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This Week in Anime - Did Lord El-Melloi II's Case Files Close Out Capitally?


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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
Posts: 1907
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:21 pm Reply with quote
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My favorite part is that apparently everyone in Fate is super bashful about sex,


According to the type moon wiki , it is because it reminds the characters of fate's origins as a porn game.
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darkchibi07



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 5040
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:59 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, those are pretty much my thoughts of this show so far: very interesting character introspection compounded by Nasu's utter BS. And yes the true culprit is someone we never seen before with such an unimaginative name. Anime hyper

I will say though, compared to other lead duos from other Fate series, I found Waver's and Gray's dynamics to be a lot more interesting. Obviously for Waver, there's his baggage back in Fate/Zero, and there's Gray who wants a sense of purpose beyond, in a meta sense, being another Saber clone. They feel more personable to me.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 324
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:12 pm Reply with quote
It's a little weird, but I have a counter-intuitive view. I think the problem is more that the show was too untethered from the Fate lore. I feel that the stretch they were trying to make to expand this story to this number of episodes, as well as make sure to hit all their marks on building up a Sherlock-esque story, was actually holding it back. For instance, the inclusion of Luvia taken as a Fate character has almost no meaning tot he story - her role could be filled by numerous others. But, she is the only wrestling related character in the Fate universe, and wrestling was a very minor, but brought up, aspect of certain Sherlock Holmes stories (it's been so long since I've read Holmes I can't even recall the specific context). It seems like they included Luvia just for that parallel and nothing more.

There's also the very basic fact that mystery stories in the Nasuverse are just not going to work well. There are literally a million different ways to answer this Rail Zeppelin mystery based on the known lore of the Nasuverse. Magic ruins the use of any and all alibis and renders it impossible for an outside observer to parse such a basic crime. Rather than having no idea how anyone could have done it, you're left knowing that literally anyone could have done it ten different ways, which makes the reveal seem mostly inconsequential, especially when you pick some rando who hasn't even been a part of the story until then. The crime had to have been amped up far more, to be something much more exotic in its potential means of execution, yet down to earth enough for us in the mundane world to get into the groove of the whodunit guessing game in a meaningful way.
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ThatMoonGuy



Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 122
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Seeing those guys talking about the magic in the shows feels like when I, a linguist, see politicians talking about language. I really feel like I should just grab a coffee.

Granted, the main issue with any show dealing with magic is that you either make magic stupid by relying on some haphazard magical system or makes it extremely hermetic by delving into actual magic and its concepts. It's kinda like making a mystery about physics- most people just won't get it and will call bull.

Just to show what I mean, the part about hair is reasonable for a few reasons, some of which are specific to Type Moon and some which are employed in real magic. I'll start with the later.

The concept of using body parts as catalysts for magic is incredibly common - you most famously have it with blood or organs, be it human or animal, but many magical traditions also hold other body parts (organs, bones and so on) to contain magical properties. Indeed,mthere are many esoteric traditions that place the body as itself a image of the universe (the concept of macrocosm and microcosm, which was mentioned before in the series). Hair, in special, is associated with power in many different places and for many different reasons. It is often considered a status symbol as good quality hair has long been indicative of high social position. Not only that, but you also have stories which associate hair directly with power, like Samson or the Medusa. Now, unlike other things, like nails and blood, hair grows a lot, can be easily cut and, if lost, causes no major risks to the individual. Thus, if we join points A (the body as a nexus of power)and B (the practicality of it) the it would be obvious that in a society of mages, a move like Waver's would happen. This kind of thing has also been shown in other moments in the Nasuverse, being mentioned in Tsukihime, Talk, Fate and Mahou Tsukai no Yoru thus it's really nothing new. As such, for someone who knows about what's behind it all, it makes all sense.

Now, do I expect people to know that? Of course I don't. Yet, when I read that the system is as coherent as diarrhea I truly do feel like I'm watching the US senate talk about the nature of language. That was just a showcase but the issue seems rather widespread, not just in this site but in a lot of places where this show is being discussed. I'm honestly saddened by it. This show is a pretty interesting exploration of occultism and the inner workings of a magical society in a way that nearly no other show is. When you have magic in fiction it's usually something very badly explored, stupid or both (hello, Mr. Potter!) so it feels nice to have some work take a more inquisitive, even academic approach towards it.
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AksaraKishou



Joined: 16 May 2015
Posts: 1111
Location: End of the World
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:54 pm Reply with quote
DRosencraft wrote:
The crime had to have been amped up far more, to be something much more exotic in its potential means of execution, yet down to earth enough for us in the mundane world to get into the groove of the whodunit guessing game in a meaningful way.



At the start of the series waver literally says that when Magic is involved the whodunit and the whydunit go out of the window, so yeah, this was meant for you to enjoy, not exactly not figure out who it was on your own.
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DRosencraft



Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Posts: 324
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 6:03 pm Reply with quote
AksaraKishou wrote:
DRosencraft wrote:
The crime had to have been amped up far more....



At the start of the series waver literally says that when Magic is involved the whodunit and the whydunit go out of the window, so yeah, this was meant for you to enjoy, not exactly not figure out who it was on your own.


That's my point. The intersection of the basic premise and the intended style of story don't match. There isn't enough activity to make this an engaging procedural, the topic of magic is too abstract for most to care about, let alone sit through lengthy diatribes about how it works.

It's sort of what ThatMoonGuy is saying in his post; to the vast majority coming into this show, even fans of the Nasuverse, the magic stuff in the story is all about as clear as green pea soup. If you are someone who is actively immersed in the subject, it's great stuff and you would like more of it. But that represents a very small niche of folks in an already small niche. And for the show to get into detailed explanations of all these concepts of magic would require a non-magic-world character through whom to explain this all to the audience, and would only bog down the story even more, to the point of being completely dull to all parties, whether they know anything about these concepts or not.

