If Apocrypha was written by Nasu it would have been far less dull. If this was written by someone else it probably would have been awful; nearly everyone that’s worked on writing spinoff content for the universe has done a mediocre job.

  • January 28, 2018 at 3:33 pmGreed

    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2003.jpg
    Was really happy to see Show Spoiler ▼

    once. However, sad she wasn’t given at least one speaking line.

    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2008.jpg
    Shinji has a girlfriend?! That is news to me. Would like to know if that girl will play a BIG role in this anime.

  • January 28, 2018 at 7:44 pmboingman

    And here I was starting to believe that this Fate’s Shinji was a good guy. :D
    Guess that girl at the beginning was (Red) Saber’s previous master that lost in a previous cycle? Though I don’t what Saber was fighting against.

    • January 31, 2018 at 2:17 amJHN

      It’s a fundamental Fate rule. Shinji is shit.

  • January 28, 2018 at 8:54 pmWanderer

    I admit I was hoping for female protagonist on this one. Something other than just going the generic route. Oh well. At least we’ve got Red Saber, a cute Rin, and can undoubtedly expect Shinji to suffer some horrible (and well-deserved) fate in the near future.

  • January 29, 2018 at 12:45 amAngelus

    SHAAAAFT… ON!

    I’ve seen lots of Nasuverse anime and lots of SHAFT anime, but I never imagined that these two worlds would collide. The overall effect was quite unsettling, though, as it felt like I was constantly shuttling between Monogatari, Madoka and Dance in the Vampire Bund. Maybe that was a deliberate attempt to evoke the MC’s feelings of dissociation though, in which case it was very successful.

  • January 29, 2018 at 3:53 amVelvet Scarlantina

    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2007.jpg
    Emiya Shiro 2.0
    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2008.jpg
    Matou Shinji 2.0
    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2012.jpg
    Rin Tohsaka 2.0
    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2013.jpg
    Sakura Tohsaka… err… Matou 2.0
    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2030.jpg
    Emiya Shiro the Stone Stature

    Welp… All check.

    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2041.jpg
    Ah yes… Must not forget Kotomine Kirei

    Except for Shinji, Rin and Sakura, I like the character design though the eyes for our famous 3 is just plain weird.

    I like Hakuno’s design better than Seig the Homunculus and the fight scene seems less derpy than A1′s Fate. Sorry can’t help it. I’m pretty much spoiled by UFOStay-Night and Feitomonogatari.

    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2006.jpg
    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2027.jpg
    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2025.jpg
    Just so to be sure… Are we REALLY SURE that The Butcher is not the one writing this?

    • January 29, 2018 at 5:54 amPasserby

      Fate/ was already a bloody franchise long before Zero. This is Nasu, after all, who wrote Kara no Kyoukai, which was about murder, and Tsukihime, which was about murder and vampires. He’s not one to shy from gruesome body counts.

  • January 29, 2018 at 3:53 amdewgong

    I had no idea what’s going on but this is like FATE in SAO universe or something?

    • January 29, 2018 at 5:55 amPasserby

      They’ll probably do a lot of explaining next episode. Stay tuned.

  • January 29, 2018 at 9:22 amChoya

    I wonder what changes they’ll make from the original game, especially with how unusual Shinji is in this adaptation so far, and the level of contempt Hakuno hold in his heart as he’s put through the ringer. From the looks if it, this particular Fate series seems like a great fit for SHAFT to try their hands at. I do like Tamamo alot, but I’m looking forward to seeing how Nero fares as Takuno’s main servant.

  • January 29, 2018 at 1:20 pmYanDaMan

    Cant get used to these faces. Nero looks like she’s 10 years old. I guess its hard trying to copy the same art style as the Fate Extra servants and translating them into anime format.

    • January 29, 2018 at 3:08 pmVelvet Scarlantina

      I don’t mind if Shaft got Akio Watanabe to make them look like Monogatari.

