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[WIW]Fate/Extra: Last Encore - Because Red Saber is Love

CaButler

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Hello everybody and welcome to my next exciting watch project. Though I guess I better get a few things out of the way.

If you've been following me and saw my last thread, I announced that I was going to do a WIW of Neon Genesis Evangalion, as I never watched the series and thought it'd be a good time to do that. Obviously, with this thread, I'm not doing that, and I just want to leave it at that. So, for now, I'll be hitting on this show and maybe I'll hit NGE when in another month or so.

Though since I had to come up with a show last minute, I ended up on Netflix and saw what they had available, and I had two shows at the end. This one and B:The Beginning And when I say last minute, I mean I decided on this show as I type this, even though I might change my mind before I start up properly. I might have switched around a few names here because of that choice.

In the end, I've decided on Fate/Extra: Last Encore, because I'm weak that way. Granted, I know quite a bit of the show, because of what it's adapting, but I imagine there are a few people who don't know, so maybe they'll have some fun. that said, I am interested to see how they adapted this product here. And what is it adapting? A PSP RPG that was released in 2011 for North America. A Studio Shaft production, you can just tell this is going to be a very pretty, if crazy, show.

So if you've already had experience with a Fate project, you already know the drill here. This goes for Fate/Grand Order folks as well. The identities of Servants are to be kept hidden until they are revealed properly. And so, after much delaying, let's go ahead and see where this adaption takes us.

-Huh, that's an interesting way to start things off. Typically, these "Netflix Original" Anime aren't really produced by Netflix, but was licensed by them. The show starts off with "In association with Netflix." Maybe they did throw money at this after all. Our episode begins with a young girl up against a wall, and she appears to have had better days, what with that giant hole in her ribs. Above her, in a cloudy sky, we see laser beams fly off as a lady in red is also flying around, avoiding the attacks. After landing in some cover, the smoke clears, revealing that she hasn't quite gotten away unscathed. She faces off her opponent, who is...



-Really giving off some religious vibes there. So the lady in red flash steps her way towards the Golden Figure, avoiding his laser beams, but appears to be blocked by a shield. This allows him to put his palm against her stomach and blast a nasty hole through her ribs, mirroring the girl from before. As she begins to fall back, one of the golden looking spears comes down, impaling her. As if we haven't filled her up with enough holes. We then check in on the girl from before and... oh wow. You think the lady in red had it bad, but at least she still had her legs! Speaking off, the lady in red falls towards the ground, their eyes meeting for a brief moment that lasts an eternity, but it is still brief as she falls past her. The wounded girl now fades into shadow as the lady in red hits the ground, causing a giant explosion, and when the smoke clears, we see her, but she isn't moving. Wow, what a downer opening.

-From there, we scream past the golden figure, showing him atop a large platform, with more golden rays of light above him. The screen then appears to go dark as we get our series title. Well, that's one way to start a show, by seemingly killing of your main characters. But maybe we'll see how they got there and oh god this is going to turn into a downer, isn't it?

-After the title, we cut to a white room that is splashed with blood. Well, isn't that lovely? Oh, and I went with the English dub for this viewing, but will be keeping the subtitles, because how else are we going to have fun with it? Our narrator then speaks, saying that his true nature is anger and hatred. I think there's therapy for that. And then...



-Though I don't think there's any kind of therapy that will cover this. The room fades to white as another voice calls out to him, and we learn his name. Hakuno Kishinami. Looks like he was in class and apparently day dreaming about being in a bloody room... that looks a lot like the classroom he's in. Yeah, not creepy at all. Also...



-Can you guess who the important characters will be? It might be difficult, but I'm sure you can do that. The teacher agrees that, sure, the class could be boring, but Hakuno may actually want to listen to this one. We then get a sudden shot of an airplane in the sky because... because! That's when the blue haired guy turns to him, calling it a disaster. I don't know why but I have a sudden an irresistible urge to forever hate you. I just can't figure out why that is. The pink haired girl tells Hakuno that he shouldn't take naps in class, but he just nods in agreement. Then he gets bored and looks outside. We catch a look at the city landscape, which is a bunch of buildings surrounded by a forest, a tower with a clock that goes from 60 to 59, and then this tower with what appears to be names and... whatever other stuff is on there.



-I'd ask what this is all about, but either the answer is going to be "Because Fate" or "Because Shaft", and both would answer that question. So, the lecture, which is about how servants are beings that turn human history into weapons. So it sounds like she's talking about the Holy Grail War, which apparently isn't that much of a secret in this universe. Must be an uncorrupted version. But the summoning of this historic heroes is teams to the Moon's "Photonic Pure Crystal", which makes up the Moon Cell, a vast, quantum computer, and "SE.RA.PH", the Virtual Spiritron World that exists on the moon. So somebody found a way to turn the Holy Grail War into a virtual reality game? Did Akihiko Kayaba work on this? It sounds like something he would be involved in.

