How to Get Started With The Case Files of El-Melloi II

As part of the vast universe of the Fate/Stay Night franchise, The Case Files of El-Melloi II has the tendency to slip between the cracks compared to the chronicles of Tohsaka Rin, Emiya Shirou, and Matou Sakura in the Fifth Holy Grail War. However, this light novel series, later adapted into a 2019 anime with a recently aired special, fills an important role in helping to explain the Fate/stay Night world and approach the story from a different--and matured--perspective.

The Plot of The Case Files of El-Melloi II

Lord El-Melloi Grace Files Waver and Co.

The Case Files of El-Melloi II picks up ten years after the conclusion of the Fourth Holy Grail War. Waver Velvet has taken up a teaching position at the Clock Tower in London but is still plagued by nightmares and guilt due to his experiences during the events of Fate/Zero. The death of his Servant at the hands of Gilgamesh is still a vivid memory and it doesn't help that the Fifth Holy Grail War is fast approaching. However, Case Files is not the story of a Holy Grail War. Instead, it works through Waver to explain the world of mages and magic. When Waver's professor was killed in the Fourth War, it left the El Melloi family without a proper heir. Having used his professor to enter the war, Waver took over as Lord El-Melloi II upon his return to London until the younger lady of the house could come of age. The El-Melloi name and the resources allotted to him as a member of the Mage's Association see Waver end up working as an agent for the mages, digging up mysteries and exploring the world of mages in a manner that the Holy Grail Wars never had time for.

Where to Read the Light Novels & Manga

Lord El-Melloi Grace Files Waver Velvet Gray

Sanda Makoto (Rental Magica, Cross x Regalia) was personally requested by Fate/Stay Night creator Nasu Kinoko and Fate/Zero author Urobuchi Gen to write a novel series about Waver Velvet following the release of Fate/Zero. The first volume was published in 2014 with the tenth and final volume in 2019. A sequel series--The Adventures of El-Melloi II--is currently being published with one volume out so far.

Sanda is also authoring the manga adaptation, which has had eight volumes published since it began serialization in 2017.

Though no English translation is yet available, the recent paperwork editions of the light novels, as well as the anime special, suggests that a translation is forthcoming, especially considering the usual wait times between Fate/stay Night adaptations. There was a six-year gap between Japanese and English releases for Fate/Zero, even considering how critically acclaimed the series was. It would be reasonable to expect a translation within two years, especially considering the forward momentum the franchise has had as a whole.

Where to Watch the Anime

Lord El-Melloi Grace Files

The Case Files of El-Melloi II {Rail Zeppelin} Grace note, which adapts the fourth and fifth novels, can be streamed on Crunchyroll, along with a special which aired on Dec. 31, 2021. Fate/Zero, which is recommended for viewing to those who have not seen it before, is available on Netflix and Crunchyroll.

While The Case Files of El Melloi II is very different in tone from other works in the Fate/Stay Night franchise, that makes it all the more a necessary watch for Fate fans. It slows the world down and gives it rules. It is also a gentler story as the stakes are lower, with moments of laughter and most importantly, of healing. It is the story of someone trying to cope with something terrible that happened to them, and Case Files allows that. Waver represents the Fate/stay Night franchise as a different sort of never-the-hero, exploring and explaining a world while others fight for it, making The Case Files of El-Melloi II different from the rest of Fate, yes, but entirely worth it.

Ash Ketchum from Pokémon.
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