「外典:聖杯大戦」 (Geten: Seihai Taisen)
“Foreign: Holy Grail War”
For a new Fate show that’s not being handled by ufotable, I must say that everything about this first episode was amazing.
Man, where do I even begin for this one? The animation? The story? The characters? There were so many good things going on in this first episode that it’d be tough to cover it all in one post. That said, for a show of this caliber, I it all deserves to be covered and let’s dive into it!
The Animation, The Studio, and the Story
I think the first major obstacle that Fate/Apocrypha needed to address was that it needed to separate itself from anything ufotable has made. Seeing how people literally associate the Fate anime with ufotable (except the original run by Studio Deen, but I love that one), I wasn’t sure what to think when I first heard that A1 Pictures would be the one taking the series. Luckily, after the first two minutes, I think any fears that anyone had were quickly addressed. Combining the trademark “balls to the walls” animation style with a darker spin on the Fate universe that finally addresses how dangerous the Holy Grail War is, I think A1 managed to do the impossible and made something that might be even better than what came before.
Specifically, I loved how the story doesn’t make excuses about addressing the atrocities that occur when something as valuable as the Holy Grail is up for grabs. Seeing people get impaled without warning was surprising, but when you start to toss in things like human experimentation (homunculus experimentation) where there’s zero concern about the consequences, you have the foundation where crazy things can happen.
And don’t even get me started on how we get to have a Greater Holy Grail War where it’s essentially a huge 7 on 7 battle where we get to double up on all the classes for a battle of epic proportions!?
So, even though we didn’t get Arturia as our main Saber (I was low key hoping we’d get to hear Kawasumi Ayako), I think I can collectively say for all of us that Mordred was a great surprise to see as The Saber of Red. Seeing how she’s essentially the Saber we all love, but with a slightly different sounding voice and a badass suit of armor, I think it was a good way of appealing to both old and new fans.
Besides Mordred’s amazing reveal, I was glad to see a lot of familiar faces from that one mobile game called Fate/Grand Order. With Jeanne d’Arc and Siegfried prominently showing up (did you keep watching until after the credits?) and a few other faces who you might have recognized if you paused, it looks like there’ll be a lot of interesting interactions to come.
Moving on to the Masters, I must say that no one except the main bad guy really stood out to me. That said, I think the story spent most of its time on the servants and building up the story (aka fleshing out the bad guy) so I’m hoping that we’ll quickly get to learn just what makes all of our characters tick.
What else could I say here except that this was one hell of a first episode? With a slight deviation from the typical “Holy Grail War” formula that is highlighting the darker side of the Fate universe and a ton of characters to get us fired up about, I don’t think there’s much more we could have asked for.
In any case, I’ll catch you guys next week where the post won’t be atrociously late because of Anime-Expo. On a side note, you should also check out the Anime-Expo post when it comes out. See you later!