It’s about time I purge the thought of this adaptation retaining too many of my expectations of related to Extra’s events and themes. I guess that goes to show how much I actually enjoyed Extra despite a good majority of fans calling it a rather poor game. The second round of the Mooncell War is one of my favorites in the game with Dan and Archer being a conflicting duo, perhaps the most incompatible of the 7 masters the player faces but we’ll see how that turns out.
While Hakuno has an existential crisis that once again culminates in hatred driving him up the Grail War, his two female companions once again take a bath. Nero steps out of the bath to address Hakuno’s worries and says that they’ll find his true intentions as they reach higher in the grail war. Elsewhere, on the 2nd stratum, the next opponents for the main duo converse on why the particular master of this floor wills to fight when the grail war itself seems defunct. The master replies that he is a knight and he came to this battlefield to experience battles again. Nero and Hakuno disembark from their transport and arrive on a dilapidated building with a forest stretching across the horizon. Soon enough, Nero senses something and deflects a bullet from hitting Hakuno and she deflects two more, the duo jump into the forest below. Inside the church, the enemy master instructs his Archer that it’s his turn to fight and sends him off to fight Nero and Hakuno in the woods.
Hakuno stops being a walking piece of meat and finally expresses some gratitude towards his servant for sticking with him and Nero herself takes the time to express her happiness in seeing her master finally not be such a cardboard box. The moment is intruded upon by the enemy Archer who brings out a cloud of poison onto the area. The Archer chides Hakuno about the latter’s expression of not really wanting to win the grail war and Nero tries to silence their assailant but a hail of invisible arrows eventually lands a hit on Nero. Archer prepares to finish off a weakened Nero but Hakuno uses one of his command seals to buff the hell out of Nero’s sword and she makes a clearing in the middle of a forest with a fiery swing. The Archer reveals himself but he seems to have prepared himself for this sort of thing and another slew of arrows but before they land, they are destroyed and the conflict comes to an abrupt end as a potential ally appears in the form of Rani VIII.
Rani brings the duo to her hideout where she explains that a similar situation to the 1st stratum is taking place. The floor master of the 2nd stratum, Dan Blackmore has been pretty successful in delaying all other masters from advancing and Rani herself has been waiting for FIFTY YEARS for another master to arrive in the 2nd stratum. Much like Rin, Rani is a “rebel” without a servant and has been trying to make it past Dan. While Rin herself is nowhere to be seen, Rani administers an antidote against Archer’s poison in Nero. Rani also explains that the SE.RA.PH is currently broken for whatever reason and nothing of this current war resembles what the Holy Grail War was. The trio rest while Hakuno dreams of Twice again, the guy who spoke to him in front of the incinerator where the latter explains the Moon Cell and how Hakuno “shouldn’t be there”.
Hakuno wakes up and finds Rani not in her cot. He finds her outside tending to what look like graves and he is surprised to see so many of her walking around. She explains that her copies are just dolls that can perform basic tasks and explains that these are the graves of previous masters. When asked about his reasons for ascending, Hakuno simply states that he feels that it’s right to do, and he asks her in return about the whole 50 years thing. Rani proceeds to drop a bomb of knowledge where she explains that they are currently in the 3rd millennium and humanity has basically been devastated. SE.RA.PH contains the last bit of what remains of the human race and if it is to fall, all of humanity will cease to exist.
I guess it was silly of me to realize that the rest of the series would play out closer to the games the first round onward. Forget about the investigation stuff and all that, Floor Masters and one-person Resistance groups seem to the norm from here on out. Although, Rin and Rani practically make up the only people in the allies tab from Extra, unless you’re going to get Gatou or Ronnie in there which I highly doubt. Speaking of which, Rani showing up this early surprised me but what surprised me more is that bombshell she drops about the current state of humanity. Somehow she ended up just like servant-less like Rin so I guess we won’t be seeing Lu Bu either but who knows at this point.
I think I was able to cover all the necessary differences between the original game’s weekly elimination process and the anime’s stratum/floormaster set up so there’s not much for me to cover from this point onward. Dan and Archer seem to be slightly conflicted while in the original, their relationship was definitely a bit strained because of Dan’s chivalrous attitude toward fighting conflicting with Archer’s hit and run tactics but here, it seems like they’re comfortable with each other. I just hope their farewell scene isn’t too botched. Last but not least, Hakuno’s lack of any real investment into the war gets addressed somewhat and I do have to say that I don’t like him as much since there’s not much incentive towards training and investigating his enemies like in the games while in the anime, Nero is doing everything.