Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 2, 2011 to Dec 25, 2011
24 min. per episode
R - 17+ (violence & profanity)
L represents licensing company
Score: 8.611 (scored by 88118 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisFate/Zero takes place 10 years prior to the events of Fate/stay night, detailing the events of the 4th Holy Grail War in Fuyuki City. The War of the Holy Grail is a contest in which seven magi summon seven Heroic Spirits to compete to obtain the power of the "Holy Grail," which grants a miracle. After three inconclusive wars for the elusive Holy Grail, the Fourth War commences.
Founded by the Einzbern, Makiri, and Tohsaka families centuries ago, the Einzbern family is determined to achieve success after three successive failures, no matter the cost. As a result, they have elected to bring the hated magus killer, Kiritsugu Emiya, into their ranks, despite his methods and reputation as a skilled mercenary and a hitman who employs whatever he can use to accomplish his goals. Though Kiritsugu had once wanted to become a hero who could save everyone, he has long since abandoned this ideal upon realizing that saving one person comes at the cost of another's life. For the sake of humanity, he will ruthlessly destroy anything and anyone who threatens the peace of others.
However, Kiritsugu finds himself deeply torn between the love he has found for his new family—his wife Irisviel and their daughter Illya—and what he must do to obtain the Holy Grail. Meanwhile, Kiritsugu's greatest opponent appears in the form of Kirei Kotomine, a priest who cannot find any sense of fulfillment in his life and sets his sights on Kiritsugu as the possible answer to the emptiness he feels.
Related AnimeAdaptation: Fate/Zero, Fate/Zero
Sequel: Fate/Zero 2nd Season
Summary: Fate/Zero Remix
Side story: Fate/Zero: Onegai! Einzbern Soudanshitsu
Other: Fate/Zero Cafe
Characters & Voice Actors
Type-Moon have made a habit of finding success with their dark blend of magic and supernatural elements in modern day settings, but with the release of the Fate/Stay Night visual novel on the PC in 2004, the developer seemed to have found its flagship title. Unfortunately things never really work out the way people expect, and while Studio Deen's 2006 anime adaptation of the "Fate" storyline was well received by fans, many who were unfamiliar with the source material found it all a bit ... juvenile.
At the end of 2006 the developer began collaborating with Nitroplus in order to create a prequel light novel series, but this time the story was penned by the relatively unknown Urobuchi Gen (with Type-Moon co-founder Takeuchi Takashi providing illustrations). Set ten years before the events in the visual novel, Fate/Zero chronicles the events leading up to and during the fourth Holy Grail War in Fuyuki City, Japan - the same place where the battle will be held in Fate/Stay Night. After three successive failures in the contest, the Einzbern family recruits the notorious mercenary Emiya Kiritsugu, also known as the "Mage Killer" - a man who is willing to use whatever means are necessary to realise his goals.
Meanwhile, the other principal magic families - Matou and Tohsaka - are preparing for the coming conflict, and although the church is taking part as well, they have also sent someone to assist the Tohsaka family - Kotomine Kirei.
At first glance it may seem as though Fate/Zero is just another action anime, but nothing could be further from the truth. The series has a very different tone than either Fate/Stay Night or Unlimited Blade Works, and in many ways it has more in common with the dark, brooding atmosphere of the Kara no Kyoukai movies. That said, the series does assume that the viewer has some familiarity with the franchise, but this is balanced by a much tighter plot than that of either of its predecessors, and more focus on preparation, planning, and even dialogue between the different parties. The result is that the narrative has far more depth and structure than one might expect in a supernatural action anime, and there are layers of subtext that are gradually added as the series progresses.
One of the most noticeable aspects of Fate/Zero is that it's a far more mature story than the original visual novel or its adaptations, and unlike many other shows, there are very few occasions where the characters engage in pointless conflicts or endeavours. The series carefully tries to avoid insulting the viewer's intelligence by adopting a patient, methodical build-up to the action set pieces, and on many occasions the story focuses on information gathering and planning. In addition to this, the battle lines shift constantly as the combatants form short-term alliances in order to counter the moves of other opponents, but there's always the understanding that the foundation of these is nothing more than "the enemy of my enemy".
In truth, this anime has far better examples of tactics and strategy than anything found in Code Geass, and certain plots are Machiavellian enough to give Death Note a run for its money.
When it comes to production values, Fate/Zero could be considered the final evolution of everything Type-Moon and Ufotable have learned from each other during their long collaboration on the Kara no Kyoukai franchise. The series looks every bit as good as one might expect, and the darker colour palette is offset by the high standard of animation. That said, although the action sequences are fluid and very well choreographed, the real testament to the quality of Ufotable's work are the subtle differences in the way the characters move.
