Fate/Apocrypha #11: Spartacus is Secretly a Baby Reaper

hisui_icon_4040_round If you have played the original Mass Effect Trilogy then the sound of the colossal Reapers and their superweapon lasers will become ingrained in your brain by the end of the third game. (One might said the sound indoctrinates you.) So when Spartacus uses his mega laser as part of the finale of his Crying Warmonger Nobel Phantasm it was the first sound that came to mind. Spartacus’ attack does not have the Inception Braaam but otherwise, they sound fairly similar. Now it is not as if Mass Effect has some sort of monopoly on giant laser sound effects. Giant civilization ending weapons are as much a part of the games, shows, and movies as teleportation and faster than light travel.

In fact, if the Spartacus sound effects were inspired by Mass Effect it would surprise me about as much as if they were not. Mass Effect seems like the sort of series that made an impact in Japan but was not all over the place. It seems like a series many Japanese nerds would overlook but not so niche that only the most American obsessed otaku would have experience with it. I would guess it is above Halo fandom but below Marvel movie fandom.

I suppose only the staff of HALF H·P STUDIO could answer the question. But if you can’t randomly speculate with minimum information on the Internet what is the point of the whole damn thing.

Before Jeanne can discover what is wrong with this Holy Grail War an out of control blob of rebellion that was once Spartacus is thrown in her path. As the fleshy mass grows he begins to disrupt any of the active battles between Servants until Spartacus explodes in a spectacular fashion. This clears a path for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to swoop in a take the Greater Grail. The Yggdmillennia Servants now have to switch to the offensive now that their trump card has been stolen.

Apparently, Atalanta has played enough MMORPGs to know how to kite an enemy into an opposing force. Instead of fighting Jeanne she instead just draws Spartacus’ attention to the “oppressive” Ruler of the battlefield. It is clear that Shiro really does not want to meet Jeanne and he keeps having his people throw everything and anything in her path. While Jeanne is never in real danger it does eat up her time which is the real goal in the end.

I don’t think anyone can fully complain that they don’t give Karna is due after this. All things being equal Vlad is usually a high-powered Servant that can stand toe to toe with the best of them. His stakes are equally good offensively and defensively. They are basically a swarm of Gundam Bits that attack and defend him like any ninja who can control insects. He also can just hitscan his stakes if he does not want to chase people around. On top of that, all of his stats and abilities are supercharged thanks to him being in his country of origin. All but the most ridiculous or invulnerable of Servants is no match for him. Cue Karna.

Near invulnerable thanks to his armor. Check. A wide variety of weapons. Check. The ability to read his opponents and see through tricks and illusions. Heck. Divinity with a connection to a Sun God. Check. He is pretty much the counter to Vlad who should otherwise just dominate the battlefield. While Karna is able to make little progress in defeating Vlad he also keeps Vlad from hunting the weaker or otherwise occupied members of the Red Faction. Karna bottlenecks the Yggdmillennia’s silver bullet.

OK. They actually made Seig ability to channel Siegfried have something that feels like a time limit. If he could just channel Siegfried at will for a significant amount of time it would make it that Seig just got everything awesome about being the Dragon-Blooded Knight without any drawbacks as well as every other power he gets. That would completely seal the deal for his title as Gary Stu. In fact, that is usually one of the easiest ways to spot a Gary Stu. Having the powers of an established characters plus a bunch of extras sets off all the warning bells. The real test will be to see if Seig continues to have this short window with the power or not. If Seig’s time in Servant mode keeps getting longer than the supposed downside is not really a downside but just a way to have a power curve on a Gary Stu.

Two general notes about Mordred. The first is she is a really bad winner. I assume she is also a poor loser. In fact, in general, I assume you don’t want to compete against her. There might have been a very good reason Agravain was one of her few “friends” on the Round Table. The second is Mordred really likes to use her father’s titles. She very proudly calls herself King of Knights despite the fact that is, in fact, Arturia’s sobriquet. Mordred died before Arturia at the Battle of Camlann so she can’t even claim she briefly claimed that title. More than anything it shows that Mordred is absolutely convinced that the Sword of Selection would pick her and therefore she just causally uses Arturia’s titles as if they were her own.

Since Jeanne is able to use Luminosité Eternelle without being stunned must mean she was able to complete her second Interlude. Come for the discussion of Fate/Apocrypha episodes but stay for the silly Grand Order jokes.

