Fate/Apocrypha 25 (Finale)

Fate/Apocrypha 25
フェイト/アポクリファ episode 25

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis

Fate/Apocrypha 25As the Hanging Gardens of Babylon begin to crumble and fall apart, Shirou awakens with his head resting on the injured Red Assassin’s lap. They watch the sun rise and she forgives him for lying to her about her becoming Empress of the world. After they chat a while, she kisses him and he dies. She then disperses into energy. Meanwhile, Sieg finds himself in the Holy Grail, in the same place Shirou had been, where he’s joined by a worried Black Rider.

Fate/Apocrypha 25The figure of Justeaze appears before them, telling them they’ve won the Greater Holy Grail War. She is a terminal to the Greater Grail and asks him his wish. He wants to stop Shirou’s wish, but Justeaze says that is impossible, now that the wish has been granted and is in progress. As the trio discuss the situation, Black Rider notices Sieg’s hand is black and has dragon scales. Sieg asks Justeaze a question and she confirms what he wants can be done. Black Rider protests, but Sieg arranges for him to be granted a physical form to live in the world.

Fate/Apocrypha 25Black Rider races off, rescuing Caules and Laeticia in the process. They make it out of the Hanging Gardens before it crumbles completely and falls to ground. As they fly, they observe the dragon Fafnir (Sieg), flying away to The Reverse Side of the World, where only immortals reside, with the Greater Holy Grail. Red Caster sees this and is amazed. His only lament, as he dissolves into energy, is that he didn’t get to be the lead in this play. Meanwhile, Laeticia wonders if Sieg and Jeanne can meet again in that place.

Fate/Apocrypha 25Sometime later, Caules meets with Lord El-Melloi II at the Mage Association Clock Tower to discuss the Greater Holy Grail War. Caules is kicked out of his normal mage studies, but is transferred to Knowledge, where Caules will learn a new kind of magic that’s different from the formal magic he already knows. Meanwhile, a grateful Astolfo sees Laeticia off as she returns to France. In the Reverse Side of the World, Jeanne wanders until she encounters a sleeping Fafnir, holding the Greater Grail. She causes him to return to humanoid form. Before they begin their new life together, she confesses her love for him.


And so it all ends, but I’m left with one question? Why bother with the Greater Holy Grail War?

Fate/Apocrypha 25

Shirou and Red Assassin

As I’ve noted before, Fate/Apocrypha has gone out of its way to have pure evil characters. We’ve seen insane characters, worthless characters, ruthless characters, etc., but even the most evil of characters have some element that removes them from the realms of pure evil. Shirou and Red Assassin, both of whom can be described as evil characters in my opinion, are no exception.

Fate/Apocrypha 25

Shirou gets his wish and before he dies, gets to spend a romantic moment with Red Assassin. At the end, she becomes forgiving of Shirou’s lies to her. As a result, I have to say that I liked the touching moment they had together before Shirou dies and Red Assassin is returned to wherever it is that Servants go when they “die.”

Fate/Apocrypha 25

Win the Greater Holy Grail War, Gain a Consolation Prize

All Holy Grail Wars have operated on a single idea — the Holy Grail will grant a wish to the winner of a Holy Grail War. At times, these wars are interrupted, as happened in the Fourth Holy Grail War (Fate/Zero). In the Fate/Apocrypha universe, their Third Holy Grail War was interrupted when Darnic stole the Greater Holy Grail and hid it away for decades. No winner, no wish.

Fate/Apocrypha 25

When Fate/Apocrypha started, I figured that the whole Greater Holy Grail War would be similar to Fate/stay night, only with double the Servants and one Servant without a Master — Ruler. However things went down, we’d end up with one Servant, one Master, and Ruler. The winning Servant and Master would then make a wish and that would be that.

Fate/Apocrypha 25

What makes no sense is that Shirou, who had not won the Greater Holy Grail War, simply entered the Greater Holy Grail and got a wish anyway ’cause “reasons.” What? So what the heck was the purpose of the war then? If it was that easy, Darnic screwed up when he stole the Grail and didn’t make a wish. All Shirou had to do was steal it, have an audience with Justeaze, then have his wish granted, what was the purpose of the war at all?

Fate/Apocrypha 25

As for Sieg, he got a consolation prize because he actually won the Greater Holy Grail War, but Shirou’s wish trumped his initial wish. It makes zero sense to me. But hey, Sieg becomes a Dragon so…

Fate/Apocrypha 25

Sieg, Black Rider, and Ruler

OK, so for those who had any kind of interest in romance between Ruler and Sieg (I was not among those), we get a happy end when Jeanne d’Arc is reunited with Sieg. No clue what they are going to do now, but I suppose they live happily ever after.

