“If so, I want to protect what he loved.”
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Everyone sits around for a whole episode and speculates on the rules of the
Holy Grail War situation. For no particular reason, it seems they turn out to be completely correct.
At Marlin’s urging, looks like we’re getting another regular “#HATEWATCH” post going this season. Oh, joy.
But seriously, this episode contains some of the worst, most tedious, snore-inducing exposition I’ve ever seen in an anime, and I’ve watched both of the Fate/Stay Night anim, as well as Fate/Zero, whose Holy Grail War rules scenes are some of the most infamous in the medium. But, we should get the positives out of the way first. There were exactly three things I thought were decent about this episode. To wit:
- Meteora finds out the creator of her game has passed away, and so she decides to play it to broaden her perspective.
- Mamika buys promotional tie-in curry with her likeness on it.
- Matsubara acts like a smug old hat when asked on the phone about the whole “characters appearing in reality” thing.
Not that any of these go anywhere. Conceptually (boy be prepared to hear me say that one a lot), you’d think that the creations consuming their own media would be a major thing in this series, or at least a theme to be heavily explored, but any emotional payoff or character resolve to be gained by something like that is squandered by it happening so early in the show. Meanwhile, just like with the spoilers last week, Selesia brushes off the entire idea with one line so everyone can move on to the next thing. In an ideal world, they’d eventually get into how her main character trait seems to be about pointedly ignoring any moderately difficult mental or moral challenges, but, well. Anime.
The episode’s main plot is all about the wider conflict of the creations appearing in the real world, and boy is it some rough shit. Episode 4 is probably around the right time to include this information, but it’s presented in such an eye-glazing manner that it’s impossible to take seriously. To sum up nearly 15 minutes of talking: because the creations all have supernatural powers in one form or another, their repeated violations of the laws of physics are going to eventually tear apart the fabric of reality. Or at least, that’s all Meteora’s hypothesis on the situation (complete with a Proper Noun: the Great Destruction), which they have no way of proving and no evidence of whatsoever. That doesn’t stopping everyone in the show from assuming she’s 100% correct, and then we cut to the Military Uniform Princess who spouts some more cryptic bullshit implying that she’s 100% correct. Natch.
We could have established this easily during one of the several action scenes in the first three episodes by actually showing the cracks begin to form in reality, but no, that would make too much sense. This is anime, we have to tell instead of show. We have to have stupid, long-winded conversations about “equilibrium mechanisms” and the “coefficient of elasticity” within the world or something. This is why we can’t have nice things.
- Despite all the talk of keeping fantastical things to a minimum, the ED blatantly features Meteora using her magic while fooling around at the beach.
- Why is their man goal tracking down Military Princess’s creator when last week established that the creators have basically no input on what the creations are doing in reality? It would surely be more efficient to get the information they want straight from the horse’s mouth.
- I don’t buy that a person who had never played a video game in her life could clear an entire JRPG in a single night’s time. One could argue she used some sort of time dilation magic, but the entire point of this episode was about how she shouldn’t be doing anything like that.