「Apocrypha」 (Apocrypha)

Boy, was that a rollercoaster of an ending. Also — Happy New Years!

Final Impressions

I’m not quite sure how to attack a post like this since there’s a lot going on here and I’m not sure how I feel about all of it. As a whole, I think Apocrypha was a fun experience that did a spectacular job at setting it apart from the other offerings in the Fate series. With its story taking a drastically different approach on what it means to have a Holy Grail War, it was rather interesting to see what happens when you try your hardest to break the rules of the game. Sure, I don’t think there’s ever been a Holy Grail War where all the participants have been playing fair, but I don’t think we’ve seen it done as blatantly as we did in Apocrypha. Between Darnic and Shirou, there were so many shenanigans going on that you’d be hard pressed to find a time where someone wasn’t completely breaking the rules.

Overarching story aside, let’s move onto the characters or rather the one main character who ended up making it to the very end. A homunculus who didn’t even enter the show until a few episodes in, it’s rather amazing to see just how much Sieg has grown since he first busted out of his glass tube. Starting off as an unremarkable kid who I could barely sympathize with, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t see him a bona fide hero by the last few episodes. If I had one complaint about his character though, it would be just how hard the story tried to force him into the heroic role. Besides having the heart of a dragon slayer literally inside of him, I started to grow weary whenever Sieg would talk about living up to the ideals of Siegfried. Not in the sense that I didn’t enjoy that he looked up to Siegfried, but rather the fact that the idea started to lose its luster since he brought it up so much. Minor gripes aside, I’m glad that Sieg got the opportunity to selflessly save the entire human race. Flying off into the sun as Fafnir holding the Greater Holy Grail, I don’t think there could have been a better way for him to finish his story.

Switching sides to Jeanne, I don’t really have all that much to say. As another main character who the story focused on a lot as we passed the latter half of the story, I was glad to see her grow as a person as well as find the resolve to believe in herself until the very end. I won’t go into the obviously cringey moments whenever she tried to “romance” Sieg since it’s clear that even Jeanne didn’t know what she wanted, but there is some closure knowing that the two managed to figure things out at the very end.

Main points aside, a Fate show ain’t a Fate show without some awesome Servants and I think Apocrypha definitely delivered in that department. With both factions having some great fighters and some blurring the line between just who or what they were fighting for, there was always enough there to keep things flowing as the story tried to tell Sieg’s story. For me though, I really liked the diversity in the Servants and just how wide the show went with what eras they were going to pluck people from. That and it was a blast to see whenever two Servants would bring up their history with one another.

Last but not least, let’s touch on Shirou real quick. As the last bad guy who was defeated right at the end, I wish we could have gotten more on him. As touching as his final scenes with Semiramis were, there was definitely something missing that could have made the scene an emotionally powerful one. That said, thinking back on Shirou’s exploits and all that he did to make it as far as he did, there was no way you didn’t at least feel a little remorse for him.

Overall, even though it had its stumbles and awkward moments (those blown out sound effects whenever swords clashed still haunt me), Apocrypha turned out to be a fun show in the Fate universe. It may not have been everyone’s cup of tea and it’s probably impossible for most people not to compare it to what ufotable has made, but if you go in with an open mind and the right expectations, I’m sure you’ll enjoy what you’ve found.

Before I head out though, let me express my gratitude for everyone who’s stuck around for these posts. It’s been (mostly) a blast going through the comments and I hope you guys will swing back once the next season of anime starts! Anyways, Happy New Years and see you later!


  1. New Year’s Eve was possibly a fitting time to bring a closure not only to Fate/Apocrypha, but also a fitting time to end 2017. Well… So long, Fate/Apocrypha… It’s been a fun ride for 6 months. Let it be the last page of year 2017.

    As flawed as it is as a story, but the combination of the sweet Sieg x Jeanne reunion epilogue, Laetica’s & Astolfo’s departure ending with the 1st ED theme song played, made me shed a tears of joy to see this story come to an end in a bittersweet way. I can never forget that very memorable moment. Possibly one of the most memorable endings among Fate story, to the point that I would miss this journey then.

    It was good to see Astolfo alive in the end. Felt like Sieg could have lived with Astolfo together if it wasn’t for Shirou’s wish work in progress that rendered irreversible. I felt sorry for Astolfo that husbando Sieg had to deny the possible extinction of humanity from the Greater Grail’s Third Magic power, Sieg didn’t meant to break the waifu’s heart for literally trading one waifu for another in the end. But still, it was hard that Astolfo is going to miss Sieg. But hey, still a win-win for both Sieg, Jeanne & Astolfo, regardless.

