Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files First Impression (Episode 1 Review)

Join me for a quick review of the latest Fate franchise anime TV series, Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note. Let’s Rant!

First, you should know I’m a fan of the Fate franchise, but I’m not at Fate/Otaku level. I’ve mostly seen the newer generation shows like Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night: UBW, Fate/Apocrypha, and Fate/Extra Last Encore. I don’t know much about the other adaptations, and I don’t know all the fine details and trivia about the ones in the Fate/Zero universe, either. And… I haven’t read any of the light novels. So I’m only reviewing this as one of “the casuals.” Luckily, you only really need to see Fate/Zero first to watch Lord El-Melloi.

Story: 7/10 Good

In Fate/Zero, I loved Waver, so I’m thrilled to have a story focused on him. His daily struggles as a mage, a teacher, and a Lord of the Clocktower are what will make up the plot. That, and hopefully some good mystery elements, which will probably be mostly episodic. As great as the series story concept is, the first episode was a bit of a chore to get through. I felt bored for most of it. That’s partly because it was essentially a prologue of the story I came to see; partly because there was little action; and partly because the narrative was sometimes awkward. So let’s just say the story aspects were good but not great.

Art: 8/10 Excellent

Troyca studio produced Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files, and compared to ufotable (the studio that made Fate/Zero) it’s a smaller and newer studio, not yet known for having the capacity for astounding visuals. It turned out looking amazing, though, and very similar to the style of Fate/Zero. I wouldn’t have minded a different art-style (after all, I loved Fate/Apocrypha), but as it is, Troyca’s version is probably higher in production value and overall quality than other spin-offs. Visuals are detailed, distinctive, unique, and just pleasant to look at. The scenes with magic and the brief action scene were great, too.

Sound: 8/10 Excellent

The voice-acting is great, and done by seiyuu I’m familiar with. Namikawa Daisuke plays Waver/ Lord El-Melloi II. Minase Inori voices Reines. Though she only appeared briefly at the end, Gray is played by Ueda Reina. The theme music, “Starting The Case: Rail Zeppelin,” is beautiful and amusing. It was composed by Yuki Kajiura.

Characters: 8/10 Excellent

In episode 1, we met and got to know Melvin and Reines, and briefly saw Gray. There’s not much else to say at this point other than a) I love having Waver as the main character, and b) he’s matured a lot, and aspires to be more like Iskandar. Also, I’m impressed that Waver is doing so much to help Kayneth’s family and their plight, but it’s not like it was his fault that that asshole died in the Grail War.

Enjoyment: 7/10 Good

My favorite thing about this series so far is seeing so much of grown-up Waver.

Overall Score (First Episode): 7.6/10.0

The overall score, by the way, is calculated by taking the average of the numbers from each of the five categories. I enjoyed the first episode and I’m excited to see more. This is 7mononoke of Anime Rants, and I thank you sincerely for reading. Have a wondeful rest of your day. Bye now!

Images from: Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files Rail Zeppelin Grace Note. Dir. M Katou. TROYCA. 2019.

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