Just finished this show a couple of moments ago, the hype I got before watching this was IMENSE, but after sitting trough it all I can definitely see where it comes from... for the better and the worse.
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.
Fate/Stay Night is a bit of a sore spot for me. It's the first time I ever sat down, giddy to watch a certain series and came away scratching my head thinking "this is what all the commotion was about?" But in all fairness, Fate/Stay Night is not a terrible anime, just a very overrated one.
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.
This has to be one of the best animes I have seen a while. This review may come out a bit biased as I just finished the series and remain blown away by it. Fate/Stay Night (F/SN) is a seinen about a magical war between 7 magi and their powerful servants who were great heroes and demigods from across time. The Heroes are all mythological figures which give background to their motivation although only the main character\'s servant is ever fully explored. The story lacks in that regard but can be easily supplemented through wikipedia. The message of the story was clear by the end
and even though the ending is a bit tragic, it leaves you feeling content. (Although at the time of this review I\'m feeling a bit of depression at its ending. I was so enthralled by F/SN that I watched it in a relatively short period of time.) The animation fits the premise. The premise resembles that of a shounen. Magicians summoning warriors of different classes reminds oneself of pokemon, digimon, shaman king but unlike those child friendly examples death occurs in the series, servants albeit not a true corporeal form shed blood and are injured similiar to the master\'s themselves. Nudity is shown although not explicitly so (subject to opinion.) The servant themselves are not the typical mindless machinations or friendly buddies. Servants only serve their master because they have a common goal, to win the Holy Grail. It looks like a typical shounen epic except I never noticed any of the mistakes that comes with cutting corners. With the short ratio of boys to girls, one can mistake some scenes for a harem comedy but this may be a result of F/SN\'s roots as an ero-type game. Except for a very few instances, nudity or scantily clad attire is practically non-existent and do not adversely affect the plot. I enjoyed the music, j-pop/rock, and none the seiyu were out of place in the sub. I couldn\'t give this a perfect on character design because there were times when the actions of a character felt unjustified in the way it was portrayed but it may have been because they were fitting a much larger story into a small 24 episode series. So the character design in the anime leaves you with questions but they\'re easily answered thanks to the background of the series. As mentioned before I was enthralled by this series and enjoyed it so much I blew through it. I\'ll end up buying it when I have the time to watch it again and I recommend this title to those who like action, romance and a little meaning. Also take it down a notch if you dislike blood and pig-headed heroes.
In an earlier review, Bluesnow talked about how despite being a good anime, F/SN has a tradition of being overrated. I pretty much agree with this sentiment. This is a good anime, but it definitely has plenty of areas that could be improved.
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.
Fate/Stay Night is a fabulous Romantic, Action, Adventure that will leave you amazed by the beautiful visuals and interesting fights. Just don't let the main character annoy you too much, as he did with me. ^_^
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.
Fate/stay night is definitely a great anime, but it lack some "chemistry" that makes it a masterpiece level of work. That is not to say the anime is bad in any way, in fact it is a total success in my opinion. But nonetheless, I will be making comparisons with other similar themed anime as the review proceeds.
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.
This is by FAR the least enjoyable anime that I have forced myself to sit through. I don't understand the rave reviews on this site because honestly, the story was pathetically predictable as were the characters who just made you want to choke yourself.
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.
This anime is considered by many fans as the best anime of 2006; while it is a good anime its popularity is often over hyped and most ignored the major flaws of the series that kept it from being a masterpiece.
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.
Fate/stay night was, for lack of better words, "pretty good." It was not GREAT, nor horrendous, but it was riding the fine line of mediocrity at times. I understand that it is quite difficult to be original in a day and age where it seems like everything new and innovative has already been used. But I digress.
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.
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)
This is less of a comprehensive review of the series and more of a reaction to what I saw. The reason here is that I haven't finished Fate/Stay Night. I couldn't finish Fate/Stay Night. My body physically rejected this anime halfway through episode 12, causing fever symptoms. As such, halfway through episode 12 is all I will be able to cover.
The story might have been interesting, had it been presented pretty much any other way. The Holy Grail War sounds like it could be a good concept, and probably is a good concept in Fate/Zero, which I will attempt to watch as soon as
I get over the whole Worm Crest thing. That concept makes my stomach churn. Anyway, there's not much more I can say about the plot. The show moves so slowly that I really didn't get around to much of it.
