Fate Extra: Last Encore – Episode 10 Review


That’s three times that I’ve seen the Best Girl die. Why do you do this to me?

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


Recap


The episode opens with Rin and Rani both on the Sixth Floor, sitting at the top of a structure that rises to the sky, discussing the formation of a truce. They drop vague hints that they’ve been doing battle for a long time and they’ve reached a stalemate to the point where Moon Cell itself has given up. So both have decided to work together to drag another Master up to the Sixth Floor to bring things to an end, with Rani referring to them as being crucial to settling things.

Cutting back to Hakuno, he thinks about Rin and how he questioned her on why she was participating in the Holy Grail War with Rani. Given how the two of them seemed to be working together last episode and they haven’t been near a school since the first episode, I’m thinking its Hakuno diving into Hakunon’s memories once more. So we’ll call it a flashback.

Much like her Fate/Extra counterpart, Rin was a magus going against the government established by the Harwey family.  Since Leo Harwey had entered and his victory would have meant his family’s control over the Earth would have been absolute, Rin basically came up there to put an end to him. As you know, Masters in Moon Cell have to fight one-on-one with their Servants and the loser tends to die, so it would work out pretty well for her.

Not that she didn’t want the grail too. In the 21st century, humanity began a period of stagnation and their resources were running low, so Rin hoped she could do something about that with it. Rani’s reason for participating is also highlighted. She wanted to study the grail for the sake of knowledge about humans since she doesn’t understand them well and it was the last hope that her teacher had for her.

Hakuno then wakes up to find that Nero has been watching him sleep. She gives him an explanation of how her Noble Phantasm works and is absolutely delighted when he praises her, and then we get to learn more about Dead Face from Hakuno’s perspective. He believes that his power comes from the experiences of Masters who have died, hence why he knew that Code Cast to block Poison from out of nowhere on the Second Floor.

If he can pull out those experiences at will, he has effectively hundreds of Code Casts at his disposal. As long as he focuses on using one of them at a time, he can become a Code Coast specialist. So he’s basically pulling an Unlimited Blade Works, but with magic instead of Noble Phantasms.

They arrive at the Sixth Floor to find it covered in ice-like polearms and a thick fog that shrouds the land. Nero imagines that the Floor Master of the Sixth has been living a life similar to Dan and Shinji given how many hundreds of years its been, suffering hardship over the centuries they’ve been here, when she nearly gets a lance through the face courtesy of  Rin in her Demi-Servant form, only with dead eyes and not a single word.

Hakuno tries to intercept with his discount UBW, but Rin blocks the attack and he nearly gets crushed from behind by Rani in her Demi-Servant form, which explains who interfered with Julius nearly offing them in the eighth episode.  But then something strange happens as the Demi-Servants kill one another as more copies of themselves appear and keep fighting. Hakuno and Nero wisely decide to get away from the battlefield and take cover.

Then the wind blows and clears away the fog, revealing that there are hundreds, if not thousands of dead Demi-Servants in the ice surrounding a lake with a dome in the center. So clearly something strange is going on, but the living ones continue chasing after them and Hakuno uses up the majority of his strength in getting away with Nero. They come to realize that the ones that are fighting are all mass-produced as the Rin who had been with them on the First Floor appears.

Rin explains that she and Rani are the Floor Master of the Sixth Floor due to certain circumstances. They’ll be safe if they make it to the dome in the center, so she escorts them there before she breaks apart due to the fact that while she isn’t a soldier version like the others she was mass-produced. So Hakuno and Saber enter into the dome where a recording plays out and explains what the hell is going on.

Basically, Rin and Rani made it to the Sixth Floor and their servants Lancer Cu and Berserker Lu Bu fought and killed one another.  Since both were the winners and losers at the same time, neither were able to die or ascend. They were kept in a state of temporary death when the Holy Grail War was suspended, and because resources were limited the two were basically used as cogs in the system to keep the floor stable.

That’s right, they’re literally part of the Sixth Floor while being Masters.  The mass-produced versions fight a meaningless battle while the originals continue to sleep despite no longer wanting to, meaning they’re stuck. So they hatched a plan where they would have a Master come and put an end to one of them, bringing the slaughter to a close.

So now Hakuno has to decide which girl he’ll kill and which one  he’ll save. It should be plainly obvious that he’s going with the girl who has appeared in the franchise multiple times and has more screen time, so I have to watch Rani die a third time if we include the version on the previous floor. However, Hakuno actually did try to save Rani too, it was just that her digital body was too peculiar due to spoilers that I’m going to talk about in the review.

So his failure stings because he wanted them to keep living no matter what, even knowing that one of them would likely kill him since they wanted to move on. The episode then ends with him making a grave for her as the original Rin vows to support Hakuno in her place.

 


Review


All I have to say is… what the hell, Type-Moon? You’re telling me you can deviate from the original story but we can’t get a version where we can save both of the girls? Must you continue to trample on my heart?

Anyway, this episode basically takes a twist from the original game and spins it around. You see, a match between Rin and Rani would inevitably break out where one has to kill the other. You, the Player, observe it in the same projector room where Hakuno got his infodump on Hakunon’s past with Nero in the previous episode.

The Player then uses a Command Seal to access the battle and then can choose whether to save Rin or Rani, with the latter losing their Servant and remaining as a companion to the end of the game. Now, in my case, I saved Rani in the Saber and Caster routes, but since I wasn’t a dick and didn’t want Archer to have to kill a version of Rin, I saved her on his route.

At the end, the Player would discover they have an original copy of themselves on Earth in cryogenic stasis due to suffering an illness. The player releases the girl they saved back to their body on the Earth, where they vow to search for the original despite it not having the Player’s memory. The Player, meanwhile, is deleted along with their Servant by Moon Cell, knowing they accomplished something.

It was a pretty bitter ending, as you can tell, and here they basically decided to do the same thing, showing an alternate take on what could have happened. The girls would fight but not surrender as long as the other was willing to keep going. So they’d kill one another and get stuck in Limbo, the same fight playing out over and over until the Player (Hakuno) interfered and dictated which one would live.

The reason for his failure to save Rani ultimately lies with a fact that the games tell you in her route. Rani, you see, is a homunculus made by the sister of Sion from Tsukihime, and so her digital body is rather unique. She literally blows herself up trying to kill Rin in the games and then walks out like nothing happened.

That bit her in the rear here since it means that he couldn’t bring her back because of it. And, even with her body being unique, once Moon Cell begins the deletion process she can’t get out of it. So she’s gone and all that’s left is a grave like the ones she tended to on the Second Floor.

To be honest, it’s perfectly in character with how she’s been seen in the anime so far. She refused to leave the Second Floor and opted to remain behind on the Sixth Floor. She was more content with seeing the dead off and flinging a star into the future for humanity’s sake, which is a very Atlas thing to do. They seek to preserve humanity from a Dead End future.

Rin, on the other hand,  chose to follow them throughout their journey despite the fact that it was painful. Remember, she died against Alice only to be reset and she admitted it was painful as her body was breaking down. However, she never once stopped and intends to see things through to the end, much like how she wanted to stop Leo and refused to surrender until they came up with an alternate plan.

So it was a bittersweet episode that still ends on a somewhat sweet note.   Unfortunately, from what I’ve been hearing the next episode of Fate/Extra: Last Encore isn’t set to come out until June or July, so I won’t get to see how the story plays out until then. So we’re left wanting until then.

…Why do you do this to me, Type-Moon?

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