English: Fate/stay night
Synonyms: Fate - Stay Night
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jan 7, 2006 to Jun 17, 2006
Producers: Geneon Universal EntertainmentL, Studio Deen, Frontier Works, TBS, Sentai FilmworksL, Notes
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 7.801 (scored by 106487 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsaction drama fantasy romance supernatural
May 15, 2013
The first thing that you should be aware of is that F/SN and F/Z are penned by two different writers and produced by two different studios. Given that, there are differences in characterizations, animation, style, and tone between the two. Some of them are quite subtle. Some will be immediately apparent. Overall though, the continuity is well-constructed and the complete package doesn't feel disjointed or broken. It often happens that a second visitation of a story becomes virtually unrecognizable when the property switches hands (see: Gunslinger Girl). That isn't the case here, so those doubts may be laid to rest.
An obstacle often insurmountable for writers in prequels is to tell a story that is original, engaging, and contains plenty of new material and surprises before handing off to its parent story. While watching a prequel, your mind shouldn't be preoccupied with "I wonder how this builds to X." With a successful prequel, you should be thoroughly engaged, thinking more about what you're watching than what follows it. Without standing on ceremony, almost every prequel in history has failed in this task. When we know the ending, what's the point of the story, right? If this is a concern of yours, let me offer some relief in saying that Gen Urobuchi, the author of F/Z, has accomplished the thought-impossible of delivering a prequel that gives you plenty to sink your teeth into by focusing not on arriving at the (rather straight-forward) narrative of F/SN, but in developing the most interesting character from either series and digging deeper into the philosophy and subtext that was always floating around somewhere in the background of F/SN, but never addressed. If narrative was a factor in your decision of which to watch first, know that watching either first will provide you with a fresh experience for both rather than an obligation or rehash of the other.
So your decision should come down to other factors. Ultimately, there is no "correct" story to watch first, even though one was definitely written first, even though one definitely takes place first. What you need to decide as a viewer is what you want out of the complete package, because your choice will affect which specific aspects will engage you the most.
-F/SN is a more action-orientated series that focuses on the relationship between the two leads, Shirou and Saber. If you're familiar with shounen in general, you should have an inkling of what to expect. It is the more accessible and romantic of the two.
-Watching this first will spoil a major plot event of F/Z, but will keep you guessing on character motivations and revelations. It will make you more emotionally invested in the male characters of F/Z, Kiritsugu, Kirei, and Archer (true name withheld to avoid spoilers).
-The first portion of the series unfolds gradually, granting the viewer a comfortable pace to understand the setting and characters. If you have not played the game or read the manga and watch this before F/Z, you will have no problem immediately entering the story.
-F/Z is a more philosophical series that focuses on character development and motivation. If you're familiar with Gen Urobuchi, you should have an inkling of what to expect. It is the heavier and more mature of the two.
-Watching this first will spoil details and character revelations of F/SN, but no major plot events. It will also make you more emotionally invested in the female characters of F/SN, Saber, Rin, Sakura, and Ilya.
-The first episode of the series drops an A-bomb of information on the viewer. The setting is quickly unveiled and the characters are introduced at a breakneck pace. If you did not read the manga or novel and watch this before F/SN, you may find the first 40 minutes of the series overwhelming due to all of the new information to process.
Are you more interested in a character-driven or plot-driven story? Watching F/SN first, you'll find yourself wanting to dig deeper into these characters and F/Z will be all the more engaging as a result. Downside, the ending plot twist won't be a twist. Watching F/Z first, you'll find yourself wanting to know what happens and how the overarching conflict is finally resolved. Downside, the big bad guy reveal near the end of F/SN will be of no surprise.
Anyway, you'll have to forgive my long-winded answer to an unasked question. If you're still with me this far, congratulations. You have reached the actual review.
Story - 7.0
F/SN is an easily accessible story that makes no large demands of the viewer and doesn't aim to leave you with a different outlook on life, the world, and anime. It's functional. It's serviceable. It's entertaining. What more could you ask of a fantasy series? As any great fantasy writer has communicated to us over millennia, the story should ultimately be a framing device to transport you to a different world full of fantastic settings, rich lore, and memorable characters. Lord of the Rings was about walking to Mordor. Star Wars was about overthrowing the evil empire. Die Hard was about the general annoyance of the elevator being out of service.
But that's not the point. As with any good fantasy series, F/SN provides a well-paced and interesting story that doesn't intrude upon or obstruct the world it builds. It's a package of 24 episodes that flow comfortably and don't fall into habit or routine. Unlike a lot of shounen, there's no "baddie of the week" episodes or arcs. There's little fluff or filler. What is there is well within permissible range of a romance series. The largest deviation is a date episode towards the end. Otherwise, it's one running narrative with a definite opening and definite close. In other words, this is a story that you pick up, follow, and depart with on a satisfying note. There's nothing groundbreaking, but it's a fresh and enjoyable story that successfully strings together the setting, the lore, and the characters.
Art - 7.0
While not being the highest production value that 2006 had to offer, F/SN features beautiful character design and fluent animation. The action, like much shounen, is often broken up with bits of dialogue, as few animators seem mastered in the art of having your characters move and talk at the same time, but the bursts of action that do occur are very well done. Camera angles and perspectives offer a fairly varied range of shots that show off the characters and locations effectively.
A notable downside is that while the setting is what seems to be a fairly large town, most scenes take place in about three different locations and always either at midday, sunset, or night, so you'll see a lot of backgrounds and landscapes reused several times. It's not without its standouts. A large underground temple and a castle in the forest break up the monotony of scenery and are quite gorgeous.
Trained eyes will note several cost cutting techniques used as well. There are times when dialogue takes place from a far angle so that faces need not be animated. The "shake the frame" technique is used here and there. We're sometimes treated to extreme close-ups during the action. The use of these techniques ranges from sparing to excessive, but all things considered, this is a well-animated series by a director that knows how to properly utilize an art budget.
Sound - 8.0
Of all the technical specifics of F/SN, I consider the sound production to be the most adept. The soundtrack, while not overly inventive, is complimentary, engaging, and one of the standouts of 2006. The voice acting is all very professional. The sound effects seem somewhat recycled, but always adequate. Everything is mixed and edited flawlessly.
Characters - 6.0
Archtypes. Archtypes as far as the eye can see. Welcome to shounen.
F/SN features a cast of likeable and relatable characters. The writing and direction allows you emotional connection to most of the cast. You like who you're supposed to like. You hate who you're supposed to hate. I can't fault anything there. The problem lies in that there is not a single character in F/SN that isn't a character you've already seen in a different show in a different skin. Shirou is your standard act-before-you-think "I win because I fight for my friends" hero that you've seen in every teenage male oriented anime ever made. Saber never manages to break the mold of the "Duty is everything... or is it?" romantic interest. You have your token loli that calls the protagonist "onii-chan." The childhood friend that does all the cooking. The tsundere. The emotionless cool guy. Creepy authority figure. Check, check, and check. It's all there. Unless you've read/played the source material, you probably won't have a definite favorite, because this is a series of archtypes. Of all characters, Rin is probably the one that undergoes the most development and best manages to deviate from her archtype. Look for her in the F/SN alternate setting film, Ultimate Blade Works, where she becomes the main female lead.
I want to reiterate though that these are all likeable characters that carry the series. To me, likeable characters are the absolute most important thing of any story. F/SN passes in that regard.
Enjoyment - 8.0
While my favorite anime are ones with more substance, I usually find myself gravitated towards the lighter fare. I'll pick up the odd shounen. Maybe a refreshing slice-of-life once in a while. I'll grab a harem comedy if fancy strikes. While 20 solid minutes of dialogue in Ghost in the Shell may have left me with a lot to think about for long after, 20 minutes of fantasy escapism in F/SN holds great enjoyment value here and now. It's a fun ride. Turn off your brain and enjoy it. It won't be difficult.
