This review will be relatively spoiler free in order for the reader to make their own personal views on the series. This review will only be stating my personal views on the series. You can watch Fate/Apocrypha on Netflix.
The setting is a parallel world to Fate/stay night where the Greater Grail mysteriously disappeared from Fuyuki after the Third Holy Grail War. After many years of silence, around the same time as the Fifth Holy Grail War would have happened, the Yggdmillennia, a family of magi, openly declares their secession from the Mage’s Association, and that they are in possession of the Grail. The Association dispatches fifty magi to retrieve it, and all but one are instantly slaughtered by a mysterious Servant. The one remaining manages to activate the reserve system of the Greater Grail, allowing for the summoning of fourteen Servants in total.
In the city of Trifas, two factions will fight for the control of the sacred relic, each of them possessing their own team of seven Servants: the Black Faction whose members are part of Yggdmillennia, protecting the Grail, and the Red Faction whose members were sent by the Mage’s Association, trying to take the Grail back. For an event of this scale, the Grail itself summons its own Servant, the holy Ruler, to oversee the conflict.
This marks the start of the Great Holy Grail War.
-According to the Type Moon Wiki
Let’s get down to the main review.
A-1 continues to do well with the art but now we need to look at how the art is within reference to the scenes.
I have to say that the art for the important scenes like the battle between Jeanne and Atalanta, Sieg vs. Karna, and Mordred vs. Semiramis were all well done. I have to say however the scene with Jack’s Noble Phantasm and the world it creates were perhaps some of the best scenes in the anime. It truly expresses how dark and foggy 18th century London was to set the stage properly for the story that was told there.
Fate/Apocrypha is an unusual case of being interesting with good action but having some issues that drag it down. The major issue is ironically the main character, Sieg.
Sieg is not good as a main character. He’s very plain and doesn’t do well with progressing the story. Yet he has so many gifts given to him to pretty much carry the story without much explanation. I mostly enjoy the story as it was told but in a way I mourn for the story that could have been.
Another part that drags Apocrypha down is that Sieg does drag down Jeanne. Something she shows more in Grand Order that gets annoying is that Jeanne is so pure and perfect she makes other people look weird in comparison. Saint Martha, and Saint George are good people but they aren’t defined by being saints. However she seems more real here, even saying she never once considered herself a saint, just a person doing the right thing. That’s a welcome change from her Grand Order self.
However Jeanne with Sieg is more of a lovesick teenager, which is interesting but ultimately not something necessary to the story. I believe I heard on a Reddit subreddit while the anime was airing that the author was trying to mimic the relationship of Shirou and Saber with Jeanne and Sieg. However it doesn’t work like that or at least doesn’t work well. Shirou and Saber work well together because at the end, they’re both idealists and they both grow to reaffirm each other’s choices through the route. However with Jeanne and Sieg, Jeanne is very realistic and firm about what she is and does. She has no regrets about her life at all. While Sieg doesn’t have much of a personality outside of ‘Protect Ruler’, at least Shirou, while empty on the inside, had more to his character than just being a hero of justice. As a result and probably because of her kind nature, Jeanne and Sieg seem more like a baby sitter and a child rather than a relationship.
Moving on, the story had good moments with times like the battle between Jeanne and Atalanta and the issue with dealing with Jack the Ripper. But the fact that Sieg is the major focus is what leads the story to be meh at times. I often thought that the relationship and the realizations that Mordred had were better than the Jeanne, Sieg, and later Astolfo team. The reason being is that Mordred had clear goals and found something out about herself during the course of the war. I believe this makes her a more interesting protagonist than Sieg who never really changes during the course of the show.
I would always say in the case of Apocrypha that the problem isn’t the plot or premise, it’s the execution of it or how the characters realize it.
The characters in Apocrypha are varied and interesting. I find them all, especially the servants to be unique and motivated. I see the characters that grew the most or became the most interesting by the end of the anime were Kairi Sisigou, Mordred, Atalanta, Caules and Fiore. In the case of Kairi, Mordred, Caules, and Fiore they all gain a sense of development that makes them better people and characters. While for Atalanta her issue with Jeanne during the second part is a beautiful show of her character. Atalanta’s goal/wish is beautiful but the situation she is in one without an easy answer and once again shows that Saori Hayami can play enraged characters very well.
I have to say that I liked Apocrypha at certain moments. Simply put some of the characters are beautiful and cute, the setting is interesting, the music is amazing, and the battles are well done and captivate the eyes. However as a Fate work, I would describe as the Final Fantasy 13 of the bunch. For those that don’t know Final Fantasy 13 is the Final Fantasy that people don’t like but people think overstayed its welcome by having two unasked for sequels. I personally like the series but I can still see the flaws of it. The games are beautiful and the setting is certainly interesting but the series falls by having somewhat uninteresting characters and major logic fails during the series.
Fate/Apocrypha is like that. Overall it’s beautiful and interesting but the flaws are there and they certainly hamper the enjoyment of the series.
I give Fate/Apocrypha a 6/10 for having a good setting, beautiful and somewhat interesting characters but failing in logic.
So until the next Full Season Review,
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