Posted by psgels on 24 June 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Fate/Zero




Fate/Zero was one of the big titles of the past Spring Season. It already had an incredibly solid first season, and this promised to only get better as it fired off. And yeah, the second season indeed ended up trumping the first and using its build-up. I have some qualms with it, but really: this was an incredibly well made series.

In a season with so many series that stood out with their visuals, Fate/Zero stands among the best: its consistency is amazing: characters stay amazingly on-model, even after 25 episodes and there is a ton of eye candy with brilliant use of CG. The director, Ei Aoki is a guy who started in Photography, and it shows: just about every frame in this show looks good. To put this into a perspective: in a season with three Satelight series airing at the same time, this second season alone the eye candy surpasses that of all three of them combined.

The plot continues off where the first season left off and contains a number of very satisfying climaxes that are surrounded by an interesting plot that just keeps taking turns. There are a few issues with this plot, though, most notably that you really need to be familiar with the Fate Franchise, otherwise some plot points won’t make any sense. This series may be just a prequel to Fate/Stay Night, but even then there were events that happened before this series that this series refuses to line out.

Like the first season, this series again does a wonderful job to melt the setting from the European middle ages and the ancient middle east together, putting Chivalry on one hand and conquests on the other. The two mesh greatly as they clash, on top with the Fate franchise’s interesting system of magi and mages.

Now, as for the characters. I do feel that I need to clarify myself a bit after claiming that the emotions feel empty, and things indeed are a bit more nuanced than that. The cast of Fate/Zero definitely has a number of characters that are developed really well throughout the series. The second season in particular contains some really heavy scenes that show many of them completely breaking down and there definitely are a lot of big emotions in this series. What I feel like the creators could have done better is flesh out these characters. This series puts a lot of time into battles and explaining the actions of its characters, but not so much on the touches that make their characters more human or show them in different emotions. Balancing these scenes out could have been done better: when this show builds up, it’s usually very slow (there in particular is an arc devoted to the background of just one character that takes up 2 whole episodes, but in the end is a bit too focused on explaining why he is involved in the story and a bit too little on creating a dynamic character). I feel that this could have been built up a bit better and because of that things don’t come together at the end as well as I hoped.

This series is a bit overhyped, but still, Fate/Zero remains an excellent series. Even though some plot twists come from nowhere if you’re not familiar with the Fate franchise like myself, it’s a big recommendation and there really is nothing like it around. This series pushed what can be done with animation further and the people of Ufo-Table have really grown into a powerhouse of a studio at this point.

Storytelling: 8,5/10 – Great action-packed climaxes with many interesting plot twists that are best enjoyed when you’re familiar with the Fate franchise.
Characters: 8/10 – Excellent development and loves to make its characters break down.
Production-Values: 9.5/10 – The consistency of the amount of eye candy in this series is amazing. 25 episodes and it still manages to look amazing with very few weak points.
Setting: 8,5/10 – Great themes, blends different settings together really well. Make this a full 9/10 if you’ve seen Fate/Stay Night.

Suggestions:
Kara no Kyoukai
Berserk
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

12 Responses

  1. CJay says:

    I feel like a lot of people are going to say you underrated it but I pretty much agree with this review and feel like you analyzed the strong and weak points very well.

  2. Nic says:

    Maybe a little bit (I have it at 90) but personally, I’m more inclined to say it’s because the gap between the two seasons is of somewhere around 10 points in my mind. Can’t agree with a 86 rating when S1 is rated 85 by pgels.

    S1 had a great start that fumbled early and save for a few stunning dialogue sequences, felt much more like stalling before the real action started in S2.

    S2 didn’t have those problems as the pacing was excellent. A little deceived about them cutting out the part about Berserker though since I never read the VN and would have loved to see it fleshed out on screen. Hopefully, this gets added to the Blu-Rays.

