Fate/Stay Night

Also Known As: F/SN
Genre: Fantasy/ Action/ Romance
Format: 24 Episodes
Allegiance: Geneon Entertainment Inc. / TBS/ CREi/ Notes. / Frontier Works
Director: Yuji Yamaguchi
Vintage: 2006
Intelligence Agency Report by: Drake
Emiya Shirou is just another highschool student, taken in by the sorcerer Kiritsugu Emiya after his parents died in a fire ten years ago. Shirou dreams of someday being an ally of justice, and gets his wish when he stumbles into the War for the Holy Grail, a war fought by seven “Masters”, each capable of summoning a warrior servant of different classes from all periods of time – Archer, Lancer, Berserker, Rider, Assasin, Caster and soon to join the war, Saber, Shirou’s own servant, who is summoned forth to defend him. These seven teams must fight and kill each other to gain control of the Holy Grail in order to recieve one wish, a wish that can either make or break the world as we know it. Can Shirou endure the war as well as stop more innocent lives from being taken as casulties of the war?

Field Agent Report by: Drake
Overall 6.75
(not an average)

Ever since I was young, I’ve always had an interest in the Arthurian Legends, so it should come as no surprise that I would be very interested in watching an anime based on such legends. Enter Fate/Stay Night, an anime based off some elements from the famous legends. However, despite these elements, this anime was a huge disappointment for me.

Let’s start off by saying I was terribly disappointed in the characters. To put it bluntly, most of them are under developed characters with no proper look into their past or motivations. This leaves these characters, who had so much potential, out to dry like last night’s laundry. What’s worse is that the two lead characters, Emiya Shirou and Saber, are nowhere as interesting as some of the side characters. I was really hoping for better backstory for characters like Lancer, Archer, and Tohsaka, especially since we see some smidgens of hints throughout. However, to properly catch on to these hints, a viewer must have some background knowledge of the visual novel that the anime was based off of. To not have this knowledge, the viewer sacrifies understanding some of the plot devices, such as Archer’s true identity and Rin and Sakura’s relation, just to name a couple makes watching this series less rewarding. However, there is some decent (and I use that word lightly), depth given to Saber and Shirou around the very end to try and offset the lack of depth on the other characters. Sadly, the development for them came a little too late to mature properly and was very sudden, so I ended up disliking both lead characters for it.

The character flaws I listed above would be acceptable if not hindered by the plot. There were a couple of subplots in the series, but none of them came to full fruition, leaving the viewer’s mind in a state of confusion, while entire other subplots are mentioned once and never explained as to how such situations can be possible. Within the series, I can think of one or two subplots that actually hit a high point – ones that I either found interesting, or were done properly. The rest of them left me slightly frustrated. The one factor that kept me interested in the anime plotwise was the main story. It sucked me in and left me wanting to know more, and gave me the will power to see this anime through to the end. In fact, because of the main plot, I was able to overlook many of the small nuisances, which may sound contradictory, but is true.

While FSN lacks some luster in the story and character departments, it more than makes up for it with the beautiful animation. The animation is very vibrant and colorful, and the character designs are top notch. However beautiful the animation iswas, the aspect I loved most was the music. From the opening, disillusion by Sachi Tainaka, to the bgms for the battles, I was blown away. The music created an amazing atmosphere and added a very nice touch for fight scenes, making one feel apart of it all.

In the end, there are some major flaws concerning the subplots and characters, and my expectations for a King Arthur archetype in an anime were ruined. I suppose the anime at least tried to make a good adaptation of the visual novels, but failed miserably. Taking that into consideration, if you’re truly interested in the series, I would recommend reading the visual novels over watching the anime.