Hello everybody and welcome to our next exciting episode of Fate/Extra Last Encore, the show where people don't stay dead, even if you kill them.
In our last episode, we end up skipping the fourth Master outright and go straight to the fifth, because the fourth wasn't that interesting. On this floor, which is a ruined city scape, the trio of Rin, Hakuno, and Saber meet and engage their enemy, Julius, and his Servant, Berserker. But as it turns out, Hakuno and Julius have met before, long ago. And he's become like Hakuno, a Dead Face. But more to the point, Hakuno isn't actually Hakuno, but an amalgamation of all previous Masters who have died before, fueled by hatred to reach to the top because Dead Faces hate the living and just want to kill everything.
We also learn a bit about Saber's previous Master, a girl, who was strong, kind, and certainly left an impression on our Genius Saber. And she also appears in this episode, too, despite being rather dead in the first episode. You see, Hakuno is dying thanks to a possible fatal wound left by Julius, and inside this dark AV room, he meets a girl, waiting for him. This girl is the real Hakuno.
What story will the she give? And will they survive these fatal wounds? Let's tune in and find out.
-Our episode begins inside the AV room, with Hakuno just flat out confused. But he isn't alone. There sits a young girl, telling him to sit down, because the show is about to start. It's something he needs to see, so he can understand what he's missing as a Master. Oh, and the female Master is pissed!
-Hakuno, I don't know what you did, but you should probably apologize for it anyway. And the show begins, leading to... the intro? Okay, sure, whatever works. Actually, after the opening, we cut to some floating islands in the water as the narrator, the Real!Hakuno, explains that, on this floor, she gained things that she was uncertain until then. We see a fallen Saber, then Real!Hakuno, clutching her stomach. Here, she reveals that she wasn't dead, nor was she alive. But she still discovered her own wish. Across from her is her opponent, Julius, and his Servant, who appears to not be crazy this time around.
-Julius walks up to Real!Hakuno, shocked to see that somebody with no memories and no wish made it this far. He's about to stick a knife in her, but Saber was playing dead and attacks, but the Servant catches the sword between his hands. I guess he plays Samurai Showdown quite often. Anyway, Saber is pissed because her Performer has done well to get this far, and he should praise her, dammit! She will stab until there is nothing left to stab for this insult!
-We then get a cut to Real!Hakuno in the infirmary, where Sakura tells her that she isn't a true wizard, and she's different from a Master. She is recreated data of a human who existed in the past, an NPC. And you might have as well hit her with a bag filled with bricks with the kind of bombshell that was. But Saber, however, remains her cheery self and asks if such a thing is something to worry about? Oh, and was that Sakura telling her? It sounded like her. Anyway, Saber tries her best to cheer up her Master, saying that her era was far in the past, but look at her now! She is here, before you, looking hot as hell! Okay, I might have added that one, but still!
-You'd think she add an "Umu" there. Anyway, Saber tries to be cheery, saying that everything in the universe will disappear in due time and will become part of this star's history. Doesn't that sound wonderful? Well, when you put it that way... you suck at this, Saber. But then she makes a nice recovery at the end.
-...Still needs work. But this does help as Real!Hakuno looks upon her, narrating that her words were always full of confidence and always triumphant. And because of that, she had a misunderstanding of her. In this rather plain room, Saber tells her Master she wishes to unleash her Noble Phantasm in the next battle. Real!Hakuno narrates that Saber's life must have been glorious, full of joy, and beautiful. So why wouldn't she think otherwise? Saber continues, saying that a Servant and Master are two hearts beating as one, and as proof of that, the Servant reveals their True Name. But she had a reason for keeping it a secret until now (Umu count 34). Why did she keep it a secret?
-Oh come on. It can't be that bad? It's not like you were ever a tyrant in your previous life... right? And so we go into what looks to be a picture book story. How much of a picture book?
-Well, that isn't nightmarish at all! Real!Hakuno takes over narration, explaining the history behind Saber. She was boon not a the legitimate heir of the emperor, but at the tail end of her family. Perhaps because of her illegitimate birth, she loved strangers more than her family, and we show this as Saber is handed flowers by the crowd. So for her, nameless citizens were more important that famous noblemen. But no one understood her way of thinking. As the camera pans from the roof of a building down below, we see the city is on fire. But Saber acted quickly, and with her superior knowledge, she quells a great fire in one evening. But while that would have been a great thing, she did something rather horrible instead. She executed her own mother, and thus, the people saw her as nothing more than a tyrant. Dammit Saber!
-The reason Saber killed her mother was because she was greedy and disrupted the empire. But that sort of thing weighs heavily on her. But she was also seen as superior, hard-working, and whimsical, and those qualities likely made others see her as a freewheeling dictator. We return to the roof to see Saber holding the flower she got before, which has wilted away. How sad.
-Back in the plain room (Umu count 35), Saber admits that she may have made a slight mistake in executing her own mother. But she sees other flaws in her character. Her love was selfish. When she put her whole heart in, she expected it to be return in full. She answers those who deserve love with her entire soul. But that is nothing more than a flame. To her, the love that people harbor was something softer and fragile, and she failed to understand that. Because clearly it was expecting too much love and not the whole executing the mother bit.
-In the picture book, Saber's position fell from that of an Emperor to that of a traitor. Saber takes over narration, saying that, being Roman Emperor means you are the first citizen of Rome, and no matter how many crimes the Senate charged her with, if the people rejected them her position would never waver. But that never came to be. Saber devoted herself to the people, and practiced policies that were widely praised by them, and she thought, because of that, the people would never see her removed from her position. But they never did. In the scene, we see cloaked figures running, and one by one, they fall, only leaving one left. And here, alone, Saber holds what appears to be a long sword... and we fade to black.
-When we return, in the picture book story, we see Saber on top of a rock, dying from her self-inflicted wounds. Real!Hakuno takes over narration. In the first sunset, she heard voices calling for her and she opened her eyes. They were the voices of her beloved people, cheering for her. But it was a hallucination. During the second sunset, she heard another sound and opened her eyes, but as expected, there was nobody there. Then, on the third sunset, a soldier walks over to the fallen Saber, draping her with a red cloak. She appreciates the loyalty, but it is already too late. For the Roman Emperor had died. And who was she?
-And in classic Fate tradition, in this universe, Nero was actually a woman. Crazy, right? But why does she look like Blue Saber? How odd. But the story continues. Nero never knew the love of her mother and father, nor the love of her people, and she ended her life in despair. This is the tale of a solitary girl, spending her last moments on a rock, covered in a cloak left to her by soldiers who were loyal to her in the end. Of course, this is all a tale that Nero is telling her Master, and how does she end it?
-You know, for somebody talking about her own death, Nero is rather cheery about it. Oh, and since we learned her True Name, we can start using it now. Anyway, Nero says it's all in the past and it was such a boring tale, so forgive her for it! And with that, preparations are now completed, and once Real!Hakuno sees it...
-Of course Nero would find a way to fancy up the room just for her. Real!Hakuno speaks to her, but it's done with text. The response is "...You're right." Nero walks over to her and gently taps her knuckles on the Master's head, telling her that there is no need for a sad expression. She is at peace with her demise, and despite her sadness, she holds no grudges. Sure, bad things happened, but such things are needed to balance a perfect life. She just keeps seeing that silver lining, doesn't she? She holds out her hand to her Master, saying that she would set herself ablaze for the sake of those who are beautiful. Not so much in the "You're pretty" sort of way, but in the "You're soul is beautiful" sort of way. Real!Hakuno, looking sad, takes Nero's hands into her own, agreeing with her, turning the frown into a smile. This shows how strong their connection was in the end.
-Back in the present, the film has ended, but Real!Hakuno speaks. Despite being abandoned by those she loved, Nero never changed who she was. But deep down, she hates being alone and likes the attention. Hakuno asks why, but she answers that he sought her out. It was the pack they made in Limbus. Sure, he may have done it out of desperation, but for Nero, it meant everything to her. Now, does Hakuno see what he should be focusing on? She places a hand on his shoulder, saying that it's fine to look away from himself for as long as possible, after all, we aren't able to see ourselves with our own eyes... unless we use a mirror. So he should prioritize the people who believe in him. And with that, Hakuno leaves, but before doing so, turns to Real!Hakuno to ask who she is... except she's disappeared, leaving only...
-Damn staff delivered the food too late. But Hakuno leaves the AV room, returning to the world of the living. When he awakens, we see Rani is hard at work at keeping the two alive. Hey, Rani! Wait, how are you alive? Is this another doll? She asks if Hakuno is conscious, but he's kind of having trouble processing Rani being right there. She is, though she's a reliable assistance at a level different from Rin. Ouch. So, good news, Saber's Spirit Origin has been repaired, so Rani used her excess vitality to treat Hakuno's body. Hence the green tube connecting the two. And with the treatment done, Rani leaves, making Hakuno wonder if Rani did survive after all? But he's got more important things to worry about, like Sleeping Beauty over here, who awakens to see her Master once more.
-This may be a guess, but I think Nero is happy to see Hakuno awake. He's happy to see her awake, too, and just like that, she's all pumped for the rematch against Berserker. But unfortunately, Hakuno is done fighting. He doesn't feel like he's qualified, since he isn't a proper Master. He is just a dead man, posing as somebody else. He's not even a ghost, just a walking corpse. So of course he would have no memories, and he fought to live despite already being dead. And he only ascended because he didn't know anything. He keeps going into this deep, emo state, but Saber has had enough of this crap. She tells him to shut up, then slaps his face with her hands, but also so she can grab his face.
-Okay, I know this is meant to be a serious scene, but given how short Nero is to Hakuno, this makes me chuckle. Anyway, Nero won't allow for this depression and tells Hakuno that there is a reason to fight, it just hasn't been determined yet. So she tries to help but reaching into her motivational speaker notes, telling him that he's been fighting to life, how he fought to ascend out of pure curiosity, and more importantly, he wanted to be more than a copy, right? But Hakuno keeps trying to go emo, saying that he can't be a replacement for Real!Hakuno, adding that he's like Frankenstein's monster. Except not quite as cute. Saber doesn't know what that means, so he says that he's a corpse created like patchwork. Saber asks "...and?" He answers that he's a ghost with memories of the dead. Nero counters that she's been dead for three thousand years, so she won there.
-Hakuno keeps trying, but Nero isn't having any of this. She tells I'm to think of an author, and that they wrote two different books wit hate same theme. If the situations differ, then they have different stories! However,r the foundation does not change. If it's based on the same soul, no matter how different, one will always arrive at the same conclusion. And that is how a soul should be. The basic principle of what he finds beautiful and what he aspires for in life doesn't change. Hakuno, clearly running out of arguments, says that he and Real!Hakuno aren't even the same gender. Yes, he is a different person, but he isn't a fake. Well, clearly Nero sucks less at this than she did before, so that's good.
-He's still processing this, but Hakuno take's hold of Nero's hand, suggesting that perhaps he is like Real!Hakuno, just with a different face and gender. Nero agrees (Umu count 36). Hakuno keeps asking if it's alright that he is who he is, but Nero responds that if he wants permission, then as emperor, she will grant it. With this, he will ascend, embracing hope, which is something he said on the Third Stratum, which is something that somebody else said in another time. So, you know, just copy what that guy said. It's not like he'll sue or anything.
-So with the name Nero entrusted him, Hakuno will reach the Angelica Cage, regardless of what awaits him beyond the sky. And Nero can get behind that (Umu count 37). She takes hold of his head, promoting to protect the one she made a pact with, nurture him, and wield her blade to the Angelica Cage, no matter what she must sacrifice. But Hakuno won't accept that. They're a team, and he'll stay by her side until the very end. She then flashes back to Real!Hakuno, obviously saying the same thing, and that makes her happy (Umu count 38). And a Happy Saber is a Good Saber.
-Nearby, Rin and Rani have been listening in, being very rude. Rin is happy to see how things have progressed, but Rani points out that she came up with a plan to defeat them secretly, but Rin responds with "Alls well that ends well", as if that explains anything, and the two walk off. And with them gone, Nero discusses strategy, since they need that to defeat Julius and Berserker. Despite appearances, the two are a perfect team. Hakuno suggests that he take on Julius while Nero deals with Berserker. She likes this, since the Holy Grail War is about duels, so she goes with this (Umu count 39). So she's going to unleash her Noble Phantasm, a symbol of who she is. And thus, she will reveal her True Name to Hakuno, which we already know, so we don't hear her say it. But in narration, Hakuno remarks that such a name demands a thunderous applause, and now, as a human, he must respond to that trust and hopefully not get her killed with his insane plan.
-Back in the ruined city, Nero faces off against Berserker while Hakuno faces against Julius. We also learn of Berserker's true name. he is the Mystic martial artists know as Li Shuwen. And Nero is going to defeat him with a frontal assault. And so the Servants engage in combat, but Nero is prepared, since she's using Imperial Privilege to give herself an edge. Remember what I said about the skill? For Nero, it's extremely broken, hence why it's an EX rank. And with that, there is almost nothing she can't do because of it. As such, she can take the essence of martial arts and make it hers, even if it's only temporary.
-And in the fight, we see that Nero isn't boasting, either. Li Shuwen is able to dodge the initial strike and get in close, but we see her match his moves, blow for blow, and soon enough, she starts gaining the upper hand. And now that playtime has ended, Nero unleashes her Noble Phantasm. She throws a rose in the air, which begins to glow, and commands it to reconstruct her theater.
-And thus, her Noble Phantasm, Aestus Domus Aurea: The Golden Theater of the Deranged. And here, in this theater, Nero is at her strongest, while her opponents are weakened by it. And Berserker can see it happening as Nero unleashes her next skill, Rosa Ichthys, launching herself like a fireball at Berserker, delivering the fatal blow and killing him instantly. With his defeat, the theater disappears, but all that's left is for Hakuno to finish the job. So how's that going?
-Well, the two are still at a stand off, so that's a plus. Julius starts the mind games early, saying that Hakuno was always filthy, no matter when, but his mere presence is an insult to Julius, because it seems, no matter how often he kills him, he keeps coming back. Or is he addressing Real!Hakuno? Hakuno seems to think so, because he tells Julius that he is Hakuno Kishinami, but not the one he knows, and he's tired of him talking about his nostalgia, and decides to play his own little mind game, telling Julius that whining about the past is unbecoming. That works, and the two engage, but unlike with Nero, Hakuno is on the other side of the beat down. And thus, the scene we got from the last episode plays, showing that we have caught up to the present. But despite what he was before, he has a reason to fight, picturing the face of the smiling Nero. And he's going to keep forward, no matter the obstacles in his path.
-The two enter their Dead Face modes, and this time, Hakuno is putting up a fight. But then the building towards to tilt, causing Hakuno to lose his balance while Julius keeps his. He then delivers a kick to Hakuno, but he's able to figure out how Julius keeps his balance on the side of the wall and does the same. And now they're fighting on the side of a building, which turns completely upside down, causing the two to fight in mid-air. Oh crap, they've gone DBZ on us!
-So they fight, somehow returning to the original battlefield, but this time, it's Hakuno who delivers the killing blow. Julius, in his dying state, tells Hakuno that the dead can't change anything, and that Hakuno is no exception. All this hatred made him sick, and he tells Hakuno that soon, he'll be like him. And then he fades away, giving him the victory. Still a jackass until the very end.
-Hakuno soon rejoins Nero at the Ladder. She's happy to see him, but man, he's a complete wreck. And she was worried sick, too! But now he's here and everything is good! Hakuno mentions that he isn't as injured as he thought he was, but Nero has her own line for that.
-The two smile at one another. Nero notes that Rin and Rani won't be joining them. And it's probably for the best, since they have to actually climb a ladder instead of taking the Ladder. As the camera pans up, we show off our title, Aestus Domus Aurea. Cue credits! As for our ending picture...
-Well, they were the important characters in this episode, so it makes sense. But of course, we aren't done yet! As Nero and Hakuno approach the Ladder, Rin and Rani watch from above. Rin says that their role in this story comes to an end. They were finally able to complete their mission! Which was to send a proper Master to the Sixth Stratum. And Rani is certain that the Sixth Stratum master is prepared to greet them. Too bad the floor is total hell, though. So Rin decides that she's going to stay with them for a little longer. It'd be bad if they killed themselves, which is a possibility Rani never thought of. She asks Rin to take care of them, which she will do. Rin tells her to go on ahead and get some rest. And soon we see the Ladder actually activate, ascending to the heavens, leaving Rani behind to watch it go before disappearing herself. End of episode.
Well, we have a lot to unpack, don't we? But it wouldn't be Fate if there wasn't, so let's start things off simple.
The female Hakuno is voiced by Ryan Bartley, who's other roles include Ram from Re:Zero, and Gilda from The Promised Neverland. So lots of snark here to deal with the scary things.
So now we know that the anime series isn't so much an adaption of the game as it's more of a sequel. More specifically, a sequel to a possibility of Hakuno losing the fight against the final boss. Which isn't actually a thing in the game, since the only option is to win or try again. But this is also an adaption reason, as well. In the game, you had a choice between a male and female avatar. This does change a few lines here and there, but the story itself pretty much remains the same. As for her backstory, it's a bit complicated, she isn't exactly an NPC. She is based on a real person, but said person is actually in cryostasis. They were caught in a terrorist attack that left them severely injured, mostly in the brain, but hey, it could be treated! Except the only guy who could treat it was also caught in the blast. Talk about bad luck.
Anyway, the Moon Cell ended up grabbing her, and here she is, fighting in a war she didn't know what was going to happen. During the chapter where they fight Julius and Li Shuwen, they attack her outside of the dungeon and severely weaken the connection between her and Nero. This leads to another scene that I can't talk about yet, but I should be able to talk about it after the next episode.
Moving on to our main villain, Julius is played by Jordan Reynolds, who's roles include Wael in Pillars of Eternity II and Kagatsuka in Sword Gai: The Animation.
And while he had no actual lines, just grunts, Li Shuwen was played by Christ Hackney, who's other roles include Gohan in Dragon Ball Super and Masahiro in Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans.