It should be pointed out that the anime does not follow the visual novel exactly. While Japanophiles are not at all known for their tolerance of deviation from source material, I consider a good story much more important than a good adaptation. By nature, a VN is difficult to adapt because the interaction involved means different story branches. F/SN follows the main branch of the VN, simply called Fate, and sprinkles in scenes from other branches as well. The idea is that while you can replay a VN to get the full story, an anime isn't a Choose Your Own Adventure. It needs to make sense to a viewer not familiar with the source material because homework is not a prerequisite to watching TV. That said, F/SN does not successful manage to fill in all of the gaps in the story. It leaves out some important details found in alternate branches from the VN. Some of these are addressed in the film Unlimited Blade Works and others yet become apparent in F/Z, but again, homework should never be a prerequisite to TV.
Overall - 7.0
Watch it. But maybe watch Fate/Zero first. It's up to you. I recommend both. read more
Nov 8, 2013
Truer words have never been spoken, and yet, despite how obvious this truth should be, ironically so many battle shounen series violate it on a regular basis; Fate/Stay Night being no exception to the tradition. Yes, in fact one of the characters requires being killed at least a dozen times before he is truly dead. So don't make fun of Shiro guys; he really isn't stating the obvious. Quite the contrary actually, when anime tropes are concerned.
As I have written this review after the release of Fate/Zero, some may find it pertinent to know which series they should watch first within the Fate franchise. It may be somewhat confusing being that chronologically speaking Fate/Zero takes place before the events of Fate/Stay Night, but Fate/Zero was adapted to an anime after this series. Truthfully though, you can't really go wrong either way, as both series are meant to be standalone and explain the story pretty comprehensively by themselves. Furthermore, some spoilers will inevitably be revealed about the other series regardless of which one you choose first. The only reason I lean slightly towards recommending Fate/Stay Night first is mainly to lower your expectations going into Fate/Zero, so that you might be pleasantly surprised rather than sorely disappointed. Overall, FSN's production values aren't nearly as polished as Fate/Zero's, and the dialogue is not as focused and mature either, so if one were to watch Fate/Zero first, they would be coming into Fate/Stay Night with possibly unrealistic expectations and end up being discouraged from watching it. This is due to the fact that Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero were animated by two separate studios; Fate/Zero being done by ufotable and FSN being presented by Studio DEEN respectively. Nonetheless, while Fate/Stay Night may not be as polished as Fate/Zero in many respects, I think it is a series that is still enjoyable and deserving of your time.
[WARNING: Minor spoilers are contained within the remainder of this review. I will do my best to avoid any major plot twists.]
Fate/Stay Night follows the story of Shiro Emiya, who is an orphaned boy that unexpectedly finds himself entangled in a dangerous conflict known as the Holy Grail War. The Holy Grail War is a secret and deadly competition held between seven magi and their servants in order to fight for possession of the mythical Holy Grail, which will grant a miracle to the victor. Each servant is summoned as a heroic spirit from the past, present, or even the future to serve their master's interests in acquiring the grail. Shiro longs to become a hero himself by saving as many lives as he can, so he agrees to participate in the war when he accidentally stumbles into summoning forth the beautiful yet extremely powerful heroic spirit known as Saber. And so the fifth Holy Grail War commences.
The first thing that really stood out to me about Fate/Stay Night was its character designs. In fact, the way I initially discovered this series was through stumbling upon some artwork of Saber online and instantly falling in love with her, which consequently prompted me to research what anime she originated from. Then I discovered Rin Tohsaka, and with me being a sucker for cute tsunderes, it didn't take any amount of time for me to warm up to her. It's really rare that I come across an anime that has not just one female character with an iconic design and a personality that is straight up waifu material, but two. Then the awesome characters just keep piling on, like the pretentious badass that is Archer, who is also the character that coined the term "gar" just for being such a manly stud. There is simply no shortage of fantastic characters in this anime. Though many of them may appear to be stock archetypes at first, when more of their backstories are elaborated upon we get to see that they are more complex than meets the eye. Although, for some characters you may need to read the visual novel to really see the full depth of the character, which brings me to my next point.
Not all fares well with FSN's characters. Some of the magi participating in the war don't get as much character development or focus as they should, such as Illyasviel von Einzbern and Shinji Matou. Furthermore, Shiro's unwavering dedication to his ideals can often lead him to making incomprehensibly stupid decisions. He is overprotective of his servant despite that Saber is perfectly capable of defending herself. In fact, it is the sole purpose of her summoning in the first place that she is supposed to fight for him, yet Shiro continually denies her the chance at every opportunity, as well as foolishly runs into the fray, which usually results in him getting severely injured because he is grossly outmatched against a battle-hardened heroic spirit. This can too often leave the viewer with the impression that Shiro is annoying and ignorant, but at the same time it is this exact trait about Shiro that provides for some of the more interesting conflicts of the series. Ironically both Shiro and Saber are so dedicated to their ideals that even though they share the same beliefs, they often cannot get along with each other. The fact that they are so determined to uphold these ideals to the point of tragedy makes for many intriguing situations throughout the series.
Part of the reason that some of the previously mentioned characters don't receive as much attention as they should is due to some prolific narrative problems throughout the anime. Namely, it spends a considerable amount of time just having the characters indulge in silly antics at Shiro's house or sitting around sipping tea while listening to tedious lectures from Tohsaka. I'm sorry Rin. I love you, and imma let you finish, but you aren't the greatest mage of all-time. Oops, did I strike a nerve? Who am I to second-guess your magical prowess I suppose. Just keep condescending to Shiro then; what with your incomplete summon of a heroic spirit that can't even remember his past, while Shiro in his amateur ways managed to summon forth a more powerful servant than you. But I digress. The point is, like my irrelevant tangent that I just finished rambling off, Fate/Stay Night's themes struggle to remain consistent at times, as it can't seem to figure out whether it wants to be a typical comedic shounen or an epic dark fantasy tale. Couple this with its painfully slow pacing at times, and the story overall takes a huge hit due to these flaws. There really is no excuse for all these pointless and slow moments because there is so much interesting backstory from the source material that they could have otherwise drawn from. Whereas the visual novel elaborates on the summoning of Illyasviel's servant and reveals how she is able to control such a seemingly unruly heroic spirit like Berserker, the anime will in contrast waste an entire episode having Shiro and Rin repetitiously track down and dispel some sigils throughout the school, or hold a silly mock duel between Saber and Shiro's teacher, Taiga. Nearly every other episode feels like it needs to take a break from the grail war and go on vacation at Shiro's house when it should have kept the momentum moving along at a steady pace instead. Many of these types of scenes could have been trimmed in length or removed entirely in order to make way for some more important plot points that got left out.
In spite of these problems, Fate/Stay Night's story never really crosses the line into being unequivocally bad. Even the more juvenile moments at Shiro's house are at least entertaining on a superficial level for their humor, as well as minimally offer up some small amount of character development between the anime's two main protagonists, Shiro and Saber. What really sets FSN's story apart from your typical shounen is that even though it starts out in your standard and cliche high school setting, it quickly moves away from that and takes a decidedly darker and more philosophical tone throughout the rest of the series, delving into Saber's tragic past when she was still a mortal human being, as well as exploring Shiro's stubborn determination to uphold his ideals even in the face of impossible odds. The struggles and tragic romance that these two characters go through culminate in a very emotionally fulfilling and bitter-sweet ending that will likely leave a lasting impression on you. The evolution of the main protagonists in this series is very thoroughly developed, and arguably one of the most satisfying aspects about this anime. Furthermore, the extended cast of characters and other magi get a decent amount of screentime too, and watching all the servants slowly reveal their secret abilities and identities during the course of the various battles is entertaining to see unfold. Overall, the narrative has a refreshingly dark and mysterious tone to it throughout, which keeps the viewer intrigued and always eager to uncover more of the Holy Grail War's secrets.
