Best Members of the Black Faction in Fate/ApocryphaAh, 2017. The Year of Fate. As TV Tropes best explains, what with the announcements of the first installment of the Heaven's Feel movie that adapts the titular route from the Fate/stay night visual novel, Part II of the Fate/Grand Order mobile game (now officially dubbed Cosmos in the Lost Belt) along with it finally getting a release in the US, Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star, anime adaptations of Grand Order, Fate/Extra, and Fate/Apocrypha, along with the anime movie Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya: Oath Under Snow, 2017 was definitely a great year to be a Fate fan. Setting aside my own opinions on the Fate/Apocrypha anime itself, I thought it'd be nice to at least make a few lists dedicated to it, especially now that it finished airing as of its last episode on December 30th, 2017. Without further ado, here is the list of the best members of the Black Faction in Fate/Apocrypha. Feel free to vote and add to this list.
P.S. If you wish to seek a similar list about the best members of the Red Faction in Fate/Apocrypha, please check out that respective list.
Whenever the term "trap" springs up in anime fandom, expect this "Dude Looks Like a Lady" guy to frequently pop up. While not without hype backlash what with all his recent popularity (and now, his recently announced inclusion as a playable character in Fate/Extella Link), Astolfo is arguably one of the most notable Servants from the Black Faction. From my personal perspective, his energetic and bubbly personality along with his interactions with Sieg made him quite endearing as a character in the long term. As expected from a person like Astolfo, he really cared for Sieg and went out of his way for everything just to save his life. Plus, you kind of have to feel sorry for the guy considering his Master Celenike is a COMPLETE MONSTER of all things who sees Servants as nothing but toys to abuse for her own sadistic pleasure and nothing else. Makes me glad Sieg became his new Master.
I'm probably making a bold move considering I put two of Apocrypha's most divisive Servants at the top on here, but for what I personally found in them, I did enjoy seeing Frankenstein in the time she had. It shouldn't be a surprise if you're a longtime Fate fan that characters like Fran tend to be gender-flipped. But aside from that, there were a few things that I liked about her. First and foremost, her relationship with Caules was truly one of the more interesting character relationships that I wished could have lasted longer since Caules treated Fran like no other person other had by treating her as a person rather than a monster, giving Apocrypha a bit of some Adaptation Expansion in comparison to the light novel. In addition, her twisted past upon Victor Frankenstein creating her was nonetheless tragic, made even more so when she fell under Shakespeare's illusion and was reminded of her dark past with her maker. But her defining moment of awesome would arguably have to be when ...more
For a Servant who's unfortunately been relegated to FGO meme status as "Sumanai-san" for being a bad SR unit, Siegfried is indeed quite powerful in his own right and given justice to his character to some extent in Apocrypha. A mighty warrior of Norse legend who conquered the evil dragon Fafnir, Siegfried was definitely one of the biggest ace Servants of the Black Faction, even being able to go toe-to-toe on Karna in their first fight. As for his character himself, while he unfortunately dies early on (technically, he gives his heart to the main protagonist Sieg and allows Sieg to transform into him by Command Spell), we do at least get a few tidbits of his background of how him slaying Fafnir allowed him to grant his people wishes, but never had a wish of his own. It was truly a tear-jerking moment yet heartwarming one when in his final moments, he realized that by willingly giving Sieg another chance at life, he was able to accomplish a wish of his own: to grant a wish of his own ...more
Chiron is one of the more better-treated Servants along with Caules's Frankenstein, being that Chiron happens to be the Servant of Caules's sister, Fiore. Probably some of his more memorable dynamics would be, of course, his relationship with Fiore, and the other one being his teacher-to-pupil relationship with Achilles. For the former, like Frankenstein with Caules, Chiron has quite a healthy relationship with Fiore, seeing as Fiore treats him very much as a person than just a mere Servant, much less a tool. As for Chiron and Achilles, seeing them clash together in a classic teacher vs. pupil rivalry was rather interesting. It was all the more intense to see the two of them battle it out in the sky within a Reality Marble with a man-to-man fistfight. Of course, if you have seen the fight, we all know the end result... Otherwise, Chiron was a pretty likable Servant for me and probably other people as well.
