Fate/Zero – First Impressions

The Fall 2011 anime season is off to an amazing start with Fate/Zero!

Fate/Zero is a 25-episode prequel to Fate/stay night and tells the story of the 4th Holy Grail War. Seven magi and their summoned servants fight to obtain the legendary Holy Grail that is said to have the power to grant any wish.

This series is a treat for Fate/stay night fans like myself since we get to actually see what happened during the previous Holy Grail War. There’s lots of familiar faces that include Saber, Gilgamesh, Emiya Kiritsugu, Kotomine Kirei, Tohsaka Rin, Sakura, and Illya. However, I think newcomers can still easily keep up with Fate/Zero and then simply watch Fate/stay night afterward.

In regard to Fate/stay night, I feel that Fate/Zero is superior both in terms of direction and animation quality. The story flows better from scene to scene and unfotable has done great work with their movie-level animations. The first episode does a superb job of building up a foundation for the series by explaining the background and introducing all the characters. I like how it includes the stories of all the masters that are participating in the war. The part where it jumps around showing them summoning their servants was awesome.

Also, throw in the fact that Kajiura Yuki is behind the music and I can easily say this will be the best series this season.

Rating: Excellent

Extra Thoughts (SPOILERS):

  • I never knew Illya’s father was Emiya Kiritsugu, so that came as a surprise.
  • Sakura Matou appeared to be fairly normal in Fate/stay night. I had no idea her past was filled with such horrendous events. That’s probably why she’s always shown with glossed-over eyes.
  • If Kariya wanted to save her, wouldn’t it be easier to fight against his father than it is to try and win the Holy Grail War? The before and after version of him are quite shocking; those worms really took their toll on him.
  • I find it amusing that Waver stole the relic intended for Kayneth. If it’s an important package, you don’t just hand it off to a student. I’m looking forward to seeing Kayneth’s reaction upon learning that Waver is one of the masters.
  • It would have been interesting to see more about the relics used to summon the various servants. Was it just coincidence that everyone decided to go for a servant in a different class? For example, what if multiple masters wanted a Saber-class servant?

20 Comments to “Fate/Zero – First Impressions”

  1. Son Gohan says:

    Kariya is not much of a magus, how could he fight an old fox like Zouken? He truly is the most tragic of the Masters.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    I guess my thought was more of a future speculation for after Kariya summoned his servant. I assume with his servant he would be able to beat Zouken, although I don’t know how he would feel about fighting against his father. Either way, we’ll just have to see how it plays out.

    [Reply]

    takashid Reply:

    Even with his servent he cant kill Zouken. those worms he let Zouken put in him would kill him if he tried.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Ah, you’re right. I forgot about that. >_<

  2. Gilgamesh92 says:

    We do learn about Sakuras past in Fate stay night.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Yeah, although in the Fate/stay night anime it wasn’t as graphic as in Fate/Zero, which was what surprised me.

    [Reply]

    Thess Reply:

    They mean about the Fate Stay Night Visual novel.

    The anime adapted the ‘introductory’ route (aka Fate). The movie the Unlimited Blade Works route (by far the most disconnected with Fate/Zero, like at least Fate addresses some things of it). The last and third route (Sakura route, but where Kotomine and Illya play a pivotal role), the “grand finale”: Heaven’s Feel remains without adaptation.

    In fact, the true nature of the Grail War isn’t addressed or resolved in the other routes, it does in Heaven’s Feel. Where Shirou… well, let’s say he becomes what Kiritsugu threw away all his life: a happy man.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Ah, I still haven’t gotten around to playing the Heaven’s Feel route. >_>

    When time permits, I will do so. If it was ever to be animated though, I feel ufotable would do an excellent job of it.

  3. Gabriel says:

    To your last question about multiple masters wanting the same type of class of servant, I think I have the answer.

    The thing is that not all servants are bound to just one type of class, a single servant could be summoned into many different categories. I.E, Lancer in FSN could have been summoned as a berserker, and Hercules could have been summoned into any class except for assassin and caster.

    What I assume happens is each master selects a relic, and the grail sorts out each servant’s class so there are no clashes. So, for example, given a servant who could be both a caster and assassin, and a servant who could only be a caster, the grail would summon the first under the assassin class, and the second under the caster class.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Ah, if that’s the case, it would make sense. It’s like how Gilgamesh doesn’t even seem like he’s the Archer class if not for his noble phantasm. *shrug*

    [Reply]

  4. Azure says:

    Gabriel’s comment is correct. In fact, according to Typemoon’s comment Kayneth wanted Diarmuid as a Saber, but Kiritsugu already summoned Saber.

    Due to limit of Animation, Fate/Zero lose few explanations.
    (though it is undestandable, and Amine is still level of excellence.
    I heard the drawing team of Fate/Zero is non-sleeping mode due to
    hard drawing job.)

    For example, model name of Kiritsugu’s 1 shot-handgun is Thompson Contender,
    which is existed in real world. And Kiritsugu modded it for using a bullet stronger than rifle bullet(!)

    This is reason why his handgun is wwaayy stronger than his machine gun.
    It can penetrate through Mercury wall of Kayneth.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Thanks for the confirmation and explanation!

    I can imagine the hard work the drawing team is doing since the resulting drawings are magnificent.

    [Reply]

  5. Azure says:

    Oh, yeah, another thing, Kotomine’s cloth is made by Kevlar fiber(body armor material). Plus, he enhanced its hardness with his magical artifact. That’s another funny thing you can see without reading text.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Thanks for clearing up another point! I remember watching him block bullets with his arm and wondering how he was doing so. >_>

    [Reply]

  6. Thess says:

    Sakura’s pretty numb inside like a steel, unless she gets really emotional and experiencing hope and anxiety (when Shirou starts to return her feelings in Heaven’s Feel route which is a huge plot point) nobody could guess the horror of 11 years of torment, rape and body modification she’s going through.

    Killing Zouken is impossible. In HF his body and SOUL are destroyed but he clings to existence until

    If you notice though, in the very same episode, Kariya glares at him and the worms ‘get excited’ (they begin to eat him for hostility against him). That body is just for show.

    Illya being Kiritsugu’s daughter is revealed in Heaven’s Feel route (aka other routes never resolve anything addressed or foreshadowed in Fate/Zero, but it’s probably because they aren’t as dark as HF).

    [Reply]

    Thess Reply:

    coughs until he gives up when he remembers his reason (and it’s a VERY specific moment). LOL.

    If Kariya attacked Zouken, he’ll die in 5 seconds, even if he wasn’t wormed.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Ah I see, thanks for the explanation!

    Zouken’s body and soul are destroyed, but he’s still in existence? Quite the persistent one.

    [Reply]

    Thess Reply:

    Read this for further understanding HF.

    Ideally, I would suggest the VN, but that review is great.

    [Reply]

    Reltair Reply:

    Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll read the review after I complete the HF route in the VN. 🙂

    [Reply]

  7. […] “The first episode does a superb job of building up a foundation for the series by explaining the background and introducing all the characters. I like how it includes the stories of all the masters that are participating in the war. The part where it jumps around showing them summoning their servants was awesome.” – Project Saber […]

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