First Look: Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note

Light Novel Adaptation by TROYCA
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

Years after the events of Fate/Zero, Waver Velvet has risen the ranks of the Mage’s Association and been given the title of Lord El-Melloi II, but he still can’t help getting dragged into trouble at every turn.

Iro’s verdict: Just Fuck Me Up

As Glorio’s resident Fate guy, I’ve long since abandoned any hope on new spinoffs or adaptations actually being any good; I’m just along for the ride at this point. Waver is a fan-favorite character, and the idea of his grown-up, surly, chain-smoking, video-game-playing self going on gonzo Professor Layton adventures in the Fate-verse is a fun one. In practice, I’m certainly more wary, since the politics and minutiae of the Mage’s Association generally rank among the (many, many) elements of the universe better left to fan imagination rather than actual exploration. I guarantee you this show will take itself more seriously than it really ought to, but, well… whatever, man. I’m just here for Waver. Expectations will be kept appropriately low.

Marlin’s verdict: Live on, Waver.

I honestly have no problems with this show. Sure, it’s a bit of a bold move to open with a slick intro utilizing what I consider the most emotionally impactful moment in the entire Fate series, but this is finally covering source material I actually enjoyed. I genuinely liked the Fate-ass magic battles even if it meant that comes part and parcel with Fate-ass info dumps. The ancillary characters are not exactly the most encouraging, but as Iro said with a solid character like Waver there’s a lot of potential there. The only problems will be whether or not they can maintain Waver as an interesting character and whether it gets bogged down in its own Fateness. Still, I’ve been sorely disappointed by every Fate offering since Unlimited Blade Works (and even that wasn’t amazing), so I’d definitely suggest going into this with an appropriate level of caution.

Gee’s verdict: Hell Yeah Why Not

As someone who hasn’t really been into what the Fate franchise has done lately, I’m all in on an anime spin off about a grumpier older Waver Velvet going on dumbass magical adventures. I don’t even really care what the main plot is or whatever ridiculous magical bullshit Fate will inevitably try to shoehorn into this, because Waver is best boy and that’s all that really matters. The rest of the cast is free to be whatever flat anime archetypes they want to be. Honestly so long as this show manages to keep Waver’s characterization consistent with his Fate Zero self and the lessons he’s learned from that experience, I can be easily convinced to put up with almost any amount of dumbassery.

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