Genre(s): Mystery, Magic, Supernatural
Age-Appropriateness: 14+ (Violence, profanity)
Platforms: Crunchyroll, Funimation
Episodes: 13 (+1 Pilot episode, and 1 54 minute special OVA)
TheAwersome Rating: 7.6 / 10 (An interesting spin-off)
Premise: Ten years after facing defeat in the Fourth Holy Grail War, Waver Velvet, now Lord El Melloi II, teaches classes at the Clock Tower—the center of education for mages. However, his new status as “Lord” comes with a caveat: obey the orders of Reines, the younger sister of the deceased Kayneth El Melloi, until she is old enough to rule the House of El Melloi. Waver, along with his mysterious apprentice Gray, takes on a series of cases assigned by Reines and the Mages Association. With each case proving to be more complex than the last, could there be more to the Clock Tower than meets the eye, and what secrets does Reines hide?
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: I went into this with some mediocre expectations, and they were exceeded, so that was a pleasant surprise. We get bits and tastes throughout the various Fate series and The Garden of Sinners of the Clock Tower and what it means to be a mage in the Nasuverse, but here we get it fleshed out quite a bit. I like how in doing so they still keep things mysterious but put down some flavor of rules to keep it somewhat grounded. As a show, the whole setting and vibe is very attractive, from the décor to the design, the detailed backgrounds, and the characters themselves. All accompanied with Yuki Kajiura’s beautiful soundtrack, so there’s a sophisticated, dangerous, and exciting vibe.
I do have to say, however, that since we don’t get an extensive education of how each kind of magic works beforehand, the reveals at the end of each mystery aren’t very rewarding because there’s absolutely no way the viewer could have come to that conclusion on their own.
TLDR: A fun (though verbose) spinoff that channels the vibes of Sherlock Holmes, Hogwarts, and the Fate Universe.
There are a lot of cameos in this from other Fate entries, so it’s good to watch this after having seen Fate/Apocrypha and have some familiarity with the Fate/Grand Order premise, and there are a few references to and cameos from Garden of Sinners. That being said, it isn’t necessary for you to have seen any of them, only to have seen Fate/Zero. Which is the best way to go about integrating other IP and doing cameos in my opinion. Make it fun for those who know to be like “Oh hey! That’s so-and-so!” but don’t require a knowledge of everything about them to have things make sense.
You’ll likely enjoy this if you enjoyed: