Posted by AidanAK47 on 8 November 2017 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Apocrypha

I won’t say that blogging is a hard job, really the only thing truly troublesome about it is the amount of time it takes, but sometimes covering a show can be a painful experience. With great shows the trouble comes in that there is only so many ways you can praise something and eventually you start nitpicking at any flaw you can find so that you can have something to say that isn’t gushing compliments. With a bad show it’s similar but in opposite as you attempt to find something worthwhile in a dung pile. However what I truly find painful to write about is when a show has so many good ideas and shows potential in the beginning. Only to have it slowly squandered over the course of it’s run. That is Apocrypha in a nutshell. By which I mean that I really like the ideas in this episode. Jack the Ripper being a bundle of curses from all the children that died pitiful deaths on the streets of London is something I can really get down with. It’s not outlandish for the world of Fate and it fits with the lore of Jack the Ripper in general. Though no matter what I cannot justify the dominatrix stripper outfit, even the rag she wears in this episode is a better alternative.

I really love how they connect Jack to Atlanta who feels the most for the children due to her own trauma of being a child abandoned by her parents. But her change of heart and development is just far too sudden that it’s hard to truly get a grasp on whether these are her own feelings or if she is being manipulated by Jack. And Joan, who takes the role of executioner. Understanding that the cursed children that form Jack can only either continue as a curse on humanity or be cleansed into oblivion. It truly connects to her nature of adhering to the greater good while showing that even if she knows it must be done, it’s still weighs on her. But Atlanta can never accept it and thus vows to kill Joan. Again, there are good ideas here. Nay, great ideas. But it all just falls so flat because the characters are not developed, these conflicts feel forced and staged, the animation is too crude and the general plot feels like lost opportunity. I spoke before about a scenario in which Avicebron’s defeat could have been made so much better and there are plenty of ways this episode could have taken better turns. I even at one point considered Sieg turning into the main villain after Jack exposed him to the evil in this world and having him turn into a Kiritsugu like figure of resorting to any means necessary to remove suffering from the world. Sure it likely wouldn’t fix his character but god it would be at least something.

Instead we go the boring route and have Jack the Ripper defeated by compassion. Or more that Joan gave her a bit of a lecture and Jack just gave up. There is a reason as to why sappy “Love defeats the villain” type ends are often so weak a conclusion. The virtue of it may be right but it doesn’t stop it feeling trite and cliche. In truth we all know what happens when we attempt to get a wrongdoer to see the errors of their ways and appeal to their compassion. After all, we have all gotten into an internet argument at one point or another and the sad truth is that people will always do everything in their power to avoid admitting they are wrong. So seeing someone as childish and psychotic as Jack just give up is not only out of character but utterly absurd. I could rationalize it somewhat if it was because she wanted to join her master in death but that doesn’t even seem to be the case. For some last notes, I am still not on board with this whole JoanXSieg ship and goddamnit can we give Shakespeare something to do?

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Bokusen says:

    Totally agree about Shakespeare…I think this show is just getting a little annoying in how it focuses on the less interesting characters, for me at least, and how bland its two main leads are.

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      Yeah it does seem to be a big pitfall of it. On top of killing off most of the likeable characters. It’s a little sad that I am getting more out of the Fate/Grand order mobile app than I am out of this show.

  2. Avatar meow says:

    I think a lot about Jack’s final actions has to do with Jack being in her death throes either way. I’m pretty sure the old rule of killing the Master kills the Servant too still applies here. Jack doesn’t have anything like Battle Continuation, does she? So that last NP was a final psychological self destruct aimed at taking out her last opponent(s). And it looks like it really took with Atalanta. The unnatural part for me was Joan calling purifying Jack “killing” her. It’s already established that “she” is an amalgamation of ghosts, plus an entity summoned as a Servant too. Whose Master just died. If there’s a best way to go out, going out through a purification rite from a Saint seems like a pretty good deal. Plus, honestly, with her Master dead, I don’t think Jack had any other reason to stick around. I also wonder if this “feel good” resolution might be fanservice for Jack.

    For me, what was unnatural was the antagonistic stance from Joan that seems tailor made to piss off Atalanta. She didn’t have to use the words kill, for example. Jack was going to disappear one way or another and this was a peaceful release into the afterlife. This part felt like a forced way to set up a blood feud between Joan and Atalanta. I think Joan was really close to talking sense into Atalanta when she gave her that ultimatum about whether Atalanta would choose to leave Jack in her current state. But she had to throw in an order to submit right after that instead of giving Atalanta a chance to accept what was happening. Well, it’s a question mark whether it would take cos she was and remains under the influence of Jack’s NP. Either way, hm…i would give the scenario here a pass. I get the dissatisfaction but it does work I think.

    If you get Atalanta in FGO, try out her 2nd interlude and tell me what you think. It could be a continuation, possibly a resolution regarding her encounter with Jack. I’m not sure if London has been released in FGO US yet though.

    About Jack though, I’m having trouble reconciling her with the Legend of Jack the Ripper myself. It’s pretty different from the novelization I think, as well as FGO’s lore. If i’m not wrong, isn’t Jack supposed to be an amalgamation of ghosts of aborted foetus from prostitutes whose remains were discarded into the Thames? And this Jack entity went about London killing prostitutes by slicing their bellies open in an attempt to go back into their wombs? Did I misunderstand something or was this too horrific a backstory for TV anime? It would explain Sieg’s trauma better though. But yeah, maybe I’m glad I didn’t see that version.

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