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Post Reply Just finished Fate/Zero
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Posted 4/17/18 , edited 4/17/18

KingKaio wrote:

Fate UBW came out after, not before F/Zero. However I don't see a problem with watching something out of order. I've watched other anime out of order, if it's a well done story sometimes it's more fun to see the first episodes as 'prequel'.
In the case of Fate/Zero, I happened to watch that one first, several years ago. Then watched UBW (and liked the first half but the second half carried the Shiro vs Shiro thing over the top) I feel like Fate/Zero is one of the best adult anime I've ever seen; it ranks pretty high up there in that respect but also gets weighed down by too much unnecessary violence- especially the extreme violence towards women didn't feel too great seeing that done TWICE.

I would recommend doing two things from this point. First, I would re-watch Fate/Zero in the English dub if you haven't already- which as I remember it was almost better than the Japanese dub- and the Japanese was excellent anyway. It will make for a different viewing- it's a dialogue heavy story so you'll enjoy those parts much more.
Second, watch the original Fate/Stay Night anime, I think it's from 2006. Unless you're one of those people who never watches anime more than 5 years old, it's a much better telling than UBW to my opinion, it's less violent and more enjoyable, and you'll want to watch it again and again. It also takes the story in a more plausible direction- and for Saber fans- a more preferable one. (I might count myself as a Rider fan in that one- she's one of the sexiest and most mysterious servants, and has a much bigger role in the original anime whereas she gets dissed in UBW.)
Given its impact I feel like Fate/Stay Night was a ground-breaking anime for its time, a transformational event in fantasy story telling. Due to that it's probably among the most unappreciated- made worse because of the unfortunate method of alternate retellings as opposed to linear storytelling which resulted in Unlimited Blade Works being made. Decide for yourself- I think it can be had on DVD fairly cheaply.


Yes and no. The UBW route has been well-known for years prior to both the UBW (2014-2015) and Fate/zero (2011-2012) anime. The Fate/zero light novels (2006-2007) were released some time after the Fate/stay night visual novels (2004). The Fate/stay night visual novel includes the UBW, Fate, and Heaven's Feel routes. The 2006 Fate/stay night anime was released the same year that the Fate/zero light novels began to be released. Later, the 2010 UBW movie came out as a tease for the 2014-2015 series, and Fate/zero was something of a tide-over between the two.
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Posted 4/17/18 , edited 4/17/18

Man_Of_Leisure wrote:


HOOfan_1 wrote:

Reading is fundamental. I really enjoy reading Visual Novels...although I think they tend to add in more superfluous text than many novels...other that Michener.

So did Heaven's Feel part 1 have much sexual content, or was it all dolphins and hugging like the TV series portrayed it?


Did you just name-drop James A. Michener in an anime forum?


Well, Michener was known for being verbose, and even turgid at times. I've read that F/S N has more text than all of the Lord of the Rings novels combined
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Posted 7/19/18 , edited 7/19/18
As a stand-alone anime I found Fate/Zero to be disappointing, chock full of poorly developed characters and not much continuity of plot.

I would guess that you have to already be familiar with the VN or other related materials to get the most out of this series. As I was not, it appeared very generic and without a lot of depth.
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Posted 7/19/18 , edited 7/20/18

hxppythxughts wrote:

As a stand-alone anime I found Fate/Zero to be disappointing, chock full of poorly developed characters and not much continuity of plot.

I would guess that you have to already be familiar with the VN or other related materials to get the most out of this series. As I was not, it appeared very generic and without a lot of depth.


Poorly developed? I'll have to disagree with you on that. I think Kiritsugu Emiya, Kiriei Kotomine, and Waver Velvet all had some good character development. It did take a long time for Kiritsugu, but he eventually discovered that his goal wasn't going to go the way he wanted, and it broke him. Kirei discovered an important truth about himself thanks to Archer, which changed his goals completely. And Rider brought a number of good changes to Waver. Saber, on the other hand, had most of her development in the original Fate/Stay Night series.

I never read the visual novels or other materials, and I enjoyed Fate/Zero a lot. I had mixed reactions to F/SN and UBW.
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Posted 7/19/18 , edited 7/20/18

RMikami

Poorly developed? I'll have to disagree with you on that. I think Kiritsugu Emiya, Kiriei Kotomine, and Waver Velvet all had some good character development. It did take a long time for Kiritsugu, but he eventually discovered that his goal wasn't going to go the way he wanted, and it broke him. Kirei discovered an important truth about himself thanks to Archer, which changed his goals completely. And Rider brought a number of good changes to Waver. Saber, on the other hand, had most of her development in the original Fate/Stay Night series.

