Because we think walking around in several circles around one of the two main characters while donning a a fancy red suit and church attire is influential enough to warrant a nearly 47-minute long War of the Holy Grail history lesson. Better yet, let’s drink some red wine while we’re at it.
My initial reaction to one of the Fall 2011 season’s most anticipated titles is about on-par par with Emiya Kiritsugu’s reaction to finding out that his Servant is actually a female rendition of King Arthur – dumbfounded yet disappointed. Did we really need to take up two episodes’ time to go into one of the most lengthy introductions I’ve ever witnessed in an anime, much less a show in general? Apparently, that’s the case with Fate/Zero. The good news is that we were able to get lots of the character backgrounds out of the way, with the triad of Emiya, Kirei, and Tokiomi presumably being three of the most relevant participants for the long run. And all of the talk made way for some excellent buildup to when we finally saw the other Servants being summoned by their respective Masters.
Especially with the appearance of none other than Saber herself. Maybe I’m just biased for being a fan of the Fate/Stay Night sequel, but there’s no denying that the debut of the franchise’s poster character ought to have caused at least some sense of heightened excitement.
So, to wrap up 47 minutes of tiresome exposition, here’s what we’ve learned:
– This is now the fourth Holy Grail War, and Emiya is probably this series’ Neo in that his conventional, modern-warfare-esque methods of combat will probably do some unique damage to the of the magic users. He’s going to be the Homura-chan of this world.
Homerun-chan Emiya gets accepted into the Einzbern family, marries Irisviel, becomes the father of Iliya, and becomes the family trump card to winning the Grail. Looks like some heavy conniving headed our way in the future.
– Emiya and Kirei are so busy trying to figure each other’s fighting styles out that they start to scare themselves too much. Amusing.
– Tokiomi (Rin’s father) thinks he’s a boss for summoning none other than Heroic Spirit Gilgamesh.. while sporting a red suit and drinking red wine.
– The world of Harry Potter apparently mixed in with this world.
Bottom line: Emiya is BOSS. Not only does he have one of the most powerful families backing his efforts along with a beautiful and loving wife; he also gets to be Saber’s Master. I’m looking forward to his sly combat methods and character development, as well as whatever tragic fate he and Irisviel may share; the blatant death flag uttered by Emiya in the beginning was kind of sad, but still fitting for the type of show this may wind up turning out to be.
And is it just me, or isn’t it blatantly ironic that the Einzbern’s family trump card is the walking image of everything Anti-Magi? For a strict Magi family to rely on someone like Emiya to win the Grail, it must have been painful for the family’s higher-ups to resort to him. That, or the Einzbern’s are one of the worst sore losers we’ve ever seen.
If you couldn’t tell how much of a fan I am to the original Fate/Stay series, then it should be obvious by now based on my screen caps. It’s refreshing to see some of the cast like Rin and Sakura still involved in the story; although, I don’t think anyone can forgive Zoken Matou for the type of so-called training he’s been issuing to her.
First Impression Rating: 7.5/10. Strong visuals, dramatic and nicely layered music, and fitting voice actor choices. Misses 2.5 points for a rather forced exposition into a single (two-part) episode.
Likelihood to Blog: 10/10. I thought about rolling all four of the most recent episodes into one post, but I didn’t think it would do a show like this justice to summarize that far. While I did paraphrase (and probably nearly butchered) the first episode’s story significantly in terms of a what a proper review should be, I think it’s best to take this particular show with a grain of salt and take a stab at some of what I thought were the more amusing aspects of this first installment (like Emiya being a BOSS, and the awkward astonishment of King Arthur actually being female). The next few episodic reviews to come should be a lot more consistent, since we now get to develop the Servants alongside the habits and intentions of their Masters.
Seriously, King Arther a female? I wish I didn’t already know this from watching Fate/Stay Night so I could have the same genuine reaction as Emiya and Irisviel when Saber came to life.