  3. Reverse says:

    unlike Satelight (model based cgi), Ufo-Table use most of it CG on Effect animation ( smoke, fire ,water … etc ). I guess it work for them since they were the first studio to use it rigorously

    as a bit of hand drawn advocate, i shouldn’t say anymore

  4. HENRCAST says:

    Do you absolutely need to have watched Stay Night to enjoy this? Zero looks very interesting, but from what I’ve seen, Stay Night involves a lot of teenagers and the kind of terrible overreacted humor that is so common in anime

    • mousoukyoku says:

      Zero has a different cast and tone and was written by a different author, so just go for it. I watched Stay Night years ago and gathered some of the info the anime left out from internet resources, but since I’m by no means a fan of the franchise soon forgot about a lot of stuff and still thoroughly enjoyed Zero. And I get your problem, I can’t stand those typical Visual Novel / Harem Anime antics either. Even though I found the setting to be quite intruiging, I stopped reading the novel rather early.

    • Bradley says:

      You can watch either. I watched F/SN anime first, though I was know how Fate/Zero would end, I still find F/Z still very enjoyable because of it ‘s richer characters and intelligent dialogues it had, compared to F/SN.
      Just ignore those harems stuffs, they aren’t the focus of the story of F/SN anway.

  5. rawr says:

    watch the blu ray version if you get the chance, since a lot of scenes that were cut will be in it, and the plot will make a lot more sense with those scenes added in.

  6. earl says:

    i personally didnt enjoy fate stay night very much. It was cheesy and is harem pretty much. but fate stay zero was really good! they should just remake the story of fate stay night so we have a better sequel!

  7. JustPlainCrazy says:

    I’d suggest against watching the anime version of F/SN; it’s generally agreed to be mediocre. (The anime only adapted the Fate route of the visual novel, which is generally considered the weakest of the three. There was a movie recently for the second route, Unlimited Blade Works, but it’s nearly incomprehensible if you haven’t actually read the route, and not really worth watching.)

    If you don’t want to download the visual novel, there is a text Let’s Play of it (with videos of the particularly important/awesome parts and links to the background music that plays during each scene, even) that’s totally complete and a good way to read it.

    While F/SN does have a few… scenes of an inappropriate nature, let’s say, they are brief and infrequent enough that you can easily skip them to get at the story. It actually tells a really interesting story (and if you’ve watched Zero you’ll probably appreciate all of the little details about the fourth war that had an influence on the fifth). Yeah, there’s some cringe-worthy stuff in there, but it honestly doesn’t pop up nearly as often as you’d think.

    If you liked F/Z, really, you owe it to yourself to read F/SN if only because some parts of it make so, so much more sense if you do. Plus, if you liked the lore there’s plenty more of it to be had.

    I’m really glad F/Z was as good as it was. Ufotable is awesome and this was a treat for the eyes. There were only a few things I had a problem with and you highlighted them pretty well.

  8. Stars says:

    This is purely from the Fate anime perspective, I watched Stay Night a few years prior, and Zero came along and just knocked my socks off. The characters in Stay Night felt like dirt compared to the richness of the characters, the plot, the descriptions, just about everything in Zero.

    Probably the most impressive point for me was the cast, and how well the cast played off each other and that EVERY character can stand for themselves. I really looked forward to the gorgeous action scenes and wow, I got those for every single character.

  9. Oroboros says:

    If anyone is interested…

    Here’s my blog on Fate/Zero — the most nihilistic piece of work ever? http://t.co/5aF7ANKZ (spoilers lurk within)

  10. Amaya says:

    I find that Fate/Zero was, in several ways, anti-climatic. Considering how certain fights end without a proper climax, and the ending felt very forced (Zombie Kirei) like it was just meant for the sole purpose of setting up the stage for Fate/Stay Night. Zombie Priest aside, I feel that the anti-climatic parts could actually count as the show’s climaxes. Fate/Zero is dark and mature, and the efforts people put in are often disregarded. In that aspect, the anti-climatic nature was pulled off well in the sense that it helped establish the grand, yet mediocre efforts of people in attaining their goal – humans (as magi) and heroic spirits alike.

