1,162 votes


Tokyo MX 2011

The Holy Grail War is a death-match between 7 magi (Masters) and their summoned heroic spirits (Servants). In this battle royale, the prize is the legendary Holy Grail, said to be an omnipotent wish-granting device which will produce any sort of miracle in order to bend reality to accommodate the wishes it grants. The winning Master and Servant shall be granted one wish each, after which the Holy Grail will not be activated until the next War.As the 4th Holy Grail War progresses, several camps raise the stakes, and the challenges only become bigger and more difficult. Each Master and Servant will be faced with the impact of their own shortcomings, and some of the competitors would do well in remembering that deceit and betrayal do not send prior warning...

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The 10 Best Episodes of Fate/Zero

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  • Last updated: aug 08, 2021



    This was a fantastic series and Ufotable (of The Garden of Sinners fame) was really able to show off their animation skills to the max here. This prequel to Fast/stay Night (which was made by Studio Deen) was leaps and bounds better than its predecessor in every aspect from story and pacing to animation, art and choreography. I watched Fate/stay Night first as I was told that watching it after Fate/Zero would just make it pale in comparison and I think this may be the best option (of course if you have the time, play the visual novel of Fate/Stay night instead). Even though I knew of some of the events to happen, Fate/Zero still kept me on my toes with unexpected twists and surprises. I also learned a lot more about the Fate universe and things from FSN made A LOT more sense after watching FZ as Ufotable did a much better job of explaining things than Studio Deen. All the masters and servants get their fair share of back story and development and over time I really started to emphasize with each one of them. The dialogue and writing is fantastic in both the dub and sub versions. I loved the soundtrack too especially the first OP, "oath sign" by LiSA. Everything moved at a great pace and I couldn't wait to watch the next episode. Most importantly, this probably had the best action scenes that I've seen in any TV anime series (the Eva Rebuild and The Garden of Sinners of movies are on similar levels) so try to watch this on a big screen. This show is definitely a must watch for anyone that enjoys a deep and compelling action-adventure anime. I'm really looking forward to Ufotable's remake of the FSN series (following Illya's arc I believe) that will be released in 2014. And definitely watch The Garden of Sinners movies as ManicB says. You won't regret it.


    Those who liked the tone and feel of Fate/Zero should try Kara no Kyoukai/The Garden of Sinners. Also animated by studio ufotable and "kinda" set in the same verse as Fate, it's a series of movies about mages, vampires and stuff. It was considered the precursor to Tsukihime (again set in the same verse as Fate) which also has an anime adaption (or not, depending on who you ask :P) http://trakt.tv/show/the-garden-of-sinners


    "When you look back after a long life, you'll realize there's nothing that's really worth risking your life for." Before I get into the parts where I turn everyone against me by being super critical of this show, I just want to say that Fate/Zero is utterly and completely superior to Fate/Stay Night in every possible regard. It just isn't a timeless classic. Fate/Zero tells the story of the Fourth Holy Grail War, a war that involves magically adept "masters" summoning legendary heroes from the past in order to do battle for the ephemeral Holy Grail. The servants in the war fall into a series of broad classifications related to their martial focus - archer, saber, rider, caster, etc. The grail ostensibly grants the winner of the war any wish they desire, but in practice it is just a huge MacGuffin that intricate conspiracies and bad ass fights can happen around. With multiple groups and families of mages all with individual goals and desires competing against each other to get a hold of the Holy MacGuffin, there certainly is not a dearth of either of those things in Fate/Zero. While that story ends up being interesting enough by the time it wraps up, the actual pacing of it is really puzzling to me. Fate/Zero starts, stops, and sputters almost randomly with no discernible flow from plot point to plot point. The biggest example that comes to mind is the abrupt shift from the big battle with Caster to the info dump between Archer and Kirei, to a series of episodes that are entirely Kiritsugu's backstory. Fate/Zero falls victim to the ol' "two characters sitting around in a room talking for 15 minutes" thing in order to stretch out the periods between climactic beats, and it feels as if the show underestimated just how important momentum is to this genre. The odd pacing makes Fate/Zero feel as if it is just a few episodes too long. It is very noble of Fate/Zero to put such a strong focus on the characters themselves considering how simple it would have been for it to rest entirely on the appeal of watching historic bad asses bad ass against each other, but the flip side of that is that focusing on so many characters means that nobody feels unquestionably important. I consider Rider and Waver to be the main characters - almost entirely because they have the most entertaining interactions and the most consistent arc - but considering this is a prequel to Fate/Stay Night you would assume that Saber and Kiritsugu are the important ones. The time it spends on developing the characters is great, but it is burdened under the weight of its own obsession with showing the viewer a constant stream of convoluted twists. A lot of these twists negate the quieter character work that previous episodes may have spent their time on. Again, like the problems with the story, Fate/Zero doesn't do well when it tries to balance all of its plates Those glaring problems with the shows pacing become less glaring when you realize that Fate/Zero puts all its eggs in the big loud moment baskets, and it pulls the majority of those off even with a heavy reliance on deus ex machinas with unnecessarily goofy names. I singled out the Kiritsugu Emiya backstory vacation as an example of the show's mishandling of story pacing, but the fate of Natalia Kaminski and the VAMPIRE BEES~! is a hugely well done scene even if it comes in the middle of a series of episodes that almost feel like an OVA more than two episodes in the final third of a series. With all of that said, due to Ufotable's high quality animation and a wonderful soundtrack, these shortcomings are all much easier to deal with than the similar complaints against Fate/Stay Night. Again, while I imagine the creators and fans of Fate/Zero would consider the plot to be its strongest point, for me it is completely the aesthetics. And what wonderful aesthetics they are. The character designs from the over the top details of the servants to the subtle differences in the masters, all the way down to the wonderfully drawn backgrounds, Fate/Zero looks wonderful. The fight scenes are where things really distance themselves from the back, as the fluidity of the animation sells every attack as important. Fate/Zero might be an uneven tale, but thanks to high quality animation and some really awesome moments of over dramatics it is one completely worth experiencing. WATCH if you like awesome fights and want to bask in the glory of a Shirou Emiya-less Fate story. DON'T WATCH if your eyes are heavily susceptible to injury from the large amount of eye-rolling that TYPEMOON's in universe vocabulary may cause.


    A lot of people call Zero better than the earlier Fate/Stay Night creation (which is about 10 years after Zero.) Zero is better in technical terms, but it is also made 6 years later. The main reason why people call Zero better (besides the purist to the original story) is the leap in visual effect. However, when Stay Night came out in 2006 I was impressed by the visuals as well. It's kinda like comparing the 1st and 2nd Matrix movie in SFX. Therefore, those 2 arguments are not valid enough for me personaly to pick a better one. Stay Night has a side with a more romantic part in it (which is a bit awkward sometimes) where Zero lacks a bit of mystery I did feel with the first series. But in the end they are both great series, and I would advice every anime fan to check both series out, starting with Fate/Stay Night (Always watch stuff in order of their release.)

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