I never read the visual novels or other materials, and I enjoyed Fate/Zero a lot. I had mixed reactions to F/SN and UBW.


Probably my impression comes from Saber being the #1 focus of the anime while receiving pretty much zero character development. We don't get enough info on the others before their development moments for those moments to have the impact they should. That's the problem with a setup where there are 15 main characters - there's just no time in a 13-episode anime to develop them all, or even most of them, while also developing plot and showing extended fight scenes.
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Posted 7/19/18 , edited 7/19/18

hxppythxughts wrote:
That's the problem with a setup where there are 15 main characters - there's just no time in a 13-episode anime to develop them all, or even most of them, while also developing plot and showing extended fight scenes.


Fate/Zero is 25 episodes.
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Posted 7/19/18 , edited 7/20/18

RMikami wrote:


hxppythxughts wrote:
That's the problem with a setup where there are 15 main characters - there's just no time in a 13-episode anime to develop them all, or even most of them, while also developing plot and showing extended fight scenes.


Fate/Zero is 25 episodes.


I stopped at the end of Season 1. Didn't realize there was a Season 2.

Now I have the age-old agonizing anime question: Do I throw another 6 hours at a show that didn't terribly impress me with the first 6.5 hours?

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Posted 7/19/18 , edited 7/19/18
Zero is kind of an odd man out in the franchise, for reasons that have already been stated (being written as a tragedy, and adapted from light novels.) Also vecause it was written by the Urobutcher. Unfortunately, a lot of casual fans tend to get into Zero, and end up with expectations for the franchise that are far removed from what it's actually like overall. So there's something of a struggle in the fandom between zero-only fans and the rest of the fandom. Glad you don't appear to have fallen prey to that sort of mindset.

Two other things; first of all, EVERYONE loves Rider. I have my own issues with his character, but I agree he's very charismstic. Second, Saber REALLY got shafted as far as characterization is concerned.
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Posted 7/19/18 , edited 7/20/18

Mishio1 wrote:
Second, Saber REALLY got shafted as far as characterization is concerned.


True. That's pretty much the only thing that disappointed me in Fate/Zero. I had expectations of the character after seeing F/SN, and they didn't pan out in Fate/Zero. On the other hand, she had plenty of focus in F/SN, and developing her much in Fate/Zero might have not worked well with that.
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Posted 7/19/18 , edited 7/20/18

Mishio1 wrote:

Zero is kind of an odd man out in the franchise, for reasons that have already been stated (being written as a tragedy, and adapted from light novels.) Also vecause it was written by the Urobutcher. Unfortunately, a lot of casual fans tend to get into Zero, and end up with expectations for the franchise that are far removed from what it's actually like overall. So there's something of a struggle in the fandom between zero-only fans and the rest of the fandom. Glad you don't appear to have fallen prey to that sort of mindset.

Two other things; first of all, EVERYONE loves Rider. I have my own issues with his character, but I agree he's very charismstic. Second, Saber REALLY got shafted as far as characterization is concerned.


Saber getting less development than Irisviel is something that really stands out, for sure.

I don't know any of the rest of the franchise so I'm looking at the whole thing with fresh eyes. I do feel as if, a full season in, I should know a whole lot more about the background and characters than I do.

One example - take Waver's water sampling in the river. There's an explanation given but it's not a convincing one, as nothing in the origin story says "science nerd" type, and it's not one of his regular activities either. It seems to come out of nowhere. And then at the end of that sub-arc, when they destroy Caster's lair, it doesn't seem to have any real effect on anything in the world. That whole part of the story seems like it could have been left out entirely in favor of something more relevant to story development.

That's kind of the way the series looks to date so far - a lot of deus ex machina things happen but very disjointed and not adding up to much, as if the whole point is to go in circles long enough to have a lot of fight scenes for the heroes to play out. Fight scenes aren't very compelling when there's little or nothing on the line.

Another good example of the deus ex machina approach is Saber's revival of Irisviel. All the elements needed to make that scene happen are introduced at the time of the scene itself - nothing prior would lead anyone to expect what happens. A better storyteller would have laid the groundwork much earlier - shown the Irisviel/scabbard scene well before it became relevant to the action, so that when it did happen it would be a fulfillment of the story rather than a jarring add-on.

