Our favorite Holy Grail War has returned in the form of a virtual reality world.
Fate/Extra Last Encore is the latest in the ‘Fate’ series to appear on Netflix. As opposed to the free-range type battles we’re used to, this battle occurs in tournament style. Each level has a floor master and servant pair to defeat, getting harder than the last. But, this is a world where the same day is repeated each time you die. Wizards, this version’s “mage,” try multiple times to survive and rise to the next level.
The main character, Hakuno, has no memories of his past. The anger of dead wizards consumes him to the point of murderous rage. He doesn’t know what’s in store when he accidentally summons Saber. All Hakuno knows is that he wants to live long enough to learn the truth about himself.
Characters from our favorite Fate series make their appearance to play their part. Rin Tohsaka still has her smart and calculating personality. Unfortunately Shinji Matou remains the A-class jerk we want to punch, but reveals some redeeming qualities this time around. While we still see a few familiar faces, there are major differences that stand out.
Assuming this won’t be the only season, it is still fairly short. Other series contain at least twenty episodes per season while this only has ten. With a short amount of episodes, there is less time to spend on plot and character development.
The beauty in the Fate series is that each master and servant have their backstory and motives for wanting the Holy Grail. We see their great attributes while also exploring their darker qualities. This anime, however, doesn’t allow a lot of time for just that. Masters and servants appear for a short span of time with only an episode to learn about them. It lacks the backstory monologues and will to win we came to love. Not to mention the lack of stunning action sequences feeling like there was so much missing.
Cut short is the air of mystery surrounding other servants. In other series, the knowledge of servants’ true identities provides a great advantage. Here, however, Saber reveals others’ identities within seconds. Servants even show off their Noble Phantasms, something we expect as a last resort ability.
If the season was longer, these issues wouldn’t be an issue. I’m still assuming there will be another season because of how this one ends with more questions than answers.
One thing to keep in mind as you watch: nothing is as it seems.
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Cute and Depressed Black Girl is a grad student who binges anime when she's supposed to be studying. She also reads and re-reads a lot of Gambit x Rogue fanfic after watching the Cajun Spice episode of X-Men Evolution multiple times. When she's not reading or binging, she's in the dance studio getting her queen on.