Love the Fate series. At the time, I wasn’t aware of the 2004 show so I watched this one first, so time to review it. Gorgeous animation alongside complex characters made me a fan. 😀 (Some Spoilers)
This story takes place 10 years before the events of Fate Stay Night the 2004 show. This show revolves around the 4th Holy Grail War that takes place in Fuyuki City. 7 mages summon seven Heroic Spirits to compete in the Holy Grail War. The prize is to obtain the power of the Holy Grail, which grants the user a one wish. Three founding families, Einzbern, Makiri and Tohsaka have competed for the Holy Grail in the past three wars and now it’s time for the fourth one to begin.
The Einzbern family are determined to be successful this time around after the last three failures. They’ve decided to receive outside help and have chosen Kiritsugu Emiya, a mage who is a hitman who does whatever it takes to achieve his goals. The Einzbern family are determined to win and believe Kiritsugu Emiya will lead them to glory.
When Kiritsugu was a kid he wanted to prevent catastrophe’s from happening. The reason he decided this was because of his father’s experiment. His father was a mage who made the Dead Apostle experiment, this was an experiment that turned people into vampires with no cure.
Shirley, Kiritsugu’s friend become a dead apostle and due to Kiritsugu’s hesitation when it came to killing her, his island became infested in dead apostle’s. Kiritsugu ended up killing his father to prevent more death’s from happening. Kiritsugu has spent his life assassinating and hunting down magi like his father in order to obtain his dream of protecting people.
Kiritsugu finds out about the Holy Grail and what it can do and shuts down all his emotions. If I was to describe Kiritsugu it seem to me that he acts like a robot. He dislike his emotions getting in the way of his work, he even questions his emotions when it comes to his wife and daughter, Irisviel and Illyasviel.
Kiritsugu believes that choosing a road that ends in a small sacrifice is a good one not matter how heavy the price is. He was an interesting character as I found myself constantly questioning his motives and ideas behind his emotionless face.
I enjoyed seeing his struggle to keep his emotions in check especially when it came to Irisviel and Illya. His decision-making was quick and his skills were awesome to see. He spent his time mostly in the background in the show even though he is the real master of Saber and not Irisviel. I figured he did this to draw out the other competitors.
There was only one person he feared in this battle and that Kotomine Kirei, Kiritsugu believed he Kirei’s personality was strange and he was the only one out of everyone in this war with the potential to beat him. When hee said this in one of the episodes, I was intrigued in why he would think as there are many powerful opponents of the battlefield.
Irisviel Von Eizenbern
Irisviel was a cool character. I found her interesting because she was not human. She was created to be the Holy Grail’s vessel but she had human emotions which made her different from other “people” who came before her. Irisviel follows Kiritsugu’s dream and mentions that she will sacrifice herself to be the Holy Grail’s vessel and for Kiritsugu’s dream. From what I noticed, Irisviel never understood Kiritsugu’s dream she just wanted to walk down the same path with the man she loved.
Looking at her attitude, it was clear that she decided that she didn’t want to burden Kiritsugu so acted as a woman who wanted to die for the same dream her did, instead of acting as a woman who would die for her husband.
This made things interesting with her as you could she that she was trying hard to understand his ideals but whenever he mentioned it, she acted like she understood. I would have like to have seen some conflict between Irisviel and Kiritsugu about his ideals. For someone who wasn’t a human to begin with, she became a human in the end in terms of emotional ties.
Saber is one of the main character’s of Fate Zero and is a servant who was summoned by Kiritsugu Emiya to fight other servants and win the Holy Grail. Saber was a courageous character who was set on winning the Holy Grail from the start. She liked to stick to her own morals even if there was a better way of going about things. This lead to her conflicting with Kiritsugu over strategic plans during the Holy Grail War.
Saber came off as naive sometimes and this was due to her lack of understanding of the modern world. I mean sure she did mention that they Grail gives each servant information on the modern world but things that they don’t mention such as what an innuendo is.
Saber would sometimes appear as cold in the show but this was because she suppressed her emotions to achieve her goals. She sticks to her code of chivalry and prefers fair fights which makes sense as she was a king. This created conflict with Kiritsugu as the two had different methods on how to go about obtaining the Holy Grail. She was complex character due to regrets in the past and her interaction with other characters.
I always felt that Saber should slow down and think things through as not everything needs to be rushed. I wish that sometimes she would listen to other people’s ideas and follow through with them if only for a little before she tries things her way. I still enjoyed seeing her character on-screen. Oh and her sword fights were astounding!
Kirei was a character I didn’t like. He was a weird character as he was simply a background character for most of the show until the end. We did get to look into his head and find out that due to his wife’s death before the show, he had not purpose in life so when he was chosen by the Grail to summon a servant, he was surprised.
I think that was the only emotion he really displayed in the show, other times he would look bored. Kirei had a warped mind. He walked the borderline of sanity and insanity. He was able to accomplish a lot in the show, but never felt satisfied. He understood emotions even though he tried his hardest to.
Kirei believed that Kiritsugu had the same hollowness and empty void he felt and this was the reason why he pursued him throughout the show, in the end he didn’t realise he was mistaken. Kiritsugu did no have the same hollowness he felt as he was able to experience emotions he just suppressed them, whereas Kirei never understood them in the first place. I never like him, but I could appreciate the complex character that he was.
The art style was amazing, consistent. It was beautiful to look at. It was amazing how the servants from different era’s fit into Fuyuki City, none of them really looked out-of-place. I enjoyed seeing the servants interact with modern-day items. The joy on Iskander’s face when he bought was great and made me love his character more than I already did.
The servants interactions with each other was great, you could really see the interest some of them had in each other especially Saber VS Lancer and Gilgamesh VS Berserker.
The clash of the swords and lancer was great to see. The art style was well done. Saber and Lancer’s chivalry was a great parallel to Lancer and Berserker “dance” in the sky. I really enjoyed the smug look on Gilgamesh’s face at he sits on his throne while Berserker is throwing projectiles at him. Amazing fight with action packed music that really set the tone of the fight.
This was an amazing show with an interesting story that made me check out the other Fate shows which were great. This is an anime where the “good guys” don’t win. Everyone is left messed or dead and that was pretty hard for me to deal with as I really like th characters. There is some hope in Kiritsugu finding a kid after the war and deciding to adopt him. There’s that at least…. I guess?
The only thing I dislike about this show was the disturbing scenes they decided to show. One of them was violence against children. Surprising for me as I tend to stay away from those types of anime. I loved the plot twists, the characters and the sprinkles of comedy here and there.
The lack of story was a problem as it really slowed the show down. It’s great that different characters are getting their time to shine but we do that without slowing the pacing down? In order to raise up its characters the travel deep into the psychological aspects of the show which was interesting.
An action anime that stands out is what this anime is and I’m happy I was able to watch it when I did, without the spoilers ruining my experience. Fate Zero is a show for a mature audience. But if you feel that you can watch it, you can do that if you want.
This show is best to watch with tea in hand as I do. What!! You don’t like tea??? Huh… *mutters* maybe it’s a british thing then….
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Title: Fate Zero
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Supernatural
Released Date: October 2, 2011 – December 25, 2011
Director: Ei Aoki
Animated: By ufotable