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Fate/EXTRA Last Encore – 03 »« Fate/EXTRA Last Encore – 01

Fate/EXTRA Last Encore – 02

OP Sequence

OP: 「Bright Burning Shout」 by 西川貴教 (Nishikawa Takanori)

「死相 -デッドフェイス-」 (Shisou -Deddofeisu-)
“Dead Face”

Regular viewers of anime may have noticed that episode twos tend to slow down somewhat. After a no doubt riveting pilot designed to hook viewers quickly, the second episode usually pulls back to do the setup required to actually take the story in any meaningful direction — setup often skipped in the pilot in favour of more action, drama, glitter, or whatever it is that the anime is relying on to wow the audience. It’s a common technique, even outside of anime; start with a slice of Act II, the interesting stuff, and fill in Act I, the busywork, at some later point.

So, in this episode of Fate/EXTRA Last Encore: exposition! There’s the stuff we expect, like formally introducing Saber (Tange Sakura, intent on making my weekly Card Captor Sakura very weird). But since this show is written by Nasu Kinoko, we get also Nasu-style exposition. Whereas previous adaptation of the Fate/ franchise, like Unlimited Blade Works and the currently-in-theatres Heaven’s Feel, tend to smooth out Nasu’s stylistic flair, Fate/EXTRA has applied him directly to the script without filter, for better or worse. Compared to normal exposition, which is supposed to elucidate and clarify, Nasu exposition is rife with jargon, non-sequitur, and abuse of furigana (every episode title every week, I’m sure). On the one hand, it keeps the mystery going, and the cryptic nonsense will eventually pay off later when the setting and mythology start to click. On the other hand, it may sometimes feel that the show is ignoring us and just talking to itself as broken Engrish and random symbolism fly over our heads.

Miyamoto and Shinbou’s team at SHAFT seem content with taking Nasu’s self-indulgent prose and slapping audiovisuals on top of it, and to their credit that’s what they’re good at. It’s basically exactly what the Monogatari Series was, and what is Fate/Extra but Monogatari with a few more swords? I mean, Araragi is still here chewing up the scenery, we have the one blonde — we’re set. And the Monogatari staff know exactly what to do with a lengthy expositional dialogue sequence: fill it with fanservice! Why a bath in an elevator? Well, because by the time Marvelous Entertainment made Extella they had realised that Fate/Extra was all fanservice anyway, and because, well, it’s SHAFT. We need some distraction as the words are dumped on us. No matter the gibberish, the audience won’t change the channel as long as they have something to look at.

In fairness, SHAFT brings more to the table than just cheeky censorship. Last Encore is departing far away from its source game, and brings a radically different setting that SHAFT has to make pretty. I’m pleased that Last Encore is shaking things up; in the game we were stuck in the same bland high school corridors for basically half the game, and here’s an opportunity to do better. We have, apparently, seven layers of heaven to get through and I hope each of them will have new and interesting designs. At the same time, though, the pursuit of the new and interesting may lead to overambition. Despite all the talking (this is Fate/, of course there’s a lot of talking), I also get the impression that the pacing is pretty fast, and will have to be pretty fast. Every piece of cryptic nonsense is also a plot hook, after all, and for every one of those they zoomed past they’ll have to come back to later.

Still, no matter how new and different anything may be, no matter the SHAFT spin on the Fate/ aesthetic, I think we can trust in the innate Nasu nature of Last Encore. Those familiar with his works will no doubt see the patterns in Last Encore. The outwardly plain protagonist with some inner darkness. The light who will act as his foil. Some ying in the yang, some yang in the ying. Nasu’s boy-meets-girl stories tend to go this way and so too, it seem, shall Last Encore. SHAFT + Nasu could have, by all rights, been very strange. But, perhaps, not that strange.

Full-length images: 05.