-Right now, the cybernetic garden holds 256 souls that have been projected from somewhere on Earth. Technology sure has come far if we can project people into a VR simulation hosted on the Moon. Oh, and while you folks may be curious about how this world works, the teacher highly suggests that they never approach the Incinerator, and those that did end up there did so just to kill themselves. I'm sure this is Kayaba's fault, somehow. Blue Haired guy with the smug, punchable face says that he would never get close to that. And with that, the teacher ends the class, and even with a smile, leaves an ominous goodbye.



-I know the cliche about school life and all, but why does it sound like you're going to kill them when they graduate? And with that, the students leave class, but Hakuno remains in the class. Ah, the anti-social loner type. Though he isn't alone as blue haired smug face and pink haired girl come up to him. They ask if he'll be spending time alone again, but he just says "Maybe". Maybe he feels the same disgust for this guy as I do. But don't fret, because Blue Haired Smug Face will gladly spend some time with him. Pink Haired girl suggests lunch, and Hakuno, with a smile, agrees. Might be easier to just go along with it. So we get some more random shots of the environment, and really, if this is a school campus, it's a rather impressive one. The students are all in their cliques as we return to Hakuno, who's just filled with hatred, but he just can't understand why he feels that way? Can't imagine why he's feeling that, though.

-Pink Haired Girl wants to keep talking about the Incinerator, or also known as Limbus, but admits that she hasn't been there. Blue Haired Smug Face says that it's an old building that was turned into a garbage dump, where you can witness horrible things, which are so horrible that you can never leave. Pink Haired Girl has heard of that before, but why would a school have a place like that? But this leads to Hakuno asking his own question, if such a place exists, then why does this school exist? Suddenly, cheering sounds are heard, attracting the trios attention to... a chess match.



-They sure do take their chest matches seriously here. And they went all in, too! But should the table be that long for a chess match? Do that many fights break out between opponents that they need to keep them distant like that? But the crowd is quite involved, and a young, blonde haired boy named Leo is quite the crowd favorite, and he's playing against the Chess Club Captain. And we get exposition as we learn that Lord Leo B. Harwey is the West European Conglomerate's heir, and currently wiping the floor with his opponent. And the captain is looking very nervous as Leo makes his final move, declaring checkmate. And then a beam of light appears out of no where and stabs the club captain, who seemingly falls in a pool of blood and appears to be quite dead. When did Chess become a blood sport?

-Back in the tower of names, Leo's panel goes from orange to white, which I believe is important. Back at the match, Leo waves to the crowd as he gracefully walks off the stage. On the balcony above, the Pink Haired Girl is quite impressed with him, but Blue Haired Smug Face reminds her that she is her girlfriend. She then asks him if he's that jealous, but assures Shinji that he is the only person in her heart. Ah, no wonder his face seemed so punchable. Also, Amari (her name is Amari, by the way), I really need to ask how this came to be? Meanwhile, Hakuno has disappeared, and really, who can blame him?

-As for where Hakuno is, he's on the stage, looking at the body of the fallen captain. He grabs hold of his chest and feels so much hatred. He kneels down and attempts to touch him, but his attention is grabbed when somebody calls him curious. And the voice belongs to...



-Hey, Rin! Glad to see you're in this adaption, too! And that's an interesting design they gave you, too. Anyway, she calls the site of a dead body nothing out of the ordinary and asks Hakuno if he knows where to go with it? He suggests the infirmary, because obviously that's where you take dead bodies. Though the answer surprises her. Do they even have those here? And so we go there and...



-And somewhere, in another universe, a pink haired girl fumes with rage, and she just can't understand why. Rin is quite surprised to know a place like this existed. As the nurse deals with the body, Hakuno and Rin just hang out for a bit when suddenly, he gets flashes of images, as if he's done this before already. The Nurse comes over and asks if he's hurt, but he says he's fine. The nurse is glad to hear that, but Rin asks if he got a sense of deja vu? Well, given how everything has a red tint to it, maybe. But the nurse has a request of senpai. You see that body all bandaged up like a mummy? Could you perform the burial? Why? Because he is here, that's why.

-So after getting more shots of the city landscape, we follow Hakuno as he goes down the stairs toward the Incinerator. The nurse can't do it because she doesn't have the authorization to do that, even if she is the nurse. Rin says that calling it a burial is a bit much as the body is pretty much garbage. That's a little extreme, don't you think, Rin? But she likens it as a registry that has lost its own data. Well, they are in a computer, after all.

-I got to say, this is a rather elaborate and fancy door for just an incinerator. And it even has a name, Oblitus Rosae Theatrum, which Hakuno translates as the Rose Garden of Limbus. He questions if this really is the Incinerator, given the name. We follow him through a tunnel, then onto a platform with ash below him. he drops the body, which disappears in a purple myst. And then, suddenly, he has a vision of a city being on fire. So he's full of hate and possibly a pyromaniac, as well? Just what is wrong with this boy's head? But just as quickly as it appears, it disappears, and Hakuno would like to leave now. Before he leaves, another person appears behind him, saying that he'll get used to it. I imagine getting used to a burning city isn't something good for you. Unless he's talking about the random nightmares.

