Man! College sure is a lot of work. I now know the pressure on blissfulyoshi’s shoulders when a problem on my side arises. T_T
Hey y’all peeps! It’s been a while since I’ve made activity in this blog. Now that my schedule is pretty flexible, it’s time for me to get back in action.
Sorry for the bad quality images. I haven’t encountered an HD version of the anime’s first episode yet so we’ll have to make do for now.
Now, let’s begin!
You’ve all heard of the famed series of Type-moon VNs, right? Well, Fate/zero is the only one in the series originally released, not as a VN, but as light novels. Even as a series of light novels, it promised a great quality of story for everyone. It has a plot of its own yet it’s heavily connected with the events in the original work (just like most of the novels made by Nasu). The plot follows as most prequels where it features the events that lead to the 5th Holy Grail War, the purpose and origin of the whole cycle, and the relationships between the families that started it all.
To start off, Fate/zero serves as the prequel to Fate/stay night. Events portrayed are those before and on the 4th Holy Grail War, which happened 10 years before the 5th (Note: Naturally, the cycle happens every 60 years. Due to the premature end of the 4th, the 5th started early).
The anime begins with the introduction of 5 out of the 7 Masters (actually it’s 6, but one of the characters didn’t get outright mentioned as a Master yet), the summoning of their respective Servants, and a brief view of some of the main characters in Fate/stay night.
The first scene is located in the Einzbern castle, during the birth of Illyasviel von Einzbern. Kiritsugu and Irisviel, her parents, are also introduced. The scene is switched to a fortress in Italy with Tohsaka Tokiomi, Kotomine Kirei, and his father Risei – the judge of the upcoming war. They talk about the transferal of Kirei from the Church to the Magus Association to become a student of Tokiomi’s and to ensure the victory of the Tohsaka family over the Holy Grail. It then goes to the scene where Matou Kariya visits the Tohsakas. He only meets Aoi and Rin, finding out that Sakura has been adopted by his father, Matou Zouken. He confronts his father, agreeing to participate in the upcoming war in exchange to Sakura going back to the Tohsakas. Taking out the extra details after, the location goes to London where a student named Waver Velvet gets humiliated by his teacher in front of the whole class. This prompts him to steal a package that belongs to his teacher and to research about the Holy Grail War. Then changing the scene back and forth from Kirei and Tokiomi to Kiritsugu and Iri, they talk about the other Masters and some of their background story. However, the story focuses on Kirei and Kiritsugu talking about each other and expressing special attention to the other. It goes back to Waver where a foreshadowing of another character’s arrival is presented. Lastly, the story progresses to the part where all introduced Masters have obtained their respective relics (except for Kariya – for a reason that will be explained after in the story and Kirei – who has summoned his Servant earlier already) that will serve as a catalyst in summoning their Servants. After that, the summoning ritual begins and episode 1 ends!
I shall only mention characters who already appeared/were mentioned in Fate/stay night since they’re the only ones with a full background and proper character representation.
The main protagonist and the Master of Saber. Given the title “The Magus Killer” due to his exceptional ability of exploiting a mage’s weakness while diverting away from the use of magic. He used to be a freelance assassin especializing in hunting down magi and killing them with ease.
Kiritsugi became the husband of Iri despite the Einzbern family boasting the purity of their bloodline. Due to his past, he finds himself unworthy of the things he is given and views his entrance to the Einzbern family as an express ticket to his goal: obtaining the Holy Grail.
In Fate/stay night, he becomes Shirou’s foster father which incites Ilya’s dislike since she thinks he has abandoned her and Iri for Shirou. He loses his abilities due to some kind of curse inflicted upon him.
The main antagonist and the Master of Assassin. The son of the chosen mediator for the 4th Holy Grail War. He is a member of the Church but also becomes a member of the Magus Association, practicing as a student under Tokiomi’s care.
Kirei is a pretty sullen and reserved guy, trying to seek what will eventually give him the happiness he seeks. He finds that his answer to his questions is in Kiritsugu as he expresses interest in his involvement with the Einzberns and his inactivity with regards to being an assassin.
In Fate/stay night, he is the sadistic antagonist that will gladly kill someone just for the heck of it. Ironically, he is still a member of the church and serves as the distant guardian of Tohsaka Rin.
Say hello to the old bastard, people! This pile of old and wrinkled flesh who looks like an alien is the father of Matou Kariya and the adoptive grandfather of Tohsaka Sakura. (Note: This adoption was due to the Matou family not bearing any proper heir capable of magic and his hunger for immortality)
He is nowhere near different here and in Fate/stay night. He has no regards for other people’s lives and will only want to satisfy his own greed, even letting Kariya and Sakura go through a life-threatening torture just to get what he wants.
Aaaaaaaaannnnddd our favorite Servant is here to cross swords and exchange blows with the weaklings! However, she’s not in good terms with her Master as Kiritsugu wanted Assassin/Lancer due to their strategic advantage for him, even though they both want to achieve the same goal through the use of the Holy Grail. Saber expresses her usual demeanor the same as she does in Fate/stay night.
As a family member of the Tohsaka’s, she is bound to become a gifted magus (as seen in Fate/stay night). She is chosen to become the next heir due to her status as the eldest child. This prompts Tokiomi to allow Zouken to adopt Sakura due to their family tradition that only one child shall be trained to avoid competition between siblings.
A teenaged tsundere always has to be a tsundere when she was a kid.
Originally born to the Tohsaka family. Sakura is a daughter of Tokiomi and the younger sister of Rin. However, as mentioned above, she was adopted by Zouken due to traditions. The change in her hair and eye color is due to the worms inside her body, brought by Zouken to increase her magus capabilities for future use.
Current Rating: 9.5/10
The first episode opened up a pretty high standard for the next episodes to come. Story flow was already good, given that it’s an introductory episode. Introduction of characters were properly conducted and the build-up has already been initiated. Foreshadowings and tensions in the story are established pretty well. The epic ending seems to garner attention for the viewers.
For the extra parts, the background music created a pretty good environment for the events. Animations are executed in a way that it’s pretty comfortable in the eyes. Overall graphics are superb! The only drawbacks were the static backgrounds, some awkward camera angles, and animations with little to moderate detailing (mostly found in the part where Kariya visits the Tohsakas and the summoning sequences).
For creating a very good introductory episode, I would expect this anime to fare pretty well. Given that it’s an adaptation of a popular story with a huge fanbase, combined with 2 of the most proficient VN makers working together with a studio famed for good quality animations; I think this anime may even hit my “must-watch-again” anime list. 😀