    Oh, I’m also glad that both Fiore, Caules, Gordes & Toole lives in the end as well. Quite frankly, I would outrage to see either of them die, cause both Fiore & Caules do deserve a lot better than they were before the war. They have more reasons to be alive, rather than died for nothing like Celenike & Roche. It would be an insult to say Darnic literally died for nothing, but what he did was a fruitless suicidal move.

    Gordes, though, he got spared from die like a worthless pawn for a good reason. And for that, Uncle Gordes became a better person than he used to be. Before this, he used to be an arrogant, self-centered asshole. But now, he become humble, more caring & empathetic, even teaching his son alchemy while at least trying to make efforts to be more tolerant, lenient & patient. War has changed him for the better.

    With the Grail is gone, Fiore make her own efforts to get back her legs. Yeah, she better off step down as the clan’s head & don’t continue down the magus path because she can’t handle cruelty & deaths too well. For that, Caules is now represent as the clan’s head by default. So it made sense for him to liase with Waver about the Greater Grail War’s outcomes. It was nice that Waver decided to be lenient to Caules & invited him as a guest, cause the one responsible for the rebellion, Darnic, was already dead. Guess what? Caules deserves that promotion, because he was shown to have a gutter & balls of steel to pull out a crazy shit such as imitating Jack’s victim’s last moment prior to death with his necromancy. Darnic was dead wrong about Caules for thinking him as a dull worthless pawn, while Caules himself was yet to realize his own potential.

    On side note, Shakespeare was so hysterical that he managed to conclude his epic story before he goes out with style, it was friggin gold. In no time, he will tell tale of his epic story once he comes back where he came from. But either way, Shakespeare got his last laugh before he’s gone.

    Real Xero8420
  2. https://randomc.net/image/Fate%20Apocrypha/Fate%20Apocrypha%20-%2025%20-%20Large%2019.jpg
    This was really good for sure 8/10 with some really nice animated scenes towards the end, Sieg vs Karna and Sieg vs Shirou.

    These two are probably the best pair in terms of compatibility. Astolfo and Sieg have built a strong relationship to one another and has one of the best Master and Servant relationship of the franchise.

  3. Overall, despite things I have seen others discuss that got changed or cut, for what we did get, Fate/Apocrypha is overall decent. It stumbled a little at first but managed to catch itself and finished the last leg quite strongly.

    Unfortunately, it seemed to have suffered similarly to the Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei anime adaptation in that there was just too much to adapt all at once due to there being a lot more development of things, and there being a bunch of details and magic techno jargon to explain that, while it works in a light novel full of words and some static imagery, it doesn’t work quite so well in an anime that is all imagery in constant motion. To have to keep grinding things to a halt just to explain each and every move, event, etc. in their finest detail would destroy any thought of pacing and end up boring a chunk of the audience. Though, unlike Mahouka, there were other things in Fate/Apocrypha that were interesting enough to hold my attention whereas I ended up dropping Mahouka out of complete boredom.

    Ultimately, I’m glad to have seen this and had an overall good time, but it’s also not a Fate series I’ll be re-watching very often (all the way through anyway) as opposed to ones like Fate/Zero or Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works.

    1. I posted this on ”Winter 2018 Preview” thread.

      I expect lots of shitposting.

      I expect shitposting from people who are sick of seeing Fate threads so they feel the best option is to try to ruin and derail as many Fate threads as possible

      I expect shitposting from Fate fans who take issue with every single thing the anime does that doesn’t conform to what they had in their heads already.

      I expect shitposting from Zero secondaries and shounenfags shitting on the anime and the MC, because Hakuno isn’t a action character that knows how to fight and defend herself, but a non-action character that doesn’t knows how to fight or defend himself and needs the help from other characters for defending and saving him.

      I expect shitposting from people pretending to be Fate fans in order to annoy the first group.

      I expect shitposting from yurifags, shoujofags and mwsiifcfags (man who self-insert into female characters) who can’t handle the fact that male Hakuno is the canon protagonist of the series and this is why he was chosen to be the main protagonist of the anime, besides beeing a gigantic butthurt baby because female Hakuno isn’t the main protagonist of the anime.

