The setting of Fate/Apocrypha is a parallel world to Fate/stay night where the Greater Grail was removed from Fuyuki after the Third Holy Grail War and disappeared for many years. Around the 2000s, around the same time as the Fifth Holy Grail War would have happened, the group that plundered the Grail, Yggdmillennia, openly declares their secession from the Mage's Association and that they are in possession of the Grail. The Association dispatches fifty magi to retrieve it, but all but one are instantly slaughtered by Lancer of Black. The one remaining manages to activate the reserve system of the Greater Grail, allowing for the summoning of fourteen Servants in total.
This marks the start of the Great Holy Grail War in Trifas, featuring two different factions, the Black Faction, whose members are part of Yggdramillennia, and the Red Faction, whose members were sent by the Mage's Association with the exception of one from the Church. The Grail itself also summons Ruler to act as a mediator of the Holy Grail War.
Honestly enough as a loyal fan of Fate series along with a huge lover of mythologies and history(which was why I liked this series in the first place), I find this spinoff totally repulsive, insulting, ridiculous, and much being a disgrace to the series. (The following contents are possible spoiler but I am rather positive you already know this fact before reading this review if you already knew about the title itself.)
The fact that Jack the Ripper is portrayed as a loli in revealing outfit with immense mother complex is beyond bearable in any aspect, it indicates nothing more than the author's lolicon fetish along with how this series is going down along the "more-moe-less-story" path many anime/manga/games had already taken. As true as it may be that the real Jack the Ripper's identity is unknown up to this day, it is more than obvious that the best known serial killer ever to walked earth is not a small white-haired girl wearing her black spandex swimsuit that resemble some mecha pilot outfit, as Jack the Ripper had attacked all his victims with refined knowledge of the human anatomy, dissecting his preys with skills equivalent to surgeons, which the novel did mention this fact, but did not attempt in the slightest bit to explain how a young orphan from the slums achieves this feat with such precision in year 1888. Her personality too, is unfitting for being the butcher of prostitutes, the description of how she "is shy despite wearing exposing garments" sums up simply to "hey I want the cutest personality a little girl can have, but hey I also want to make her so lewd that she can be a doujin-material" rather than any other believable explaination. Her mother-complex along with how she is described to cry while butchering her victims in the past too, mean no more than an excuse to make her 'lovable' despite being a cold-blooded slaughterer who killed out of mere self-consoling purposes, something that should not have been adored by anyone at any circumstances.
The Master of Jack the Ripper too is a shallowly-thought up character made simply created for the sake of fanservice, this time for people who holds a liking to voluptuous womanly curves instead of the loli-flatness. Her personality is totally bland, just to provide Lolijack the role of 'mother' to fulfill the loli's mother-complex, playing ridiculous family game just for the sake of making readers go "HNGGGGGG"(or whatever expressions they use to exclaim their fondness over adorable stuffs, regardless of how nonsensical it actually is), which is simply not suitable for the fateverse at all.
Personal hate for fanservice and stupid shallow plots aside, Jack the Ripper is still a really bad example to be used as a Servant, firstly he(I'm using 'he' because I am referring to the real Jack the Ripper which is highly likely male from the description given by witnesses at the time) is overly weak compared to almost any other Heroic Spirits you may want to look up. The number of confirmed victims he killed merely reaching 5, of which all are defenseless women assailed at night. Regardless of the reaches of his fame for the murders, the number of victims is easily topped over by almost any other people who have been given the title of 'serial murderer' from ancient to modern times. And now you're asking how this mere pest who could barely killed 5 girls could stand up against national heroes whose kill count consisting of well-trained men in war may have reached 3 digits?(Or if you're talking about any heroes from Hindu mythology, make that 5 digits.) It might have been acceptable to put Jack the Ripper in a role to be killed early in the story, but as a main character(which in itself explain that he won't be the first one to die) he simply does not make any sense.
