First Impressions: Fate/Apocrypha

Synopsis:

Set in a parallel world to the original Fate/Stay Night, where the Holy Grail was moved from Fuyuki City to Romania after the Third Holy Grail War, the story focuses on the conflict between two factions, Red and Black, each summoning seven Servants to battle in the Great Holy Grail War. In this alternative reality, the events of Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero never happened. The battle between mages and servants for the Holy Grail begins once more, with a new cast of characters and very different circumstances.

Rating: 2/5

Impressions:

I feel it’s only fair that I make my thoughts on this dearly beloved franchise clear as early in this post as possible: I don’t like Fate very much.

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To be completely honest, outside of a few cool and memorable moments from Fate/Zero and the abandoned awesomeness that could have been Fate/Prototype, I can’t stand this franchise at all.

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I get what people see in Fate. It’s got some super intricate lore and history behind its narrative and the story itself focuses on super powered Anime versions of famous historical and mythical figures such as Alexander the Great, King Arthur and Gilgamesh. And this is all takes place in a world of magic with complicated rules behind how it all works and an insane amount of fictional terminology that could probably be made into an entire fictional glossary.

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But I find it all kinda boring. I’m not the biggest fan of Anime that focuses on real historical events and myths, and a large chunk of this franchise relies heavily on these historical/mythical characters. They’re a large part of the appeal, and if you’re someone like me who doesn’t really care for those kinds of things, then you lose out on it all.

On top of that, the magic system and overabundance of technobabble doesn’t interest me in the slightest. This is a death tournament where people are fighting over a mystical cup, but they spend 90% of the time standing still and explaining how a fireball spell or magical sword works instead of just getting to the point and killing each other. And sure, the superbly animated fights are cool, but they’re not long enough, and the flow is often broken by the lengthy dialogues of characters explaining things that I just don’t care about.

So due to all this, I wasn’t particularly excited for this spin-off series.

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And unfortunately Fate/Acoprycha looks like it’s going to be suffering from all the same problems.

I’d hoped that with this alternative setting or storyline or whatever, that we’d be given something that was a departure from the overly complex lore and painful info dumps, but apparently even if it’s taking place in a parallel world Fate is still up to its old, tired tricks.

Much like its predecessors, Fate/Apocrypha’s first episode consisted mostly of set up and long, expository dialogues between the characters. This isn’t inherently bad in itself, but it’s an indication that just like the other entries in the series, it’s going to be followed by more of the same, and that’s something I just can’t see myself getting excited about. Ever.

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I will however give the series credit where it’s due. Unlike the recent Fate adaptations we’ve been given over the last several years, Apocrypha wasn’t produced by ufotable. It’s being produced by A-1 Pictures, and I’ll be honest, I was pretty concerned when this detail was first announced. I’m not one to buy into the whole “everything A-1 makes is garbage” meme that a certain notorious Anime YouTuber decided to make a thing, but when it comes to production quality, they’re certainly nowhere near ufotable’s level.

However, in terms of visuals, Fate/Apocrypha actually looks fantastic. It’s probably the best looking A-1 show I’ve ever seen. The art style is a nice departure from what would be considered typical of the majority of their previous works and the animation, so far, has been pretty spot on. There’s even some great directing thrown in there. It’s not quite “Unlimited Budget Works”, few shows by other studios are, but it’s good enough and it does a great job at emulating the majestic, cinematic style of the previous entries in the franchise. It’s the best part of the entire show, and I look forward to seeing some beautiful fight scenes down the line, even if they’re always going to kept horrendously short, which I’m sure they will be.

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And of course, the voice acting and soundtrack are spot on. This is Fate, and both those elements have always been superb. I don’t really have anything to complain about there.

It’s early days, so there’s a slight chance that Apocrypha could prove me wrong and win me over, but based on my previous exposure to this franchise, it’s looking like this is just more of the same. And while that’s probably great news if you’re a fan of Fate, I’m not. I never have been, and it’s safe to say that I likely never will be.

Despite all my negativity though, I will be seeing this through to the end. I give everything a fair chance, even if it’s clearly not my cup of tea and Apocrypha still has the chance to brew into something I can enjoy.

Will this wind up being the Fate series for me? I sure hope so.

I guess time will tell.

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What are your First Impressions for Fate/Apocrypha?

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9 thoughts on “First Impressions: Fate/Apocrypha

  1. I’m a keen fan of the franchise generally so I suppose I was going into this with rose tinted spectacles, but I did enjoy the first couple of episodes. To offer a different perspective to the lack of action/large amounts of explanation in the first two episodes, I would probably argue that to people who hadn’t seen anything else Fate, it was basically essential – especially with such a big cast.

    I’m definitely with you though with you though in thinking that if the action doesn’t ramp up as we get to know the characters more over the course of the next few episodes, this series could get old quite quickly; after all, it is, in effect, a battle royal.

    I’ll be keeping a keen eye on your posts on this series though – it’ll be nice to see someone’s views from the outside!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad that as a fan of the franchise you’re able to understand my not so positive perspective.

      That’s a pretty valid point actually. If this is someone’s first Fate show, then the overly complex explanations seem like they’d be a lot more meaningful. I didn’t consider that, but from that perspective it makes a lot of sense.

      I do hope the action picks up at some point. If it does, I’ll probably be a lot more invested since I generally love cool fight scenes, regardless of the context.

      I’m not sure if I’ll do more posts on Apocrypha. But I might if something changes down the line or I feel there’s more for me to say.

      I’m planning on going more into detail about my struggle with the franchise in general at some point. So keep an eye out for that one!

      Thanks a lot for reading! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. LOL – omg Leth, this popped up in my e-mail and I was like “whaaaaaa Leth watching Fate? A First Impression? whaaaatttttttt??? LOL I knew you weren’t the biggest fan on the fate series (and we both know I am lololol) so I’m curious to see what you’re thoughts are on this. I still need to watch the first ep. And I’m still working on my really really long singular first impressions post.

    Also, the moment I saw that you started it by writing this first impression – I knew you’d be sticking with it, because we don’t drop shows. Yay! lolol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I honestly wasn’t planning to watch this, but after seeing it was a big show this season, I felt I should give it a chance and get my own thoughts out there 😛

      Hopefully they weren’t too harsh for you! I know you’re a big fan of the series, I can guarantee that this one will be right up your alley!

      And of course! I wouldn’t be me if I dropped it. It’s always too early for that 😛

      I look forward to seeing your big first impressions post! Best of luck getting it done! 😀

      Like

  3. It wouldn’t be fate, if it didn’t have the long winding convos. What were you thinking :P. I really couldn’t remember the damn masters. The servants are cool though. And I pretty much laugh as to how mordred was concieved XDD. Oh that jab at GUY who got the boot from YT. Yeah the art is nice. So long A-1 pics don’t mess up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a fair point actually. I just wish it… Didn’t! AHHHH!

      I also had trouble remembering the masters. I am liking the whole 7 servants on two sides thing though. That’s neat.

      I’m sure A-1 won’t mess it up this time around. It’s Fate. They should know better than to mess it up 😛

      Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel like Mordred is a great breath of fresh air to the franchise. She’s such a fun character, so much more so than the Saber we’re used to seeing, despite looking very similar. I feel like as long as Mordred is around, the show will be great.

    Like

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