Episodes 16 – Jack the Ripper to 18 – From Hell of Fate/Apocrypha were relatively difficult viewing for me.
These episodes represented a (more necessary than immediately obvious) diversion from the main story line, but I was relieved when they were over.
Wait, What, Back Up A Bit
Before that happens however there’s a bit of set up for the final arc. So, in essence, episodes 13 – The Last Master through to 15 – Though Our Paths Diverge advance the main plot but do so relatively slowly.
However then the loose cannon that is Assassin of Black, aka Jack the Ripper, explodes on to the scene setting up the need for the main characters to deal with her.
Dealing With Jack
The Fate version of Jack the Ripper is, almost unsurprisingly at this point, a gender flipped little girl.
I have Jack as one of my best (well, most effective) Assassin class Servants in Fate/Grand Order and I thought the dialogue in her interlude cut scenes was really creepy.
In Fate/Apocrypha both Jack and her Master are creepy as fuck. And the net effect is multiplicative.
Hence why watching these episodes was relatively hard for me, and damn but I was relieved when they were over.
Why These Episodes Matter
In the end though, the importance of these episodes lies not in Jack, but in Sieg and Jeanne.
Sieg is still developing as a character, he was still in many senses too much the idealist, and too little connected to the shades of grey that often make up the world.
Jeanne still had the image, at least to Sieg and I think to many viewers through Sieg’s viewpoint, of the Holy Maiden.
Both characters walk out of these episodes either changed in themselves, or changed in how others see them.
That matters. That matters a lot.
Sieg will have to approach the final arc uncertain in how he relates to the world, and will have to resolve that somehow.
He also has to deal with Jeanne’s brutal self honesty which revealed a much more faceted, and nuanced, character than the Holy Maiden he had placed up on a pedestal (whether he realised that he’d done that or not).
Oh and in the middle of all this, and particularly in episode 17 – Traumerei, there’s this budding romance between Sieg and Jeanne which is just lovely to watch. As I said on Twitter:
I’m still impressed by Fate/Apocrypha, and I do appreciate the role that these episodes will no doubt play in setting up the characters for finale.
But if I ever rewatch Fate/Apocrypha I’ll struggle with rewatching any of the Jack content in the show.
Here’s the second OP Ash by Lisa which I’m quite liking, if not quite as much as the first OP (yet):