Hello ladies, peoples, and animals it is I, the Arcane Reviewer! Here to bring you a new anime review. I hope you lovely people have enjoyed your New Years, I know I did. So what better way to kick the new year of 2014 then with a anime review? You all know my love for the Fate/Stay Night visual novel as well as my dislike for the anime of the same name. Will now all of my dreams have come true as I present to you a anime that truly captures the weight and story of the Holy Grail Wars from the Fate franchise. I present my review for 2012's smash hit, Fate/Zero. Let's begin shall we?
Story:Once again if you've read my review for Fate/Stay Night then you'll more or less know the set up to this anime. Only difference is that Fate/Zero is based after a light novel of the same name and this is a prequel to Fate/Stay Night. Set 10 years before Fate/Stay Night, the forth Holy Grail War is just starting to commence. We follow all seven mages and all seven servants as they all fight it out in one big battle royal to see who is deemed worthy enough to win the Holy Grail. This story is just magnificent, not only do you have all the mages have their own agenda but you see some mages and servants make pacts with other masters and servants. Everyone having something planned and you see the relationship between the masters and servants. Some get along, some don't trust each other, and some become full on bros. The masters themselves are all pretty interesting too. Some masters have a selfish reason for the Grail while others have good reasons but do questionable methods to achieve them. The battles are also not just the typical good versus evil as well, you have some servants fighting each other out of pure honor and ideals. What they think a hero or a king should have to actually be able to call them a Heroic Spirit. The story is told in such a mature way and has some of the best dialog and writing in an anime that I've ever seen in an anime since Cowboy Bebop. The story is such a gem in today's anime and I just love it.
Animation:My God this show looks good. Ufotable is in charge of animation here and I have to say that they've become one of my favorite studios in the anime world. The animation looks simply beautiful and all the fight scenes are almost cinematic at points. They go all out to make the fights so much fun to watch and at points even really brutal. Another thing that I've notice is that the show has a lot of CGI in use. Now while some anime has some pretty bad to just alright CGI I have to say, the CGI looked really good here. Some may say that they overuse it a bit but I personally felt as though it was never overused and it actually fit in a lot of places too. Simple things like a motorcycle to jets, cars, and sometimes the magic in use during a scene. I thought it was put to good use and it gave the show it's own original look to it. So in short, this is one damn pretty show.
Music:When a show has a badass soundtrack a part of me just dies and goes to heaven. This show's soundtrack is on par with Madoka Magica when it comes to epic sounding music. Every track has the perfect sound to put you in the right mood for what ever is happening on screen. A heart-warming talk between a father and his daughter? They got a song for that. A maniac mage unleashing a giant monster to kill everybody? They got a song for that. A epic one on one battle between Alexander the Great and Gilgamesh the King of Heroes? You bet your ass they got a one hell of a song for that! The music just helps push this shows epicness so far that I couldn't get enough of it. Music here is a win.
Characters:But how good can a show be if the characters aren't good? Well thankfully this show has some pretty damn well written characters. Though some characters have some more screen time then others I have to say that almost all of them feel like an actual person and they all have a point to them as well. Some of the most stand out characters from the show are Kiritsugu Emiya, Kiri Kotomine, Saber, Rider, and Kariya Matou. These characters are just so well written and given a huge amount of care when it comes to developing them and it executed extremely well too. This is some of the best writing I've seen for characters in any anime and it just a beauty to see how they come out at the end of the series.
Nitpicks:Now seeing as how I've talked up a storm about this show you're probably thinking that I have no nitpicks right? Actually I have a few. The anime tries to appeal to new audiences and does a bit of a sloppy job at it. The first tow episodes (Episode one being the most guilty of the two) are a bit of a exposition dump. They go into full fledged detail about telling you all of the rules about the Holy Grail War and I must admit that it's kinda silly to watch. Also if you know nothing about the Fate/Stay Night franchise and any of the legends about Alexander the Great or King Aurther you can get a little lost at points. I was never really lost at all but that because I am a fan of the Fate series so I knew half of the stuff that was going on before I watched this show. Also the ending is may turn some people off as well. Without giving away any spoilers I will say that the ending is just a set a ending. It's supposed to set up the events that will take place in Fate/Stay Night so the ending my seem anticlimactic to some people.
Overall:Well what else can I say about this show. Oh I know. GO WATCH IT RIGHT NOW! Fate/Zero is one of the most mature and well written anime that I seen in a while and I feel that it is a crime for any anime fan not to check it out. Also Ufotable is remaking Fate/Stay Night so yeah you'll that to forward to after you watch this amazing anime.
Arcane Reviews gives Fate/Zero a 10 out of 10.