-The man continues, saying that this is an artificial paradise, and if Hakuno stays quiet and puts himself at ease, he'll be able to surrender to the bliss. Hakuno is all "What are you smoking, fool?" The man says that in the lowest stratum, one will find three overlapping layers. One is the original ruins, one is the texture of school, which is a common fantasy, and the last is the indelible landscape that Hakuno brought with him when he came to this world. Also, the entire world is glitching out, which makes me wonder if the computer needs a reboot.

-And then we're back to everything behind on fire, but with the man standing there. I swear if this is actually Kayaba, I'm going to flip something! He explains that everyone discovers something here, and what Hakuno sees in front of him is his indelible landscape, his trauma. He then explains that their God, the Moon Cell, created the ideal environment, but it was a paradise devised by a machine. So this is one of the early versions of the Matrix that didn't work out so well?

-Kayaba here then shows images to Hakuno, one that appears to be heaven, with the rather fancy landscape and parks on top of buildings, which he also calls a digital hell. It's a place for the inexperience to choose their paths. You didn't have a good school life, did you, Kayaba? He goes on to say that life and karma are repeated each day, and so, too, is oblivion. He goes on to say that anybody who has the capacity to be a Master is taken to the Moon, and they suffer just as Hakuno has. He asks why such a thing was created, but Kayaba says that if he wants to know, he should go ask. Uh... he just asked that, though. Oh, he tells him to go find the place that has all the answers. And that place is located in the center of the Moon, the prison reigning at the bottom of the seven seas, the "Angelica Cage", which is this floating cube under the sea. And now that song is stuck in your head forever.

-And Rin's tile when from orange to white... which has some implications that she just killed another student, if the requirements are the same as with Leo. Oh, and the counting clock? It's at ten now. Oh, and more spinning light shows. Back at the Incinerator, Kayaba tells Hakuno that it's time, and just like before, he didn't make it. He turns to face the man, but he's disappeared. Man, this places does weird things to your head. And suddenly the world starts collapse as a voice calls out. One hundred have advanced to the main tournament, leaving only twenty-eight spots left. Due to these positions being filled so rapidly, the Moratorium has been denied. That doesn't sound good. And now they're going to purge all remaining life-forms and NPCs that have survived thus far. That definitely doesn't sound good.

-We get shows of the surrounding area, which appears to be disintegrating at a rapid pace. The voice tells them that they must abandon compassion, and only those that eliminate other Master candidates will go to the main tournament. Oh, and there's no grace periods here, and just as quickly, the main tower has a change in color. Julius Harwey changes to white as several spots on the tower goes dark. More lights turn white, leaving only five spots. One of the tiles that hasn't changed is Shinji's. Can't imagine why they showed his name.

-We return to Hakuno as we see the whole place glitching out. He finds Shinji and asks if he's seen Amari, but he assures her that she's at a safe spot. I'd say he did kill her, but his tile wasn't white, so she's probably not dead somewhere else. But now that they found each other, they need to find a place to hide until this is all over. Hakuno points out that the ominous voice says everything will be purged, but Shinji counters by saying "Just run if you don't want to be killed!" And then we get to the running. And already you know something bad is going to happen because we get this lovely image.



-Studio Shaft is certainly going all out with this. As they're running, Shinji asks Haukno if they're friends? Maybe, but is now really the time to be asking this? Suddenly, Shinji stops, asking Hakuno if he can listen to a request from his best friend. And that request is for Shinji to stab him in the chest with a knife. The best of friends. Hakuno asks why, but Shinji, in full on smug mode, says that he's here to win the game, and besides, Hakuno has nothing at stake. He tries to run, but Shinji stabs him in the back and keeps at it for a while. And given how the shot was framed (and no, I'm not going to show it off), somebody was clearly channeling Hitchcock here.

-At the tower, Shinji's tile turns white, and when we return to Hakuno, he is in the ground, covered in a pool of his own blood. Please tell me Shinji isn't going to be the main character now. At the tower, Hakuno's tile is darkened, indicating his elimination, and with that, all the spots have been claimed, so the purge now begins. From these portals come strange creatures, and wow, they look menacing, don't they? When we return to Hakuno, his body is gone. Wow, that purge was quick, wasn't it?

-Then, suddenly, the corridor is filled with bodies of other students, questioning this? Asking "Again" repeatedly. Oh, wait, we were in the wrong corridor because we're back to Hakuno, still in his own blood. We get quick flashes of a skull before returning to the school to see the purge in action, and boy, is it violent as the creatures are killing the students, who are all running for terror. While they aren't particularly graphic, since the deaths are happening from a distance or in shadow, they are very violent. I mean, the students are all getting impaled, but one got a particularly violent death where she got impaled, then beheaded. That's just straight up overkill there!

