Noooo I’m turning into a typical anime fan! I feel as though I’m betraying something, somehow. The part of me which loves Mouryou no Hako, maybe. Something like that. But, but! I love strong women who wear suits! Stop looking at me that way!
Actually, mentioning Mouryou no Hako is perfect, because I loved the first episode of Fate/Zero and did not at all mind the info-dump moments it had strewn all over the first half. My favorite episodes of Mouryou no Hako consisted of part of the cast sitting around a table in a room and discussing things… for two episodes. That’s all they did. It was great.
So, the info-dumping for Fate/Zero did not trouble me at all. I will grant that it doesn’t take advantage of the medium at all, and I will also grant that it was fairly inelegant. But my favorite entertainment medium is text, not animation, so I was fine with that. However, I know that most of you will not be, particularly in a show that is supposed to be so action-oriented, so I’m probably at odds with most viewers on this front.
I went into Fate/Zero without any knowledge of the franchise, other than that Archer makes everyone
gar gay and that everyone also wants to bone Saber. I’ve never seen Fate/Stay Night, I’ve never played the games, I’ve never read the novels. This was a blind plunge, and one I had not originally planned to do. But, hey, Sunday was a slow day for shows, I watched a lot of stuff I hadn’t meant to. And I’m really glad I did check out Fate/Zero, because it is far and away the best thing I’ve seen this season (although the competition thus far ain’t exactly stiff).
This may also explain why I didn’t take issue with the info-dump. It made the show very accessible to someone like me, although a few folks have told me I should really watch Fate/Stay Night because it makes some of the things which occurred in this episode creepier/more ominous.
Anyway, for whatever it’s worth, I was also fairly surprised to find this enjoyable. I’m not a Type-Moon fan, and I’m not a ufotable fan, either. Kara no Kyoukai certainly looked nice, but it felt hollow to me, and my attention often wandered when I watched the first four movies. Thankfully, many of the characters here were easy to connect with right off the bat, even with the sheer mass of them introduced. Of course, it does help that there are barely any teenagers involved in the mix.
I should probably mention that there were elements that weren’t very good. The backgrounds are CGI’d to death, and it makes the characters stand out glaringly when they are in front of these backgrounds. It isn’t awful, but it looks stupid; for comparison, a scene just depicting a massive castle in a snowstorm looks fine in CGI, but a scene with a few characters standing and talking against a CGI background looks bad.
Additionally, I sincerely hope that the remaining active participants in the Holy Grail War are women. Yeah, yeah, Saber is a woman, and she’s one of the fighters, but it’d be great to not have every single Master be male.
Overall, though, I found Fate/Zero to be extremely engaging, and I’m thrilled to have another show to follow on a weekly basis.