Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: Fate/Zero (2011-2012)

When the curtain falls, who will emerge victorious is anyone's guess... And what "victorious" truly means, is even more questionable.

Fate/Zero (2011-2012) is a Japanese fantasy anime that takes place 10 years before the events of Fate/Stay Night (2006). This series chronicles the events of the Fourth Holy Grail War in Fuyuki City. It contains 26 episodes.

The battle for the Holy Grail continues after three inconclusive winners, with more lives lost and more secrets revealed. The Holy Grail War is a contest in which seven mages summon seven Heroic Spirits throughout history to compete for the power of the "Holy Grail," which can grant the winner's true desire. Founded by the Einzbern, Makiri, and Tosaka families centuries ago, the Einzbern family is determined to achieve success after three consecutive failures. As a result, they have elected to bring the hated magus killer, Kiritsugu Emiya, into their ranks, despite his methods and reputation as a skilled mercenary who employs whatever he can use to accomplish his goals.

In his youth, Kiritsugu wanted to become a hero who could save everyone. He has long since abandoned this ideal upon realizing that saving one person comes at the cost of another's life. For the sake of humanity, he will ruthlessly destroy anything and anyone who threatens the peace of others. However, Kiritsugu finds himself deeply torn between the love he has found for his new family and what he must do to obtain the Holy Grail. Meanwhile, Kiritsugu's greatest opponent appears in the form of Kirei Kotomine, a mysterious priest who cannot find any sense of fulfillment in his life and targets Kiritsugu as the possible answer to the emptiness he feels.

It is a known fact that I have a disdain for prequels. First, it disrupts the flow of the storyline when you have to remember (and possibly re-watch) a show you haven't seen in nearly five or more years. Second, prequels sometimes don't outshine the original debut show. Third, they are sometimes unnecessary to produce. In Fate/Zero, viewers witness the events that led up to Fate/stay night. We also see a different side to Saber, the (only) female Heroic figure protagonist, and how she met Kiritsugu. We also get to see Kiritsugu's backstory in the second arc.

Did the producers have to make this show? Yes and no. While I learned about the origins of the Holy Grail War, I felt bored and indifferent when it ended In some ways, evil prevails because there is no conclusive winner. Besides the occasional battle scenes, you have Heroic figures talking philosophical jabs at each other. The good side is the OST music was pretty good, especially the debut song,"Sora wa Takaku Kaze wa Utau (Up on the Sky, the Wind Sings)" by Haruna Luna. Overall, I will only recommend this show to avid Fate/stay-night fans. Anyone else should skip the prequel and watch Fate/stay-night.

I will update this blog post with the music videos soon.

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