「英霊召喚」 (Eirei Shoukan)
“Summoning Ancient Heroes”

This one-hour long first episode may have only been a lot of preamble for the prequel to Fate, but I just love how it established everything that I read about and showed the Holy Grail War in a very different light with willing participants. It also quickly revealed some relationships that weren’t apparent in Fate/stay night, starting with the birth of Emiya Kiritsugu (Koyama Rikiya) — a.k.a the Mage-Killer — and Irisviel von Einzbern’s (Oohara Sayaka) daughter, Illyasviel von Einzbern (Kadowaki Mai), eight years before the start of the Fourth War. This puts an interesting perspective on how Shirou would later fight against his foster father’s daughter unknowingly, and on the time they spend together. The other big revelation was the fact that Matou Sakura (Shitaya Noriko) is actually Tohsaka Sakura — the biological sister of Tohsaka Rin (Ueda Kana). She was forcibly adopted into the Matou family after Matou Kariya (Shingaki Tarusuke) wanted no part of his mage lineage.

As for the story itself, we essentially have a rivalry born between Kiritsugu and the young priest Kotomine Kirei (Nakata Jouji), whose father and judge of the Fourth War, Risei (Hirose Masashi), has instructed to work with Rin’s father, Tohsaka Tokiomi (Hayama Shou), to obtain the Holy Grail. As I mentioned in the season preview, Kirei lacks a sense of purpose in the war and finds one when he learns of the coldhearted and ruthless Kiritsugu, who ignores the mage’s unwritten code of conduct and employs underhanded assassination-type methods such as sniping, poisoning, and bombing. Their inability to see what the other is truly after serves as the core conflict, which is particularly interesting because Kiritsugu fears an enemy he doesn’t understand. In addition, the Holy Grail seems to have selected Kirei as a Master to pit him against Kiritsugu and provide him with the sense of fulfillment he’s after. (For those familiar with the visual novel, there was also mention of the third true magic, “Heaven’s Feel”, which is the final path of the game.)

However, what caught my attention the most was Sakura’s tragic subplot, where her mother Aoi (Itou Hasumi) had given up her up to the Matou family without knowing the horrible fate that would befall on her at the hands on Kariya’s father, Zouken (Tsukayama Masane). The sight of her naked and violated body in a cesspool of Zouken’s Seal Bugs was not only shocking, but also reiterated how Sakura’s been victimized her entire life. It was pretty touching to see Aoi’s childhood friend Kariya do everything in his power to try and save Sakura from such a fate — like a real father would have — even if it meant sacrificing himself in her place. Of the Masters shown far, Kariya is undoubtedly the most selfless participant in the Fourth War, which is why I can’t but feel compassionate about his situation. All it really took was the sight of his bug-infested body to realize the year of hell he went through to learn magic and become a Master, but knowing that he only has a month to live really emphasized just how big of a sacrifice he made.

Of lesser importance for the time being are Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald (Yamazakai Takumi), who sounds just like Archibald Grims from Super Robot Wars OG and has already made himself out to be just as big of an asshole with his spiel about how bloodline is everything with mages. That pretty much put him at odds with his student Waver Velvet (Namikawa Daisuke), soon to be Master of Rider after stealing Kayneth’s relic to perform a summoning. He yearns for recognition that sheer talent can exceed genetics, but the Kazehaya Shouta-like innocence heard in his voice evidently doesn’t rule out brainwashing some old folks just to have a place to hideout at. Regardless, the contention between these two should serve as another story within a story during the Holy Grail War.

For those who have seen Fate/stay night, one of the biggest contrasts between Kiritsugu and his future foster-son Shirou is what they view a Servant to be to their Master. In Kiritsugu’s case, he views them as nothing more than a magical tool and will refuse to acknowledge Saber (Kawasumi Ayako) as anything more, even when she’s the legendary King of Knights, Arthur Pendragon (i.e. King Arthur). In Shirou’s case, he cherishes Saber and doesn’t want to see her get harmed, which puts an interesting spin on what Kiritsugu said about how someone like that will never win the war. I imagine there will be plenty of statements where those familiar with Fate/stay night will be able to read into them more, just like when Rin told Kirei that she hates his guts. In terms of appreciating both Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night more, these type of statements are some of the things I had in mind. Another is seeing is how Saber’s knightly code of honor will clash with Kiritsugu’s assassin mentality — something the latter is already anticipating. The black suit he makes her wear suggests he’s get her to go about like a professional assassin, which I imagine will lead to some of Kiritsugu’s cutthroat methods rubbing off on Saber that Shirou had to deal with when he summoned her again for the Fifth War.

Production quality by ufotable in this one-hour special is top-notch, though it remains to be seen if this level will be carried over to the action sequences. However, even if it does take a dip, it’s reassuring to know that the bar’s been set relatively high to begin with. I don’t consider this a “slow start” whatsoever, as it was pretty exciting to see the rest of the Masters summon their Servants at the end, backed by an absolutely epic soundtrack by Kaijura Yuki. I got some goosebumps watching that play out, which rolled really well into the opening sequence featuring the solo debut of Angel Beats’ LiSA (shown as an ending). Suffice to say, I’m excited. 🙂

* Fate/Zero is being simulcasted with English subtitles by Niconico. You can watch the first episode here.


ED Sequence

ED: 「oath sign」 by LiSA
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼

Open Card, Preview, End Card


  1. I thought this episode was superb in laying the groundwork for the rest of the series. Fate/Stay is one of the best animes ever made (its usually on top 10 lists). Even tho this is a prequel and those of us that saw Fate/Stay know how its going to end the journey in getting to the end will be what to watch. Hopefully no one that saw the original series will spoil the ending of this prequel.

    1. LOL
      Anyone who has a history of watching anime over 1 year would not consider FSN’s TV anime as ‘best animes ever’, it is hardly close to ‘good’.
      The fighting scenes were miserable, the structure and pacing of the story was also laughably bad, the only thing that lived up to the original VN’s name was the music.
      Studio DEEN’s work on FSN is almost universally regarded as a failure. The quality of this episode even surpasses the UBW movie (Which is stunning considering how movies are made with much higher budgets).

      PS:You better look at some better ‘top ten lists’

      1. I’d rather keep out the “universally” and generalization. I really liked the DEEN version, because of all the paths of the game I enjoyed only FATE (in fact, I didn’t even bother watching the UBW movie). It had a few technical shortcomings but some of the fights were good nevertheless. People raged because it wasn’t HF or UBW but it incorporated some details of them. Since I recall all the bickering back then, I can say most of them were totally pointless.

      2. Such sweeping generalizations. I’ve been watching anime for a long time and I still think fate/stay is one of the best. A lot of people liked it, it wasn’t a failure by any means. Sure, it has a lot issues but to each his own…

      3. The fact that they mixed in some parts of the other stories into FSN is what ruined it, they should’ve stayed with Fate if that was the route they wanted, it was such a failure…. not as bad as what happened to Tsukihime, but its still up there.

      4. The fact that Fate/Stay Night was the third best selling show in 2006 seems to proof otherwise. The only two shows that sold more units per volume were Gundam Seed Destiny and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

      5. Best selling does NOT EQUAL to good quality
        In case you don’t know anything about the original VN (Which is probalbly true)
        FSN was the best selling VN of all time, over 150 thousand copies were sold (Which is roughly equivalent to 30 million in the console market)
        This is why FSN’s TV anime got decent sales

        And really? You had to use SEED as an example? That anime had VERY mixed receptions.

      6. “Studio DEEN’s work on FSN is almost universally regarded as a failure.”

        If that was true, no one would have bought it. That’s what I wanted to say with my comment. I’ve read both F/SN and Tsukihime (including the two fan discs) by the way and my personal opinion is that the anime adaption of FS/N is certainly no masterpiece, but it isn’t nearly as terrible as some fans of the VN claim. I mean, it could be much worse. At least there IS a FS/N anime :p

      1. While I do understand that some people might consider fate/stay night to be at their top 10 – at the end of the day, its different strokes for different folks, right?

        I lost interest in it after 2 episodes, while the new one already has me engrossed after one episode. That has got to count for something!

    2. If @Random was trying to say “Studio DEEN’s work on FSN is almost universally regarded as a failure by all who played the original visual novel” then it’d probably be true.

      I should point out to whoever mentioned DVD sales that Financial Success is not the same as Technical Success. The Sales vs Quality argument is just a way of confusing people…

      I’m personally biased against F/SN but F/Zero looks pretty damn good. Definitely looking forward to it.

  2. The revelations regarding Ilya and Sakura’s parentage are only such if you’ve only seen the Fate/Stay Night anime. In the visual novel, both are made evident in the Heaven’s Feel arc.

    They’re big revelations in that arc, and I don’t remember if they ever outright say Ilya is Kiritsugu’s daughter (it is, at the least, heavily implied), which is why they’re not played close to the vest here; they’re pieces already on the table so to speak.

    As for the episode, yeah, it was a lot of exposition, but it was fascinating for me to see the pieces being laid on the table even knowing how things have to go and, knowing Gen Urobuchi’s reputation, how badly they probably will.

  3. Because I know people are going to ask, I’d never even heard of Fate/stay night before and I still thoroughly enjoyed this episode; so you don’t need prior knowledge of the series, which makes sense since it’s a prequel.

  4. Well, damn. That was one hell of an opening episode. Each of the main character’s motivations and reasons are made clear, and more importantly, each introduced so far are well, interesting. The best part is that the participants aren’t innocent, they’re the opposite. They each have some bad blood on their own hands, and are willing to do whatever they can to get the Grail. They don’t have the whole “fight within myself” pussy crap that Shirou went through. It’s pretty clear that each of the Masters are much more qualified than the masters in FSN.