That makes the whole concept of this show a shaky one. Not saying its terrible, but the bar to getting to great is a lot higher. It was a no-win situation, and this was probably about the best that could be done... it's just not that entertaining a watch.
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ThatMoonGuy



Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 122
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 7:55 pm Reply with quote
DRosencraft wrote:

That makes the whole concept of this show a shaky one. Not saying its terrible, but the bar to getting to great is a lot higher. It was a no-win situation, and this was probably about the best that could be done... it's just not that entertaining a watch.


In defense of the show, some of the episodes did involve mysteries that, in retrospect, were fully hinted. Namely, the duo about the fairies. But even that required some level of knowledge to unravel so it's not much of a saving grace.

That said, I agree that this is the kind of show that works best (or maybe only works) for a very specific niche of people. The fact that it was sold as a traditional mystery was misleading when it's really an exploration of magecraft. The medium of anime also doesn't really work with the premise too. It's hard to put lots of information without making it boring and without that information you're left with such an arcane mass of divergent information that most people would just simply be lost.

I don't blame anyone for feeling cheated about this anime, really. I do blame the writers for trying to talk smart about things they really don't get but this is just kicking a dead horse by now. I'd they can't even grasp why mages are consistently bastards then they have absolutely no place in any discussion regarding anything Type-Moon.
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OtherSideofSky



Joined: 19 May 2016
Posts: 59
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 8:21 pm Reply with quote
I feel like a lot of the show's awkwardness comes from it's first half being a collection of new short stories that exist to show off characters who were mostly active in the first three books the show skips entirely, followed by a trimmed and somewhat rearranged version of books 4 and 5 (there were originally more characters on the train and far fewer cuts to outside it).
Waver being out of action also worked much better when he was injured in the ending of book 4 and then made a dramatic entrance partway through book 5.
Of course it doesn't help that none of the short mysteries added for the anime hold up compared to the much longer ones in the books.
Still, it's never going to have a decent conclusion unless they animate more, because Gray gets a lot of her development and explanations in books 6 and 7, while the whole thing with Heartless wraps up at the very end in books 8-10.
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Cardcaptor Takato



Joined: 27 Jan 2018
Posts: 1876
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 11:08 pm Reply with quote
As someone who’s experience with the Fate franchise has mostly been with the three main TV series, I personally really liked Lord El Melloi II. It reminded me a lot of the earlier Harry Potter books which when you strip away all the lore exposition, it’s not really that different from Harry Potter. I personally didn’t find the lore exposition to be off putting and I actually found it to be more interesting to be honest. But I feel like Fate is one of those franchises where the lore is the selling point for the fans and some people are just going to be bored by it. And I really liked the relationship dynamics, especially with Waver and Gray. But I can see why people who might have gone into it with high expectations because of the Fate Zero ties in might have wanted more but I found it to an entertaining show personally.
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Rednimue



Joined: 07 Dec 2016
Posts: 95
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:00 am Reply with quote
To all those who're read the Novels and watched the anime here's my usual question:

do you think the anime is a faithful and complete adaptation based on what've you seen so far ? Or is it skipping parts here and there ? Do you think the ending will be the same as the novels ?
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AksaraKishou



Joined: 16 May 2015
Posts: 1111
Location: End of the World
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:09 am Reply with quote
Rednimue wrote:
To all those who're read the Novels and watched the anime here's my usual question:

do you think the anime is a faithful and complete adaptation based on what've you seen so far ? Or is it skipping parts here and there ? Do you think the ending will be the same as the novels ?


They've only adapted Volumes 4 and 5 so that should tell you something...
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Meongantuk



Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 179
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:29 am Reply with quote
Rednimue wrote:
To all those who're read the Novels and watched the anime here's my usual question:

do you think the anime is a faithful and complete adaptation based on what've you seen so far ? Or is it skipping parts here and there ? Do you think the ending will be the same as the novels ?


Pretty decent adaptation of volume 4-5 out of 10 volume. Yes, it skip vol 1-3 a.k.a the first two arc, in exchange for the first 6 episode being anime originals. The AO eps kinda sorta helps for introducing the casts and various concept, but still not as good as the actual arcs.

As for the ending, well, it was pretty accurate to the novel, which like few other posters are saying, only serve as an introduction to the main bad guy.
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Rednimue



Joined: 07 Dec 2016
Posts: 95
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:01 am Reply with quote
Meongantuk and Aksarakishou, Thank you for your reply !

Do you think there's a possibility they might adapt the other volume ?
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Meongantuk



Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 179
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:13 am Reply with quote
Rednimue wrote:
Meongantuk and Aksarakishou, Thank you for your reply !

Do you think there's a possibility they might adapt the other volume ?


It sold about as much as Prisma Illya, so I wouldn't be surprised they'll do 6-10.

As for the first three volume adaptations, I think Sanda (the novel writer) said the first case (vol 1) is more suitable for OVA, while second case (vol 2-3) is more like a movie There's a manga adaptation, but only the first case is translated (the japanese RAW is already at mid-2nd case).
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Kicksville



Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 777
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:35 pm Reply with quote
Despite being a mystery show that doesn't really work as a mystery show at all (since, yes, the answer is always "MAGIC!!!!"), it really has been an entertaining watch, thanks largely to Waver himself and some of the interesting incidental characters.

...I do find myself laughing a bit when Gray does her little chant though, like, someone was a little too pleased with themselves upon finding that this collection of English words rhyme...
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