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Fate/Apocrypha Key Visual (Netflix)

Fate/Apocrypha Key Visual (Netflix)

Well, I’ve finally gotten round to the anime series I signed up to Netflix to watch in the first place: Fate/Apocrypha.

At the halfway point I’m reasonably impressed.

The Set Up

Fate/Apocrypha is an alternate universe that split off 60 years prior to Fate/Zero. In the Third Holy Grail War, Darnic Yggdmillenia stole the Greater Holy Grail from Fuyuki and has been preparing for a different sort of Fourth Holy Grail War ever since.

This Holy Grail War will involve teams: The Yggdmillenia family will be Black team, and the Mages Association will be the Red team, each with seven Servants in the usual classes. As with other instalments in the franchise, the Servants are intended to be the frontline fighters whilst their Mage masters stay back where it’s safe(r). It doesn’t always work that way.

To adjudicate this mess Jeanne D’Arc is also summoned as a masterless Ruler.

The Mess

Suffice it to say that this Holy Grail War is a gigantic mess, and it isn’t until right at the end of the first part that at least one of the true villains* of the piece is revealed. There’s a lot going on, and this show is recent enough that I really don’t want to spoil too much for new viewers.

*There’s one that’s kind of obvious from the beginning. And, spoiler, the factions aren’t a clear guide to this.

Instead I’m just going to talk about the characters I had the most fun watching.

The Main Characters

Jeanne d’Arc, Ruler (Fate/Grand Order)

Jeanne d’Arc, Ruler (Fate/Grand Order)

The two main characters are Jeanne and a homunculus she helps rescue called Sieg. These two are quite a lot of fun to watch. Sieg’s arc from helpless in a vat to his own beliefs with the willingness to fight for them has been quite satisfying.

It doesn’t hurt that Maaya Sakamoto did a superb job voicing Jeanne, and I’m rather looking forward to her scenes in the next part.

Shishigou and Mordred

As far as I can tell most, if not all, of the Servants in Fate/Apocrypha had not earlier anime treatments. So Shishigou and Mordred are in many ways the definitive treatment of Mordred.

They’re a fascinating, and well matched, pair. This is one area where an anime can shine over a game like Fate/Grand Order: Mordred is one of my 5⭐️ Servants in FGO, but he* is a lot more interesting, and well realised here.

Mordred Profile from Fate/Grand Order

Mordred Profile from Fate/Grand Order

*Yes, yes, Mordred is physically female in both FGO (see above) and Fate/Apocrypha. But don’t ever call him a woman or she. He objects to that strenuously.

Both Shishigou and Mordred are fiercely independent, which becomes relevant when he refuses to work closely with the other Red Faction masters from the start. I do like the onscreen chemistry between these two, they’re simply a lot of fun to watch.

Berserker of Black

The Berserker of Black is the female version of Frankenstein’s Monster.

And she’s adorable.

A berserker, and a truly furious one at that.

But adorable nevertheless.

Based on her representation in Fate/Apocrypha I can see why Fran is a huge fan favourite in the FGO fandom.

Rider of Black

Astolfo, one of the Twelve Paladins of Charlemagne, is another fan favourite from FGO that I’ve come to appreciate in Fate/Apocrypha. Cheerful, upbeat, determined to do the right thing as they* see it, Astolfo is just huge fun whenever they’re on screen.

*Astolfo’s gender in the Fate franchise is somewhat unclear.

Conclusion

At the halfway point I’m enjoying Fate/Apocrypha, and consider it to be worth watching. Fate/Apocrypha is probably also an accessible starting point for people who haven’t watched any of the Fate franchise previously.

Here’s the OP to the first part:

Question of the Post: If you’ve seen the first half of Fate/Apocrypha, which characters did you have the most fun watching?