Fate Extra: Last Encore – Episode 8 Review


The OG Dead Face.

The eighth episode of Fate Extra: Last Encore has aired, and so I’ve come to give my review.


Recap


The episode opens with a shot of a ruined city shrouded in dark clouds, the dull colors padded out by rain and thunder. The twisted landscape gives way to Hakuno having a discussion with someone else who tells him that he’ll never be satisfied with anything, lacking in a wish and a desire to live. Hakuno can’t find it in him to rebuke his words either.

Then we cut to what leads up to that, with Saber mentioning that the Fourth Floor Master and Servant weren’t even worth mentioning.  She’s optimistic but Rin isn’t as she gives them both raincoats since the Fifth Floor is nothing but rain . When they get there, Hakuno has a flashback to the scene of a city on fire from the first episode.

They spot the ladder to the next floor and, since it has already descended, he can climb if he reaches. However, even though there isn’t a Floor Master, there’s a killer who was murdering people on Earth even before becoming a Master. During the Grail War, he was also taking people out from the shadows.

Rin and Saber both identify him as Julius Harwey, brother of Leo from the first episode. Saber and her previous Master defeated him on the Fifth Floor in the last war. Saber acknowledges that he’s strong and they barely beat him, but she knows all his Servant’s tricks so she’s confident they’ll be fine.

They eventually split up and Hakuno asks about Saber’s previous Master. She was a born loser who bore a foolish wish, practically the opposite of him, but their appearances were so similar Saber thought that she had been reborn as male.  Hakuno’s self-esteem is low enough that he can’t really think that way.

Saber tries to cheer him up by telling him her definition of genius being someone who can see the difference between themselves and others.  Since all people are different and one may not do what others can, a genius is someone who understand that cruelty. He only needs to do what he’s capable and that is enough.

Of course, the good mood ends when they come across Berserker and Julius. Unlike everyone else, Julius recognizes Hakuno and states he’s been waiting for him before leaping down and beating on him while Saber and Rin fight against Berserker.  Saber ditches Rin, leaving her to fight him, while she goes looking for her Master.

Julius comments on how stubborn he is to kill while kicking him around. Hakuno goes Dead Face and recalls the memory of defeating him the first time, so he knows that Julius died. However, Julius isn’t a Cyber-Ghost like Alice was. Indeed, being a ghost would be a step-up in his eyes.

They’re both Dead Faces left with nothing but hatred and destruction.  When the Angelia Cage closed and the HGW ended, the dead weren’t stripped of their emotions and stopped being disassembled, building up into a curse. Every Master who died by Twice’s hands, the ones who should have been victors in the HGW, were cast down and struck by that curse, the hatred of the dead.

Hakuno isn’t actually Hakunon. He’s a mass of death in the shape of her components, hatred given form. He may not want to be nothing more than a killer, but that’s all he’ll ever be. He was born to ascend and kill, making that the meaning of his existence. As he realizes that, a single mask representing his personality falls in his mind and he’s left beaten as Saber comes in to try and wreck Julius.

She fails to do so before Rin gets knocked into the room and Saber herself is wounded enough that she can’t fight anymore. Berserker’s first strike, as it turned out, had wounded her near-fatally when she covered Hakuno, which explains why she left him up to Rin since she couldn’t fight anymore against him in such a condition.

So they’re all screwed when a giant fist crashes through the ceiling and tries to crush Julius and his Berserker. Both of them flee, leaving the injured trio laying face down on the rain. Hakuno takes the blame, claiming he wasn’t a proper Master as the credits roll.

Then we get a segment after the credits where he’s walking in darkness, contemplating his existence while holding onto the convenient wish that he could be Hakunon’s reincarnation. The truth that he’s nothing but hatred and the desire for revenge drives him to the depths as Saber’s voice reaches him, telling him to do what he’s capable of. However, she doesn’t understand hatred and that’s all he has, so he continues to walk in the darkness until he finds a door.

Entering the door brings him to a projector room where a woman tells him to take a seat and watch the film being played as the episode truly ends.


Review


Ah, Julius. The OG Dead Face of the Fate/Extra games. He was death in human form and refused to die, coming back as a living grudge even when he was originally deleted. How fitting for him to show up here in this episode.

Anyway, this episode skips the Fourth Floor, which would normally either be the Vlad the crazy or Arcueid the Tsukihime Waifu, to get to the juicy stuff. Namely, the whole mystery of what Dead Face is.

Like we thought, it was basically the collective hatred of the Masters in the HGW that died meshing with the last Master who made it to Twice and died: Hakunon, the girl from the first episode that gets killed along with Saber.

This brings Hakuno to confront a truth similar to his game counterpart that shakes his resolve. Only instead of it being that he’s already died like Alice, he’s not even human at all. He’s nothing more than grail mud stuffed into a human shell… which makes Kotomine being the one to see him off all the more meaningful.

We’ll see how he copes with it, but considering that shadowed figure in the end looked to be Hakunon, we’ll see if she can’t kick him back into being badass.

Saber’s view of things is also expanded on, She considers herself a genius, not only for her talents, but because understands the differences between people. She acknowledges that humans want to see themselves as equal, but the truth is that reality isn’t that way, and that people should simply do what they are capable of.

That’s all she can ask of Hakuno in the end. That he does what he can. He’s not the Master she had, but he’s still someone she considers her Master and wants him to do his best.

And we also see how Twice changed from being what he was in the game to what he was in this series. He thought conflict bred growth and kept bringing it about. However, unlike in the game, he kept it up until he had a revelation that humanity simply couldn’t evolve further through sacrifice.

Humanity had reached their limits and, much like everything else in Nasuverse that can no longer grow, it gets killed off. Stupid Quantum Timelock.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing how the series ends since there’s only like two episodes and maybe a special from what I’m hearing.

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