Once again, it is time for another Fate series. But this time we’re not going to go down that typical 7 mage Masters and their 7 summoned Servants fighting a battle royale. As we know, with the Fate universe and lore being so deep and huge, sometimes they have branched out to other genres even though it is non-canon. From slapstick comedy to even a cooking theme, now we have a detective theme, Lord El-Melloi II Case Files: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note. Hey, if Pikachu can do it, so can Fate! But this time it won’t be Shirou as the main guy playing detective but another wuss, Waver. Waver?! This weakling who was Iskandar’s Master in Fate/Zero is now the main character? Got to give some other characters some chance and love sometimes. This series takes place 10 years after the aftermath of Fate/Zero so you bet Waver isn’t going to look like some weak boyish wuss but a matured hardboiled teacher. Time really do change some people. A lot.

Episode 0
Lord El-Melloi II FKA Waver gives a lecture about mirrors and how it doesn’t reflect its image, the reason why some symbolize them as deities. Later he is praised by the other teaching staff for his work. We learn it has been 10 years since Waver fought in that Holy Grail War in which Kayneth perished. Waver then rebuild the modern magecraft theory and despite taking on Kayneth’s title, he is just merely a substitute until Reines El-Melloi Archisorte becomes of age to take over it. Waver returns to his room where his disciple waits, Gray. Waver is mad that staffs are trying to force him to take a stance in Clock Tower since it is all about power struggle. Because he nonchalantly curses them (though he doesn’t mean it), subsequently he experiences a few mishaps. Even more compounded when Gray’s stray cat keeps annoying him. One day while out in town, they spot the stray cat dying on the streets. Somebody ran over it. Waver despite never liking the cat, still takes it back to nurse it. Unfortunately it passed on and he buries it while lamenting he never had the necessary powers nor was he there on time when needed. Gray dismisses this and has always believed he was there for her. Gray then hears a cat purrs. They realize a cat’s shadow has been embedded onto Waver’s shadow. Calling his other students for help, Flat Escardos and Svin Glascheit, they detect the source of the curse to be the car that run over the cat. It seems the car owner has also latched the curse not only onto the cat but Waver too. This means he will suffer the same fate as the cat. But the culprit miscalculated because he didn’t know about Gray’s ties to the realm of death and had she not noticed it, Waver’s wounds would have been more severe. It would be easy to just counter this basic curse but doing so, Waver will never know the perpetrator. So they chase this guy down and manage to capture him. Waver laments that the real mastermind behind this will never be known because as Reines interrogated him, that guy never met his client and had his memories altered. He believes somebody is trying to kill him just because of his title. Again, Waver laments about the misconception of being saved. It’s all just in the mind. Again, Gray dismisses it because she is grateful he saved her. It is definitely the same for the cat. After coming to terms that fighting alongside Rider (Iskandar) was easy, Waver is resolved to fight his own battles from now on.

Episode 1
7 years ago, Reines interrogated Waver to force him to reveal why he borrowed loads of money to buy Kayneth’s class. After that Holy Grail War ended, Waver headed to Babylon, the city where Gilgamesh ruled and Iskandar died. However he was captured by a Clock Tower dropout, Barzan and put in some cell. In the same cell is his old friend, Melvin Weins. In short, he was scammed and locked up too. It seems Waver borrowed money from Melvin to go to Japan in exchange for some great story. I guess that Holy Grail War wasn’t it. But it was at that time Waver discovered how Kayneth died brutally. After they bust out, they stumble into Barzan and his team forcing other tricked people to dig for Iskandar’s tomb. Waver decides to level this place. He distracts Barzan by mocking the third rate magician he is while Melvin casts some spell to destroy the balance and let the evil spirits do the rest of the dirty job. The duo then fled and left Barzan in despair. Waver although is still heavily indebted to Melvin, still wants to borrow more money to buy Kayneth’s class. He feels responsible for his death and wants to take responsibility. Though, he has no collateral or guarantee to pay it back. Melvin is amused by his words. Of course he will lend him. In exchange, be his friend! Uh oh… And the rest is history. Still, Reines wonders why he is really doing it for since he is barely keeping the class afloat for 3 years. Despite not being a favourite student of Kayneth, he learnt a lot from his class and he doesn’t want to deny the opportunity to study to other students who used to be like him. Reines is amused with his serious answer and even more so he begs to spare his life. That’s because there is something he needs to do in the name of that king. Reines didn’t bat an eyelid to take advantage of his unfavourable position. First, she wants him to take on the debt by the El-Melloi faction. Next, try something to fully restore the magic crest of Kayneth that was almost destroyed in the Holy Grail War (it is said it will take 3 generations to fully restore but by that time the family will be in ruins). Lastly, be Reines’ stand in as Kayneth’s successor. As she is deemed too young to be taken seriously by Clock Tower, she will have Waver warm the seat and do things on her behalf until she comes of age. Waver is shocked at this large request but will accept it with the condition ‘II’ is added to the title. He might not like Kayneth as a person but he still respects him as a mage. After all, there is someone very important he is chasing after. Now in current time, Reines and Melvin visit Waver with a job that could help repay some of the debt.

