Fate/Apocrypha 03 (Who’s Good? Who’s Bad?)

Fate/Apocrypha 03
フェイト/アポクリファ episode 03

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis

Fate/Apocrypha 03A Yggdmillennia homunculus becomes aware of his surroundings and escapes his glass container. He is found by Black Rider, who harbors him with Black Archer’s help, protecting him from Black Caster’s search. Elsewhere, Ruler senses danger and sends her ride back. She’s attacked by Red Lancer, but Black Saber shows up under Gordes instruction. Gordes thinks that Ruler will assist them, but she informs him that Red Lancer’s rule violation and the conflict between Black Saber and Red Lancer are two different things. Dawn breaks, so Red Lancer leaves. Gordes attempts to get Ruler to come with him, but she declines all of his attempts to persuade her.

Fate/Apocrypha 03Caules finds Black Berserker picking flowers. He wants to know more about her, telling her how he knows of her creation as an artificial human and her desire for Dr. Frankenstein to create a mate for her. As such, Caules is able to confirm that Berserker’s wish is to have a mate like her. She wants to know her Master’s wish, which is to bring his sister back to life if she dies in the war. Baring that, he’d wish for the Akashic Records. She gives him a flower as he departs. Meanwhile, his sister Fiore tells her Servant Black Archer her wish – to heal her crippled legs.

Fate/Apocrypha 03Red Saber complains to Sisigou about being cooped up in a crypt, even if it is good for regenerating her magic power. Sisigou reminds her that this location is easily defendable. Red Saber is bored, but doesn’t want to go out alone. She reminds Sisigou of the attack they took in the middle of town and that her Noble Phantasm would cause widespread destruction. He calms her down by addressing her as Ou-sama (King), vowing to protect the people. Shirou sends Sisigou a message, informing him about Red Berserker going off to attack the Yggdmillennia. Red Berserker gleefully makes it through magic traps, observed locally by Red Archer and Red Rider. The Yggdmillennia call a meeting to discuss how to deal with Red Berserker.


I will say that my interest in this series grew a bit with Fate/Apocrypha 03. A-1 still aren’t as good as ufotable, but they are trying. And hey, I realized that I have Red Archer as one of my 4* Archer Servants in Fate/Grand Order (though I’m using 4* EMIYA Archer instead). 😆

Fate/Apocrypha 03

The Scheme to Get Ruler

I have to say that I was a bit surprised to see Gordes show up with Black Saber in an attempt to get Ruler to side with the Black Faction. That suggests that the Black Faction knew that Red Lancer was coming to attack Ruler and decided to take advantage of the situation. Either that, or Gordes found out and decided to take advantage of the situation.

Fate/Apocrypha 03

Gordes comes off as utter cowardly scum, to say nothing of his being a conniving, scheming weasel. I actually laughed out loud when Gordes had this look of shock after Ruler announced she would not be helping Black Saber battle Red Lancer. He was so sure that the Red Faction attempting to take Ruler out would cause her to join his side. All of his subsequent efforts to convince her to join the battle fail, as does his efforts to get her to set up at at the Yggdmillennia compound. At the very least, Gordes wanted Ruler to be favorable to the Black Faction. That said, I couldn’t help but wonder if he had sinister motives to be rid of Ruler as well.

Fate/Apocrypha 03

Homunculus Escape

What’s weird here is that this escaped homunculus seems to be another central character. I’m kinda hoping that Fate/Apocrypha will explore the concept of disposable humans and the evil therein. In Fate/Zero, we see the homunculus Iri, who was created for one purpose, making her disposable for that purpose. However, she became quite human in nature, even giving birth to a human-homunculus hybrid child. That child, Ilya, had two homunculi maids named Sella and Leysritt in the Fate/stay night series. Liz and Sella were saved from being put on a literal scrap heap by being turned into Ilya’s maids. Even though Ilya cares for them and they for her, all three are still disposable for a common purpose.

Fate/Apocrypha 03

With Fate/Apocrypha, the Yggdmillennia are using homunculus as disposable soldiers and possibly “batteries” for the golems being created. It is really a jacked up situation to the extreme. We’ll see where the writers go with this escaped homunculus, but as I said, I’d like for them to explore the concept of disposable humans.

