Disappointing Netflix Watches: Fate/Extra and Mary and the Witch’s Flower

I said I wouldn’t do these anymore during one of my posts, but this is an exception. If I was going to write a singular post about either of these by themselves, I don’t think I have enough material to write a good post. This is something that I could be completely wrong about because I am writing this by the seat of my pants, what do I know. You see, I don’t want to write a full review of either of these things because I can’t help but be frustrated by both works. Yes, both titles have some redeeming qualities to them, but I feel like my annoyance and flaws I found in them would put my attempt at trying to have a balanced opinion not completely possible. Thank you, Netflix, for giving me the opportunity to watch these shows by only spending a minimal amount of money and resources. These, anime originals, and Voltron are why I have a Netflix account.

 Fate/Extra: Last Encore

Fate Extra

Oh man, how am I supposed to explain this one? I am not sure if it’s physically or psychologically possible to completely do that. What I got out of it was that this series takes place on the moon where magic is replaced by technology and computer programming. Our protagonist, Hakuno Kishinami, is killed and wakes up with no memory and with servant named Saber (gasp) who is entirely different from any other Saber we’ve seen but isn’t. Together, the two fight from one floor of the holy grail war tower, which they have defeat the floor’s master and servant, to another in order to gain Hakuno’s memories and resolve. All that sounds interesting and all but would be really nice if they didn’t remind us about this fact EVERY EPISODE. Seriously, these characters don’t know how to shut up. The exposition and talking is endless. Adding in pointless Saber nakedness doesn’t help with this either. When these characters could have said something simply, they find the most convoluted ways to keep talking and it’s wastes this show’s time to build some sort of feeling and atmosphere for our characters, surroundings, and the series itself. This show is completely impossible to watch subbed. Please watch it dubbed if you really, really want to.

I can’t leave this section without just saying that this series doesn’t have something good about it. The visuals of this anime are completely amazing. If I could talk about the visuals of this anime alone, I would have nothing but positives to say about it. Each floor has a design that give it such a unique perspective and personality to them.  Some of them even reminded me of Madoka Magica: Rebellion film. So strange and interesting to looking. There are even some great character designs. Fate designs with Shaft characteristics are incredibly unique and you can’t see them anywhere else. Should I also mention how fluid and exciting the fights are too. I just wish that these things weren’t apart of something so poorly over written. Maybe it wouldn’t be the best thing ever, but it would at least tolerable.

Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Mary and the Witches Flower

Oh hi former Studio Ghibli Animators. Nice to see you. I see you have a new studio now. It’s nice to see you make all the popular Studio Ghibli things in a story that was very forced and captured none of the magic of every Ghibli film ever. In case you were wondering, this entire movie didn’t have to happen. Mary could have lived a normal life for two whole days and not be lead by a black cat to do magical things and the result would be about the same. Everything magical came out of nowhere and doesn’t last forever.

Maybe I am getting ahead here. The story is that Mary is an over excited kid that lives with her rich aunt until her parents arrive from work. She can’t help anyone because she rushes into everything without thinking and causes bad situations to occur. This leads her to following a cat where she touches a magical flower that gives her all the magical power ever, flies off to a magical school that exists for some reason, and runs into the villains that are also leader of the school. Mary is pulled into the school further because of the lies and then endangers her friend she just met because she tried to pull herself out of a tough spot. You know what to expect from here right? The rest of the movie is Mary solving problems that probably wouldn’t affect her at all if she didn’t either didn’t get herself or anyone else involved in the first place. The worst part is the message that was put until the end of the movie. You know, the whole “we don’t need magic” thing. So frustrating in so many ways. Mary does have some growth in this story about how to take her time before she leaps, but it’s at the cost of a lot of things in terms what else the movie represented to me.

Mary and the Witch’s Flower is a very pretty movie that is full of Studio Ghibli character designs and references. The animation isn’t as fluid as a typical Studio Ghibli film, but so what? The very statement of “we don’t need magic” not only ruins what fiction is for but the magic from all of those Studio Ghibli Miyazaki movies. Magic is dumb, guys Why did you bother watching these films? Why do you bother watching or reading fiction? Do you guys like escaping from reality? That’s so stupid. Our normal lives are obviously more interesting than anything we will see in any mystical fantasy land. Maybe I am reading too much into this because this is Studio Ponoc making their debut, but the subtext of this film is terrible. It’s dunking on a lot of the things these creative people worked on previously. Maybe this was a way for them to separate them selves from their Studio Ghibli past, but did it have to be like this? It’s so annoying.

I don’t like writing opinions toward things or putting them on my blog, but sometimes it’s just something that needs to be done. Hopefully I am back to being positive with my next post. See you guys next time.


  1. I was extremely excited to watch Mary and the Witch’s Flower and the opening hooked me and made me want more–because who doesn’t want to learn about some badass witch stealing something and flying like an even bigger badass?

    And then I was let down. It crammed stuff in, it had a decent but not overly exciting plot, most characters were stale and uninteresting, and….yeah….

    I think I was disappointed because I expected something closer to Ghibli magic and it didn’t deliver.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve heard from a great many people and their disappointments with this film. Perhaps I’ll be able to salvage some good quality or redeeming theme from it, but I’m definitely not going in with high expectations.

      As for Fate/Extra, I think you already know how I feel about that one Scott, haha. Why Saber is nude all the time, I’ll never know!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are themes in it, i just don’t think care enough about them in the film.

        I know right? Its like every two episodes, there needs to be saber fanservice.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw Mary and the Witch’s Flower a few months ago, and I was disappointed. I felt like Studio Ponoc was trying WAY too hard from an animation standpoint to be like their former employers. Shoot, the logo shot is literally just Mary replacing Totoro facing the left. Ponoc needs to cultivate their own identity instead of piggybacking off Ghibli.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Of course. Say what you will about studios such as Pierrot, Bee Train, or Zexcs, but at least all of them have different styles than their respective founders’ animation studios. Mary and the Witch’s Flower could’ve been a better movie.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It seems like the entire Fate franchise outside of Zero is mediocre, and that’s a shame. I do hold out a little ray of hope for the Heavens Feel movies, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmm..I have seen some reviews for Mary and the Witch’s flowers that were really full of praise for it. It’s always nice to see a different viewpoint for it as well 😊 I haven’t seen it (yet) but I will probably check it out at some point just to see which side I will end up on 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The Fate series is hit or miss for me. I love Unlimited Blade Works, Fate/Zero, and especially Fate/Apocrypha, but 3 episodes into Fate/Extra and I knew it wasn’t for me. I really dislike THIS Saber and found Hakuno Kishinami to be extremely dull, and this is coming from a woman who liked Apocrypha’s Sieg! I also dislike Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Animation style only gets one so far. I took a look because of the Ghibli look and thought it might be a master piece on that alone… certainly fell flat. Just kind of standard okay… nothing that sinks its teeth into you.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. yeah, I was very yawn about Mary & the Witch’s Flower…like I forgot that I watched it at all until the title of this and was like, “oh yeah, I did watch that last week.” The fact I forgot it immediately says a lot right there! haha

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Animation wise Mary and the Witches Flower was okay, music is nice, and the characters not so much for sure. They basically roped in elements from different Ghibli films which was nice to see, but as you mentioned, they are missing an element (or more) to really sell the movie.
    I still kind of had fun with it, but not to the extent of identifying it as memorable for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m pretty disapointed to hear about Mary and the Witch’s Flower as I was really looking foward to this! Atleast I know not to waste my time with it now.

    Liked by 1 person

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