Following the trend of Fate adaptations comes Fate/Apocrypha, an anime based on a light novel based on a scrapped concept for an online game (a niche which was ultimately filled by Fate/Grand Order).

Apocrypha provides a different take on the "Holy Grail War" format of previous entries in the series by depicting an all-out war between two teams with seven magic-using "Masters" each partnered with a "Servant" based on a historical (or mythological, or literary) figure.

Fate/Stay Night--the initial entry in the series--as well as its prequel Fate/Zero deal with half the number of characters in a battle-royale format and both do an excellent job at developing their characters, themes, and general narrative. On the other hand, Apocrypha feels as if the narrative is spread far too thin. Many interesting characters are sidelined while the main storyline feels like a re-telling of Stay Night's "Fate" route with watered down themes and characters.

The production quality of the TV anime is middling. A-1 Pictures is far from a bad studio, but the animation quality is rather inconsistent with sudden dips and peaks at various points. The soundtrack is nothing special, though it's ear-pleasing and well-fitting enough that there's nothing to complain about.

There are redeeming factors in Apocrypha, and fans of the Fate series may derive a good deal of enjoyment from the occasional scene where those factors shine through. For newcomers to the series interested in Apocrypha it would be a far better decision to start with the Fate/Stay Night visual novel or Fate/Zero anime (despite it spoiling much of Stay Night), then to come back and check out Apocrypha if they find the series to their liking.

65 /100
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