So I'm left not sure whether to watch season 2 or not. If I'm in for more of the same I'll probably pass. If I'm quitting it right before the good parts happen (and I seem to fall into that trap somewhat often) then let me know and I'll give the rest a go.
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Posted 7/19/18 , edited 7/20/18
Mishio is not wrong. I love Rider and I dislike Fate Stay Night. I feel like the two series are written for different audiences. Zero is for a more general audience while Stay Night is for a very particular audience.
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Posted 7/19/18 , edited 7/19/18

RMikami wrote:

True. That's pretty much the only thing that disappointed me in Fate/Zero. I had expectations of the character after seeing F/SN, and they didn't pan out in Fate/Zero. On the other hand, she had plenty of focus in F/SN, and developing her much in Fate/Zero might have not worked well with that.


To be fair, there's only so much development they could give her since it occurred before SN. Unfortunately, they reinforced her "knight templar" characteristics in order to force confrontation between her and Kiritsugu. And while they probably did that because that's what they said happened in SN, the way it happened isn't consistent with her character as it was depicted elsewhere. Saber, despite being a knight, is no stranger to ruthlessness and pragmatism.


hxppythxughts wrote:

I don't know any of the rest of the franchise so I'm looking at the whole thing with fresh eyes. I do feel as if, a full season in, I should know a whole lot more about the background and characters than I do.


Yeah, that seems to be your main issue.


One example - take Waver's water sampling in the river. There's an explanation given but it's not a convincing one, as nothing in the origin story says "science nerd" type, and it's not one of his regular activities either. It seems to come out of nowhere. And then at the end of that sub-arc, when they destroy Caster's lair, it doesn't seem to have any real effect on anything in the world. That whole part of the story seems like it could have been left out entirely in favor of something more relevant to story development.


He is a magus, albeit an unremarkable one. He's bad at combat-related magic, for one, and for some reason the anime almost never bothered depicting him using his mage-craft on sceen. But he is capable in his own way. He was using rudimentary alchemy to search for traces of Caster's magic. By taking samples from multiple points along the river and analyzing them, he could get an approximate location for his lair.

As for destroying Caster's lair, iirc, that was what pushed Caster into doing his big Cathuluu summon.




Another good example of the deus ex machina approach is Saber's revival of Irisviel. All the elements needed to make that scene happen are introduced at the time of the scene itself - nothing prior would lead anyone to expect what happens. A better storyteller would have laid the groundwork much earlier - shown the Irisviel/scabbard scene well before it became relevant to the action, so that when it did happen it would be a fulfillment of the story rather than a jarring add-on.


They did introduce Avalon when they were using it as a catalyst to summon Saber. I believe it was originally brought up beforehand in the LN, but was likely cut from the anime (and that's without even touching how big an impact it had in F/SN). There's also the irl legends about King Arthur's sheath to consider.


So I'm left not sure whether to watch season 2 or not. If I'm in for more of the same I'll probably pass. If I'm quitting it right before the good parts happen (and I seem to fall into that trap somewhat often) then let me know and I'll give the rest a go.

Aye, iirc, the first season ends right before the big fight with Caster's Cathuluu knockoff, which is one of the show's set pieces.


xxJing wrote:

Mishio is not wrong. I love Rider and I dislike Fate Stay Night. I feel like the two series are written for different audiences. Zero is for a more general audience while Stay Night is for a very particular audience.


While I don't agree with the details of your assessment, you're more or less correct. Which one a given individual will prefer typically comes down to their own preferences. There's simply no point in trying to compare the two.
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Posted 7/19/18 , edited 7/20/18
Yeah pretty good isn't it? Makes you reassess what you used to consider good anime doesn't it?
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Posted 7/19/18 , edited 7/20/18

Mishio1

Another good example of the deus ex machina approach is Saber's revival of Irisviel. All the elements needed to make that scene happen are introduced at the time of the scene itself - nothing prior would lead anyone to expect what happens. A better storyteller would have laid the groundwork much earlier - shown the Irisviel/scabbard scene well before it became relevant to the action, so that when it did happen it would be a fulfillment of the story rather than a jarring add-on.


They did introduce Avalon when they were using it as a catalyst to summon Saber. I believe it was originally brought up beforehand in the LN, but was likely cut from the anime (and that's without even touching how big an impact it had in F/SN). There's also the irl legends about King Arthur's sheath to consider.


