A couple steps forward?
A strange episode that makes me question what exactly Last Encore is trying to accomplish. This was yet another confrontational episode that pitted the main duo against the enemy master and servant but once again, I find myself wanting. The series is clearly another take, another rendition of the game’s original plot but title and events of the episode pretty much confirmed where and when I think the events of the series is taking place.
The only question is, why?
Dan Blackmore narrates what transpired in the previous war. How Archer poisoned an enemy master, how he ordered for him to never fight like this again, and how they eventually met defeat. Somehow, the error within the Moon Cell brought him back and he has continued fighting on the 2nd stratum ever since he returned. Hakuno is distressed over the passage of time over breakfast but Nero soon breaks him out of his worries and the trio begin to discuss a strategy to defeat Dan. Apparently, Dan’s loss in the previous war disqualifies him as a proper Master and he is unable to ascend to the 3rd stratum despite taking down so many masters. Rani identifies the enemy servant as Robin Hood and Rani explains that his Noble Phantasm of invisibility and poison cannot be active at the same time. Nero states that she’ll be able to fight Robin Hood with that knowledge while Rani and Hakuno will deal with Dan.
En route to their destination, Nero quickly engages Robin Hood while Rani and Hakuno ride on to Dan’s location. Rani starts giving more exposition on the Moon Cell, such as explaining the Incinerator Room in the bottom floor as well as the thoughts of the deceased taking spirit-like forms. Hakuno wonders who Rani is referring to, but then that Deadface part of Hakuno shows up again. Switching scenes, Nero pits her senses against deflecting Robin’s invisible arrows and yells at him to challenge her up front and utilize his Yew Bow. We switch back to Rani and Hakuno where the former promptly gets a shot through the head as they approach Dan’s building. Hakuno makes it out without too much of a hassle but Rani urges him to go ahead without her. Hakuno contemplates his options but finds it unforgivable that Dan continues to kill despite having no stake in the war anymore. Deadface pops back up and apparently gives Hakuno the agility to rush to rani’s side amid a hail of bullets and carry her into safety.
Nero confronts Robin Hood as the latter finds that she’s been poisoned and activates Yew Bow. So as long as the vines that come from his bow makes contact with her posioned body, his victory is assured. Nero however is able to make contact with the Yew Bow’s vines, deflect it, and lands a hit on Robin. Nero’s Thrice Setting Sun ability allowed her to live past some fatal, poisoned blood-letting and she quickly moves on to her Master while Robin admits defeat. Dan himself is swiftly defeated after Hakuno is able to arm himself with a gun and distract Dan’s aim, the battle comes to an end. Much like the 1st stratum, the floor begins falling apart after the victory and Hakuno tries to go retrieve Rani but Nero stops him, stating that it’s too late to save her and that Rani herself never mentioned her intent to ascend with them. Hakuno relents as he and Nero enter their elevator, where Rin apparently was just hanging around waiting for them.
So, my wish did come true as they literally showed Dan and Archer’s death scene from the game as a set-up to explaining what Dan is doing as the floor-master. I’m absolutely certain that he lost someone that wasn’t either Hakuno since that was Suzuka Gozen fighting Robin Hood. This was good because the actual fight between the two parties for this week was just as disappointing as the one with Drake. Nero won against Drake because Drake apparently doesn’t have good luck despite having rank EX luck while Robin lost to Nero because of Thrice Setting Sun, which kind of does making sense but it was done too quick for me to appreciate any of it. Dan’s instinctual desire to win was nowhere near as interesting as his original intents and he got offed by Super Power Hakuno who definitely confirms my supsciions that he’s some amalgamation of angry souls that died in the Mooncell War. I should have figured with the warped command seal he has that’s assymetrical compared to the command seal you have in the game. A clear sign that something was definitely off with Hakuno more than normal.
Rani gets killed off at the end of the episode, not sure how I feel about that since that makes Week 6 all that more mysterious. Compounding that, I have no idea what’s going to happen with Week 4 either, my money is on Amari I guess. Rani wasn’t a character that I cared for all that much but she’s involved with one of the two different endings you could have gotten so she was at the very least, endgame significant. Guess we’re on the Rin “route” now. Animation definitely took a turn for the worse, the fight was hardly exciting. Guess they’d rather do more naked exposition scenes and parts where they’re running around dodging attacks. That or they’re just saving money in advance to animate some trippy shit for the week 3 fiasco.
That 1000 year gap though, I feel like I should have a grasp on what they’re trying to do but I really don’t have an idea what this series is supposed to be. Hakuno is apparently some avatar of vengeance and anger while Nero was the servant of Hakunon in a previous, much more intact, Mooncell War. I have absolutely no idea how the other masters fit into the whole stratum/floor-master routine. Shinji apparently wasn’t defeated previously while Dan definitely was. They’re already throwing in elements of FGO and in some parts, the Foxtail Manga for CCC so I really can’t imagine what this “adaptation” of Extra is trying to accomplish aside from being a rough but literal encore of what occurred in Extra. I mean, CCC exists, why does this need to?