    Fate/Zero does a good job at this, but I find that some characters did fail to be developed enough. I understand that the main character needs focus, but with it being a Battle Royale I felt that some people should be made easier to feel for or relate to for us. But it’s still a fantastic series.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 06:18 PM)
    @Bam Ahhhh Burning Man. I had some friends from Indiana who were trying to get me to help them build an organ that shoots fire with each key-press for Burning Man. It sounded fun but I already feel too old for something like Burning Man.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:32 AM)
    @Ninja: no I met most of them at Burning Man.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:23 AM)
    @Bam I see I just figured that if you had a lot of friends in KY you must have lived in the region.
    @Friend Yeah or involved desserts like Palmiers or Croissants. I actually am pretty decent at making croissants from scratch but it’s a pain in the ass.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    And that’s … The More You Know ;)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:19 AM)
    “Iran” originally means “the land of the Aryans”. The European settlers of Aryan decent are correctly labeled Indo-European as they traveled from north of India across Iran and the Caucasus mountain range (hence the term Caucasian) and settled in pastural lands in Europe. Hence we are the original white people. Go figure.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:14 AM)
    @K-off: some good-looking corn there m8.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @Ninja: No I’m Persian since I was originally born and raised in Tehran/Iran. I am mostly of Parthian decent with a quarter of Kurd in me. I have moved around the globe since I was 16 and now live in Sacramento California.
  • Friend
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:13 AM)
    @ninja Some party foods like the brochette dijon flambe are too hard for me to prepare/mass produce at home, so it’s definitely worth eating out for things like that O.o
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:10 AM)
    I’m not sure what’s with me and demonyms tonight, but don’t be offended since, they’re more of a term of endearment for me. But if you really are offended then chances are that you deserved it in the 1st place.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:08 AM)
    @Bam lol, it never came up. Are you a Southerner/Midwesterner as well?

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Gugure! Kokkuri-San- 03

This show has a great cast, but some chinks in the armor are starting to appear in the comedy. So far, this anime seems to lack a consistent tone, which shows through just how hit-and-miss the comedy is. It attempts to mix elements of light and dark comedy along with slice-of-life and tries to excel in all three […]

Psycho Pass 2 – 02

Episode two continues right where episode one left off and progresses about how you might have guessed. Akane chases the mysterious villain pulling the strings, getting only cryptic responses from Kitazawa. Shimotsuki confronts Akane with her misgivings about Akane’s handling of the arrest. And we finally get some subtle hints towards Kougami’s existence and how his disappearance might […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 02

The stage is set, the actors are in place and the curtain is rising. So I can say this episode’s title was certainly apt. Unfortunately this week we have no bombastic fight scene to ogle and instead we get a heavy dose of info dumping. This is not the most exciting of episodes but the […]

Grisaia no Kajitsu – 02

The grisaia visual novel was by no means perfect. In fact if I was to summarize it as concisely as possible I would deem it a mixed bag. Some great moments but quite a number of bad storytelling decisions. Still there was hope for this anime adaption. After all the Steins Gate adaption managed to […]

Parasyte-the Maxim- 02

Before I continue reviewing this anime, let me put up a disclaimer: I will be discussing the anime of Parasyte, not the manga. If you want to talk about spoilers, I recommend you go to a site that will talk about those things. Don’t be an ass and discuss spoilers down in the comments, because […]

Some Quick First Impressions: Grisaia no Kajitsu, Trinity Seven and Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de

Grisaia no Kajitsu Short Synopsis: Our protagonist joins a school that has five troubled girls in attendance. AidanAK47’s impression: Grisaia has all the elements to cause many to write it off as a typical harem anime. Protagonist who only wants a ordinary life? Check. Joins school with several female beauties? Check. Panty shots? Sigh…check. The […]

Akatsuki no Yona – 02

In the first impression I said I didn’t expect Akatsuki no Yona to succeed if it went down the serious drama route. However, after watching the second episode, I’m starting to think I might have been wrong about that. There were still a lot of moments that felt corny or derivative to me, such as the stand-off between Hak […]

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis- 02

This episode devotes its entirety setting up the characters as well as the journey coming ahead, and it does so very well. Here’s the thing-this season, we have a ton of shows packed with great style, animation, and direction, but none are as stylistic as Shingeki no Bahamut. I remember a few months ago when I watched […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 01

First things first. To those of you coming into this anime from the prequel anime Fate/zero I suggest that you do not expect another fate/zero. Fate/zero and fate/stay night are two different beasts. If I was truly pushed I would say that Fate/zero is the more mature series whereas Fate/stay night was the more shounen […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]