Fate Extra Last Encore- Episode 9: So much for that

A slightly less interesting episode where it mostly focused on something that I was already very familiar with. While not as satisfactory as a concluding episode compared to Alice’s episodes, it did leave a lot of interesting questions to be asked moving forward. According to the news, Last Encore is going on hiatus after Episode 10 airs and will resume its presumed finale after a couple weeks. I have no idea why this is but I’m not going to bother questioning it.

So let’s get a move on.

Deadface Hakuno meets with the actual Hakuno from the previous war where the latter shows our protagonist how her fight with Julius went out. The fight itself wasn’t important but the importance of Nero’s ideals and demeanor is what is put on show for us. So if you didn’t already figure it out with most of the new Fate audience getting into the series with Extella and/or FGO, the Saber that I’ve been calling Nero for the past 9 weeks is Nero Claudius, fifth and last roman emperor of the Judio Claudian Dynasty. Because some people actually have a tough time discerning Fate lore to real myths and history, the actual Nero was indeed a guy, just in case any of you are actually confused. Hakunon goes over the circumstances of Nero’s death and how it drastically belies her disposition as a cheery and confident individual. While Deadface Hakuno seriously doubting his legitimacy and right to even take part of the grail war, Hakunon cheers him on that he’s perfectly qualified and that Nero wouldn’t ever think light of him. The vision ends and Hakuno exits the video room.

Rani turns out to be alive and well and finishes treating both Nero and Hakuno back to normal. Hakuno awakens first and Nero regains consciousness in great joy to see Hakuno alive. Hakuno immediately set things straight about his thoughts and says that the quest to get to the cage is for nought and says he’s not worthy as Nero’s master after just being told the opposite. Nero does the exact same thing and gives him a lecture that no matter what Hakuno “was” and “isn’t” that fact alone makes him his own unique individual. Nero sets things straight and Hakuno is given a new sense of purpose to not have Nero guide him to the cage, but for them to get there together. As the scene fades out, Rin and Rani overhear the entire ordeal and suggests that something is going on between them.

Nero’s NP makes quick work of Li and Hakuno is somehow able to best Julius alone. Julius curses them as he fades away, saying that Hakuno will end up just like he did. Nero and Hakuno prepare to ascend while Rin and Rani converse with each other on the nearby rooftops that they fulfilled their mission to get Hakuno to the sixth stratum. They mention the notorious floormaster of the next stratum but Rin states that she’ll tag along the duo for a bit longer while Rani stays behind.

I’ll be honest with you, I don’t particularly care for Nero’s backstory since it’s something I was already exposed to. I doubt anyone didn’t know her true identity at this point but me being the cynic I am, I doubt people actually knew anything about the actual Nero. Being the history buff that I am, I wasn’t too particularly moved nor did I really empathize with Nero at any point other than just some eccentric figure who made a small mark on history. I will admit that Nero’s outlook in Extra and beyond is why I favor her over Artoria but I always say that I wouldn’t have minded it if Nero was kept as a man but I guess they were too scared of repeating Gilgamesh. At least with this over with Hakuno can finally stop being such a literal stick in the mud.

Anyways the fights, like always, were a let down. Domus Aurea completely annihilates Li and apparently having “hope” is enough for Hakuno to beat Julius despite the fact that this guy is also a Dead Face but a trained assassin when he was actually alive. I can’t really justify this aside from Hakuno just having that much motivation but oh well. Rani being alive surprised me but Lu-Bu’s figure from last episode basically clued me in on it. Her working with Rani was somewhat expected despite the game forcing you to choose one or the other and whatever they’re planning involves getting Hakuno and Nero to the sixth stratum. That leaves us the important question on who the hell the sixth floormaster is going to be and why this duo was formed.

If I didn’t already mention it, I found the artist for those really elaborate ending images. I wasn’t able to really find the chance to upload them but you can bet your ass I’ll be all over those come the series review. Well that and the fact that Berserker Li looks silly as hell so I went with this endcard.

