Based off of the Fate/Zero Manga by Gen Urobuchi
eries Name: Fate/Zero - フェイト/ゼロ
ear of S
uthor(s): Akihiro Yoshida, Akira Hiyama, Kazuharu Sato, Takumi Miyajima)
rtist(s): Takashi Takeuchi, Shinjirou
enre(s): Action, Contemporary Fantasy, Horror, Thriller
oment of R
eviewing: Ending of the series.
- Light novel: written by Gen Urobuchi and illustrated by Takashi Takeuchi
- Manga: written by Gen Urobushi and illustrated by Shinjirou
The prequel of the widely popular Fate/stay Night, the story takes place 10 years prior to the events of the 5th Holy Grail War and depicts the details of how everything began. The War of the Holy Grail is a contest in which seven mages summon seven Heroic Spirits to compete for the power of the "Holy Grail," which grants to the winner of the competition a miracle. After three inconclusive wars, the Fourth War begins. It involves seven 'Masters' (magi) who summon through their magical power seven 'Servants' under seven classes: Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Caster, Assassin and Berserker. The Servants are historical, mythological or even literary figures that conceal their identity until the very end. The series consists of the dueling between the Servants; the one who wins will see his/her Master getting their miracle granted by the Holy Grail. The main competitors are representatives of noble, magical families but also some unexpected magi with power enough to re-shuffle the deck. Amongst them, there is a missionary and hitman who stops at nothing in order to achieve his goals, a priest who's more interested to win than to see a wish granted and a perverted serial killer matched up with the perfect Servant. Who will win and see their wish come true?
Although some times hard to follow, with a huge cast and very complicated characters, Fate/Zero is made for an older audience. This anime, unlike its sequel, is not bombarding the viewer with overly sexual female characters and boring school romance. The narrative of the Holy Grail war is clear: there are epic battles to be given and tragic heroes to meet their end. If you are looking for gore and explicit content Fate/Zero is not for you; there is comic book-like violence, characters that give you the creeps, historical figures shown in a completely different light and some disturbing images but you won't see a Servant with an idiotic battle pose like this.
One of the most important aspects of the series is the way the war is done and the dichotomy between physical battle and intellectual chess-like strategic moves. The Servants take care of the first but its the Masters that ultimately win the war, not only by the sword of their Servants but also with their intellect and their fast decision making. They embark on an almost spiritual journey and in order to win they have to find out who they truly are and how far they are willing to go to see a real miracle happen. Meanwhile, they have to kill, risk get killed, lose their powers or lose their loyal Servants. Of course, there are some who enjoy the process and others who would rather take the task upon themselves to save a loved one. Other notable aspects include the wonderful music and especially the rock-ballad ending of each episode, the choreography of the battles and the enthralling dialogues. No cheesy quotes here; each Servant and Master has a different personality and it shows as the story progresses.
A good story doesn't always have to be about school kids and girls with a big bosom waiting to be saved. Fate/Zero has a fast paced plot, excellent visuals, solid direction and stellar artwork. Watch it and you won't be disappointed!
- Reviewed by ★ Rei ★