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Customer reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

on 25 March 2014
Without boring you, i'll quickly go over the good and bad parts of the show -

Good -
- Fantastic art and animation (some of the best merging of 2D and 3D animations you'll see)
- A great and varied cast of characters, filled with people you'll love, hate and feel sorry for
- Zero filler, it's all plot and story
- The fight scenes are awesome and epic in proportions
- Amazing orchestral score that will give you goose bumps
- Little fan service to undermine the gritty nature of the show
- Interesting and mature themes are explored throughout
- The story is packed with twists and turns, where anyone could die at any moment...
- Almost every episode is great

Bad -
- First episode holds a huge info dump, made even worse by it's boring nature
- Last episode doesn't answer many questions, leaving the viewer unsatisfied
- At certain points, character dialogue and actions become tiresome and annoying
- Huge cast of main characters means you'll struggle to keep track of names and allegiances, something I had a huge problem with initially

Conclusion - If someone ever asked me what series combines everything great about anime into one story, i'd immediately think of this as a contender. Without a doubt one of the greatest anime shows, ever. Buy it, watch it, enjoy the heck out of it!
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on 7 June 2014
I am a huge fan of all of Type Moon's series, if you like action fantasy then this is a must see anime. It can be watched as a stand alone, however I would suggest watching Fate/Stay Night first (Also an MVM release, only on DVD though). Stay Night came out 5 years previous to this series and it is kind of expected that you have watched Stay Night before Zero (Zero being a prequel to Stay Night).

I watched this series as it came out in Japan and as is now expected of Ufotable- the creators of this series, it is fantastically well written, the animation is gorgeous and the character development is some of the best I've seen after 16 years of watching anime. Each given their own back story and enough time on screen for you to develop an attachment or hatred towards them. The plot twists and turns, giving really high and low moments. As previously mentioned this is a prequel series and as such many questions that remained unanswered in Stay Night are answered. The focusing being mainly on character backgrounds and more in depth reasons as to why certain characters act the way they do in Stay Night. Personally I watch it in the Japanese dub, the voices just match the characters better than the English dub, again it is personal opinion.

On to the packaging, this collectors edition comes with the standard edition Blu-ray disks. What makes it special is the box it comes in which will eventually house both parts of this Fate/Zero release. The box itself is really good quality, being made of a thick, high quality cardboard and covered in high resolution artwork. It would have been nice if some sort of art book, postcards or poster were included just to make it that bit more special from the standard edition, but this would have bumped the price up a bit so it is a compromise. Overall it is a very nice looking package, wanting a few extras but still very reasonable for the price.

In summary, if you are a fan of Fate/ Stay Night, Type Moon or any kind of fantasy related franchise this is a must see series. Ufotable have absolutely pulled it out of the bag for this series, compared to Stay Night it is above and beyond in terms of writing and plot, breathing new life into the franchise. So much so that a complete Fate/Stay Night reboot will be begin broadcast in October 2014.
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on 22 June 2014
Fate/Zero is an adaptation of a series of light novels which is also serves as a prequel to the popular visual novel and anime series Fate/stay night. Fate/Zero which tells the tale of the Fourth Holy Grail War. Once every sixty years, seven mages are selected by the Grail to partake in a battle royal in which only one will survive and the victor will have one wish granted. These mages (dubbed 'The Masters') are able to summon a heroic spirt (or a 'Servant'), each also seeking the Holy Grail and each fitting into one of 7 different classes with different abilities to fight alongside them. These spirits are the souls of ether powerful historical figures or famous legends, with some slight differences from the familiar tales.

First of all, Fate/Zero looks fantastic, with both excellent animation and art style, the series is very similar to the Kara no Kyoukai (or Garden of Sinners) film series, which makes sense given that Ufotable animated both. It also blends CGI into the mix almost perfectly, through it is mainly limited to magic and the character of Berserker, which serves to give him an otherworldly look.