    And the Servants summoned this time around don’t look like total wimps like in Fate/Stay Night. The summoning scenes actually gave me the chills. The Dark Knight Berserker looks amazing.

    Also, the Matou’s background was actually incredibly sad, touching even. I’m really looking forward to Kariya’s and Sakura’s place in all this.

    In Kiritsugu’s case, he views them as nothing more than a magical tool and will refuse to acknowledge Saber (Kawasumi Ayako) as anything more, even when she’s the legendary King of Knights, Arthur Pendragon (i.e. King Arthur).

    Actually, I think that Kiritsugu was arguing against how the majority of Masters in the past (and in the future if you’ve seen FSN) treat their Servants. That’s just my interpretation, since Kiritsugu doesn’t really strike me as that bad of a person, despite that air of coldness. Judging from his discussions with Iris, he just doesn’t seem like that bad of a person. To me, he seems to be putting up some sort of facade.

    Anyways, if I did have one complaint about the opening, it would be how a couple of the Masters-to-be just ordered their catalysts. I guess Amazon.jp really delivers!

    1. Another is seeing is how Saber’s knightly code of honor will clash with Kiritsugu’s assassin mentality — something the latter is already anticipating. The black suit he makes her wear suggests he’s get her to go about like a professional assassin, which I imagine will lead to some of Kiritsugu’s cutthroat methods rubbing off on Saber that Shirou had to deal with when he summoned her again for the Fifth War.

      While I’m almost certain that you’re right about Saber’s and Kiritsugu’s mentalities clashing due to their professions, I’m not sure about the suit part. When Saber is her dark suit, she kind of looks like… a man. I think it’s just a disguise for the real world, so that they don’t get attacked while the two of them are out there in broad daylight.

    2. I assume the catalysts were sent to them through the Magic Association. They find them first (like the Einzbern’s found Excalibur) and give them to choses participants. Or, alternatively, Archibald and Tohsaka had found them through their own means, and after a research team (or something along those lines) found the artifact, they sent it to the Masters.

  5. This is great because I am really curious to see how things play out to satisfy everything of Fate/stay night.Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Actually acesoldia’s take on the 5th Grail War’s Lancer was quite mistaken.
        Show Spoiler ▼

  6. Ok, I hadn’t noticed that Yamazaki Takumi played both this Archibald and my all time favorite Archibald. Thats pretty hilarious.

    Anyway, good start to things. Though its amusing how many huge plot twists from the game are just put right out there here.

    1. well we’re not really supposed to know about gilgamesh or sakura’s circumstances b4 this so those who haven’t played or watched fate/stay night wouldn’t find anything wrong lol

  7. I thought Fate/Zero was going to be another generic show about a clueless highschool boy seemingly surrounded by women who (consciously or not) want to get in his pants and/or play the damsel in distress, while he fights against super powered freaks and wins by yelling really loud and believing in himself.

    Boy, I guess I should have spent some time actually looking into it ahead of time. Someone mentioned to me today that Gen Urobachi wrote Fate/Zero, and not whatever group of chimps they had churning out Fate/Stay Night. So, I definitely had to give it a shot upon hearing that.

    Am I glad I did. It was an absolutely fantastic introductory episode. I’m hooked. Seven days can’t come fast enough.

  8. Off to an amazing start. It was very theatrical and well-pacedーI haven’t been glued to my seat like that from a series premiere in a long time.

    I’ve actually forgotten most of my F/sn stuff since it has been quite a while, but this refreshed everything in my mind. Can’t wait for more!

  9. A visually stunning episode.

    I was hooked from the beginning and the summoning of all the Servants was beyond epic, the music that was playing during that entire scene was amazing.

    I only have one very very minor complaint and that is Tokiomi and Risei walking circles around Kirei otherwise perfect episode

  10. This was a fantastic first episode. It really sets up the tone and stake very well.

    One small complaint I do have though. At the beginning, they were throwing out a lot of names at once, without first associating them with the faces. For people unfamiliar with the series, it could get really confusing, since the names were all pretty unusual.

  11. Fantastic episode. It really show how much better ufutable is to adapt Type-Moon works.
    For now, at least for me, Kiriya is the only one who deserves to win the holy grail war. I just hope that later I’ll be able to empathize with the other masters..

    1. Yep, prequel to Fate/Stay Night anime. As for the “OVA” your talking about. I believe your talking about the movie UBW? That is just Fate/Stay Night only a difference arc “The Unlimited Bladeworks” arc. The anime was the “fate” arc.

    1. Not really, since this is a prequel. Although the only drawback will probably be that this anime will foreshadow things that won’t come to fruition UNTIL you watch Fate/Stay night (Hopefully not that much).

    2. The only thing is that you will perhaps spoil yourself some for looking at the Fate/stay night later. Although most of the info you find out here isn’t that important but rather background to that series and doesn’t have that much impact on how it ends.

