Fate Zero (Season Two) Review

Hello there. Yes, I am back damn it. I am back after my computer gave up on me. I had to slap some sense back into it. Haha. I said to myself that I’ll do a movie review when I hit a number divisible by ten. This is review number thirty and I’m sorry, no movie review this time.

I want to review an anime part of the Spring 2012 line up that ended when my laptop was in the repair shop. An anime I have been dying to see since I saw the first part some time ago. Fate Zero season two which continues the battles season one stopped in. I get to see some more Gilgamesh action and even more Saber awesomeness. This is my review. Let’s read on.

Story

The battle for the Holy Grail continues, with more lives lost and more secrets revealed. When the curtain falls, who will emerge victorious is anyone’s guess… And what “victorious” truly means, is even more questionable.

Taking the Pants Off

Now I know you came here off the heels of Fate Zero season 1. If you haven’t seen that, then don’t read this. This is the continuation of the previous season that ended where the heroes decided to dog pile on Caster who summons a huge ass tentacle monster that threatens to kill innocent people.

I picked this up with three questions I was hoping the anime would answer:

  1. Who dies next?
  2. How will they die? Who will kill them?
  3. Who will win the Holy Grail war?

When season 1 ended, I was ecstatic because all the boring talk has been put out and so there really is nothing left to do but to fight. I wanted some earth shattering show down the first season teased so greatly. I was excited to see Saber and her Excalibur beat up some heroes. Unfortunately, only five of the twelve episodes of the anime were dedicated to fighting. The anime was still busy on talks and schemes. It was all for strengthening the plot but, damn it, I wanted some epic show downs.

The fight scenes are incredible and visually appealing but having only five episodes of it is a bit of a letdown. The anime tried to cram as many fight scenes in one episode. In the Caster battle, everyone is present. It wasn’t just a dog pile on Caster that I was expecting, there was also some other fights happening. They could’ve spared that on some other episodes but they decided to do it in the Caster showdown. It was a little insulting to me. I waited two months for this anime expecting fight scenes after fight scenes but nah…five episodes. That’s it.

Don’t get me wrong, the fight scenes between the heroes are amazing. It was still fast paced and visually appealing. There is enough awesomeness to send you happy especially since all the marbles are out and all the fights are now serious. Going back on my first question, who dies next? There are a lot of people who died in the first part of the anime. The best part is that some of them are characters you didn’t really expect to go out so early. Yes, the anime turned ugly so fast and so quickly. It was also great because the plot was never compromised. All the deaths got the plot moving making it more interesting.

How will they die? I also love that part because there are a lot of plot twists in the anime that surprised me. Some deaths disappointed me because I had a huge fighting showdown in mind. Some methods of deaths were unexpected and truly made me mad. I was totally sold on the anime so I didn’t want any pussy deaths. I have one death I specifically hate but there’s nothing I can do about that. The other deaths where great though. Some main characters left the stage early so other characters are given a chance to shine. It was a bit bittersweet because I was emotionally invested in the characters so seeing them die was a bit hard to swallow.

Again though, only five episodes were given to the fights. The rest are given to character development. There were two characters in season one that didn’t get some spotlight. They worked in the shadows and just lurked. I’m talking about our lead, Emiya Kiritsugu and the other mysterious dude, Kotomine Kirei. Kirei finally embraced his role of the villain. He is the villain, no way around it. In season one, all he did was work under the Tohsaka family while Gilgamesh teased him into the dark side. In season two, he finally embraced it and in such a villainous fashion too. Kirei took Gilgamesh’s teasing and finally did some evil things in season two. These are evil things that were greatly anticipated.

I was also greatly shocked that the anime had time to include a flashback and some backstory in some episodes. There was some episodes dedicated to Emiya Kiritsugu and his path to being the assassin I hate but people love so much. I was a bit pissed that fight scenes were spared to try and humanize this guy. That’s what I thought at first. I expected the flashbacks to try and soften up Kiritsugu and it actually had a different effect on me. The episodes did serve a lot to the plot because it revealed Kiritsugu’s mission in life and the wish he wants the grail to grant. Still though, Kiritsugu was a cold blooded bastard ever since he held a freaking gun shown in the flashback. Flashbacks and backstories that should’ve been done in season one though.

I wanted a lot of fights. The first season teased a lot of show downs. Saber versus Lancer. Gilgamesh versus Rider. Berserker versus the entire cast. A lot of teasing that made me excited about season two. I dunno, it depends on you if you liked the show downs or not. They serve a lot to the plot which is an important part of the anime, anyway. Some show down is a huge let down though. I just got to say it.

I also want to take this time to talk about Rider. I know after season one, you already have a pair you want to win the Holy Grail war. I wanted Rider to win. I mean, yeah, he wouldn’t but I was still rooting for him. Rider killed Assasin in season one which excited me when he would have a show down in season two. Rider is all talk and no bite. I am really pissed at how my favorite character died. It was so cheap and not the grand manner that was worthy of his arrogance and presence. You would think he would do something epic and really, just one brilliant awe defying move to compensate his loud mouth. Nothing. Na da. Ziltch. I was really pissed that the fight I thought would be his awesome moment was a f*cking one sided bullsh*t non sense. *sigh* Too bad because Rider and Waver was the Shiro/Saber of Fate Zero.

The final question, who wins the war? Please don’t forget that the anime is a prequel of Fate/Stay Night. All the anime leads to, was the set up for the anime that came before. Who won? You’d have to find that out for yourself but the path leading there is a bit sad and heart wrenching. There was one show down the first season built that the second season delivered on. It was the inevitable show down between Kirei and Kiritsugu. All the back stories and all the scheming comes to a climax when these two had their epic fight. It was the best moment of the season, in my opinion.

Fate/Zero were a prequel to Fate/Stay Night and everything did connect. All the missing crucial points of FSN were explained beautifully in FZ. Saber’s attitude in FSN and her rather romantic entanglement with Shiro was set up in FZ’s ending. Even the ending scene of FSN made sense after seeing Fate Zero. So in a way, the anime delivered what it was set out to do. It explained the event that leads up to Fate Stay Night. The anime didn’t disappoint as there were so much to love about it. Plot wise, it was superb even though the action sequences were a bit lack luster. The story was great and the ending was satisfying.

Sight and Sound

This is ufotable’s greatest piece yet. All the things they have accomplished in Kara no Kyoukai was applied here and made even better. The use of CG is superb. Again, it didn’t ruin the anime but actually made the experience much better. The glow of Saber’s Excalibur was excellent. You really feel it’s awesomeness pour out of your screen. The monster that Caster summoned was very bad ass. It had so much detail that it really looked menacing. I especially loved Berserker’s miasma effect on his armor and the way he engulf things.

The fight scenes where amazing. It wasn’t just a regular sword versus sword fight scene too. Some fights include vehicles. The jet fight in the first half was insane. The race between Rider and Saber was very bad ass. I remember them clearly because it was presented so beautifully. Perhaps the best one was the panning and rotating camera scene between the Kiritsugu/Kirei show down. It was so awesome.

The music. I didn’t even notice. In fairness, the opening sequence was nice and the music reminds me of the opening music of FSN. The ending song was great. Luna Haruna’s voice was nice to the ears.

Overall Score

8/10 “A decent ending to an exciting anime.”

The anime is a bit hot and cold but the anime didn’t skimp out on the plot so that is something great. Plot is the most important thing in an anime and, even though some of the fight scenes are short, it helped the plot shine. I highly recommend this.

Thoughts~

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