6 thoughts on “Fate Extra Last Encore- Episode 9: So much for that”

  1. I started watching Fate Extra Last Encore and I have been looking around for someone who could actually understand what is going on. Several times I feel like I don’t get what is happening, not because it is complex, but because how is presented (usually in a very convoluted and overly complicated way) which leaves me with the sensation the show thinks is way clever than it actually is. I guess we will see what happens when the show is done because so far I am just following it out of morbid curiosity. But is nice to have a review that captures the basics so nicely, especially one made by someone familiar with the show. Keep up the good work

    1. The overly flashy presentation is a hallmark of Shaft’s bigger production shows so I understand exactly where you’re coming from. I’d imagine anyone new to the series or the franchise in general would be absolutely lost while watching Last Encore since presenting the viewer with some much needed exposition is also done in such a flashy way that it’s pretty easy to get lost and distracted. My saving grace is that the exposition for the setting is around 80% already known to me.
      And thank you, when you peel back a layer of all the flashiness, the story being told isn’t all that complex aside from that one time when the perception of time was being messed with.

      1. I am not new to the franchise as a whole. I have watch the 2006 Deen adaptation of Stay Night, UBW both the anime and the movie, Apocrypha, Zero, Grand Order OVA, even play the Fate/Extella game and I am familiar with the visual novels. Yet for all of that, what I mention previously are defects I notice on most of them alongside many other small quirks that seem to be cause by the franchise itself just indulging its themes. More times than not, as you said, when you peel back a layer of all the flashiness, the story being told isn’t all that complex. But I can’t help to criticize Last Encore for not going the extra mile and make itself easier to digest, without my previous knowledge and a wiki I had been utterly lost.

        It might sound odd, being too harsh on something you keep watching, but to me the best moments of this franchise have been when the characters toss aside the overly complex background and just have moments for themselves. Sadly Last Encore has made it impossible for me to connect with Nero and Hakuno, so to me there is little to no saving grace here. But I like to read other’s perspectives that are less bias than myself… and having a summary for those chapters I skimp over is always a plus.

      2. You make a decent point, Nero is too busy talking and giving exposition while Hakuno is too busy muttering stuff about hatred and his sheer lack of goals. The games themselves similarly had your servant providing exposition but the inner thoughts of the player character definitely made the progression of events a lot smoother and clearer than what they’re doing with Last Encore.
        I will personally say that the likes of the 2006 adaptation of Fate is something so abhorrent that TypeMoon themselves have tried to write it out of their history. As far as Extella goes, I’d hardly say it’s a deserving sequel to Fate Extra’s original plotlines.

      3. But that is the thing, isn’t it? A protagonist without a wish for the Grail or overall goal is not new. In fact more times than not people don’t have or at least they don’t state a wish they are struggling to fulfill. And to this day Apocrypha remains the sole show in the franchise that actually has the Grail granting anyone a wish. I feel like they try to avoid clichés by hiding it behind this veil of “complexity” that ends being vast as the ocean but shallow as a puddle. I mean you can just be straight forward but more times than not the Fate franchise acts under the direction of rules, lore and background that is not even implied in the current work and that is break when the show decides it has to be.

        Sorry, I am probably not making much sense. And to be fair I never dislike the 2006 Deen adaptation, despite its flaws. It wasn’t worse, plot wise, than UBW and what sold it to me was the romance between Shirou and Saber, which feels like a nice trip for both of them as they emerge changed by the experience. Same for Extella when it came the relationship between Hakuno and Altera, Nero and Tamamo. Those things usually make it worth all the auxiliary stuff. Because I think even the author says it: this is a story of a boy meets girl. The Grail Wars have never been the focus or the goal of these tales and act as frames to have that. Or is how I see it. Maybe I just love hatting on Fate for some reason, and then loving it when they do something right.

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