This was never my introduction into the world of the Fate. For me, that was the Fate/Stay Night series from 2006 which placed me into it. With this being a completely real world or situation, Fate/Zero is the series that got me stuck into it. When I first watched it years ago, I binge watched the first cour of Fate/Zero in an entire night. I am not joking about this; I did that. You know what? I would have done the same thing when I rewatched Fate/Zero recently if I had the time or energy for it. I loved this show even more then I did last time. Years later and I still that same kind of vibe and energy coming from Fate/Zero which makes it special. Yeah, I am going to be stuck in the Fate series for a longer, aren’t I?
Is there a single person who does not know the fate series by now? It is premise? It is ideals? It is ridiculous nature that somehow makes the writing feel something. Or was that just Gen Urobuchi? Who knows? But for those not knowledgeable, Fate/Zero is the entire backstory of the original Fate/Stay Night series. It is the cause of the fire that Shirou was found in. In this series is a cast of adults who are fighting over something in a 7-sided holy grail conflict. A group of seven mage masters and seven magical servants who are souls of heroic figures through out history meeting together to fight over the coveted holy grail in Fuyuki City once again. That is how it works.
I don’t think I have to say this completely because the word “Ufotable” probably says enough, but even for a 2011 and 2012 series, it looks amazing. There are even tons and tons of particle effects that are amazing. The character designs are clearly fate designs and there is a lot of love and effort put into the character designs to make them alive and bigger than life because they are mystical servants. The thine that doesn’t work as well. It feels like the show is full of will detailed still frames that have some action scenes in them. The focus of some good action scenes or hype moments is clearly not what the story is about. The writing and the darkness behind their points of view is what makes the show function with a particularly good background that carries all those elements with it.
These are a cast of characters brought together for one thing, the holy grail. Their ideals and wants are put to the test as they face themselves as well as each other’s visions. It is a true test of the human endurance and personality as they are pushed harder and harder for what they want. I mean, it is a death game and that is why they are so interesting to me, and Fate/Zero is honestly the best one. At least to me. This a cast of people that come from such different words (literally in almost all cases) in which human communication is also put to the test. Same with the more complex strategies and tactics of people who are experience at what they are doing. This is what they carry the darkness behind their experiences as they such for the light in the holy grail.
Even with the darkness behind the cast and their motivations, I really love this cast of characters. Even the least interesting characters, which I think are the main cast, because they had all their points of views and souls questioned through the experience. Some had a lot more positive experiences then others. The great mage assassin Kiritsugu and the righteous Saber having their fight against “this is the right thing to do” from Saber versus Kiritsugu’s own “the ends justify the means” conflict is something interesting as the war rages on. It’s much more interesting to see that mirrored back a bit with lancer and his master with their idealism explosion and Lancer and Saber’s fight being so interesting.
I feel like everything involved the Tohsaka family is some interesting meat. Not that the Saber and Irisviel is good stuff. Especially since Kirei is involved into the whole thing too to create an interesting tension. I mean, this is how Rin Tohsaka must come from somewhere. This is also where the show shows some self-awareness. Mainly because Tokiyomi Tohsaka is a boring high-level mage who wants one goal. His relationship with Gilgamesh (or his servant archer actually) really pulls the whole thing apart. And then there is what happens with Sakura as well. Tokiyomi clearly is not winning anyone fights with anyone because everyone hates him. He is so bad that the plot wants to get rid of him and I like it.
The main stars of this show for me are always Waver and Rider (it is Iskander). I feel like there dynamic is the one that pulls the true humanity into Fate/Zero in a series where people are aiming to kill each other. They have the clear chemistry with each other which brings the show together in a world where that does not happen. Waver is like the standard shonen protagonist in this series. It is the meeting of the ultimate confidence versus the ultimate in his head case. This was the great and Waver really grew. We see that development in another series where he is still searching for Iskander once again. Does he need to fight for that sort of experience to happen or does he get it? Well, I do not want to answer that because that is just another series. The critical point is that Waver changed and that is all he needs to do.
This is not an action series. Its full of people sitting down and talking about why they are doing what they are doing. It is a story full of people who agree with each other’s morals yet must fight against each other. These are people after all and even if in the general Urobuchi style of representing one point of view, they are still treated with some sense of humanity in them. These are all human problems. I could not help but find most encounters interesting because of those conflicts of ideals and heroism. Saber is obviously going through the wringer as her humanity and person-hood are challenged as she tries to hold onto her heroic ideals and that is a believable thing to happen in a world where that sense of identity and thought is no longer as valid or interested in it at all. That is only one of these things brought up.
So yeah, that’s my thoughts on Fate/Zero. I love it. It is still solid show and probably one of my favorite shows. I do not think that it works or clicks with everyone, and that is ok. Some people want a more action-oriented series and Fate/Zero can do that sometimes in some of the most hypest moments possible, but it is the quiet and sit-down moments that connect to me more. Especially since the powers a person or servant has in this show is connected to who they are and what they represent. Those sit-down moments are necessary for the whole package to connect or to them in interested aspects and thoughts behind it. That is what I think this show does so much better then Unlimited Blade Works, but that is a conversation for another time.
I will never not be down for some quality Fate content. 😛 I love Fate/Zero. Nasu is fantastic at lore and character drama, and with Urobuchi’s focus on grimdark tragedy you get the best of both worlds. I do prefer Unlimited Blade Works just a bit (Rin is best girl) but really, all of the “core” Fate anime are fantastic. Yes, I will even stan DEEN/Stay Night haha
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I do think that the DEEN/Stay Night series is looked down upon too much.
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