Face of an angel, but has the surname Kotomine. That should tell you all you need to know.
The second episode of Fate Apocrypha opens with Joan of Arc heading towards her execution by being burned at the stake, before cutting to her in the present day, heading to the Holy Grail War via bus. Not the most glamorous of rides, but if it gets her there then who are we to complain?
Back with the just-summoned Servants of Black, Rider wants to get introductions started and announces himself (yes, that is a guy) as Astolfo. Archer is Chiron, as in the centaur who has a constellation named after him. Berserker is Frankenstein’s Monster, though she’s not exactly capable of speaking for herself being a Berserker and all. Saber doesn’t get a chance to introduce himself because his Master, Gordes, states not to and Lancer, Vlad Tepes, gives them a motivational speech.
On the other side of things, Mordred gets to know her new Master. Unlike her father, she resorts to a death threat when called a woman and smashes the summoning catalyst used to call her up. She states her intention is to use the grail to go back in time and get her chance at pulling the sword out of the stone, which would label her as the new king. Shishigou decides they’re going to get along just fine and they head off to the church to get registered.
We then get some more time with the Masters and Servants of the Black side. Berserker basically wants her master, Caules, to call her by that name and not her real one, while he orders her to never go all out because her body would be destroyed by her own Noble Phantasm. Chiron isn’t taking his centaur form because he wants to hide his true identity and warns Fiore that once the Servants of Red are defeated, she may have to fight her brother Caules for the Grail. Astolfo spends some time getting molested by his Master, who sees him as a toy, before deciding he wants to go shopping instead. Gordes tries ordering around Saber, who is Siegfried, and treating him as a tool. And, while Darnic and Vlad have a cordial conversation, the last Servant of Black, Assassin, is going around killing people with her Master, whom she calls Mother.
Back to the Red side, we have Shirou Kotomine introducing himself and his Servant, Assassin, whose real name is Semiramis. He states that a Ruler-class Servant will also be participating because of the scale of the war and wants to work together. But since these two give Mordred and Shishigou a bad feeling, so they opt to work on their own and walk away from the alliance.
That proved to be the right call since Assassin wants to get rid of them since they can’t see Saber’s identity or Noble Phantasm. Shirou wanes her off the idea as Caster, Shakespeare, pops up and starts chewing the scenery before revealing that Berserker of the Red has started charging towards the Black faction’s base while Shishigou and Mordred then get into a scrap with some of the Black factions mooks, and lay waste to them in less than 3 minutes.
As the episode ends, Shirou then has Lancer of the Red, Karna, go out to kill Joan of Arc, the Ruler heading towards the land of the Holy Grail War.
That felt like it was moving kind of fast, but okay. The animation during the battle wasn’t as sharp as in the first episode, but I didn’t expect A-1 to keep that quality up. They’re not Ufotable after all.
Anyway, the contrast between Mordred and her father are so vivid, yet they both had the same wish to use the grail: To go back in time to where the sword selection was happening and change the outcome. One wanted to change it so that she never became king, fearing that someone better could have led in her place, while the other believes that she would be the perfect king and should have the chance to try.
The Servants of Black are largely cool too, with Berserker being kind of moe-moe despite not largely using actual words and Jack the Ripper being a young-looking girl who cheerfully strolls through the streets after murder. I have to say though, Gordes would have been killed in the Fuyuki Grail War if he tried taking that kind of stance with his Servant, and Rider’s master was just plain creepy.
Still, next episode it looks like its going down and I can’t wait to see it.