It’s not really surprising that Fate/Apocrypha is still introducing things in its second episode. With 14 (15) servants and, presumably (?) an equal number of masters to try to show off before things really get going, I wouldn’t be surprised if episode three follows suit – nonetheless, this episode did a decent job introducing lots of new characters, as well as giving us a taste of the kind of action we can expect going forward.
We see a little more of Ruler to begin with before rejoining the two factions who take turns in introducing themselves. The Black team do a full (and quite convenient) set of introductions led by their overly bubbly Rider.
Red team aren’t so thoughtful of us, the viewer, as we stick with the viewpoint of Shishigou, who, after establishing that Mordred is certainly not a woman, go to the church to check in one another one of the masters, the Shirou we heard about last week.
In this parallel world, Shirou is not Shirou Kotomine, but is instead Shirou Kotomine – yes, the same as Kirei Kotomine, master and nasty buddy of Gilgamesh from the Fate/Stay Night world. And what we learn from this encounter is that Shirou has potential to be just as devious as the other Kotomine we know, though Saber and Shishigou aren’t going to entertain that as they inform him that they will be splitting off from the main group do to things alone.
In this section of the episode, not only do we meet Shirou and his servant, Assassin. But also Caster (yes, that’s Shakespeare) and Berserker. At this point, we know a lot less about Red than we do Black as only two of the masters have revealed themselves. Speaking of Black, we then get to see them again: this time focusing on the masters ranging from a women with a disturbing erotic fetish and an older guy who is more interested in defeating the rest of his family after the initial 7v7 war.
The most interesting of all though is surely, Lancer – Vlad – who we must assume is Count Dracula, because of the vampire references. His master is Darnic, the mage who set the war in motion. I find these two intriguing as they seem to have a similar relationship to that of Gilgamesh and Tokiomi Toosaka – with the servant seemingly having control – though I’m sure that isn’t truly the case.
Then we get to see some action, with Mordred and Shishigou taking on some Yggdmillennia homunculi and golems. This was fairly well animated, and it was nice to have another Fate master to focus on who can actually hold their own in battle, unlike a certain Shirou Emiya… Anyway, if this is the standard of combat we can expect for the rest of the season, I’ll be pretty pleased. The other thing that we did learn from this scene is that Mordred, despite all of her (his) big talk, is desperate to please – I feel as if this could be important later, so we’ll have to keep an eye and watch how that develops.
And finally, Shirou proves himself to be fully in control and not concerned about the rules (which, let’s face it, can’t be a good thing) and orders one of the Red servants to kill Ruler, who we once again to see, travelling, presumably, to Trifas.
What did you make of episode two of Fate/Apocrypha? Does it make for an improvement to episode one? Or has the series so far maintained a standard you were hoping for? How is Ruler going to fit into this story and how will politics of fighting a seven on seven war unfold?