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small image Looking Back: Fate/Zero

June 25, 2012 10:12 pm by small image

As the spring season comes to a close, I thought I’d post some thoughts on each of the shows I watched through all the way. Let’s start with the show I looked forward to the most… the second half of Fate/Zero!

Favorite Characters

Kiritsugu – I wrote a long post on him last month, and largely thanks to his two flashback episodes he became the most interesting character of the series to me. It was nice to have such a competent, level-headed protagonist for an action anime like this, and his extensive number of internal and external conflicts made him quite the fascinating character.

Waver – Amidst all the dark and gritty doom and gloom prevalent in this series, there was at least one sub-plot that ended on a (somewhat) positive note. Though Rider’s inevitable departure was bittersweet, Waver’s coming-of-age story was handled extremely well throughout this series.

Rider – Of course, I must mention Rider as well, for bringing such a unique, vibrant energy to this series. The partnership between Rider and Waver was really the only healthy Servant/Master duo of the story, and I greatly appreciated the grand atmosphere that accompanied Rider’s back-story, ideals, and eventual defeat.

Kariya – Amongst all the masters, didn’t this poor soul have the simplest yet most sympathetic goal out of everyone? I couldn’t help but hope he would succeed in some way, at least to some small degree… NOPE. The writer for these light novels was just plain cruel, all the way to the bitter end. x_x I realize that many viewers have labeled him as weak and foolish (though generally using less-kind words), but I couldn’t help but feel terrible for him.

Lancer – I really loved the story behind Lancer’s past, and the series of tragedies that befell him over the course of this series were absolutely heart-wrenching. And episode 16… Just, episode 16. x_x GAH, he was such a cool character, too! His code of conduct was very admirable, and his fighting style was probably the most enjoyable to watch (well, his or Berserker’s).

Saber – I think I would have liked her character more if I was familiar with the Fate/Stay Night series, since much of her story in Fate/Zero seems devoted to getting her to question the way she’s carried out her entire life (which I’m guessing is significant for that series). She worked as a great foil for Kiritsugu though, and we were able to learn about Irisviel as well thanks to their interactions together.

Brief Notes on the Series in General

Positives:

  • Quite possibly the best dialogue I’ve heard in an anime
  • Top-notch animation and fight choreography
  • Fascinating cast of characters with conflicting goals and viewpoints
  • Engaging premise that’s taken very seriously and is well-executed
  • Great soundtrack (including some really nice OPs and EDs)

Negatives:

  • Pacing is a bit jumpy at times
  • The ending left me rather confused on a number of points

Final Words

How many of you watched Fate/Zero? It will quite likely be one of my top five favorite anime for this year, so I’m really glad I got to watch it as it aired. It was quite difficult to wait for the next episode each week, thanks to the sheer intensity of the plot! Were there any parts that especially stood out to you? What did you think of its dark, tragic, yet (somewhat) hopeful ending? And how do you feel it will stand in coming years? I imagine the series will be successful and likely lead into more anime for this franchise–but at the very least it’s certainly set a pretty high standard in terms of production values! This was quite an enjoyable series to watch.