The art and sound both left no impression on me whatsoever. If I were to hear a track from Fate/Stay Night, I would not be able to recognize which anime it came from. The art was similarly uninteresting. It might have been good if I had been able to muster the willpower to pay attention to it. Still, considering the main character has a total of two outfits, it can't have been all that impressive.
The characters are by far the most appalling part of this anime. I'll start with the main character:
Shirou is the worst. He is an idiot, thinking that he is capable of fighting superpowered servants with a lead pipe. He is arrogant for the same reason. He is sexist because he orders his own superpowered servant to sit at home and let him fight just because she's a girl. Lastly, he's a disgrace as a mage. The fact that he is Saber's master means she's incredibly weak and doesn't get the mana she needs to continue existing. Shirou doesn't seem to be willing to make compromises; everything has to be exactly how he wants it, and he just sort of expects the universe to comply. Fortunately for him, his plot armor is so thick that it does.
Saber isn't much better. She is basically a robot, with the only "character development" stemming from her own backstory. I have heard that she gets a personality later on, but waiting over 12 episodes for one of the main characters to act like an actual character is insane. She also looks stupid fighting with the invisible sword. I understand that they have to conceal their identities and revealing what her sword looks like would give it away, and I'm aware of the benefits to not allowing your enemy to see your weapon until they have already been cut, but the anime just makes it look so stupid, as if she's playing with an imaginary weapon.
Rin Tohsaka isn't the worst character in an anime, that honor goes to Shirou, but her motivations are questionable. She has no good reason to team up with Shirou. Additionally, she has been a Mary Sue for all of what I've been able to sit through. She knows how magic works, she knows Shirou's magical potential, she has a magical gem that can open his magic circuits, and she doesn't respond negatively to summoning the wrong servant. She just offhandedly mentions that she wanted Saber but she's fine with Archer.
Sakura has exactly one dimension to her character. She likes Shirou. That is 100% of her character up until episode 12.
Taiga is at least entertaining. She is also the last of the characters whose names I remember. Taiga is the character that's supposed to breathe a breath of fun into a dark and serious anime, but she never seems to show up. If Taiga had been utilized better, this show might be watchable.
Enjoyment gets a 1. Shirou is infuriating, it's like watching a dog get fooled by its owner pretending to throw a ball over and over again. At first it's entertaining, but then you just wonder "why hasn't he learned yet?" Additionally, the fight scenes last a few minutes at most, followed by several episodes of people standing around and talking.
And my overall score is a 1. If you manage to eke out any enjoyment from this pile of garbage, then I envy you. If you're considering trying it out, then by all means go ahead. Other people seem to like it, so maybe there are redeemable features that I don't understand, but don't feel the need to finish Fate/Stay Night just because Fate/Zero exists. It's not worth it. I was trying to watch Fate/Stay Night because I knew that if I watched Fate/Zero first, I would never be able to get through Stay Night. As it turns out, I can't get through it regardless. If nothing else, maybe you can try it out and see just what it is about this show that caused me to give all three of my roommates a lesson on anime just to fully convey how terrible this show is.
Hey you! Yes, you there! Do you want to see a review of Fate/Stay Night from somebody that is not a butthurt fan-boy? Come click expand more already! I promise you will be entertained and informed of this series with no spoilers! Well? What'chu waiting for?
Before i start, i just want to say that apparently this series is demographized as a Seinen anime, but the way that this anime was made is barely border-line shounen. If not for the violence, i could give this to little kids to watch...
What irks me the most is that this anime is all over the place, yes, the series
does span out in a fairly linear fashion, and yes, there is a fairly noticeable central theme; but none of it actually seems to make any sense. Although the series had an pre-determined ending, the actual content of the series was outright shallow and disappointing. The main character was utterly clue-less and retarded throughout the entire series, but the other character's personality seemed to change every episode (whats up with that?) This had made it terribly difficult for me to even gather any sympathy for the characters. The lack of story-driven plot, and any signs of character development had removed my little spark of interest in this anime.
The basic idea of this anime revolves around the "Holy Grail." This grail materializes itself every few years in order to grant ones wish. Seven world champions are bound with seven humans for a fight to the death, only the last to survive is worthy of making a request for a wish. Survival of the fittest concept is actually appealing for me, which encouraged me to watch this anime.