Fate/Apocrypha 25

I did find it somewhat interesting that Black Rider got to remain behind and apparently have a physical form. I suppose this makes Astolfo immortal in the way that Shirou was.

Fate/Apocrypha 25

I’m glad that Laeticia got to return to her life unharmed. I had the feeling that Astolfo will visit her from time to time, between doing whatever it is he does as Rider.

Fate/Apocrypha 25

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Let me wrap up my review of Fate/Apocrypha 25 and throw in a few other thoughts as well.

  • I am glad to see that Fiore is learning to walk.
  • It was great seeing Lord El-Melloi II (aka: Waver-kun) again. I’m glad he’s taking Caules under his wing for training.
  • Gordes looks to have had a kid at the end of the episode. The kid is too old to have been spawned from Gordes and the female homunculus Thule. But I am glad to see that she’s still “by his side” after a fashion.

Fate/Apocrypha 25

As I think back on Fate/Apocrypha, I can’t help but lament that for the most part, the anime went through a series of actions, but little was behind them. There were certainly plenty of twists, and I had no problem with that. Some of the best material centered around Jack the Ripper (Black Assassin), but some good stuff lay with Red Archer and Red Rider.

Fate/Apocrypha 25

Sadly, with only 25 episodes, I felt that the anime only gave us the framework of the story, but failed to adapt the most of the heart behind the story. As such, Fate/Apocrypha‘s biggest appeal will only be for fans who play Fate/Grand Order who want to see some Servants who show up there in animated form.

Fate/Apocrypha 25


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10 Responses to “Fate/Apocrypha 25 (Finale)”

  1. Eight Star King says:

    To answer your question about how Shirou could have his wish granted the answer is actually simple: he modified the grail. The specifics of how he did that are actually lost to me as well since it’s been a while since I read the novels, but overall he did something to the grail with his Noble Phantasm apparently.

    Second, the grail only really needs six to seven Heroic Spirits sacrificed to it on order to function. It doesn’t really need a winner as the concept of a HGW was the result of the founding members being unable to agree who gets their wish granted so to speak which resulted in a battle royal between them and other participants.

    Anyway, by the time of the final battle over several Servants have already died. Ranging from Avicebron, Spartacus, Jack, Vlad, Siegfried, and Frankenstein’s Monster. The grail was more or less ready by that point.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      …he did something to the grail with his Noble Phantasm apparently.

      This is something I wish the anime had made clear.

      Second, the grail only really needs six to seven Heroic Spirits sacrificed to it on order to function.

      I hadn’t thought about that. In my mind, if a Holy Grail war suddenly has 14 Servants (+2), then they’d all need to die, or have some kind of partnership where they all agree on the same wish.

    • LT says:

      Fran never died.. pieces of her went into Sieg and the rest in invisible forms until she wants to join the battles, so she remained to fight with those she like helping like Astolfo, Ruler, Sieg as rose petals.

      • AstroNerdBoy says:

        Well, as a Servant, Fran no longer exists in the Fate/Apocrypha universe. Sieg got her abilities from what I seem to recall. Fran still exists in FGO though.

  2. Geburah san says:

    Astolfo is still there because his contract with Sieg is still active so technically unless someone is strong enough to kill a (third rate) Servant and bothers to do so, Astolfo is virtually inmortal since Sieg has become a Fafnir like ageless dragon, so he can keep Astolfo anchored on the world till the end of time.

    And yes the Grail was pretty much ready to use by then, remember that there were more servants than usual so they didnt need for all to die as fuel so the Grail was able to grant the salvation of mankind desire.

    About Semiramis, remember that Mordred mentioned that she critically damaged her core, so thats a death sentence for a servant since its a wound that you wont be able to recover unless you have some resurection gimmicks ala Herakles. Akin to Archer on Heavens Feel She might be able to hold for a while but shes literally dieing.

    Its different to Battle Continuation skill on the sense that is a lethal blow but not an instant kill one. A servant with no Battle Continuation would dissapear the very moment hes struck with an instant kill, meanwhile a battle continuation one would be able to hold for a limited time like Cu or Herakles did

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Astolfo is still there because his contract with Sieg is still active

      Yeah, but Sieg isn’t on Earth. I’m not sure exactly where this Reverse Side of the World is.