So what's the deal with these two? As it turns out, Julius is actually there to help Leo win the Holy Grail War, and he does it by murdering pretty much everybody in his way. He got his servant before everybody else and went to do just that. He also used a hacked account, taking over the place of somebody else. This worked well, because the Li Shuwen that was summoned the first time around was classed as an Assassin. But why is he a Berserker here? Well, after being defeated, Julius really was too angry to die and somebody avoided deletion, which is what happened to losing Masters, and with some Command Seals he stole from another Master, revived Li Shuwen, making him a Berserker. And so you have to deal with that again before being able to continue with the story. And he's just as nasty to Hakuno as he was in the anime.
And now we come to the elephant in the room, one Nero Cladius, Hakuno's Saber. So again, we have a gender swap of a historic character that was originally male, and just to make it interesting, we make her look at Blue Saber. This was actually a big thing back when the game was first released, as this makes her the first proper Saberface, and lead to theories that Blue Saber is actually descended from Nero. Speaking of, Nero actually gets a chance to talk smack about Blue Saber. The line comes from how history came to view Nero as a man, but she never really hid her gender from the people. She liked wearing men's and women's clothing, and loved all equally. The rest of her story, however, remains rather close to her historical counterpart, though the series downplays the tyrant side quite a bit.
Her Noble Phantasm is also rather unique for a Saber. When she activates it, she's actually recreation her theater, which makes it a Reality Marble. This makes her rather unique because not many Servants outside of the Caster class can actually create Reality Marbles, and as it turns out, the second one we know of is also a playable Servant in the game. in the game itself, last for three turns, can only activated after the third turn of a battle, but increases all of her stats and gives her access to a skill she normally doesn't have access to. It is a rather powerful Noble Phantasm, though, and useful for those hard boss fights.
With Julius defeated and Nero's True Name revealed, Hakuno ascends to the Sixth Stratum. But what kind of hell awaits them there? Tune in on Sunday to find out.
Until next time, remember, when somebody starts getting emo on you, make sure to give them a good double slap to the face. Then give them a motivational speech to get them to kick that habit. That will surely work on them.
5 hours agoCaButler
Hello everybody and welcome to our next exciting episode of Fate/Extra Last Encore, the show where people don't stay dead, even if you kill them.
5 days agoCaButler
Hello everybody and welcome to our next exciting episode of Fate/Extra Last Encore, where even sickly little girls can be selected as Masters in a fight to the death.
In our last episode, the Terrific Trio have figured out that they're stuck in a loop thanks to the monster. Should it be killed, it resets the day in order to get its best ending. Along the way, we get more flashbacks with Alice and Hakuno and how they became close to one another, as well as revealing that the Alice we've been seeing is actually her Servant, a Caster. It's this Alice that grows close with Hakuno, then turns into a monster because she was having some major glitching issues, thanks to the Angelica Cage going insane.
As a result, one more loop is needed, and Rin reveals her own trump card. She has somehow merged with her Servant and inherited their powers. Fate people, and those who played the game, will already know who the Servant is, but we'll talk about that later, when it's more appropriate.
But with the combined efforts of Rin and Saber, they're able to defeat Alice, releasing her from her bonds, allowing her to move along, as well as our trio. What will await them on the Fourth Stratum? Let's tune in and find out.
-Our episode begins on a dark and stormy night, which sounds really, really cliche. Purple lighting flashes among a desolate city... that's actually floating in the sky. Must be the next fight. We see that the city has gone through it's own inception period, with buildings in all sorts of wrong places, before cutting to what appears to be a construction site. Hakuno narrates, repeating something "that man" said. That man tells him to see how his existence will end, how he's consumed by sin, and that no amount of punishment will satisfy him. So Hakuno is secretly Catholic? Cause we're all about that regret.
-That man goes on, telling Hakuno that he has no hope, so he should return to death. To him, clinging to life is arrogant, and that face should be more than enough proof. And it looks like the enemy Master has a purple scar going across his face. Wait, "That face"? Does he mean Dead Face? Are we in media res here? Hakuno can't help but admit that he has a point. Everything he said was true. He is drowning in sin and has no wish. It's something he's incapable of having. And into the opening we go!
-When we return, we get this lovely vintage of beauty gracing our screens.
-Yay for close up of Saber! ...Wait, what did she say about the Fourth Stratum? Also, it looks like Saber and Hakuno are doing a stretching exercise because... uh, reasons.
-...Right, so, to quickly recap, we're skipping the Fourth Stratum because that pair sucked so badly that they weren't worth a mention. Of course, this is an adaption reason that I'll explain later, but I can see why they skipped this part. Also, Umu count is now at 30. Rin is watching them stretch and totally isn't getting jealous of it. She mentions how they're so carefree, but thinks it's for the best. She's been preparing for the Fifth Stratum. And what has see been doing to prepare?
-...What, is it constantly raining or something? And sure enough, it is. While looking over the landscape, Hakuno gets a vision of a city engulfed in flames, and it looks to be hurting him pretty good. Rin says that on this Stratum, Berserker roams. And given all of the destruction, this is not a happy Berserker. She then points up a central location, where the Ladder is. And it looks like it's already descended. So if Hakuno makes it there, he'll automatically ascend, because this place doesn't have a Floor Master, just some random Servant going berserk. Oh, and there's also a bloodthirsty murderer on this floor, too. Because it's a Holy Grail War and we need at least one bloodthirsty murderer as a Master.
-Hakuno doesn't like hearing Rin describe a Master as "bloodthirsty," but in this case, it's true. The Master in question was an assassin back on Earth, and he did the same thing during the Holy Grail War, eliminated many Masters in secret. Saber recognizes the description, and we get the name. Julius Belkisk Harway. And if the name sounds familiar, you've been paying attention. But in case you don't see the connection, Julius is the brother to Leo Bistario Harway, who Rin has a very high opinion of. We've met him once before, back in episode one, where he killed that guy in a Chess match. And it seems Rin knows a lot more, because she mentions that Saber and her previous Master defeated Julius on this floor. And if that is the name of the Master, then Saber already knows the Servant they'll be engaging. And she's not looking forward to the rematch.
-Saber does admit she did defeat the Servant once before (Umu count 31), but she just barely did so. But thanks to that match, she knows every trick the Servant uses, so leave all the fighting to her. Well, maybe she's more confident than she lets on. We follow the three into a nearby building to get out of the rain. After a moment, Rin will scout out the area, using something close to a presence concealment as she disappears. This leaves Hakuno alone with Saber. He'd like to know more about her previous Master. Saber is all praise for that Master, who had extraordinary courage and never knew when to give up. To her, the previous Master would be a "hero" (Umu count 32).
-But despite that praise, Saber says that her previous master was foolish, yet endearing, with a wish that was equally so. But still, it was a wish they held close to their heart. Hakuno seems a bit upset, since it means it probably wasn't him. But obviously Hakuno can't be Saber's previous Master because...
-So, yeah, Saber says there's no resemblance between Hakuno and her previous Master. That said, she has noticed a few similarities. Remember what Saber said when she first met Hakuno? Well, in melodramatic fashion, "Gasp, has she been reborn!?" And Hakuno gets depressed, because he doesn't think he could be that remarkable. And it makes me doubt if what he's doing is right. It seems like he wants to say something, but while he doesn't, Saber senses that he's picked up some baggage from their previous battles. But don't worry, Saber's got this!
-And Saber pulls ahead of Gil in the "who has the bigger ego" race. She summons her sword, saying that, to be a genius, you cannot rely on just ability and talent. Sure, having those things are nice, but having talent only makes you talented, and even her blade could be described as such. So what makes a genius last?
-Well, at least Saber keeps her ego grounded. She goes on to say that humans are prone to comparing one another, and when done so, they want to see the other as equals. Unfortunately, that is not the case, as no two humans are exactly the same. Something that, for example, Hakuno could do may be impossible for somebody else, and vice versa. And a genius can understand that difference without bias. Of course, Saber is an almighty genius, but she never once expected others to do the same work she can do. You're just so humble about it, aren't you? But she continues with her point. She also knows that she cannot imitate another person, regardless of how unskilled they are compared to her. Just keep being humble, Saber. But in the end, humans believe that they are equal to everyone around them. After all, how splendid would a world without competition be? Probably rather boring, but that's just me. But Saber's point is that, with equality, life would be satisfying. People walking together, hand in hand, being able to understand one another and sharing each other's values. For her, it would be a dream come true for such a perfect world to exist. But reality sucks, and it would never let such a thing happen. Especially if Nasu is writing it.
-Saber explains that everybody has their roles to play, along with their flaws, but she believes it's important to believe in others. However, she reminds Hakuno that the person he would encourage is different from himself. Also, don't do anything extravagant. Just do all you can and that should be plenty. And in turn, she will do all she can, because in this world, that is all that can be truly expected of them. Well, that was a nice speech, Saber. And it seems to reach Hakuno in some way. Rin then shows up to say "yeah, she's right." Great contribution there, Rin.
-Anyway, time to move on. Except there's a small problem. Berserker is blocking their path. Looks like they'll have to fight after all. Rin suggests falling back to strategize, but it looks like that isn't an option. Above them, standing against the side of the building, the enemy Master awaits. And he's very happy to see Hakuno once more. Berserker engages Saber while Julius, the enemy Master, engages Hakuno. Saber is forced back by the enemy Berserker, who appears to be using some form of martial arts. Stuck on the defensive, Rin intervenes, transforming into her servant self, launching Gae Bolg, and forcing Berserker back. Shen then carries Saber away, but she can't help but get her snark on. Also, I noticed now that Rin's hair has more red when in Servant mode.
-But Saber is glad for this, because it means Rin can take her place to deal with the Servant. Rin is shocked by this request, but to add more to it.
-No pressure or anything (Umu count 33). Rin is all like "...the hell? Seriously?" Meanwhile, the Masters go at it, with Julius just so happy to see Hakuno return. He's surprised that another Master actually recognizes him. Julius comments on how he doesn't learn, but isn't really surprising. and then a flash step and a bunch in the face that sends Hakuno into a nearby wall. Julius doesn't give Hakuno a moment to breath, but he finds this unexpected. He always assumed anger would kill him, but now, he might die from disappointment. And then he delivers a kick, sending Hakuno into a nearby pillar. And there goes his back again.
-Julius, stopping for a moment, can't believe how pathetic Hakuno is. But now he's pissed, so Hakuno shows off his Dead Face and engages Julius properly. Now, he can see his face clearly and recalls a memory of defeating Julius, who gives him such an angry stare as he fades away. From this, he concludes that Julius is already dead, and asks if he's a ghost as well? And then Julius laughs like a madman, as if Hakuno said the funniest thing ever. He attempts to attack the laughing madman, but Julius easily deflects the attack and puts him in an arm-bar. While attempting to break his arm, Julius says that he and Hakuno are lower than ghosts. They can't create, nor can they save people. And so Julius reveals his own Dead Face, showing how the two are the same. And then he punches him in the chest and oh God so much blood!
-And then we... flashback? Teleport? Dream vision? Either way, we're back at the incinerator, where the Teacher looking guy from episode one appears. He's surprised to see Hakuno again, but thinks that he has a connection between the past and present him. While he doesn't know everything, he does not quite a bit. For example...
-Oh, we're just dropping all the bombshells today. Teacher guy says that SE.RA.PH has been on the decline for a thousand years, and through all that loss, the only thing gained was the guise of death. As in, the Dead Face. He explains that ghosts are beings with a physical body. They wander around in search of finding one, but Dead Face are different. They're trapped by death while still alive. They act like the death and are curses that spread nothing but death. To him, they are only malicious data that bring nothing but destruction. In SE.RA.PH, physical death and mental deaths are separate things. Even if the body dies, but the mind doesn't, anything leftover is a magnet for curses. So it sounds like you're saying that Hakuno and Julius are cursed. Aren't you a fun guy to have at parties?
-He goes on to say that, normally, humans are pleased from their emotions once their physical body is lost, despite any hatred they may bear. But, when the Angelica Cage was closed, ending the Holy Grail War, SE.RA.PH became a cybernetic hell. The purification function stopped removing regrets from the dead, and their bodies were left neglected. Once, he sought to innovate humanity, but the century that prospered using his generation as compensation was immature. His wish was that humanity would become worthy of the sacrifice, but as he can see, the world went to hell in a worry, so that didn't happen. Undefeated in SE.RA.PH, he kept living and kept corrupting until he reached a clear conclusion. He just gave up, deciding that it'd be better for humanity to end. Thanks a lot, Twice. By the way, this is Twice talking to Hakuno.
-During these years, Twice has disposed of many victors, some who were good and some who were evil, all worthy of being fit to win the grand prize. But in his opinion, not a single one were worthy of becoming a "Messiah." You have some real high standards there, don't you, Twice? Bad at the Incinerator, we see the piles of the slain as he explains that, normally, they would have been recorded as data. However, sending the fall of SE.RA.PH, a one time change occurred. Which lead to the formation of the Dead Face, who's task is to go up there and kick Twice's ass. And so, one day, a complete nobody awoke to bear that burden. Can you guess who it was?
-Just to repeat, Hakuno is apparently not Hakuno. He's just a collection of death, but was influenced by her. Interesting. But yeah, Hakuno (we'll just keep calling him that to keep it simple) is just a murderer who wants to murder the living. However, he's just trying to process this all and he's having a lot of trouble with it. And here comes the crash. He denies everything Twice says, but he asks if Hakuno is certain of that, since from the beginning, he only wanted to climb because of his hatred. But he has no future. Hakuno was only born to kill others, then to die. So, yeah, it's a really bad day for Hakuno right now. Especially since he's got a hand in his chest. Julius recalls that Hakuno is already dead, so ripping out his heart won't be enough.
-Luckily, Saber arrives, giving Hakuno a second wind and allowing him to push Julius away. Since murder is still on the table, Saber engages Julius, who keeps his distance from her. That's when Rin arrives. And by arrives, I mean gets blow through the wall and into some other garbage. Berserker is here to cause more trouble. Rin apologizes, but Saber's cool with that. So we get a stand off between Julius and Saber, when suddenly, she starts coughing up blood. Julius is surprised to see Saber endure for so long, since Berserker's Noble Phantasm kills in one hit. His first strike is guaranteed to annihilate any opponent he faces. This is something she should know, and yet, she guarded Hakuno, despite him not being a Master. All hope seems lost until...
-...So apparently those skeleton arms from the Third Stratum bulked up and decided to join Hakuno, because why is there a random fist coming from the sky? Of course, said random fist is attached to some creature in shadow, who then leaves. Realizing the situation he's in, Julius and Berserker retreat. Hakuno, meanwhile, crawls over to the fallen Saber, apologizing to her for not being a proper Master. If she had one, she wouldn't lose to anyone. Except we have the problem of a lack of proper Masters. He then passes out next to Saber, leading to our episode title, Bajiquan. Cue credits!
-And here are our Master/Servant pair image for this episode. It's Julius and Berserker, looking all berserker with his berserker look.
-Oh, but we're not done yet! We have an after credit scene! And a long one, at that, given the timer. We see Hakuno walking in the void, probably dying. He says he was born of hatred, to curse other people, driven by the jealous he feels towards the living. He get a quick shot of his revival from episode one, about his hatred of the Moon, then his confrontation with Shinji and his declaration to kill him. Despite this, Hakuno says he had a convenient dream once, which includes Saber, then a girl staring out into the blue sky.
-Hakuno wonders if, perhaps, he is her reincarnation, which is something he almost believed in, and it would have been nice if it was true, too. However, this is reality. He is not alive, nor is he Hakuno. He starts walking into this black pool, citing that he only has hatred and revenge. But during this trip into the black lake, Saber calls to him to open his eyes, then the very first thing she said to him. So these are likely flashes of previous memories with her, which includes her doing all she can to lift his spirits. He keeps walking, heading towards a golden light, but he doesn't want to listen to her cheery attitude, since hatred is all he has. And he walks past the light, going through the endless void, until sudden, he comes to a door. Curiosity gets the better off I'm, so he enters to see something like an A/V room.
-In the room, a projector is on, but it's only displaying static. As Hakuno enters, a voice tells him to take a seat, because the show is about to begin. Hakuno can do nothing but stare at this girl, who looks very familiar to him. And that's where we end the episode.
Hoo boy, do we have a lot to unpack, because there is a lot to do. Fortunately, I can probably hold off a lot of this until future episodes, depending on where things go, but still, we have a lot to discuss. Aren't adaptions fun?
So let's discuss why the Fourth Master was skipped, as that's the easiest to do without getting into too many spoilers. After defeating Nursery Rhyme, an event plays that requires the main character to make a choice. This choice affects how the rest of the game is played, as it changes two Servants you will fight. Mainly, the Servants you with in the fourth and sixth rounds are affected by this choice. The fifth round, where you would fight Julius, does not change. I can't really go too much more into this one, because I suspect we'll need to revisit this later.
As for Julius being back from the dead, this is a bit more complicated. You know all that talk about ghosts and the like that has been brought up through the series? Yeah, that was kind of foreshadowing something like this. Despite being defeated in an official match, Julius showed that he was too angry to die, and thus, came back during a later round to get a rematch with the MC. He kept the Servant, but changed classes as a result. I should also mention that, in the game, Julius was killing off a lot of Master candidates, but indirectly. Instead, he did just enough damage to their Magic Circuits, how they use magic, to make it difficult for them to control a Servant, and thus, the system would end their lives. In the game, you actually play as somebody else first before getting to the MC proper, and they suffer this fate.
Now, there's one more thing that happened in the fourth round that obviously didn't come up in the Anime, but I suspect that will be coming up very soon, so we'll get to that when we get to that. Assuming Saber survives. Hopefully her self-revive skill still has some charges left.
Will Hakuno survive this encounter? Will he learn the truth about himself? And will he be able to defeat fellow Dead Face Julius? Tune in on Friday to find out.
Until next time, remember, when going on a floor that is nothing but rain, always make sure you have a spell handy to create a raincoat. You'll be surprised how often that becomes useful.
1 week agoCaButler
Hello everybody and welcome out our next exciting episode of Fate/Extra Last Encore, where if you're suffering from deja vu, don't worry, it's just you.
