***This is a spoiler free review***
Fate/Zero was an anime like many others I put off watching due to some preconceived notions that it wasn’t worth my time. The first reason being that most people say that Fate/Stay Night (its successor) was a poorly done show. After recently seeing a review for Fate/Zero, my interest was piqued so I thought what the hell one episode won’t hurt. What I learned thirteen episodes later was that it would secure a spot at the top of my all-time favorite anime list.
I’m not going to lie, the flow of the plot and the plot in general are one of the few issues with this anime. Essentially the story revolves around finding and obtaining the Holy Grail. The Grail itself chooses seven mages and those seven mages summon a servant (usually a historical figure) that will fight for them in order to receive the grail. The issues are that the first episode (a forty-five minute episode) is entirely a, “Hey here is this guy oh and don’t forget about this women” type of thing. You are bombarded with backstory for the main characters in the anime. Second issue is that for this first season the plot doesn’t move very much after the initial episodes. After a while it just seems like filler content until around episode ten. Last issue is that from my perspective it was painfully obvious that this whole season was meant only to set up for the following season. Like my previous point stated, the show doesn’t move on very much and as soon as it’s over it seems like it has just started ramping up. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoyed the story I just wished they cut out some content.
The show’s overall animation is quite astounding to behold. The things that struck out to me the most were the very unique lighting during the fight scenes as well as how detailed the character models were. Each character model was stunning to see over and over again throughout the entire anime. Also even though each of the servants were from different time periods, they all had a unique way of presenting themselves that I felt was pretty awesome. Overall I think this is one of the best looking anime I have seen. I will however point out that some of the dialogue scenes are a little stiff. Ufotable is known for this and you should be on the look out for these almost lazy scenes. It's not too bad in this show but in some of their others...it's really bad. The characters just do not have movement in some talking scenes and once you see it, it will really bother you.
Another great aspect of this anime was the sound that accompanied all the episodes. Voice acting was astounding as well as the background music. Each character’s emotions had a pretty well matched arrangement of music that seemed to fit in every situation. In the fight scenes you hear some pretty awesome choir arrangements that seem to be present in every action fighting anime. So yeah thumbs up to the staff on creating such a great sounding anime.
It’s tough to put a number grade on the characters because while there are a couple great and memorial characters, there were a few that either did not have thought provoking motives or were just not enjoyable to see. Rider, Saber, Lancer, and Waver were all very well written characters that when on screen, stole your attention whether you wanted to or not. Rider (biased off of Alexander the Great) was by far my favorite character because he not only assessed each situation for the audience, but also because he was always cheerful and upbeat. The characters that really dragged the show down however, were Kirei, Kiritsugu, Assassin, and Ryuunosuke for various reasons. Some had no real motive that made me want to like or hate them (Kirei and Ryuunosuke) while others just turned out to really ruin my expectations (Kiritsugu and Assassin). Overall however, this anime’s characters will grow on you and will more than likely stick with you to remember later on.
This anime really surprised me; after watching the first couple episodes I just could not stop watching it. It consumed me so much that I ended up watching all of it in one sitting (something I haven’t done since the first three arcs of Bleach). The idea surrounding the grail, the amazing visuals and fight scenes, the great sounding arrangements and voice overs, and above all rememberable characters made this anime one of the best that I have seen in my entire life. If you are looking for an epic adventure anime that won’t take up too much of your time, look no further because here it is.
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