      1. thanks i saw a few bits of fate stay night since my brother watched it i know a few characters and whats their deal thanks for the help dint want to miss out on this because i dint see the whole series

  12. Now this is what a Holy Grail War should be like, not the pansy-crap in Fate/Stay (Don’t get me wrong, I loved Fate/Stay, but it was so pansy-ass!).

    Also, @Drew, they wrote the adaptations (Because obviously you can’t fit the full thing).

    1. A sequel is a lot harder to write beacause you have to imagine the future of the characters you have created, create something new and you don´t even know where it will end until your own inspiration tells you. In a prequel you already have some the basics of the world you have given bitrh to, you alredy know what happenned but you only add a lot more deatils.

      Of course this all depends of the style writter and the inspiration he has in that particular moment. I hpoe this answer your question.

  13. I usually don’t like prequels. I’m also not really interested in the story of Fate/Zero. However, this episode was good. I’ll probably watch this for a few more episodes and see if it keeps me entertained enough to continue.

    1. I felt bad for her in FSN knowing all that she goes thru. Any little kid getting swarmed by bugs like she did would lose their minds. That old man Matou deserves to die a horrible violent painful death for doing that to a kid.

  14. EPIC!

    I’ve already read the novels so the animation was so very awesome. Except Sakura…just reading about that was gruesome but seeing it was much more heart wrenching.

    Hears hoping for a Heaven’s Feel movie after this that’s not as bad as the UBW one. =)

    1. It is 10 years before FTN, the VN was made in 2004, so… 1994 is the year this is supposed to be.
      The Einsbern are rich so it was possible for Him to have a Laptop, but it certiantly looks more modern than the ones thar were in the market at that time, soo does the printer.

      1. I know already why it cannot be adapted, but looking at this episode and how they showed Sakura, I really don’t think it would be that far fetch into actually making one.

        @fencedude: Lol, I know. I know.

      2. It’s not really that bad when it comes to need for censoring as Havens Feel have perhaps 3% sex scenes compared to 1% of the other arcs. It’s still mostly story. They might make an OVA of it or something in the future.

  15. I don´t know where to start, everything was perfect in this episode, from the beautiful animation to the deep sickening story of th Holy Grail War. I knew the story in fate/stay night was complex but this surpass everything I imagined.

    In a side note, now I really want an anime of Heaven´s Feel scenario after seeing what the Matou family did to Sakura. How that girl can laugh after all they did to her? Anyway, I love Saber but I want to see the entire Matou family reduce to ashes so I´ll enjoy this adaptation and pray for some more fate ni the next years.

  16. I never liked fate/stay night, but this premiere episode is amazing. The story, the visual, one word: mesmerizing.
    I do feel really, really bad about Sakura, but I can’t bring myself to like her. She might be one of the reasons I can’t truly enjoy fate/stay night

    1. For me, she’s the main reason why I still havn’t finished the Heaven’s Feel arc of the VN. She my least favourite heroine in the series, and I find myself not really caring too much about her. Saber/ Rin Tohsaka are much more interesting.

  17. Dammit UFOTable, why weren’t you around to make the FSN adaptation? Its just perfect how Kaijura’s awesome music that sets up the mood perfectly along with Urobuchi’s ability to set a tone in the story.

    Seriously, this was a great introductory episode showing us most of the characters. They make all the Masters in F/SN look like pussies. I’ll admit the I already read the LN but seeing it come to life animated was such a treat. When you can engross someone who already knows what will happen, something right is being done here.

    To me Nasu has alot of parallels with George Lucas. They are great at making ideas and concepts and giving them lots of details. But when executed, it doesn’t come of as well as it does. But when Nasu’ ideas are given to a great writer like Gen Urobuchi, he can make it truly amazing. I look forward to the next week now.

  18. Admittedly, I’ve found Fate/Stay Night painfully hard to watch and it took me a very long time before I had the appetite to finish the series. But wow, the premiere of Fate/Zero was a really good and I’m surprised at how complex the characters and introductory plots are. It seems like Emiya Kiritsugu would make a very much more interesting lead than his wishy-washy adopted son, Shirou. I also like that they provided more insights into Sakura’s back story. I’ve always felt the general audience was too quick to penalize her in Fate/Stay Night and indeed, she does have a horribly tragic past.

    Seishun Otoko
  19. As expected from UFOTable, very amazing first episode. the way they did to the prologue straight out from the novel; voice acting is also superbly done.

    i hope they’ll animate heaven’s feel.

  20. I really loved this first episode. It followed the novel really well. Can’t wait for more. How good is the chance that you’ll continue bloging this? I’d love to read about it every week.

  21. Oh yeah… Looks like this fall will be extremely interesting. Love at how they started out with the different reasons the masters participate in the war for.(Rooting for Weber and Kariya) Not to mention all the ironies in the show(I.E. Illya VS Shiro).