      • January 31, 2018 at 11:03 amYanDaMan

        Yeah, Monotagari’s artstyle looks way better than what they did her honestly. Should’ve just stuck to that.

  • January 29, 2018 at 7:15 pmamiluhur

    I was really awed by the opening song of this series. It just feels so different from other fate anime where it’s always the catchy beat type like Lisa or the eerie, melodious tone of Kalafina. But this one, it’s the loud and hotblooded voice of a male singer that’s usually reserved for shonen anime. It’s so refreshing to be honest.

  • January 29, 2018 at 7:59 pmSkarfang81

    Man I was so happy with this opening episode. This is exactly the kind of weirdness that I want from SHAFT too (one of my favourite production houses).

    Cant wait to see how they go with this.

    Umu.

  • January 30, 2018 at 8:14 pmRedRocket

    Fate uses the multi-universe nature to often change the rules because it is a different universe. Also in the story, the unreliable narration is the normal way information is given out on how things work. Unreliable narration example in original Fate story is Show Spoiler ▼

    Often except for Nasu comments actual rules are carefully made not as certain as you think they are by either having a character say them or the printed material supposedly being generated in-universe. This allows like in science for prior known facts to change with more information. Using characters and in-universe sources for how things work is something authors should normally do. It keeps the author from painting themselves into a corner and often makes things more real not less as in the real world the facts often are incomplete or not fully understood.

  • January 31, 2018 at 1:04 amDorian S.

    From the looks of things, it seems that Nasu’s building the blocks early for Extella. However, if that’s the case, this might mean all four games (new game to the series is coming) may have been given the okay. Especially with that intro ‘dream’ sequence.

    Umu for Last/Encore!

    It is good civilization.

    …for those who don’t what I mean by it is good civilization, you are just going to have to wait for Fate/Extella Last Encore. :p

  • February 1, 2018 at 9:22 amToto

    Wasn’t terribly impressed, but let me try and put my thoughts together:

    * Putting aside the fact that I’m not the type to get especially butthurt when these adaptations invariably use the male protagonist (I think it’s pretty clear that most game stories of this ilk were conceived and/or written with a male protagonist in mind and a female is added to allow for player preference), that initial sequence with Show Spoiler ▼

    getting killed was kind of unnecessarily mean towards those who prefer her.

    * Said sequence also spoiled Show Spoiler ▼

    Hakuno was effectively a lost lamb, motivated in the prologue this episode parallels by the fact that he instinctively knew something was wrong with the school scenario he was living in and wanted to find out the truth. Yet in LE we have a Hakuno who is motivated by… the fact that he hates everybody? Way to turn a sympathetic character into one who I can’t help but think probably deserved to get purged.

    * Speaking of purging, let’s talk about Show Spoiler ▼

    Show Spoiler ▼

    ? Lame.

    As I said at the top, I wasn’t terribly impressed. I understand that adapting source material from one media to another at a 1:1 ratio is almost never a good idea (and is rarely even a plausible one, given the nature of interactive versus noninteractive media), but in my mind, this is less a matter of “I don’t like this because it isn’t like the game” and more one of “I disagree with the choice of changes made.” That said, I’ll hang on for at least a couple of more episodes to see if Shinbo can pull something I like out of this.

  • February 1, 2018 at 8:31 pmKF

    • February 2, 2018 at 1:32 pmToto

      The female version of the main character from the game.

  • February 2, 2018 at 1:56 pmWorldwidedepp

    Quick Question: The Saber here is Show Spoiler ▼

    • February 2, 2018 at 2:11 pmToto

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Grand Order Spoiler: Show Spoiler ▼

    • February 5, 2018 at 11:42 amWorldwidedepp

      Ups!.. Sorry.. and thanks.. (The admin knows what i mean). my fault

  • February 2, 2018 at 5:25 pmRed Velvet is Chocolate

    I was hoping Fem. Hakuno was going to be a rival master:-( This anime is making enemies out of its female fanbase so far (and it’s only the first episode!)