In our last episode, our Terrific Trio have made their way to the Third Stratum, which looks like it belongs in a dark anime about magical girls fighting off fallen magical girls. They search for the Floor Master in this weird landscape, but all is not as it seems. Hakuno and Rin have been having strange flashbacks to memories they had, seemingly at random.
For Rin, it was back when she was fighting in the Holy Grail War, and one of her possible opponents was Amari, Shinji's girlfriend who we haven't seen in a while. But she's so far beneath Rin's notice that she doesn't even bother to fight her at all, which is the ultimate insult.
As for Hakuno, he recalls meeting a girl named Alice, and because he's a nice guy, actually spends time and plays with her, keeping one another company in this strange landscape, where arms that float and pick up teacups is a normal day. We find out that Alice was very sick, possibly dead, and showed up in SE.RA.PH because... reasons. But man, Alice did not like her time in the hospital, not one bit. And we saw her version of events of the hospital. If you don't like getting nightmares, you don't want to see it. Oh, and Hakuno had a different set of Command Seals for some reason, and I think that was intentional, too.
But that isn't the only meeting Hakuno had. During the search, he runs into a possible flashback of Amari, who's getting her drink on and reveals her own backstory. Basically, her name is terrible because it means "leftovers", her mother slept around, got her, and she was so poorly thought of that she basically lied and manipulated her way to the Holy Grail War. So, yeah, the "you're not a Fate character if you don't have a tragic backstory" comes into play here. Makes you wonder what tragic story Hakuno has to offer?
During the search and the crazy mind trips, the trio run into a terrifying monster that can be best described as an Elder God who tried to play dress up but didn't have the eyes for it. Fortunately, Saber dispatched the creature with ease, but this leads to our problem. By defeating the monster, the day resets, putting them back at the beginning. The characters realize the situation they're in, and now, they can't simply brute force their way through this problem.
How will our heroes defeat this monster? And why did Hakuno have a different set of Command Seals? Let's tune in and find out.
-Our episode begins with the golden beams appearing in the sky. Alice is looking up, wondering if Hakuno is responsible for it. She hears a couple of other Masters talking about how it's a mess from the Fifth Stratum up and suggest descending. Oh, and Alice starts randomly glitching. I should mention that the Masters are behind a curtain, as if they're in a shadow play. Were really cribbing on Ikuhara's style, aren't we? Also, when Alice takes a step, pencil outlines of flowers appear, because we haven't hit full on insane yet!
-Anyway, Alice asks the Masters what they're talking about, but she appears to be ignored. She's concerned for Hakuno, because she wants to know about her new Big Brother and hopefully not learn that he is dead. Because she's looks to be bordering on her own mental breakdown. Because this is Fate, and nobody is safe.
-After the opening, we see Alice walk down a corridor filled with... mounted eggs with antlers?
-What nightmare riddled brain comes up with something like that? We keep with Alice until she reaches the chess room, finding Amari and Rin there. They're basically having the conversation from the last episode and how Amari refuses to give up. Also, the chess pieces appear to be different. Amari is on what appears to be the knight, which I think she was on last time, but now, Rin is on what looks to be the Rook... that has a birdhouse. They're just all in on this, aren't they?
-But I suspect, again, this is intentional, because we're seeing this from Alice's point of view. With all the yelling, the spotlight falls on Alice, who doesn't care about winning. She wants to know about Hakuno and asks them for help. But as before, she is ignored. Of course, if you remember, it seems like Hakuno was the only one able to see her. With no help, Alice continues to wander the landscape. While standing around, she glitches again, and she starts to notice it, and here's something to really drive the nightmares.
-Alice is cracking. Literally, apparently. Anyway, she's worried about fading away. She wonders if it's due to the circle and she starts panicking. She wants to see Hakuno again. She doesn't want to fade as we get random shots of a fireplace that used books as fuel, an axe that was chopping up books, and finally, a purse. Right, okay then. Alice, however, absorbs the purse, saying that her resources need to be replenished. We keep following her as she absorbs random objects and eventually finds Amari, who is stone drunk, so Alice helps out by absorbing the alcohol bottle. I assume, given how much of a heavy drinker Amari is, that it's empty. But Alice wills herself to continue, wanting to wait longer for Hakuno. Or Mister, as she calls him, since it didn't seem like he gave a name. But it looks like she's only delaying the inevitable.
-Alice is getting worse. And no matter what she absorbs, she continues to fade. She tries to will herself and... starts getting absorbed into the tree she's leaning on? No, wait, she absorbs the tree, and now she begins deforesting the forest. That seems to do the trick... until her arm becomes a tree branch. She cries, asking for this to stop, but her tears don't even reach the ground. They fade away instead. She keeps walking, saying how much it hurts, concerned that she's fading away. But Hakuno promised he would return. That promise was important to her. But it may be too late for Alice. As she appears out of the castle, she makes noise, drawing the attention of the other Masters, including Amari and... oh dear.
-Given the expressions of the other Masters, I would say that's a yes. Also, there's a bit here that I cannot do justice. A super cheery, young voice does the "ring around the roses" song, and it appears to be coming from one of those mouths. It is absolutely horrifying. As in "Oh God, this shakes my soul" levels of horrifying. The Masters, acting on instinct, attack, but Alice cries out for them to stop, and suddenly, more tree branches! And then one gets eaten in half. And then the song continues as blood comes out of the mouth of the talking out, and suddenly, everything is turning red. And... just wow. We're straight up in horror town, because we have an image of the deformed Alice who straight up murdered two other people. One she just straight up impaled multiple times, and another who also got impaled multiple times and is missing a head. Nasu, you are a sick bastard, you know that?
-Oh, and in case you're wondering where the head is. We have the straight floating balls that filled up with blood, and the head is floating in one of them now. Because, you know, it was so important to know where the head was. So, I didn't seem Amari among the dead, so either she's dead offscreen or she was able to escape. Either way, more tragic ends for everybody!
-Alice tries to recall the promise that was made as we see her that she has become the monster we saw in the last episode. She asks for Hakuno to come back. Sure, he probably won't recognize her, but she's still waiting for him. And thus, the Fate tragedy strikes again. God Damn it, Nasu!
-We return to our Trio after their first loop, looking to defeat the monster again. Saber agrees (Umu count 27), and so, they walk the long hallway yet again. Rin surmises that the monster is the Floor Master's Servant, and she also assumes that those who stayed behind were probably eaten by that thing. Well, she's not entirely wrong there. Saber has issues with the monster, mainly that it forces people to repeat the same act. Does it not know how a play is suppose to work? Though she likens it to life being one play, and that every day is basically practice for it. That's actually not a bad way of thinking about life, but she points out that, unlike an actual play, you can't redo a scene just because you stumble, saying that, even if they were on a different stage, they cannot re-enact the same performance. Rin is all "I get it, but I don't." Then she agrees with it, at least, in regards to their current situation. It's less of a loop and more of a retry, one in which their memories still remain intact. Which is good for them, because it means they can try something new, but this is also the same for the enemy. And then we get a winning Rin smile as she says...
-What a rather morbid way of thinking. Of course, the problem for them is the whole rewinding time thing. Rin thinks the Master is the best option, so they should investigate the area once again. And so the search begins, and we see Hakuno going to the same places Alice did, but while alone, he thinks about those that choose to stay to fight for their wishes. But he directs this thought to himself. Looking into a mirror, he comments that he has no wish, he only has hatred, which is why he's climbing the Stratums. Also, we have this.
-...You know, I get the feeling that if they decided to make a Fate spinoff game that went into full on horror, they'd do a really, really good job of it. Rin would probably be happy to be in that, as long as there were ghost. Of course, she goes on to say that a ghost is different from a Dead Face, which she likens to a zombie. It's driven by negativity, and if given a number, it's be zero. Hakuno asks that it's just a rumor, probably to assure himself, but when we get a super smooth shot of Rin turning to face him, making me wish I knew how to do animated gifs, leading to this.
-Why does that no reassure me at all? Also, mental note, learn how to do animated gifs. Rin goes on to say that the Dead Face doesn't create anything, only that it hates the living, or so they say. Hakuno asks how it came to be and is told that a Dead Face is somebody who dies, but then gets rebooted by hatred. Basically, it's a corpse. I bet you regret asking that question, Hakuno. Rin says that, while different from case to case, those that become close to death reach a state that is living, yet dead. And those that keep moving around despite not being alive are the living dead. And while those are different things, if you end up as either one, you're done for. At this point, the person can't die, but can't move around freely, either. Wandering the same place, stuck in time for an eternity. And then we get Alice, who is flashing around to different scenes, driving the point that she may actually be a Dead Face. And yet, she's so happy and cheery... until she started murdering everybody.
-Looks like we're back in a flashback as Hakuno is again with Alice in the teacup. She's reading a book, which he comments on. Before he showed up, books were the only friends she had. They were nicer to her than other people she met, probably because they can't talk or do horrible things to her. Hakuno is reading over her shoulder and comments on how sad the story is. Alice, with a beaming smile, says that children's fairy tales are full of sad stories. But she doesn't mind at all, because if something sad where to happen, all you have to do is rewind back to the very first page. Which she happens to have bookmarked. And that is why the day is repeating for those that defeat the monster. Fun times.
-Hakuno, being a nice guy, asks Alice if she would like him to read a story to her?
-Roll for your will save. Congratulations, you failed your will save. You must protect this smile now. Yes, even you, guy who got a natural 20. You still failed. And then we see the two reading together, with Alice sitting in Hakuno's lap. Looks like the tale they're reading had a happy ending, but Alice questions that at first, but decides that having a happy ending for once is fine. But Hakuno isn't smiling. Instead, he asks why she remains here. She doesn't know, but asks why he wants to keep climbing? You know, that one question that everybody keeps asking him. Alice stares at him, deep into his soul, until finally, he gives an answer. But we don't hear it. Alice does, though, and she thinks that's a wonderful reason. And to celebrate, they play tag! And then Amari shows up to ruin the whole thing. And she doesn't look happy at all. Maybe she wanted to play tag, too?
-Amari sits on the other end of the long table, asking Hakuno how long he plans to keep this up? After all, Alice is his opponent, after all, and eventually, one will have to kill the other. I don't like you when you're sober, Amari... or drunk... or at any time, really. Back in the present, we're back in the chess room, and it looks like Hakuno vanished again. Saber gets upset with the Performer, but Hakuno has questions. First, she did take part in the Holy Grail War, correct? Indeed (Umu count 28). So he has a question. Did somebody climb up without killing their opponent? Yes, there was (Umu count 29). Rin is shocked to hear this, but Saber adds that it was a very rare occurrence. Mainly, if the opponent resigns, then they win by default. Also, Saber, your ass is showing.
-Saber begins to explain what happened to the opponent, but then Monster Alice appears. What amazing timing. Saber goes to engage, but it just launches a line of scissors at Hakuno, forcing Rin to put up a barrier. But the barrier soon collapses and Rin is literally cut up into pieces. Wow, that was ballsy of them. Suddenly, Hakuno burns another Command Seal and... fade to black. Well, that was an unusual length for an series, but I guess they wanted to leave it open for a possible sequel... oh, wait, we're not over yet.
-A voice comments that Hakuno still wants to save Alice, so fine, she'll reveal her true form. and that form is of a body, attached to many IVs and wrapped like a mummy. Hakuno looks on in horror as Amari herself appears to be breaking down, too. When he turns to face her, all confused, we get more glitching until we get...
-You can only make a child so depressed that they decide to go got on you. But just to make things more confusing, she says that this is her, Alice's Alice. Basically, she's a dream that Alice is having, the her through the looking glass. More specifically, she's Alice's Servant. The girl he met in the garden isn't the real Alice, since the real one is here, unable to move. And so, what she's been doing is dreaming of everyday life in Alice's place. Well, that puts a lot of things into perspective for the last couple of epodes, doesn't it? Basically, SE.RA.PH summoned Alice here to be a Master, but she's stuck like she is, unable to move, to play, or defend herself. Goth Alice (I'm going with that to keep the two separate) says that Alice cannot be saved, nor not saved, because Alice is already dead. And then we zoom out from the castle to reveal that Alice is there and we got lots of more insane imagery to show off.
-Got Alice grabs the good Alice in Wonderland, stating that Fairy Tales aren't stories about hope. They're the last light to ease the despair of everyday life. At least, that's what she used to think she was. But apparently, meeting Hakuno changed her mind. Because the final light is actually him.
-Back in the present, we see Hakuno leave the Ladder, apparently having taken a bath or something, with Saber close behind. She was impressed by the use of the Command Spell. It was good thinking on his part, but when he tries to point out that she was the one to actually land the fatal blow...
-Killing an enemy just isn't enough for Saber anymore. Oh, and Rin appears, and because we don't have enough fan service in this episode, we get a long, slow pan of her, apparently having gotten out of the bath, wearing short shorts and a red tank top. I also can't help but think that Hakuno might be looking her up, too. Oh, and Rin is alive now, thanks to the reset! Yay! She wants to make this their last loop and will bring out her trump card, if necessary, so Hakuno suggests finding the Master. Rin agrees, but that's if they can find the Master. Good luck with that.
-So the long walk begins again, leading to the conversation from before. Though we get some reused assets, just to keep the budget down. Anyway, Hakuno recalls that Rin mentioned how cyber ghosts were dreams of the dead, and likens it to this Stratum. And perhaps, the same as him. Rin is confused, so he explains that this place, nor he, are living in the present. This place is nothing but the past, and he has no past. Rin thinks about it, but suggests that a place with a past and a man with no past are opposites of one another. Hakuno disagrees, and suddenly he's walking in a corridor filled with the dead. He states that hatred is an attachment to the past, and he's filled with it, a hatred he does not understand. We see him pass some writing, but I can't quite make it out.
-I'm assuming this is a reference to something, perhaps a fairy tale, but I can't quite make out the last word, so it's lost to me. So Hakuno is all about that hate, and in this Stratum, there's so much past it buries the present, just like he does. Saber is getting concerned, and in the third walk, the girls keep their distance from him. He comments that hatred is what drives him to ascend, since he doesn't have a wish. So Saber decides to cheer him up by telling him an old tale. Once, there was a Master who knew not who they were. They possessed nothing but their own name, but no memories or a wish to lay upon the Holy Grail. Hakuno wonders if that was him, but as if she can read his mind, Saber tells him that, no, it wasn't him.
-The person Saber is talking about is a frail Master who was driven to ascend solely by their will to survive. Despite their frailty, they continued to fight. They won in the seventh round, but when they reached the Angelica Cage, a Master named Twice Pieceman defeated them. After a moment of silence, she explains that, once you reach the Angelica Cage, the Holy Grail will be there, but even if you defeat Twice, would the Moon Cell really grant your wish? Rin thinks so. She says that nothing in life is guaranteed and... kind of leaves it at that. Okay, moving on.
-Back in the castle, Saber asks Hakuno a question. Does he still wish to ascend? She explains that nothing here is certain, not even the wishes or the Holy Grail. But suddenly, we jump to the past, where Hakuno greets Alice, explaining that the third round is over. He was able to win, much to his own surprise. He's glad to see that she's fine, despite surrendering. Normally, the one who is defeated loses their life, no matter what, but she loop hole the the hell out of the rules, since technically, Alice is already dead. And so, Hakuno goes to climb again, with Alice pleading with him to stay, and the promise made once more. Basically, the same as the teaser from the last episode, but now, with new context. What a cheery opening.
-Oh, I should mention that, in the room where Master Alice lays, there is a statue of her overlooking her, and it begins to cry. Alice wishes to see Hakuno again, to show that she became better as a result. In the present, Saber comments on Hakuno being deep in thought and asks if it has something to do with his past? We see him approach the remains of the long table, but he tells her that no, there is nothing here. Except the book is there, and as he touches it, he recalls the times he spent with Alice, who asks him why he climbs? The answer he gives is that, while he doesn't have a clear goal, he trusts his feelings. And besides, it's not like he's a normal person. He's a fake who took somebody else's place, but despite that, he wants to make his feelings real. Whatever his objective is, he plans to stay hopeful, and with that, he'll ascend to the sky. And Alice just stares at him, eating her cookies. I think she wants to play tag again.
-In the present, Rin recalls remembering something as well. There is nobody left in the castle, nothing to salvage, and no tales to speak of. And so, it's time to begin the final battle. At the top of the castle, Monster Alice awaits. While we can hear her inner thoughts, it's of one of a confused, scared child, asking them to stay. She doesn't want to be forgotten, and becomes worried about the pain and fear. She attacks, and so Saber responds by using her flaming sword to send the projectiles back at her. And so, Rin decides to unleash her trump card.
-...Well, this explains how she survived the fight against three Berserker Servants back in the First Stratum. But I wonder if she has E Luck? So Rin attacks, stabbing Alice straight in the stomach, who cries out in pain. Oh, but we're not done yet, as more spears emerge from her body. And with a smile, Rin has sewn the monster's destiny. But said monster... is crying in pain. She stares at Hakuno, holding the book in his hands, and with this distraction, Saber comes in and attacks, beheading the creature, causing it to disintegrate. And then, the credits begin to play, the Ladder arriving to them. The battle has ended, and now, there is truly nobody left on the Third Stratum. The book in his hands begins to disappear, leaving only a familiar bookmark.
-With this, Hakuno answers the question Saber asked long ago, the reason why he wants to ascend. Well, he can't give an answer yet, but he's aiming to climb the sky with hope. Saber turns to Hakuno with a smile on her face, happy to hear the answer. And with this, the episode ends on the title, Nursery Rhyme.
-But we're not done yet! Within the castle, an object shines. It is the broke eye of Monster Alice. She looks at the Ladder, commenting that this wasn't a sad thing after all. Her ghostly form takes shape, saying good bye to Hakuno one last time, and those other bodies on the Stratum wave to him. End episode.
So, normally, when we have proper credits, we get to see the Master/Servant pairing for the arc. I didn't do it in the last episode because it was going to contain some massive spoilers, though it would be out of context. Now we can show it, even if the context still doesn't make sense.