This series is mostly devoted to fighting; which ironically made it more boring for me, as it was just the same sword-swing and trash talking over and over again, it seems like the creators just throws in a few fight scenes just to fill up time on each episode. Just like how everybody predicts, introduction of new side characters are just punching bags for the mc Shirou and Saber, there are no plot twists as saber always seem of emerge victorious. Generally, after a few slashes of saber's sword, the new characters disappears faster than they were even introduced.
The art was not bad at all, considering the time in which the anime was made. The animation was fairly smooth, and Saber's character design was pretty cool, this made watching the 24 episodes much more bearable.
I don't really see any flaws in the sound track and voice acting as i don't care about this section that much. 9.9 because nothing is perfect :p
To be honest, i hated the male protagonist, as his ignorance makes me want to vomit. He cannot seem to realize that he, Shirou, has summoned one of the most powerful hero to fight by his side. Being totally oblivious to the fact that Saber, who wears plate armor and holds a legendary sword, Shirou is going to protect everybody! His stupidity has no bounds, even as a teenager; but anime women dig stupidity i guess, with a spot of harem here and there.
The side characters were not all that interesting, as they all fight similarly, to be destroyed by Saber in the end.
This was a ok anime, due to my love for Saber. A similar comparison can be the HellSing series; where a single bad-ass character made me give the series a higher score than what i should have.
This anime feels like a plain retelling of the original story, and those who have played the visual novel game won't find great content in watching it. On the other hand, those who haven't are unlikely to find it any better either - chances are they would find the story and the characters completely uninspiring.
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
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.
Truer words have never been spoken, and yet, despite how obvious this truth should be, ironically so many anime 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.
At the time of writing the latest revision to this review, there's only been a few hundred instances where a bunch of old rich
men gathered together in a room and asked each other, "How can we make like, a bizillion yen really fast?" And before the question was even finished, someone immediately interrupted mid-sentence, "Another Fate/ adaptation." Indeed, with Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Zero, Fate/Prototype, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, and Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya, for franchise newcomers there's enough slashes to cut right through your skull and watch your brains spill out. Luckily for you, I'm here to guide you back to Kotomine Church and make sense of it all. To cut straight to the chase, Fate/Stay Night is an anime adapted from a visual novel of the same name. In this VN, there are three branching story routes that depending on which one the reader chooses can wildly alter the course of events throughout the story. This anime is (primarily) an adaptation of the first route, referred to simply as "Fate" respectively. At this point in the franchise's development however, things have gotten rather complicated. There are now two anime adaptations of the second route (Unlimited Blade Works), an adaptation of the prequel story (Fate/Zero), and a planned adaptation in the works for the third route (Heaven's Feel). Furthermore, all of these adaptations so far are debatably very different in tone and feel, as well as quality, so where the hell to begin in order to get the best experience out of Fate? Well you can always start with just reading the source material first, as it is the most fleshed out and comprehensive version of the story, but I'm assuming most readers of this review are anime-only watchers, in which case I will do my best to give a recommendation for what I think is the best watch order for those who have no intention of delving into the source material.
Now that we've gotten all that prefacing out of the way, it's time for more prefacing. You might be thinking that the best route would be to start with Fate/Zero, as it takes place first chronologically in the story, but you would be wrong. The thing is, Fate/Zero was written to be a prequel, and as such, it is meant to be viewed after experiencing F/SN. Watching Fate/Zero first will spoil many key events of Fate/Stay Night. It could be likened to seeing the prequel trilogy of Star Wars first; ruining the surprise of uncovering Darth Vader's identity in the later episodes. However, it's hardly the end of the world either if you do decide to watch Fate/Zero first, and despite exaggerations by the fanbase, I'd say it's OK to start with it, but I wouldn't personally recommend it for a number of reasons in addition to spoilers. Narratively, Fate/Zero feels very different from the rest of Fate/Stay Night, and its opening episodes are rather slow and exposition-heavy, so not only would it set some unrealistic expectations when you move on to the rest of the franchise, but you may not even get that far because you thought the introductory act was too damn long and drawn out, jumps all over the place between a bunch of characters, and there's way too much technical bullshit to keep track of, so you shuffled it on to your dropped list. I think it would just give a wrong first impression of what Fate is all about. On the other hand, you could start with this anime, but that still comes with its own caveats as well. While this series should technically be the entry point for newcomers, nevertheless being that this was the first adaptation of the franchise with a very limited budget, the production values have not aged well, especially when stacked against the other adaptations, which don't just have vastly superior animation; they have some of the best animation in the industry period. On top of that, the pacing and storytelling isn't quite as polished either. And yet despite all of this, I must insist that viewers at least consider watching this series first, as it does carry some pivotal plot points and standout moments that you will not be able to see in any of the other adaptations. Fate/Stay Night may have its fair share of flaws, but I think it is a series that is still enjoyable and deserving of your time. Another viable option is to watch the more recent Unlimited Blade Works TV adaptation first, as this will most likely provide you with the most polished and best entry level experience to Fate yet, but in doing so you may spoil yourself so much with its god-tier visuals and expert storytelling that I'm afraid this series may become unwatchable for you by comparison, and you won't be able to appreciate what it offers. Hence the need for all this prefacing, because ultimately it really comes down to a toss-up between F/SN and F/SN: UBW as your first viewing, as they both have consequences on how you may view and approach the franchise going forward. Personally, I would recommend at least giving this series a shot first, as it is the first anime adaptation of Fate, and technically the "correct" watch order if you intend to follow the same format as the VN. If you can stomach some of its more drab points, I think you'll find that the emotional payoff is worth it in the end.