Another weekly spoiler warning: please tag all your spoilers with <spoiler>. By ‘spoiler’ I mean anything that has not showed up in the anime yet. Please do not assume anything to be common knowledge. Thanks.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「月と花束」 (Tsuki to Hanataba) by さユり (Sayuri)

End Card

February 5, 2018 at 9:44 am
26 comments »
  • February 5, 2018 at 11:03 amAshar

    We’re approaching the point where having played Extra/Extella is almost more likely to confuse you then coming in to this blind.

    Not sure I really like Red Saber’s characterization being changed around to be more like her Extella self, but she’s cute so I can’t complain too much. http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2012.jpg

    Really interested to see what other areas Shaft takes us to now that they’re no longer bound to the school campus in this version

    • February 5, 2018 at 2:11 pmArkan

      Yep, I played Extra, Extra CCC, Extella, and still have no idea what’s going on.
      By the way, I’m pretty sure Shinju come from the wrong game, with all those gacha summons.

    • February 5, 2018 at 10:22 pmArche

      That clears things up. I only played Extra so I was sitting through the bath segment wondering if I completely misread Saber’s character

  • February 5, 2018 at 11:19 amTheVoid

    Deadface that Hakuno has is connected to a certain Noble Phantasm. Something translated info from Japan made sure to inform us before the second episode aired.

    Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 5, 2018 at 11:42 amAzureDivinity

    Umu!~

  • February 5, 2018 at 1:18 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

    Matatou.

    Shitsurei, kamimamimashite.

  • February 5, 2018 at 2:06 pmGreed

    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2032.jpg
    I think the animators shrunk Darius, otherwise, I think Iskandar could have feasibly used a foot stool rather than a table when sitting on Darius’s chair.

    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2017.jpg
    When you see a lot of pretty girls, you know it is Shinji. Funny how Saber said she likes pretty girls, I could easily see her go for the Yuri route with that one girl in the previous episode
    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2004.jpg

  • February 5, 2018 at 2:17 pmordnance11

    *Looks at nekkid Show Spoiler ▼

    *

    “The face of a toddler and the body of a hooker” a certain character’s words not mine.

    • February 5, 2018 at 6:17 pmDevastator001

      Nekkid Show Spoiler ▼

      is the reason why i like her, that and her flaunting her goods unabashedly XD

    • February 6, 2018 at 1:27 pmTepoc

      >“The face of a toddler and the body of a hooker”

      Instant regret googling that. Please spare me FBI-san.

      (for real tho, who said that? Google senpai didn’t seem to give the answer from what I could see before I panic closed the tab.).

  • February 5, 2018 at 4:56 pmRictek

    maybe this is te precuel from Extella?, because that grail war was diferent from the extra game

  • February 5, 2018 at 5:19 pmChoya

    “Gratuitous nudity”

    Yes…

    “Characters whipping their heads at the camera in slow motion”

    Yes!

    “The head-tilt”

    YYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESS!!!!

    It’s been a pleasure to see a SHAFT-ified version of Fate Extra, even if it’s setting itself apart from the original game alot. The changes to the story, the role Shinji’s playing now, and all the bodily injuries Hakuno has been able to face at this point were definitely a shock, but it’s been a heck of a ride so far. Saber is proving to be alot of fun in this, and I’m more than happy to see Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 5, 2018 at 8:35 pmsouma

  • February 5, 2018 at 9:02 pmDorian S.

    Man, was I struck hard when it veered off the Fate/Extra game course. It was jarring, but thrilling and I was happy as hell but also terrified.

    Also, damn that introduction is slick. It is interesting how it has the shadows be a bunch of Servants… Oh wait, now that I’ve gone back to compliment a few other things I just realized something. I’m not spoiling it at all, but ooo. This will be fun.

    I’m also like someone else earlier (forgot/terrible with names) who thinks this might be a prequel to Extella, but I also bet it is a sequel to the original games now. Just because of Saber’s reactions to various things. For those of you who have played Extra, CCC and Extella, you’ll know how that is possible.

    Makes me excited for what’s next.