By the way, they didn't mention it, but the Servant is Nursery Rhyme, and she's a Caster. In the game, she basically serves as the wake-up call boss, being very difficult for first time players who, despite being a Caster, can hit really, really hard, and her Noble Phantasm goes off after the turn ends, meaning there's no way to block it unless you get those defense spells up.
Also, what a horrifying arc this was, and for a number of reasons, too. It's also a tragedy and, at best, a bittersweet ending. Alice herself really doesn't get any resolution, and dies rather quickly thanks to Rin using her trump card. Fate fans will always recognize what's going on there, but again, no spoilers. This is also one of those cases where having previous knowledge of Fate in general helps clear things up a bit.
But I have to say, despite clearly being the cheaper set of episodes, this was a rather impressive arc. If it was going for a straight up horror setting, it worked very, very well. Especially when we saw Alice becoming the monster and the extremely creepy children's song. Hope you sleep well from that.
Now it's time for the voice actors. Alice and Goth Alice (Caster) were played by Xanthe Huynh, who's other roles include Sachi in Sword Art Online,Charlotte in Madoka Magica, and Yuna Yuki in Yuki Yuna is a Hero. So many dark shows, right? And all usually ending rather poorly for her characters. You think she got typed cast?
As for Amari, she's voiced by Cherami Leigh, who's other roles include Asuna in Sword Art Online, Red Blood Cell in Cells at Work, and Makoto in Persona 5. Chances are, given her resume, you heard her in something.
So, Alice's situation seems rather terrible, right? But if she's dead, why would SE.RA.PH have her be a Master and fight? Perhaps she was grabbed before her physical body died, and since they're in cyberspace, the mind and soul can continue to exist. But then we saw how bad things got for her. Wow, did they go bad.
Also, people who have played the games should have picked up on something in this episode, something that will add a lot of context to why the series takes place so far in the future... maybe.
And then we have Rin and her transforming into something that can fight Servants. But how did she get that? She did mention she was a Servantless Master, but is that because she merged with her Servant somehow?
The one thing this arc did was answer a couple of questions, but asked so many more. Deeper and deeper we go, but where does the rabbit hole take us? Because the Fourth Stratum will answer that question for us.
Until next time, remember, if you hear a children's song being sung, run, run as if your life depends on it, because it probably does and there's a monster just around the bend, looking for it's next victim.
1 week agoCaButler
And this should be fun. A couple of years back I played a mobile game called Epic7, which was this mobile gatcha RPG game where you run around different maps and kill monsters. With me so far? Good. Though unlike other mobile games, there is some thought involved in battles, with different characters having different roles and different spells.
The main draw for the game is the graphics and animation. For a mobile title this is a rather breathtaking game to look at. Every character, no matter their rarity or importance, are done in the Live 2D format, which means the characters are moving all the time, and some have different expressions, though that's reserved for characters in the story, as there are quite a number of them.
Now, admittedly, I stopped playing for a while, mainly because I did try to play for the story, but I found it rather dull and uninteresting. I only got back to it a couple of months ago when the game did a collaboration with Guilty Gear, which included a number of summonable characters from that game. Then the second arc hit, which had a much better story.
Ah, right, you're probably interested in how the characters look. While character sprites may have similar animations, they may come with their own, distinct look to them. You can't exactly call them palette swaps when the only thing similar is the skeleton. But there are a few, usually higher rarity, that have more distinct animations. Now, for example:
This character is named Kise. in the game, she's called a Nocturne, which is basically a vampire, of sorts. And yes, she is carrying with her a killer scythe, because that makes everything better!
But she has her own move set and it belongs to her and her alone. And as you can see, they put a lot of detail into her portrait, which also translates into her in-game sprite.
Now, for summoning characters, there are two versions. Kise above is an example of a Covenant Summon, which the game will give you for free once a day. But there's another summon called the Moonlight Summon, though there are restrictions in doing this summon. But basically, this allows you to summon other types of characters you may already have, only with a different personality and move set.
For example, this is Karen.
As you can program guess, she has a rather upbeat personality, but she has a bit of a chunni thing going for her as the head of the Disciplinary Committee (long story). But she has a Moonlight version.
Meet Blood Blade Karen, who's like regular Karen, only with a different moveset and playstyle. Also, she may be more evil, but she's a lot more goth, too. Think Megumin, only not quite so self-aware.
Now, you probably see these examples and are likely thinking "Great, it's a waifu game! Like we need another one!" Well, you would be wrong! It's but Husbandos, too! And they get just as much detail and attention as the ladies!
Take this fellow for example:
This is Charles, a knight, and as you can tell, he carries himself as a humble, distinguished gentlemen knight who wouldn't look out of place in a Final Fantasy game. And he's a rather popular character, and he's got some rather flashy moves, too.
Tywin seems like your typical, boring knight, but he has to be, because his charge is a whimsical royal who goes running off, forcing him to find his wayward King.
So, as you can see, the guys get as much attention as the ladies. And everybody has a use.
If you're interested, the game is free and currently running events related to the second arc. And I think they're still running an option for new players where you get free 30+ ten rolls from the main gatcha, where you can keep rolling it until you get a set you're happy with.
Now back to our regularly scheduled silence, already in progress.
1 week agoCaButler
Hello everybody and welcome to our next exciting episode of Fate/Extra Last Encore, where even the dead can't find any rest in cyberspace.
In our last episode, with the help of Rani, Saber and Hakuno engage the enemy team of Dan and Archer, who we learn is the famed thief, Robin Hood. We also learn that Dan actually died nearly a thousand years ago, but thanks to the corruption of SE.RA.PH, he was brought back, and so he started murdering all of the Masters he finds, never able to ascend. Robin knows about this, but continues on, because it's all he has now.
The plan itself goes off rather well, thanks to Saber's self-revival skill, allowing her to survive bleeding herself out to avoid exploding, and Hakuno was able to deal a fatal blow to Dan, sending back to the afterlife once again. But it was not without cost, for Rani herself was left behind, to collapse along with the Second Stratum. Rin's still alive, though, if you were worried about that.
With the trio ascending once again, what dangerous opponent will Saber and Hakuno face next? And will Rin explain what she was doing while they were fighting for their lives? She better not have been working on the FGO event! Because that would be rude of her to leave them out of it. But let's tune in and find out.
-Our episode begins with... okay, did I go to an episode of Madoka Magica instead? Cause it looks like I'm in a Witch's Labyrinth. Also...
-What in the ever living hell are these things? They all stare up towards two people. One in the school uniform of a typical master, and the other a little girl. Behind the Master is the Ladder, with him telling the girl that the third round is over. The young girl looks dejected and sad as the Master, who sounds rather familiar, comments on his lucky win. Still, despite the win, he's glad the girl is fine, since we all know what happens when you lose in this Holy Grail War. So the Master plans to leave, but the girl wishes for him not to leave, because she'll be all alone. He goes to pat her head, but stops short of it, promising to return when he obtains the Holy Grail. he then makes the climb and enters the Ladder, with the girl promising to wait and to find her. Oh, this ended super well, didn't it?
-After the opening, we cut to our trio exiting the Ladder. No fan service scene this time, folks, but I'm sure you can live without it. Hakuno comments that they're in another forest, but calling this a forest?
-Might be stretching that term a bit. Oh, and directly across from them is the Ladder for the Fourth Stratum, but it appears to be out of service due to cleaning. Damn janitors! They always have to close off the most important room in the building for cleaning at the wrong times! Rin checks out the Ladder, and it looks like those janitors mean business, because there's a barrier surrounding it, and a Code Cast won't break it. Saber suspects a Master is at work here, but thinks having the Ladder here is rather unsettling. And then the forest literally moves away, revealing a... being held up by a dress?
-I'm starting to wonder if this was the episode where Studio Shaft decided to go nuts with the scenery in this arc, asked Nasu for permission, and he responded by saying "Wait, you haven't been doing that?" I mean, surreal art is their thing, and I can see why they were tapped for this adaption, but this looks like they decided that their art wasn't surreal enough and turned the dial as far as it could go, then found a way to go beyond it. So this should be fun!
-Hakuno, unfazed, suggests exploring, and Rin, also unfazed, tells them that they're on the Third Stratum, the place where the dreams of phantoms gather, which is called the "Nameless Forest." Quick, guys! Grab a marker and write your name on it! I don't know why but I think that's going to be really, really important here. Rin thinks this stratum looks more desolate than the last one. I can't imagine why she thinks that, but off they go to explore the Nameless Forest. Seriously, those markers, guys.
-As they travel, Saber asks what Rin meant by "phantoms gather". Exactly what she meant. They appeared quite often in this stratum, and since then, they've been appearing here quite often. And we have some floating, broken plates, because why not? I'd call this the cheap episode, but I'm wondering just how cheap this episode actually is. And as if the scenery and talk of ghosts can't be nutty enough...
-Seriously, Saber, stop showing off (Umu count 22). Anyway, the ghosts. Hakuno recalls Rani mentioning something like that and asks if there are ghosts in cyberspace? Well, duh! Rin explains that SE.RA.PH is a world that turns souls into data and confirmed... also, Saber, why are you suddenly going up into the air? Please come back. Rin explains that, back in real life, you can't just live life as a mind or soul, but here, you are able to do so. That's a rather scary thought, when you think about it. Saber adds that ghosts are like stains on SE.RA.PH. They continue replaying their memories from before they died, and are unable to move on from where their regrets linger, and as far as she's concern, such beings cannot be called living. Yeah, because they're ghost, and by that definition, they're already dead.
-Rin agrees with Saber, saying that ghosts are nothing more than bugs hiding within the code, and once they're found, Moon Cell quickly deletes them, making sure the dead stay dead. Bang up job you guys did with Dan Blackmore! Rin calls them dreams of the dead, which gets Hakuno thinking about that particular term. Rin continues, saying that when they cannot move from where they are created, they're like Dead Face. Isn't the the term you used for Hakuno when he went all scary and shadowy? Hakuno catches on to that, and it seems like Rin is speaking to him directly about it. Hakuno catches on to that and wonders how much Rin knows as he knows very little about his situation, which seems rather typical your standard "create your own character" protagonist. Okay, technically he wasn't one in the game, but Hakuno was meant to be a stand-in for the player, so just run with it.
-Rin keeps talking about it, saying that Dead Face has been a legend of SE.RA.PH from the past thousand years. It embodies the thoughts of the dead, but not in the same way ghosts do. We see that Saber keeps marching on her floating platform as Hakuno asks Rin if she's seen it. She says she hasn't, calling it just a rumor. Like anybody will believe that, Rin! But Hakuno does wonder about it more and asks if there's any truth to it as Saber takes a little leap on her floating platform. Rin isn't certain, but unlike Dead Face, not all cyber ghosts are dangerous. And because we need a cute Rin moment...
-If you ever need a ghost hunter, go for the cute one. Rin's reasoning is that ghosts are quite similar to Wizards, like them, and Hakuno likens Wizards to dreams of the living. Rin agrees with that statement with a cute little smile. Because you need two cute Rin moments to make up her absence from the last arc. But the fun times have come to an end, because Saber can see the stage for the Third Stratum properly now. And it's glitching to hell and gone. And it looks like you needed to take that floating platform up. Saber is there, waiting for Hakuno, who has to climb up, and Rin, who basically flips up like she's Lara Croft. They stand in front of two similar, small doors, ready to enact the plan. Saber wants to end this by sunset, because she's getting impatient and wants to end it quickly. Rin agrees, adding that this opponent will be the strongest they've faced so far. So make sure not to hesitate! And then they walk in to find nobody... except piles of papers and drawers floating all over the place.
-I'm expecting somebody to say "I've seen some strange things, but this may be the strangest thing I've seen in my life." Because at some point, one of these three will have to realize that this is some messed up stuff. Saber warns of a possible ambush, but Rin thinks this place has been vacant for years. Also, why is there a bird cage filled with playing cards? Have they been bad? And holy crap that thing scared me! As Hakuno walked past the playing card bird cage, the cards suddenly spill out, but it became so sudden that I actually jumped a little. If that was the plan for this episode, then they're doing a bang up job of it. And because we haven't ramped up the fear factor enough...
-So either Hakuno's opponent is Jigsaw or the Joker. And I'm sure neither of those are great opponents, either. Man, could you imagine what kind of sick and twisted Servant those two would summon? Saber, who hasn't seen the message, thinks Hakuno looks bored, but that's because the message isn't there anymore. If you aren't a little bit freaked out, now might be the time to do that. He decides to play it cool and comments how long the hallway is, which Saber actually scoffs at.
-Why would you need such long hallways? Hakuno, playing along, says he might get lost in such long hallways, but Saber assures him that won't happen, then takes his hand, saying that she will lead him through. Rin and Hakuno are concerned this might be a disadvantage, and Saber pouts from this.
-We're getting so many cute moments from the girls in this episode that I'm starting to get worried that this will turn into a bloodbath. So the long march continues on until they finally make it to the other end. There they find a small pond and a bunch of mushrooms (Umu count 23). Suddenly, Hakuno sees a girl in a blue dress further down, disappearing in the forest itself. As if forced to do so, Hakuno attempts to follow the girl. He soon enters a hallway with roses that appear to be painted on, and then finds a girl in a blue dress using hand puppets to talk to herself. What a quick way to build up sympathy for her.
-The hand puppets argue about a story, but that's when the girl notices Hakuno watching her. Well, this is rather embarrassing, isn't it? He asks for her name, and she just puts on this winning smile, grabbing the table cloth and running towards him, happy that somebody can actually see her! She tests this out by dancing around him, watching his eyes follow her. She introduces herself as Alice and mentions that she's been playing by herself for a long time. Why?
-This episode is doing all it can to overload your brain with cuteness. And I think it's working, too. But Hakuno asks why she's alone? Oh, because she's a ghost, and she starts glitching out to prove it. Well, this got sad rather quickly. Hakuno mentions what he's heard of ghost, that they're suppose to be evil and full of hatred, but this cute little girl can't be evil or full of hatred... unless you flip the wrong switch, I bet. But Alice is very happy, asking if he's afraid or will run away? When Hakuno says no to these, she then asks, with hesitation, if he wants to play a game with her? Of course he will, because Hakuno isn't that heartless. So the two take each other's hands and... wait a minute. That doesn't look like Hakuno's command seals. They look wrong somehow. But you know what else looks wrong?
-That. That looks so wrong. Also, I just noticed, but these shots have a bit of a blank tint to the side. I checked my others to see if they had it, but so far, they only appear in scenes that feature Alice. What could that mean? Anyway, Alice tells Hakuno that if he finds her, he wins! And he can't move from that spot until she says so. And then she runs off, commenting that it's been so long since she's played hide-n-seek, and she won't go easy on him. As it being on this floor was easy enough, what with a giant hand taking a table cloth because WHAT IS THIS PLACE AND WHY!?
-Hakuno asks if Alice is a Master, and she confirms that, but thinks she's different from the others. She doesn't get this whole Wizard concept, and she's a ghost, too boot. She didn't plan on coming here, it just sort of happened. And then Alice takes a tumble down the giant sheet held by the giant hand. Questions. So, so many questions. And then she falls into a glass of wine, because why not at this point?
-The two mention how they know little about this place, which makes them similar. Alice asks if they can be friends, and Hakuno agrees to that. It's so adorable that you're just waiting for the horror to come. Seems like they've played the game for a while as Hakuno has found Alice three times in a row, though I wonder if she wanted to be found. They take a break in a tea cup, with her commenting on how good he is at playing hide-n-seek. He says that he's just got at finding lost things. Alice thinks that's cool, but then asks about things like the Nameless Forrest? When they part ways, he'll forget all about her and seriously! What is with that hand?
-I can't help but think they wanted to go balls to the walls for this, so they must have tapped Ikuhara to direct this arc. Or at least, be heavily inspired by him. The hand takes the tea cup up, with Alice standing on the rim, saying that this is how her Nameless Forrest Works, by making people forget. Hakuno asks if this is a Code Cast, but she isn't certain. He then suggests that it's the passive skill of her Servant, and if so, it should be controllable. Alice asks if that's possible, but Hakuno says that it's up to her. And then they're at the ends of a long table, talking some more.
-It seems Alice is continuing her story on how she got here. Mainly, how she doesn't know how she got here. And she doesn't understand this Holy Grail War thing, but she does have a wish. She wants to cure herself, because if there's one trope that hasn't been played to death, it's the sick little girl trope. She explains that there was a war. Lots of people died in it and she was left in the hospital for a long time. And then we switch to clowns in nurse's garbs with poor Alice stuck in a bed with all types of vials going into her. She comments on how every day was painful and how badly it hurt. Worst yet, nobody bothered to look at her. The adults, who are the clowns, kept doing so many painful things, and that's all they did and GOOD LORD WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO HER NOW!? What is with all those crawling bits!? What is with the surgical scissors!? What sort of monsters are these people!?
-So, yeah, Alice didn't have the best time at the hospital, what with her dying and all. And the worst part was, she didn't die from the illness. She died from the pain. That's when she became a ghost and ended up in SE.RA.PH. Then, as the background goes completely off the rails, Alice lays on the table, calling this place Wonderland, which is filled with all sorts of wondrous things. I guess they thought they were being too subtle with... well, everything, and decided to spell it out for the audience. And the best part?
-Clearly, the best part of this madness that is Wonderland. So Alice believes she can be cured and can be brought back to life. Hakuno, however, is all kinds of pissed off, but in the background, bells can be heard. Looks like time is up and he has to fight now. Alice asks if they can play again, which Hakuno agrees to it. This makes her happy, and makes him promise not to forget. Just be careful, because there's a really scary monster in the castle. And if it catches you, it'll eat you.
-And then we're back in that field of mushrooms, and given Rin's comment, it seems like he disappeared for a while. The girls are very upset at his sudden disappearance and demand to know what happened to him. Saber thinks something did happen. It's a hunch, but she's never wrong. Or at least, nobody is going to tell her she's wrong. Hakuno tries to explain what happened, but he's having rouble finding the words. Rin decides to let it go, and soon, they find a staircase leading to the center of the Third Stratum. When Rin opens the gate, Amari suddenly appears, turning towards Rin, telling her that she's always like this. Hey, Amari! Where have you been all this time?
