Hi everyone! Last Thursday, I went to the movie theater to see the first part of Heaven’s Feel (Presage Flower). I know that it was released a while back and was even in theaters way before now, but this is the first chance that I got to watch it. Until recently no theater near me ever had viewings for anime movies, so I am glad that this has changed. Especially since this movie was screening at a theater with assigned, reclining seats. This was the second night for the English dub premiere of this movie and it was a generally good experience. Since this is the first part of three, I don’t think that I can talk about it in full yet, so I am only going to talk about first impressions in this post. This is going to be a short post, so I hope that is ok with everyone. No spoilers from here, just impressions and minor hints for people that are in the know.
Oh wow, this movie was nuts. Heaven’s Feel jumped off the deep end immediately. Just by the opening scene in a peace time, it’s incredibly obvious that something is off here. The atmosphere this movie provided was incredibly well done and gave it all a mood that feels darker and different from the other two routes. Also, you know the craziness of Unlimited Blade Works and even Apocrypha? Forget all of this. This movie is where EVERYTHING goes wrong. Everyone is pressed into a situation that devolves the holy grail war from being a 7-part free for all into a fight for survival against a sudden force of darkness that came out of nowhere. A person that you haven’t seen since Fate/Zero shows up and he’s tipping point that screws it all up for everyone. This series is the true successor to Zero and I love it and hate it all at the same time.
Let’s talk about production values. All I have to do is say “Ufotable on a movie production schedule and budget” and that says it all. Yes, I do know that is completely crazy with everything that has been seen by Zero, Unlimited Blade Works, and everything else that they have produced sense then. Everything feels so grounded and realistic with so many interesting camera movements that neither Zero and UBW couldn’t even dream of doing. There is also so much detail because no character ever goes out of focus or feels blurry during action scenes. Sometimes there is too much detail, because every bit of some of the servant’s physiques and full body forms (male and female) are presented to the audience close up and personal as the characters move. I guess those are some people’s Waifus and Husbandos, so this was bound to happen. Maybe there is a little too much fanservice, but it didn’t affect the movie at all. Those scenes were over fast enough that the mood of the movie was never ruined.
The movie theater experience itself was just ok. Unlike some viewings, we didn’t get the fate trivia before the movie. Probably because I had to walk up to the ticket desk and get the crew to turn the projector on as the previews were going. The audio was there, but nobody seemed to even care about any of the visuals until I said anything. Kind of disappointing really. Also, there wasn’t much of an audience here. Only scattered seats were filled. Not even comparable to the RWBY volume 5 premiere where there cosplayers everywhere and stuff. Still, the experience was enjoyable. Nobody was too loud, I was able to talk whenever I wanted without getting hushed at, and I was able to get away with so many other things that I wouldn’t have been able to in a packed audience. There are advantages to both situations. I just wish there were some cosplayers around to help with the fandom experience, but that’s not up to me.
At this moment, I consider Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s feel as my third favorite fate franchise. Fate/Zero is number one, Fate/Cooking is number two, and I am going to hesitantly put Apocrypha as number four. With this being an early impression, I don’t know if that will stay, but this was a strong showing. A nearly perfect sort of opening movie that captures a great story line, tone, and a lot of things that you would expect from the Fate Franchise. I would highly recommend that fans watch/rewatch Fate/Zero first then watch this one. The backstory of Zero is important to this one. That being said, you don’t have to. Presage Flower is still a self-contained movie that feels complete by itself. The context from Zero just adds more tragic elements to it all. Thumbs up all the way!