While there are plenty of new faces in this prequel, it's actually the design of recurring characters like Sabre that really sets the standard. Fate/Stay Night's popularity turned her into one of the most iconic female leads in anime, but while she may appear to be exactly the same in Fate/Zero, there's an edge to her features and a preciseness to her movements that was missing in the original series. This fact is also true for the characters that are unique to this show, and even Tohsaka Rin's "adventure" has been given the same level of care and attention to detail.
The series opens with a well choreographed sequence that blends action with a montage of the main participants in the Holy Grail War, all set to the rather pacey rock song "Oath Sign" by LiSA. Each episode closes with "Memoria" by Eir Aoi, a bittersweet rock ballad that fits well with the images of the heroic spirits as pieces on a game board and at moments in their own history. Fate/Zero also has one of the most diverse scores in a 13 episode anime, with martial themes, operatic pieces, strange little tunes with drums or pianos as the major instrument, and more besides. The audio effects or of a very high quality, and the clash of steel on steel is as sharp and clear as the sound of the lightning whenever Rider makes a dramatic appearance.
One of the areas where Fate/Zero excels is the dialogue, and while there are occasions where conversations go on a bit too long, the script is intelligently written, rational, and insightful. One of the best examples of this is Rider's discourse on the true nature of kingship and Saber's reaction to it, but even that is nothing more than words on paper as everything lies in the delivery - so it's a good thing that the acting is of a high standard.
Kawasumi Ayako reprises her role as the King of Knights (Saber/Arturia) from Fate/Stay Night and Unlimited Blade Works, but her performance here is markedly different. Her portrayal of Saber is colder, deadlier, and far more focused than before, while Tomokazu Seki's performance as the King of Heroes (Archer/Gilgamesh), is more arrogant, more proud. That said, it's Ootsuka Akio in the role of the King of Conquerors (Rider/Iskander), who really steals the show, and his testosterone-fuelled proclamations and battle-born wisdom are one of the pillars that support the series.
When it comes to development, a large group of characters often means that some will undoubtedly fall by the wayside. Fate/Zero neatly sidesteps the entire issue of development because it's first and foremost a prequel of an existing story, but in addition to this the series has created a set of individuals who leave extremely strong impressions on the viewer, and much like Baccano!, there is a distinct lack of a true main character. Because of these factors the series can focus on showing how each of the combatants became what they are, and this plays a major part in one's enjoyment of the anime.
The emphasis on characterisation rather than development allows for a remarkable degree of definition, and although it's ultimately the personalities of each individual that captures the viewer's attention, standing at the top of them all is the King of Conquerors - Rider. His addition to the franchise has been nothing short of a revelation, and while die-hard fans will continue to worship the ground that Saber and Archer (not Gilgamesh, the other one), walk on, Rider's enjoyment of life, his exuberance and almost boyish eagerness for battle and glory, have captured the imaginations of many fans.
In many respects he, more than any other character, is the epitome of the heroes of old, but simply having a bunch of overzealous combat junkies beating each other to a pulp isn't really entertainment (unless you have an IQ equal to your shoe size), so there has to be something to balance it - and there is. Each of the mages taking part in the Holy Grail War is more like a chessmaster, planning as many moves ahead as possible, whilst preparing themselves for anything their opponents may try.
The simple fact is that Fate/Zero wouldn't work as either a story or entertainment if it was just the mages or the heroes, and it's this aspect of the series that separates it from not just its predecessors, but also many other action anime out there.
Unfortunately it's not all sweetness and light.
One of the main criticisms of this series is the episode about the young Tohsaka Rin, which many people found unnecessary. Now although there's some truth to that perception, one could also have the opinion that Rin's actions tie-in to an event in the previous episode, and together they lead up to the end of the series. Both are fair arguments, but in all honesty the whole thing doesn't really fit with the rest of the anime, and it seems like nothing more than an attempt to allow Matou Kariya some long overdue screen-time.
Fate/Zero isn't a perfect show, but while it does have several minor issues (and one "filler" episode), it does exactly what it sets out to do - capture the attention of the audience and make them want more. The story is intelligent, and while conversations and discussions can sometimes feel a little tedious, the dialogue is often quite interesting - moreso than the show's predecessor's anyway. Although the series can boast stylish, fast-aced action set-pieces, it also studiously avoids combat for the sake of gratuitous violence.
That said, Fate/Zero is still a prequel series, and at this point only half of the story has been told. Unfortunately the anime industry has a habit of messing things up, but given the quality of this show, the fact that the original story was written by Urobuchi Gen, and the knowledge that the series is being produced by Type-Moon's long time collaborators - Ufotable, fans can be cautiously optimistic about the second installment.