-The creature roams the halls as Hakuno stands up, showing that it'll take more than a dozen knife wounds to keep him down. He refuses to die here and he'll make whoever did this pay. Yes, Shinji will surely pay for his sudden but inevitable betrayal. and then more deaths, including a row of students who just get bisected from the waist. Wow, this show is pulling no punches, isn't it?

-As for Hakuno, he's going to get revenge for all of them, because he hates everything about this damn Moon, because everybody here are a bunch of murderous jerks. He finds himself in the Incinerator, but it looks like he's being hunted by something that actually looks humanoid.



-The Moon Cell must have thought "Well, if metal won't kill him, how about stone instead?" As Hakuno reaches the platform, the creature shoots an arrow, hitting him in the ribs, sending him into the ash. But our boy is still alive, because the power of hate keeps him going, but he asks why he has to die... again? Hasn't this stone archer killed enough already? It then tries to stab him in the back, but Hakuno is ready for that and dodges it, but it causes the ground to crumble away, sending him falling deep into the dark. When he lands, he glows faintly, but despite a hole in his side, he's still alive. He's just too angry to die. As he regains conscious, but as he looks up in the ruins of this place, a light grows from the open ceiling, which shines upon a sword.



-Well, if that isn't a giant sign, I don't know what is. Hakuno knows that he's in a battlefield, and however it was, put up a fight until the bitter end. This renews his resolve to stand, being slowly hunted by the stone Archer. He wills himself towards the sword, his proof that somebody never gave up, even in the end. And when he grips the sword, removing it from ground, a hard light shines from above, causing the stone Archer to back away from the blinding light. There, a figure appears, landing in a pool of blood that turns into rose petals. We get slow, panning shots of the figure, first of her legs, which are seen from a veil in her skirt, then of her body, before we get to her face. From there, we get a slow panning shot of her body as she stands there, as if basking in the attention the camera is giving her.



-Of course, it's help if everything wasn't so blinding, but I suspect she doesn't mind at all. She soon opens her eyes and looks at Hakuno, and she just chuckles with a smile.



-Well, that isn't vague at all! She walks towards Hakuno and just nonchalantly takes the sword from his hands, as if saying "Thanks for holding that, but I got this now." The stone Archer quickly goes after her, and in a rapid set of sword strikes, the lady in red disarms him... by slicing off his arm. She then does a backflip from one of his strikes and stands there, awaiting the next strike. The stone Archer doesn't waste time and goes for another strike, but she doesn't hesitate when she just slices him in half. As he disintegrates, he appears to smile, then fades away. With the immediate threat dealt with, the lady in red turns to Hakuno, giving the classic line we've come to expect.



-Well, he did pull the sword, so maybe? And this takes us to our episode title, Praeteritus Limbus Vorago. Cue credits!

-But we're not done yet, folks! We have an after credit scene! We're back with the tower of names, with Hakuno's tile lighting up once again, but in red. There, a figure stares at the tower, saying that the Holy Grail War has already been lost, and what took place in this artificial paradise was only an image of what was once was. He calls it the garden of the defeated, and it is the same outcome over and over. But suddenly, a miracle occurred. And as a capsule files up into the sky, the figure says that an impossibility has occurred. We have a 129th Master. And that Master's existence was this figures final task. For him, the echo has already reached the heavens and he hopes that light shines brightly upon its path and to never go astray. And of bloody course it's Kotomine, because he always tries to find a way to cheat the system, but he does fade in the end, so we won't have to worry about him. And thus, our episode ends with that beacon flying into the heavens.

And there we have it. Those who've played the PSP games already know that this is going to be vastly different than what they expect. And it makes sense, because the game came out in 2010, and this adaption released in 2018. So expect all kinds of surprises here. But it sure is pretty?

Anyway, let's get the voice cast out of the way, but I'll only focus on our leads.

Hakuno is played by Billy Kametz, who's other roles include Josuke Higaskikata from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, Naofumi from The Rising of the Shield Hero, and Kyoya Mitsurugi from Konsuba. He's got quite a number of starring roles to his credit.

Red Saber is played by Cassandra Lee, who you should probably know by now, but just in case, she played Kyuuby in Madoka Magica, which means I missed a prime opportunity for a joke here. Though with this, I should add that in the dub, her line at the end, she says "Are you worthy of being my Master?" It's a unique change from the standard Fate line here, especially given who she looks like, but I assure you, this will make sense later.

And while the adaption itself does the origin very differently, it doesn't actually change all that much. In the game, Hakuno did fail, but was resurrected by his Servant coming to his aid, though in this one, it was the power of hate that pushed him through, which lead to his meeting with his servant. And where will this team up go? We'll just have to find out in the next episode.

Until next time, remember, when you have a best friend with a punchable smug face who asks if you're friends when the world is collapsing, you should probably split up from them because they're probably going to start stabbing you in the back at that moment.
 
