With the promise of granting any wish, the omnipotent Holy Grail triggered three wars in the past, each too cruel and fierce to leave a victor. In spite of that, the wealthy Einzbern family is confident that the Fourth Holy Grail War will be different; namely, with a vessel of the Holy Grail now in their grasp. Solely for this reason, the much hated "Magus Killer" Kiritsugu Emiya is hired by the Einzberns, with marriage to their only daughter Irisviel as binding contract.
Kiritsugu now stands at the center of a cutthroat game of survival, facing off against six other participants, each armed with an ancient familiar, and fueled by unique desires and ideals. Accompanied by his own familiar, Saber, the notorious mercenary soon finds his greatest opponent in Kirei Kotomine, a priest who seeks salvation from the emptiness within himself in pursuit of Kiritsugu.
Based on the light novel written by Gen Urobuchi, Fate/Zero depicts the events of the Fourth Holy Grail War—10 years prior to Fate/stay night. Witness a battle royale in which no one is guaranteed to survive.
Welcome to The Anime Critic Review: Fate/Zero
Hey anime lovers, strap yourself in because we are about to dive into the intense world of “Fate/Zero”. Released in 2011, this anime seduces you into a fierce battle royale where seven powerful mages known as Masters, each summoned a legendary Heroic Spirit, or Servant, to fight for the possession of a powerful relic, the Holy Grail. You can feel the chill running down your spine, can’t you?
The story takes place 10 years prior to the events of Fate/stay night, unveiling the gruesome details of the 4th Holy Grail War in the city of Fuyuki, Japan. The protagonist, Kiritsugu Emiya, the so-called “Magus Killer”, is one such Master. Brimming with desperation for victory, he’s willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to outfox the enemy. However, beneath his ruthless tactics, lies a man who dreams of a utopia and sees this dark war as a means to achieve it.
Sound and Animation
“Fate/Zero” follows through with consistently polished animation. The visual presentation from Studio Ufotable is fantastic, providing stunning backdrops with highly detailed character designs and shimmering magical effects during battles. It truly keeps your eyes glued to the screen.
The music by Yuki Kajiura, dubbed as the ‘queen of soundtracks’, creates a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere. Each track perfectly augments each scene, breathing life and depth into the story that words alone couldn’t achieve. The chilling and emotionally resonant OST are masterpieces in their own right.
Characters and Plotline
What sets ‘Fate/Zero’ apart is its diverse cast and their intricate relationships. Each character, not only the main ones, have deeply explored backstories, eventually leading to their respective motives and actions. As the story unfolds, we see humanity laid bare in its beautiful, yet ugly forms.
The storyline is dark, complex, and filled with moral ambiguities. Each episode unfolds strategically, making it very engaging. Rather than just a battle-centric anime, ‘Fate/Zero’ takes the time to delve into philosophical questions. Every victory and defeat, every dialogue, carries substantial weight.
The Final Verdict
Fate/Zero is a thrilling roller coaster ride of emotions, philosophy, and action. Beautifully animated with an exceptional soundtrack and a well-rounded cast, it delivers an unforgettable viewing experience. If you’re a fan of in-depth character studies, moral dilemmas, and nail-biting action sequences, this is one anime you cannot afford to miss!
It offers an amazing blend of gorgeous animation, intricate storytelling, stellar sound design and deeply explored character development. Depending on your taste, this could be a buy, rent, or stream on your list- but it should definitely be on your list at all costs.
This is ‘The Anime Critic’ signing off, folks! Until next time, happy anime watching!
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