I will say that there seemed to be a lot of jibber-jabber surrounding how no one could carry Seig away from the blast zone of Crying Warmonger. This leads to the classic “Save Yourselves!” “NEVER!” exchange but the is only one problem. The two people Seig is talking to are full Servants. I admit Astolfo is injured but Jeanne is about as winded as someone who just had a light jog. It is not as if Seig is a muscle man in full plate armor.  He is a lithe young man and only 120 pounds if soaking wet. Either of them should be able to pick him up like he was an empty briefcase and run off with him with only the smallest change of speed. If they were normal people this would be hard but they are Servants with statistics beyond that of normal humans. Now I understand the whole point of the scene is to show off Luminosité Eternelle but it seems a bit more contrived than it needs to be.

Talk about a reversal of fortunes. When the war started it appeared that the bookies would have sided with the Yggdmillennia Servants. They had decades to prepare for the battle, they have  dug into their defenses, they had a Servant who was overpowered due to the battleground, and they had the Greater Grail. Now it only makes sense from a storytelling perspective to set up one side as clearly dominating and then showing how misguided that idea is when the rubber hits the road. The Red Team and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon really prove that they have more than enough to handle anything the Yggdmillennia throw at them. In fact, Spartacus still devastates the Yggdmillennia castle despite ostensibly being under Avicebron’s control. The Yggdmillennia get steamrollered enough that they even lose the Greater Grail.

At first, this looks like it is going to be the REAL Great Holy Grail War. Before now Servants have fought together but there has been no Captain America: Civil War Airport Scene where the two teams face off with multiple members facing off. It seems like everything is in place of that. Since the Hanging Gardens of Babylon steals the Grail the Yggdmillennia Servants have a very important reason to go into enemy territory en mass while the Red Servants need to kick them out lest they lose their two biggest advantages. The confined space also means more chances for partnering up and opponent swapping. Sadly this will only happen for a short period of time and before Darnic messes everything up.

Time to set up a new entry on the Top 10 Anime Betrayals list. This little scene makes it clear that Vlad is NOT a fan of his portrayal of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This picture always comes to mind when Dracula and the Servant come up. It has become so tied to his name in the popular consciousness that it even infects his persona in the Throne of Heroes when he is summoned as himself. While he admits to doing a great number of horrific acts as the defender of Wallachia he did all of those things in defense of god and country. His portrayal as a damned creature of the night is a mockery of his accomplishments both grand and base in his opinion. So he would rather face defeat than using the increased power of his Legend of Dracula ability. While his whole goal is to use the wish granted by the Grail to retroactively wipe his vampiric legacy from history his pride refuses to let him tap that power to accomplish that.

Of course, it is clear from Darnic’s reaction that despite his promises he sees the Legend of Dracula as his trump card. He may pretend to revere his Servant but Darnic is also a dude who worked with the Nazis and then proved to be slimier than them. He is probably not the first guy you should trust. In fact, he should probably be right at the bottom of the list next to anyone named Kotomine. (Caren is included in that generalization despite the name change.)  Anyone who is surprised by the events of the next episode should be ashamed of themselves. It would have actually been more surprising if the Legend of Dracula ability never got used. Then again if you put a Chekhov’s gun like Dracula on the mantle it would be sort of silly not to use it.

Poor Liz. Getting dragged into this whole mess. If her uncle got his wish then what would happen to her status as Servant. Who will be the comic relief in Fate/Extra games? Who will be Nero’s musical rival? Who would put on festive outfits during holiday events in Fate/Grand Order? They can’t just throw Artoria or another Saberface into a different outfit every year. The Dragon’s Daughter legacy must survive!

Next episode is the everyone attack Gilles de Rais episode from Fate/Zero. It gives Servants who are normally rivals a temporary excuse to work together and works well for as a minor climax for the middle of the story. It is time for Fate/Apocrypha to go full Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000


Previous Fate/Apocrypha posts:

Fate/Apocrypha #01: One Night in Trifas Makes a Hard Magus Humble
Fate/Apocrypha #02: Who Wears Short Shorts?
Fate/Apocrypha #03: Meet Your Real Main Character
Fate/Apocrypha #04: Sumanai
Fate/Apocrypha #05: Freedom! Horrible, Horrible Freedom!
Fate/Apocrypha #06: Who Am I?
Fate/Apocrypha #07: Castle Crashers
Fate/Apocrypha #08: Mordred Went to the Yukari Tanizaki School of Driving
Fate/Apocrypha #09: The Battle of Red Cliffs
Fate/Apocrypha #10: Mordred Gets a Kill Streak

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