    Just a question, at the start when Emiya Kiritsugu said that he will kill Irisviel von Einzbern, do you think that what he meant was that Irisviel von Einzbern will become the vessel for the Holy Grail. Like I mean her daughter became the vessel so could it be likely that she becomes the vessel in this case hence Kiritsugu’s statement?

    And yeah, Can’t wait for the next episode!!!

  22. the long minutes reminded me a lot of the kara no kyokai movies.
    this is gonna be epic and may even surpass my vote for madoka magica as the best anime this year!

    its just very sad that I already know how things would probably ended up since I watched fate/stay night and seen the characters’ situations. this would be tearjerker I bet.

  23. That was a pretty awesome start to the series. I have only watched FSN/UBW so all the new information from this episode was interesting. It was also interesting to see the motives behind the each of the participants. Overall the first episode while not really action packed kept me excited about whats to come.

    Note: As for all those people waiting for episode 2 next week… I have heard some rumors going around that because we got an hour long episode this week (kinda like how Kami-sama no Memo-chou had theirs) we “MIGHT” not see episode 2 till probably the 15th of OCT but don’t quote me on this.

  24. My only problem with this ep was the silly scene of tokeimi and kirei’s dad circuling him like sharks as they talked, I’m sure they had to animeate something besides moving mouths for the several mins of dialogue but I thought it was silly…and not how it went in my head when I read the scene in the novel.

    There are so many parts of this war that I cannot wait to see animated, I’m excited

    1. I also took notice to that scene too. IMO, I thought it was a great indication of the quality of the animation. Some other studios would have just made the characters sit around. At some points, you can seen Tohsaka twirling a cup of wine in his hand, and the wine inside can be seen sloshing about in the cup. That’s great atention to detail, IMO.

  25. Nice, this 1st episode does not disappoint. I’m glad they decided to use a 1 hour long ep to set up the basic plot and character relationships. I can’t imagine how badly rushed it would seem if it were to be broken up.

    I was excited before this aired, but now, I am even more pysched about this. I especially liked how they developed the main characters (namely the Masters) just enough for the audience to actually care about and sympathize with them. For me, characterization is a sure sign of a great series (which in my mind, it already is).

    Highly looking forward to the inevitable battles, and hoping the quality remains top-notch.

    Did I mention I am really pysched about Fate/Zero?

  26. Lol funny thing is I didn’t realize it was such a long ep until I was 10 mins into it….I thought the file size was just because of the quality….I wonder if all eps will be long ot just first one

  27. I did have one lingering question for anyone that knows, I don’t recall it be answered in the novel, but why did the 5th war start only 10 years later when all before are 60 years apart?

    1. It is all because the “tainted grail” and Kirisugu’s actions, it is explained in Heaven’s Feel if i remember correctly, but it wil be explained in much greater detail by the end of Fate/zero.

  28. THE series to watch this season.

    I didn’t even know the first episode was nearly an hour long, and for a while I was feeling amazed at how much ufotable managed to put in just the first 30 minutes. lol

    (Having recently relocated to Japan, I watched the entire thing on TV of course, so gripped by the story I was unable to leave my chair even when the show went to commercials. Before I knew it, an entire hour had passed. )

    It is good that ufotable does not cut corners to censor out Sakura being “tentacle raeped” by Matou’s magic bugs, those who remember Studio Deen’s infamous CG Dragon will know what I’m talking about. 🙂

    Kinny Riddle
    1. The bugs look like bugs more than the original big headed Dild0 like ones, I mean these at least have legs. Still, the idea of bugs “training” a litle girl’s body like that to give her magic is a bit too sick no mater how you look at it.

    2. Have you actually read those sex scenes? They’re awful. Saber’s CGI Dragon (and Rin’s CGI dolphin) were improvements because they actually felt more erotic. Its one of the few things I would call an improvement over the bad animated adaptations.

      Seriously, between Tsukihime and F/SN, Nasu’s writing is prone to drain any eroticism out of a sex scene. It has to be some sort of special skill.

      1. To this day I still find the games’ first scene, when they are doing “that” at the seme time as Archer fas buying time for them to escape…., so out of place and character. At least the other scenes are more or less at apropiated and expected times.

      2. Who seriously expects to get turned on by token ero-scenes by “serious writing” software companies like Type-Moon and Key?

        Sure, it’ll lure a few lewd minds to imagine away and inspire plenty of hentai doujinshis, but Nasu Kinoko’s primary purpose is to tell a story first, then service the fans second.

        Kinny Riddle
      3. Nasu goes out of the way to make this ridiculous set up on how sex and fluid transfers give prana. Its practically integrated into the story as some dumb plot device.

        At least Key actually does it right the few times they actually do show the stuff. They feel sweet and romantic and well within the context of the act. The way Nasu writes it is just plain bad. Its just, hey SEX because the plot says so! Lets make some seafood analogies because thats really erotic too! Really, Nasu?

