It may surprise you. No fan service. No cliché characters. First-class fight scenes and a spellbinding plot (pun intended). That’s right. If you haven’t already fallen off your chair from excitement I encourage you to do so now. Great! So now you’re on the floor, and whether you’re on comfy carpet or cooling tiles you’re ready to lie there like a starfish as we delve into Fate/Zero.
But wait. Brace yourself for the first episode, which is a rather long setup for the greatness to come. While necessary it’s also a little bit like a university lecture – that is, you’re alert for the first 15 minutes before you start thinking about how great ice-cream is (I know, pretty great). But before you’re quite ready to take a bite episode 2 will launch, and unfortunately your food’s hope of being eaten is lost – you’re now too absorbed in Fate/Zero, where master and servant battle it out for the coveted holy grail.
The clang of a sword, the bang of a gun, the dazzle of a spell and even the occasional roar of an overenthusiastic combatant (hi Rider). The action in Fate/Zero has it all. While most fight scenes in anime are decent; the animation, sound, excitement and overall appeal of those in Fate/Zero is undoubtedly a step above. Part of the greatness comes from the fact that the fights have a distinct purpose while also serving as a platform to reveal more about the characters in question, with each master and servant’s personality reflected through their fighting style. Thankfully i’m not a character in this anime, as i’d probably have a fighting style similar to a retarded badger. Yep. It’d be as out of place as a dildo randomly appearing on play school. Moving on…
The characterisation is varied and compelling, with characters straying from the generic while seeming incredibly realistic. They’re funny, noble, arrogant, dark and often philosophical. Admittedly, the philosophical side can get ‘awkward family dinner’ intense at times. And while these ideological discussions are relevant and character building, they also tend to drag on a bit. But with these moments being few and far between you’re still guaranteed some great viewing.
The plot in Fate/Zero has a simple premise, essentially boiling down to ‘kill everyone else’. But while remaining a framework for the series this premise unravels and becomes deeper as the anime progresses. Values, alliances, and personalities all come into play to effectively make the story a little more mature. The lack of a central main character also helps keep the plot balanced between different participants in the war, and prevents the viewer from predicting how it will all end.
All in all, as an anime that seemingly does the impossible by existing as both a prequel (storyline) and sequel (release date) to Fate Stay Night simultaneously, it makes you wonder. What can’t Fate/Zero do? To which I answer, fan service. Thankfully having none of that.
Thank you for reading my review!