      I expect shitposting from yurifags, waifufags and Grand Order tertiaries who can’t handle the fact that Nero is canonically paired with Male Hakuno in the franchise and therefore she will never be her waifu, nor of female Hakuno and much less the Gudas or any other characters from FGO.

      I expect shitposting from Zero secondaries and Grand Order tertiaries, both of whom have never read the original VN or played Extra.

      Lastly I expect shitposting from waifufags, either excessively praising Nero or saying she’s not as good as Sakura or

    1. https://randomc.net/image/Fate%20Apocrypha/Fate%20Apocrypha%20-%2025%20-%20Large%2010.jpg
      I’m downright astonished at how hard you people seem to be shilling for this scene and the Amakusa/Semiramis pairing in general. They have no chemistry together, their origins as people have nothing in common, Semiramis’s legend is about how she only had one man she ever loved and she’ll never love anyone else (but still enjoys good dickings from eunuchs and playing with her harem of hot slave women). Semiramis’s legend as a mighty queen was simply ignored in favor of having her get with Amakusa, which in turn serves no purpose except to explain why she never just betrays him like she normally would. But they could have explained that a million other ways than “she’s in love with him,” and only laziness on Higashide’s part made it be that.

      The absolute worst part is that the reason why Semiramis falls in love with Amakusa is identical to the shallow and unbelievable reason why girls fall in love with any harem harem: “He’s a bad guy” and “he doesn’t want to have sex with me that means I have to love him instead of being offended or just not giving a shit about him”

      It’s just sad that viewers were so desperate to find any redeeming qualities whatsoever in this pile of shit that they latched onto one adequately directed scene and think that it justifies a pairing that is based on hollow bullshit.

    1. This is a Japanese story so the opposite sex couple has to get married, but in Japan, the vast majority have one or more lovers as well of either sex. So if Astolfo hung around long enough Sieg gets both.

      1. As they say somewhere else, “citation needed”.

        The figures I saw showed that Japan wasn’t even in the top 10 countries for adultery. Mind you, sex with a prostitute isn’t counted as adultery in Japan, so maybe that has some impact on the figures.

  4. Overall I liked it. Definitely not as strong as other stories. But the many great servants introduced, and some great moments defenatly gave pleasure. Semiramis was wonderful and there were little hints of the romance throughout the show. This episode, not the first time she made a lap pillow. Sort of hard to do that relationship justice as keeping Shiro’s nature and goals hidden lowered the amount of romance that could be shown. Still if like me you can write a small story outline on the fly the combination of the scenes throughout the story did touch me with the romance.

    It threw me for a moment but Waver did meet Iskandar in this universe in one of the Fake Grail Wars mentioned at the beginning.

    Shakespeare probably has another hit to be played in the afterlife. After all, he just needs the ideas and then his skill can greatly improve what we saw.

    Thanks very much Takaii it was good going.

  5. Just finished Apocrypha, and I gotta say,I found the series incredibly enjoyable. The cast of protagonists were superb and relatable, the pacing was well laid-out by really focusing on the important aspects of the plot while still keeping the overall theme of the story. I personally loved Sieg, because not only was he tenacious in his goal, but he was also wise beyond his years and was developed incredibly well. Whereas they are pretty much given everything on a silver platter; he actually fights hard, uses risky strategies that pay off big and altogether earns his victories, not just having them handed to him While people might hate on the ship between him and Jeanne D’Arc largely due to jealousy or the gap in compatibility between the two, I found that it worked incredibly well and was poetic in and of itself: Both of them, while initially having no dreams or aspirations in the fight, grew to see each other as their purpose. If I had one thing to object to in this show, it would be how the villains were just laid out to be too edgy and were just pushed to be the bad guys, making the dynamic with them and the protags very unrealistic. All in all, I found Apocrypha to be an amazing anime and a great way to start off this new year

  6. Still think all the problems would be solved if someone overpowered had been present, like Shirou Emiya (either human or Servant), Gil, etc. But it went out of its way to explain that they can’t be summoned due to lack of catalysts. GO figure.

    Was still fun. And I did enjoy it…. but somehow none of the fights ever did match up to ufotable’s Shirou vs Gilgamesh (few battles do in the Nasuverse), and to my own demerit, I always ended up comparing every swordfight to that :/

  7. Good to see Gordes son makes a cameo considering he is now part of Fate/Grand Order second story arc Cosmos of the Lostbelt.