      4. Nobody is saying that sex plot device wasn’t dumb or campy, but if it’s campy in a good way, I’m willing to suspense my disbelief for just a moment longer. CG dragons? Nah, not my cup of tea.

        Let’s just say our mileages vary and leave it at that.

        Kinny Riddle
    1. A magic user.

      In the Naruverse they are like researchers that only care for increasing their magic power (prana) and knowlege of how the world works. They search for the Origin and eternal life, much like the traditional Alchemist, howver, they despice technology because it hurts their pride.

      In short they are hidden mages unkown to the normal public and the core of this story.

  29. Fate/Zero looks like the series to track this season.

    Anyone else giddy about only adults fighting in this prequel? I already get the feeling that this Grail War stands as the real war. The one Shirou, Rin and the others fought now feels like the dying aftermath of this series.

  30. The 3rd Holy Grail War is probably the one with the most Kings, as Kiritsugu, Tokiomi and Waver all think that they’re gonna win, all having summoned heroic kings of the past.

    Saber we all know is King Arthur, and Gilgamesh is summoned by Kiritsugu, while the relic Waver stole from Kenneth is labelled from Macedonia, meaning it can only be that of Alexander the Great, less my knowledge of Ancient Greek history fails me.

    Kinny Riddle
  31. I’m usually not fond of series with a medieval/magical setting but this episode really got me interested. Never watched FSN but I seem to be able to grasp most of the stuff that’s happening.

    Just a question: Would watching FSN first be better than watching this first? I don’t want to finish this series and have a lot of plot points in the sequel spoiled.

  32. I really don’t know if I should watch this… I was never a big fan of Fate/stay night because the production of the series was bad in my opinion. But I loved ufotable’s work in the Kara no Kyoukai series and Urobuchi’s in Madoka. Does anyone think that this series is better than Fate/stay night (other than the quality, which is obviously better)? If the story’s no better than Fate/stay night, I’m not watching.

    1. Unlike Fate/Stay Night, which had three different heroine routes and had (lol) Studio DEEN behind it, the Fate/Zero has a linear plot line and well, ufotable! Personally, I think it’ll be quite difficult to screw up this project, especially since they can’t (and won’t) really deviate from the original plot since it’s a prequel. DEEN’s adaptation of FSN was awful too, and brought shame upon the fantastic visual novel.

  33. Somehow I think they can not overcome they own success. Why design of character really look alike when they are totally different character. Arthur == Nero? it not make any sense.

  34. Much exposition, but all were necessary. Overall, I was very pleased to see the way the most hyped anime of the year for me turned out. Looking forward to F/Z entrancing me each week.

  35. My body wasn’t ready. We were just shown the characters and yet it was enough to make the whole thing epic. (Also the summonings which made me shake in my seat) If the animation quality continues like this the battles will probably be some of the best for anime.

  36. For those who haven’t watched the FSN series so is there a shortened two part movie version that you can watch instead. It’s obviously less detailed, but all the important parts is there I think. The UBW movie also works somewhat, although the Fate arc is the one that gives the important background for this.

    1. To expand on that a little. The UBW movie won’t make too much sense and will feel VERY rushed if you watch it with little idea of what’s going on. That movie is more for fans of the series, and is not aimed at newcomers.

    1. Details about IllyaShow Spoiler ▼

      1. Oh I see. Show Spoiler ▼

        Shoutouts to Type-Moon wiki.

    1. What do you expect?
      1st episode is created for the purpose of character introduction….cause not all the viewer know them =.=

      Don’t tell me you expect that the first episode will have a fight that will end the whole series o.O

    2. ^implying FSN anime adaptation was awesome.


      FSN is not “all action” stuff. Hell, FSN novel had around a hour or two long prequel WITH PRETTY MUCH ONLY TEXT and is mostly a semi philosophical work focusing on adolescence and adulthood of main character and three different choices in life he can make. Out of the three routes, HF pretty much had almost no long action stuff and the novel(unlike anime adaptation) was awesome.

  37. The first episode of my most anticipated anime for fall season doesn’t disappoint, but I found the whole exposition thing for 48min long episode kinda dragging. The music is impressive something I’m already expecting from the composer of the soundtracks of Madoka Magica, the animation is top-notched something I expected from Ufotable, the question now is how the story (I’m counting on the Urobochi Gen again of Madoka Magica to do the trick) will go along.

    I just hope the series don’t dragged on like how Ufotable did Kara no Kyoukai.

    1. I also hope that this time ufotable produces this in 1080p. I don’t want another Kara no Kyoukai Blu-ray fiasco, which didn’t look as great in Full HD as it could have.

      Good start to the series, though I wasn’t really blown away by the animation.
      Sure, the chara design and the back grounds looked fantastic and really close to the original ones, but I got the impression that there were also a lot of stills and panning screnes with the characters not moving much.