-Amari, sitting on a... actually I don't know what it is. Looks like a deer or something, but Amari is talking trash to Rin, who's sitting on a similar deer, only shaded black. She's also in her attire from Episode 1, not the attire we've seen her in recently. Amari keeps the trash talk up as Rin looks around to see other Masters who all appear to be suffering from mental breakdowns. Rin decides to ask what Amari's point is. And it looks like they're on a giant chess board, because why not? Though given the position of the board, things aren't looking too great for Rin, because it appears she doesn't have a king! Wait, how does that work?
-Oh, and those Masters? They've turned into pawns. Amari says that they've reached their limit, and that the surviving masters are retreating to a lower stratum. Rin asks if she'll follow suit, but she's in it for the win. She's made many sacrifices to get this far, all so she can be victorious. And then the hands reappear as Amari keeps ranting as we look back to the fallen pieces, one that appears to be broken. Amari demands a fight, but Rin refuses. She compliments Amari's wish to ascend, and normally, she'd humor her, but in her option, Amari doesn't deserve it.
-As the hand slides Rin's piece in a clearly illegal move, she tells Amari that she's going to lose her next match, and she refuses to fight somebody who has no chance of reaching the Sixth Stratum. Amari calls her a coward, and then walks away. Then we return to what appears to be the present, with that same chess board, only it's overrun with mushrooms. I think the show has stopped being subtle now.
-The trio enter into what appears to be the final building, and in there Hakuno finds a sign for Amari, which has her full name. Then we cut to her in one of the classrooms, on top of a bed, saying how much she hates her name. She says, in Japanese, Amari means leftovers. Well, I can see why she hates it, and I can see how that can drive a person to drink, what with all the wine bottles laying besides her. Hey, here's a crazy thought. What if Amari is actually Alice, but all grown up? Sure, Alice is a ghost, so that would kind of defeat the point, but let's be honest here. That wouldn't actually be the strangest thing we've seen so far.
-But yeah, Amari doesn't want to have her mom's life. She tried to sleep her way to the top and Amari was the result. She hated it, her name, the ridicule, the laughing. But she doesn't want to be laughed at. She wants to be the one who does the laughing. Hakuno asks if she wants to be in power, and Amari doesn't deny it. She takes a drink of what appears to be wine, as she mentions she discarded her family. Okay, not Alice, but you can't say the thought didn't cross your mind.
-Amari understood how to win. In order to defeat somebody strongest than you, you use somebody weaker. Well, that would explain all the pawns from Rin's flashback. Only I don't think this is a flashback, or whatever was going on with Alice, because the black tint isn't there. But this is what Amari did throughout the tournament, up to the second round. She found those that were weaker than her and used them. Well, doesn't that speak highly of Shinji? Which Hakuno points out, how the two of them looked good together. I actually think he took a dig at her just now, to be honest.
-Amari admits that she isn't a genius, but as she came here, looking around, all she wanted to do was cry. Because in her mind, she ended up being the weakest. Hakuno asks if she's going to run away, but she's going to fight, which is all she can do. She refuses to give up. Hakuno starts to leave, she asks why he wants to ascend? He has no memories, or a wish to call his own. Why does everybody keep asking him that? Does he actually need a reason to climb?
-Back in... whatever time period we're in, Rin finally comments on how strange this whole Stratum is. Saber and Hakuno agree, with Rin commenting on how the concept of time makes no sense here. So all this jumping around was actually on purpose? Crazy. Then we have the strange visions, which gets Saber's attention... from the mushroom she was going to eat. Rin has been suffering from them, as well, and she'd rather not. Looks like Saber hasn't been affected by this (Umu count 24). So the trio continue forward until they find an unusual wall.
-Yes, Hakuno. The fact that there is no dust here should be the main concern, not the giant slash marks or the big splash of blood that's up there. Clearly those are non-concerns. And I get that moving red jewel is a non-concern, too! Wait, what?
-When Rin places her hand on the wall, she quickly realizes she made a terrible mistake. She's forgotten the true nature of the Third Stratum, and the reason the Masters fled to a lower stratum. Because this was made when the creator was high on all the drugs? And then we have a moving shadow as Rin explains that, on this stratum, there is a monster that cannot be killed. And then said monster makes an appearance.
-...All the drugs. All of them. Hakuno tells Saber to be careful, which she will (Umu count 25), so she charges in to attack, but the creature flees. But that was to get some distance so it can attack her with a projectile of... scissors? Luckily, with one mighty strike, Saber is able to stop the attack and appears to inure the creature, and with another, slices the creature in half... and then everything starts glitching out, and the three find themselves back at the Ladder. Uh, what just happened there?
-Nearby shows a clock, the same one they saw before, and it shows that it was the same time when they arrived. Or, you know, it got stuck. that could be possible. Saber questions this, because an entire day should have passed, and they haven't slept and, more important, eaten their dinner! Glad to know you got your priorities straight, Saber. Hakuno doesn't remember leaving the castle, either (Umu count 26). Rin wonders if that's how it works, that if you defeat the creature, time rewinds itself. So it's forever reading a story that ends well for itself. What kind of terrible story is that? Rin recalls that there was a servant who has a Noble Phantasm like that. And the true name of that Sevant is "Nursery Rhyme." Though it isn't really a proper Servant, per say, but a materialization of fairy tales and stories children dream of. Saber questions what kind of messed up kid dreams of a monster they just fought, but Rin points out that lots of fairy tales can be scary. Just look at the Brothers Grimm for proof of that. Also, for more proof, how about The Little Mermaid, or Rapunzel? Then Disney had to come along and change all of that. Bunch of jerks.
-Basically, fairy tales can be cute, scary, or both sometimes. And that's just how a child's imagination works. Hakuno latches on to the child bit, with Rin commenting that they haven't found the Floor Master, but whoever it was did kill all of the Wizards on this Stratum, but they haven't ascended. Rin doesn't understand why, but it appears that the Floor Master has purposely put themselves into a Groundhog Loop, because won't doesn't want to be in that? This leads us to our title, The Queen's Glass Game.
-No after credit scene, and normally, I'd post an image of the Master/Servant duo of this arc. However, it contains a massive, massive spoiler, and if you're playing along, you might want to skip it, though it will certainly ask more questions than answer.
The game itself plays up the sympathy for Alice, because her situation is basically the same here. She's a sick little child that somehow got into SE.RA.PH, and she was a rather powerful Master, too, bringing her own Reality Marble with her. Though that actually belonged to her Servant, Nursery Rhyme. And that whole thing gets rather complicated, and as we probably haven't gotten to that yet, I won't explain further. Besides, the adaption may change it up. Maybe Amari will actually be Alice in some crazy time paradox manner.
Speaking of time paradoxes, what is up with Hakuno and Alice? It's clearly the past, but what actually happened there? And why does he have a different set of Command Seals? Sure, we didn't get a good look at them, but what we did shows that they were different. Is Hakuno going through his own Groundhog loop, but only getting different Seals each time? it may explain why some places with the classrooms look different from the first episode.
The mystery itself depends. What happened to Alice? What happened to Hakuno? What happened to Amari? Tune in on Friday to find out.
Until next time, remember, if you see giant floating hands moving about, you can just ignore them. They're part of the background, after all.
1 week agoCaButler
Guess it's time to pull back the curtain a bit.
You may not know this, but I currently live with family. I still pay rent to them, but given my state, the rent is insanely low. This, unfortuantely, has kind of tied me to them, in a way, and as such I found myself in quite a bit of debt. Bad enough that I could never live on my own, if I wanted to.
But still, I thought this could last a while and I could slowly dig my way out, and I've been doing that recently. Turns out, though, I may not have as much time as I thought.
The dynamic of the family is changing. I'm not ready to go into details about it because I'm afraid saying anything about it will make it happen as it's on the bubble, but as a result, I am on the bubble, and my situation means I need to start making enough money to get myself out of debt and have an affordable living, fast.
I know I've given advice on using GoFundMe, and that is something to consider, but I'm not going to do that. It's not so much a pride thing that it is I don't want my family to know how deep I'm in.
So that comes to my collection. I've already started selling some pieces, but now, it looks like I'm really going to have to go into overdrive. Anything I can sell, no matter how much I like it, has to go. Maybe someday, when I'm in a better financial situation, I can get it back, but for now, it pretty much all has to go.
The next step is getting actual, steady income. This means either finding a way to get more hours at work or getting a second job. I'd prefer the former, but I won't discount the latter, either. This could dig into my own free time, but given my situation, I'm not going to have much of a choice.
I don't know when things will change, if they do, but I'm going under the assumption that I am on the clock and will have to work fast. Though I will be selling expensive figures, I doubt it'll be enough to cover it all, but may help to at least keep me afloat for a while, if the worst case happens.
Why am I making this post? Probably just to put it down in words so the impact of it can hit me harder. Cause this is very much a wake-up call that I think I needed.
Now if you excuse me, I'm going to go into the corner for a while to continue my panic attack.
2 weeks agoCaButler
Hello everybody and welcome to our next exciting episode of Fate/Extra Last Encore, where Archers can be Assassins and totally cheat the system.
In our last episode, Saber and Hakuno were caught in a forest, where they were forced into a life-or-death fight with Dan Brownman and his servant, Archer. The duo are very dangerous, because Dan is a sniper, which fits in well with Archer, who prefers to strike with camouflage. All seemed lost for our heroes, but thanks to some help from the resistance on this floor, the two escape with minimal damage. Their rescuer, Rani VIII, speaks a similar game to that of Rin, who has mysteriously disappeared. So now the trio need to work on a game plan in order to defeat Dan and move on to the next floor.
During this reprieve, we learn something horrifying. It's been almost a thousand years since the Holy Grail War began, putting the year at 3020, and to make things worse, Humanity is on the brick of extinction, with only a hundred thousand humans still living. This makes it more important than ever to get to the Angelica Cage and use it to save the Moon Cell, and extension, Humanity. Can Hakuno and Saber do it, or is this where they meet their end? Let's tune in and find out.
-Our episode begins with a bunch of random numbers, which pauses and quickly fades out. We then cut to 999 years ago, which was an evil time, as Dan takes over narration. We see a person running outside, where Archer asks if in a sarcastic tone if he thought he would escape, then fires the arrow, hitting the student in the arm. He survives, as he's at the infirmary, being checked on by Nurse Sakura. She comments that it's poison from a yew tree, and that it's a rather vicious poison, especially since it comes from nature. And who says nature isn't trying to kill us?
-That's when Dan arrives in the infirmary, staring down the student. After a moment, we cut to the battle arena, where Dan faces off against this faceless student. Dan compliments his opponent, adding that he did remove the poison, and really, as a knight, poisoning his opponent went against his code of chivalry. But despite all of that, Dan is convinced that he will win. But still, he wonders why the flames in his heart continue to burn? Perhaps it's the strength of his will? He quickly discards that, adding that it is difficult to discard the compassion of youth, but the flames burning inside of him keeps him fighting. Which is what Archer won't be going for much longer.
-Archer, showing his deep respect for Dan, doesn't understand how he lost? But Dan stops him, saying that the fault is his own, that he misjudged his own heart, saying that the strength of will is all but secondary in the Holy Grail War. Having that strength allows one to propel forward. He states that, as a man of the military, he never questioned anything he did, but he still has his regrets. He tells us his wish for the war, to revive his dead wife, but in the end, he called it foolish. He wonders which of these two things was his true wish, his wife or his pre-military days. Archer then fades, staring at his Master one last time.
-But Dan hasn't gone yet. He asks his opponent to listen to his last words. No matter what, he has to be willing to accept the outcome of a battle, whether he wins or not. He should not erase his doubts or regrets, but never doubt the results of the battle. He must learn resolve himself, and he should keep it in mind as he moves forward. If he does that, he will certainly leave his regrets behind. Dan wants him to find meaning in every battle that he fights, and asks what his reason for fighting is? What is his reason for not losing? He must keep it in mind as he fights, as he still has a future in this war. He asks him to remember these words as he fades away, waiting to meet his long dead wife once more.
-And then Dan, who has died, narrates, saying that he had joined Archer. That is where the tale of the old knight and servant ended, or so he thought. The landscape returns to being a city, which is then filled with trees, until all that remains is a fortress. Then Dan suddenly comes back to life. So did Archer, who asks if the knight summoned him again. Dan quickly recognizes that he's been given a second chance, that something has happened with the Angelica Cage, and that he and the Second Stratum have been revived. At that moment, he tells Archer to prepare himself. They will re-enter the battle, because those results were crap anyway.
-And so we get a bit of a montage of Dan putting down his opponents that appear on the Stratum, giving them a quick death. Those that survive go to the forest, where Archer is waiting for them, like we see with one Servant, fighting him off while his Master runs away. However, the unknown Servant gets shot in non-vital spots, but that's more than enough for Archer, who activates his Noble Phantasm, Yew Bow, and causes the Servant to explode in all his bloody glory. As for the Master, she gets a bullet to the head.
-All this time, Dan says that he is here to be victorious, to kill, so he shall. And we go right into the opening. Before we proceed, those who have played the game will recognize this part, as it more or less happens verbatim in the games. Archer, with his Independent Action, attempts to kill the Master outside of the arena. If you don't pick the right choices your character is killed, but even picking them gets you seriously injured. Dan arrives, removes the poison, and uses a Command Seal to lock Archer's NP away. Oh, and the system nerfs him even more as a result of violating the rules. It's suspected that, with these restrictions, Archer was doomed to lose, but without them, he would have won handedly, as we saw in the montage. Oh, and that's where the divergences starts, with Dan reviving and wanting to fight, which goes against his character in the game.
-And that's enough lore stuff, let's get back into the anime. It's morning, and Saber shows that she more than inherited Blue Saber's looks...
-She also inherited her appetite. Though you know if Blue Saber was there, she'd find a way to get int a helping of dinner, complain it wasn't enough, and double down on breakfast. Oh, right, Umu count is now 16. Oh, and during this time of stuffing her own face, she tells Hakuno to chew properly, like a good little Performer. He isn't listening, though, because he's thinking of what Rani told him the previous night. And as if she's a mind reader, she says that, actually, 999 years passed. At this point, it's semantics. Saber, who is nothing if not optimistic about everything, tells him not to look so down. Sure, a thousand years have passed and humanity is on the brink of extension, but that doesn't matter at all! She lived her life two thousand years ago... well, three thousand, what with the added thousand. But still, who cares! The important thing is that they're together now!
-Apparently, in the wake of the Apocalypse, Saber here can keep a smile and brush it off as a mere inconvenience. Damn royals. After a moment, Hakuno agrees, which makes Saber happy (Umu count 17). With these words, Hakuno does feel calm, but he's still in shock. He recalls Shinji in his previous fight, thinking about all the time he spent there. But there's no time to be thinking of the past. It's time to start the council of war.
-A holographic map of the Stratum is brought up, right next to a chess board, because why not have a chess board at a war meeting? Saber asks for details on the floor master, so Rani gives what she knows. Dan is an experienced soldier who is quite obsessed with victory. She gives his name and the goal, which is to ascend, but Rani says that will never become a reality. Saber points out that winning against a Master brings down the ladder, but Rani drops this bombshell on us.
-Stupid land owning knights. Rani explain that Dan was defeated in the Grail War a thousand years ago, and as such, cannot ascend, no matter how many he's killed. Saber thinks that Dan may not be aware of this, which Rani agrees with, but still, Dan keeps the killings going. Saber can't help but be impressed by his persistence, but Rani warns Hakuno that he'll still be a target, being a Master and all. She zoomed in on the cottage, putting three chess pieces there, two pawns and a Queen.
-Now you just have to ask yourself, is Saber revealing more about herself, or does she have that big of an ego? Oh, and one of the pieces is the Bishop, which Rani takes, making Hakuno the pawn. Saber complains, because she believes he should be the knight. A Queen can't go around with her Knight, can she? But Rani gives that to Dan, but it's the Black Knight, over at the Big Ben Tower. Saber still complains, but lets it slide. Then we have Dan's servant the Rook. Saber suspects that he is an Archer, because he uses a bow and arrow. What flawless logic... except for all those other Archers won't don't really use bow and arrow. Hell, in universe, one particular Servant uses lightning as a projectile, and that makes him an Archer, not a Caster. Explain that one, Saber!
-Rani confirms that Archer is indeed an Archer, and that his true name is Robin Hood. You know, the heroic spirit from England who specializes in guerrilla warfare. There was also that whole "rob the rich to give to the poor" thing, too, but in this case, it's all about that guerrilla warfare. She also says that he has in his possession the May King, which is also called the Faceless King. And just to add on the border, he has two Noble Phantasms. The first is "No Face May King", which disguises his presence, and "Yew Bow (which is pronounced as bow, as in, bowing to somebody), the secret druid art that explodes the impurities the target has accumulated. Remember what happened to that Servant? Yeah, that was the end result.
-Saber asks what counts as an impurity. Mainly poison and not those other impurities she's probably thinking about. After Robin poisons his target, he triggers the explosion by unleashing the true name of his Noble Phantasm. So an explosion from within? Yes, exactly. I should note that I think Rani was being a bit jokey, because in the subs, she repeats Saber's question word for word. Saber is grateful to Rani for stopping her from exploding. But Rani explains that, while both are powerful, Robin and only use one at a time, which means he must reveal himself to cause the explosion. Saber is pleased with this, because it'll make this fight easy, though not seeing him would make it a bit of a challenge. And with that, she's going to go after Archer, class disadvantage be damned! While she does that, Hakuno will deal with the knight himself. Rani promises to help out, because she's tired of waiting. I bet she heard about that bitching bath and wanted to give it a try.
-So the plan is set in motion. Saber takes the lead on foot while Rani follows her with a hover motorcycle, complete with side car for Hakuno. Saber likes it and is sad that she doesn't have a second one. Not like she needs one, given how fast a Servant can move. They soon spot Robin, and Saber, being all in for this fight, makes a straight line for him. Hakuno will leave it to her, which she's all for (Umu count 18).