Episode 2
Mary Lil Fargo was Waver’s student. Her family is a branch of the Animusphere family. Recently her father, Ernest suddenly died and his body dismembered. Many mages have thrown in the towel to solve this case so Reines believes Waver is fit for the job because he is poor and if he solves this, it will help reduce his debt. Waver and Gray head down to the mansion and meet the people who are there during the night of Ernest’s death. They are Mary, Alec (Ernest’s nephew), Fernando Li (Ernest’s friend and fellow researcher) and Claire (maid). He also investigates the site of the murder where Ernest’s dismembered bodies are scattered throughout the central hall. Some talk about astrology and how the 7 planets represent the 7 body parts. Waver believes everyone is a suspect. Alec owes Ernest money. Fernando is interested in his research. Mary would inherit both wealth and research. Claire was physically abused by the master. Lacking evidence, he goes to talk to Mary for more information and it seems Ernest is trying to do research on eternity. Because it is a mage’s dream to reach the Root, a human’s life is too short and that is why mages entrust it in their magic crest and pass it down their generations. As Waver continues to piece the puzzle together, Alec has been found murdered. Then Waver has everyone gathered in the hall as he explains his findings. From what I understand, Ernest is trying to become an immortal himself so that he could reach the Root. Therefore his dismembered body parts corresponding with the 7 planets is part of his plan in turning this mansion into a workshop designed to give himself eternal existence. Waver finds a hidden spot and summons out Ernest’s ghost. Ernest thinks this isn’t enough yet and wants Mary’s life. Waver leaves it to Gray to settle this. Using her familiar, Add, they transform into some grim reaper and destroy the ghost. In the aftermath, Waver talks to Mary. He believes she knew what Ernest was doing all along and that this experiment was doomed to fail since it was unstable and a deviation from the family’s traditional practice. Why did she not stop him? If Ernest achieved immortality, her situation would never have changed. She would have been kept in this cage for the rest of her life. And hence this was to prove that nothing is eternal. Ah yes, the lesson of how everything changes and people are no exception.

Episode 3
Waver is investigating an electrical malfunction at his favourite tea shop. While it might look like rodents have chewed the circuits, the staffs did call for pest control. However one of them went missing and the other was cowering in fear, claiming he witnessed something horrifying. As Waver treks deeper into the sewers to follow the monster footprint, he realizes a mage might be conducting a workshop underneath and that the monster is feeding on electricity to become bigger. And then… Waver gets attacked by a bunny monster! Gray then calls Flat. She is worried that Waver has not returned since his investigation. Don’t worry. Flat will get to it. Svin is jealous that Gray called him. Well, there is an obvious reason why she didn’t call you. You don’t have a handphone, right?! The trio head down the sewers and find an injured Waver. He managed to stave off the creature for now. Svin takes Waver back out while Flat and Gray investigate further. The duo stumble upon a skeletal corpse believed to be of the pest control. There are other skeletons too. This must be a feeding ground. A monster attacks but they are able to trap and destroy it. Finally they reach the workshop of Gueldoa Davenant. He doesn’t think he has killed innocent people because their lives are to serve his cause for him to reach the Root. When he has his bunny army surround them, cue for Waver and Svin to make their grand entrance. Waver then explains the source of his magic and deducing his goal from it all. Not that I really understand. This shocks Gueldoa a lot because he never thought he would know this much. Eventually, Waver points out that it is because of modern times and they are living in the age of information, thanks to the internet and news, he was able to put together the pieces easily like the surge in electric power and recent missing people. Above all, he has wrote in to some zoology magecraft department to strip Gueldoa of his position and they agree it. Gueldoa is in despair and gives up. After he is arrested, Waver reveals that half of his explanations were bluffs and they would have been done for had Gueldoa decided to act with force. Later Reines sees Waver as she has Luvia to inform him on her investigations regarding the Holy Grail War: Two positions for Association participants have now closed.

Episode 4
Wills Pelham Codrington, son of the recently departed Trevor seeks Waver’s help. Trevor was known as the greatest necromancer as he converted a wasteland into a workshop. However the workshop went berserk and many in the family died via lightning strike. The last was of course Trevor himself. If this incidents continue, the workshop will be taken by the main Codrington family. The rest he will tell when they arrive at the mansion. Upon arrival, Wills is arrested by Hishiri Adashino from Policies. It seems Waletta of the main family who is sent here to ascertain Trevor’s death, tried to summon Trevor’s spirit residual but there is no trace of that left. She accuses Wills of erasing all evidence and so happen that Wills has been present at all other deaths too. Wills says it is a misunderstanding. He did try to summon Trevor but failed. Waver believes it is all circumstantial evidence and since a lightning storm is locking them in, he will investigate and present his findings with evidence. Waletta is against this because modern magecraft has nothing to do with spirit evocation. But as Reines points out, it is the spirit evocation department that requested them to handle this case. Later Wills sees Waver who wants to know the other thing he wants to talk about. After sprinkling some magic dust, Waver is able to see a fairy. Wills claims he was born with that ability and everything a fairy appears, somebody dies. He knows it is some sort of warning but wants to know what is the fairy warning him against. Reines and Gray stumble into a secret underground passage. As they trek deeper, the power starts to affect Reines’ Mystic Eyes greatly. However guardian spirits start attacking thinking they are grave robbers but luckily Shishigou is here to save them and get them out. Reuniting with the rest, Shishigou explains he was taking the underground graveyard so as to avoid the storm above. He is a close friend of Trevor and came to express his condolences. Later Waver thinks he found the connection between lightning, Mystic Eyes and graveyard and goes to do some research to confirm something. Late that night, Gray comes knocking on Waver’s room. What’s the emergency? Waletta has been struck by lightning!