As the anime is based on a rather lengthy 50-hour visual novel with three major branching story arcs, it was inevitable that some cuts and alterations to the story had to be made to fit the anime's 9-hour long runtime. Studio DEEN opted to borrow some plot points from the two secondary routes (Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel respectively) while mostly sticking to the Fate route, which was the main route of the VN. Some of the alterations worked well, others were questionable. Chances are though if you haven't read the visual novel going into this, you're probably not going to notice anything particularly strange anyway, aside from a few minor plot points that don't get fully explained like they should. Nonetheless, this hasn't stopped the fanbase from thoroughly panning the series for taking the liberties that it did, but I think it's important to judge works on their own merits independent of whether they follow their source material, and while I would agree that the anime doesn't live up to the quality of the visual novel, it is still an enjoyable series for what it is.
In terms of art and animation, Fate/Stay Night is above average overall, though not truly great either. It has its noteworthy moments such as the duel between Saber and Assassin, which showed some pretty slick-looking and fast-paced swordplay. On the other hand, in the very same episode during another fight, we are treated to a high-detail close-up of Saber dashing forward followed by a jarringly low detail animation of her slicing away at some skeletons. There is an occasional inconsistency to the quality of the animation that can be disappointing at times, and then there was the perplexing decision to animate an awkward-looking CGI dragon at one point that would have been best left out. Regardless, it works more often than it doesn't, and the artwork effectively creates the dark atmosphere that the anime aims for. This is further complemented and enhanced by the music composed by Kenji Kawai, who I am a major fan of from listening to his other work in Gundam 00. The opening intro is accompanied by a remixed version of the song "disillusion" from the opening of the visual novel, which sounds really good, and the animation flows very nicely with the music. This goes for the second opening too, which was very well-animated and accompanied with a quality hard rock-themed arrangement. It's just unfortunate that the animation quality for the series as a whole rarely approaches that of its opening segments.
For the English dub, the voices fit all the characters pretty much spot-on, with Sam Riegel as Shiro, Kate Higgins as Saber, and Mela Lee as Rin. Kate Higgins in particular did an excellent job portraying Saber's voice with a sense of authority and stoicism befitting to her character while tempering it effectively with a more feminine and vulnerable side when the scenes called for it. Unfortunately though, all future iterations of the Fate universe never see Kate return as Saber, as the Unlimited Blade Works movie instead cast Michelle Ruff, and yet again she changed voices in Fate/Zero with Kari Wahlgren, which is a shame because Kate really is the definitive voice of Saber as far as the English version is concerned. Mela Lee's voice brings out Rin's haughty attitude quite well, though occasionally she could sound a little stiff. Liam O'Brien plays Archer and likewise delivers an impeccable portrayal of the pompous rebel. Other notable performances include Stephanie Sheh as Illyasviel, who strikes a perfect balance between cute and creepy as her character is intended to be, as well as Jamieson Price as Kirei Kotomine, whose deep and somber voice is absolutely perfect for Kirei's cold and gloomy presence. I could go on, as there are plenty more veteran actors that make appearances in this series, but needless to say the English voice cast is all in all one of the better ensembles I've had the pleasure of listening to in anime. Due to a number of odd casting decisions in later installments of the Fate franchise though, some may want to opt for the subtitled version instead if you don't want to deal with continually changing voice actors. Just a fair warning.
All things considered, Fate/Stay Night gets a lot of things right, but as emotionally satisfying as I felt the anime's conclusion was, I couldn't help having a pervasive feeling that in the hands of the right artists it still could have been so much more. With a story and characters as rich as the Fate universe, this series could have easily reached legendary status as a true masterpiece if it just had the proper budget and capable studio to do it justice. Due to a bevy of pacing and consistency issues with FSN's narrative and animation however, it just doesn't quite reach greatness. However, even a mediocre adaptation of superb source material still rounds out to be above average overall, so if you're looking for a good entry point into the Fate universe, Fate/Stay Night is a perfectly acceptable place to start. read more
Mar 30, 2013
There are no spoilers in this review.
Fate/Stay Night I had some mixed feelings coming into it. I've heard of it's bad reputation many times, but I was a Fate/Stay Night fan (Via the Visual Novel) before watching it.
I already knew the story and characters so I had hope that it wouldn't disappoint. I am both happy and annoyed at how it turned out. But overall I was happy on how it turned out and I cried at the ending just like I did in the Visual Novel.
The anime series follows the events of the Fate route of the Visual Novel. Now it's important to note that the Fate route was meant to be the training route of the Visual Novel and it wasn't the main event and it certainly wasn't my favourite of the three. But it was the one that did move me the most.
The story panned out much as predicted being I already knew it but their were things that annoyed me about how it was executed. First thing allot of the small details where a bit messed up and where not how they were in the Visual Novel. Such as Sakura didn't always cook, and she didn't always cook alone, when she was at Shirou's house. This is a small thing but it was an important detail to me. It just needed to follow the visual novel better.
My main other annoyances was the fact that important finale scenes from Heavens Feel and other important scenes from Unlimited Blade Works [The other routes in the Visual Novel] where integrated into important points in the story. I think it was a foolish action to do this and it did take away from the real story of Fate a fair bit and if an anime adaptation of Heavens Feel was ever to be made, these scenes would probably ruin it for those who watched this anime before watching the Heavens Feel adaptation or playing the visual novel.
But I do have to say that they followed the path of the Fate route well in all other areas staying pretty true to the story. It most definitely could have been executed allot better and more closely to the visual novel and should have. But I do give props for how the ending and epilogue where handled. Even though I knew how it was going to turn out it managed to make me cry again. This meant that I finished the series on a high note and enjoyed it greatly despite some of the flaws of it.
I think that this anime deserves a reboot to take it to it's full potential as it hasn't reached it yet.
I think that the biggest flaw in the anime was the tech side. The animation was good for the time it was made, but I've seen better. That being said the action scenes where quite good and it was good to see some battle scenes play out that we didn't in the visual novel.
My biggest disappointment was the sound effects. They where bad and dated. I've seen much older anime with a better sound effect set and I think if they used the ones from the Visual Novel it would have sounded better.
They seemed fond of using the sound of a blaster deflecting off a lightsaber as the sound for jumping and deflection. The OST was average but suited the scenes well. But both of these points I think are effected mainly by the time period in which they where made, more so than negligence by the makers to be fair. I didn't like that they changed songs for the intros someway through the series. The second one was just unfitting and bad.
The art style was a bit worse than expected. I honestly think the art quality from the Visual Novels animated intro was better. But again this is a point due to the time it was made. I think this anime suffered so much by being made when it was made. I think this is another important factor why this anime needs a remake.
The characters in this where handled pretty well. They stayed true to the visual novel very well. Of course I loved all the historical characters as I do have an interest in such things. One thing is they did lack the in-depth look that the visual novel format offered of them so people who haven't read it do lack out a bit on the characters.
I did decide to watch the anime in the English dub after much thought. As I had already heard the Japanese voices allot I was used to them and they sounded better. But in the end I decided to go with the English Dub anyway. I have to say you should probably go with the Japanese voices with English subs if you watch it. They suit the characters personalities better and English Gilgamesh was a joke. Kotomine's English voice actor was good though.
There are allot of positives and negatives about this anime. The anime failed to match up to the standards set by the Visual Novel. It's mixing of the different story lines, the execution of the details and the tech side of things where the biggest down points of the show and did take away from the feel of the story how it should be.
But this format did have advantages of the visual novel and the action was allot better and more involved than the visual novel. My thoughts are that you should read the Fate route of the visual novel before watching this anime.