All we can do is wait and see ... read more
In almost all forms of media, spinoffs, sequels, and prequels all have one thing in common. They are a crap shoot. Most of the time these spinoffs suck. Fortunately in anime, that is not always the case. In fact there are several times where I find myself enjoy the sequel/ prequel better than the original. However this anime is true rarity, in which the prequel just about outdoes the original in virtually every aspect. This review focuses solely on the first season of fate/zero. I'll write a separate review for season 2.
O.K. here is the actual review with my IADb rating system:
Story: Fate Zero takes place ten years before the events of Fate/stay night, and Chronicles the 4th Holy Grail War. The whole grail war consists of seven teams, with each team consisting of a master and a servant. These servants are heroic spirits that fight each other to the death, with the last servant standing winning the power for him and his master to make any type of wish on the holy grail. After failing to win the grail three times in a row, The Einzbern family have elected to bring the hated magus murderer, Kiritsugu Emiya (who is also the father of the main protagonist in Fate/ Stay Night), into their ranks and compete for the grail. When Emiya ultimately summons Saber as his servant, the two form one of the most unique relationships that I have ever seen. One of the primary things you watched fate/ stay night for was the battles, and while the battles are great here, it is the unforgettable dialogue that drives the anime home.
The Battles: While the dialogue is amazing, fate zero is part of the fate franchise, and hence the battles are a must see. What makes these fights so interesting though is the dialogue that goes on in them. Unlike fate/ stay night, where to many extents you were presented with a typical shounen fight, you get so much more here. You really do learn the back story of every combat tent and are forced to pick sides.
The Characters: There are over 7000 animes on this website. I have seen almost 500 of them and will be reviewing all of them this year. Out of those 500 animes, the cast in this anime ranks 4th, with the only 3 having a better cast being Steins Gate, rainbow nisha rokubou no shichinin, and full metal alchemist brotherhood. Virtually every master and every servant here plays its part perfectly. You have rider, the fan favorite who is just epic. (yes i just said "epic"). You have caster, the child murdering servant who couldn't give two sh*ts about the grail war. Than there is saber, one of the greatest female characters of all time. Archer is a great villain, but slightly over powered. Lancer proved himself to be a formidable opponent for Saber.
Art: When i review the 2nd season this section will pretty much be a carbon copy. Fate/ Zero quite simply has the best animation that I have ever scene. It is just mind blowing how beautiful and life like everything looks. Ufotable knows how to produce a beautiful anime.
Sound: All of the voice actors sound their age. All of the background music is perfectly used. The opening is great and the ending is one of the best in anime.
Enjoyment: While the first episode is a complete info dump, and while there is technically no climax to this season as the finale is a regular episode that ends with "to be continued in April," every other episode in this series left me baffled with amazement. Yes there are some flaws, and yes I can safely say that in the three month span between season1 and season 2, those flaws are seemingly eliminated, Fate/ Zero Season one is definitely an anime to watch.
The IADb official scoring:
Plot, Sequence, Flow: 2.6/3 Points
Overall Characters: 2/2 Points
Visual Effects: 2/2 Points
Soundtrack: 0.8/1 Point
Enjoyment/ Lust to watch the next episode: 0.8/1 Point
Anime includes an episode that would be in my top 100 anime episodes of all time: .5/.5 Points (Episodes 5 and 11)
Opening/ ending Themes: .5/ .5 points
Final Rating: 9.2
Anime Class: Memorable, Enjoyable, Must Watch
Both animes are about receiving or meeting a third party to supply you with powers to fight in a survival game, and aim to defeat the other parties to win the game.
Both have groups that build bonds over the time they spend together.
Both are really high quality anime overall.
Both deal with a survival competition between people and a lot of mind games and fighting. Watch them, You won't be disappointed
Both focus around a group of people fighting each other to obtain a God-like power. They both take place in modern day (more-or-less) and each character is given a special power to help them fight (Zero=Servants/Nikki=Diaries).
Fate/Zero is basically a prettier and way less convoluted version of Future Diary.
Both anime have a kind of competition of survival and domination. If they win, they'll get something that can change their life and the world..
The characters are given something special to use for the whole competition.. They might die in the competition too..
Both anime have genre of action, drama, fantasy, and good plot twist and character development..
I score both anime 10 (masterpiece)
Like survival? Like action? Like good OST and art? Then, both these series may spark some interest as they share the collected theme of capturing a reward upon winning a battle-royale between other characters. Both series has spectacular soundtrack as well.