Episode 5
Wills is unable to summon anything from Waletta. Hence Adashino still suspects him and cordons him in his room. Waver will continue to investigate but needs Shishigou’s help to see this through. As Shishigou and Gray gather some research materials, they are being attacked by a Black Dog, supposedly evil spirits or fairies. To Shishigou’s surprise, Gray despatches it with her scythe. Reporting this to the rest, Shishigou wants to know about Gray’s Mystic Code. Waver reveals the scythe is just a disguise and its true form is a spear of King Arthur, Rhongomyniad. Waver then has everyone gathered to conduct a ritual that summons the fairy. Now she can talk because thanks to some combination of powers between Wills’ Fairy Eyes and Reines’ Mystic Eyes. Waver reveals the perpetrator is Trevor and this entire workshop is actually a weapon. Thus the lightning strikes weren’t accidents but premeditative murders. The workshop summons a Black Dog to kill humans in which they will be turned into another Black Dog. It is Trevor’s wish to control artificial fairies to serve under him. But why was Trevor murdered? The fairy admits she killed him because she heard how he was using them for his nefarious ends. But that did not stop the ritual and that’s why she sought help. And something about Wills in love with the fairy?! The place is then under attack by Black Dogs. Apparently Waver realizes too late that his ritual has an effect on Adashino’s barrier and opened up a gate to the other world. They go destroy the ravaging Black Dogs but since they are too many, Waver requests Gray to use her Rhongomyniad. Despite defeating the big mother, the gate is still open. Is it too late? Not that Wills can do something about it. But Waver doesn’t want him to sacrifice himself by going to the other side. Unfortunately, Wills being in love with the fairy claims he isn’t going to die but just join Trevor, Waletta and the rest on the other side. Thanks for uncovering this mystery. In the aftermath as everyone leaves, Adashino shows the results of her investigation. It seems Trevor created Wills’ eyes to be the foundation of this workshop. It is thought that one is born with Mystic Eyes but Waver remembers Rail Zeppelin, a phantom train that buys and sells such eyes. Adashino hands him a copy of Rail Zeppelin’s materials and Waver is not so pleased that this is Policies’ aim in the first place.

Episode 6
Gray notices Waver sometimes in distress so she goes to ask Reines what happened during his participation in the Holy Grail War. But first, Gray must accompany her shopping. At Carnac, it’s like Gray has become her dress up doll. Having fun? They stumble into Luvia. Apparently she is the new owner of Carnac and has done quite an extensive and lavish redecoration. Luvia offers to give them a tour of the place. Basically a high class girls hanging out, huh? During that time, Reines tells about that Holy Grail War and also Iskandar who had a tremendous effect on Waver’s life. Suddenly it’s like the trio are transported to another dimension. They’re still inside the store but nobody else is around. It seems they are trapped and their current magecraft cannot get them out. So as they ponder who would be targeting them, it eventually dawned to them that there might be no perpetrator and this might just be an accident. Because so far there is no moves from the perpetrator and it would be suicidal to target them together in the same place. Because of the extensive and lavish redecorations, that could be the trigger and it created an excessive reaction. They head down to the basement whereby there is a statue that Luvia has placed some magic on. This is to spur customers’ impulse to buy. It is an expensive lesson for her to learn from this as she prepares to destroy it. However, security bots pop up. As this is her store, Luvia will take care of this. Pro wrestling moves?! So much about the perfect security system. Is Luvia enjoying herself? After destroying the statue, they return to normal time. On the way back, Reines deduces that the trio are seen as valuable treasures so when they were leaving, this security barrier activated. Gray doesn’t have high self-esteem so she doesn’t see why but Reines points out that she holds the most important Noble Phantasm ever. When Gray returns to Waver, he looks even more distress. It seems the mantle of Iskandar he keeps in a box is stolen. In place is a note inviting him to a banquet. It is from Rail Zeppelin. He hopes Gray can come with him.

