The power of hatred.
The second episode of Fate Extra: Last Encore has aired, and so I’ve come to give my review of the latest Fate adaptation (that isn’t a cooking show). There’s been a lot of changes to the story from the original game, meaning even I’ll be in for a surprise and I’m looking forward to it.
The episode opens with Red Saber referring to her Master as Praetor (or Maestro depending on interpretation of your choice, I simply go with the original version fromm games) as the Moon Mile Ladder descends to take them to their battlefield. Though he’s pretty banged up, the Moon Ladder has a built in bath that allows him to heal the longer he’s in it. She joins him in the bath and we get an info dump on the Holy Grail War as classified by Moon Cell, such as how there are 128 Masters in it and how they had their memories altered until they fight in the war.
Despite learning all this new information, Hakuno just wants to fight because its what he feels he has to do. He has no real reaction to knowing that he’s lost his memories or Saber’s body being on full display. Or even the fact that when they arrive at the battlefield they find its been turned into a modern city with a festive setting.
Saber finds it surprising that its different from the first of the seven floors that she’s been to before, but it fascinates her enough that she decides to go looking around. The city is disturbingly empty until they find a woman drinking that’s supposed to be a Master and try to pick a fight. The woman laughs at her since she considered it a joke, due to the fact that no one has tried to advance from the first floor or has the desire to fight in the Holy Grail War.
Apparently, in the city the Masters can live happily so there’s no need to fight or risk their lives dying for a wish when they can get everything they want now. They literally sold off their Servants so they could keep celebrating for now and forever. Red Saber storms out of the bar, but before Hakuno can follow the woman asks if he will sell her off. He won’t because there’s no meaning in simply surviving in that manner, which amuses her so she tells that another Master on the floor kept their Servant as well.
When he heads outside, Red Saber apologizes before they’re accosted by hot police women carrying swords. She fawns over them, before explaining that while she likes boys she also likes girls, so they follow the women to the central tower where the Mayor is waiting. As they leave, Rin watches them go and we get a flashback to Shinji murdering the protagonist since he didn’t want to die and Hakuno was the easiest to kill.
On the elevator, Hakuno has another sequence where his body loses the details, only showing a swirling blackness within him, before the elevator turns red. Then he finds himself with a bunch of different corpses telling him that its an unforgiving fight before he questions if everyone on the screens are humans. Red Saber points out most are NPCs since the only humans are the Masters in the SE.RA.PH.
They then arrive to meet the Mayor of the city, a holographic projection of Shinji. He tells him that he wasn’t expecting anymore Masters to be arriving and doesn’t seem to recognize Hakuno anymore before trying to buy Red Saber off him as a means of ensuring that no conflicts can happen on his floor and turning her into a fuel source.
The protagonist naturally refuses, so Shinji decides to kill him off by isolating the two away from one another. He then summons some of the Servants that he bought off other Masters and turned into Berserkers to kill Red Saber, while he has his policewomen gank Hakuno since he doesn’t have any way of defending himself. He gets several swords stuck inside of him before flashing back to the corpses asking if he’ll fight.
He states that he will and suddenly he’s wreathed in a dark energy with glowing red eyes that Rin, who is looking on from a safe distance, refers to as Dead Face as the episode ends.
So now that the first episode is out of the way and we got our mandatory Fate action, this episode primarily deals with giving us the information about the setting of the Holy Grail War. It’s divided up into Seven Floors with 128 Masters and Servants, though Shinji somehow managed to separate the first floor from the SE. RA. PH so that they can operate independently (or so he claims).
Red Saber is demonstrably different from the other Saber’s we’ve seen in that she has no shame in showing her body or expressing herself in as dramatically as she can. The woman spends the first seven or so minutes naked before they get to the battlefield that’s become a megalopolis and then simply takes it all in stride. Even so, she does feel that people should have dreams worth fighting for and that to simply layabout while receiving eternal happiness is a waste.
The only two things that seem to even bother her are the fact that her Master doesn’t seem all that lively and the thought of people abandoning their dreams, rather than working hard towards them.
As for Hakuno, he’s constantly suffering from hallucinations of dying people and that seems to have spurred him on to fight. His anger and hatred have been prominent beneath the surface since the first episode, becoming his reason to get back up after being stabbed and finally manifesting in this Dead Face thing. From what I read on a website, its basically listed as an enhancement that only appears after certain conditions have been met and I’m guessing that he’s met them.
Now, because despite this being an entirely new adaptation of the story, I’ve played the games and so while I understand perfectly well why Hakuno carries himself as a semi-blank state, someone who doesn’t might be questioning why and that can turn a lot of people off. There’s not really much I can say on that front without spoiling anything, so I won’t bring it up.
Then there’s Shinji. The flashback showed us that he was afraid of dying so he resorted to killing Hakuno. That’s manifested in what he’s done to the First Floor. He turned it into a situation where he can’t be killed by taking the Servants of others and allowing the Masters to sit in a false paradise while hiding behind holograms. Those who won’t submit are then ganked in a trap such as the one he led Hakuno to.
In short, he’s being a coward.
Whatever Dead Face is will have to wait until next episode, but its got me interested to see how it will play out.