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Solarn

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I've never seen the anime, so I'm a bit unclear as to where the boundary between "spoilers" and "Nasuverse context" lies. Like, is explaining why the Moon Cell Automaton is a Big Deal okay, or does it come up?
 

neOmega

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This is quite a thrilling show, if far from my favorite out of all Fate series. Certainly an interesting pick for a WIW thread.

Red Saber = Best Saber 💖 Umu~!
 

CaButler

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Why didn't you folks tell me I doubled up on an image? Well, I fixed it, so bask in all her glory!

I've never seen the anime, so I'm a bit unclear as to where the boundary between "spoilers" and "Nasuverse context" lies. Like, is explaining why the Moon Cell Automaton is a Big Deal okay, or does it come up?
Depends on how far the adaption goes. The games explain it in a bit more detail, but we are following spoiler policies here. Until it's mentioned in the show, we don't mention anything at all.

This is quite a thrilling show, if far from my favorite out of all Fate series. Certainly an interesting pick for a WIW thread.

Red Saber = Best Saber 💖 Umu~!
The best saber!
 

CaButler

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Hello everybody and welcome to our next exciting episode of Fate/Extra: Last Encore, the show where the Holy Grail War takes place in a super computer located on the moon. The Nasuverse knows no bounds to its insanity. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

In our last episode, we met our protagonist, Hakuno, a rather normal, if silent, high school student. But he's not in any ordinary school, for you see, it's one that helps train Master to fight in a tournament with 127 other Masters in your typical Holy Grail War... located in a computer on the moon. When did Iseaki become a thing, because I don't think it was quite popularized in 2010, when the game first came out.

Anyway, Hakuno goes along with his normal school life, which includes chess matches to the death, dumping bodies in an incinerator that causes the worst kinds of nightmares, and then talking to some random guy who lets on more than he knows. Oh, and then the tournament is in it's final preparations so the remaining master candidates need to start getting their killings on. Hakuno's friend, Shinji, secures his spot by repeatedly stabbing Hakuno, because Shinji is Shinji and Shinji is the worst.

But it takes more than a dozen stab wounds to keep Hakuno down, who becomes too angry to die. And not for a lack of trying by the system, because it releases a stone Archer to try and finish the job. Luckily, down below the Incinerator, Hakuno finds his salvation. A large, red sword, and with it, a beautiful blonde woman in a red dress, who dispatches the Archer with ease, despite what FGO would tell you. And with that meeting, the lady in red turns to Hakuno and asks if he is worthy of being her master.

Oh, and some other things happened in this episode that I'm sure won't be important later on. So with Hakuno now the 129th Master, will he find victory with his savior, or is defeat just around the corner? Let's tune in and find out.

-Our episode starts with... some really heavy handed symbolism.



-Just how much more blatant can you get with that? She then asks her new master... no, wait, Performer (we'll get into that later), and asks him to take a look at the pod coming down towards them. That is the Moon Mile Ladder, which will take them to the Angelica Cage. The pod comes to a soft landing as rose petals blow around them, with the Lady in Red reaching out her hand to her Performer.



-And really, who can say no to a face like that? Especially when she saved Hakuno's ass just a moment ago. And we get into our opening, which features Saber in what appears to be the ruins of a coliseum, fighting creatures in shadow. She takes a few hits here and there, and loses her ribbon, which lets out her rather long hair, flowing in the fight.



-And this just became my new wallpaper. What 's interesting with the way the lady in red fights here is that it's more like she's actually dancing than anything else, and she certainly moves with the grace of one. I mean, some of the action its were a little rough until she really got a chance to go all out. Really, it's all rather impressive to me. Anyway, the OP itself is rather simple, which ends with her coming down on an opponent, that causes an explosion that goes through what actually appears to be the Roman Coliseum. I'm sure that isn't important. And then our OP ends with a close up of her face, bloody, with a single tear falling. Then it's to the series title. Oh, and the song is pretty good, too. It's not a pop idol song, but more of a rock song.

-After the OP, the ladder climbs up as the lady in red tells Hakuno that his wounds will heal, which is also an affect of the ladder. Oh, and it's also a TARDIS, because the inside is quite large compared to outside. Anyway, she suggests that he take a soak in some hot water to revive his mind and body, and he does just that. And, of course, the bath is quite large and filled with rose petals. It's as if it's a motif for her.

-Anyway, how about some male fan service? We get a shot of Hakuno's naked abs and see his giant hole in his side start healing and closing. We also see the command seals on his hand, confirming that he is a true Master. It sounds like she is here, as well, as she mentions that the bath is similar to that found in Asia, but she's never been, so she doesn't know if that's true. Back where she comes from, it would be referred to as a caldarium. Oh, I think she's already dropping hints as to her true identity.

-But besides all of that, the lady in red asks if he's bored taking a long bath by herself... while she's naked behind a gate... well, actually I think it's called something else, but I can't really take screenshots of this because we've just entered NSFW territory, folks, because the lovely lady in red is very, very naked, and though the gate is being used to cover up all the naughty bits. Though just barely.

