1 of 13 people found this review helpful
24 of 24 episodes seen
Opening sequence 1: 7/10
Opening sequence 2: 8/10
My Age Rating: PT: Some blood and sexuality, nothing major though.
The story of Fate/Stay Night is quite original, sorcerers in modern day Japan summon servants who turn out to be epic heroes from our past (and future) to battle each other in order to attain the holy grail, a prize that can grant any wish the owner desires. Of course the series is also divided into many arcs, each of which can get mixed feelings from people but I for one found that each stepped up in intensity and overall entertainment value making for one hell of an anime. The arcs go as follow:
-Introduction (1 – 6): Perhaps the slowest and most “explanation” filled episodes of the series, but I wouldn’t let that ruin the show if I were you. These episodes are necessary to introduce the characters, their servants, the basics behind the story and the mechanics of the tournament itself. They also have a couple of nice battles to keep you entertained here and there.
-Rider (7 – 12): The battle against the servant rider and her master. Decent action, good plot and a proper pace. This arc should be enough to addict you to the series.
-Berserker (13 – 16): The next is the battle against Berserker whose fearsome power you already witnessed early on. This is one of the most exciting parts of the show for how awesome Berserker is, for the discovery of a few of the story’s secrets and the first (and last) demonstration of how badass Archer really is. The best battles of the series are here if you ask me.
Caster (17 – 19): Plans that were in preparation since the beginning are finally put into motion by Caster and her powerful master. Possessing magic herself, having a master who can rival a servant’s strength and possessing her own servant and minions, you can guess this won’t be easy.
Finale (20 – 24): The final battle! The last of the servants appears along with some shocking revelations and what little secrets were left about the last war and the current one get unravelled. The series also as a pretty decent ending all things considered.
Another good aspect of the series is how it deals with idealisms: It has our main character, Shiro, as a responsible young man who desires to help and save everyone but as the series progresses we see how his ideal is unthinkable when it comes to actually putting it to use and he learns that as well. He learns how if he wants to save someone he as to fight and sometimes even kill and that it is not possible to protect everyone, that by saving someone it usually means someone else wasn’t able to be saved. It deals with how living by ideals that don’t reflect human nature is a complex and even impossible task. The most brilliant twist of this common theme lies in the character of both Shiro and Archer but that’s a story for another time.
When it comes to characters I’ll be talking about the only ones that matter, the servants. Also, the following part contains heavy spoilers that might be more interesting to read after you’ve watched the series:
-Saber: Her real identity is that of king Arthur and she fights using the legendary sword Excalibur. Needless to say major rewriting of this tale were made, for one the folks of the time thought she was a man since she was king and her gender was hidden at birth. Now for the loop hole: We all know Arthur’s sister was Morgana, she’s a girl too in Fate/Stay Night. So one would wonder how the heck she had a child with her sister right? Well to be fair they did say magic was involved in the official story. Another funny one, her master is later a servant which she is fighting during the series, this is getting hard to follow.
-Archer: He is Shiro Emiya from the future. As much as I hated Shiro I got to admit Archer is wicked awesome. He’s actually my favorite Fate character not only for his awesome style but his badass attitude and almost limitless power. His tsundere master is probably the only reason Shiro (the main character and master of Saber) is still alive, as she basically takes care of the hopeless idiot.
-Lancer: He’s Cúchulainn, yeah I had no idea who the guy was either but he’s some Irish mythological hero. I don’t have much to say on this servant personally.
-Rider: She’s Medusa, perhaps the most difficult one to find out next to Lancer’s identity. The reason is she wears a blindfold so her eyes’ power is effectively neutralized, thus removing the only hint of her true identity. Personally I thought she added the fanservice the series needed.
-Berserker: Hercules! That’s right one of the most resilient bastard in mythological history and it shows when you see him in battle. As if his limitless strength and unbreakable skin weren’t enough, he’s got 12 lives as well. I found his master to be one of the cutest evil character in anime though.
-Assassin: He’s supposed to be Sasaki Kojiro but later on you find out he actually doesn’t exist, he’s a fictional mythic hero. His master is a servant too so he’s not the most impressive of the bunch.
-Caster: She’s Madea, a witch from Greek mythology. It goes without saying her strongest point is magic but she also as a natural talent for elaborate plans that can really ruin a protagonist’s day. She’s got her own servant, Assassin, and a master on par with servants in fighting, or at least the weaker servants.
-Archer 2: Gilgamesh, a servant that stayed around with his master after the last war and they have basically been manipulating everyone since then. He’s the most powerful of servants, even more so than Saber (until she gets her full powers back).
As I said before the show’s got decent action, light fanservice, a solid plot and an original and intriguing concept so it really does offer a lot to the viewer. It also as a great dub, one of my favorites. But perhaps the strongest point of the series is the directing and writing, which made the most simplistic and dull scenes interesting in how they were presented. The show personally had me hooked all the way through and I look forward to watching the movie and the prequel T.V. series.
My advice is to give it a try, the show really is interesting and one of the best twists I’ve seen on the usual fighting/tournament anime types. Though if you do try it, remember to stick around until at least episode 12 to give a proper shot since the first 6 episodes are the weakest of the series.