You will enjoy it allot more than people new to the Fate/ franchise do. Enjoying the story in the Visual Novel format will allow you to enjoy the story more in the Anime format and playing or watching either is critical to do before watching Fate/Zero the recent prequel anime to the events of Fate/Stay Night.
Overall Fate/Stay Night was a positive experience for me.
Score: 7/10 read more
Jun 30, 2009
I will refrain myself from commenting on the show before I give my view on specific issues. I will try my best to refrain myself from spoilers, but rest assured, some will exist SO if you didn`t watch it yet you are better jumping straight to my conclusion.
In simple words it’s GORGEOUS. If you take into account it’s from 2006 it gets even better, surely nothing that year can get remotely close to it, and even for today standard’s it is top notch, specially on the color pallet department.
The backgrounds, the CGI, the still animations, the fight sequences... everything clicks beautifully, but what really shines are the character designs and the color employed on the scenes.
This show is definitely worth HD (I got the THORA release) and I wouldn`t settle for anything lower then 720p, it really deserves it.
I`ve tried my best to find issues with the sound, but to put it simple it’s not bad at all!
The songs are catchy in their own merits and somewhat memorable. They do come off occasionally on the wrong scenes but for the most of the time they are spot on.
Aside the soundtrack, the sound effects are also ok and fit the scenes they take part into.
The voice acting is also pretty well done, and I would like to add a special note that the English and German segments are amongst the best I have ever seen in an anime (as cheesy as they might be).
This show reeks ambition so much it ended up being smacked down by the usual budget / time frame reality, and this is the part where we feel it the worse.
More than once I felt like I needed a manual to watch the show and it wasn`t included. Terms they use all the time never get explained and this gets in the way of understanding stuff every now and then, it’s quite annoying and you have to put up some effort to understand stuff based solo on the sentence context.
The arc`s are well staged, but again the lack of proper treating and over ambitious director leave us with some problems. It is aggravating that some important stuff that happens later on have to rely on quick flashbacks to pack any meaning and even then the results are quite bad.
This gets the most aggravating when we deal with relationships between characters, but I will write about that on the latter topic.
Overall the story is nice and has a tremendous amount of care to it, sadly the director didn`t have time to fulfill all he had in mind and it suffers a lot from it. If I had to pinpoint what areas suffered more I would have to say the romance. The action can carry itself pretty well due to the beautiful visuals and the drama focus on the “sacrifice” aspect most shounens drag from so no biggie, but the romantic relationships between Shirou and Saber are awkward to say the least, and his relation with Rin and Sakura are simply “deleted” from the plot halfway through for no apparent reason!
All the characters are well made. They all have distinct traits, they all have particular looks, they all have background, objective and dept, but the problem is most of the time this is all crammed up so much it end up not living to the expectations.
I could go on in this subject for hours, but instead of pointing out how obviously Saber lack proper introduction about her past, or how Shirou desperately needed some more development and diversity or even how some characters like Sakura disappear from the plot after a few episodes (and we actually miss the continuation) I will just use my favorite character as an example, Rin.
Rin is an astonishing character that actually carry the show trough its worse moments all by herself, but the lack of episodes this show is plagued with (it deserved at least another season) makes some of her most interesting aspects lack and most of her relationships with other characters underdeveloped.
Why does she care so much about Sakura? Is the preach a fatherly figure to her? Does she love Shirou? I really wish all these aspects where developed, but instead they throw a few flashbacks and rush everything out to the point they don`t make the slightest sense and hurt the otherwise REALLY cool character she is.
Even her relationship with archer is crammed up to the point he barely shows his face and 5 episodes latter they kill him and we are supposed to care?! And that is another major issue, the servants have NO development AT ALL so all the cool traits they own are wasted since we don`t know who they are, why they fight for or even their origin... we don`t even get introductions to them it’s just sad.
Value/Enjoyment & Conclusion
From the moment the show start to the end its quite clear the director set the standard on the stratosphere but sadly got smacked down by reality mid way through it. Either lack of budget, lack of time or both the fact is, most of the show builds such a tremendous hype around itself and sadly don’t live up to it leaving many shortcomings by the end.
I do however congratulate the director for taking the hard route and abiding itself for making a complete show instead of a “first part” that would never seen an end. Still, it hurts to see so much potential being left untouched.
I would say this show is really worth for people that like the genre, this IS a shounen after all, and even though it have many qualities that deviate from the standard and make it different, the typical affair is all here… like people never EVER getting killed, the main weak protagonist with untapped potential and the usual good = good | bad = bad ordeal where every good guy is a saint and every bad guy have snake eyes, do rough voices and have a satanic smile… so it does tick all the boxes for the standard show.
Now for other people that are not all that into shounen, I would still highly recommend this but with a warning, you WILL get disappointed. This anime was destined to be a masterpiece but it faced shortcomings that hindered expectations in every possible way. This would’ve been bad on a regular show, but the amount of greatness this anime reeks is unparalleled and this just make it all the bitter. read more
Jun 19, 2008
The plot of this series, is to be honest, pretty horrible. It's extremely linear, it's pretty boring, and there isn't really very much in terms of plot twists or suspense. And what little they had, which was more towards the end of the series, was executed rather badly with bad pacing and ass pulls galore. In mitigation, this was likely caused by the developers buckling under the twin strains of running out of budget and having to merge the three different scenarios from the visual novel together. However, it's still bad.
The saving grace of the series lies, frankly, outside. The backstory, the concepts dealt with, the underlying metaplot, the thoughts provoked - fantastic is an understatement. Sadly, in order to be able to enjoy this, reading the Visual Novel is a must. The anime simply did not have enough time to cram in all of the information, resulting in a jumbled mess.
Another strong point of this series lay in the characters. Every single character positively exudes personality - from just hearing one line, you can basically pinpoint which character it is from. However, this is coming after I've read the Visual Novel, and also all the associated mythologies of the characters. If just watching the anime itself with no prior knowledge, the Servants can be a bit... one-sided. The thing you have to remember is that you're *supposed* to know the characters beforehand, and that the development present is an expansion on preexisting perceptions of these characters.
However, there's one exception to the strong characterization - the main character. Given that this was an adaptation from an eroge (hardly a medium known for strong main characters), you wouldn't really expect much of Shirou. However, Shirou does not possess the usual blank self-insert personality typical of eroge protagonists. Quite the opposite, in fact. He has an extremely strong personality, and it's grating to the extreme. There are plenty of times where you wish you could just slap the damn child out of him, and unfortunately, the scenario where that *does* happen was not animated.
Animation quality was extremely well done, with a clean art style that's extremely refreshing, and well animated fight sequences. Sadly, this tended to suffer near the end of the series as the animators ran out of budget.
Sound is a non-sequitter. Nothing really stands out, nothing's really bad.
In conclusion, Fate/Stay Night has a marvelous backstory, beautiful characters, and a mediocre plot. In trying to shake things up from the Visual Novel, the director appears to have set too high a bar for himself to attain, running beyond the limits of himself and the budget. While the animated medium makes for a much better flow of story than the Visual Novel, which had shaking pacing at best, in the end it fell prey to the pitfall of no money. read more
Oct 8, 2009
Fate/stay night does not have any horrendous flaws in it, enough to make your watching experience miserable. That said, it will fail to instill many emotions in the viewer and putting the hype aside, I cannot fathom how those new to the Fate/stay night universe might find it anything other than not-too-bad.
Story: Mediocre (5/10)
Even the story in the game isn't that spectacular. Perhaps its greatest value is the carefully constructed world with intriguing characters and not many plot holes. Therefore, it was easy to get immersed in the game and get to like a certain cool servant or a master for its beliefs, actions, personality, looks or history. Albeit rather fantastic and idealistic ones, the motives behind the characters were thoroughly explained and thus brought to life.