      Kiritsugu isn’t really portrayed as the guy/hero that Shirou imagined, but from hearing what Saber said in the preview she isn’t opposed to his views. At least for now. Will be interesting to see if he’ll force her to do (dishonorable) things she doesn’t want to do.

      What I am currently mostly hoping to get out of all this, is to get to know more about Shirou, actually. Wonder if we’ll meet his parents and learn from where/whom he got those special skills (UBW) that he’ll develop later. Anyone knows if this prequels touches on any of this?

      1. I read a blog long ago that Kara no Kyoukai wasn’t really designed to be an HD in the first place which explained the not so good HD re-releases, so I just stick with the original.

        As for the animation, the question is will will this kind of animation quality can be maintained consistently throughout the series or it will take dips somewhere. I hope they maintained it though, because it will be such a waste if it did.

        My knowledge of the franchise is limited only to what I’ve already watched – Fate/Stay Night, UBW, and this…look for the people above it seems some of them have played the VNs and or have great knowledge of the franchise.

      2. @Rakkyo

        You are talking about Kara no Kyoukai right? Not Zero just to be sure…

        I already have a copy of it and I’ll admit it’s beautiful but mostly because of the background (that snowfall). I haven’t really watch it full (just a few minutes) because after watching movie no.7 just a few days back then I have loss all the power to watch a 30min mostly dialogue only movie, I’ll probably watch it in the near future.

  38. So many “spoilers” in the comments up there! -_-

    Anyway, what a really good way to start the season! Everything was just great. It felt like I was reading through a novel. (well, what would you expect?) Plus the appropriate soundtrack and great character designs.

    While I do think that this may be enjoyed by those who haven’t watched Fate/Stay Night, I guess partly why I really enjoyed this episode is that cerebral satisfaction from faintly recalling characters and plots in FSN and realizing how they connect with the history of the universe. It’s just superb, really, thinking that this franchise is time transgressive (connects past, present, and future) and seems well thought of. And that’s one of the things why I enjoyed FSN and Ultimate Blade Works and this first episode. So I do actually suggest people to watch FSN first, if they haven’t yet. Or else if I were to watch FSN after this, I would be like “hey, what’s he/she doing here?” Just my 2 cents.

    I do have to say, though, that FSN is definitely not on the top of my list. It had a weak. generic execution despite a good premise.

    Segue… thanks Divine for covering this! Though I might have to refrain reading too much into your posts, lest I be “spoiled.”

      1. I don’t think so, when I first watch FSN back in early 2007 I thought it’s a very good show, of course that only applies (probably) to people like me who have no idea it’s from a VN back then (I don’t even know what’s a VN back then) or to people who will not bother playing a VN (like me again).

        For beginners who are interested in the FATE franchise but doesn’t want to play the VN, I will still recommend watching FSN first then this. The movie UBW is optional, people can go straight to Zero

      2. I am sorry, bu tno.

        Pretty much nothing matters in DEEN’s adaptation of FSN.

        Majority of what fate/zero sets up comes into play in UBW and Heaven’s Feel routes.

        And you are content with knowing 1/3rd of the story only? You do know that all three routes are equally canon are are all meant to be played to know everything that has been going on right?

        FSN anime completely failed to portray Shirou’s motivations, it completely failed to adapt or use VNOVEL soundtrack and pretty much butchered it and don’t let me start to talk about hte second half of FSN DEEN’s adaptation. 🙂

      3. I’m was in the same position as Ghostalker. I never knew about VNs back in the day, nor do I have access to them now. I was a young kid then enjoying the fight scenes and complicated plot that I was not really able to appreciate then. Of course, looking back, I know that its quality pales in comparison with several shows I have been able to watch.

        And I only recently watched UBW, only faintly remembering the details in DEENs adaptation. And this is when I understood the REAL story of FSN. I loved UBW (plot-wise). Must watch.

        The point I just want to make that if EVER some plan to watch the “sequel/s” after Fate/Zero, it would be better to watch the “sequel/s” before this one. I had so many “oohhhh…” and “aaahhh, that’s why…” moments in the first episode of Fate/Zero.

  39. WOW. Fabulous opening. Actually got goosebumps watching the summonings and hearing Saber say the same line that ended the first episode of Fate/Stay Night – nice touch Ufotable! This reminded me of everything I love about the Fate universe. Can’t wait to see how it pans out.

  40. I feel the need tolocate and personally slap any person who dares to imply FSN adaptation by DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEN being goood.

    Thats why watching fate/ZERO hurts so much. ufotable did awesome job. This delicious animation, delicious soundtrack, delicious character designs. Ha DEEN studio not gotten their grubby hands we would have had an epic adaptation of all three routes separately by ufotable. Without cutting out and bastardizing all the important stuff like, oh i don’t know, the reasoning and motivations behind main character and his thoughts. Thank you, DEEN, thanks to the mediocrity of your adaptations 99% of FSN epicness and meaning got lost and anime-only fanbase regards shiro as looser(which usually happens when you take out all the character motivations and psychological insight into character and focus on shallow stuff like fighting)

    I can only hope that after ZERO ends, ufotable gets a chance to redo fate and ubw routes COMPETENTLY, that would be like a dream come true.

