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Monday, 27 November 2017

Fate/Apocrypha E20: Soar Through The Sky

Episode 20
Soar Through The Sky.

Some of you may have noticed there was no review of this show last week, and that's because last week had another recap episode. Why a show in which literally nothing ever happens needs not one but two recaps, I have no idea, and I didn't watch it, and I assume that it was exactly as boring and mind-numbing as the rest of this show.

I just keep telling myself that we're almost at the end. Almost. We're so, so close, it's got to be, what, four more episodes, five, until we're done? Maybe even less! And then I will be free of this curse.

(There's a Fate/Extra anime airing immediately afterwards. I will not be reviewing it. I probably won't even watch it.)

Anyway, this week's episode sees Team Jeanne boarding their fleet of plane, and heading out for their flying attack on the Hanging Gardens. With Jeanne (Ruler) and Chiron (Archer of Black) on one side, and Semiramis (Assassin of Red), Achilles (Rider of Red), and Atalanta (Archer of Red) on the other, the two sides do battle in the skies as they wait for Astolfo (Rider of Black) and Sieg (Saber of Black) to arrive and disable the Hanging Garden's defenses. Meanwhile, deep within the Gardens, Shirou uses a command seal to compel Shakespeare's (Caster of Red) loyalty, and enters the Holy Grail itself, intending to use its power in his grand plan.

His grand plan which is totally unclear, actually. I realise that the explanation will just be some idiotic, mostly nonsensical rambling, so I'm not exactly in a rush to get to it, but it would be nice to have some clarification of the villain's plans. Maybe it would help this show have some actual stakes attached to it.

Because honestly, why do I care about the outcome of this battle? When the characters are standing around talking, and Sieg opines that he has to take part in this battle and won't be returning, I have zero appreciation for it, because the show's never bothered to make it clear why Sieg needs to take part in this battle. It just sort of waves its hand and assures us that Shirou has bad things planned, but we almost never see any actual evidence of the cost of what he's doing, or even the potential cost. The entire war seems empty and pointless, because we as an audience don't have anything to care about: Not the flat, lifeless characters, not the world, not the primary school morality lessons at play, nothing.

So, I don't care if Sieg uses too many command seals (which he will), or if Chiron, Astolfo, and Jeanne die (which they will), or if Shirou fails (which he will). I have no dog in this fight. I just don't care.

A lot of the episode, meanwhile, is taken up with two action scenes: Atalanta vs Jeanne and Achilles vs Chiron. They are both very, very boring. A-1 Pictures is still trying to mimic Ufotable's style, and it's still abjectly failing and making those action scenes little more than a bunch of coloured streaks flying around.

I'm so tired of this show. So very, very tired.

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