As the result of mixing of the three routes that exist in the game in order to (try to) depict every servant/master and thus get more fans, not one character feels complete. Many of the game's monologues and dialogs are of course left out so once the ball starts rolling with the Holy Grail war one event tramples over another until the very end, making the story seem pretty unsubstantial and childish.
Art: Good (7/10)
The best way to explain the art here is to say it's like a well-drawn picture book with some cool photoshop effects sprinkled here and there. My biggest objection here would be the unexplainable inconsistency in the art style; somewhere around the middle of the show it almost feels like a slide show for a couple of episodes, even some characters were drawn sloppily (this is not the case throughout the show, but when and if you get to those few episodes, you'll know). While you will certainly enjoy the colors and art style which are both very fitting, you won't be thrilled by the lack of real animation.
Sounds: Good (7/10)
Disillusion, the first OP is an improved version of the game OP and is simply superb. ED is okay, the second OP is below average. Background music fits the mood well but you're likely to get sick of it. Voice acting is not extraordinary nor particularly bad.
Character: Mediocre (5/10)
What I said for the story applies here. Characters don't have their personalities explained well and its hard to get attached to pretty much anyone, even if you've played the game.
Enjoyment: Decent (4/10)
If you've played the visual novel you'll find this anime fun from the perspective of watching an animated set of CGs coupled with voices, though it might get excruciating after a dozen episodes or so. The parts which I have liked the most are those at the beginning when the characters joke, have meals, go to school etc. because it is probably the only part that differs from the game story and feels less like a retelling of it from one lazy teenager to another.
If you haven't, don't fall for the hype - the game is good, the anime is far less good - if you feel there are inconsistencies in the story and if it feels bland, it's because it is.
Overall: Mediocre (5/10)
Play the game instead. read more
Oct 30, 2008
The story takes place in modern-day Japan, revolving around a boy named Shirou Emiya and has reluctant participation in a city-wide battle royale known as the Holy Grail War. While this sounds like a shounen set-up, Fate is rather talkative. Scratch that, Fate is way too talkative for its own good. Boring and pointless conversations about ideals and the ethics of battle get put up front in the first half and the action the premise attempts to indicate is shoved to the background. Fortunately for those of you who turned in for the super-powered free-for-alls, you won't be disappointed too much. There are a handful of extravagant fights, but only a handful.
The second half does its best to reward patient viewers with impressive revelations, some good twists, and an amped-up focus on the war rather than on whether its okay to fight in the war. Unfortunately in its quest to make up for all it wasted early on, Fate ultimately burns out and fizzles through the last few episodes, which unfortunately are constructed to make us think this is some kind of grand climax.
The cast runs the gamut from expendable to enjoyable. Those who watch will surely take not of complacent victim-turned-mage Shirou who does nothing but whine and whine and whine some more for 12 episodes. This is not a biased complaint. He really does complain about his situation that much. He does grow past this, but not enough to prove he's entirely past that part of himself. His servant, Saber, is hardly any better. The silent type for the majority of the series, she does not provide much for conflict or relationships. She's there and she occasionally fights.
The real stars though have to be Rin and Archer. Rin originally serves as an antagonist to Shirou and her blatantly in-your-face personality and no-nonsense attitude gives this series a much needed and appreciated shot of energy. More so, she's one of the more interesting characters, especially when her past is later called into question. Her servant, Archer, is mostly famous for one particular episode, but the episode demonstrates enough of his ability and a revelation about his identity which enables the series to be seen from a second parallel perspective. If it weren't for them, I'd probably have dropped this a few eps in.
Art is often heavy-handed, especially with uses of light and shadow. Both are incredibly exaggerated at all times, often for dramatic purposes, but it only serves to annoy and makes the series look cheaper than it should. The series often cuts corners with long scenery pans, especially in the first part of the series. Fight scenes that aren't interrupted often show where the animation budget went for the series. They're extravagant and jaw-dropping, but only a minute or two each and then the energy drops off once more.
Character designs stay true to the game, inventive and hinting at future revelations. You can tell a lot of time and effort went into them and it shows in spades.
Sound had a few bright points, but it was often unmemorable. Voice work was standard, and the theme music was just below great.
As I mentioned in the beginning, Fate/Stay Night left me wondering what all the commotion was about. It's a very uneven series that shows rays of hope often, but never capitalizes on any of their finer moments. Even more irritating, it never expands on revelations and expects you to go play the game if you want the full story. It's a 24 episode series with an animation budget for 12 episodes and a story that could have been 39 episodes long. You do the math.
Overall, I give Fate/Stay Night a 6 out of 10. read more
Apr 3, 2008
I will not go through repeating what has been said in the other reviews already. However, I want to make 2 points clear as to why I find it not as great as many claim it to be (ultimately it is these 2 points that made me give the story an 8/10).
1. The lack of information about most servants' past. That includes Saber as well. I am basing this on just the anime alone (so if the visual novel or manga has a more detailed coverage about these, I don't care). I find the story a little rushed trying to cover the main plot and somewhat "hint" to us regarding certain characters past. As a result, a lot of information I want to know were not presented in the anime (but rather in the game).
2. I consider myself to be a rather "emo" person (I cried for the 2nd half of Mai HiME for example). But there weren't much "moving" scenes in this anime that make me either laugh too hard or cry too hard. There may be surprises occasionally, but that was it. Though at the same time the plot was interesting enough for me to keep watching episode after episode.
Another key issue about the anime are the characters. Though there are decent character developments throughout the story, the lack of information presented at the end regarding the primary characters' future kind of left it like a dangling string. Some people might like it that way, but I don't. Certainly not how they decided to end Saber's past at the end.
Overall, I find it quite enjoyable (kept me glued to the computer long enough for me to finish the anime in 2.5 days), but it just lack some "hard-to-forget" scenes. read more
Aug 18, 2013
However, where Fate/Stay Night really falls over is where it matters most. Outside of Saber and Shirou, the cast is horribly mismanaged. The list of side characters of which we are shown mere glimpses of their backgrounds, and nothing more, is phenomenal. It may not have been quite as bad as Kannaduki no Miko, but the question must be posed: if no intention to make anything of these glimpses existed, then why show them? I cannot stress enough how frustrating the mismanagement of the side cast was; characters that were portrayed to be arguably more intriguing than the two leads were frequently relegated from the plot’s focus before a chance to reveal their full stories could come about. The component of the plot that did receive a respectable amount of attention was that surrounding Saber’s humanization, but not even this was without its flaws. Her changes were too sudden and could almost all be traced back to a single scene, making it, at times, difficult to swallow. I’d halfheartedly argue Shakugan no Shana(1,2) did a better job with a similar character transition, and fervently argue the same about Lunar Legend Tsukihime.
Fate/Stay Night is an anime that has created numerous talking points, but very few have been complimentary. The fights only rarely offer anything that isn’t totally clichéd to the shounen action genre, and far too many characters are left sorely undeveloped. Many fans of the game have argued that a story of Fate/Stay Night’s magnitude cannot be contained within a mere twenty-four episodes… but there’s no argument that this particular attempt at it was pitiful. Type Moon games have yet to make a flawless transition to the small screen, but at least Lunar Legend Tsukihime was a far more respectable attempt. Watch that instead. read more
Oct 27, 2007
After watching just the first 3 episode you basically learned the main plot of this anime, which was the Holy Grail War and also learned how similar this anime was with others; having the same little annoyances. I personally was annoyed with the whole “my parents are dead” and I just wanted this show to be different with the parents’ still alive at least. But most of all I was annoyed by how weak and pathetic yet lucky Shirou was, which just seemed unoriginal. What made it worse was how arrogant Shirou was and how he always wanted to fight his own battles, even though his Servant could do a much better job at it. Nevertheless I didn’t allow these annoyances to get in the way of this great show and if you do the same you may enjoy it too.
