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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Fate/Apocrypha is an adult-oriented anime series that features gory battle scenes, physical relationships and sexual fetishes, and other mature content. The story takes place after events in the Fate/stay night series but in a parallel world where the Holy Grail reappears after decades of its whereabouts being unknown, instigating another war. Again Masters summon Servants from history to help them win the battle. This series is dark and foreboding, with characters of uncertain motivations and tenuous allegiance to one side or the other. Recurring scenes show dominant sexual encounters between two women, one of whom is bound to a table and at the mercy of the other. That said, it's a captivating story with intriguing characters, and it will appeal to some adults.
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What's the story?
FATE/APOCRYPHA opens decades after the Holy Grail disappeared from sight in the Third Grail War. Now a Mage named Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia (voiced by Noboyuki Hiyama) announces that he has the Grail in his possession and intends to leave the Mage Association and form a rival group. When the Association counters by tasking Kairi Sisigou (Kenji Nomura) with heading up the Red Masters, Darnic responds in kind for the Black side. As the seven Red Masters and seven Black Masters summon their Servants from history, the Holy Grail War begins again and with the Grail's wish-granting power at stake.
Is it any good?
This engrossing series set in a parallel world to Fate/stay night carries a "mature" rating for good reason, but it's a complex story that adult sci-fi fans will enjoy. The characters' backstories and motives are revealed only a little bit at a time, leaving you wondering just enough to keep watching but not so much that you're frustrated with the pace. Even though the story refers back to events from previous Fate installments, seeing or reading them isn't crucial to following this one from the beginning.
History buffs will especially like how Fate/Apocrypha incorporates prominent figures from fact and legendary past in the form of Servants summoned for battle. Joan of Arc, Frankenstein's monster, Shakespeare, and Spartacus are but a few of the familiar characters who take center stage in this epic battle. But this is a scenario in which good and evil are not always clear-cut, and individuals are motivated by their allegiances as well as their personal intentions for the Grail's powers. It's a complicated and mature story with lots of grown-up content like sexual fetishes and bloody battle scenes, so this one is best reserved for after the kids' bedtime.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the market for cartoon series for older viewers. Is Fate/Apocrypha's intended audience the same as that of the books on which it's based? In what ways is the animated format superior to a live-action one, in cases like this story?
Which characters stand out to you as particularly courageous? Does having courage always mean being the first to run into battle? What other expressions of courage do you see in people around you?
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