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.
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 rise
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?