    And Flat with his lack of personal space. Man it’ll be forever before Fate/Strange Fake gets an adaptation. Or maybe the El-Melloi II Case Files.

  8. https://randomc.net/image/Fate%20Apocrypha/Fate%20Apocrypha%20-%2025%20-%20Large%2039.jpg
    I wonder if that is Goldolf Musik.

    Notably, I read a funny story that Toole had beat up the entire Musik family. Wonder when did that happen.

    Anyway, I can guess that the Yggdmillennia is now dead, can’t imagine what happened to all the families that allied themselves with the Yggdmillennia. Sad, Fiore would had probably been a great leader. Oh well.

    So what happened to Rider of Black? Did he become “flesh and blood” like Gilgamesh?

    Notably, I am curious why didn’t Shirou Kotomine fade away like the rest of the Servants.

    1. Could be the Goldorf debuted in the FGO 2nd movie trailer.

      Again, Fiore could not handle cruelty & deaths very well, of which magi usually had to bear with it if they have to face failures in magecraft. Not to mention both Caules, Gordes & even Chiron think she’s too pure for her own good to be a magus. In the end, she ultimately decided to heed their kindness by quit being a magus & thus retired the position as the clan’s leader. For that, Caules becomes the clan leader by default, while Gordes don’t want to be a leader because he realized his hubris was his own undoing. Instead, he chose to be the Alfred for Master Caules.

      Fret not. Caules will further refining his magecraft skills in the Mage’s Association while liasing with Waver about the Greater Grail War, in return of Waver’s agreement with Caules to spare Fiore & Gordes.

      For Shirou, he was a Ruler. Like Jeanne, he probably possessed someone’s body sixty years back.

      Real Xero8420
      1. @Greed

        Notably, I am curious why didn’t Shirou Kotomine fade away like the rest of the Servants.

        After the third war drew to a close, Shirou remained materialized due to Shirou having come into contact with the Greater Grail and managing to receive flesh, flesh that belonged to the Ruler’s body, and this Ruler’s body should be used by the Servants summoned as Ruler in later wars. Shirou then entered again into contact with the Greater Grail in this war, losing his physical body and returning to his Heroic Spirit state, that’s why he had that samurai appearance when he came off the Greater Grail.

        Real Xero8420

        For Shirou, he was a Ruler. Like Jeanne, he probably possessed someone’s body sixty years back.

        Jeanne had to use Laeticia’s body because Shirou he has obtained permanently the Ruler’s body when he entered into contact with the Greater Grail the third war and managing to receive flesh, flesh that belonged to the Ruler’s body, and this Ruler’s body should be used by the Servants summoned as Ruler in later wars.

  9. Did they just Deus Ex Machina some magical mirror world to save the day? Is this an existing concept in Fate lore or something? Did it ever get mentioned once during this series before this point?

    1. Astolfo remained materialized due to Astolfo having come into contact with the Greater Grail and managing to receive flesh,becoming a human being, basically the same thing as happened to Shirou Kotomine sixty years ago in theThird Holy Grail War.

  10. I was fairly puzzled about what was so bad about Amakusa’s objective throughout the series but the last 2 episodes gave my doubts some good closure. It’s quite a philosophical question. How would humans change if they were suddenly gifted with immortality.

    It feels especially pertinent now with the rapid growth of investment and improvements in the AI industry as of late. As General AI becomes less and less far-fetched, we start to question what our core values are as we start contemplating the possibilities of developing neural links to our prefrontal cortex, thereby gaining vastly more intelligence and potentially even virtual immortality.

    If we were to avoid resetting civilization with a WW3 triggered by the fall of the petrodollar or the race to General AI, and actually attain General AI in a way such that it synergies with humanity, we would ride the intelligence curve up exponentially. Our human values and notions of intellectual pursuits would inevitably become indistinguishable from what they are now – more indistinguishable than what we consider “fun” now compared to what cavemen of ages past considered “fun”.

    However, say immortality of some kind were gifted to humanity when we were cavemen. With no real pressure to continuously pursue the unknown, would humans have evolved intellectually to where we are at now?

  11. The show is doing pretty well in Japan on Blu Ray. It’s already at around 7k sold even with the 35,000 yen retail price per boxset(You’d easily find cheaper depending on where you look). It just shows the power of the Fate franchise.


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