Hakano, Saber and Rin have fought their way up the top floor of the Moon Cell and are now ready to tackle the last floor, and its Floor Master. Once they defeat them, they can make their way to the centre and have their wish granted. However, the Moon Cell is slowly shutting down and threatens to destroy its whole world, leaving the Earth with little hope left for survival. Can our heroes make their way to the top on time? And if they do, what will their ultimate wish be?
Fate/Extra Last Encore: Illustrias Geocentrism Theory sounds like a really fancy title, like it’s a movie or special OVA, but it’s actually just an overly long name for the last three episodes of the series. Yes, on Netflix it’s down as Season 2, but as the first batch of episodes ended with an unfinished story, and these episodes pick up exactly where we left off, these are basically ‘lost episodes’ that finally got released. On one hand, it’s nice for Fate fans to finally see the end of this story, especially if you’re already invested, on the other hand I can’t help but feel that it wasn’t really worth it in the end.
This new release from Netflix equates to three episodes, with the last one being extra long at 45 minutes, so it’s more like four extra episodes of Fate/Extra Last Encore, covering the protagonists’ journey through the 7th floor and then finally the top where the Moon Cell/Holy Grail/Grand Prize awaits them with the final boss. Visually and pacing-wise, it’s exactly the same as before: our heroes enter the floor, find the boss, perhaps get to know them before their inevitable battle and then proceed to the next floor. The previous episodes had a heavy video game feel to them due to this format, and also had plenty of techno-babble dialogue that only the most die-hard of fans who played the game would understand. I gave it a gentle pass in my review before because although there was a fair amount of it, I felt it never got to the point where it completely overshadowed the main plot or took away from the enjoyable cast. For these batch of episodes however, oh boy, does that get cranked up to eleven!
The 7th floor Master and Servant cover the first two episodes, and the ultimate villain we’ve had hints for this whole series comes into the finale; the series treats them as the most important of all Floor Masters previously, giving them a lot of screen time and exposition-heavy scenes to fill the audience in with their motivations and backstory. This unfortunately comes hand-in-hand with what Fate just LOVES to do in pretty much every adaptation: philosophical discussions and heavy-handed dialogue about heroes/messiahs, how to be a good ruler, whether humanity deserves to be saved, and blah blah blah – if you’ve seen any Fate anime that’s not a cooking or loli spin-off, you would have heard this all before. But in these new episodes of Fate/Extra Last Encore it reaches unbearable levels of pretentiousness and boredom; it’s fine to have something to say in your media but all they have done here is regurgitate what has come before, coat it in extremely overblown dialogue and crammed it into characters we care little to nothing about. I would not be surprised if the voice actors themselves had no idea what their characters were even saying half the time, as you could easily switch around the characters’ dialogue and it would make just as much sense. By the finale it all becomes white noise, and what should be an impactful and emotional ending instead just feels empty and saccharine. This is a shame because these characters, especially Saber, deserve to be in a better Fate property (and in the case of Rin, she already is!)
The animation quality for these episodes is mostly the same as before; I will, however, point out that despite having kept the hideous female character designs, they have improved on two instances. One is the backgrounds; they were always beautiful but here the camera really makes an effort to show them off more and with grand battles taking place, there’s a lot more to admire visually than before. Also, the choreography has stepped up considerably; they have not reached the levels of Ufotable, or even topped the ones seen in Fate/Apocrypha, but they’re certainly far less stale than the first batch of episodes. Battles now feel like they have tension and impressive attacks now feel impactful.
Fate/Extra Last Encore: Illustrias Geocentrism Theory doesn’t warrant the wait for these episodes; the pretentious dialogue and unintelligible plot is pushed too far to the point that only the hardest of hardcore Fate fans would appreciate it, and even then, they have to get through the boring talk-heavy scenes. If you’ve already binged on the first batch of episodes, and are invested in the story, it’s worth binge-watching these too as it’ll only take you a few hours. If you’ve yet to take the plunge however, I recommend you do not; there’s plenty of better anime, including Fate ones, to find on Netflix.
Fate/Extra Last Encore are now streaming on Netflix UK in English, Japanese, Arabic, French and Polish, with English, Japanese, Brazilian, Spanish and French subtitles.