  • February 6, 2018 at 2:45 amGinobi47

    http://randomc.net/image/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore/Fate%20EXTRA%20Last%20Encore%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2018.jpg

    Only 3 UMUs in this episode… let’s hope they pick up the pace.

    And as a Type-Moon fan for more than a decade, I can theorize with some confidence that the Last Encore might be a story about how SERAPH was destroyed by Generic-Anime-Protagonist-kun and his UMU licious servant.

  • February 6, 2018 at 8:39 amdewgong

    This is completely different from “original” Fate story. Is this a spin-off series like Apocrypha?

    • February 6, 2018 at 7:27 pmPasserby

      Extra is even more alternate-universe than Apocrypha, and who knows what Last Encore is?

      • February 8, 2018 at 8:21 pmNaru

        Fate series is like CLAMP universe, everything is somehow connected because….they can. And fans like seeing fav character pop up. I am waiting for CCS: Clear Card to connect with Tsubasa or something. It has already been said it happened.

    • February 6, 2018 at 9:17 pmDorian S.

      Fate/ is a multiverse. Depending on the title, Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Extra, Fate/Apocrypha, you’ll be in a particular universe. Some universes have similarities to them, Stay Night/Unlimited Blade Works/Heaven’s Feel, while some can be entirely unique due to circumstances in that particular universe Grand Order/Apocrypha/Extra/Today’s Menu. Others can also be continuations of certain titles: Zero -> Stay Night/Unlimited Blade Works/Heaven’s Feel, Heaven’s Feel -> Hollow Axtraxia, Grand Order -> Epic of Remnant -> Cosmos in the Lostbelt, Prisma Illya, Extra -> Extra: CCC, Extella -> Extella Link. Technically the Tsukihime games also count towards this multiverse as well.

      You pretty much need to know the universes to understand which are or aren’t. Or just ask a junkie like myself. Happy to lend a little hand.

      Going by the title of Fate/Extra, this game should be contained within the Fate/Extra universe if we go by the title name. However, there’s a few issues that have cropped up. Namely that Nasu decided to write this to keep new and ‘old’ guessing what would happen next. The other are many interesting nods to both Extra but also a few to Extella.

      The nods to Extella make me think that this is actually a stealth sequel/prequel. Sequel to Fate/Extra: CCC and prequel to Fate/Extella.

  • February 6, 2018 at 5:22 pmMatroid

    The storytelling of this anime is horrible. It feels like watching the ending of Matrix (the movie) without knowing the beginning.

  • February 6, 2018 at 7:41 pmyodad

    I’m just not a big fan of SHAFT. Everything just seems so abstract- like the way they do their scenes and backgrounds… combined with those background music sometimes, I feel like I’m trippin out on shrooms when watching.

    Also, there seems to be two different art style style mixed in the show. It’s really hard to explain but it bothers me a little in the back of my mind.

  • February 9, 2018 at 6:41 pmSuicuneSol

    It’s… different. I’d always felt jargon like Moon Cell and SERAPH didn’t help me understand anything. But I’m taking it in stride here.

    My problem is the protagonist. He is so disinterested in everything, his disinterest almost transfers to the viewer. I’d at least expect a blush when he sees a naked Saber, but not even that.

    I almost wish that, given how far off the trail this anime is from the source material, that a brand-new protagonist would have been brought in. One with personality and a clear reason for being. Him being impaled by swords doesn’t concern or surprise me in the slightest, because I have no investment in him at all.

  • February 9, 2018 at 9:52 pmAzalea23

  • February 10, 2018 at 3:14 amAly

    Just a small thing but the ED song「月と花束」is Tsuki to Hanataba not Tsuki no Hanataba

  • February 10, 2018 at 5:05 amRazorstain

    “I don’t need to know who I am. For me, this hatred is enough.”

    THE ENDING OF THIS EPISODE HAD ME SOLD!

  • February 10, 2018 at 7:10 amWorldwidedepp

    What i find it strange.. Show Spoiler ▼