-The two Servants engage in battle, and after a moment, they stand back-to-back, Saber complimenting him, but Robin telling her to be patient, as this will be over soon enough. And then they engage in the fight once more. Soon, walls appear from the ground, meaning that this is now a sanctioned fight between masters. Robin is in a tree, and normally, he'd say this should be a fresh start, but in reality, this is the final act. Saber decides she wants to do the mind games, calling out Robin by his True Name, then adding that it's a disappointment that such a chivalrous thief would take part in a massacre. This gets under Robin's skin, as he stopped looking quite cheerful now (Umu count 19).
-While the Servants have their fun, Rani continues her escort of Hakuno. She has a shield up, probably to help deflect bullets. During this, she explains that SE.RA.PH was originally created to observe humans, but in the end, Moon Cell was nothing more than a machine. The data was shallow because it couldn't understand human behavior. This is why it brought them here, to record their actions. And you can probably guess what happened next. What's the best way to observe humans? Have them brutally murder one another!
-Still, the motions off humans was still to complex, so the Moon Cell cut them off. As such, the discarded emotions of humans was sent to the lowest Stratum of SE.RA.PH, where they would collect and stagnate for eternity. Or until the next browser clean up. Rani goes on to explain that, as far as they know, there is no physical evidence of an after life on Earth, but she theorizes that it's something they can't see. But on SE.RA.PH, Spiritrons made it possible. And we can see part of this when the environment surrounding the two turns gird-like, with small objects floating around. Then we cut to a very dead Hakuno. Rani then explains that, after a thousand years, the thoughts of the dead have become much like phantoms and walk amongst the living. At least they aren't trying to conquer Earth... yet.
-Hakuno is all confused. What brought this on? Is Rani talking about Dan, or maybe somebody else? And then the Dead Face appears. Curiouser and curiouser. So, how are the Servants doing? Well, Robin is doing his No Face May King, but Saber really, really pissed him off, and now, he's going to take this seriously. And so he sends out a volley of arrows, deflecting or dodging most of the attacks, though a couple do graze her. But after landing in one spot, she catches an arrow that was aimed for her heart. She can't help but be impressed, but gets back to the mind games, saying that she heard this rumor that Robin's Master is no longer a participant in the Holy Grail War. If so, why continue this meaningless slaughter? For Robin, it's simple. He just doesn't want to lose. In Dan's case, he has absolutely nothing to gain. He'll get no glory or obtain any reward, but he asks her if he would say that to an old knight? Could she tell that knight "You're a loser, so just give up and die"? Robin can't, because winning is his only option. And he can admit that, like the good thief he is.
-Robin takes another shot, but despite the arrow being hidden, Saber deflects it. She knows she's been poisoned, which leaves him with one move, and she dares him to release it. And the moment he does...
-What is it with her a roses? Meanwhile, Rani and Hakuno reach the tower. But there's a small project. The bells ring, and somehow, Dan's shot pierces the barrier, hitting Rani and causing the two to crash. Hakuno just so happens to land in a safe spot, but seeing the wounded Rani, he wants to rush to her side, but she stops him, because she knows that Dan didn't kill her, because she's bait. She tells him to go, but he refuses, because if he does, she'll die. But, if he keeps waiting, she may die. And the dead speak to him, telling him to abandon her and go to the clock tower to defeat Dan. Man, these are chatty ghosts. But Hakuno doesn't think this is the right answer, because he realizes something else. The bell rings every time Dan takes a shot. He knows that Dan is a veteran who's been fighting for a thousand years, so why would somebody with his experience make his position obvious? He looks back in the courtyard, seeing the bones of the fallen, including one that got it in the back of the head. He never saw it coming.
-Pissed off, Hakuno activates his Dead Face, hits the ground to give him some cover, then grabs Rani and gets her in cover in the forest. Sparking with energy, he asks if she can move. Nope, but she can fight. Looks like Rani will get to show off some offense after all. Back with the Servant battle, Robin has not taken the bait, but he can't believe how persistent a Saber is. You haven't fought many Sabers, have you? He remarks that it is taking Dan a long time to kill Hakuno, but an explosion from the Clock Tower draws his eye. He wonders if Hakuno figured out the trap Dan left behind, but easily dismisses it. So, with the poison in Saber's body, he decides to end it with Yew Bow. Saber knows what's coming, but boasts that she'll deflect his best arrow, then take his head. Robin tells her that it isn't an arrow, though, but a detonation switch. So he doesn't have to run her through, just land a hit.
-Robin unleashes his Noble Phantasm, which Saber moves to block, but he calls this action pointless, since it'll activate, even if it doesn't hit her. And soon enough, she does deflect it and... she doesn't go boom. Robin is caught by surprise just long enough for Saber to get in and land the killing blow. He doesn't understand why she didn't go boom, so Saber explains her plan. She just bled the bad blood out of her, which we can see from the mess she left behind on the battlefield. Even as a Servant, Robin doesn't see how she could still be alive after losing so much blood.
-Saber is all "do you even know who I am? I was the woman who opened her eyes three days after her throat was slit." As long as her limbs are intact, she can revive up to three times. Robin has heard of something like that, which is just a BS skill to have for somebody who isn't Hercules. Saber asks him if he wishes to continue, but in his current condition, he decides not too. Besides, Hakuno must have been defeated by Dan, as he doesn't hear the bell ring anymore. Concerned, Saber runs off like a little puppy, which is the exact line Robin uses. He then walks deeper in the forest, probably looking for a good play to lay down for a while.
-And that place happens to have a tombstone, covered in moss. The name is barely seen, but Robin's words to it reveals who is there. This tombstone just so happens to be underneath a small tree as Robin asks him if he's satisfied. It's been a long fight, and in the end, it was all for naught. As he begins to disappear, he laments on his inability to win in a face-to-face battle, but before he fades completely, he tells Dan that it was a miscalculation on his part.
-We get those numbers again, which appears to tell us how far back we're going. We're going back 190 seconds, which is a little over three minutes. We follow Hakuno up the tower, complete with Dead Face, and sees what appears to be Dan, but then sees other objects near by, including one that appears in front of him. And then they explode. But Dan, keeping watch, loses track of him. It's then revealed where Dan was all this time. He was at the castle where Hakuno and Saber emerged from. Still, despite Archer having trouble with Saber, this should end it, but the notices that the wall is still up, meaning the fight isn't over yet. He wonders if the Servants are still fighting. But when the smoke clears, he sees that what appears to have been Hakuno was really something else.
-Realizing his folly, Dan tries to get back into shooting position, but it's too late. He is shot, and while he does get a shot out, it misses the bell entirely. He drops his weapon and sees that Hakuno not only survived the explosion, but used a rifle similar to his own to deliver the fatal blow. That's when the bells ring again, but this time, not as a warning, but in victory. Dan can hear those bells and calls it nostalgic. It feels like he's returned to that day long ago, when he was with his wife. And in that final memory, Dan disappears once again, and this time, hopefully, he can truly rest.
-Hakuno's Dead Face vanishes as Saber joins him, giving him a big hug in their victory. You can tell they won because the Ladder has appeared. Saber is very happy, because the Umu count jumped to 21. But they can celebrate their victory later, because the Second Stratum is fading, like the first was. And a helpful voice tells them that they have two minutes left to board. Hakuno wants to go back for Rani, but Saber won't let him. Despite his protest, she asks if Rani wanted to ascend? He then recalls the conversation he had with her the previous night, with Rani saying she will stay with the fallen for as long as she is still here. Looks like she was never going to leave, no matter what.
-Realizing this, Hakuno thanks Rani one more time, and we check in on her one more time, surrounded by the burning forest, watching the Ladder ascend. She's happy, though, because the last star has finally reached the sky. She tells them to be careful, though, because there's a chance the Dead Man's mask will cover his true face. We then end on Dan's grave, engulfed by the flames, taking us to our episode title, Yew Bow. Cue credits!
-During the credits, we have a different Dan/Robin picture.
-I suspect these are actually two different people, or at least, in different times. The first was that of the current Dan and Robin, while this is them back in the beginning, since it shows Dan being more respectful this time. As is proper of a knight.
-Oh, and we're not done yet! We have an after credit scene. In the Ladder, Saber and Hakuno are lamenting the loss of Rani, but a familiar voice says that she's probably happy to meet her final star.
-Hi, Rin! Where the hell have you been? Saber and Hakuno agree, but after a beat, they ask her if she's been here this whole time?
-Smug Rin is Smug. End episode.
Okay, with this arc completed, let's talk the enemy combatants.
Dan Blackmore is voiced by Ian Alden, which is actually an alias for John Snyder. His roles include Jean Henry Richard from B: The Beginning, E. Honda from Street Fighter IV, and the Bartender from Akira. As in, the original dub, not the re-released version. So, yeah, he's got a career.
You probably don't need me to explain this, but Robin Hood was voiced by Vic Mignogna, who was that doctor from Gunslinger Girls I did recently, as well as being Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist. And no, we won't be discussing anything else about him. That's for an entirely different thread.
A few things to note here. The Servant that Dan faced in the beginning, which we couldn't see, was Suzuka Gozen, a fox-girl shrine maiden who's thing is being essentially a Gyaru Girl. She debuted in the Fate/Extra CCC manga as the foil to the playable Caster, and would later show up in Fate/Grand Order.
Now, there's something about Robin Hood you might find interesting. Robin... is not the original Robin Hood. In the lore, he's actually one to carry the name, being inspired by the original to fight like he did. So no, this isn't Robin of Loxley, but just some guy who took the name for himself. The events in the teaser are what happened in the game, and as a result, he got a stat decrease. Yes, a Holy Grail War that strictly enforced the rules of said War. This is what happens when you put a computer in charge of it.
The last thing about Saber, and this is more for the FGO folks, but she's a rather broken Servant with her skills. Imperial Privilege, which basically allows her to do anything (which I can't get much into for spoiler reasons), another type of heal, and a three time revive skill. The fact she isn't a higher rarity is rather amazing to me.
With Dan and Robin defeated, Saber and Hakuno are able to move on, once again carrying Rin with them, who has disappeared for this arc, and leaving behind a trusted comrade. What battle will they need to fight next? And will Rin explain what happened to her? Tune in on Sunday to find out.
Until next time, remember, as long as you can revive, you can literally paint the town red and be none the worse for wear. Just watch up for the police. They'll ticket you for that kind of thing.
2 weeks agoCaButler
Time for a gatcha update folks!
Nope, haven't rolled for a few weeks, but the GSSR is coming soon, so expect an update there. In the mean while, here's who I picked for the formal CE:
And really, are you that surprised?
So a new legendary came out, and it was Roy's father!
Got him on my second attempt, which was a "why not" attempt.
Hey, do you know the Switch remake of the first two titles are coming out? Well, now you do. Anyway, for the mobile version:
Zerida is an OG creation for the mobile game, who may or may not be in love with Matthew, the main character.
You know, there's a Youtuber I'm following that is doing animated shorts that feature characters from this came, which includes IWS here. I suspect he's being commissioned to do it by the developers, since he was at their booth in a recent con. Anyway, more shooting goodness.
Currently there is an event running called "The Iris of Light and Shadow," which features ships from the French Navy. Of course, given France's issue during WWII, we technically have two factions. This is the first time they're available in the gatcha, though they are limited:
You'll notice that there's a theme among the shipgirls for these factions. Here we have the FFNF Forbin.
Next is the FFNF Surcouf, and I honestly can't believe they got away with that design.
Next we have the MNF Jean Bart, who I got multiple copies of in my first couple of rolls. She really wanted to hang out.
Next is the MNF Dunkerque. You'll notice that the shipgirls in the FFNF are all in blue, white, and gold, while the MNF are red, white, and black. Because they're in different factions, so the colors have to match and be opposite of one another.
On, and Dunkerque got a special skin for this event:
Yes, I am a degenerate, why do you ask?
The MNF Le Mars is one of two shop shipgirls available for the event. She's also available as a map drop, if you want more copies of her.
The FFNF Le Triomphant is the second shop shipgirl, and one of the better ships of her class. And I think I hear sirens in the background.
The FFNF Emile Bertin looks like she belongs in the Cirque D'Solai. She also has a summer skin that I haven't purchased... yet.
A non-event ship, the USS Denver has all the John Denver jokes you could ever want.
And lastly, the USS Massachusetts, who was the main target in the gatcha. if you think she kind of looks like a good civ girl, then keep going that way, but also give her the voice of Best Kohai Shield and run with it.
And that's all I got for now. Tune in tomorrow for some more Fate fun. Until next time, have a happy Fourth of July... unless you're a non-American, in which case, we'll correct that soon enough.
2 weeks agoCaButler
Hello everybody and welcome to our next exciting episode of Fate/Extra Last Encore, where fights between historical figures from across time always involves lasers.
In our last episode, Saber and Hakuno were able to escape from Shinji and met up with Rin, a fellow Master and leader of the resistance. They decide that, if Hakuno is going to ascend, he's going to need to kill Shinji, since he's the only registered Master on this level. So they attack the central building, with Rin basically killing everybody that isn't the main combatants, allowing Hakuno and Shinji to have their long awaited showdown.
Of course, this is a battle with Servants, so Hakuno's Servant, Saber, takes on Shinji's Servant, Rider, who is revealed as Francis Drake (no, really). Thanks to her Imperial Privilege, Saber is able to gain the upper hand, and with a little luck, deals the death blow on Drake, allowing her and Hakuno to ascend, but not without getting some sympathetic points for Shinji. Yes, this is actually the only series where you can feel a little bad for Shinji. Crazy, I know. He still has a punchable face, though.
But with their victory, Hakuno and Saber are the last left, and so take the ladder up to the next level, but not without picking up a hitchhiker. With their first opponent defeated, who will await them in the next level? Let's tune in and find out.
-Our episode beings with the Moon Mile Ladder ascending into the heavens, which is taking the term "Sea of Stars" a little too literal. And how do we begin this episode? Why, with a fan service shot, of course! How else would you start the episode of a new arc, just getting right into any sort of exposition? What kind of show do you think this is?
-Though it's not Hakuno and Saber taking a bath together. This time, it's Rin and Saber. And suddenly the numbers for this episode spike. I wonder why? Saber comments on how stylish it is to travel the seas of SE.RA.PH while bathing, and Rin agrees that it's kind of like that. Saber, who cares little for the morality of separate gender bathing, invites Hakuno to join them. But he didn't hear her, because he's deep in thought of Drake's last words to him, and the question that remains on the forefront of his mind. That and he's still feeling rather angry, but he starts to question this. But despite what Drake said, despite his win, all he has is his desire to climb and his deep hatred. And then Saber joins him, asking what he's worried about?
-Oh, did you think the fan service was ending? Nope, we're not even close. For you see, Saber has exited out of the bath... and isn't doing much to cover herself up. This is very much one of those "seriously!?" types of outfits, and you really need to see it. So, with the NSFW tag, you can find it here.Yes, Saber really does have that kind of an ego.
-Saber tells Hakuno that all those things like greed, lust, and self-interest are just those things that humans fight for in their daily lives. At no point should anybody question the reason to fight. That's surprisingly cynical of you, Saber. Hakuno, who proves that he is above the fan service, remains stone face, allowing her to continue. If it feels good and you want it, then that should be enough. But if Hakuno needs a good reason to fight, then he should ascend through these seas! Oh, Umu count is now 11. And I thought she was going to say "You should fight for me, because I am worthy of it, and will allow you to fight for me."
-After the opening, the Ladder arrives at what appears to be a church. We see an older man leaning up against a glass-stained window, who senses the arrival of the Ladder. And unlike Shinji, he wants to continue the Holy Grail War and ascend to the third round. A figure, probably his Servant, asks him if he's going to fight again? SE.RA.PH is broken, there's no Overseer, there may be no Holy Grail War, and worst of all, they have to leave this bitching scenery.
-The Sir tells Archer that he does want to continue, that the existence of the Grail isn't important. He came to the Moon to fight and be victorious. We see him loading up his rifle, talking about all the glory he wishes to achieve in these battles. These are the true desires of a knight. And he lives to this day for that purpose alone. He hopes this young opponent will be powerful, so that his fighting spirit may be satisfied. Well, there's always at least one who's all in just for the purpose of fighting. And he's just as crazy as them, too.
-Our duo exit the building, but no Rin. How odd. Saber warns Hakuno that, from this point on, they will be encountering the SE.RA.PH that she is not familiar with, since the rules of the Holy Grail War have collapsed. But despite all of that, their objective is quite clear. Find the next Master and kick their ass. The knight lines up his shot as the two explore. They find themselves in a forest, but suddenly, church bells ring. Then, without hesitation, Saber pushes Hakuno down and blocks a bullet with her sword. She recognizes that it's a sniper and warns her Performer to be careful. Oh, hey, there's Big Ben... or something looking like it.
-Nope, can't be distracted now. Another shot comes in that Saber deflects, allowing Hakuno to recognize where the shots are coming from, which is that tower with the ringing bells. One more blocked shot convinces Saber they need to leave, so she grabs Hakuno and jumps over the wall, because obviously the human Master can survive that. The knight seems rather impressed that they made the jump into the forest, then says it's time that they now face Archer, the Faceless King. He tells Archer to go nuts, and with his cloak, vanishes like the Predator. Don't tell me he's actually multi-classing as an Archer and an Assassin! What kind of rule breaking nonsense is this!?
-Inside the forest, the duo take a nice little stroll, with Saber quickly coming to terms that the Sniper was the enemy and were in a hurry to kill Hakuno. Well, at least it's a difference experience from being stabbed countless times. Hakuno points towards the Big Ben looking tower, saying the shots came from there. Saber agrees (Umu Count 12), but is impressed with how fast Hakuno was able to determine the Sniper's location. She is truly impressed (Umu count 14). She is so impressed that clearly only he is fit to perform with the most famous instrument in history. Saber, is now really the time to be hitting on Hakuno? Also, stop thanking her for everything. Otherwise, she'll poke you in the forehead.
-Hakuno does apologize for interrupting Saber, who smiles from his comments. Of course, while heaping praise on Saber, he does know that now isn't the time to do that, but he just has this urge to tell her that he's grateful to her. Saber takes it with the grace and humility that she is known for.