They both have to do with killing people. And kinda like survival of the fittest thing. Also there is blood. And the Main female character is strong.
•both animes are more or less just a bunch of people thrown/expected it to happen, into a game where they will have to battle others until there is 1 winner to obtain enormous power.
•both are different in the way they do battle, as in one the actual person/diary has to die, but the other there 'avatar' has to die, to make them lose and not be in the running to be the victor.
•both contain fair amounts of great action which motivates the viewer for a particular person to win, and a slight somewhat of romance, to also add a bit of humour.
•both animes are different in the way how they act out how to kill others aswell, with MN its dark/malicious/brutally murdering the intended party with mind games and backstabbing with lots of twists throughout the whole show, while F/Z is mainly just action and quick alliances, but it does have its fair share of dark/murdering/evil/malicious bits here and there.
•they are fairly similar in the 'battle royale'/'hunger games' sense that there is only 1 victor. but if you liked one you will possibily like the other.
>Both anime have a "battle royale" background, if you live, you win a great power, in the other hand if you die, you lose.
>Both have a lot of action, even if they are different in that, Mirai Nikki have a more realistic style (guns, knives etc), Fate/Zero fights are between GDR role (Saber, Archer, Caster, Lancer etc).
>I really enjoyed both anime, hope you will have the same fun if you decide to try them ;)
Battle Royale story with top-notch writing and action...
though I feel Fate/Zero is better in every aspect EXCEPT the conclusion...where Mirai Nikki is better.
Morally ambiguous characters fighting to the death for an all powerful prize.
Deathgame with contestants fighting over something supernatural.
Both involve a survival game between a group of people aided by a supernatural power in order to win a near omnipotent power. They both feature a large variety of "players" with different motives to win. They both have fantastic, but very different soundtracks.
Both series involve characters fighting each other in a survival game and they must fight each other in order to win whether they defeat or even kill each other.
Both series can be very dark at times with characters facing difficult situations such as loss and death.
Each of the characters in both series have motivations to win and utilize the prize from the victory of the competition. However, within Fate/Zero, there is more emphasis on all of the participants yet in Mirai Nikki, there is more emphasis on Yukiteru and Yuno.
There is action within both series, yet Fate/Zero is much more fluent while Mirai Nikki is more gruesome.
They both have a "battle royal" setting where the many different characters fight to the death to gain something such as the holy grail in fate or to become god in Mirai Nikki.
- both are about a survival game in which they have to kill the others the obtain great power at the end
- both characters have supernatural aid and form alliances
In both animes main theme is deadly game that can be complete only by killing other players. But there are some differences. In fate/zero, players have the servants who are fighting for their masters (players). Each servant is hero from the past (like king Arthur). The price for winning this game is holy graal, which grants a miracle. However, in Mirai nikki players have diaries, that can predict the future. Each diary have unique way to do it. The winner of this game will become the God.
Because Gen Urobuchi is an amazing writer. If you've watched and enjoyed one, you will be very likely to enjoy the other; ignore that they seem to be completely different genres.
Both are created by the same writer, Urobuchi Gen, which shows. Homura and Kiritsugu share quite a few traits character-wise, and both shows deal with themes such as the nature of ideals in similar ways.
Both are Urobuchi Gen's works. They have the similar "fight to have your wish granted" theme. Epic masterpieces. Have unpredictable stories and twists. Most characters die.
These are both brilliantly written animes from Gen Urobuchi , featuring beautiful animation and a breathtaking soundtrack from Yuki Kajiura. They may seem like they belong in completely different genres , but both Fate/ Zero and Madoka Magica are dark and deeply poignant tragedies that do an amazing job at exploring and deconstructing their respective themes.
These are both amazing stories in their own right and if you enjoyed one, you will probably love the other.
Both written by Gen Urobouchi. They involve the concept of granting wishes. Both are very dark, and many characters die. Also, Homura and Kiritsugu are kinda similar. Also, being Lancer is suffering.
+ Dark, mature, and unique stories which aren't afraid to extend the boundaries of their genres (survival game for Fate/Zero and magical girl for Madoka Magica)
+ Gen Urobochi + Yuki Kajiura
+ Great animation and character designs
+ Interesting characters with unique motives, emotions, and interests yet you can still relate them to characters from other shows and see how well they fit into their stories
A dark fantasy anime with a strong cast and dark secrets.
They are both written by the same person and produced by Nitroplus but are different in terms of genres. Despite that, both have dark themes and based on the use of magic.
Opening Theme"oath sign" by LiSA
Ending Theme#1: "oath sign" by LiSA (ep 1)
#2: "MEMORIA" by Aoi Eir (eps 2-13)
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