Fate/Stay Winter: Let the Mysteries Begin!

“Catching up, only to fall behind again” seems to be a bad habit of mine lately.

Real life bit me in the butt yesterday by snatching two jobs out of my reach in two days and I ended up drowning my sorrows in ID: Invaded instead to avoid my usual yo-yoing of emotions (because when you’ve applied for about 100 jobs over 3 years and seen possible success with about 8, you know you’re in over your head). That’s really no excuse for why this is late because I’ve already been making excuses upon excuses as to why I can’t stay on schedule for this entire project (not to mention I did finish all but the OVA when I got to the day I was meant to post this), but that is the reason.

Synopsis

  • F/SN: UBW 23 – 25: The action wraps up and there’s basically an extended introduction into Detective Waver.
  • Waver OVA: We actually get to see inside the Clock Tower from an instructor’s perspective for once…at the occasional cost of said instructor’s dignity. Also, poor cat.

Impressions

  • You can barely recognise the guy (Shinji)…huh.
  • H-Hey? You couldn’t mean Assassin’s back, right? Update: Y-Yep, that’s Assassin, alright. At least I can gaze upon his handsome face again…(lol) (<- If you’re wondering, there’s a difference between “lol” (or “small LOL”), “lel” and “LOL”. That’s the order they’re meant to be in, going from smallest to biggest laugh. Of course, there’s still other variations of laughter as well.)
  • Had to check Wikipedia, but Monohoshizao is the pole (?) wielded by Kojiro Sasaki…well, the correct term is nodachi (which I know better as ootachi from Touken Ranbu), but it’s referred to as a pole. To add something interesting to that, the ootachi I like the most (my beloved Taroutachi) is said to be 221 cm (throwing that into a converter, about 7.25 feet) and 4.5 kg (converting again, about 9.92 pounds)…which is basically something no human should be able to use, so if the pole is anything like Taroutachi…I have immense respect for this Assassin as well.
  • Assassin’s treatment here reminds me of Tora from Juuni Taisen…in a sense, they got what they wanted.
  • Cue the law of equivalent exchange from Fullmetal Alchemist, hahaha.
  • How can you be so sure you’ll beat the Great B*stard, Shirou???
  • Well, that Grail’s Holey, alright…(I bet you’re groaning at my joke, yes?)
  • I thought Archer was dead?! How did he fling a weapon at the last moment?!
  • Archer, you’re disappearing! This is no time for monologuing!
  • Why do I get the feeling I’ve seen Rin give the thumbs-up before as well…?
  • Eyyyyyy? London…? Update: Oh, it’s the Clock Tower! That OVA is starting to make sense now! (Although I will watch it next, so there’s no need to muse over it.)
  • Tohsaka without pigtails is…weird.
  • Sherou (?)
  • Oh, romantic infighting (voice dripping in sarcasm)…That’s not what I’m here for. This is not a harem.
  • Ponytail Rin. This just gets weirder and weirder. Also, she kinda looks like Ishtar from Babylonia like that.
  • Tiny Pigtail Rin…it gets even weirder.
  • *yells* See?! It is London after all!!!
  • Update: Silhouettes (by Avicii) was playing in my head when Archer met his end and I think it’s pretty appropriate, given the lyrics. (Also, this epilogue is basically an extended transition into El-Melloi’s Case Files.)
  • Sakura and Shinji’s relationship…it reminds me of a grumpy old man and his young daughter…(LOL?)
  • Ryudou’s reaction to romance reminds me of Tenya (from BnHA) in his more crazy moments.
  • All this talk about the Clock Tower is making me think that older!Waver will show up at any moment now…
  • …wa-hey? Well, *spits out some held-back laughter* whaddaya know? That’s the older Waver right there!
  • Ufotable’s older!Waver and Troyca’s older!Waver look fairly different. Ufotable’s isn’t as attractive because his hair has an artificial sheen to it and the man’s face looks more like a snake’s head in shape, so he looks a bit dumb. Update: Certainly Troyca’s Waver has a more egg-shaped head, but at least that makes his hair look nicer, no?
  • Post-credits segment. Keep watching.
  • Huh…that segment wasn’t very substantial. Maybe Hoshiai no Sora spoilt me on that front.
  • *yells* I still think Flat Escardos is a terrible name!
  • LOL, I think Waver just called out a bunch of political writers right there.
  • So who are these old people???  (Lennon Glasses and Old Lady here) I still don’t know. Update: You do find out later – Inorai is the old lady and Rocco is the old man.
  • Okay, so apparently the set of characters used for “Rail Zeppelin” is literally translated to Demon Eyes Collection Train...sounds like something out of Demon Slayer.
  • If Kayneth is the OG Lord and this Reines girl is the new one, how did Waver become gen. 2? *rewinds a little* She’s el-Melloi Archisorte, meaning that somehow she and Kayneth are blood-related (also note Monkey D Luffy = Luffy is his first name and Monkey is the last name with D being a middle initial, so Reines could have her names around the wrong way as well). Still doesn’t answer the Waver part of the question, though.
  • As you know, I gotta question the guy’s (Waver) age. In Fate/Zero he was 19 and he looks much the same ten years later, so his approximate age range is 19 – 29 here. Wikipedia (which I linked earlier)  says the anime this OVA is attached to occurs between the Grail Wars, meaning I might not be able to get an exact age. Update: “[A]lmost 10 years”, so I’d wager he’s on the back end of the age range (24 – 29).
  • Ooh, another good boy (Bram). I forgot he existed…and that’s kinda nasty that he’s got the bloodline of Sola-Ui in him. Update: Oh! Younger sister! That is nasty!
  • The word shisho (師匠), if I’m guessing the right characters, means “instructor” or “teacher”. “Sir” is a substitute for Waver’s title…I’m guessing that translation choice is because he’s not a professor in title, assuming professor titles in this are given like they are in real life.
  • There’s something quite cute about Waver making such an indignant face…then again, he does have permanent worry lines on his face, so maybe not.
  • Like, whose bright idea was it to crush on the loli? Ravioli, ravioli, don’t crush on the loli! (Then again, I’m probaby worse, chasing after older men…)
  • Come to think of it, Ufotable is good at action motion (see exhibit A: Demon Slayer), but not free-flowing comedic motion like Waver falling over like this. That’s probably why the show jumped studios to Troyca (aside from divvying up the work of the Fate/ universe – Ei Aoki did F/Z, after all, so it makes sense he’d have some ability to take dibs on whatever works best for his studio…although he wasn’t too involved with this, I don’t think). Update: He was supervisor and storyboarder for this OVA.
  • Waver: Official butt monkey of the Clock Tower. Calling it now.
  • Troyca animates F/Z (however briefly)…I must say, they did a good job imitating Ufotable.
  • All I really remember from the first time around is the car chase, which really shows my priorities in anime…heh heh.
  • Troyca’s CGI is more noticeable than Ufotable’s, but they’re still one of the best studios for CGI, I think. That’s why they’re on my favourites list over Ufotable (since Ufotable, by general consensus, does better work but I think it looks more artificial in parts – case in point, Waver’s hair).
  • Setting up a mystery, like all stories, is very much about setting up the boundaries that you’re allowed to play in later. The only thing is that mysteries get more stringently judged for logic.
  • Hey, whaddaya know? Waver can fit Rider’s old shirt now! (Or maybe it’s the smaller version Waver implied was given to him during F/Z.)
  • “[W]hydunit” (in English) – LOL? There’s “whodunit”, but not “whydunit” – stick to “motive” or “modus operandi”, people.

