Fate/EXTRA Last Encore Review #FateEX_LE

Fate/EXTRA Last Encore Review

Since I’m a big fan of the Fate franchise, it was only natural that I’d want to watch the Fate/EXTRA Last Encore anime series. It is adapted from the game of the same name. Speaking as someone who’s never played the game, the anime it is a mixed lot for sure.

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The Story, In Brief

KISHINAMI Hakuno is a high school student who will be vying for a role as a Master to win the Holy Grail war. As the event starts, Hakuno is stabbed and left for dead by his friend, Shinji. He comes to as Exterminators slaughter other students. Hakuno flees a pursuing Archer Servant, where he finds himself in an area that summons the Saber-class Servant Nero.

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Together, Hakuno and Saber-Nero traverse up the floor-tiers of this Holy Grail system to the seventh floor. At each floor, they have to defeat whatever Master and Servant controls that floor. On the final floor, they have to not only defeat the Floor Master and Servant, but also the person who has caused problems for a thousand years.

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The Good: Saber-Nero

My first experience with Saber-Nero was in the Fate/Grand Order game. And while the real Nero Claudius was a complete and total smeghead, Nero-chan is anything but. She is adorable in addition to being a very good Servant. Further to that, her character is an interesting one. I can’t help but love her trademark “Umu!” statements. Nero was someone I wouldn’t mind watching my back.

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It is a shame that in FGO, Saber-Nero isn’t that great of a Servant, even at four stars. But her Nero Bride (Saber) version is awesome, as is her Caster-Nero form. Neither of these two forms show up in Fate/EXTRA Last Encore. That said, because I liked Nero so much in this anime series, I did pull for her additional forms in FGO.

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The Good: TOHSAKA Rin

I always liked Rin in Fate/stay night and in Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA. Clearly, she’s a very popular character since she’s in Fate/Grand Order (to a degree) and in Fate/EXTRA Last Encore. Her role as a supporting character works well in the anime. She provided the right amount of exposition to help the plot. And she was also there for some extra firepower.

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I don’t think I ever understood how Rin was a pseudo-Servant in this anime series. I got that she was a Lancer, but how a former Master who lost her Servant became one was never clear to me. Nor was it clear to me why her true form has blonde hair, but her game form looks like classing Rin. But these issues didn’t stop me from liking Rin’s character.

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The Bad: Deep Waters

One of the major problems with Fate/EXTRA Last Encore is that it really gets bogged down in the details. A lot of terms are thrown out at the audience. It wasn’t until the end of the series before I had someone nailed what SE.RA.PH, Moon Cell, Angelica Cage, etc. was. But there were other terms thrown around that sometimes referred to things that had been given another name. That added to the confusion.

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I’m all about lore, but the lore in this series is quite deep and confusing. I’m still not sure what started this bizarre Holy Grail War. The anime doesn’t explain Twice Piecemans’s Saver Servant that much. So while we see him in the first episode, that’s all we see of Saver.

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And it made no sense that non-humans could become Masters, but not be true winners of the Holy Grail War. Yeah, I understand that Moon Cell is like a big computer and there were flaws, but an advanced, apparently alien computer system would seemingly be able to not have such massive flaws.

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The Bad: Confusing Narrative

At times, the narrative of Fate/EXTRA Last Encore was outright confusing. The worst were episode 6 and episode 7, dealing with the 4th Tier. Good grief, it was very difficult to keep track of when things were in the present or when things where in a flashback…or worse, a flashback in a flashback. 😅

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While the other episodes weren’t as bad, it was still difficult keeping up with the narrative structure at times. This is partially due to the 1000 year time span the anime sort of covers and the fact that there are two Hakuno characters. Rewatching the series would probably make things more understandable, but I have a giant backlog.

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The Bad: Loli Abuse!

As seems common for Fate franchise titles, Fate/EXTRA Last Encore decides it needs to perform massive, loli abuse. For this reason alone, I would NEVER rewatch this anime series. I don’t understand why the folks at TYPE-MOON get off on harming lolis, but it really angers me to no end.

What’s worse is that Fate/EXTRA Last Encore doesn’t even bother to go back check in on Alice again. I was hoping that at the end of the series when Hakuno won, Alice would be restored, even as Nursery Rhyme (a Caster Servant). But none of that happened.

As an aside, I have Nursery Rhyme in Fate/Grand Order. And every time I’m forced to fight her as part of the stupid game, I want to club the developers like baby seals.

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The Meh: Hakuno

As a main character, Hakuno isn’t all that good. I didn’t dislike the character, but I never really warmed up to the character until the end of the series. A better MC would have helped the series, in my opinion.

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The female Hakuno seemed more interesting than the male version.

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Conclusion

In the end, Fate/EXTRA Last Encore is a mess of an anime series. It gets deep in the weeds and often has a confusing narrative. That’s when it isn’t confusing you with other stuff. But despite this and the loli abuse, it is worth a watch if you like the Fate franchise.

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