      About Semiramis, remember that Mordred mentioned that she critically damaged her core, so thats a death sentence for a servant since its a wound that you wont be able to recover unless you have some resurection gimmicks ala Herakles.

      Yeah, I remembered that, but Red Assassin didn’t “die” until after Shirou passed away. So that had me thinking that Red Saber was wrong. And it still makes no sense for Red Saber to not finish off her opponent other than we had to have a moment between Red Assassin and Shirou.

      Thanks for the info!

      • KT says:

        Sieg was a Master too had powers of homunculus and Servants so maybe doesn’t make him a “mage” but he’s good master. Ilya is good on Heaven’s Feel but she was jerk in others.

        • AstroNerdBoy says:

          Sorry for the delay…these got flagged as spam. 🙄

          I still don’t like Sieg. And FGO made him a Servant.

  3. Mad Ludwig says:

    Finally got around to finishing the series. Overall thoughts:
    -I agree with you, ANB, that the animation quality makes me appreciate the amazing work ufotable did on Fate/Zero and F/SN UBW (though, to be fair, it’s quite possible ufotable got a much bigger budget to work on the Nasuverse’s crown jewels).
    -I haven’t read the light novel, so I don’t know how much got cut out for the anime, but there just seemed to be far too many Servants and Masters in order for everyone to get a decent story, and (also as you noted) some potentially interesting stories got shortchanged.
    -Jeanne is one of my favorite Fate/ characters, but her story here honestly wasn’t that interesting. Fate GO’s Orleans arc showed some of the narrative possibilities with her, but even [spoiler]Red Caster’s NP wasn’t much of a trial for her.[/spoiler] The story gave us Saint Jeanne without any real hint of the struggle that led to that sainthood.
    -Mordred and her Master were my favorites in this series. I think their arc lasted for about the perfect amount of time. I agree with her Master that [spoiler]she’d make a good king, though I fear she’d share the same flaw as Altria (from Iskandar’s POV) — she’s a micromanager who’d want to do everything herself, thus leaving her subjects clueless after she’s gone[/spoiler].
    -Black Rider came a close second for my favorite character. I was also happy with their arc.
    -Red Archer, and Red Lancer could’ve used more time. It seemed as if there were some very interesting tales hiding with Red Archer and Red Lancer.
    -I know the Nasuverse usually takes some liberties with its source material for its Servants, but Red Rider didn’t really seem very [spoiler]Achilles-like[/spoiler] at all. Nothing seemed to distinguish him from five thousand other shonen anime characters. His relation with [spoiler]Black Archer[/spoiler] was interesting, but we didn’t really get a hint of [spoiler]Achilles’ petulance from the Iliad[/spoiler], which could’ve made for useful conflict.
    -Black Lancer had a pretty good story, but there still seemed as if there was more that could be told — they could’ve gone into more about the conflict between [spoiler]Vlad, the beloved figure in his homeland vs. the Vlad the rest of the world know, Mr. “oh yeah, the guy they based Dracula on”[/spoiler].
    -Red Caster was another wasted opportunity. For a bit, it seemed like they might try some interesting fourth-wall breaking with him, but they never really followed through.
    -Personally, I didn’t like Black Assassin, but her relationship with her Master was definitely one of the most genuine, much like Zero Caster and his master. Honestly, I would’ve liked to know more about Black Assassin’ Master. And I was glad to see [spoiler]Black Assassin’s original would-be Master get what he deserved[/spoiler].
    -The biggest missed opportunity, though, was the choice of main character. Sieg ultimately seemed to be a run-of-the-mill lead who’s special because he’s special. The idea of [spoiler] a sentient homunculus dealing with the role his people traditionally serve in Magecraft [/spoiler] could’ve been a very good story, but they didn’t really do anything with it here. Wouldn’t be so bad except time spent on him could’ve gone towards more interesting Servants.
    -This story did a good job of shedding light on some general aspects of the Nasuverse and putting elements of other Fate/ series in perspective:
    —[spoiler]Why does the Mages’ Association keep trusting the Church? Their agents haven’t been the most reliable…(cue Arcueid saying “I could’ve told you that…”)[/spoiler]
    –This show did a good job of reminding us that in the Nasuverse, most Mages are jerks; people like Rin, Waver, and Caules are the rare exceptions.

    • AstroNerdBoy says:

      Great stuff here. I don’t disagree with any of it.

      most Mages are jerks; people like Rin, Waver, and Caules are the rare exceptions.

      Haha, that’s true. And I’d add Fiore to that list, even though she’s no longer a mage.

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