Lord El-Melloi II-sei no Jikenbo: “Rail Zeppelin” Grace note Season 2
First, a brief plot synopsis: time has passed since the events of Fate/Zero, and Waver Velvet is back at it again as the Clock Tower’s resident schmuc– I mean detective!! Okay, in all seriousness, I like this man. He’s intelligent, but a bit too brash and serious for his own good. His companions, including the mysterious hooded Gray and the blonde imouto Reines, round out the main/recurring throw quite nicely with their own distinct personalities, and everybody is always a joy to be around. That might actually function to Waver’s detriment, however, since he’s usually the one to dispense exposition and therefore may come off as a little trite and one-note, but he has his moments of personality, and they’re rather enjoyable. The episode plots are not bad, but can be a bit trying if you actually need to solve the puzzles yourself; they tend to pull some type of random magic things you can not possibly already know from freaking nowhere to solve the whole thing. If you are confused by all the dream jargon tossed around, do not worry, everybody else is just as confused as you because it is essentially all brand spanking new. Did you know the Fate world had fairies? I didn’t, but I should have guessed so!
Do you have to watch Fate/Zero to enjoy this series? No, in fact you basically need no prior knowledge whatsoever except that the Holy Grail War is this big death game over a wish-granting McGuffin. And even that is not all that important. Just enjoy this show for what it is, and if you’re a Fate fan, then you can appreciate the tiny bits of fanservice they throw in.
Concerning production, TROYCA have outdone themselves and even ufotable, if we’re taking a look at the God-awful UBW series (oh, nvm then). The wallpapers (which I guess ufotable has been assisting with) look magnificent, the character designs are slick, unique, and memorable, and the CGI, when present, is really strong. This show is most likely the best-looking of the season up to now. Directing is strong, though I’m not really seeing much in the way of uniqueness. Episode 4 had a cool focus-shifting blur effect, but not much else. The audio, courtesy of everyone’s favorite Yuki Kajiura is adequate (with a strong instrumental opening theme) but it’s a noticeable step down from Fate/Zero in my opinion. It doesn’t make and take scenes because it did there.
Should you watch this show? As of yet, it is nothing meaningful, but that could change depending on how Waver is developed; he’s the right foundation to be a vehicle for a genuine message. The other characters don’t have much in the way of heavy themes driving them, so this really is a straightforward mystery. However, like in my Kabaneri review, the quality of the production is higher than anything else coming out.