The latest Fate series has landed on Netflix and this what I think of it. If you have not seen the other series you can check out Unlimited Blade Works on Netflix or just jump straight into this one, the only major issue is that of King Arthur, which if you click on this link, will be explained.
The Fate series is an interesting concept, originally it started out as an “Adult Game” but has evolved into so much more. The Fate games, books and anime tend to all revolve around a ‘Holy Grail War’, there is apparently more than one, though this is explained as the series progresses. Each war is actually a tournament where 7 mages summon 7 servants from past, present or future to battle for them. The servants are of 7 different classes, The Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Assassin, Berserker and Caster ranks. Each servant has abilities based on their rank though some cross into other classes too, for instance in Fate Zero Alexander the Great was of the Rider class, but was a proficient Sword’s man that could fight against most Saber’s. What makes Fate Apocrypha so different is that unlike previous Fate series, this is a “Grand War”, where 2 factions battle each with 7 servants and a 15th Ruler servant all participate.
As always the Fate series art continues to drastically improve with each new entry. It seems with this season they really spared no expense. The flights are quick but fluid, the back grounds are gorgeous, the characters look awesome and the magic looks explosive. Not only that but every now and again they really surprise us with interesting little shots that just add a whole new layer to a scene.
Out of all the installments I find that the characters in Apocraphya are not as well defined, though this is probably due to the sheer quantity of them. They simply do not have the time to stop and go through everyone’s background and motivations, which is a little annoying especially if certain characters get ignored over ones that you may not have a preference for.
The Fan Service has kind of annoyed me, don’t get me wrong Apocrypha is tame by High School of the Dead standards, but two characters in particular really stood out here. The first is Mordred, Mordred has three different outfits throughout the series, her initial clothes, her armour and her street clothes. In her battle form she is fully covered and looks like a total badass, it is similar to Arthur’s outfit but more violent in its appearance, which suits her character. It is the other two outfits that give me issues, because they leave very little to the imagination, though one might argue that Mordred chooses to dress in this fashion simply to spite Arthur, who in the original series always dressed conservatively, maybe flaunting her body is Mordred’s way of distancing herself from Arthur’s legacy.
The second character I took issue with was Celenike Icecolle Yggdmillennia. She is a sadist and a women that enjoys controlling the people around her. This extends into the bedroom where her sexuality and her love of torture are fused together. In the past we have seen several masters mistreat their servants but this is the first time we have ever seen a master use there servant for sexual gratification, yes she likes to chain her servant up in a cell as she undresses herself and pleasures herself upon him. Dont get me wrong I love scantly clad ladies as much as the next guy but… I think more could have done by implied sexual assault rather than showing it, then again Rider just came off as bored more than distressed by her desires. Still I suppose one might argue that her behavior helps further differentiate Celenike from previous masters.
In the end this series is not as good as Fate/Zero but in my opinion is an equal to unlimited Blade works, though very different. It is fast paced and anything but boring. I just wish that it took its time with a few minor things and maybe got Mordred some more clothes. Other than that I would say this is like a 7.5 out of 10 and that’s me being harsh. A gorgeous ride that even the casual viewer can enjoy.