This show is an Action/Adventure with elements of both Romance and Comedy, however unlike most of this genre the romance is played down that even I found it difficult to tell who Shirou would end up with. This was one of the things that helped save the show from a bad score and another was the great character developments that occurred in the story. As the story went on, even though it seemed hard to believe from the beginning but Shirou greatly improved as a Master and became lass annoying to watch. He even had some pretty interesting fights although the bulk of the fights were fought by Saber. The fights were great to watch adding a decent amount of action to the show. On the other hand some fights had a lacklustre feel it them, so if your used to being glued to the screen from a spectacular battle don’t count on that happening here often, however there’s at least some interesting fights.
One thing I like in my anime is something that was missing in this show, a decent plot twist, but this is just my opinion. If you don’t mind it sticking to one storyline all the way through to the end, then there’s no chance in you being disappointed with the story you’ve got.
Apart from Shirou the rest of the characters were OK with decent personalities but most of them weren’t developed well enough. Usually all you’re given is a few hazy moments and flashbacks of a characters past and forced to work out what’s going on by yourself. Well at least the characters were well-drawn though.
The animation quality for Fate/Stay Night was lavish with some of the best used light and shadow effects I’ve seen in a while. Even though that may sound pointless, in this anime it was significantly noticeable. The music was decent but it could have been a lot better if it used some other track from the Fate/Stay Night soundtrack. Yet the music wasn’t much of a big deal in this anime and it was only near the end that the music really made a difference.
To summarize, this anime did a great job of mixing romance and action without making either one of them overbearing, although it could of done without the comedy. Even though the comedy was used to lighten the mood at times in this show, I didn’t feel it was needed. The fights were interesting but it could have done with the charged up yelling and screaming, mostly from Saber. I was very pleased with the ending, because it wasn’t too sad and it wasn’t cheesy, but it did leave me a little confused yet I was sure it had ended. Even up until the end there was still something I didn’t like about the character Shirou and it had to do with the Japanese voice actor that I and most “Naruto” fansub watchers will notice pretty quickly as well. So try not to let this spoil the show for you because this was an remarkable anime to watch.
^_^ read more
Jul 7, 2007
Feb 24, 2009
Much of the mediocrity found in this series is in the story itself. There were very few twists and the ones that were there have already been done many times over. A fairly useless kid is our protagonist, by the name of Emiya Shirou, who turns out to not be quite so useless. Go figure. Emiya, with the aid of his Servant, Saber, who turns out to be quite powerful (yet again, go figure) must now battle the other sorcerers in a tournament to obtain a Grail that will grant a single wish.
At this point, I kind of feel like we've heard this story before. Weak kid, strong guardian figure, an object of limitless power that they must possess after countless trials and tribulations.
With that said, I really have nothing more to add other than the story got a 5 because of the total lack of originality. Granted, the Servants at times were pretty cool, but it isn't anything we haven't all seen before.
There were some refreshing comedy moments that helped throughout the staleness of the story, in my opinion. It wasn't made to be like Shakugan no Shana, it was very serious throughout most of the series, which, when looking at it from that perspective, it kept the anime fresh simply because it wasn't another fighting anime filled to the brim with comedy.
I will hand it to the animators, they made the fight scenes in this series quite well. The art was great, continuity throughout the scenes were excellent, and the animation itself was top notch and quite beautiful. I enjoyed the color schemes, notably during the scenes in the school when Rin is battling with Shirou.
Once again, I reiterate the battle animations: They look GOOD. It is what kept me watching all the way to the end, hoping for another battle. The characters moved like liquid at times and when they fought, you could almost feel the intensity. Which does a lot for the overall score of this anime because nothing is worse when you watch a series about fighting and the fighting itself is boring.
The sounds were nothing special, pretty much what you would expect from an anime such as this; sword clashing, the sounds of flesh being destroyed by weapons, incantations, the occasional battle soundtrack, etc. The voice-overs were done well. Shirou had the typical high school voice you come to expect and his screams were well recorded. Saber's total lack of emotion in her voice throughout most of the series was pleasing, considering that her character and personality reflected the lack of emotional response unless regarding her aims for the Grail.
I was disappointed with the characterization though, in a few ways. Shirou starts off pretty spineless and soft-hearted. As the story progresses, he is given a few opportunities where he has to act and a few times, he surprised me. But ultimately, even though he made a few decisions that I did not expect, I felt he still never learned anything and never grew as a character.
Saber, on the other hand, was an amazing character. She initially comes across as a hard-as-nails, straight to business kind of character. In the later episodes, she shows a bit of her softer, more caring side which is a drastic change. And when the end credits finally roll, you realize that she is a character, despite the faults she felt she had, despite the turmoil of feelings she had, Saber stuck to her convictions, duty and purpose. You could not ask for more.
Fate/stay night was enjoyable, its animation and characters being its strong points and its story being its lowest. Overall I gave it a 7 because it could have done better, but it is worthy enough that I would recommend it to other people and would give it a second watch. I cannot say I did not enjoy quite a few parts of this, especially some of the more intense battles that took place near the end.
If you're looking for an anime that has great animation, multiple battles and strong characterization then look no further. Just be prepared to occasionally scoff at the over-used foreshadowing and plot twist techniques and being able to say "I saw that coming" more than once. read more
Mar 6, 2008
The basic plot is about Shirou; a high School boy with a very righteous kind heart but has a weak character and knows little magic. By fate he falls into an epic battle over the holy grail taking on the powerful Hero Summon "Saber" as his servant. The Servants do battle with one another till only one is left then taking the Holy grail to make a wish, but this battle devastates Shirou's life and opens up the secrets to traumatic events that happened in his past. The plot primarily is action/shounen/Drama... They attempt some Romance as well~ but its a little awkward.
Story: The story is one of the main flaws of this series; it becomes clear very early that this anime is based off of a "Visual Novel" due to its linear plot~ the goal is known right away and the development is predictable. There are some shocking moments towards the end, but that doesn't make up for the rest.
Perhaps the most stifling thing about the story is it hints about Saber's and other's pasts... but in never divulged any information. While sometimes its excusable to keep a mysterious story, in the case of this anime it felt vital to the plot, and rather than add to the mood of urgency it felt more like they were trying to rush parts of the series far too much... much of the events make no sense unless you play the visual novels or look up the background info online.
On the good side the plot is fast enough to enjoy after the first few episodes, Has alot of interesting battles and antagonists, and has an interesting back story if you watch untill the end.
Art: The art is ok; the characters are well done, especially most of the servants. Overall I have no bones to pick with the animation; it just wasn't that original and the main protagonist had not impressive characteristics to make him stand out. The battle art was very good though; especially their final attacks.
Sound: The sound, like the art was acceptable. The opening and ending themes were very good and the OST was great. There was no real "Epic Battle" music that lived up to some of the great battles, but it was still good.
Characters: This was the big downfall for the series... Most of the characters are very superficial, unoriginal, and predictable. The biggest let down in Saber and several other servants; because the story focuses on the character development of the masters for the most part most of the servants pasts are never explained in any detail... so it makes it very hard to understand their development or motivation. Saber's is insinuated at the very end, but the story rushes so much it makes it impossible to truly understand the depth of her character.
Overall: This in another "Good" anime~
Its worth watching despite its unoriginality~ But don't expect a masterpiece. read more
Jul 23, 2009
The story somewhat reminds me of .hack//SIGN because it can get confusing if you don't pay close attention and if you don't do your research. The plot in the beginning is very basic... that goes through the first couple of episodes... then you arrive to a rival: Rider. From then on, the plot gets more and more interesting, and it makes it so that you want to keep on watching. I know I was hitting myself near the last couple of certain people... I will not go on much more about that because then it would ruin the ending... speaking of which... the ending reminded me of Chrno Crusade to a point. The ending that is sort of foreshadowed does come to pass. I'm not sure if I liked or disliked the ending at this point in time. What I do recommend is re-watch the anime from beginning to end after you've gone on Wikipedia to learn more about the characters. It makes a lot of things much clearer.
