Published on February 4th, 2013 | by clazy1
Fate/Apocrypha – Act 1 Unbirth (Type Moon Ace)
The opening act follows the short story of Sagara Hyouma and Rikudou Reika’s summoning of the Servant Assassin, Jack the Ripper. Sagara makes a futile attempt at summoning his servant using Jack the Ripper’s signature knives. He then resolves to include his “girlfriend” in the summoning by reenacting a typical murder in Jack the Ripper’s fashion in order to make a deeper connection in the summoning. Reika, a prostitute in Shinjuku who is soul searching, cannot believe she will die in this manner without finding an answer to her “life” and wishes to live. Jack the Ripper answers her wish by incapacitating Hyouma and mending her wounds. Jack, a small girl who looks nothing like what the “legend” assumes (much like Arturia in FSN), fully explains the situation of the seihaisensou and Jack’s wish to participate.
Reika agrees to participate as Jack’s master as a way to repay her for saving her life. However, since Reika wasn’t a mage, Jack has no prana supply and must eat human souls to sustain herself in the war. Reika lets Jack eat Hyouma after briefly putting closure on their relationship. Since Jack likes evil souls best, Reika takes Jack to a financial company to kill and eat the evil people driven by profits and greed. Jack uses her Noble Phantasm, nicknamed “the Mist,” which recreates the poisonous smog that once covered England during the 1950s. The mist efficiently suffocates all the company workers, who, according to Reika, all dealt with the Black Market and screwed clients out of their money. Jack easily refilles her prana supply, which doesn’t need to be that much due to the Assassin class’ nature. After the deed was finished, Reika discovers how alone Jack was without a true home with nice meals; she decides to make Jack some hamburger steak as a reward and finds the resolve to form her wish for the Holy Grail: simply to be happy.
Here’s a shout out to the wonderfully awesome team over at Baka-Tsuki who have taken upon themselves the immense task of translating Fate/Apocrypha into English (among a variety of other novels). I just read Act 1 and I’m already sucked into the new setting of the new format of the Holy Grail: 14 pairs of masters and servants on two opposing factions instead of the original 7. The story also follows an alternate route where the Holy Grail is taken out of Fuyuki City and now the battle is waged in Shinjuku.
I particularly liked how the chapter was told from Reika’s point of view in this act so that even readers unfamiliar with the Fate series were explained the formula of the Holy Grail war and how Heroic Spirits each had their own Noble Phantasm. One of Jack’s is the dense smog of England, where the legend of Jack the Ripper takes place. I also enjoyed the references to Fate Stay Night such as in the explanations of Noble Phantasms:
— A holy sword of light, forged in the planet (Excalibur)
— A demonic spear which pierces the heart without exception through the reversal of causality (Gae Bolg)
— Reins which control beasts from the Age of Gods (Bellerophon)
…and also the explanation of how summoning Servants work:
— The sheath of the holy sword once wielded by the King of Knights (Arturia)
— The fossil of skin cast from the first snake in the world to shed its skin (Gil)
All in all, Apocrypha seems like it will be beyond badass; I couldn’t help it and spoiled myself by looking at the “secret identities” of all the Servants and their Noble Phantasms, let me tell you now that it sounds ridiculously amazing. Definitely will be made into an anime sometime in the future. Unless of course the authors somehow royally mess this up (Nasu isn’t writing it).
Looking at the characters, I already have several favorites just based on character design, and just like in Fate/Zero, I feel like everyone will have someone they will like and cheer for. There’s even a Shirou look-alike who may have some connection to FSN! The story looks deep as hell (as of now)!!