(Spoilers in this review)
As expected of a Fate series, the second episode serves to introduce more Masters and Servants to the audience. By the end of this episode, nearly all the Servants have made at least a momentary on-screen appearance.
This was mentioned in my previous episode review, but this (Great) Holy Grail War is different from that of Fate/Zero‘s and Fate/Stay Night‘s because there are two teams, consisting of seven Masters and Servants, pitted against each other. In F/Z and F/SN, there are only uneasy and momentary alliances since those Holy Grail Wars are more like free-for-alls.
However, these teams are also shaky and temporary just like in F/Z and F/SN to some degree. Black Saber’s Master, Gordes, refuses to tell his comrades about the true identity of his Servant (who happens to be Siegfried) out of
Furthermore, the remaining Masters and Servants will still have another (more traditional) Holy Grail War after the completion of the Great Holy Grail War, which prompts Black Archer, also known as Chiron, to ask his Master, Fiore, if she can handle fighting her younger brother, Caules, who is the Master of Black Berserker (Frankenstein). And she calmly replies that she’s stronger than Caules. Talk about resolve!
As for the Red Team, which consists of mercenaries and a priest compared to Team Black’s mage alliance/”family,” Kairi and Modred decide to work independently from the others. In other words, they behave much like how Masters and Servants act in more traditional Holy Grail Wars.
In fact, there are already a few parallels between Kairi+Mordred and Kiritsugu+Saber. Kairi and Kiritsugu both summon a Knight from Arthurian legend, utilize guns with abnormal ammunition, and dislike working with other teams. However, Kiritsugu’s relationship with Saber was turbulent from beginning to end due to their clash in ideals. Meanwhile, Kairi and Mordred, despite a few initial hiccups, seem to get along much better.
Something I’ve always admired about the Fate franchise is the way they depict how Masters are different from one another. I know this sounds obvious, but bear with me here. Even though Fiore dismisses her younger brother as being weaker than her should they be forced to fight, Caules was the only one of the new Masters to have his Servant demonstrate her abilities in order to determine her capabilities.
Caules, in other words, is probably an average magus at best, but he makes up for it with strategy and preparation. To be fair, he probably has to gauge what Frankenstein is capable of doing considering that she’s a Berserker, which is the most limited Servant class due to inherent insanity. Nevertheless, he’s my favorite kind of character in these sort of battles!
Meanwhile, the other Team Black Masters either socialize with their Servants, act like perverted lechers towards their Servants, or issue commands without actually even trying to understand their Servants. Very different mannerisms are being put on display here!
Furthermore, some of the Servants seem to have separate goals or ulterior motives. Team Red’s Caster, Shakespeare, seems to relish the fact that Team Red’s Berserker, Spartacus, is charging towards Team Black’s base even though that is very much a bad idea that could cost Team Red dearly. What’s Shakespeare’s deal?
In any case, this is just another example of how Berserkers are uncontrollable, huh?
The following two Servants were not properly introduced to the audience. But they seem to be chasing after Spartacus in order to provide back-up.
I can see the animation slips during battles already. That doesn’t bode well for later episodes if the animation is already questionable this early into the season.
The episode ends with Shirou commanding another Servant, Karna, to assassinate the incoming Ruler class Servant, who happens to be Jeanne d’Arc. Interestingly enough, Jeanne d’Arc was mentioned by Fate/Zero‘s Caster.
Things are already picking up and I’m looking forward to seeing actual action happen starting from the next episode. Some Servants and Masters have yet to be properly introduced, as well, so that’s bound to happen next week, too.
That concludes the episode review. I wanted to point out how spoilery the OP is, but I’ll refrain. I will point out something I noticed that is slightly spoilery if you think about it, but it’s also a nice reference to actual art.