Fate/Zero Anime Review
Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Caster, Assassin, Berserker… This is the Holy Grail War in modern world, where magic and heroes become nothing but mere pages of a book in dusty libraries. We have the 4th Grail War. This is where fantasy becomes reality once again, 7 masters and 7 servants compete for the ultimate prize in a battle royale where legendary warriors come to life. This is a story of fates caught in a whirlwind of blood and despair.
What follows is my magical review of Fate/Zero, 2011 anime produced by Studio Ufotable based on the light novel of Gen Urobuchi and the universe of Fate/Stay Night, sequel to Fate/Zero. We’ll analyze Graphics, Characters, Sound, Story and Personal Enjoyment.
Animation and Art of Fate/Zero
It’s important to state certain things about the studio that produced Fate/Zero: Ufotable. This is a very high budget studio, probably the highest I’ve ever seen so far. It is easy to expect that ultimately we have something with remarkable visual qualities, almost reaching perfection. Beautiful art and fluid action accompanied by so many little details that make other 2011 shows pale in comparison. Light and dynamic effects are astounding and atmospherical. Even though the production values are extremely high, they could have used a little less CG but nothing it does not hurt the experience.
Characters of Fate/Zero
Fate/Zero surely can boast for having a very wide range of characters in its roster, with each of them being more or less interesting. Half of this score is given to our duo Gilgamesh and Kotomine Kirei, jokes aside… this is true. Even though we have many intriguing characters, they are often set on a single frame of mind and characterization, not all of them having actual development. Characters like Waver and Kirei are the most complex in how they become what they eventually are, having the most complicated and realistic personalities. We are humans and as such we cannot be defined so one sidedly after all. The character design is simple but surprisingly effective. The interactions among them are probably the best part of the show. The dialogue is thought provoking and well written.
Soundtrack and Acting of Fate/Zero
Before we go on, I remind you that both ost and voice performance (in Japanese) are what decide the score of this category. The soundtrack is composed by the fan favorite Yuki Kajiura, that is one of my favorites. Fate/Zero’s ost, although excellent with its epic choruses and guitar solos, is not too memorable compared to other works in the franchise, but it does surpass many other shows of the same year in this aspect. As for voice acting, I implore you from the bottom of my heart please watch it in Japanese subtitles! Honestly, the Fate series must be watched in original acting because it’s light years ahead of any alternative and what gets it most of its 9/10 score. We have voice actors that do like playing their characters. Jouji Nakata you’re magnificent…
Story and Pacing of Fate/Zero
This is probably the “worst” aspect of Fate/Zero even though it’s a trivial matter. The series is bound to follow its prequel to Fate/Stay Night. It’s not too hard to expect how certain plot holes and a not so inspiring endings are a very natural outcome but as I said it’s nothing serious. First the series suffers from some pacing problems and it looks like they wanted to save the budget for the second season. This is not saying it is lacking in something serious because it’s already ahead of anything from that period and beyond.
Personal Enjoyment of Fate/Zero
The purely fun part of the series is kindly provided with by 5 people exclusively: Caster, Irisviel, Rider, Kotomine and Gilgamesh. They helped me from drowning in the constant and redundant vibe of hopeless despair of the series that could make the show heavy to digest at times. It’s visually amazing, so are the fights and themes, the characters themselves are very likable despite I detest some of them. I acknowledge how Fate/Zero made me so engaged in loving and hating nonetheless. What doesn’t make this score perfection is the excessive and unnatural drama. The “dark” component is often not a natural result of things but forced like in many Urobuchi’s works. It’s nothing that should ring a bell of alarm in you.
My Final Score 8.6/10
– Humble Reaper from Anime Amino, Italy (Sicily)