I liked the art and the character design very much. Some of the fighting scenes, however, did not apease me very much (Archer vs. Beserker for example). Besides some of the fighting scenes, it was pretty enjoyable... and I wish the artists would have stayed with one eye style per character...
The sound quality was very good. It also pleased me that the English (Dubbed) version did not change any of the background music. I enjoyed the Opennings very much, especially the second one. I did not like the first or last endings. However, I did enjoy the end song of the episode Archer vs. Beserker.
Character: Perfect 10
I really enjoyed the Character Development and the characters overall. They acted like real people, and they had those human quirks that you see in real people. Even though some characters are overexaggerated, Taiga for example, they make the anime more interesting. I especially enjoyed how some of the characters actually grew... if anyone knows what I mean. I see no overshowing flaws in the characters.
Enjoyment: Perfect 10
I truly enjoyed this anime. It was suspenceful with a lot of action while at times is was light and comical. I am in the process of re-watching the later episodes so I understand everything clearly, but I have no problem in doing so.
There are few flaws that I saw, and I definitely recommend this anime to anyone who is willing to watch it. read more
Jun 5, 2008
Well the basic plot is about a war between masters and servants in order to attain the Holy Grail thus called the Holy Grail War. Their is a total of seven Masters each with one servant and their task is to eradicate the other servants, either by defeating them or killing their master. When there is only one master and servant left, he or she is granted the Holy Grail, and any wish they desire will come true.
And this story is about a boy named Shirou Emiya, whom after attacked and killed by a servant, is revived and later becomes a Master in this Holy Grail War. While in the meantime he manages to summon his own servant, a girl named Saber. And this is where the story begins...
Well anyway onto the review.
Story - 8
The story in this series is pretty linear and can be understandable in the first few episodes of the series. Its not quite difficult to understand and it has abit of a romantic theme mixed in their, but other than that most of the time the story is quite predictable.
Art - 8
Now in my opinion, the characters animations and lighting effects were done very well in this series, although the character designs and background seem quite simple and not awe inspiring but still good enough to catch your attention.
Sound - 9
Now the bgm in the series was very good and adpated very well to the majority of the scenes in the anime. You could tell when a certain bgm mixed in well with the current mood of a scene. Not to mention both openings, sung by Sachi Tainaka and the three ending songs by Sachi Tainaka and Jyukaiof the anime are excellent.
Character - 8
Now the wide variety of character types through the servants and masters in which they all have their own personality traits and abilites is portrayed well in the series. The only thing that suffers about character in this series is that the full background story of all the characters won't be shown and their is practically little character development at all, so don't expect the main character to let go of his ideals.
Enjoyment - 9
What is truly great about this series is probably the action scenes themselves and how the servants are battling each other using their abilities or Noble Phantasms which is what is really called. You also have the occasional romance, but I'll let you decide if you like it or not.
Overall - 9
Overall the Fate/Stay night has a good variety of characters, excellent bgm and songs, awesome battle scenes and a fairly intriguing story with some well-rounded characters. It does have its flaws and it couldve been alot better. You'll definitely find yourself annoyed with(or hating) the main character or perhaps liking him, depending on your preferences. Fans of general mystery/fantasy/action related shows will find a lot to like about Fate/stay night.
It is definitely recommended to watch even for an average anime viewer since this series has been considered by fans the best anime of 2006. And yes Type-moon fans should watch at least. XD
But if you want to get the full experience or details of Fate Stay Night its highly recommended to play the actual visual novels or wiki if you wish. You'll be quite surprised at some of the things you'll find about Fate Stay Night if you dig deeper into its roots. read more
May 16, 2008
When I see the ratings people give to Fate/stay night, I can't help but be amazed at how highly it scores. Overall, I couldn't help but feel F/sn was an overrated, mediocre anime with an unreasonable fanbase.
A mythical and mysterious tournament for the holy grail takes place, and the protagonist is dragged into it. Then epic battles ensue between the masters and their servants, until of course, one emerges as the victor. Let's see... a "mystical"... "tournament"... where you have to save the world by winning. Oh. Wow. That has to be the basis for at least half the shounen anime out there. If it loses points for ingenuity, it could redeem itself by being dynamic, or at least intriguing. But of course, the Shirou-Saber duo must confront successive enemies, one at a time. I could sum up the whole series by listing the enemies the protagonists face.
That being said, F/sn was adapted from an eroge game. Doesn't it seem that there are a little too many of those popping up lately? It doesn't help the plot at all that some scenes actually didn't show everything that happens (for obvious reasons). Usually it simply confuses the audience. Heck, it confused the heck out of me... until I read the summary on Wikipedia. And when you have to actually look up the plot to understand what happened... you're in trouble.
Art & Sound
I have nothing against the visual and audio effects. The music sounds epic, the opening and closing themes were ok (but not awesome) The artwork was beautifully done, though it might've helped if the characters (namely Shirou) changed clothes once in a while.
This is where F/s n fails sadly. Character development is sparse, except for perhaps Shirou and Saber. We see Saber's slow change from an unfeeling servant into a person with... well, more emotions than she used to have. Shirou stays the same, to much chagrin, trying to save the universe all the time.
The horror starts when you try to focus on other characters. Rin and Archer to be exact. We're given absolutely no background information about Archer's past or what kind of character he is.(Same goes for many of the other supporting characters) All he does is fight. Little to no screen time is devoted to developing him as a character. He's basically a character you wouldn't pay attention to, even though his role as the second female protagonist's servant should warrant some importance.
Then comes Rin. There are some flashbacks that allow the audience to glean some information of her past, but her sudden spontaneous relationships with the other characters are largely unexplained. Of course, as a fighter, she resembles the classic damsel-in-distress character who tries to fight, but has to be saved by Shirou. If she's such a capable magician, then why does it seem that all she does is constantly fail so almighty Shirou can swoop in and save the day? Plus, let's face it. Those so-called "jewel bombs" are an utter joke.
It doesn't help that Shirou is also sexist, saying that Saber should stay home when she could easily kill him without a thought. All talk with no brains to back it up. I wouldn't particularly mind if there was some thought about developing him, but alas, he doesn't change at all.. almost as if the producers are telling us he's a perfect character. I could go on.
Fate/stay night is sensational, with devoted sound and artwork. However when you try to delve into the actual plot, there are many points that leave much to be desired. There are many positive aspects, many of which I did not touch upon, and others may feel that my criticism is too harsh. As the viewer, ... or whoever's reading this... it's up to you to make the decision to watch. (You're probably sick of hearing this) read more
Jul 9, 2009
After hearing alot of good things about this anime, mainly how breath taking some of the scenes were as well as how it had a good plot and basically was a good anime to watch, i finally decided to see how good it was.. although fate/stay night does have some well orchestrated fighting scenes, the downfall is easily in how big the storyline is and how the anime could not possible cover it all.
The story is somewhat generic where we have our usual main protaganist who starts off pretty useless but then gains a power which helps him to aid the "good" side. The plot is generally simple and not too complex in that there are 7 masters who each have a servant, using these servants, the masters must kill each other to obtain what they are fighting for: The Holy Grail. The one problem with the story is despite its simplicity it is explained in a complex way due to the complexity of the characters, from watching this it is clear that the character's personalities is what is the main contribution to the storyline, due to the time constraints of the anime however, there are many characters who just get hardly any development which leaves many gaps in the plot since this is an adaptation of the visual novel, they could not possibly fit in everything at once. The result is, an enjoyable but poorly executed storyline in which there is no true closure.