Episode 7
As Rail Zeppelin was created by some super vampire group, the guests are all going to be supernatural. Waver is accompanied by Gray and Caules as he recognizes some of the familiar faces like Adashino, Fernando and Yvette L. Lehrman (one of his students). Also on board is Olga Marie Arsimilat Animusphere, the daughter of the Astromancy Lord. She quickly warns him not to get in her way of the auction. Everyone is startled with the presence of Karabo Frampton as he is from the Holy Church. But calm down. He is here to participate in the auction too. Meanwhile Reines calls Shishigou and tells him about the stolen Iskandar mantle. She wants him to investigate and has Luvia as his assistant. She can’t use magecraft to solve this as she suspects an inside job. Waver tries to find who sent him the invitation but to no avail. Instead, he receives a letter of him snooping around believed to be from that thief and wants him to meet at some place. Olga then talks to Waver. He is willing to listen since it concerns about the next Holy Grail War. As there will be a very high class Rainbow Mystic Eyes on auction, she wants to get her hands on it. So if somebody else outbids her, she wants him to outbid that person. Even though he is broke? Because of his status as Lord, nobody would dare challenge him. She promises to reward him handsomely. She has her assistant, Trisha Fellows demonstrate her Mystic Eyes whose properties is premonition. Gray is suffering from motion sickness so Karabo gives her an apple to help with the nausea. The moment he touches her hand, he sees her past and realizes she isn’t a Mage. Trisha talks to Waver and has researched about his participation in the previous Holy Grail War. Because it was a life changing event for him, she cautions him about getting the Rainbow Mystic Eyes. To have Mystic Eyes is to accept and be bound by them. So please consider if he ever wishes to buy one. With Gray still fumbling to give her gift to Waver, and that guy still reminiscing to meet Iskandar even if there is a chance he might not remember him, suddenly they hear Olga’s scream. Trisha has been decapitated!!!

Episode 8
Olga blames Karabo and tries to attack him but is knocked out. Karabo conducts autopsy but couldn’t see much. Waver also conducts his autopsy and suspects Karabo is only here because he wants to sell his Mystic Eyes. Karabo admits that but even his Mystic Eyes wasn’t able to tell him the perpetrator. Oddly, Trisha would have taken action had she saw this coming. This means the killer is one who is invisible from time, past and present. Olga continues to show her displeasure, thinking this is Waver’s plan to make her family owe him one. Calm down, girl. You think everybody is out to get you? Later Waver confronts Adashino and suspects her motives on Rail Zeppelin. He cannot think of a reason for her to be here. Adashino tells him the sponsor for Gueldoa and Codrington are the same person but stops short in saying if that person is involved in Rail Zeppelin. Waver and Gray go meet the person who wrote that letter. Woah. Who this hot warrior chick? She isn’t the one who stole Iskandar’s mantle but the vassal of that thief. Anyway, she seems disappointed to see the kind of person Waver is and is going to kill him. Waver can tell she is a Servant. Gray protects him only to be hypnotized but luckily is cleansed by her scythe. Waver is shocked when she reveals herself to be Hephaestion, Iskandar’s confidante. She unleashes an attack to kill them but Waver cuts part of his hair to stem the flow of her thunder. Waver laments never knowing such a person who served under Iskandar before passing out. Turns out he has some burns on his body. Caules does what he can to heal him. Olga stops being a b*tch for once as she hands over some druid elixir to hasten his recovery. I guess they’re even now? Reines calls Luvia to tell him about Waver being injured but is interrupted when Melvin barges in. He is dismayed she never told him about Waver being invited on Rail Zeppelin. But no matter because Melvin is going to join Waver. He has used the financial powers of his family to get himself an invitation.

Episode 9
Olga learns about Hephaestion but finds it odd that a Servant is able to materialize and maintain her memories outside the Holy Grail War. Flashback on Waver’s lesson regarding some invocation theoretically makes it possible. Whatever. Olga also deduces that Waver isn’t here to buy Mystic Eyes but to find the thief who stole Iskandar’s mantle. Somebody forces the train to change tracks and now it has entered the forest known as Child of Einnashe where dead apostles reside. After coming to a full stop, several mages try to burn a path for the tracks but were promptly killed by the forest. Olga decides to hole herself up in her room until this situation is resolved. She reminds Gray that she isn’t her ally and will figure out Trisha’s murder herself. Shishigou meets up with his old friend, Jean Mario Supinerra who is now a celebrity chef. Trisha’s decapitation is similar to that headless corpses case in London. Clock Tower and the Holy Church limited any broadcast of it and confiscated what little that was broadcasted. He heard that there was a girl who wanted to hear about it. That girl is Trisha. Gray thought there is a zombie outside her window but it turns out to be Melvin! The forest attacked his helicopter but he miraculously survived. He wants to know who hurt Waver but looks like Karabo and Yvette have come to seek their help to move the train or otherwise risk the auction being cancelled. They have asked others for help but they refused and barricaded themselves in their rooms. While Yvette detects the leylines, Karabo will use his swords as markers and activate the tracks. Gray is supposed to come with them but she has to attend to some other more important business. Facing off with Hephaestion, that is. Olga finds a weird dimensional spell in her room. Activating it, the head of Trisha drops out! Karabo’s side has marked enough trees and head back to the train. But no sign of Gray. She’s going to take down Hephaestion right now because if she lets her escape, she might return to hurt Waver.