Fate/Apocrypha 03

The Good in the Black Faction

It is actually going to suck for me if Black Archer and Black Rider die. Heck, even Black Saber dying would kinda suck. And they’ve made Black Berserker so freaking adorable, turning the Frankenstein legend up on its head. (More on that in a bit.) But for Fate/Apocrypha 03, we see Black Archer and Black Rider do something honorable and noble; they save the homunculus from capture even though they knew Black Caster had everyone out looking for him. I just get the feeling that we are being set up to get a massive case of the “feels” for when Black Archer and/or Black Rider die.

Fate/Apocrypha 03

On the Master side, Fiore and Caules certainly don’t seem evil at all. With Fiore being in a wheelchair, here too I fear we are being set up for massive tears if these two get killed. Man, I really hope this doesn’t happen, but with a Red Faction and a Black Faction at war, one would thing that this brother and sister duo might easily die, whether in the first phase of the war, or if the Black Faction wins, in the subsequent fight to the last Master/Servant.

Fate/Apocrypha 03

Black Berserker

By making Black Berserker the ultra adorable female Frankenstein, I couldn’t help but feel that this is part of some cute girl zombie trope going on in Japan. I know there have been several atypical zombie titles come out of Japan, but I’ve avoided them all. Black Berserker is my first foray into this trope.

Fate/Apocrypha 03

Still, in making Frankenstein an adorable female, it made the Frankenstein story all the more tragic to me. Then you had Caules attempting to get to know her despite her limited ability to communicate. Its going to suck to see her bite the bullet.

Fate/Apocrypha 03

Red Faction

We’ve had a great deal of exploration of the Black Faction, but the Red Faction has been limited to Shirou, some of the Red Servants, Sisigou, and Red Saber. But the other Red Masters are oddly not involved for some reason. I know Shirou has stated that he’s trying to take over, but how does this work? Do the other Masters simply say, “Yeah, do whatever the priest says. I mean, he is a priest, right?” Otherwise, they seem to be holed up in what could be a dungeon. Weird.

Fate/Apocrypha 03

Meanwhile, we have Sisigou and Red Saber. I can see why Red Saber is getting a lot of love of late from fandom. She’s sassy as well as cute, and she can kick arse. I like how Sisigou is playing to her ego by addressing her as Ou-sama. It will be interesting seeing how they deal with Red Berserker doing his thing, which seems like a suicide mission.

Fate/Apocrypha 03

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Man, it has only taken me forever and a day to get this bloody review of Fate/Apocrypha 03 written. Sometimes I do miss the days when I had lots more free time and wasn’t so tired, but I’m not going to complain. Instead, I’ll wrap this puppy up.

  • Apparently, I missed that Ruler possessed a girl at the end of episode 1. I saw the scene in question and indeed, just rewatched it. I would NEVER have determined that Ruler, aka Jeanne d’Arc,  had possessed some girl. From my exposure to the Fate franchise, such a thing isn’t done. Servants may overstay their welcome, but they’ve always come as they are. So it is weird to me that a Servant like Ruler possesses a girl who apparently looks just like Jeanne.
  • Speaking of Ruler, I kinda felt bad for her that her stuff was heavily damaged. Or rather the stuff of the girl she’s possessing. Still not liking this aspect, but we’ll see where that goes.

Fate/Apocrypha 03

In the end, Fate/Apocrypha 03 ended up being pretty interesting to me. While there is still the Servant aspect of Fate/Grand Order as a primary draw, I am liking that the Black and Red factions are not all they initially seemed to be.

Fate/Apocrypha 03

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9 Responses to “Fate/Apocrypha 03 (Who’s Good? Who’s Bad?)”

  1. NullApostle says:

    I knew I said I’ll watch it to the end, but I’m this close to dropping it.