This I regard to be a failure of script writing. None of the other summoning items had a secondary power, so there was no reason to suspect anything special about this one. Nor was there reason to believe that Irisviel had it in her possession, or that if she possessed it she would have had it on her person at that moment, nor that it just so happened to have the exact special power that was necessary to save her from her otherwise-fatal wounds. Five different elements were necessary to pull off that scene, and none of them were introduced beforehand. (And then Saber locating her in dense forest just in time adds two more elements that were convenient coincidences - the right person finding her at just the right time.)

A better script writer would have introduced at least four of these elements beforehand and have no more than one new element at the moment of reveal. They could all have been done without spoiling the scene. They could even have taken the very same explanatory scenes that happen during the rescue and put them earlier in the show, and that would have made for significantly better storytelling.

Season 1 at least is rife with this storytelling technique problem. Another example: the anti-magic bullet's origins, there was no need to wait to reveal the bullet's existence and how they were made, until the bullet was needed. That story should have been told beforehand, so that when the bullet was needed there'd be no need to interrupt the flow of the scene with the exposition.

Or regarding Waver... why not show him nerding around with something before he needs to turn into Mr. Alchemist? Or even show his schoolmates doing alchemy which would form the story basis for Waver to know how to do it. Also, even being aware that arc leads to Caster's behemoth summoning... it didn't need to be there at all. Caster's chaotic personality alone could have justified the summoning, or it could have been revealed as something he was building up to all along.

Taking some time to consider these issues has crystallized my problem with Fate/Zero: subpar storytelling techniques. A better director could have made a better story by simply changing the order in which things are presented. The repeated "here are the new things you need to know for this scene to work" presentations are very disruptive to the suspension of disbelief, and by and large it didn't have to be that way.
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Posted 7/20/18 , edited 7/20/18

hxppythxughts wrote:

Season 1 at least is rife with this storytelling technique problem. Another example: the anti-magic bullet's origins, there was no need to wait to reveal the bullet's existence and how they were made, until the bullet was needed. That story should have been told beforehand, so that when the bullet was needed there'd be no need to interrupt the flow of the scene with the exposition.


The problem with your issue here is that the bullet's origins have to do with Natalia, who is only hinted at in that exposition and the backstory surrounding Kiritsugu & Natalia wasn't told until much later. So you're asking the director to have front-loaded Kiritsugu's entire backstory: presumably at the beginning of the whole thing- except to fulfill your wishes of it explaining the anti-magic bullets: the explanation would have had to be included in that backstory. It would be extremely awkward if there were all kinds of technical expositions about bullets that have no importance yet in the plot- and in what would then be the SECOND episode of an anime- being stuffed into the back story. THAT would be bad writing.
The entire point is that Kiritsugu and his motivations are a mystery- a mystery that Kirei is intrigued by and you can't share that intrigue if you know everything about him at episode two. It takes you through a number of scenes, shows you how Kiritsugu assassinates mages, and brings things up to the point of him finally clashing with Saber who is aghast at the atrocity he commits (while using her as a distraction)...in the argument Saber demands to know what is it that motivates him- what horrible thing happened to him in his life to do such a horrible thing? That dialogue- some of the best in the whole show- perfectly sets us up for that back story so we can begin to see finally what drives this guy to be so brutal. This is exactly how story writing should be.



Or regarding Waver... why not show him nerding around with something before he needs to turn into Mr. Alchemist? Or even show his schoolmates doing alchemy which would form the story basis for Waver to know how to do it. Also, even being aware that arc leads to Caster's behemoth summoning... it didn't need to be there at all. Caster's chaotic personality alone could have justified the summoning, or it could have been revealed as something he was building up to all along.


Here you are nitpicking to such a granular extent, it makes me feel like you're just casting about to find things wrong with the story. It's supposed to be understood that all mages have a specialty in some form of magic or other; in Waver's case being alchemy. He is nerding around at the moment Iskandar asks him about it in that scene, to which he replies that he's an alchemist. The skill being revealed by action and meaningful dialogue, or would you have rather them done something boneheaded and stupid like announce it in the episode description?

All of this nitpicking from someone whose favorite anime has a guy get run down by a truck in the first 10 seconds- literally the laziest, and worst set-up that could ever be done in an anime. And what kind of narrative rhythm is there in a story that features a guy screaming and committing suicide by jumping off cliffs out of "love" for someone; and re-tells the same scenes multiple times? I'll tell you now that Fate/Zero is many, many levels above Re:Zero and Konusuba in the story telling department... if the narrative is too complex for you i'm sorry.


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