Fate/Apocrypha 01 (Now with double the Servants!)

Fate/Apocrypha 01
フェイト/アポクリファ episode 01

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis

Fate/Apocrypha 01A battle wages where pike wielding soldiers and female mages battle dragon tooth warriors. Red Saber battles Black Saber, both activating their Noble Phantasms. Meanwhile Ruler is battling a massive blob monster before ultimately defeating it. In the present, a tough looking male necromancer named SISIGOU Kairi arrives at the Clock Tower for a meeting with Rocco Belfaban, the dean of the “Department of Summoning.” There, they discuss the recent announcement by the Yggdmillennia clan that they have the Greater Grail. Further, the clan has at least one Servant, who brutally slaughtered 50 mages sent to retrieve the Grail.

Fate/Apocrypha 01Rocco wants Sisigou to become a Red Master to battle the Yggdmillennia clan Masters. There will be seven Red Masters to battle the seven Black Masters of the Yggdmillennia in this new Great Holy Grail War. Once one side has been eliminated, the survivors of the other side would have to battle in a normal Holy Grail War. To that end, Rocco gives a piece of the Round Table to Sisigou to summon a Heroic Spirit Servant. Rocco already has six other Red Masters picked, including one from the Church. Sisigou takes a baby hydra in a jar as advanced payment and leaves.  Elsewhere, Lord El-Melloi II has a similar discussion about the Yggdmillennia with Flat Escardos, a student at the Clock Tower who’d guided Sisigou to his meeting.

Fate/Apocrypha 01Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia has a meeting over a game of chess with Black Caster, Avicebron, who’s helping to raise an army of golems. Black Caster’s Master, a boy named Roche Frain Yggdmillennia, arrives to inform them that preparations for the Servant summoning ceremony have completed. Black Caster only cares about the completion of his Noble Phantasm, Golem Keter Malkuth. Four Yggdmillennia Masters summon Black Saber, Black Rider, Black Archer, and Black Berserker. Darnic presents them to his Servant, Black Lancer, whom Darnic refers to as King. Elsewhere in a graveyard, Sisigou summons Red Saber, whom he is stunned to learn is Mordred, heir to Arthur Pendragon.

Thoughts/Review

As a long time fan of the Fate/stay night franchise, Fate/Apocrypha was a series I wanted to watch. With the release of the Fate/Grand Order game in the U.S., it made me even more keen since some of the Servants in Fate/Grand Order have major roles in Fate/Apocrypha.

Fate/Apocrypha 01

The Beginning Battle

I’m going to guess that the battle at the beginning of Fate/Apocrypha 01 isn’t a flashback as I initially thought, but likely is the final battle of the Great Holy Grail War. The soldiers we saw fighting dragon tooth warriors were dressed the same as the homunculus being grown by the Yggdmillennia. Red Saber was the same and Black Saber, aka Dragon-Blooded Knight Siegfried, was also the same. Since Seigfried’s Saber plays an important role in the First Singularity mission of Fate/Grand Order, I was excited to see him in action in a different war.

Fate/Apocrypha 01

Also shown in the beginning battle (and at the end of the episode) is Ruler, aka Jeanne d’Arc. Her Servant character also plays an important role in the First Order mission of Fate/Grand Order. Since she’s one of my three 5* Servants, I’m really excited to see her in anime form. She’s pretty awesome in the FGO game.

Fate/Apocrypha 01

Red vs. Black

So it seems that with Fate/Apocrypha, folks went, “Hmmm. How can we make this different from all of the other Fate titles out there? I know! Let’s double the number of Servants from seven to fourteen. Then lets have a fifteenth Servant show up as Ruler. It will be glorious!” Well, hopefully it is, though I wish ufotable was doing the series instead of A-1.

Fate/Apocrypha 01

The Black team from the Yggdmillennia Clan are the obvious villains here and the Red team is obviously the good guys, representing the Church and the Mage Association. And yet as I watched this, knowing Ruler will come into play, I can’t help but think that there’s a good chance that the Red team may not be much better than the Black team. We’ll see though.

Fate/Apocrypha 01

I had mentioned recognizing Servants from playing Fate/Grand Order. The final Servant I recognized from that game was Black Lancer. Since his identity wasn’t revealed in the episode, I’ll keep it to myself. (Hint: We see his handiwork in gruesomely slaughtering the 50 mages.) Nevertheless, in Fate/Grand Order, this Servant is a 5* Berserker (US version of the game). So I’m kinda interested in seeing how he does. I find it interesting that his Master refers to Black Lancer as King.

Fate/Apocrypha 01

In a related topic, I also find it interesting that Black Caster’s Master refers to him as Sensei. These Yggdmillennia are weird when it comes to the Master-Servant relationship.

Fate/Apocrypha 01

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

As this first episode was mostly a lot of setup, combined with the fact that I’m already behind, I’ll wrap my review of Fate/Apocrypha 01 up with some final thoughts.

  • Loved seeing the cameo by Waver-kun, aka Lord El-Melloi II. I wonder how big a role he’ll play in this anime. For some reason, he’s a 5* Caster Servant in Fate/Grand Order and one of the most highly prized Servants to have due to his supporting role. Maybe Fate/Apocrypha will explain that. (Haha! I keep returning to Fate/Grand Order.)
  • I was amused at how even political correctness and the anti-tobacco smoking forces are alive and well in Japan. This came from Sisigou wanting to light up in Rocco’s office and getting a dirty look for the attempt.
  • So Red Saber is Mordred of the Arthur legend. Haha! Well, got to keep the tradition alive of a hot, blonde babe from England’s mythic past playing the role of Saber. Plus, Artoria (or as I’ve learned from the Fate/Grand Order game, Altria) has a child? Whoa! There’s an interesting story there.
  • I would have enjoyed Black Saber being Saber Alter. But I guess we need all new Servants for Fate/Apocrypha.  😉

Fate/Apocrypha 01

In the end, Fate/Apocrypha 01 sets the table for what’s to come, but its main appeal to me has been recognizing Servants from Fate/Grand Order. Plus, I miss ufotable’s awesome animation of battle scenes. A-1 does what they can, but they ain’t ufotable.

Fate/Apocrypha 01

 

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2 Responses to “Fate/Apocrypha 01 (Now with double the Servants!)”

  1. NullApostle says:

    As of now I’d call it mediocre. It’s not terrible, but it’s also not that good. Don’t get me wrong, I’m gonna watch this to the end, but I’m not sure I’m gonna enjoy it all that much.
    I guess it’s the writer – he (?) is neither Nasu nor Urobuchi. Some of the character designs also seem pretty off to me (edgy?, too extravagant?). Especially Siegfried looks pretty stupid.
    Oh well, let’s hope the fights are good.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      I thought Siegfried looked like his Fate/Grand Order self.

      As to the other stuff, well I wish ufotable was animating this. It would have looked awesome then.

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