Congratulations, Fate fans, another installment of an amazing series has been delivered to your doorstep for your viewing pleasure!
Shaft’s new addition to the Fate series, Fate/Extra: Last Encore, began airing on January 28. The series currently has 6 episodes. The series is another alternative universe of the original Fate Stay/Night and based on the 2010 PSP game Fate/Extra. For those unfamiliar with the game, the anime is set in a universe similar to the game’s setting, a futuristic virtual world ruled by the Moon Cell, a machine-like god (kind of like the Operating System of a computer, if you will).
The anime reintroduces characters that some may know from either playing Fate/Extra or Fate/Grand Order. The main character, Kishinami Hakuno, is based on the male player character from the game. They changed some of his roles in the story to allow him the character depth that a blank slate player character would often not get. His ‘Who am I?” crisis is still part of his character, though, as this ends up being his driving force for continuing the story as its main character.
Another familiar face is everyone’s beloved Saber, only this time, she’s garbed in red, carries a giant red and black kris (curved) shaped sword, and loves to haughtily say the word, “Umu.” Spoiler (not really), she’s not Arturia. Other familiar faces include the Matou siblings, Shinji and Sakura, Kotomine Kirei (he’s still a priest), and Tohsaka Rin (in a slightly different outfit).
Those unfamiliar with the game are introduced to new characters, both masters and servants. New masters and servants make their appearance. We won’t spoil you with their identities, but the folklore they come from stretches from east to west, with a few familiar faces mixed in.
The character design and animation are a far cry from the 2010 animation and gameplay of the PSP game but are still reminiscent of the original style. The fight scenes are nicely choreographed and fantastically delivered. Shaft does a good job at keeping every frame interesting and colorful.
The music is also something to watch the anime for. The opening theme, Bright Burning Shout by Takanori Nishikawa, and the ending theme, Tsuki to Hanataba by Sayuri, both compel an emotional response from viewers that allows them to get sucked into the series. The background music also amplifies the enjoyable watching experience.
All in all, Fate/Extra is a must watch, both for Fate fans and new viewers. Based on the 6 episodes already out, I can safely say that I will enjoy this anime because it brings something new to the table. Yes, it’s the same Master and Servant competition, but it brings new characters, twists, and food for thought. So watch it, umu!