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Fate/EXTRA Last Encore – 07

「誰かの為の物語 ナーサリー・ライム」 (Dareka no Tame no Monogatari -Naasarii Raimu-)
“A Story for Someone -Nursery Rhyme-”

I’ve come to understand why the Cute Girls Doing Cute Things ‘genre’ of anime is a thing, now. For generations, anime built a tradition of abusing its little girls. They’re stricken by incurable diseases. They get murdered violently. They’re used to power superweapons. They get turned into witches. Being a little girl in anime is suffering. What choice did they have? As I talked about last week, their only role in the story is to suffer. But perhaps anime became over-reliant on the tears of little girls to fuel their drama engines and cause some sort of subconscious backlash. Or perhaps it’s simply a supply and demand thing; with an abundance of miserable little girls, the market for cheerful little girls boomed. Give them their happy ending, and let them be.

But this arc about Alice and Nursery Rhyme is not exactly a lighthearted story with a happy ending. For one, this is Nasu, who saves his richest sadism to unleash on innocent children. But evidently he also wished to make a point about the obsession with happy endings, such is the nature of Nursery Rhyme. In the iteration of the Moon Cell Holy Grail War that was the original Fate/EXTRA, Alice was yet another opponent you had to defeat on your way to the top. She was no less an unfortunate little thing, but there was no alternative to fighting her in the game. So you kill her. Re-kill her. Whatever. It’s all very sad, and she symbolised the innocent you had to trample to survive in this barbaric battle royale. In the Last Encore continuity, Past!Hakuno did not have to fight Alice, but that doesn’t exactly end well for anyone. The promise that he’d win the war and come back down for Alice is well intentioned, but not one he could reasonably keep. And indeed, he goes and dies. But Alice’s obsession with sticking around to see Hakuno again — the happy ending — drives her to extremes. Indeed, fairy tales are only associated with happy endings thanks to the works of Disney — they even gave The Hunchback of Notre Dame a happy ending, for crying out loud. Instead, fairy tales were allegories for children, cautionary in nature. They were harsh, sometimes even morbid. But like all stories, happy or otherwise they end. Alice turning back the pages every time means she never gets to the resolution. For a thousand years, she hangs on, devouring her own dream to survive. And for what? She finds her happy ending, but cannot keep it. She is put down. It’s as if Nasu is arguing that what she needed was catharsis, and that’s not the same thing as happiness. Her dream should have ended long ago. To continue the heaven metaphor, in Dant’s Paradiso the third sphere of heaven was Venus, named for the Roman goddess of love, and housed those lovers with a deficiency in the virtue of temperance. Alice held on for a thousand years out of love, which is a positive thing. But being able to let go is important too.

The high concept aside, there’s also this and that about the living dead (yada yada obsession), something about magical girl Rin, bits and pieces of the pink alcoholic. I could try speculating or putting the pieces together now, but they’re no doubt hooks for future episodes and we can wait until more pieces fall into place. And despite all the weirdness of Last Encore we are getting pieces. I appreciate that, and can see things coming together, which is heartening. Nursery Rhyme is about as abstract as Nasu gets, which isn’t a bad thing because SHAFT is strongest in the abstract, but we’ll probably get something relatively (relatively) more down to earth next arc. There’ll be questions yet, sure, but we’re getting answers.

End Card

March 14, 2018 at 7:55 am
  • March 14, 2018 at 8:59 amWanderer

    Give them their happy ending, and let them be.


  • March 14, 2018 at 9:17 amBig Daddy

    This show confuses me.

    • March 14, 2018 at 6:42 pmPasserby

      If you have any questions, feel free to ask them here. Hopefully the readers or I will be able to answer them.

      • March 14, 2018 at 7:01 pmL002

        I am curious if saving Alice was feasible. My other concern if Hakuno was aware that monster he defeated was Alice. Finally, now curious if Hakuno remembered Alice in this episode

        Curious if this was an adult version of Alice this whole time

        Poor kid T_T

      • March 15, 2018 at 3:08 amPasserby

        1) Saving Alice was probably not feasible. The Alice we saw running around was manifested by Nursery Rhyme, which was already breaking down.

        2) The implication of the nursery rhyme is that while Hakuno may remember Alice, he probably doesn’t recognise her. A comment below has the last two verses of the rhyme. It’s not quite the same as the version I know, but it’s identical in essence.

        3) I think Amari is someone else altogether, and Nursery Rhyme was just taking her shape. More on her as we learn more about Rin’s circumstances, likely.

      • March 15, 2018 at 4:00 pmL002

        “The implication of the nursery rhyme is that while Hakuno may remember Alice, he probably doesn’t recognise her. ”
        I see, thank you. The Horror. For our main character to possibly not remember an important promise and not even recognize Alice. You would think Hakuno would at least react when Alice was screaming in pain. That is almost like a hero killing a demon lord yet he fails to discover later that the demon lord was his childhood friend.

        Anyway, I think Alice still exists as a ghost but that is still tragic

      • March 16, 2018 at 5:16 amLelo

        To me, considering that the nursery rhyme appears on the wall right when Hakuno is thinking about how he only feels hatred and doesn’t have anything else, it also has the double meaning of reflecting how Hakuno is, in fact, a completely different entity and not the person he used to be anymore. So, it reflects both how Hakuno can’t recognize Alice now that she’s a monster, and how Hakuno is not himself and has lost everything he had as a person.

      • March 16, 2018 at 7:17 amPasserby

        Indeed, I also think it goes both ways. It’s not like Jabberwock!Alice recognised Hakuno either until he found the book.

  • March 14, 2018 at 12:16 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    *Sad loli noises*


    I think it’s safe to say that being a loli (-looking) character is also suffering for the Nasuverse.


    Oh boy…the SHAFT high quality animation head turn.


    Hitagi must really hate Rin.


    No full stitch of Rin’s fabulous body? For shame! XD

    • March 14, 2018 at 6:42 pmPasserby

      I would have stitched Rin, but then she moved halfway through the pan.

  • March 14, 2018 at 1:30 pmGreed

    My sense of what the plot twist may be.
    Tohsaka Rin is Hakuno’s real Servant while Nero is the Servant of someone else.

    Poor Alice T_T I was hoping that Hakuno could just take Alice up with her. Sadly that wasn’t the case.

  • March 14, 2018 at 2:19 pmLelo

    “Oh deary, deary me, this is none of I!”

    But if it be I,
    As I hope it may be,
    I have a little dog at home
    And he will know me
    If it be I
    He will wag his little tail,
    And if be not I,
    He will loudly bark and wail.

    Home went the little woman
    All in the dark,
    Up got the little dog
    And he began to bark.
    He began to bark;
    And she began to cry,
    Oh deary, deary me this is none of I.”

    Nasu, you clever son of a-

  • March 15, 2018 at 2:55 pmSuicuneSol


    Does this mean Rin is not Tamamo?

    • March 17, 2018 at 9:21 pmDorian S.

      If it is just Tamamo as she is from the games, no. If it is Tamamo as she is at full power, yes it could be.