Now, I also have some notes from before the rewatch, seeing as it’s still fairly fresh in my mind (less than a year ago)…

  • I…don’t think I understood everything in the OVA, to be honest with you. Do we ever find out where Gray comes from or how she (?) first meets Waver? (Update: Well, my answer to that is “no”…not if you watch in the same order I did, anyway.)
  • I’ll be blunt with you: Aside from my unabashed love for mystery (which seems to have been particularly useful in the past year or so, given how many mystery simulcasts have aired), I had my eye on the Waver show because – predictable as I am – I see a dude with long hair, I go for him like a line drive, so to speak. (I guess I’m also bugged by shows that try to mix fantasy and mystery, since I tried doing the same with my debut fanfic, plus things like Cop Craft don’t always work out mystery-logic-wise.)
  • Number of Times Waver Velvet Appears in These Episodes: 1

Magic/Mystery Hybrids

It’s a bit too early to do the “Basics of Mystery Fiction” until we properly get into the show it matches, so let’s do something else…

Like I mentioned, my debut fanfic way back when (don’t make me link it, it’s about 8 years old from the time I started it) was a magic/mystery hybrid. I’ve since discovered this combo isn’t particularly common since it’s easy to write away mystery’s logic with magic and vice versa, so it’s a difficult balance for a writer to keep.

Depending on how you look at the supernatural genre (as in, whether you see it as an offshoot of fantasy or not), there are two kinds of magic/mystery hybrids. I started to categorise them here, so building off that:

  • the “mystery that just so happens to have a magical/supernatural element to it”, like Tokunana (and, of course, El-Melloi’s Case Files). Thse tend to have a stronger urban fantasy flavour to them, so I tend to gravitate towards them. Surprisingly, Rokka would fall here despite its status as a locked room mystery/”who’s the traitor” whodunit.
  • the occult mystery, such as Xxxholic. Distinguished by the presence of an occult detective, who specialises in the supernatural rather than logic.

Arguably, you could throw some of the sci-fi or horror mysteries in there without changing too much of those descriptions, too.


I could do with some suggestions for what to write about in that last section, because no one wants to hear me rant on about Fate/ husbandos outside the notes…from what I know of my neck of the WordPress woods, the fandom of Fate/ has quite a few waifu lovers but the husbando lovers don’t make themselves known too much.

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