What Jack the Ripper is to Reika can easily be what Gilles de Rais was to Ryuunosuke. While the anime doesn't make much sense of what Reika's background was like (unless you have good inferring skills, you might have to look up her lore on anything pertaining to Nasuverse media), Jack's focus as a character is quite mysterious and intriguing to say the least (that is, unless you've played FGO for a while like I do). What truly made this incarnation of Jack interesting is that she's NOT a single individual, but rather, a single individual representing HUNDREDS of poor and even unborn children that were left abandoned and without love in Victorian-era London. I truly felt sorry for what Jack had to go through based on the illusion she created to showcase her tragic desire to be loved and saved. Makes sense as to why Jack was so close with Reika in a mother-daughter relationship.
If you've seen Vlad's incarnations from EXTRA and Grand Order, chances are you're probably confused as to why Vlad III's form here isn't Berserker-class or why he isn't in his EXTRA Lancer-class form. For me, I guess since Apocrypha takes place in Romania, it makes sense that regardless of his class, it's for that reason that Vlad appears as the hero king of the people of Romania. Put simply, this incarnation of Vlad makes good use of his Badass Baritone, his Story-Breaking Power of his Kazikli Bey, and his effectual leadership of the Black Faction even as a Servant of Darnic. While Darnic cut Vlad's glory short in a final gambit to take back the Greater Grail (it's complicated), I can never forget Vlad's pure awesomeness in terms of power and leadership. Shame that he had to be subjected against his will to be forced to transform into the very legend that plagued him and his family name for generations.
For me personally, Avicebron is probably the most forgettable Servant of the Black Faction (either for story reasons or that I just have a hard time remembering his name). Opinions aside, I can see what virtue he brought to the Apocrypha story by his own merit. While he's more or less mysterious of a Servant as Jack the Ripper is, Avicebron does a good job of concealing his true motives, and quite reveals it in a stunning change of pace when he goes to the Red Faction's side and betrays the Black Faction. What we see from his true motives are clear and concise: he came from a world where humans suffer and are plagued by hate, so he wanted to create a new world for humanity where it's one that's a paradise for all (no wonder he sided with Shirou Kotomine's cause). Of course, with great betrayal, comes... more great betrayal. And by more great betrayal, I mean Avicebron's Master being revealed to be Roche as the Chekhov's Gunman who seemed insignificant to the story up until Avicebron ...more
Now let's talk about the Masters. Now Suba- sorry, wrong anime. Caules (he and Subaru from Re: Zero have the same voice actor, Yuusuke Kobayashi) is the Master of Frankenstein in the Great Holy Grail War. Of all the Yggdmillenia Masters of the Black Faction, Caules and Fiore are probably two of the only members who are very close with their Servants and treat them with the most respect. Makes sense, considering they're both siblings. Not that I can say much about Caules, but as I've said earlier on this list, one of the best things about Caules would have to be his character dynamic with Frankenstein. Again, he treats her not just as a Servant, but rather, an actual person. The context being that Frankenstein all her original life was treated as a humanoid abomination and never treated with as much respect as Caules gave her now. In addition, Caules also seems to have a close sibling bond with his sister Fiore, always looking out for her and going out of his way to make sure she's ...more
And now we have Fiore, sister of Caules. Like Caules, Fiore treats her Servant Chiron with utmost respect and kindness. And by kindness, I mean true kindness. While Darnic showed respect for Vlad, he was always willing to go behind Vlad's words just to achieve his own ways. Contrast Fiore, and you have arguably the nicest member of the Yggdmillenia family. For someone who's disabled as a result of her magic circuits, Fiore is quite determined, being able to stand toe-to-toe with any Master with her special prosthetic fighting machine... whatchamacallit or whatever it was called. That aside, her relationships with Chiron and Caules are nonetheless close, especially as both of the two care deeply for her. And for what Caules did by having the will to have Fiore transfer her Mystic Code to him since he didn't want her to suffer witnessing another death at her own hands like when she lost her pet dog when she was younger, that just adds Woobie points for Fiore and Awesome Points for a ...more
Ugh, Gordes was such a Jerkass at first. In fact, I had a hard time considering if I should even put him here. That said, allow me to explain. Initially, he seemed like one of the more unlikable Masters of Yggdmillenia next to Celenike. Considering he treated his Servant Siegfried like crap and he saw the homunculi that he created and raised as nothing more than tools for the Great Holy Grail War, he just seemed like another aloof and greedy Master with an appearance equivalent to Hitler. However, once Apocrypha reaches it's turning point in the story, things REALLY change for Gordes fortunately. Thankfully, while he still seems like a jerk, it's more of him being rather a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Seeing him realize the error of his ways in him treating Siegfried and the homunculi like crap and him actually going out of his way to help give medical aid to the latter in their time of need truly gave him some form of redemption to him. Nonetheless, he's kind of rescued himself from ...more