I thought the art was very well done, from an anime made in 2006, it has held up quite well, the animation during the fight scenes is crisp and dynamic and are very difficult to complain about, the anime looks great and hardly ever has a quality drop which is a very positive thing for a shounen anime like this.
The sound in this anime was average at best, i thought the character's voice actors did a terrific job, but the actual music did not feel like it fit the show at some points. Usually with fighting scenes you have high pace music but fate/stay night does things differently by using melodic music with an orchestra feel to it, im sure some people would enjoy the music but i was not one of them, thought i did not mind the music that much, it was repetitive though since a few songs play constantly.
This is the category that breaks Fate/stay night. Since there are so many characters in the anime, (7 servants / 7 masters) and each actually have quite interesting personalities, were never really given an insight into any of their pasts or what their true desire is in fighting in this war. Often it seems like the characters just have nothing better to do then to fight, The main protaganist is also extremely useless for the first half of the show which is painful to watch, some characters background's are not explained at all which provides alot of confusion to the storyline. Without spoiling too much, the characters although full of life and definitely interesting, are never fully developed enough, Rin who is a master in this game is actually developed quite nicely, however a similar character to her Sakura is hardly given any back story yet has an entire sequence based on her in which we have no idea what her significance to Rin is exactly.. this continues on and really never stops since even Saber's back story is not explained enough.. i could go on and on about the potential alot of these characters have, but i cant blame the producers because as a 24 episode series, explaining everyone would have needed probably double the amount of episodes.
I did enjoy the series, but this felt like more of an introduction for me then an actual anime, the pacing in this slow is not that great, in which there are some episodes where hardly any fighting is done and the anime tries to attempt some characters development. Although it works in Rin's case and even Saber's. It really annoyed me how some characters dissapear or contribute nothing to the anime for maybe 12 episodes, and they will randomly show up again, this creates an inconsistency because the show tries to be emotional and tries to show the relationship between saber and shioru, but in my opinion falls short, that being said, i felt the second half of the show (12-24) was far better then the first half.
I give this anime a 7/10, which is pretty generous. I just feel like after watching 24 episodes of this, nothing was really resolved. The anime does have an ending yes, but it just feels forced.. without spoiling anything, i realize the producers could not get every character developed and thus explore each branching storyline so ill accept that there.. but the one thing i cant deny is fate/stay night has some extremely good fight scenes, its just bogged down by a pretty boring plot, characters that are not developed enough and no real conclusion to anything.. Im actually going to play the VN since im extremely interested in the other characters.. so if the anime's goal was to get one interested in the characters.. it would be a 10 for sure.
Since this review is purely opinionated, feel free to agree or disagree with it. I understand many people enjoyed this anime a considerable amount, i was just not one of them.
Mar 4, 2008
If you enjoy boring series in which you can guess the dialog line for line since the characters are COMPLETELY one dimensional by all means pick up this series. Another perk is that you get to enjoy watching the stories of legends like King Arthur, Gilgamesh and Musashi get completely raped. The writers spit on these time honored tales without any respect at all.
The subpar and utterly predictable action really disappointed as well since the pitiful romance subplots felt like a wet blanket over the whole series. At times there would be two fights simultaneously following the exact same path so that you got to be right about guessing what happens twice in a row.
I rate this "PG under 13" because I really believe anyone with any semblance of maturity will throw up at the simplicity and utter frustrating predictability of this anime. read more
Dec 14, 2008
First of all the story, whilst unremarkable, was nice and simple. Acquire a MacGuffin of power through a deathmatch. A good idea and it stays as a focal point for most of the story. There are twists of course, but it follows the straight action thoroughfare. The weak and dumb are first to go. I applaud that but it has a kind of been there, done that feel to it.
The art overall looks a bit dated, but then again, is more than made up for it by the sheer awesomeness of the fight scenes. I'm not talking about the one-sided fights though. It's about the goodness to honest clashing of steel. They were well animated, as expected and it makes sense, this is a war they are fighting. What mars this however is the reuse of animations. It may not seem glaringly obvious but sometimes its too noticeable. Oh and bonus points because Saber has an ahoge.
The sounds do their best to support the fights, no complaints. The background music could have been better handled though. It sometimes fades to almost nothing and requires a good sound system to get everything, which sometimes may ruin the mood if a good song was supposed to be playing at certain key scenes. Otherwise, the composition is fitting and seems to be restrained by the overall theme it tries to adhere to. The OPs and EDs are fine, I don't think anyone would complain.
Character is the only category where Fate/stay night was given the short stick. Sure we are well aware of Shiro and his commitment to sticking to his guns(a little respect is given to him by for that alone). Even Saber gets has her humanity restored somewhat. I would however, like to know more about the other Masters and supporting characters, especially Matou, he comes off as a bit off and with no clear goal of his own. It almost seems like he was there to just to step up and get served. Though you'll have to admire the Seventh master, he was doing it for kicks, but that's about it, nothing special. Simply shallow.
Enjoyment is above average. I probably enjoy seeing people beat the tobacco juice out of each other more than the next guy and that's what kept me viewing. If you're looking for something deep, well, let's just say that Shiro is a persistent little SOB and the only real thing you should be looking forward to is the next fight scene. Now say it out loud with me. I AM GAR FOR ARCHER! read more
Oct 5, 2008
Pro: It doesnt try to be extremely deep, complicated or philosophically oriented, which can really annoying in some stories; its just really fun to watch and keeps u wanting to know what happens next. It has many shounen aspects in its fight scenes that make it exciting. It has the right amount of drama that skips most of the boring intermissions that i see in a lot drama/romance anime and goes straight to the more juicy parts. Its content of romance is enough to make u care about the relationship of the two main characters and to make u think its sweet, but it isnt overplayed to the point where it gets boring and they have to think of all sorts of twist to try to make it fun again. It is also makes the ending very bittersweet.
Con: Since the story doesnt cover all of the VN, it is only as complex or deep as many other popular animes so dont expect it to be otherwise. As such, it also leaves many questions unanswered.
Pro: Its art is top notch. The characters are beautifully drawn, among the best.
Con: Can’t really think of any.
Pro: Most of the characters have lovable personality, none is overly annoying. They did very well with the two main characters to make u care about their relationship.
Con: The characters aren’t exactly original and are derived from popular anime stereotypes but that’s expected. However, these stereotypes are famous for a reason and the anime vary the characters enough and intergrate them well enough into story that they remain lovable without getting old. The biggest flaw I find with the characters is that many of them have little development and background. The anime follows the route of the main heroine in the VN, Sabar, so naturally she is gonna have the most development. The VN solves this problem completely and superbly with its multiple routes but the VN is another matter. However, these flaws do not hinder the enjoyment of the anime.
This is where the anime really shines and makes it a top notch anime. Enjoyment is the biggest factors that I consider; this anime was just fun as heck to watch and keeps u wanting to watch more. Sure the story and characters aren't exactly original and the story is pretty straightforward. Many of the characters are left with little development as well. But really, who cares. None of these flaws make this anime any less exciting to watch or any harder to get attach to. I'm not saying that i dont care about those elements in a story, its just that they arent necessary in every story and they do little to harm this anime, so little that i hardly consider them flaws. In fact, there are many animes that i've watched that try to create original, complex, or realistic characters or story that just comes off as annoying or a bore.
Overall this anime is one of the most enjoyable I’ve seen. It isn’t perfect though, things can always be improved. Though its flaws did not prevent it from being a very enjoyable show, fixing those flaws would have made it better. This; however, is very difficult to do since it is based on a VN with multiple routes and can lower its enjoyment by having to shorten the route that it is depicting. Some fans of the VN may also have problems with the incompleteness of the anime. If u like action/adventure animes that have doses of drama/romance and doesnt drag on and on than this anime might be worth a watch. read more