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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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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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.
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.
This is the prequal to Fate Stay Night.The series take place ten years before the original series and explains a lot that was not covered in the original.Some review have said that this first half is mainly talk and no action I disagree.Yes there is some character introductions and explanations but this needed to explain what is happening.But the action does start in this first half and a lot of unanswered questions answered that were not explained in the original.If you have not seen Fate Stay Night then you might want to watch it first as it will give you an insight in to the grail wars.Or watch this first and wait for the new version of Fate Stay Night to come out. Either way well worth watching.
Fate/Zero appealed to me because it looked like a really beautiful anime and i was not dissapointed by the visuals. Sometimes all i could do was behold the masterfull animation. The character progression is steady and does not play second fiddle to the setting of the stage, action or plot. In the 2nd blu ray characters motivation and personality are given center stage which rounds off the series nicely. Overall i feel that there is very little to dislike.
(same review for Pt1 and 2) I have no words to describe how amazing this anime is. The story, plot, themes, philosophies, characters: all amazing! On the technical side animation, music, editing, style, voice acting: Phenomenal! This is as close to perfect anime is it can get for me. I just had to get it on Blu-Ray, and the product does not dissapoint. I can experience this with full quality, un-cut and unscencored.
Excellent picture and sound quality, and the series is one of the best anime series out there. Be warned though, Fate/Zero gets very dark at times and the rating is there for a reason. If you're looking for an excellent fantasy series with mature themes, morally grey characters and a compelling story, this one is for you.