12 Days of Christmas: The Holy Grail War Continues – Day VII

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On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love for anime gave to me…
7 legendary servants
6 witty lies
5 fun choir members
4 gigabytes of data
3 lovely flowers
2 sides of consciousness
And a wish-granting rock.

Type-Moon had always been one of the most famous visual novel studios, most of their medias had gained worldwide fame and most of them had an anime adaption. The light novel series Type-Moon collaborated with Nitroplus, Fate/Zero, is no exception, and it’s anime adaption is on it’s way to become one of the best anime in respective year.

Fate/Zero aired in a similar fashion as with Rinne no Lagrange, divided into two halves, the first half, aired in 2011, became the most promising anime in that year and with the second half aired in 2012, people’s high expectations were definitely answered. At least, mine did, not sure about the light novel readers.

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As with Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Zero depicts a battle royale between seven magicians, and their servants; heroic spirits summoned by the magicians themselves from another era. The victory will be granted their own wish by the grail. This battle is known as the Holy Grail War, a battle for the ultimate supremacy and the ultimate wish.

Fate/Zero’s attraction comes in the form of intriguing plots, a signature element in Fate/Stay Night. Of cause, aside from the stories, Fate/Zero’s stunning visuals and sounds are definitely quite the attention-grabber. High-quality animations and vivid backgrounds are the main aspect of it’s visuals, making action sequences a luxury to see. One of my favorite scenes which uses this top-quality visuals to it’s extreme, is the motorcycle chase scene between Saber and Rider, it really made use of its high-quality budget for the animations, and it made the chase scene appealing, and immensely gorgeous.

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The ultimate highlight of Fate/Zero however, is the various philosophical themes it explored and each of the character’s subjective perspective towards them. This makes dialogue and characterization in Fate/Zero top-notch. Scenes that explored such philosophical themes became my favorite as well, the episode where the prospect of kingship was discussed is one example, then there was a short argument between Saber and Kiritsugu quarreling about whether or not “holy elements” like pride and glory is needed on a battlefield. Fate/Zero is a trove of philosophical ideas, something I really like about the show.

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Immensely thought-provoking, good sounds and visuals and an interesting plot, Fate/Zero is definitely one of the best shows this season, and the second half ended with a perfect transition to Fate/Stay Night.

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8 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas: The Holy Grail War Continues – Day VII

  1. I really enjoyed the ideas they chose to explore, but the sheer volume of dialogue really got to me. Urobuchi needs to go back to working with SHAFT. Their artwork and animations really helps make up for what he lacks(see Madoka).

    That being said, the action sequences still looked great, and the plot kept me intrigued to the very end. Speaking of the ending, did they ever release an extended edition? I heard they were going to, and the ending did seem a bit rushed the way it was.

    • You made a good point. Actually, I think if Urobuchi worked with SHAFT, they will be unstoppable! The thought-provoking, dark, mature and heavy dialogue Urobuchi’s work is heavily orientated with, combined with SHAFT animations really do work wonders. Though, I still think ufotable already did a rather fine job.

      I knew there was an extended version for the kingship episode, since in the original, Gilgamesh was.. rather silent, they cut most of his dialogue, so the extended version of that show more of him. If there was a similar extended version for the ending, I will gladly watch it! I had a feeling it’s bundled with the blu-ray or something.

  2. How do you make a Fate prequel better than it’s sequel? Remove Shirou Emiya as the protagonist, tone down the hetero harem BS considerably, a more serious storyline, keep the battles’ quality as good as the sequel and movie’s are known for being, and give Saber yuri subtext. Simple, isn’t it?

  3. I liked the more mature attempt on the franchise a lot. I also liked FSN a lot.
    Quite the epic anime, I love the first half.

    I was rather surprised how much they ridiculed Saber’s pride and ideals. It was shocking to see that the others were right and not the idealistic king Athur everybody knows, hard to imagine saber as really broken character.

    The second half didn’t live up to my expectations, mainly because of it’s cruelty,
    poor Iri and Illya were treated that I just wanted to puke, just more than I actually can digest.

    • FSN was a but weird as it tries to adapt three different routes in the anime, but it’s still a good anime adaption despite not the best.

      To be too idealistic is to be a child. I think Fate/Zero touches on the aspect that idealistic naivety just wouldn’t work, in fact, it will actually bring people to a downfall.

      As I had played Saya no Uta, a visual novel by Urobuchi, I think that actually made me immune, allowing me to stomach just about any kind of scene xD I had never seen anything as nasty as Saya no Uta, though Fate/Zero comes close at some particular scenes.

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