I am well aware of the numbers of fans who actually find this blasphemy-to-history enjoyable or even adorable, and I won't stick out my comments too much on this one, because I know these people could never care less about how accurate a character is presented, and would likely lust over even a moefied(that is to be made moe if it wasn't obvious enough for you) version of Hitler, regardless of how much of a douche their moe girl actually was in real life.
Lastly if you're asking, "so if you hate moefied Jack the Ripper, why are you okay with genderswapped Arthur in the original title and [spoiler]genderswapped Nero Claudius[/spoiler] in Fate/Extra?" Well I never said that I'm okay with those 2 either, the fact they are genderswapped also ruined much of their real history along with the believable degree of their characters. Bluntly put enough, the sole reason I wholeheartedly enjoy this series come barely from its premise of having mythical and historical figures fighting each other in a battle royale, and that several of the non-genderswapped characters are believable to an enjoyable extent, not the fact that you get to see the girly side of King Arthur. And with this case of stupidity, I still cannot believe now this rubbish is approved by the official to be published.read more
Where to start, hmm... Well, first, regarding the previous review so far: congratulations, you have read the Unbirth, which you can consider the first of 2 prologues.
Unbirth, the introduction of Jack the Ripper and his appearence and personality really, REALLY, is upsetting. It could have been done in many ways, but I really can't express the disappointment with the Assassin's character.
However, I can't simply judge a book by the first chapter. And so, I decided to read ahead. Whatever was ahead couldn't be bad than the prologue, otherwise we wouldn't have over 3 volumes, right?
And I was right. What was ahead wasn't bad. It was GOOD, it was GREAT. It gave me the same feeling of reading Fate/Zero.
What was ahead was a story in a battle royal style with sides in it. A war actually organized. Characters well developed. You could see that even the most prepared one to the war had flaws in his arrogance, and see that the weakest master actually made a few countermeasures to compensate for it.
It wasn't a story with growing characters, the characters in it already knew their own power and limits to them. What was left was strategy to use such limited strength in hand to defeat their opponents.
The story by itself is on the first volume, so I can't directly judge something that barely started. However, the development that happened so far led me to like it. There are no antagonists or protagonists as I have seen it. The hero on one side is the enemy of the other and we see it happening periodically on both sides. A battle is occurring but the reader doesn't have someone to root for exactly.
That aside, same Fate/ that happens: masters summon servants and they fight among each other. Although there is the faction concept (Black and Red sides), even the weakest master noticed that such thing would probably be over when one side loses and a fight among each other would happen.
Story - So... 8. I would give it a 9, but... Well, a 10 can't be given after only one volume and... Jack the Ripper in the way it was made really isn't good. To me, Unbirth was really bad.
Art: It's a light novel... I don't think I can judge art, so this here will be NULL.
Characters: 8 - Even with the least amount of information, the personality can be grasped with their actions. You can see that no one is perfect and the behavior shifts according to the personality. Some are likeable, some aren't. Some are strong, some are weak. All of them have the strategical prowess to make the right choice the right time, but the situation clouds the judgment of them and lead to events that may compromise the entire victory of one side. Not 9 for the same reasons of ''Story''.
Enjoyment: 9 - What can I say? Even with how bad Unbirth was, the enjoyment was good. It was something I haven't felt for a while. Events where you have information at hand and can deduce what will happen, but there is unpredictability at the same time are hard to dislike. I mean, if it only applied for battles, this would have received a lower rating, but considering what happened during Saber of Red summoning, Berserker of Red's battle and Rider and Saber of Black at the last chapter was enjoyable. And the mystery surrounding Kotomine Shirou is one that intrigues anyone who read a previous Fate/
Overall: 8,3. Hopefully, the next volumes won't disappoint me and this rating will riseread more
Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero's greatest selling point has always been the larger-than-life heroes and villains summoned to fight in the Holy Grail War. Even a list of 12 great and terrible legendary figures only scrapes the surface of what could be. How does this list compare to your own?