-So, yeah, she is just going to join Hakuno in the bath and won't let him object at all. And yes, she is naked, thank you for noticing. Also, she has a name, and wow, that's just blatant fan service right there, what with her basically being topless and turned just enough away for it to be tasteful. Wow, this is going to get really distracting.

-Oh, right, the true name. Because she was summoned through an unconventional method, Hakuno doesn't know her true name, but perhaps someday, he'll know. And our boy does his best not to stare, but as she's sitting right next to him, that's going to be rather difficult. So for now, he can just call her Saber, and that's because it's the most powerful of all the classes in the Holy Grail War. She then goes on to explain the war itself, which is hosted on the Moon Cell. Because, you know, what else are you going to do with a super computer on the moon?

(Also, if you're watching with the subs, you probably know of a particular meme. That starts here. Umu count 1.)

-Saber explains the Holy Grail War in detail. If you know of the standard Fate properly, then you already know the basis. Those in the war must fight until there is only one survivor, all for a chance to fulfill their wish. And Hakuno happens to be one of the participants. You lucky devil you. In more ways than one. Of course, Saber hopes that she doesn't have to explain oh wow. Uh... yeah, I can see how this show could have a problem being on a regular broadcast channel, because the scene isn't even trying to cover up Saber at this point. It's as if the camera is totally in love with her. Can't imagine how that happened.

-...Right, the Master/Servant pact. A master is someone who makes a pact with a servant, but Hakuno points out that he didn't even ask. Saber doesn't really care at this point, since she likes the sound of her own voice, she continues, adding that a servant is a reproduction of a hero or a great person engraved into human history. And she is totally one such person who was totally awesome and well beloved in history! Because why else would she be a servant if she wasn't? Well, actually, she doubts that anybody can come close to matching her prowess. The body of Saber and the ego of Gilgamesh and lacking any restraint when it comes to how she acts with Hakuno. I'm trying to decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

-Hakuno, probably still having issues due to his injuries, says as much to Saber, but she can't believe what she's hearing. Everything she just said was the basics of basics. Oh god, that look she's giving... it is such a combined look of smug and concern, like she's got a master who may be more damaged than she thought. If you're curious about the look, then I've provided a direct link to it here. Just as a reminder, this is NSFW.

-But to business. Saber walks over to Hakuno, gets into his face, and demands to know his name. When he gives it, she approves, and wow, the camera is doing the bare minimum to keep the naughty bits out. Oh, she hopes that he does understand that this is an artificial world. He does... somewhat. The short of it is that he heard that it was a fine crafted cyberspace created by the mainframe on the Moon. Saber smiles, but adds that the mainframe is called "SE.RA.PH." But she is concern about Hakuno's lack of knowledge, so she asks if he knows of the Holy Grail War, at least. Al the knows is that he has to fight and that's about it. Well, some form of fighting, at least.

-Saber is concern. She's heard that the participants memories are suppressed during the preliminaries, but once a pact is formed, then Hakuno's memories should come back. He asks if this true and she shouts that they are! Okay, geez. No need to be so loud. But then she adds that this is something that she's heard. What an interesting way to phrase it. Hakuno doesn't really care about all that, which she questions. Can he truly fight without knowing who he is? After all... hey, an image I can use!



-Doesn't quite have the same ring as "People die when they are killed", but still just as ominous. And if Hakuno wants to return to Earth, he must be victorious. After all, a Spiritron Hacker connects their soul to the Moon, which sounds really, really dangerous if you ask me. Who came up with such a complicated log in system? Did identify theft get that bad? But despite all of that, Hakuno remains unfazed... or is really, really distracted. In either case, expected as much from the Master who chose her. And then she does a backflip on top of the center fountain, which is shaped like a rose. So perhaps Hakukno is quite the man, but her smile soon turns to... disgust? Concern? But she wonders if Hakuno is the exact opposite of that. Maybe she saw something she didn't like? Can't imagine what that could be.

-But soon bath-time exposition is over. They've reached their destination. And now they enter the battlefield to see what awaits, with a powerful master and servant to fight, and by winning, they can make their way to a higher strata! And what glorious battlefield awaits them?



-It must be a truly horrifying sight for her to look so surprised. And that battlefield is... a city landscape that appears to be having a festival. Not quite what she was expecting. And while some parts appear to be glitching out, it's a rather calm, vibrant city. And Saber likes it! But this can't be right! The battlefield shouldn't look anything like this! Hakuno asks if this is bad, but Saber says "Are you insane!? This is a very nice surprise!" She spins around, asking where the battlefield could have gone, all while not even containing her smile.



-It's so cute how excited she is. How excited is she?



-(Umu count 2)

-Saber is like a kid in an amusement park. She wants to go here, and here, and here, and see everything this wonderful city has to offer. As she looks over the city, an airship (no, seriously) flies overhead. (Umu count 3)Now then, Performer! Wait, why do you keep calling Hakuno "Performer?" In her own words...