    1. It seems you don’t like DEEN so much for its FSN adaptation, but I still would give them credit because there is people like me who get to FSN franchise because of their adaptation, and for a viewer like me who never played the VN (or is not bothered to play the VN at all), FSN (TV/DEEN)is the only way for us to get to the franchise.

      1. Except you are not getting INTO the franchise. You are getting into a bastardized version of franchise with characters acting OOC. And you are getting into (a very butchered)one third of the said franchise.

      2. Any idea on what is the reason behind the whole strange animosity between Sakura and Rin? How Grail Wars came to be? Why this war happened 10 years after previous one instead of 60? What is Archer’s relation to Shirou? What Shirou did after each route? Why Shirou had the whole stubborn insistence of saving everyone? Why Shirou’s magic worked the way it did? Why Rin happened to summon Archer? Who was Lancer’s original master? Who was Rin’s ancestor? What each route represents?

        No? I thought so.

      3. I have no idea I actually replied to the same person twice in two separate occasion with almost the same content. Hahaha

        Obviously it’s something that is a mystery for me, I can only speculate. That’s the price I have to pay for not wanting to play the VN or actually I read somewhere in detail about the 3 separate routes playing FSN, I completely forgot about it, maybe I’ll just re-read it.

      4. You want some detailed reading? Why not splurge on the full text Let’s Play of FSN? It’s even neatly indexed so you can skip to the interesting parts. Then you can see what DEEN did wrong.

        FYI I watched the F/SN anime with no knowledge whatsoever and dropped it halfway through, because it was dull, boring, the characters were annoying. Also the battles were total BS. Archer vs. Berserkers was appallingly stupid and the Saber vs. Berserker was worse for all the asspulls it did. It took quite awhile (years) before someone convinced me to play the VN and that was the only time I started to take interest in the Nasuverse.

      5. I think I already made it a point that my FATE credentials are limited to only what I have already watched and that is FSN and UBW, now it’s just a matter of who the readers are…because there are viewers who just wants to get into FATE franchises without actually having to play the VN and just wants to watch the animated version, and that’s where my suggestion comes in. Of course to anyone who wants to dwell deeper into the franchise, then its the time your suggestion comes in.

        You know it’s always good to have different opinions on the matter.

        Also, it is clear to me that the original is always better than the the adaptation most of the time , I think it’s pretty given.

    2. I feel the exact same way. I admit the reason I played the VN is because of Deens Fate stay night anime and movie, but after playing the visual novel I realized what Fate stay night truly is. People who only watched the anime or movie will never be able to appreciate Fate stay night or it’s characters to the fullest.

      Also just like you, if Ufotable adapts all 3 routes my dreams will come true.

    1. Yup 🙂 this grail war does look better than the other one… All these masters are much more experienced and the servants look stronger too.
      x2 kariya ;_; I want him to win… and I also hope waver gives a lesson to his teacher ^^

  41. I’m glad that you are blogging this on RC because Fate/Zero is pretty close to my heart. Being a Type-Moon fangirl, I was overjoyed that ufotable had taken the helm to make this awesome after being done with Kara no Kyoukai.

    The first episode have set the standards quite high and I’ll definitely look forward to Kiritsugu’s cutthroat ways. I can’t wait to see Ryuunosuke and more from Waver. I have a soft spot for Kariya but I can bet he would be one of the firsts to go. xD

  42. Ufotable did an excellent job on adapting Fate/Zero though that is to be expected for the people that adapted Kara no Kyoukai. I can totally feel for Kariya though, his dedication is just… damn, there’s no possible word for it!

  43. This definitely shaping up to be twice the anime Fate Stay/Night ever was. Hate to say that since I loved FS/N (despite its flaws), but the first episode of Fate/Zero laid out the groundwork so excellently. Every character has ulterior motives and unique reason for entering the war, and it really is fascinating. I never expected Emiya to be the cold bastard he actually is, no matter how much he says he’s changed. I’m also torn apart by Kariya’s selflessness, as I did not fully comprehend the weight of his sacrifice. He gave his life to save Sakura from horrible fate, and went through absolute hell to do so. I assume he believes it’s his responsibility, because if he didn’t abandon his family and mage lineage, I’m going to watch this series and feel nothing but absolute pity for him. His will not be a pleasant journey.

    But it was just awesome seeing all these character’s in action, and drawing comparisons between FS/N and F/Z. As Divine said those familiar with the prior will be able to appreciate certain things in F/Z more, even if we already know what the overall outcome will be. I’ve already watched the summoning scene in this episode like five times now. Sheer awesomeness.

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