Now, the important thing to note about the first half of Fate/Zero is that its greatest strength might also be greatest weakness, the first 13 episodes are about explaining the world and introducing all the major characters. The first episode is 40 minutes long, and entirely based on introducing the majority of the cast. The focus of the entire series is not on one single Master/Servert team, but on the web of relationships between all the teams and their different motivations or lack thereof.

The relationships between the Masters' and their Servant are all different and interesting, be it a strained partnership, a twisted and yet strangely charming friendship or the role reversal of Master being subservient to his Servant. It also does a good job of explaining the relationships between the Masters and the people around them, setting up impossible situations for some.

The other benefit of given the focus to a wider range of characters is that there is no clear main team. While his servant does get more focus than most and he is the first major character to appear, the character of Kiritsugu Emiya is still a mystery, it isn't clear what he is planning or what his motives are., he is mostly stoic but clearly suffering from guilt for what he has done and what he is going to do. By contrast Kariya Matou has very clear and very human motives, but he is in control of the most dangerous and mysterious Servant, uses a grotesque from of magic and has stuck to the shadows for the most part. This adds something needed for a battle royale: a lack of a clear victor, which means every fight has the risk of defeat for the characters the audience assumes are the main characters.

While a lot of these relationships are compelling and a lot of the dialogue and debate about various philosophy are interesting, the first thirteen episodes of Fate/Zero are simply build-up to what is presumably, an action-packed second half. That's not to say their isn't any action, there is a tense dual which becomes increasingly more dangerous as time goes on, as well one or two other battles that are different, well handled and each having multiple layers and elements to them, but ultimately the focus is on the people involved so when bad things start happening, you either want them to survive or enjoy seeing them receive their just deserts. However some viewers might be disinterested due to the sheer amount of talking about different viewpoints between characters who in theory should be trying to kill each other each other when ever they meet.

The english dub is fairly strong; Kari Wahlgren bestows Saber with the pride and dignity that the character demands, David Vincent's Archer drips with egotism and arrogance and Johnny Young Bosch playing a remorseless, giddy serial killer is also quite nice. However problem (if you can call it that) is that despite being very talented, some actors, like Crispin Freeman have very recognisable voices, which can be distracting at times.

In conclusion, the first half of Fate/Zero can either be a dull watch brightened up with great action or an fascinating clash of ideals between historical and legendary characters, added to by intense combat, depending on whether or not you find the dialogue engaging. If you are interested in the series, it might be worth waiting for the second part to be released before making a purchase as then the cliffhanger at the end might be less bothersome. If the second half is a exciting bloodbath than the slow burning first half will be justified.

Also on the matter of the collector's edition it is simply just a study cardboard container for both sets of discs. It looks nice but if your willing to wait, it is fairly likely MVM will release a complete collection at some point. but if you can't wait and like having different parts in one place, it might be worth a slight price increase.
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VINE VOICEon 3 May 2014
Ten years before the events of 'Fate/stay night', Fuyuki City played host to the Fourth Holy Grail War that sees seven mages fight each other with the summoned spirits of famous heroes from history. The mercenary mage assassin Kiritsugu Emiya is taking part on behalf the Einzbern family, alongside his wife Iri in the battle for the Holy Grail, an item that can grant any wish. To win the battle they must defeat the six other mages and their Heroic Servants but all of them have their own wishes and reasons to fight.

Based on a light novel, 'Fate/Zero' is the prequel series to the 'Fate/stay night' and tells the story of the previous Grail War that involved the parents of the Fate/stay night characters. Despite being a prequel, you don't have to have any knowledge of the original story but as with all prequels it does contain some spoilers for revelations in its parent story. This first collection includes the first thirteen episodes of the series taking the action from the beginning of the Holy Grail War to the very beginning of the fight on the river.