Episode 10
Gray is saved by Hephaestion? What the heck is this about warriors should be dying on the battlefield? I don’t get it. Anyway, Hephaestion views them as same but when Gray questions her about reprimanding Iskandar through her actions, Hephaestion forcefully makes her reveal what she saw in her dreams. Luvia and Shishigou now talk to Mary who is Trisha’s old friend. She claims Olga was abandoned by her father who was then obsessed in researching about the Holy Grail War. This also made Trisha research into this so as to find out why he abandoned his daughter and if this had any relation to the serial murder case 7 years ago. It is also noted that a man without a heart as he was named was also doing that research based on Olga’s father’s request. With that, Luvia has an idea who that person is. He has a step sister who is on board Rail Zeppelin now. Gray slides on Add back onto Rail Zeppelin as it leaves the forest. Adashino has gathered everyone to listen to her deduction. So she’s taking over Waver’s role? She admits the method used in Trisha’s murder is the same as that serial killer incident. From what I understand, Trisha was decapitated in a different place. Calling Olga as the witness, she shows everyone Trisha’s head. Because Trisha saw that she would be decapitated she opened some dimensional pocket to let her head fall into it when that happens. Hence her head is still alive when it dropped out. The last word she uttered was “Karabo”. I don’t really get this part as Adashino deduces Karabo sliced the air and since the train is travelling in a predetermined path, it made it easier for Trisha to be decapitated when she reached that point. Before Karabo can be accused as the perpetrator, Waver returns to call Adashino’s deduction just as delusions because she failed to establish a motive for the crime. At the same time, the deputy of Rail Zeppelin pops up to take Karabo’s Mystic Eyes as already informed. This has Waver think that Adashino planned this out in good timing so that Rail Zeppelin could back up her deductions. Later Waver asks Karabo if he was that serial killer. He cannot remember and it might be due to the effects of the Mystic Eyes forcing him to see what he does not want to see. If only he had his Mystic Eyes now, the truth can be revealed. Sure, they can buy it back at this auction but does Waver have that crazy amount of money? Don’t worry. What are (filthy rich) best friends like Melvin for?

Episode 11
Waver finds it odd that despite Hephaestion claiming herself to be Iskandar’s aide, he has not seen her once in his Noble Phantasm. Waver then goes to ask Olga for help and she gets emotional about I don’t know what but she hates them all. After Waver tells his own story, I guess it’s best just to cooperate. And something about Olga talking about everything to her seems fake like as though it is an afterimage. Shishigou pulls Flat and Svin from their special classes so they can conduct some new mission. Waver calls Luvia to note his suspicion on Olga’s father who seems to know about the Holy Grail War because that is a very tightly kept secret that only a few mages would know. It is no doubt that somebody made him move and got Trisha killed when she was investigating it. Waver takes a look at the leylines of the world and now he suddenly realizes everything. Something to do with Hephaestion being a woman or not inside Iskandar’s Noble Phantasm. But rather something is claiming to be Hephaestion. The auction begins and the attraction is the Jewel class Mystic Eyes. It’s like everybody against Adashino since each time somebody bids higher, she outbids them. So much so Melvin has to call a break because he is worried if Waver have that much money. After pulling some strings, I guess Waver has got a few additional funds to keep bidding should the price go higher. The auction resumes. High enough that Adashino backs down. However Waver finds himself with intense competition with Yvette. By the time Yvette bids 500 million, Waver uses this chance to explain about Trisha’s death since a second break isn’t technically allowed. He draws a conclusion that Trisha and the murders 7 years ago all have missing heads. Bringing in Trisha’s head into the room, from what I understand, it is the same perpetrator and that person decapitates the head so as to gain control over the Mystic Eyes. Showing some little Buddha statue that Olga showed him that was with Trisha’s head in the other dimension, this is used to block and interfere with Karabo’s vision. Adashino knew about this, that’s why she hid this important evidence. Trisha saw she would meet Karabo so she boarded this train to get answers from him regarding that serial murder. But she didn’t see this coming and lost her life. The same culprit who manipulated Karabo and the one responsible for the serial murders, only 1 person can do that. Suddenly Caules is bound.

Episode 12
Is Caules the culprit? Actually this person is impersonating him and the real one shows up with Reines. Thanks to Luvia, Flat and Svin combining their effort to spring launch them into Rail Zeppelin. It’s the only way to get there without an invitation. Huh? Waver knew this Caules is fake because his healing was perfect. The impersonator reveals himself to be the previous head of modern magecraft, Dr Heartless. With a name like that, it’s no surprise you can tell he is that man who got his heart stolen by fairies. Heartless also funded Yvette and had her cooperate with him. That is why Waver also had Adashino cooperated with him. The rest of Waver’s deduction I don’t really don’t understand but from what I can pick up, it seems Heartless can create his own Holy Grail. Or at least a variant of it. Thus killing Trisha and obtaining her Mystic Eyes was just an addendum to seek the Holy Grail War. Due to the leyline distortion when Rail Zeppelin clashed with Child of Einnashe, this allows him to summon a Heroic Spirit. This might not be enough to summon a Holy Grail War because the leyline must be in contact with Japan or something so Heartless needed something else like a Master of a previous Holy Grail War like Waver. Heartless then summons Hephaestion to attack Adashino before she can restrain him. Waver deduces that since the Holy Grail is fake, Master is fake and Command Spells are fake, it could only mean that Hephaestion is a fake Heroic Spirit. Something that Heartless calls this class as Faker. That’s why Hephaestion introduced her name instead of her class then. As for her different appearance and why she wasn’t in Iskandar’s Noble Phantasm, she is more like a shadow double for Iskandar. Hephaestion is like the residual image of the king, a magic double who protected the king by fabricating his appearance and existence.