FINALLY, THE EFFING WATCH ORDER:
Fate/Stay Night -> Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (Season 1) -> Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (Movie Version) -> Fate/Stay Night: Heaven's Feel (if you have the patience to wait for its release) -> Fate/Zero -> *BONUS* Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (Season 2) -> *EXTRA BONUS* Carnival Phantasm, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya, Fate/Prototype, etc. (these are all spinoff series)
(SIDE NOTE: Personally, I found the second season of Unlimited Blade Works to be a disappointment, hence why you might notice the strange-looking order here. Start with season one and then finish with the movie, which was more true to the VN and had generally better direction and fight choreography in its final acts.)
Well holy shit, if you got this far and realized that I still haven't even gotten to the synopsis of this anime yet, you should now have a good idea of what it feels like watching the first episode of Fate/Zero. I promise though, I'm actually going to talk about the anime now.
Fate/Stay Night follows the story of Shiro Emiya, who is an ordinary high school studen--wait a minute. Siiiiiigh. Isn't this the same as every other nauseating SoL setup? We haven't even gotten past the first sentence and you're already boring me to tears, reviewer. Well it's not my fault that the producers chose to fall back on the same old cliches again because they didn't have enough confidence in their story to try and sell it on its own merits. I didn't write the damn plot, so don't blame me. Wait, why am I arguing with myself? Erhmm, let's continue.
So Shiro, being your typical slice of life protagonist, goes to high school to do your typical schoolboy things. But hold on a second, there's a twist! Thank Haruhi, because I was half a centimeter away from clicking on my hentai bookmark. As it turns out, Shiro suddenly gets thrust into this super secret and dangerous conflict known as the Holy Grail War, wherein seven magi and their servants each compete for possession of the mythical Holy Grail. The Holy Grail itself apparently has a mind of its own, and it's decided that the best way to choose who is most worthy of its miracles is to have everybody kill each other. Because as we all know, might makes right, and what could possibly go wrong if a murderous sociopath obtains the power to wish for whatever he wants? Not that a person like this would have any sort of advantage in such a scenario I guess. Nope. None whatsoever. But Shiro, being our usual idealistic champion for justice, rejects violence and finds the whole thing despicable. On the other hand though, he just accidentally stumbled upon a sexy blonde chick that calls him "Master", and if he refuses to participate in the war then she will disappear. So Shiro naturally does what every horny high school student would do in this situation: vote with his dick. And thus, the fifth Holy Grail War commences.
OK, so it doesn't go exactly like that, but I'm sure you can sort out the fact from fiction in my improved synopsis, which Type Moon should totally pay me for writing.
Anyway, 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 who commands the servant Berserker. 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 slice of life 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 what could have been a typical shounen series 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 overall slightly above average for its time, 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 "This Illusion" 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 for the most part fit all of the characters very well, 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 badass. 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 attempt at adapting 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.
After finishing Fate/Zero, which went on to become one of my all time favorite anime, I couldn't resist checking out the wildly popular prequel know as Fate/Stay Night; an adaptation of what many have called "the greatest visual novel of all time". Considering the attachment to Fate/Zero and the hype around the source material, it's only natural that I got my hopes up for this anime. Well... Whoops.