The plot of the series is very good with some very nice elements and some very good characters. The characters in particular are one of the strengths of the series with both the Servants and Masters all being very interesting people (the relationship between Rider and his master Waver in particular being brilliantly done). The series is mostly an ensemble with all the characters being important and having some development but the main characters can be seen to be Kiritsugu Emiya, Kirei Kotomine and of course Saber. As a prequel we also get to see how some of the characters from the original were like as children with Rin, Sakura and Illya all making appearances. Sakura's troubled past is shown and we get to see Illya's birth and is a cute as ever. Rin gets an episode to herself as she tries to find a missing friend.

The animation of the series is simply spectacular with only a few issues here and there (mostly with some of the faces in episode eleven) with the mix of CGI and traditional animation being done very well throughout. The CGI animation of Caster's Lovecraftian monsters, as well as Berserker in particular are very good, as is the animation for the brilliant opening sequence. The battles in the series are all done very nicely as well with one of the highlights of this part of the series being the three simultaneous battles at the Einzbern Estate.

The collection includes both the Japanese and English dubs of the series and I feel that both versions are just as good as each other. Unfortunately while the Japanese cast reprised their roles for those characters who return from 'Fate/stay night', this isn't the case with the English cast. Strangely though some of the English cast do return for 'Fate/Zero' but they play different characters. Grant George, who played Gilgamesh in 'Fate/stay night' voices Lancer (Diarmuid Ua Duibhne) here while Gilgamesh himself is voiced by David Earnest voiced Assassin in the original. Rider (Alexander the Great) is voiced here by Jamieson Price who voiced Kirei Kotomine in the previous series while Kirei is voiced here by the excellent Crispin Freeman. Despite these changes, all the voice actors do very well in their respective roles with all of them suiting their roles very well.

Special features in this set are a little thin on the ground with the only ones being clean versions of the, admittedly brilliant, opening and closing credits, in fact the soundtrack for the series is very good in general. The Collector's Edition also includes a two case box to keep the series in.

While some people dislike the amount of exposition and talking that happens in the series (especially in the first episode), but there are still some very nice action scenes throughout the series, as well as some gore, humour and emotional moments. There are other people, including myself, who think the series ranks amongst the best anime ever made.

I feel that 'Fate/Zero' is easily the best part of the 'Fate' franchise to be released so far and is easily worth a full five stars.
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on 3 May 2014
I have this early due to the fact i buy wholesale anime so i didn't buy from amazon nor did i watch a pirate copy or stream so i am commenting on the actual blu ray quality.

I wont go into the deep story/plot detail other reviewers have but will just comment on a few points.

1) The animation is superb as is the picture quality.
2) The collectors box is very nicely made,basically its a cardboard sleeve its thick and well made with great quality artwork on it. It houses disc 1 and a little insert which can be removed to house disc 2 when it is released officially.Its definitely a cut above the usual flimsy cardboard trash sleeves you usually get and has a nice glossy look to it.
3) The soundtrack is very nicely done - probably not a soundtrack i would purchase but the songs are good.The sound quality in the blu ray is also exceptional.
4) The first episode is quite long and gives somewhat of an information dump but never gets boring, the series however really starts to kick in at episode 3 and you will be glued to the screen from then on.
5) I have been informed directly by MVM that this collectors edition is limited to 1000 copies of blu ray and dvd so if thats true the collectors ed wont be around very long and i am unsure of what the cost of the basic blu ray will be yet, so if you not sure then i would make up your mind quite quickly just in case you miss out.

All in all a great anime / soundtrack / story , and some very interesting portrayal of historical characters its probably as close to a 100% score as any anime would get from me.The only extras are a textless opening and closing so if you are hoping for plenty extras on the collectors ed part 1 you will feel let down, extras dont matter to me at all so were not relevant in my scoring of the product..

Hope this review helps.
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on 3 May 2014
It's rare to come across a piece of media in any format that has great quality in almost every aspect, but Fate/Zero is one of them. Set as the prequel for Type-Moon's Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Zero is the story of the fourth Holy Grail War, a battle royale between seven mages known as "Masters". Each Master summons a powerful familiar known as a "Servant", these Servants are well-known historical heroes and villains from throughout history, such as Alexander the Great and King Arthur.

