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Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note Episode #11 Anime Review

4 min read
Did you think people die if they are killed? Think again!
© Makoto Sanda · TYPE-MOON / LEMPC

Did you think people die if they are killed? Think again!

What They Say:
“Rail Zeppelin 5/6 The Residual Image and Auctions”

As Adashino’s deductions are playing out, Lord El-Melloi II makes his comeback. He sees a clue to the identity of the true perpetrator of Trisha’s murder from Gray’s testimony, and requests Melvin to delay the Mystic Eyes Auction from starting. His objective is to seek assistance from Olga Marie, and grasp conclusive evidence to overturn Adashino’s deductions. Meanwhile, in London, Shishigou gathers up Flat and Svin in order to proceed with certain preparations. As each of them reflect upon their own ideas, the fated Mystic Eyes Auction finally begins.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Now that Lord El-Melloi II is back in action, the deductions can begin properly, and as the penultimate episode of the primary arc of this series, he makes significant strides toward uncovering the truth throughout its run. Although this could’ve been pretty easily assumed from basic rules of storytelling, one of his first and most important declarations is that Trisha’s murderer, the Hephaestion’s Master, and the (latest) thief of Iskandar’s Relic are all the same person. As we likely all figured would be the case, this neatly ties together the potentially disconnected plot threads into a common target for nearly every character depicted as a “good guy” in this story.

This is important particularly because it gives Lord El-Melloi II and Olga Marie an enemy in common, which doesn’t exactly cause the latter to jump for joy. Olga Marie vehemently opposes Lord El-Melloi II’s stance in theory, seeing him as one of many who would use this connection for his own reasons, rather than genuinely caring about her feelings. Ever the charismatic gentleman in these years of maturity, though, Lord El-Melloi II accepts this rage and, in doing so, largely quells it, allowing the two to work together to uncover more regarding the case at hand, which he claims isn’t even a proper case in its current form, cryptically enough.

This episode exists in the part of the deductive process that involves a lot of the detective making proclamations that imply he has gained key insights, but naturally he can’t share any of this with the audience until everything in place for a full reveal. Since these mysteries have typically played out within an episode or two, this part is almost always immediately followed by the conclusion. However, because of the length of this arc that primarily revolves around this case, we’re left with only hints dangled in front of us. Furthermore, as mentioned previously, especially in the last episode, the nature of the magical lore in this series results in so much of the ultimate reveal being outside of the realm of reality or even established phenomena that it’s more or less impossible to piece together enough of what we’re given to reach any sort of conclusion ahead of time.

A good example comes from perhaps Lord El-Melloi II’s “strongest” argument as he interrupts the auction to bring out Trisha’s head and inform everyone that, in fact, her head being separated from her body doesn’t even mean she was dead. With that, we’re left with the big cliffhanger before the final episode of the arc, promising to finally deliver Lord El-Melloi II’s ultimate verdict. It’s frustrating to have been strung along so long without an answer when it seems like everything could’ve been resolved in an episode or two less, especially since nothing about the arc has been that interesting, creative, or insightful.

As a slight aside, that scene is a little hard to take seriously, as they’re in the thick of a sophisticated auction just after taking a break and Waver just stands up and, despite being told that they can’t take another break, suddenly turns the whole thing into his platform to wheel out a severed head, tell everyone that people don’t necessarily die when they’re beheaded in this world, and begins to reveal the answer to the mystery before being cut off to build one more cliffhanger. Additionally, the imagery of the jars of eyes being auctioned off reminds me a great deal of Hunter x Hunter. Now that’s how you make an auction exciting.

In Summary:
We’re so close to the resolution of the grand mystery of the series that we can taste it but alas, we’re forced to wait one more week for the final answer. Obviously the series has done well enough to make me care about the truth, primarily due to its relevance to Iskandar in a number of ways, but it’s been a frustrating process to get to that point. Without these occasionally tenuous connections to established Fate lore, there’s not that much to engage you, which gets old over the course of a full series.

Grade: B-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
LG Electronics OLED65C7P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K

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