-So, so humble. Oh, Umu count 15. They continue their walk as Saber comments on how Hakuno has a serious face, but she's happy to see that he can still be happy and show gratitude to others. Especially to her, which he should never stop showing. Besides, battles and carnage shouldn't take over life. No matter the situation or how withdrawn he becomes, show no arrogance. Do not forget the flowers, the songs, and the feeling of gratitude. And more importantly, the honor that blooms in his heart. Also, and even more important than that, the gratitude he has for her. And never stop showing that, either. Regardless of the strength one gains or the challenges one faces, remember, don't forget the heart that loves flowers, the rich tones of songs begging to be sung. Never stop feel a sense of gratitude to those who have nurtured you, and on top of that, always remember to hold our head up high so that he will never lose to anyone. All this while dancing in place and touching his heart and head. That is how Saber lived her life, or more accurately...
-Sounds like Saber didn't just inherit Blue Saber's looks (with some changes), but all of her baggage, too. No wonder she has an ego that could rival Gilgamesh. Hakuno is concerned and asks her what's wrong, but she's rather upset, because somebody had to come and ruin the moment they were having. Suddenly, a purple cloud surrounds the two as Archer speaks. He apologizes for interrupting, but since they're both Servants, they should perhaps prioritizing killing instead of talking. He then fires an arrow at Saber, who deflects it with ease. Which is rather surprising, given that her sword looks to be about her height. She then warns Hakuno that the mist is poison, so he shouldn't breathe it, even though they're already in it. Okay? Okay.
-Fortunately, there's a Code Cast for that, and Hakuno activates Poison Resistance. Archer decides to play some mind games, going after Hakuno and his will to fight. But Archer understands, because he feels a kindred spirit between the himself and Hakuno. Oh, and to show how deadly the mist is, a random snake disintegrates before Hakuno. Anyway, Archer calls Hakuno a pessimist and only putting up a tough face to disguise that, but Hakuno denies it, and suddenly, that snake skeleton becomes a human skeleton. Oh look, we're back in the horror genre again.
-Archer keeps the mind games up, but Saber decides that she's had enough of this crap and calls him out to fight. But Archer ignores her and keeps attacking Hakuno's mind, but then attacks with another arrow that Saber deflects. She can determine he's invisible, but Archer explains that isn't the only thing he can make hidden, as an invisible arrow barely misses Hakuno. He runs through the forest, barely avoiding the arrows, but it seems to lead him to a trap that catches his leg. Saber comes to to protect, but she ends up taking an arrow to the chest. So those near misses? Those were on purpose.
-But Saber, being a Saber, tanks the arrow, saying that such a thing doesn't bother her, and only cowards use arrows. Now, I know I can make the joke about what Saber used, but as the shot was actually higher up, I can't make that kind of joke. Besides, such jokes are beneath me. Anyway, Saber is excited. As in "I'm going insane with excitement" excited.
-But it looks to be all bluster as Saber is barely keeping herself up. Archer plans to finish this fight, but seeing the problem, Hakuno ends up using one of his Command Seals to give her an extra boost in power. How much of an extra boost?
-...Wow. Who knew Command Seals could do that? So with a large chunk of the forest gone, there's no place else for Archer to hide, right? Well, somehow, he avoided the attack, and he's in a perfect position to finish this off. He launches a volley of arrows, but they suddenly explode, revealing the Man in Green. Saber wastes no time in attempting to finish him off, but Archer dodges it and escapes. Stupid explosions. Nearby, a voice apologizes to them, but she thought they could use the assistance. Oh, is it Rin?
-Nope, it's a new person. Is she going to pick a fight with Hakuno and Saber now? Nope, she's going to help them out. She takes them to this cottage, which is protected by several barriers, so they shouldn't be found. Inside, she begins to treat Saber's wounds, which includes another fan service shot of a half-naked Saber. Got to meet our quota somehow. Hakuno asks if she's alright, but she likens it to a bug bite, but she asks about him, noting that he used up a Command Seal for her.
-Their rescuer tells them they can use the bed, with Saber, ever the humble guest, apologizes for causing her trouble. Hakuno, however, would like to put a name behind the face of their rescuer. Her name is Rani VIII. Not Rani the VIII, just Rani VIII. She's like Rin, in that she's a Master without a Servant. How odd. Oh, and she started a resistance on this Stratum, just like Rin. Okay, Rin, is that you? Why are you disguising yourself like that? Saber introduces herself and Hakuno, but also catches on Rani's way of talking, which makes her think of Rin and where she is. Hakuno thinks the same thing. Did they really leave her behind on the Moon Mile Ladder? Well, at least she'll be in comfort until they can ascend.
-Rani explains that the Floor Master was the one who assaulted them. His name is Dan Blackmore, and he was considered the most powerful wizard on this Stratum. He was the type of Master who valued courtesy, which is a rarity among other Masters, but since SE.RA.PH collapsed, he became a hunter who kills Masters as they arrive. Saber asks if there are other Masters like Rani and Dan, but nope, the knight killed all who didn't return to the First Stratum. It seems like Saber doesn't quite trust her word, but doesn't continue that line of thought. Hakuno notes that Rani stayed to fight, but she corrects him. She's been waiting. For the past fifty years she's been waiting for a Master who seeks to ascend to the next stratum. Wait, fifty years? Just how long was Hakuno dead at the bottom?
-After waiting all that time, Rani concluded that there were no Masters left, but according to the stars, a Master would appear a final time. Saber asks if Hakuno was that person, and she believes so. Rani then appears to stare intensely at Saber, who can't help but comment on it.
-At least Saber's smugness is tolerable. Rani explains that she was aware of Saber during the Holy Grail War, but never got a chance to meet her until now. This makes Saber upset that they didn't get to meet sooner. Saber, will you stop hitting on her already? But she does think of Rani as a top-tier Master, and she must have had a grand Heroic Spirit, too. Rani agrees that her Servant was pretty awesome, and she saw many like that during the previous Holy Grail Wars, and Masters as well. She explains that it was a tournament where many Masters fought each other, a merciless race for survival. But like Holy Grail Wars of the past, there were set rules and a mutual understanding. And back then, humanity still had hope. Saber agrees, and while it was a pitch battle, she thought it was dazzling. So are they aware of a possible groundhog loop? They seems to speak like they've done this before.
-Hakuno, who appears a bit confused, doesn't try to clear it up. Instead, he wonders about the grandeur that Saber speaks of, and he simply doesn't have the hope they speak of. Rani explains that SE.RA.PH is a cyberspace created by the Moon Cell, which was to be the stage of the Holy Grail War, and it was a stepping stone for humanity's final frontier. Apparently, some have theorized that the Moon Cell created this place as the destination for humans souls, calling it a heaven created by a machine. Rani explains that SE.RA.PH could have been a utopia for humanity, assuming it didn't fall into the wrong hands. But that scenario would have been better than SE.RA.PH being on the brink of collapse. Hakuno asks how this happened, but Rani doesn't have the answer. I imagine the show will explain it in more detail later.
-With so much exposition being thrown around, Saber has grown tired and is going to get some rest, and she decides that a bed is better than going into an astral form. Rani says to take as much time as needed, as this cottage has heal powers similar to My Room, which is typically located in the Moon Mile Ladder. Before she falls asleep, Saber tells Hakuno to get some rest, as well. Rani agrees, but he's just feeling too angry to sleep. He does try, but then the dreams come.
-In the dream, a person speaks to Hakuno. In this vast space filled with towers, as well as a blue cube high in the sky, a man says that the Holy Grail War was merely one activity used by the Moon Cell to gather information. It wanted to collect more accurate data on humans, but apparently the humans that were invited decided to try and kill each other instead. He explains that people only care about their wants or needs and never learn about their roots. He call humans, and Hakuno in particular, foolish creatures. He will be the one to choose who is worthy of the Holy Grail. He understands that this is evil, but he's going to own up to it. However, he sees like similar to a spinning wheel, so in order for all to live, he will bring salvation to them. And if you're Servant is a dragon or dragon like, I'm walking out.
-And then he kicks Hakuno out of the Angelica Cage. Hakuno awakens and wonders if that was a dream or a memory. He remembers him from the school level, but also that he mentioned the Angelica Cage. He thinks that's the highest stratum, but wonders if he made it there once before? If so, was he dropped from there all the way down to the lowest stratum? It would explain the memory loss, but he seems to think that the guy actually killed him. He's so very, very confused, and with Saber sleeping, he can't actually talk to somebody about that. He does notice that Rani is gone, though, and decides to talk to her.
-We find Rani in what appears to be a graveyard. She sees Hakuno coming and apologizes for waking him, but then he notices something quite odd.
-Ranis! Dozens of them, and they're all tending to the graves! Rani can already see what's happening and explains to Hakuno that the other girls are copies using Doll Cores. They can't help in combat, so don't think about building an army of Ranis. However, with certain inputs, they can do complex things. Oh, and they can be transformed into swords or firearms, but somebody needs to wield it. Yeah, that isn't creepy at all. She asks if they're unsettling to him, and without waiting for an answer, makes them disappear. You could have waited, you know?
-After that, Rani asks Hakuno if something is wrong. Well, he had a weird dream, which seems to be the norm around here. Anyway, what's up with the graves? They belong to the Masters who died on this Stratum. Some were good, others were evil, but they all desperately tried to survive, and that alone is enough for Rani to feel like they should be mourned. She will be at one with them for as long as she's here. She then turns to Hakuno and asks the same question Drake asked him. What is his reason for climbing? He doesn't answer, so instead, she asks how he became a Master in the first place? He doesn't answer that question, but answers the first, which is that he feels a need to climb up. A great answer. But he has a question for her. She said "fifty years earlier" and asks if she's from the 1900s? Oh, it's so much worse than that.
-To put this in perspective, the original games took place in 2032 A.D. So... shock! Rani explains that the lowest stratum was a reenactment of a paradise that once existed, and that SE.RA.PH's collapse began a thousand years ago. And the human population is below one hundred thousand, and will soon reach extinction levels soon. So, yeah, things are very, very bad at the moment. Rani suspect that those left in SE.RA.PH may be the last humans left. So if the program falls to ruin, humanity would fall with it. So, you know, no pressure or anything.
-Tonight's episode is titled No Face May King. And our image pair for the ending credits?
-Our current enemies for this arc. Oh, and we're not done yet! We have an after credit scene! Dan berates Archer, asking why he didn't aim at the Master? He claims he did, but Dan sees right through him, that the shot was to bait Saber. If he had aimed for the Master from the start, the battle would have been over before any interruptions. Archer can't deny that, so Dan reminds him that this is their last chance, so let's make sure we kill them next time. Archer waves it off, saying that those two don't have much of a chance for survival to begin with. But Dan wants this to happen. This will be the kill that finally allows him to ascend. He's killed many Masters solely for that purpose, and with this, the Moon Cell will certainly accept him as the winner. Except you're probably a dirty rule breaker, too! End episode.
I've decided that we'll only discuss the voice actors for the Master/Servant pair during their final episode. But that doesn't mean I can't talk about Rani.
Rani VIII is voiced by Christine Marie Cabanos, who's other voice roles include Silica from Sword Art Online, Mako from Kill La Kill, and lastly, Madoka from Madoka Magica. So, yeah, she's got some impressive range. And honestly, I wouldn't have recognized her if I didn't look up her voice actor.
So Dan has been on this floor for a long time, killing Masters but never ascending. But it seems like, unlike Shinji, he wants to ascend, but something is stopping him. Why is that? Perhaps he secretly wants to keep killing Masters and never ascend? And what of Rani? Why is her situation so similar to Rin? And speaking of, where did Rin go? There are many questions raised and no answers to them yet. The mystery deepens, it seems. Oh, and humanity is on the brink of extinction, so nothing new there.
Can Saber and Hakuno survive their battle against this dangerous duo? And will they learn what happened to Rin and that of humanity? Tune in on Friday to find out.
Until next time, remember, always make sure your cyberspace room is fully equipped with bath robes. You don't want your Servant walking around half-naked now, do you?
3 weeks agoCaButler
Hello everybody and welcome to our next exciting episode of Fate/Extra Last Encore, the show that has our main protagonist get stabbed by sharp objects on a daily basis. Clearly, he has angered some deity and they are taking it out on him with ruthless aggression.
In our last episode, we get an exposition filled fan service scene involving Red Saber telling Hakuno all about the Holy Grail War and what the prize is at the end, which is basically a wish for anything they desire. Of course, they have to defeat other Masters, because what other Holy Grail War would be complete without a duel to the death?
The two reach the First Strata, only to find that there are few humans left, and those that are left have given up their status as Master and given up their servants to the central government. And who, pray tell, is the person in charge? Why, it's Shinji, of course! Apparently stabbing people will help make you mayor.
Shinji, shockingly, doesn't recognize Hakuno despite all the stabbing, but makes the same offer to him as he did to everybody else. Give up his status as a Master and release his Servant. He refuses, which pleases Saber, but Shinji prepared for this and had the two separated, so now they're suck in a fight to the death. Well, Saber is, having to fight three Berserker Servants. Hakuno, however, has to deal with the Pretty Police Girls, who then stab him repeatedly in the stomach. However, Hakuno is the guy who is too angry to die, and reveals that he has something called a Dead Face. Or at least, that's how Rin describes it.
Oh, and Rin is still here, too. How will Hakuno and Saber get out of this? Let's tune in and find out.
-Our episode begins with Saber fighting off the Berserker servants. She's pretty much on the defensive, though, but is able to block and dodge the attacks with sheer ease. Shinji seems pleased with himself at first until he sees that she keeps dodging the attacks. The giant berserker misses his attack, which shatters the firewall, revealing...
-What up, yo! Looks like Hakuno was able to deal with the Pretty Police Girls... uh, the smoke doesn't make it clear, but are they dead? They kind of look dead. Saber is happy to see him, while Shinji is shocked to see what happened to his Pretty Police Squad. After the OP (thanks for the skip, Netflix), Shinji is still processing what happened. Saber gets past the Berserker Servants as Shinji orders them to go after her, but wouldn't you know it, random errors start popping up. Damn free antivirus! Saber then picks up Hakuno like the pretty Princess that he is and makes their escape. No, really.
-This is a bit funny, because if you remember, Saber is very short compared to Hakuno. Anyway, Shinji is trying to figure out what happened, but Rin is nearby, basically saying "I happened!" And then we have Rin on a flying motorcycle outside of the Mayor's office. Huh, no wonder she'll be a Rider later this year. Saber, taking a risk, hops on Rin's bike, and the two escape. Hooray!
-Sometime later, Hakuno awakens from his meeting with Shinji, which could have gone better, and finds that he's been patched up. Man got stabbed seven times, from the looks of it. He identifies them as Code Casts. He then looks around the room and finds Rin working on a holographic computer on a nearby couch. She turns towards him, and Rin being Rin, says that sure, it is far from luxurious, but it's not like she had to help. Hakuno is on guard, remembering Rin from his time in the school. We then get a quick panning shot of Rin, showing off her new design. She keeps the same colors, but her outfit is different. Basically, she changed out the long sleeve shirt and pleated skirt for a sleeveless shirt and miniskirt. And I think the miniskirt is actually shorter than what Rin typically wears. Or maybe it's from her boots that make it shorter.
-Anyway, Rin introduces herself, not recognizing Hakuno. How odd. She states that she's a Master without a Servant, but she's running the Resistance all alone in this stratum. Hakuno, deciding to go along with the first introductions, introduces himself, and the two shake hands. Saber then materializes on the nearby chair, introducing herself, as well. Hakuno is happy to see her, and yes, she is indeed her (Umu count 5). And the reason that Hakuno is alive is thanks to Rin's Code Casts. And yes, total fanboy, but...
-And that's going to get saved for somewhere later. Though it's such a smug way of sitting, so much so that, in any other series, Saber would actually be the villain. But here? Total good guy. Oh, and speaking of smug, Saber claims that her feelings towards Hakuno helped, so she gets some of the credit for that. Rin is rather amazed at how well the two are getting along. Well, yeah. Saber says that if they didn't get along, this Holy Grail War would be torture. Rin then goes over to the ice bucket and takes out a few potions and... is that who I think it is?
-Yes, yes that is who I think it is. We'll discuss that later. Anyway, Rin agrees, handing over a potion to Saber, then a different one to Hakuno. The one he got is for Masters, since he used up a lot of magical energy, he'll need a recharge. I guess Saber's is one specific to Servants. Rin then grabs her own, which sort of looks like Saber's, but it's hard to tell from this range. Hakuno asks for more details about the city, so Rin obliges. Shinji is in charge of the city, so she's rebelling against them. That sounds so Rin. Also, we get to see her command seals, and it looks like she only has one left. After she takes her drink, she asks the two of they want the Holy Grail War back? Without question (Umu count 6). Excellent! That means they're on the same side! After all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend! Until they deal with the enemy that made them align, then they get to killing one another. And Hakuno hasn't had the best luck when it comes to friends, but hey, maybe it'll be different this time!
-Saber decides "Sure, I guess this can work." And with that, the alliance is sealed. So Rin starts explaining a few things so they don't get caught again. She starts by saying this stratum is full of cowards. Getting right into it, aren't we? But basically, all the Masters here are scared to fight and die, so they just gave up. Saber understands that people are afraid to die. But she has a problem with people surviving but not truly leaving, and so they should have just lost instead. Harsh, but she's got a lot of anger over how everything went off the rails and demands to know how this happened in the first place? What is the Moon Cell doing? Well, there's a problem with that. SE.RA.PH is already done for. Shit, B.B. got to it, didn't she?
-Saber looks confused, so Rin helps out by showing off a holographic representation of the tower and different stratums. She explains that, ever since Chakravartin formed, the rules of the Holy Grail War changed. As a result, it caused many casualties and the structure of each stratum became separate from the others, and the Masters were no longer forced to kill each other. The stratum they're on is one of the more peaceful ones. She explains that a Master here won the first round, but for some reason, he chose not to ascend. Thanks to the change in the rules, that is how the Floor Master was chosen. When he came into power, he used the remaining resources to recreate the stratum, and thus, this city is the result. Well, doesn't that sound like a cushy gig.
