Lord El-Melloi II Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace Note

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace Note

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace Note anime series cover art
Lord El-Melloi II Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace Note

Overview

Lord El-Melloi II Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace Note (Lord El-Melloi II-sei no Jikenbo: “Rail Zeppelin” Grace note / ロード・エルメロイⅡ世の事件簿 {魔眼蒐集列車} Grace note) is a spin-off/sequel to Fate/Zero which takes around the same time as Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works.

I don’t actually remember, because for some reason I didn’t review this series right after I finished it, but I believe it takes place just before the events of UBW.

And if you can call UBW the “Saber sequel” to Zero, then Case Files is the “Rider sequel.” Oh, and by the way, this review is going to have spoilers for both Zero and UBW.

So just how similar are UBW and Case Files since they’re both sequels of Zero? They’re not alike in any way. For starters, while the servant, Artoria, is the one who continues on from Zero into UBW, it’s the master, Waver, who continues on from Zero to Case Files.

They’re also just fundamentally different story structures. UBW follows a second Holy Grail War between the seven core classes of servants, while Case Files is a Sherlock Holmes-esque mystery set in the same universe. They really do have absolutely nothing in common.

Also just because you liked Zero and UBW doesn’t mean you’ll like Case Files. While there is still some action, this series focuses heavily on the magic side of Fate lore. And if you know anything about magic in Fate, you’ll know it makes absolutely no sense.

The core story of this series focuses on a black market for mystic eyes which Lord El-Melloi II, also known as Waver Velvet, is hired to investigate. But while that concept is basic enough, all the different magic elements which are brought in turn it into a mess.

Characters

Obviously Waver is the protagonist of this series, but I’m actually going to skip over him in this section and dedicate the entire next section to him. So with Waver out of the way, Gray is our first character of the series, and her role is that of the main heroine.

Unfortunately though, I can’t really discuss Gray all that much without including spoilers for this series, which is something I don’t really want to do. So all I’ll say about Gray is that she’s Waver’s crime solving partner in this series and she carries a mystic code named Add around in a cage.

Gray from the anime series Lord El-Melloi II Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace Note
Gray

Reines El-Melloi Archisorte is the adoptive(?) sister of Waver. She’s not exactly his adoptive sister, but Waver is currently holding on to Reines’ title of Lord El-Melloi until she comes of age. Reines is the real sister of the previous Lord El-Melloi, Waver’s teacher who died during the previous Holy Grail War.

You may recall it was that teacher who was supposed to summon Iskandar, but Waver stole the item required to do so. Waver believes his teacher would have won if he hadn’t stolen Iskandar from him, and for this reason, he’s indebted to Reines.

There are also two pretty good side characters from other Fate series, Luviagelita “Luvia” Edelfelt from UBW and Kairi Shishigou from Fate/Apocrypha. However, I don’t believe Apocrypha takes place in the same timeline as Zero, UBW, and Case Files.

Neither of these characters are exactly vitally important this time around, but I like them both so I figured they were worth mentioning. It’s just interesting to see how these two characters you typically don’t think much of can be used to help Waver solve mysteries.

Waver Velvet

Unfortunately for all of you who think Waver and Iskandar are the ultimate master and servant combo, Shishigou and Mordred exist. I’m sorry, but team Shishigou and Mordred is #1 in my book. However, if we’re talking about Fate anime protagonists, I’ll admit that Waver is probably the best one.

Sieg from Apocrypha is bad, Shirou from UBW is probably the worst, Kiritsugu from Zero is pretty good, Illya from Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya is almost the best, but Waver in Case Files is the winner. And no, I still haven’t seen Fate/Extra Last Encore, but that protagonist looks bad too.

Part of the reason why Waver is such a good protagonist in Case Files though is due to the fact that he was a major side character in Zero. Basically everything important about his character was established in Zero, and Case Files is merely an extension of that.

Waver and Iskandar from the anime series Lord El-Melloi II Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace Note
Waver and Iskandar

There’s only a little new character development for Waver all throughout Case Files. Instead, we mostly get to watch as Waver attempts to fulfill his promise to his best friend, Iskandar. When the two last spoke, Waver promised that he would one day become someone worthy of serving Iskandar.

And while there’s no real definition of “someone who is worthy of serving Iskandar,” it’s more of a reason for Waver to keep living as Iskandar wanted him to. He’s always striving to be a better version of himself in an attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal.

But, as long as Waver never regrets any of his decisions in life, in the end he’ll have achieved his goal. That’s what makes Waver such a good protagonist. He doesn’t want wealth, fame, or power — he simply wants to stand alongside his friend again.

Conclusion

Overall, Lord El-Melloi II Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace Note was a good anime. Sure, it made very little sense at times, but the same can always be said about Fate series anime which is why they aren’t the best around. I think a 7/10 is a fair rating for this series, but it’s definitely on the lower end of the 7.

The OP and ED for this series are both really good though. I think I prefer the ED more mainly due to the visuals, but they’re both very strong.

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