Fate/strange Fake: Whispers of Dawn Review

Fate/strange Fake: Whispers of Dawn Review

The Start of a Fake Holy Grail War

Fate/strange Fake: Whispers of Dawn is the prologue to the upcoming Fate/strange Fake anime. When is the full series coming out? I don’t know. I thought it was supposed to be later this year. But, when I checked it still has no release date.

What’s Fate/strange Fake about, though? What’s the twist of this series? If you’re familiar with Fate, you’ll probably know that every series has its own twist. There’s literally never just a normal Holy Grail War. There’s always something unique about it or the rules get broken in some way.

The unique thing about Fate/strange Fake is right there in the title. This is a fake Holy Grail War. What that means is that it’s manmade. It’s a manufactured Holy Grail War. But, how does that work? And, why would anyone want to do that?

An unnamed woman from the anime special Fate/strange Fake: Whispers of Dawn
An unnamed woman

To answer the first question: Magic. To answer the second question: The United States. This fake Holy Grail War is taking place somewhere in the Western US in a city called Snowfield. While there are cities called Snowfield in the US. This appears to be a generic city, not based on any one real-life location.

Now, the US is a pretty young nation. And, as such, the mages of the world tend not to view it as highly as other nations. The US doesn’t have the same history of magic that other parts of the world do — according to the British mages.

So, a group of mages in the US decided they’d prove their worth by manufacturing a Holy Grail War. They wanted to make a real one. But, that turned out to be too difficult. They could only manage to generate six servants, not seven. There’s no Saber in this Holy Grail War.

Meet the Servants

Gilgamesh is the first servant we see get summoned. I love Gilgamesh. Most Fate fans love Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is great and makes anything he’s in better. He’s the Archer class servant of this Holy Grail War and his master is Tine Chelc.

The last servant we see get summoned is Enkidu, the Lancer class servant. Enkidu’s master is a dog, which kind of makes sense if you know what Enkidu is all about (nature). I’ll get into this more in the next section, but Enkidu and Gilgamesh are best friends.

Jack the Ripper is the Berserker class servant summoned to Flatt Escardos. If you know about other Fate series, you’ll notice this isn’t the Jack the Ripper we’re used to. Usually, Jack is a young girl in the Assassin class. This servant is the representation of the mystery and chaos of Jack.

Gilgamesh and Tine from the anime special Fate/strange Fake: Whispers of Dawn
Gilgamesh and Tine

The Caster class servant is one that we don’t have a name for. He was summoned to Orlando Reeve and we know he’s a writer. The only other thing we know about him is that he refers to himself as a hero-maker. I don’t know who he is.

Assassin class servants are kind of weird. Technically, they’re always supposed to be one of the Hassans (the True Assassins). But, that often doesn’t end up being the case. This time, however, it seems like it is the case. This female assassin doesn’t wear a skull mask like the Hassans. But, she uses the Zabaniya Noble Phantasm, which implies she is one of them.

Finally, we have the Rider class servant who also wasn’t named and doesn’t seem to have a physical form. Enkidu also mentions that this servant is their natural enemy and represents plague. So, I’m pretty confident in saying it’s the Pale Horseman.

Gilgamesh and Enkidu

Let’s talk about the boys — everyone’s favorite best friend duo, Gilgamesh and Enkidu. If you’ve played Fate/Grand Order or if you’ve watched the FGO: Babylonia anime, you should know about these two. They both come from the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was written over 4,000 years ago.

Many Fate fans know Gilgamesh as the “King of Heroes,” which alludes to him being the first hero we know of. The Epic of Gilgamesh is literally the first story we have evidence of about a hero. And, I would recommend everyone read it. It’s pretty short.

As you probably know, Gilgamesh is the protagonist of the Epic of Gilgamesh. He was the King of Uruk. But, what about Enkidu? Enkidu was a wild man created by the gods to be Gilgamesh’s equal. He was supposed to prevent Gilgamesh from terrorizing the citizens. However, he ended up becoming Gilgamesh’s best friend and adopted brother.

Enkidu fighting Gilgamesh from the anime special Fate/strange Fake: Whispers of Dawn
Enkidu fighting Gilgamesh

Now, I’m going to have to spoil part of this 4,000+ year story. Remember how Enkidu said that the Rider servant was his natural enemy? That doesn’t mean Rider is from the Epic of Gilgamesh. The only two other Fate servants in the Epic are Ishtar and Ereshkigal.

So, what did Enkidu mean here? Well, because Gilgamesh and Enkidu kept killing the pets of the gods, the gods decided to kill one of them. That one was Enkidu, whom the gods punished by inflicting him with disease.

This is why Enkidu says that the Rider who represents disease and plague is his “natural enemy.” And, what rider can you think of that represents disease and plague? The Pale (or sometimes White) Horseman of the Apocalypse. I think this is the Pale Horseman, though, because of its lack of a physical form.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I rated Fate/strange Fake: Whispers of Dawn an 8/10. I thought it was very good and I can’t wait for the full series to come out. It has some great characters in Gilgamesh and Enkidu. And, it had good animation. I’m looking forward to how this fake Holy Grail War plays out.

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