Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Anime Review: Fate/Zero

FATE/ZERO: This anime almost gets a perfect score

The story of Fate/Zero details the events of the fourth Holy Grail War, which is merely recited in fragments in Fate/Stay Night. This story is generally told in the perspective of Kiritsugu Emiya, a major participant in the war, and his Servant Saber.

The series opens interestingly. It gives the viewers an overload of information regarding the Fate mythos, and establishes the major characters of the story. This kind of approach tends to be a chore to watch. It could be utterly boring.

However, this is not the case for Fate/Zero. The overload of information, instead of boring the viewers, sparks an incredible interest of knowing and discovering further details about the amazing technicalities of the Fate universe; the establishment of the major characters is not dull as well, for these characters are very interesting and very distinct in their own right. Each of them just leaves an impression that their establishment becomes rather exciting.

The impressive storytelling doesn’t stop there. It continues to maintain the interest of the viewers by mixing minor conflicts in the story, as a way to gratify the viewers while delaying the conclusion of the major conflicts. I should also add that these minor conflicts are not random. They have their own effects on the major conflicts, on the characters, and on other minor conflicts. It is obvious that the story is very planned-out.

The storytelling is not perfect, however. It tends to slow down on some parts, as the story jumps from character to character. This shifting of focus has both positive and negative effects. As I said earlier, it has tended to slow down the pacing of the story, and this happens when the viewers is presented with the strategies, ideals, and ordeals of different characters.

But the good thing about this is the fact that each character has its own moments to shine. In fact, the characters hold their fair shares of screen time that it comes to the point that the viewers could even doubt if there really is a main character. This lack of a legitimate primary character makes the story even more unpredictable, for it prevents the viewers from assuming a specific character from winning the war.

It is important to note that an effective storytelling is not enough to capture the viewers fully; the story should also be something interesting -- and I must say that Fate/Zero is also worth praising in this department. The story is complicated enough to cover twenty-five episodes, meaning that the twenty-five episodes of Fate/Zero do not appear to be stretched out.

In fact, the foundations of the story could even stretch the series to more episodes. There are just plenty of plotlines that could still be expanded. This is one of the factors why Fate/Zero is such a compelling series. The Fate universe is just so complicated and the viewers could only see a glimpse of it. This sparks interest, and this interest would keep the viewers watching further.

Another factor that makes this series compelling is its characterization. Literally all of the characters are well made. Each of them has its own philosophies, and it is interesting to watch them clash with each other in ideals. Aside from that, each of them also has its own compelling story to tell, so they tend to be relatable. Thus, they are able to trigger some emotional responses.

The animation is also incredible. It is very detailed and refined. The quality could even pass as scenes from an anime film. As for the music, it isn’t very surprising that it is also incredible. Again, Yuki Kajiura never fails to deliver music that perfectly conveys the emotions of particular scenes. I also like the idea how she has utilized orchestral music with choir to give Fate/Zero an epic feel.

Overall, Fate/Zero is an amazing series. I give it a perfect score on characterization, animation, and music, an almost perfect score on storytelling and story. I must admit that it sustains my interest, if not strengthening it, on the Fate franchise. Surely, I’ll be looking forward to the development of other Fate titles.

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  1. I finished the Fate/Zero and I have to say that it was excellent. It definitely ranks in my Top 5 Anime Series I have seen.
    One of the best parts of Fate/Zero is that it is void of many of the typical anime cliches, which are not necessarily bad on their own right, the fact that the show lack in that area made it different than a lot of other shows that I have seen. The conflicting ideals of chivalry and kingship between the servants was surprising deep, although I suppose that is to be expected since Gen Urobuchi wrote the show, or at least half of it.
    Also the use of historical and mythological characters was very interesting since I have always enjoyed history.
    Hopefully I can post my review for the series in a week or two. Thanks for recommending the show!


    1. Yeah, Fate/Zero is one of those amazing anime that comes out once in a while, like you've said, Death Note, Code Geass, etc. And I'm really a fan of Gen Urobuchi's writing. He has a way of making really complex characters, especially that the characters he makes often have contradicting ideals.

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. This is somewhat unrelated to Fate/Zero, but have you seen Ufotable's other work, Kara no Kyōkai? You have probably heard of them. I watched the first four movies of the series today and yesterday, and I have to say that they are great so far.


    1. Yes, I have heard of it. But I haven't seen it, and I don't even know what it is about. All I know is that the movies are not in chronological order, and the story is somewhat mind-boggling. But I'm not really sure about this. Just some stuff I heard around. I would like to check it out too some time.

      After you finish it, can you tell me which is more recommendable, watching it in the chronological order of the story or the order they were released? Also, I didn't know that Yuki Kajiura was also behind Kara no Kyoukai. I'll be expecting good music from it then.