There are very few anime that I would say have managed to "shock" me. I am usually a relatively unflappable person. However, out of all the shows that succeeded in surprising, Fate/Stay Night is the only
one that did so in a way that is inherently negative. I couldn't fathom how bad it was. Literally the only enjoyment I got out of this anime was due to the fact that I got to see what happens after Fate/Zero, which was an absolute masterpiece.
The Fate series is basically another "death game" anime. 7 "masters" who can use magic summon 7 "servants" (who are all epic heros) and fight to the death for possession of the Holy Grail; the chalice that can grant any wish. Sounds entertaining right? How can you go wrong? I'll tell you how; insultingly stupid and underdeveloped characters, a ridiculously static plot with no suspense to be found, and having antagonists that are more likable and interesting then the protagonists (ESPECIALLY if you watched Fate/Zero). That's how. I apologize for referencing Fate/Zero so often, but good god I am still in shock that the two are related to one another.
Every single fight in Fate/Stay night is the exact same thing: The protagonists stupidly and foolishly rush into battle without a plan, they get seriously injured, and then something miraculous happens that allows them to win. It is all so predicable and so boring. It feels like watching the same episode 24 times; no suspense or plot developments what so ever until the final few episodes, and those are only interesting if you have watched the prequel. Shirou Emiya is one of my least favorite characters of all time, and I demand that he drop "Emiya" from his name so as not to disgrace Kiritsugu. He is a bumbling, irritating idiot to say the least; it got to the point where I was really and truly rooting for him to fucking die (painfully). The only characters that I found interesting were the ones in Fate/Zero, and even some of those were ruined by this crappy show. I could rant all day about Shirou's cheesy speeches, painful cliches, and general unwarranted stupidity, but I think you can get a pretty good idea of what this character is like with this single quote:
"People die when they are killed"
If you are thinking about watching this series, watch Fate/Zero and then wait for the 2014 Ufotable remake, because next to its prequel, Fate/Stay Night looks like a droopy-eyed, armless monkey. It is not worth watching under any circumstances. What this show did to some of the great characters in Fate/Zero physically hurt me; the only reason I give it a 4/10 is because it is a continuation of a great anime and it is therefore automatically enjoyable to a certain extent.
Fate/Stay Night Review
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.
It looks awfull, art is lazy and cheap, the writing is horrible and characters do what they do without any reason for them to do so.
The story, the concept, the world and soundtrack were all right.
Might check out the VN itself one day, but the anime was certainly nothing special and quite mediocre, aside from maybe the ending.
Many people say that this anime is very lackluster and otherwise absolute shit. I can assure you that this anime does have some interesting components and is a nice short series to watch.
Fate/Stay Night is a 24-episode series which is an adaptation of the Visual Novel Fate/Stay Night made by Type-Moon. The series presents us the Fate Route, the primary story line of the Visual Novel (Unlimited Blade Works and Heavens Feel being the other two stories). UBW and HF are simply alternate universes of the Fate Route - has the same characters, simply a different turn of events
These are pretty much the main
outlines of my review, incase you don't want to read the whole thing, read the outline :).
Story: Cool setting and concept of Holy Grail War, however it is a repeated Battle Royale Setting though
Characters: Pretty bland except for standout characters Rin Tohsaka and Archer
Music: Amazing 10/10 Soundtrack
Animation: Honestly it's fine other than that 1 CGI Dragon Scene but who the fuck cares.
And now i will go into detail about each criteria
Story: The story of Fate revolves around a battle royale between 7 Mages called the Holy Grail War. This setting and concept is quite overused and I think it isn't really original, considering many other stories are Battle Royales. That being said, what sets this apart from the others is that the 7 Mages summon Heroes and Villains from mythology, folklore, and history to fight in the Battle Royale. This makes it very interesting as you get to see many heroes and villains of all times fight it out in one war; it's like seeing who would win in a battle situation and it brings a lot to the action in the plot. Finally, the plot itself is very simple to follow, and is quite enjoyable.
Characters: The characters in the show are not the best. You have the classic "I want to be a hero" protagonist (Shirou Emiya) and other really cheesy people like the super shy girl (Sakura Matou). All other chracters can prettty much be summed up with the following list of words: douchebag, twisted, psychotic, retarded. hat being said, the real standout characters are Rin Tohsaka, a girl that gets helps Shirou in the Holy Grail War, and Archer, the heroic spirit summoned by Rin to fight in the Holy Grail War. These two really have good character development and really bring out the story to its fullest as they interact with the protagonist, Shirou, the most and really brings nice perspective to the story.