Heartless and Hephaestion flee seeing they don’t want to risk fighting and destroy all the Mystic Eyes. Yvette won’t go along since she’d rather serve her punishment rather than living life as a fugitive. Waver and Gray aren’t done yet. Confronting them on top of the train, Heartless gives back the stolen mantle. Heartless orders a retreat but Waver’s deduction further provokes Hephaestion as she wants to kill him. Waver deduces about Hephaestion not being in Iskandar’s army is because she hates his army. Something about she is some dead twin and wasn’t given a name. When Iskandar wanted to give her a name, she refused. While Gray fights Hephaestion, Heartless summons Child of Einnashe to grind Rail Zeppelin to a halt. Karabo joins in to fight Hephaestion. He has gotten his eyes back since the auction is annulled. Olga and the other mages cast their spells to rain some magic meteorite to burn the forest. The conductor loads in a pair of Mystic Eyes to turn Rail Zeppelin into some mean cannon and blasts the core of Child of Einnashe. Hephaestion uses her Mystic Eyes to freeze Karabo and Gray. After disposing Karabo, she is going to do the same to Gray but Waver was waiting for this perfect timing as he drops that Buddha statue, enough time for Gray to land a fatal slash. In this final combat, Hephaestion rides her chariot to charge at her. Gray then unleashes all limits to fire Rhongomyniad at her. I guess (fake) Iskandar’s chariot isn’t as great as King Arthur’s spear. Vaporized!

Episode 13
Waver and Gray are recuperating fine. Waver could’ve healed faster had not Flat, Svin and Yvette bug him all the time. I suppose this finale is meant to tie up some loose ends but as usual, I don’t understand most of them. For those that I do, probably it isn’t that important. Like when Waver meets and talks to Adashino, all I understand is that Heartless is Adashino’s brother-in-law as they come from the same orphanage in Norwich. Melvin talks to Gray and tells her he is in possession of Waver’s magic crest. Because Waver shouldered the debts, it is only right for Melvin to be his tuner. Also, Melvin continues to call Waver by his name instead of his title because he might be lonely. It’s not like he is going to be a Lord forever, right? This makes Gray realize that this won’t last forever. A promotion ceremony is held for Svin as he has achieved a high ranking rank of Pride. Then we have a lengthy talk between Waver and Gray. Ultimately, Waver announces he will not partake in the next Holy Grail War. It might settle things personally for him but not for Iskandar. Hence his battlefield is not over there as his mission is now to uncover Heartless’ ploy using Faker. After Gray manages to give her gift to him, Waver hopes she can continue to fight alongside him. Her answer isn’t surprising. As Waver sleeps, Gray has this thought of stealing a kiss and would have done so had Add not teased her. Waver dreams a transient dream of meeting Iskandar. He believes he can’t stand beside him yet because must achieve all the pain and glory in real life as Lord El-Melloi II. Iskandar has only one thing to ask of him: Did he have fun during his journey? Yes. It was fun trying to follow his legacy.

Ghost Files: Spiritual Evocation Detective
Like they say it isn’t the destination but a journey. It might be over for this spinoff but not merely so for Waver by a long shot. Hence it is still a long and winding road ahead for Waver as long as he holds on to his Lord title. In a bid to somewhat become acknowledged as Iskandar’s equal, boy, he sure has gotten through a lot of sh*t. Knowing the kind of guy Iskandar is, whether Waver succeeds or fails to achieve it, he will surely accept him for who he is. So it’s mostly about Waver battling his own inner ghost, huh? Oh well, nothing is more a worse enemy than yourself.

As you would have expected from me, I am not really a fan of the Fate series and after watching so many of its spinoffs and alternate stories, there is still much that I do not understand about the lore nor do I ever felt that interest to go read up on more of it. This means that I am scratching most of my head as I watch Waver crack one case and another. I will not say that the cases are extremely complicated and it feels like they are just basic and simple. Because I am sure they don’t want to turn away viewers who aren’t very familiar with the supernatural terms by coming up with very complex and convoluted script. Hence when Waver explains his deductions, it feels as though he is reading it out of the script because he seems to be so damn observant and he can grasp everything and then explain to us once he has all the evidence and pieces of the puzzles put together nicely. That is why the format is not mostly a whodunit but rather a whydunit. Also, because I am not very accustomed with supernatural terms, hence many of Waver’s deductions come off as hogwash to me. I’m like, “What?! Don’t understand. Whatever”. It’s sad but yeah, that is how I mostly feel while watching all the episodes here.