The stage is set for an intriguing tale that takes the brave decision to have no clear-cut main character. There are characters that get more screen time than others, but the anime does a great job of telling the story of every character involved in the war and why they're fighting. The result of this is that almost every character in Fate/Zero has depth, there's only one or two characters that come close to be the generic "good guy" or "bad guy", which makes for a great story where fragile allegiances are formed and broken, with no one being completely safe. If there was one criticism I could have of the story, it's that the ending may not be fulfilling for someone that hasn't seen or read Fate/Stay Night, which I strongly recommend doing before viewing Fate/Zero.

The quality of animation is top-notch, with no expense spared and a great attention to detail, the battle scenes in Fate/Zero have some of the best animation I've seen in any animated feature. The soundtrack is strong and does a great job of creating the dark atmosphere for the gritty story, although there aren't any immediately stand-out tracks. The writing is pleasantly mature, with no exceptions being made for out of place fan service that occasionally plagues other shows and a lack of filler episodes, bar one which still takes a tangent from the main story.

To summarise, Fate/Zero is a close to flawless anime that delivers in every area, a must-see for any anime fan.
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on 28 April 2014
No complaints with regards to the anime as a whole.

The story, characters , and fights are all interesting and well executed. The animation is stunning, some of the best ive seen. Whether you prefer dub or sub you wont be disappointed by the voice acting. The only thing negative i have to say about the series is that the first episode is a giant info dump (could have maybe spread some of the exposition out a bit more) and that with such a large cast i felt some didn't get their due in terms of screen time.

As for the collectors edition itself, you get a nice thick cardboard box. Inside is the standard collection one dvd and a place holder box (to keep part one from moving about until you get part 2). The art work is very nice and the box solid but doesn't come with anything else to differentiate itself from the standard edition. So essentially it looks nicer, and nothing else. I didn't pay much more for the collectors than the standard at the time, but if the price gap increases you have to decide how much aesthetics appeal really means to you.
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on 27 March 2015
Has to be one of the best anime ever made. Fate Zero puts the original fate stay night anime to shame and creates a very endearing cast of characters that have brilliant action scenes, depth, development and discussion. We see a war for a holy grail that is very focused and smartly done as it is set between masters and servants so cuts out the large scale (and often cheesy) over the top 10,000 man wars that leads you to watch a lot of people you never cared about die and instead focus on making you care about each character.

I won't say too much but if you like the idea of heroes of old having an anime flair and being brought back to fight by the magi chosen by the holy grail to have a chance to get there wish come true then this could be for you. Featuring some great production values, epic fights, great characters and nice progression it really does set itself apart from a lot of other series.
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on 31 May 2017
Epic digimation experience with great music & characters, can't believe we have Fate/ stuff coming out over here (Crest worms are weird but apart from that...) DVD set comes with a shiny box to put in the 2 DVD cases of the series, but NO added treats - not even a booklet - just the bigger box, wish our anime releases were more like US boxsets. Didn't get the lavish Arslan boxset treatment I was expecting (disappointed - hate see-thru plastic cases), plus filler card until you buy the second half of the series. NO extras just Eng. subs or dub, but hey.

Watch this before /Stay Night (haven't played the game). Recommend /Bladeworks TV series, /Heavens Feel, /Prototype, Arslan Senki, Samurai 7.
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on 4 June 2017
The first season of the Fate series, an amazing anime which combines, grace, violence, madness, hope and drama, horror, humor, chivalry, defiance, heroism, the super natural, religion and heroes of ancient times, mythology and the Arthur legend.

This is one of the anime's ii like the most because of the realism of its characters, the strong story and the unavoidable and sometimes gruesome Fate which awaits the protagonists. Its an anime with several story lines, so you could say there are multiple protagonists.

A must for any anime fan :)
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