-I should note that, in the dub, Saber's comments are more sexually charged, or can be interpreted as such. She says that Hakuno "Is meant to play me like an instrument, making even the muses green with envy. No need to play me gently." And Hakuno's response?



-As you can see, Hakuno is very excited by that. Very excited. Though Saber is upset by the lack of a smile, though. And now it's time to explore this city, and Saber can barely contain her excitement as she leads the two through the streets. Though it is odd. Despite all those people on the floating screens, it seems like the streets are completely empty. I guess the party is happening somewhere else in the city.

-The two soon sit down for a meal, and this is a good time for more exposition! Mainly, how Servants maintain their material form. They need to consume a specific resource. Hakuno asks if its electricity (which may be him trolling), but Saber says it's magical energy. Or basically, life energy. Then Hakuno gets really mad, which makes Saber concern, but don't worry, he could never get mad at her. With her concern, she says she can save magical energy by going into astral form, so let her know if the strain gets too much. And then she finishes up her waffle and plans to stay in this form for a bit longer. There's a party going on, after all. Oh, and she knows where her opponent is. Hakuno is shocked by this, but with that smug smile, she explains what she was actually doing.



-Sure, it looked like Saber was exploring the city for the party, but that was all a ruse! Yeah! That was totally it! Hakuno didn't know, but Saber clearly runs with it. Sure, she would like to enjoy herself more here, but this is the First Stratum, so the main objective remains the same. Find the opponent and murder the hell out of them to move on. And their destination... is this really shady looking bar. But the fact that it's a shady bar shouldn't bother you. It's the fact that there is freshly made food on all the tables, as if the patrons just up and left in the middle of their meal.

-The bar is apparently a popular hangout for masters, but Saber is disappointed that there's only one here. It's a pink haired woman sitting at the bar, but that's fine. Saber demands the Master to draw out her sword and to do battle! And the patron just laughs. Really, that's the first thing she says? Originally she thought Saber was dressed for the festival, but now that she's gotten a good look at her, she can she's a Servant. And the hits just keep on coming.



-Saber, as you guessed, is not amused and wants a fight right now! The patron apologizes for taking her joke too far, but then asks something interesting. Did they just wake up from a long sleep? Saber, confused, asks if the patron is a master, but she doesn't even know. She did come to the Moon for a wish, right? Well, that's a word she hasn't heard in a long time. Sure, she had a wish, once, and she's pretty sure he did, as well, back then. Hakuno catches on that phrase, but the patron continues, saying that no human wishes for a battle on this stratum. Why?



-...Just how long did that purge take? So who won? Nobody, it seems. Nobody could reach the Angelica Cage. As for the remaining masters, everything is going good, so why bother fighting at all? Besides, they sold off their servants so... wait, what? Could you actually do that with a Servant? And what would you sell them for? Saber is horrified by this as the patron points out that the festival isn't anything special. It goes on like that every day, nonstop. And she pops a party popper, but she feels no joy in it. Wow, she sounds really pissed off about it. Maybe she feels regret at selling off her own servant? And even with the non-stop partying, it seems the Masters here just stay cooped up indoors. And then she starts hitting on Saber, because everybody hits on Saber.

-But Saber isn't paying attention to that, just that the Masters gave up. That really gets her, so she walks out. Hakuno goes to join her, but the patron asks him if he'll sell her off? He refuses. Why?



-The patron likes those choice of words, so she reveals a little secret to Hakuno. There is a Master who hasn't sold off their servant. Well, that isn't ominous at all. Outside, Saber is pouting, but when Hakuno joins her, she apologizes for leaving him behind. That's when, suddenly, they're surrounded by... Major Roy Mustang's lifelong dream.



-But apparently, he isn't the only one with such a dream.





-And the fanfic writers start having a field day with Red Saber here. But she approves of this police force and believes the mayor has great taste! Also, Umu count 4. Saber asks if Hakuno is interested, and he admits that he kind of is and agrees to follow them to the mayor. But somebody else is watching them with great interest. Somebody with very familiar clothing. Anyway, we get a black and white flashback of who appears to be Shinji killing Hakuno, and getting reprimanded for killing the easiest target. Which is something he would totally to, but he's clearly shaken by it. Not so easy, was it?

-The elevator ride continues, but as Hakuno stares at his reflection, it changes periodically to something that looks more like a shadow. I can't tell if this is foreshadowing or Shaft being Shaft, but we'll see. Then the elevator takes on a grid like appearance as Hakuno appears alone, his shadow reflection looking back at him. He thinks on the Holy Grail War, then sees a bunch of bodies in front of him, which takes about the war in every gory detail. They ask if he can go through it, and then they disappear. But this does make him wonder something. He doesn't sense any real humans in this city. Saber suggests that the city is filled with NPCs, as there are no other humans but Masters in SE.RA.PH. He wonders about the school, but almost certainly the teachers and most of the students were NPCs. This makes her ask if he had any friends down there. One, but became rather murder-y at the end.