    Apocrypha reads like mediocre fanfiction, and considering it started as a Doujin Novel, it basically is.
    E.g. here, have a trap character (Black Rider), a “monster girl” (Black Berserker), a tough tomboy chick with a punk attitude (Red Saber), hunky men in ridiculous leather outfits (Black Saber most of all, but others too), evil dark-skinned Shirou (of course the priest is evil again; have we seen a single ‘good’ Church character in Fate?), a chick in a wheelchair (appealing to the the Katawa Shoujo fans?), a victimised androgynous character (the homunculus), a murder loli (Black Assassin), throw in a Dracula with crazy hair (Vlad Tepes) and mix freely.

    I’ll keep watching to ep5 and see if the Servant battles are any good. Then I’ll decide.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      The Fate/Grand Order game pretty much removed any objections to Servants and trope types they play. That’s because the game uses them all and then some. Although I don’t use them, I have Black Saber (4*), Red Archer (4*), and Red Berserker (1*) in my stable of summoned Servants. Black Lancer (Vlad III) is a 5* Servant in the game as a Berserker (his Lancer summons is not in the U.S. version yet). I have Ruler and use her all the time because she’s basically a tank.

      Gah! Sorry. I keep drifting into the game.

      Anyway, I can understand your objections. Those elements haven’t bothered me yet. And I’ve liked that not all is as it seems with the Red and Black factions.

      • NullApostle says:

        You DO know those character designs & descriptions were taken from the Apocrypha novels – which came out, what, five years ago? – for the game, right?

        Granted, the Grand;Order team has managed to make some, let’s say, strange decisions on character design all on their own. I still shudder when I see pictures of the Black (and I mean utterly black – he looks like a gangsta) Shirou. Others look pretty good, though (I like Solomon’s design), so who knows what went into the mind of the designers; it’s pretty hit or miss from what I’ve seen.
        I don’t own a smartphone/tablet, so I didn’t, nor will I ever, play it. I got the designs from what was shared on the type;moon board (Beast’s Lair).

        Now if you could summon Tsukihime Shiki, instead of “Kara no Kyoukai” Shiki, that would be fun. He’d basically murder everyone, lol. But I too digress. Let’s see what the next two episodes bring.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          You DO know those character designs & descriptions were taken from the Apocrypha novels – which came out, what, five years ago? – for the game, right?

          Yeah, that was my understanding that the game was going to take Servants from all 50-billion Fate titles. 😆

          I was going to suggest playing the game on BlueStacks, then I remembered that the bloody Japanese have blocked the game from running on emulators or rooted systems ’cause they have unfounded fears of people cheating. Of course if they didn’t make the game so unfair when it comes to 5* Servants, it wouldn’t be such an issue. I do play on a tablet that I purchased to carry with me on work trips instead of lugging my personal laptop around. (It has a Bluetooth keyboard.)

    • OverMaster says:

      “have we seen a single ‘good’ Church character in Fate?”

      Ruler/Saint Martha from Grand Order sort of counts, and quirks aside she’s as good as they come. Caren Ortensia is ultimately also a ‘good’ character, despite some very questionable traits. In Tsukihime, from the same author and Multiverse, there’s also Ciel, one of the main heroines.

      “so who knows what went into the mind of the designers; it’s pretty hit or miss from what I’ve seen.”

      The designers are wildly varied, coming from franchises as different from each other as DanganRonpa, Black Lagoon and Disgaea. Of course their diverse contributions to the Fate franchise would be very distinct as well.

  2. Geburah san says:

    Remember that on fate verse church is usually antagonistic due that fate happens on the magic world, and mages and church have an iffy relationship at best so the perspective is kinda biased since there are stories told from the mages side.

    Both Kotomine Kirei and Kotomine Shirou are an special case, usually church people is reasonable at least until mages start screwing around and the church is forced to clean their shit. For example Father Risei or Father Simon

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      For example Father Risei or Father Simon

      Those names aren’t ringing a bell with me. I probably should consult the wikia.

      • Geburah san says:

        Risei was Kotomine’s father. a pretty chill guy who was friends with Tokiomi, while Simon was the priest of the island where Kiritsugu and his father lived and, was aware of his identity as a magus, and tolerated them despite not liking magus specially

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