-Rin explains that plenty of Masters have come here since, noting that some ran away from higher strata, while others were new arrivals. And then the Masters started selling off their Servants, and thanks to that, nobody was able to advance. Sure, the Chakravartin may have done something to SE.RA.PH, but it was the Floor Master here who put an end to the Holy Grail War. The jerk, wanting people to live in his peaceful utopia! And that's why Rin is rebelling, because she wants the killing to start again. She then walks out to the balcony, pointing towards the ring high above them. Hakuno joins her, explaining that the lowest stratum has been destroyed, so there is no going back now. And it's probably a matter of time until this stratum gets destroyed, too.
-So, in order to figure out what happened, they need to get to the highest stratum. But nobody wants to go up, or more specifically, they can't. Hakuno asks why (Umu count 7), but Rin explains that, despite the changes, the rules still need to be followed, so two Masters need to duel. Saber agrees (Umu count 8), adding that the Moon Mile Ladder is only lowered when there is a victor. Rin adds that SE.RA.PH is a one way trip, but adds that you can go to a lower stratum from a higher one, but to go higher, you need the Ladder. Which means they need to find the remaining Master and kill him good. Except they already did meet him, and he tried to kill him. Huh, so the revenge against Shinji is going to happen early instead of later. Crazy how that works. But Hakuno doesn't really care about the timing, just that he gets to kill Shinji. What, did you think he was going to be the type to save everyone? What kind of silly pipe dream is that?
-Saber recognizes the venom in Hakuno's voice and asks if he knew him and if his memory is returning. No, not yet. His first memory is the last day at the academy, the day he was killed by that back-stabbing back-stabber! During his memories, one appears rather quickly, where a body is hanging against a stone mountain, impaled by several golden swords. And that person is... Hakuno!? Uh... what? Then we have another scene, this one appearing in a throne room, and there's Hakuno again, but this time, killed thanks to a sword slash on his back, and a deep one, too. Then we have him dead again in another room, which will be familiar to those who played the game. Wait, so how many times have you been killed, Hakuno? Is this something of a groundhog loop?
-We then get Hakuno going all dead face before cutting to black. When we return, Hakuno awakens and morning has come. He goes searching for somebody, first going to the roof top and finding his servant there, surrounded by birds.
-Remember how I said in the last episode how much the camera loved Saber during the bath scene? Here's proof that the camera still loves her, even without the fan service parts. And it looks like she auditioned once to be a Disney Princess, because one of those birds flies to her arm, where another is resting on he shoulder. Well, if that doesn't speak to her good soul, what will? She sees Hakuno and greets him with a winning smile, but as he approaches her, the birds fly away. He apologizes, but she says not too. Besides, they're about the fight he Floor Master, so he needs his head in the game (Umu count 9). Rin arrives to give them the plan. Mainly, they're going to barge straight through the main entrance. They'll never see it coming.
-Sure, Hakuno thinks it's a nice city. It's peaceful and nobody has to worry about dying, but that doesn't sit well with Hakuno, so he's going to restart the Murder Death Kill tournament. Wow, thinking about this for a moment, this actually makes them sound like the bad guys, doesn't it? So the plan begins, first with an explosion, which is actually a type of virus, causing a bunch of Pretty Policy Squad members to arrive and try to stop it. This is a distraction, of course, allowing our rebels to sneak in. Saber leads the charge, because she's a frontline fighter. Except they have a small problem. Those Berserker servants? They're waiting for them. He saw through their dastardly plan! How could he have known that!? Instead of fighting, Saber grabs Hakuno and leaps over them, but to make sure they don't follow, a green barrier surrounds and traps them. They then reach the elevator as more barriers are created, but I wonder if that'll be enough as the Berserker servants break through the other barrier. Oh yeah, they did that earlier. Who thought that was a good idea?
-Saber and Hakuno go on ahead, with Saber asking Rin to retreat when she can. Sure, she'll do that... if she can. Well, that's a nasty red flag, isn't it? The Berserker servants start to break through as a red glow starts engulfing Rin. She will assure that Hakuno survives, because...
-Unless you're still Lawful Good Rin, then that won't happen. Saber and Hakuno soon reach the top... except it looks like a school. Huh. The two explore, with Hakuno noting how different it was from the lowest stratum. They make their way to the roof, which appears to glowing lights falling from the sky. Actually, they're bodies, and they break up when they hit something. Well, isn't that grim? Saber asks if that's the fate of failed Masters, but there's no time for that. Shinji is here, looking up at those lights because... reasons.
-Saber declares her motive. They're here to continue the Holy Grail War and demands that the Lord of this city of deceit accept their challenge! Shinji isn't a big fan of that term, but he starts going on a rant about how he hates people like them, as if they have the right to judge but in reality, they know nothing. He's just trying to do the best he can. After all, he created a paradise for those scumbags, and he does the maintenance. What more do you jerks want!? So why now? Why start the war? He asks Hakuno if this is a joke, but Hakuno, quietly fuming with rage, tells Shinji that he's here to kill him. And then calls him a coward, just to twist the knife further. Well, if you're going to be thrown into the fire, what's wrong with a little more gasoline?
-In a flashback, we see that Shinji has killed another Master/Servant combo, much to his chagrin. He asks why again, but a familiar voice tells him that if he wants to survive, he has to be the one to win. That's when the entire floor begins to shake. The voice tells him that he's the only Master on the First Stratum, and that makes him the Floor Master. Shinji is breaking down, saying that he killed two people, including one who was his friend, and is worried that he's going to die without leaving anything behind. But he refuses to die and decides he's going to build a city here for all the Masters who quit the Holy Grail War, and he's going to do it, too! After all, you can create gold from mud, if you apply enough effort into it. And that's when we see who was speaking to Shinji.
-Of course Shinji would have another pink-haired Servant. I bet she's a Rider, too! Oh, and she's also the bar patron Saber and Hakuno met in the last episode. And she's a wardrobe malfunction away from showing off all the goods. So she decides to join Shinji, because why not? Back in the present, this flashback strengthens his resolve and accepts Hakuno's challenge. Soon, a barrier begins to surround the city, and with it, water comes pouring in, flooding the city and possibly killing everybody still in it. Well, so much for that party. So, how is Rin doing?
-...I have many questions. But it looks like she survived her fight. As she returns to normal, she remarks that this stratum is done. Sure, letting this city operate eternally would have been one last justice for mankind, something she admits to, but if somebody with the will to live arrived, it would have finally put an end to the moratorium. And we see that, yes, the Servants have been defeated, and its looks like the Pretty Police Squad was collateral. And then the flood arrives to seemingly engulf Rin. We're just killing off everybody in this episode, aren't we?
-And now the city has turned into a post apocalyptic water world. Man, I hope we don't go over budget for this. A ship soon arrives from the ocean as Rider joins Shinji, anxious to get into the fight. Saber looks on and is quite impressed with the ship as it reminds her of the Argo from Greece. Hmm, is that a hint to her identity? She assumes that Rider is a Rider, adding that she could have ambushed them back at the pub, but Rider explains that a Master decides those things, but Saber can see right through her. Rider's pride wouldn't have let her perform such a cowardly move. And battle is joined!
-Saber leaps around the destroyed buildings, but it looks like Rider has a bit of an Archer in her as she has several cannons behind her, which fires laster beams, because why not? Saber avoids the shot and tries to get in close, but Shinji calls for Rider to use her Noble Phantasm. She calls for the Wild Hunt to begin. And then a fleet of ships arrive.
-...This is so unfair. And then Rider acts like she's in Macross and fires all the lasers, which connect and send Saber into the sea. She's no worse for wear, though, and this gives her time to figure out a few things. Thanks to the ship and the Noble Phantasm, she knows Rider's true name. As she reaches the bottom, she comes to the wreckage of a ship. She gives over to it and uses her skill, Imperial Privilege, but it fails. She's running out of magical energy. But then she sees an unusual sight. Hakuno is swimming down to her, as if knowing what is happening, and has come to give Saber a boost in magical energy. I imagine it won't be easy to use a potion, thanks to all the water...
-Or, you know, you can kiss them. That can work. The transfer by physical contact caught Saber off guard, but despite this, she will forgive her Performer (Umu count 10). Up on the surface, Rider complains about having too much rust, but then again, her cannons were never accurate to begin with. Which is why you don't bother aiming when you can fill the sky with laser beams. Shinji tells her to keep her guard up, which is when Saber arrives, demanding a rematch! But the fight hasn't ended yet, but she also reveals Rider's true name. Sir Francis Drake. So Drake is a woman in this universe. How she hid it, I will never know.
-Drake is very excited by Saber discovering her true name and will give her a fitting end, but before she can do that, Saber's ship rams into Drake's, stopping the Noble Phantasm for a time, but this clues Drake in that Saber must have been a ruler, and a queen at that. So she unleashes her ships at Saber, who dodges the blasts and gets right to Drake. But the scourge of the seas isn't worried and prepares to use her own guns against her... except she's out of bullets. Uh, what?
-Drake says that she ran out of luck, but accepts her fate all the same, taking a nasty sword strike right across her abdomen. This appears to be the killing blow as the rest of her fleet vanishes. On the ship, Shinji stares down at his fallen Servant, but she pleads with him to cancel their pact. At this rate, he'll get roped into this and disappear, but he refuses. Shinji won't cancel the pact with Drake, because she hasn't lost yet! Yeah, that was just a lucky shot Saber got on her! That's all it was! Oh, and he blames himself for letting her get rusty. Uh... I'm kind of conflicted about this.
-Drake begins to fade as Saber and Hakuno board the ship. Saber, being a bit smug, asks is "champ" is similar to "gladiator", but Shinji just says that he is who he is. He starts to reflect a bit on what he did, thinking that the peaceful city was actually driving him insane, trying to deny human worthlessness. But he recognizes that he didn't have the answers, course, or power to change anything. And that's why he continued to linger here. Because if they disappear, then humans would be seen as completely worthless. Oh, and he starts to fade, too.
-Shinji goes on, saying that maybe something can be done to improve a human's worth, but Hakuno doesn't want to hear his crap. But despite all of what Shinji has done, which includes personally killing him, he won't hold a grudge. What a graceful winner he is. Drake smiles, because it looks like Shinji had a friend after all. Well, that might actually be stretching the term a bit. Shinji explains that Hakuno isn't his friend, but before he can finish, he fades completely away. Right, okay, moving on.
-Drake is still holding on, but asks Hakuno why he's climbing? But then she fades away, too, not hearing any answer he gives. And with that, Shinji and his Rider fall, the first of seven Hakuno must fight. Which leads to our episode title, Golden Wild Hunt.
-We cut to the ED, and there is a small change. In the last episode, we had Hakuno and Saber, this time...
-Yup, it's Drake and Shinji. So I guess this means that the ending will change depending on who the Master and Servant are for that arc. Which means we can't skip the ED now. Anyway, we have an after credit scene! Saber and Hakuno see nothing but ruins around them, with nobody left alive. She thinks that maybe the city was just an illusion, then remarks that this is the First Stratum's true form. The Ladder soon arrives, giving them a chance to ascend. Except Saber might be wrong about the only living souls left.
-I guess the show just couldn't kill off one of their poster girls after all. Rin calls out to the two, chasing the Ladder into the sky. So I guess giving up her status as a Master allows her to hop a ride with them? Well, at least they'll have company now. End episode.
Well, we got a lot to unpack, don't we? Let's get the voices out of the way.
Shinji is voiced by Kyle McCarley, who also voiced the character in other Fate properties, like Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel. Some other roles he's done include 9S from Nier: Automata, Mikazuki from Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, and Claudia Hodgins from Violet Evergarden.
Rider/Francis Drake is voiced by Jessica Gee George, who played Sakura in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, and Holbrooke in Little Witch Academia.
And lastly, we have Rin. She's voiced by Mela Lee, who was voiced every incarnation of Rin that has appeared in Fate properties that have been dubbed in the US. Yes, that includes the Studio DEEN versions of Fate/Stay Night, and the film version of Unlimited Blade Works. Other characters may have different voices, but Mela apparently has a contract signed in blood to always voice Rin. Some other roles she played include Rachel Alucard from Blazblue, so keeping that Tsundere streak going. She was also... Caroline Cordovin in RWBY!? Wow, she's got some impressive range.
So, for those that have played the games, you'll likely recognize a few places in this episode, like one of the arenas and the school itself. For those that don't, we'll need to go a bit over the game mechanics. Fate/Extra was kind of a dungeon crawler, but in each week, you would face off against a different Servant and Master pair, who may also appear in the dungeon you explore. While you may fight in the dungeon, the system forcibly ends the battle, since they aren't suppose to fight until the final battle. And unlike other Holy Grail Wars, the system does not allow for any rule breaking.
Anyway, in order to do well against Servants, you need to discover their true name. This can come from exploding the dungeon, to fighting them, to doing research in the library. This allows you to predict their moves in the final battle, as the system uses a rock-paper-scissors fighting system. The more you know, the more damage you can do.
Like the game, Shinji was your first opponent, and while he didn't kill the main player, he was still his smug, arrogant self, thinking he'd have this in the bag. Of course, he doesn't, and he's the first Master to be killed by you. I should note that, in the game, if the Servant is killed, the Master dies with them. This is also when we learn a trouble revelation from Shinji. That version? He was only eight years old. Bet you're going to have fun thinking on that for a while.
What I find interesting with this adaption of Shinji is that he's actually a bit sympathetic. Don't get me wrong, he's still an asshole, but unlike other incarnations where he's 100% an asshole all the time, here, he's closer to 80%. Shocking, I know. And unlike the game, he accepts his death with dignity. Again, another shocker. I think, in the end, this change was the right move, because I don't think people could get behind Hakuno if they found out he killed an 8 year old boy out of hatred. Oh, and they didn't have that issue in the game, as well. It was more about finding out who they are and why they fight, not "I want to destroy because I'm so angry! Grr!"
One thing to note is Saber's win, which was total BS. Yes, I'm a total fanboy for Red Saber, but Drake running out of ammo at a key moment? What crap is that!? No, I think Saber's Imperial Privilege came in. I don't know if this will get mentioned, but her rank for that skill is EX, which basically allows her do pretty much anything she wants. On her, it's that broken.
Oh, and since we won't get to see them again, the Berserker servants we saw? They're Servants we've seen in Fate/Grand Order. They were Fergus, a Saber, Leonidas, a Lancer, and Darius III, a Berserker. And the designs here carried over from there. Oh, and that cameo appearance I pointed out earlier on the ice bucket? That's the Playable Caster, but in case she shows up, we'll hold off on her true name for now.
With Hakuno obtaining victory, he and Saber move on to the next Stratum. What Master/Servant combo will they face next? And what plans does Rin have in store for our heroes? Tune in on Sunday to find out.
Until next time, remember, if you're Servant is running out of magical energy, always remember the best way to get it to them. By giving them a big kiss on the lips. It's the only way.
Gravity Rush images go here.
Final Fantasy XIII
All things Final Fantasy XIII
So much eye candy...
Art from Persona 3, 4 and Arena here.
Tales of Graces
Here is your Tales of Graces love
Selvaria Bles Album
You know why you're here.
Hayate the Combat Butler
The place for the ladies (and guy) of this series.
Something for everybody!
All Fate/Extra stuff here (and then some)
The Wheel of Fate is Turning
These people are guilty for not wearing a crown
For the popular strategy RPG
You know why you're here. If not, you need new glasses.
Your cosplay action here.
Love for a great game with great art.
Even horrible creatures of the night need love
The most messed up pretty girls you've ever met.
The Devil is a Part-Timer
And now has it's own part time album.
Date a Live
Crazy girls going crazy for a guy who's treating this like a dating sim because if he doesn't the crazy girls go insane and start blowing stuff up. It's that kind of show.
Cosplay Gallery number 2
We liked it so much we made it twice.
The console war done with cute girls.
Because Hajime needs her own album.
Cosplay Gallery the third
Because you can never have enough
Rooster Teeth's first ever anime, it's images go here.
The Familiar of Zero
The one anime where I absolutely hate our two main protagonists.
High School DxD
Angels and Devils do battle while getting naked for no apparent reason.
Is This a Zombie?
No, they are hot vampire ninjas and magical girls.
Not that kind of Golden Time, though, but the anime.
Persona: The Second
For all the stray ones.
Cosplay thread IV
Like Saints Row, only sexier.
It's about a bunch of kids in the afterlife playing with guns.
Where being sexy will always forgive you for wanting to kill your sisters in bloody ways.
I couldn't become a hero...
...So I made this album instead.
Knights of Sidonia
Because we always make a folder for these shows
It's about a guy trying to become the Magic King and have his own harem
The Shantae Folder
The place where we put our magically sexy half-genie in all her glorious glory.
The Irregular at Magic High School
Where the protagonist can kill you just for annoying his sister.
Cosplay Gallery the Fifth
You know the drill.
Anime Screen caps
Because anything can be taken out of context when anime is involved
Because I'm watching it, that's why.
No Game, No Life
Because boat girls are the new thing.
Mash and Fou playing a little song on the piano.
Akane trying her latest seduction technique on Yuti/Rikka.
Jalter thinks chains will help out her fashion sense.
Enterprise is all tied up from playing Santa.
Wiz is enjoying the new year. Maybe she can get a kimono that fits her next year.
San Diego is getting into the Christmas spirit, while showing her love for her fans.
Berserker Jalter doing her best Zero impression.
Helena in her own New Years Kimono, and looking cute in the process.
Vert and Nepgear are out spreading Christmas cheer.
Mai in her bunny suit, because she's feeling a bit invisible today.
The deadly Serenity, who's most dangerous technique is trying to sneak into the Master's Bedroom.
"Are you ready, Praetor?"
Akagi from Azur Lane. She really wants the Commander all to herself.
Best Kohai. Fight me.
Questions answered by CaButler
I've been delayed, mostly by real life issues, and mostly due to not having purchased any new ones, though I have a couple that are waiting for other figures to show up. That said, I do have plans for more reviews soon. I've already taken my pictures. Now I just need to motivate myself to actually doing it.
Some Orange that lucked out due to how our electoral system works.
| Asked by: gi_goku 1 year ago
To become the world’s greatest writer!
Uh... 32 mph?
Havoc has been sold. Sorry.
I'm really Carlone Butler, the NBA player.