Fate/Zero at a Glance

HNNNNNGH SABER

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.

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16 Responses to Fate/Zero at a Glance

  1. clazy says:

    as a type-moon fan, i’m thrilled to see them getting even more recognition since that will lead to funding for future projects. what i really want to see though is a heaven’s feel animation and more melty blood. carnival phantasm is nice to see, but to be honest the jokes are pretty terrible.

  2. 2DT says:

    Don’t take my word for it, but I think all the Masters this time around are male. It’s actually interesting compared to Fate/Stay Night, because they’re not young men, either.

  3. FaS says:

    I’m actually watching the first – fate stay night and omfg idk how people watch it…the protagonist is the self-righteous 14 year old weakling who is scared to fight anything. I just want to get it over with. I only watch it so I can appreciate Fate stay zero and this dating sim I have

  4. Memmy says:

    And if I remember correctly, in Fate/Stay Night, they are at least three female Masters (sadly, the anime isn’t very good.)

    But Fate/Zero will probably be excellent (I hope so).

  5. InsaneZero says:

    Fate/stay night’s anime adaptation is best avoided, since any sense of characterization or pathos from the original material was carefully stripped away to make room for action and fanservice. In the end, you’ll get the same result just from reading a wiki, but with added bonus of not being completely blindsided for several hours.

    • A Day Without Me says:

      Ok, so I’ll force someone to read the Wikipedia article to me while i look at Pixiv fanart. Sweet.

  6. Kyokai says:

    This episode was definitely a good start of the franchise. People, just forget fate/stay night anime already. It was a car crash from the beginning. Actually, along with Saber, Iri will be playing a very important role to this war and just for explanation’s sake; Iri was the one who was supposedly participating in this war but they Kiritsugu happened and her elders decided that he should replace her as a master from Einzbern. Also, Sakura would’ve been a player if Kariya hadn’t butted in with Zouken. Oh and Archibald’s fiance is still there.

    • A Day Without Me says:

      Actually, I don’t think Sakura was on the table at all, at least not in this adaptation – the old Matou guy states that they don’t really think they’ll participate until the next one, and Sakura will have provided them with an heir by then who can participate for the Matou.

  7. kluxorious says:

    Archer makes me grow a b0nar but that besides the point. Ufotable literally forced this one down my throat and like a slut, I take it whole.

    • A Day Without Me says:

      Archer apparently has that affect on a lot of folks. My boyfriend included.

  8. Free Radical Prions says:

    One thing that I would like to say is that things are not going to go well for anyone in this series. Understanding what kind of human being, if we can even call him that, Kiritsugu is… is one integral part of understanding why this story is a very dark one. I might go further and propose that knowing the story of Fate/Stay Night might also make it quite dark, but in all honesty, it’s utterly unnecessary and a simple read through of the basic plot and the background of the protagonist will be enough. The protagonists of these respective stories take a very very different approach to their shared conundrum. Despite the fact that they end up facing the same problem, their true nature shows and to be brutally frank, Kiritsugu’s is most certainly the more impressive path.

    Also, if you need any further reasons on why Fate/Zero trumps Fate/Stay Night; Gen Urobuchi wrote it. If you have a sentimental thread in your soul, prepare yourself for some misery.

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