(Continued in the next post)
 

CaButler

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-The duo soon reach their destination, but Saber notices something odd with the floor, but they continue, being escorted by the pretty police force. And who do they meet in the Mayor's Office?



-Yup, that election was totally rigged. Hakuno recognizes his old murder happy friend, but it appears Shinji doesn't recognize him, but instead, welcomes him to the city. He's a bit shocked to see a new master, since the Holy Grail War is obsolete. Anyway, he welcomes them and confirms that, yes, this is the First Stratum, but that's a story of the past. This is a city that is free from the controls of SE.RA.PH. When Saber questions this, Shinji shows them images of other humans, saying that they live freely without battles being forced on them, though the city government does hold control using a bit of legislation. Hakuno asks about the war, but specifically, why buy out the servants, but Shinji responds that he's only controlling potential seeds of discord. Hakuno isn't impressed, but Shinji continues, saying that servants are dangerous weapons. They take a lot out of you, but give almost nothing in return. As far as he's concern, humans don't need servants but NPCs. He says that they can be workers, spouses, or even family, but Haukno, again, doesn't budge. I don't think he's buying this, and I suspect he's going from personal experience there.

-Shinji admits that they have few Masters in the city, a handful at best, but to make sure all Masters live a comfortable life, the NPCs work as the parts of this city and make it function. And he makes the offer to Hakuno to give up his servant and become a citizen of this city. Hakuno does have one question, though. What of the servants? They won't go to waste, according to Shinji. First, they're restrained with a Command Spell, then dismantled and reused as resources for city operations. That sounds rather cruel, and it seems like Hakuno agrees.



-I suspect Hakuno's answer to Shinji, no matter the offer, was basically "Go piss off." Shinji is shocked by the response, but Hakuno isn't going to abandon Saber. Well, that won't do, so Shinji activates Plan B, which is to dispose of them. He activates a firewall that separates Hakuno and Saber, but it looks like Shinji had them separated from the very beginning. Wow, Shinji, I'm impressed. that was actually a good plan. With the two separated, Shinji summons three servants to deal with Saber.



-What, no Archers? This fight should be easy for Saber. Though it looks like all three are Berserkers. Well, that's going to be problematic. Saber engages the three, avoiding or deflecting their shots, calling out to Hakuno to try not to die. But he's got a small problem. That pretty pretty police squad? Yeah, they're going to kill Hakuno now. And then they start stabbing him multiple times in the stomach. What a feeling of deja vu. But remember, Hakuno is just too angry to die, and he begins pulling out one of the swords to the shock of the police girls. The fallen ask him if he can do it as he removes those swords. Yes, he can. Even if he doesn't remember who he is...



-...Well, this went to horror real quick, didn't it? Oh, and the person who was observing Hakuno before?



-Hi, Rin! Glad to see you're still alive. But she's in shock at what she sees, calling the face Hakuno is making Dead Face. Which just so happens to be the name of the episode. Cue credits!

-Our ending first starts with rose petals floating up as the camera pans down to a falling Saber. We then cut to Hakuno in the grass as Saber stands tall. Which then leads to this lovely image.



-So very protective. We then get another image of Saber protecting Hakuno, then some image with light coming from it, then a quick shot of our duo, with the two joining hands, then of each other, smiling, leading to a pair of hands cradling a blooming rose that turns into water. End episode.

Well, that was certainly a thing. It's quite interesting that they put the exposition scene in the big fan service scene of Hakuno and Saber, basically saying "Yeah, we know what your'e here for." Saber being surprised by the city, as well as being overjoyed, was cute, and her acting definitely conveyed it. But then we have to get back to business, and look at that, it appears that the major opponent is Shinji. I guess Hakuno is going to get his revenge rather quickly.

But who was that bar patron? Was she a Master? And why is Rin here? Why is she so interested in Hakuno? And what happened to the Holy Grail War? Tune in on Friday to find out.

Until next time, remember, if you're ever escorted by a squad of pretty police girls, be immediately suspicious of the mayor. It could be that they're an old, murderous friend of yours.
 

Davies

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-And the fanfic writers start having a field day with Red Saber here.
Oh, they started that the first time Saber expressed such sentiments, back in the game that inspired this anime. (And where you could choose a male or female protagonist, I should note.)
 

neOmega

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Better get that fanservice out early, for the extra buzz and viewers.

The body of Saber and the ego of Gilgamesh and lacking any restraint when it comes to how she acts with Hakuno. I'm trying to decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing.
Yes. 🙃
 

CaButler

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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.
 

Davies

Registered User
Validated User
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.
In one version of Fate/extra, it's actually implied that Rider is not Francis Drake, but rather Elizabeth Tudor, disguising herself as Francis Drake to have wild adventures.
 
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