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YMMV / Lord El-Melloi II Case Files

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Waver's surprising lack of remorse over the Inferred Holocaust he likely caused after sabotaging Barzan's excavation efforts in the first episode, especially since it's implied not all of them were there by choice. Was it a case of him being self-centered or hypocritical due to his immaturity? Did he believe their deaths were justified due to their complicity in the crime of disturbing Iskandar's grave? Or was he taking the typical magus mindset of dismissing their deaths in the name of his own self-preservation, before later events made him completely jaded to the realities of the magus way? note 
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    • Given that Waver is an unmarried loner with depression who lives in a cramped apartment, owes an insurmountable debt, and prefers to pass his time playing video games, a lot of fans like to half-jokingly interpret Waver's various issues as the result of him being a typical millennial, although the 2004 setting of this show means he's technically a Gen Xer.
  • Awesome Art: Instead of a typical Anime Theme Song, the OP sequence uses trippy visuals to evoke the intros of Western detective series such as Sherlock.
  • Awesome Music: Yuki Kajiura, who did the soundtrack for several other Type-Moon anime adaptations, is back for this show. In fact, some of the tracks were used for the show's collaborative event with Fate/Grand Order.
    • The Clock Tower theme is very haunting, bringing the mystery vibe of the series and the collaborative event. This is even used as the Final Boss theme and those who played the game and are up-to-date with the story know that the track can also be very sad given the identity of the Final Boss.
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    • The OP theme, Starting the Case: Rail Zeppelin, which forgoes the usual Anime Theme Song for a more haunting melody to capture the show's sense of mystery.
    • The ED theme, Hibari, is very beautiful, as are the various tracks that use it as a Leitmotif.
    • The closing snippet of Season 1, you were my king, is a great way to highlight the emotional charge of Waver's dream reunion with Iskandar.
  • Broken Base: Though most people like the character herself, Gray being yet another Saberface is highly controversial. Supporters point to the fact that the plot provides an organic and detailed justification for it to keep it from feeling shoehorned compared to most Saberfaces (e.g. Nero from Fate/EXTRA), and that said justification is an effective Deconstruction and Take That! against the phenomena. Critics on the other hand believe that all the Watsonian explanation in the world doesn't make the Doylist decision any less cheap and shoehorned, and that throwing a Saberface to pull in certain kinds of fans belies a certain lack of confidence in the story since the plot could've worked fine if Gray had a more original design.
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  • Continuity Lockout: The series is set between Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night and the anime adaptation expects the viewers to, at least, be familiar with the events of Zero in order to understand Waver's predicament; though the anime tried to explain Waver's experiences during Zero in the original episodes, they were kept as minimal as possible.
  • Estrogen Brigade: While Fate as a whole has its share of Multiple Demographic Appeal, it's generally considered a franchise aimed more at men. Meanwhile polls indicate that the fanbase for Case Files is primarily female, mentioning that female fans introduced to a franchise through adaptations are more likely to be passionate and thus go back to the source material whereas male fans tend to be more casual.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Adashino and Waver have a charged rivalry, complete with Waver describing her in terms similar to those of a bitter ex. Although the author stated that Waver canonically has no desire for romance quite a few fans feel that the two have great romantic chemistry together anyway.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Though jokes about Waver and Iskandar's relationship in Zero being like a romance are nothing new (TYPE-MOON and Ufotable themselves have riffed on it a great deal since the original novel's release), his intense devotion to him has never been explicitly confirmed to be of that nature. Nevertheless his deep angst over Iskandar's death and his desperate desire to see him again comes off here as like that of a longtime widow pining for The Lost Lenore.
      • He's shown still keeping and wearing Iskandar's t-shirt, and cradles and talks to his mantle adoringly as a Tragic Keepsake.
      • In episode 7 Waver admits that even though he can deal with the prospect of a resummoned Iskandar not remembering their time together, and that the most important thing is seeing him again, he's driven to tears knowing that being able to remember and be remembered by each other is the kind of thing he can't have but would give anything for - in short, he's describing the core emotional dilemma behind the Amnesiac Lover trope.
      • When Waver relates his history with Iskandar to Olga-Marie he picks up an apple with a noticeable yellow stripe around the bottom like Iskandar's cape, very obviously meant to symbolize the man himself, and fondles it suggestively.
      • Kairi warns Gray to keep an eye on Waver so that he doesn't follow Wills' example. That is to say, being so in love with a spiritual being that you'd follow them to the other side willingly.
    • Then there's the undertones from his Only Friend Melvin:
      • Their interactions in the first episode features a lot of hugging, blushing and handholding. Waver gets very flustered when Melvin asks him about his virginity, whereas he's slightly more composed when Reines asks him the same thing. Slightly. That not being a virgin is seemingly the more embarrassing answer implies he isn't, and the most obvious candidate to fans is Iskandarnote .
      • When Melvin arrives on the Rail Zeppelin he pauses to give Waver a warm look and strokes his forehead rather tenderly before asking who hurt him, because that's something only he's allowed to do.
      • Melvin angrily wall pins Waver in episode 11, telling him he's in no position to do what he's doing.
  • Memetic Mutation: El-Melloi II is Anime Snape.note 
  • Moe: Gray, who's very shy and a little socially awkward but also a very cute Badass Adorable.
  • Narm: Gratuitous English is typical for a Fate series, but the characters' frequent invocation of Waver's catchprase "whydunnit" and Gray's scythe chant can get particularly silly, with the latter commonly derided as being Chuunibyou.
  • Pandering to the Base:
    • Though its first half puts some effort into helping novices who haven't read the novels catch up to speed, the anime adaptation is geared towards fans who are already at least somewhat familiar with the characters and lore from the Fate franchise.
    • Likewise, the series is chock-full of TYPE-MOON cameos not just from Fate and its various spinoffs but also from The Garden of Sinners and even Tsukihime and Melty Blood. The anime adaptation also gets in on this, bringing in cameos from characters who did not appear in the original novels and increasing the roles of those who appeared in the novels but not for the current arc.
  • The Scrappy: Yvette gets this for her shameless obsession with being Waver's mistress and her sexual harassment of him, and for having a character design that is completely over the top and sticks out like a sore thumb (even by Nasuverse standards it doesn't make sense for the timeframe of when the series takes place). It doesn't help that she was The Mole who sold information about the Rail Zeppelin to Doctor Heartless, but gets off for that incident with little more than a slap on the wrist.
  • Spiritual Successor: Stated to be one to prior Nasuverse entry The Garden of Sinners. Whereas most entries in the Fate-verse tend to focus on high-octane Servant battles, Case Files focuses more on Urban Fantasy, investigating supernatural mysteries, and expounding on philosophy and the nature of magecraft, with action sequences much more infrequent. Touko Aozaki herself appears in a way that implies Kara no Kyoukai to be Broad Strokes canon to Fate. For bonus points, the anime adaptation brings back composer Yuki Kajiura, with a sound that's much closer to her work on Kara no Kyoukai than on Fate.
  • Strictly Formula: Some accuse the mysteries of the novels of doing this by almost every solution hinging on someone not being who they say they are:
    • Jiroubou Seigen Tokitou really was Geryon's son Glannid Ashborn.
    • The Princess of Gold really was her maid Carina.
    • Caules Forvedge really was Doctor Heartless.
    • The Corpse King really was Gray's mother Magdalena.
    • Doctor Heartless really was Hishiri's brother Kurou.
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