Waver Velvet Is Such a Relatable Character!

I say this after writing about Fate/Zero and watching the Lord El-Melloi’s II Case Files {Rail Zeppelin} Grace Note -Special Episode- which came out last week over the New Year’s weekend. Considering this OVA from Rail Zeppelin and Fate/Stay Night take place in 2004, that easily places Waver Velvet as a Gen X-er. Yet, everything about how his story functions and works feels relatable to me as a millennial. Perhaps as a generational concept, some aren’t as separated as one would be let to believe. Or maybe generational trauma is something that just carries over from one to another.

At this point, it’s pretty easy to really understand Waver’s story. I mean, this entire series is like an expansion off of Fate/Zero. That series itself featuring Waver Velvet as a young shonen protagonist who went into the 4th holy grail war to prove himself against the well establish and sadistic Kayneth who was the kid’s teacher. While the two never met in servant combat, Waver’s arc needed the self assured older mage out in the war to feel something of a connection. He felt inadequate the entire time he was involved in that war which his servant Iskander slowly knocked him out of. A good story of find one’s own strengths and a place for them to exist.

Rail Zeppelin takes place ten years after the fourth grail war with Waver hoping to somehow make it into the fifth to see Iskander again. I mean, those of us who have watched anything related to Fate/Stay Night know he wasn’t ever going to make it into that conflict. Yet ten years later, Iskander’s affect is still on him. So is the world of older magic meeting the newer one. Something which is represented by Waver taking up the title of Lord El-Melloi II and becoming a teacher at the Tower or mage academy. A lot of his points of view at the cross roads of newer technology and mage craft are problems or ideas that would occur around the early 2000’s.

That is the idea that the Rail Zeppelin series digs into as the old and new meet together. The show does a better job of looking at that time period then anything else out in the fate realm which isn’t saying much considering its the only one. At the same time, that sort of complication gives the series the right to exist. This special OVA episode adds a lot of credit to that considering its the ten year classroom reunion episode. An hour long episode of Waver seeing a lot of his past mistakes on display for seeing what he did and didn’t see back then. I mean, there was the magic that turned him into a teenager again and eventually seeing the world he left behind and didn’t see back then. Waver didn’t see back then which he can see more clearly as an adult.

Waver didn’t have the answers to everything. Nor does he stop making mistakes despite being more proud of what he has been able to do since then. The mistakes of the past create who we are today. That reunion showed that not only was he a person that didn’t move or change much, but the entire class that use to laugh at him ended up as failures too. Besides a rich mage that has always been rich and one of his classmates that got married, everyone else has been a screw up that wants to return to their past in order to fix their mistakes. A generational problem of the current one never living up to the past expectations. Something which I think about in my own failures in achieving what my generation was promising. I know I’m not the only one.

So that is what makes the entire Rail Zeppelin series and especially the good OVA it produced last week into something that is relatable. Not only is Waver himself relatable, but the entire cast of this special is. The uncertainty in one’s abilities and the generational problem of never being enough and the failures of the not getting to where one wants to be. Waver Velvet is an inspirational character because he knows of all of these things and yet has become the most successful person in his mage graduation class from finding his strengths and sharing them for the next generation to grow from. He isn’t like Kayneth who pushes down those who aren’t like him, but lifts up a class of young mages who still have a lot to gain. A wonderful character to learn from.

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