Music: Amazing Soundtrack, probably one of the best, if not the best part of the show! Personal favourites include the opening theme Disillusion (listening to it right now!), Kishi Ou No Hikori, Gunyuu Shisou, Kodaku no Junrei, and so much more. Overall the soundtrack was outstanding and really brought a lot of enjoyment to the anime. Gotta love that soundtrack!
Other: Fate/Stay Night wanted to go a step further and they tried adding parts of the story from the other story lines Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven's Feel. For some, this might be butvhering the plot, for me, I think it went pretty well as the outcome resulted in an enjoyable storyline, and I didn't find it inconsistent. However, a downside to fate is the explanantionj of its concepts. In Fate, the main thing the story revolves around are the Mages using Magic. Magic is explained in a very unclear way making the explanations very half-ass and confusing. But it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
In conclusion, the show has great content, it's just that the content might not be presented in the best way (Explanation of magic, story progression, characters, etc.). However if you do find interest in it, you will find yourself a nice short series to enjoy. I recommend watching Fate/Stay Night to anyone wanting a nice short series
Extra: The Fate Series has many adaptation such as Fate/Zero, Fate Kalied, etc. If you do enjoy Fate/Stay Night, I suggest you watch Fate/Zero right after this, as it is a prequal to Stay Night which takes place 10 years before Fate/Stay Night. Fate/Zero explains the events that led up to many of the events in Stay Night, though i suggest you watch it after Fate/Stay Night.
If you're really into the Fate Series, I recommend reading the Visual Novel to get the joy of the Other two Story line routes (Unlimited, and Heaven's Feel). You can also watch the Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works Anime that is currently airing right now as of April 18th, 2015.
It's a little hard to talk about this anime. I was waiting I are done playing the visual novel to make this review.
The anime starts a little slow, in fact, the first cour is slow. This is because this route is the introduction of visual novel. But the second flows faster. The anime has mostly as focus the protagonist's relationship with the character named Saber, who is the heroine of the anime.
Well, the anime idea itself is very good! the story of the Holy Grail ritual and invocation of servants are very interesting. Moreover, the world of anime is so well done. HOWEVER, some things
were very poorly executed. Principally in a matter of the romance, which was too forced in the anime. The character "Saber" changed their behavior very fast, something that was not so sudden in VN. The protagonist does not help much. He's like a walking suicidal, a stubborn child. Another thing was also the presence of a hole during episode 15, which goes unnoticed by those who know not much of the original material.
The animation is pretty mediocre, with extremely constant presence of static frames. Inconsistent designers with a few bugs. It is the famous animation called " PowerPaint Animation".
The anime was able to explain the basic mechanics of the Holy Grail War, but did not elaborate too much. Something that disappointed me in the anime, was the lack of the depth in the dialogues, flashbacks, actions, reactions and thoughts of the characters. Something that the visual novel is well philosophical and deep.
The final fight was quite confusing for the spectators of anime. Nor I had understood when I saw the first time. The anime is not very faithful to VN, mixing a little of the 3 routes. "Mixing" in quotes, because it was more to collage. They did not care much for logic and simply put certain scenes there. Like the kidnapping of a certain character that does not even appear in the middle of the situation.
The soundtrack is simple but striking. Especially OSTs of the characters who are very good. The only problem is that sometimes the ost's are not so well embedded.
Same with all these defects I can still enjoy this anime ... The protagonist has many faults, but he is brave, altuist (too much) and does not regret of what it does, but it is childish. Because this, I like him. He has his faults, but also has its qualities. It was he who managed to save the heroine of a tragic fate, which incidentally was not explained in the anime.
Something that I found very beautiful was the heroine acceptance to realize that his wish was not right. She gave the best of himself and did not need to use the grail for that. What it led to one of the most beautiful end.
Conclusion: Talking about the story, the general idea is very good. But the execution, not so much. About anime in general, he was very ill-suited! removing much of the essence of the original work, leaving behind several important explanations for the understanding of the characters and the plot.
My recommendation? the visual novel. When I read, I saw an absurd difference, both in the narrative and depth of the story.
I quite enjoyed this series. For anyone that knows me, I am usually very brutal in Reviewing anime and very specific when I praise an anime. This one rightfully deserves praise.
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.