Whelp, time for a new fix of Fate for the starved fans.
Ahhh, a new anime season has started and thus a new entry into the Fate Franchise. This time we’ll be looking at Fate Apocrypha, a 25-episode anime covering a different Holy Grail War of sorts. Let’s get into it, shall we?
The episode opens with a look into the future, where the narrator states that time doesn’t move and he’s basically only able to look back on the past before a woman in white appears and wakes him up. We then get a kick-ass opening of homunculus going at it with Dragontooth Warriors while two servants go to town with each other. Saber of the Red calls Saber of the black a fake as their noble phantasms clash, while another two Servants fight as well.
Then we get to the legit start of the anime, where you see a scary-looking necromancer being called to the Clock Tower to act in their name as Master in a Grail War. However, its not the usual Grail War you’re familiar with since during the Third Holy Grail War, one of the Masters called in the German Army and they nicked the Holy Grail, which then disappeared and the blueprints got leaked to make a bunch of mini-grail wars.
However, in recent times the legit Fuyuki Grail was declared found by the Yggdmillennia clan (whose leader was the Master who called in the Germans) and they naturally decided to break off from the Mage’s Association with it. The MA wasn’t having that and sent a bunch of Enforcers (read: mage fighters) to bring it back. They get stomped by a Servant but manage to trip a fail-safe that means that the MA gets to send Masters and Servants of their own, meaning we have 14 Masters and 14 Servants in this Holy Grail War.
Kairi Sisigou is chosen to be a Master of Red and given an piece of the Round Table of Camelot, though he’s not sure which Knight of the Round he’d get. He takes the catalyst and his advance payment before setting out. Oh, did I mention that the Church Supervisor on their side is named Shirou ?
As he heads out, we then get a look at Darnic Yggdmillennia having a chess match with Caster of the Black, Avicebron. They discuss the measures he’s taken, such as using Homunculus as batteries and creating golems. So they’re ready for war, with Darnic seeking to reach the Root of the world, as every mage is wont to do.
We then briefly get a glimpse of Shirou, confirming its not the canon one, before we get a mass summoning scene between Kairi and Yggdmillennia. Their Servants all pop up, with Darnic given an epic speech for his side, while Kairi gets the armored Saber we saw in the opening. Her armor peels away and she reveals herself as Mordred as the episode ends.
Oh, and there’s a stinger of Joan of Arc overshadowing a praying girl at the end.
Mmm… that opening. A thing of beauty. I doubt the animation budget will hold up to that standard through the anime, but one can hope. They did not hold back on the bloodshed either.
Now then, I know the general story behind this series because… well, it’s the Fate franchise and me. I’ve done a comprehensive guide on it for the anime-viewing audience looking to get into it. So I know what the opening entails and how it comes about, but I won’t spoil anything so you can rest easy.
However, it’s made clear that this is one of those AU stories since it takes place in a setting where the Third Holy Grail War got screwed over by Darnic. As a result, the cast and setting of the war will be different, as will the Servants. The reason for this is somewhat glossed over in the anime, but the gist is that once those blueprints got leaked and psuedo-Grail Wars started happening, all the good summoning catalyst got passed around and have gone missing, meaning none of the usual staples will show up.
Instead, we get new ones to fawn over. So if you hear a name you’re unfamiliar with, google it but avoid the wikia unless you like spoilers. Anyway, I look forward to adapting it. With 25 episodes, they’ll have more than enough time to flesh everything out (hopefully), so let’s look forward to it.