Hence the storyline and plot isn’t anything much except about Waver and his assistant Gray going about solving supernatural cases. That’s about it. The first half gives us a taste of what this series is going to play out so that we can expect more or less something of this manner for the second half, which of course in itself is the main arc for this series. However I am left to ponder if I was somewhat deceived by the initial summary that was partly my reason to pick up this series. You see, earlier on there was this synopsis written that Waver received some inheritance note and is forced to participate in a battle of wits that includes other characters such as Luvia. Strangely, I was waiting for this to happen. After a few episodes in and I still didn’t see this part coming in, so I was thinking maybe they will reserve this for the final arc. And then Rail Zeppelin happened. No inheritance war whatsoever. So as I am at the penultimate episode, I decided to check online again if what I read was true. Oh damn, the synopsis is entirely different now! Just a general synopsis of Waver and Gray taking on cases assigned by Reines. Did I remember it wrongly? Were my eyes deceiving me? Was there some magic magecraft foul play involved? Well to be fair, when the anime first aired, nobody knew if the anime adaptation will follow the novel in which that inheritance battle synopsis came from. So I guess it didn’t turn out that way, huh? So much for me wanting to see Waver go on head to head with Luvia. Instead they somewhat cooperated here.

Watching this series feels a bit refreshing than all the other main Fate series that I’ve watched. In the sense that this is heavy on the dialogue and there is not much battle scenes. I suppose when you don’t have Fate in your title, you can expect the genre to also somewhat deviate and not be of the action fantasy adventure kind. Yes, there are some fight scenes here but they are short and lack the oomph that is much more prevalent in the Fate series. After all, like I’ve said, this series isn’t an action battle to begin with. Even with the short action scenes, they are just to partly accommodate the flow of the story. For instance that action scene of Black Dogs attacking our characters. That was just pretty average if you ask me. Same case when Gray battled Hephaestion. They put in lots of flashy and powerful effects but it’s nowhere near the level of action if you have seen other Fate series. WTF Gray’s activation by releasing her levels of restrictions, is this some sort of transformation scene?

On to the characters themselves, I suppose the biggest change has got to be Waver because he really looks like a different person altogether than the one we know since his debut in Fate/Zero. In his bid to chase after the hero he greatly admires, this inspires him to take on a thorny path with lots of difficulties. Adding to the burden and debt, now he has to take on the title of Lord El-Melloi II that comes with its benefits and (but mostly) risks. Just to warm up the seat until Reines comes of age. Waver being a hard-bitten magecraft teacher in a way looks a lot cooler than his youthful version. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea to have a main character who looks sullen and sounds gloomy but I think it works very much for Waver especially in the line of work that he is doing. Can you imagine if this guy is as lively as Melvin? Yeah, I think I will find it hard to take him seriously too. Though, sometimes you can see him put on a grimace because the frustration and annoyance is too great for even him to stay cool. So Waver, continue being this Waver. A lot of him has changed since but some things don’t like his obsession to chase after Iskandar’s shadow. I can understand why. Because I too felt that he was the best Heroic Spirit then and it’s a shame he didn’t win the Holy Grail War.

Isn’t it strange for a Fate series to note have a Saber character even if this Saber class is not the main character? Ah well, I guess this is what Gray is. She is like some sort of Saber in disguise, no? At least that is what I can gather from I have seen here. Unfortunately this adaptation doesn’t do well in delving a lot about Gray and her past or what she is supposed to be. Because of that, sometimes I find her annoying because she puts on this grim exterior and has this worried look on her face that screams if she could be of any use to her lord. She follows him around because she is grateful for saving him. That’s it. That’s all we know about the relationship between them. Want to know more, go read the sources. This series doesn’t have enough episodes to delve deeply into that. Yeah… I know there is more than meets the eye especially with that little familiar Add who seems to run his mouth with mockery whenever he gets a chance. But for now, Gray looks like a hesitant assistant who is filled with uncertainty and doubt that her only salvation is when Waver somewhat acknowledges her or something of that sort.

As for the other characters, I guess I can say that they are still not fleshed out properly either (what to do with only over a dozen episodes?). I believe they want to put the focus more on Waver doing his detective work and that’s the reason why these other characters fall wayward to the side. Like Reines I believe she is supposed to be an important character because in the future she will take on an important seat and title. But in this case as far as I can see, she’s like some snobbish brat who likes to get on Waver’s goat sometimes. It’s like she gets her kicks in seeing her ‘big brother’ filled with anxiety and frustration. Hey, he is the one who is bearing all the responsibility, right? After all, if he can’t shoulder all this, he is not worthy to shoulder that title in the first place. Yeah, Reines’ bad personality will be the least of his worries. I don’t believe Reines is actually a bad person and is quite capable herself. Just that there was no chance to see her flex her talents. Otherwise she wouldn’t have let Waver temporarily take her future seat in the first place.

I don’t think Flat and Svin would be important supporting characters but they feel so irrelevant and it’s like as though when the plot commands it, they are just pulled in to get what’s going. So having Svin getting promoted doesn’t really serve any purpose except to tell us for a fact that Waver’s lessons have not been all for naught because there is somebody who have surpassed him. Like Waver himself noted, a huge burden has been lifted off his shoulders. And what’s with it with Svin’s fascination with Gray again? Sorry, no love triangle and romcom whatsoever happening here. Then there is Melvin who looks like he is some sort of comic relief character. But don’t laugh too much because this guy looks like he has got pockets so deep that it makes the Black Hole look like a baby! Being so filthy rich is meaningless unless you can seek some sort of thrill. That’s why he is such ‘great’ friends with Waver. The only source of entertainment who never fails to live up to his standards. Just name your price and you can have it. Just in exchange bring him your greatest story. Then there is Adashino from Policies who is a big mystery herself. This snake woman makes it hard to tell if she is friend or foe due to the way she acts and talks but from what I can tell I’m glad she is at least on Waver’s side for now. Though, she still likes to get on his nerves probably just to see him winch.

One thing that is still awesome for this series is its visuals. Yes, it is very high quality that is on par with Fate/Zero. I thought it was Ufotable helming this series but I was wrong. It was Troyca who did Re: Creators, Aldnoah.Zero, Yaate Kimi Ni Naru and Sakurako-san No Ashimoto Ni W Shitai Ga Umatteiru, animated this series. The backgrounds, sceneries, hues, characters and effects are nicely well done to say the least. They’re quite nice to look at as distraction if the plot is too confusing for you to follow. I know. I’m guilty of that sometimes. Some characters do look weird like Gueldoa looks like some scrawny guy who has been fasting for months and some of the mages on Rail Zeppelin really have weird heads. Was that an elephant head or toad head that I saw? Luckily not important characters so don’t really care. And of course Gray having that striking resemblance to Saber only looking a little different because she covers her head with a hood so you can’t obviously tell. Because I’m so used to how Luvia looks in Fate/Kaleid spinoff, looking at her here looks a bit odd. She is more refined compared to that dumb cute chibi look. Why does Add remind me of an even meaner version of Mario’s Thwomp? Is Yvette and spunky and livelier version of Fukumenkei Noise’s Alice?

Also another winner for me are the opening and ending themes. Starting The Case: Rail Zeppelin as the opener is one of those rare instrumental pieces. If it sounds all too familiar it is because it is written by the legendary Yuki Kajiura. And you can tell her trademark style of music permeating throughout the BGMs of this series. Sometimes I feel that they have this one kind sound because they mostly ‘sound the same’. Fortunately I didn’t get bored after all these years hearing her craft her trademark style into Mai-HiME, Tsubasa Chronicle, Sword Art Online and Princess Principal. The ending theme, Hibari by Asca is lovely as sad sounding as it is. This beautifully slow and sad melody is to my liking and somewhat fits the grim nature of this series.

Previous seiyuus are retained for recurring characters like Daisuke Namikawa as Waver, Shizuka Itou as Luvia, Minori Inase as Reines and Kenji Nomura as Shishigou. New ones include Reina Ueda as Gray (Akane in SSSS.Gridman), Yuko Minaguchi as Adashino (Yaone in Saiyuki series), Daisuke Hirakawa as Melvin (Makoto in School Days), Madoka Yonezawa as Olga (Ui in K-ON!), Eizou Tsuda as Karabo (Lay Dawn in Fairy Gone), Seiichirou Yamashita as Svin (Kakeru in Orange), Miho Okasaki as Yvette (Rimuru in Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken), You Taichi as Hephaestion (Anzu in Prison School), Kumiko Higa as Trisha (Ginta in MAR – the other Ginta, that is), Hisako Kanemoto as Mary (Erina in Shokugeki No Souma) and Tomoaki Maeno as Wills (Junichi Tachibana in Amagami SS). While I recognized Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Flat, Jun Fukuyama as Heartless and Youko Hikasa as the auction master, the one that surprises me most is Daisuke Ono as Add. You mean that’s really him?! Damn, I sure pigeonholed him as Sebastian type characters from Kuroshitsuji for a long time. Apparently this isn’t the only time he voices characters with strange voices. He did so too like Nendou in Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan. Unrecognizable.

Overall, this series particularly blending in detective work isn’t for everyone even if it has great visuals and soundtrack. Especially for casual viewers who know nothing much about the Fate universe, jumping in without any sort of prior knowledge can be detrimental to one’s enjoyment. This might not be the best detective themed series (Detective Conan, Kindaichi Shounen No Jikenbo should be the titles you start with if you are so ever interested in getting into this genre) but it gives a new refreshing variety on the Fate series. Just like warm up before the next Fate adaptation. Speaking of which, Fate/Grand Order started airing after this one finishes. Oh well, back to the familiar territory of 7 Masters and their 7 Servants duking it out in a battle royale over the Holy Grail. While some things are solved via violence, others like in this case as Waver showed us can be solved with a little use of the grey matter. It’s a good thing this one only lasted for a single cour because any more of it I wouldn’t be care about whodunit, whydunit or howdunit. More like I’m-dun-with-it and what-the-I-dun-even…

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