「魔槍の刃」 (Masou no Yaiba)
“The Demon Spear”

I can’t help but wonder if it’s okay for ufotable to produce a television series — a television series — that looks as amazing as Fate/Zero does, because they’re setting the bar really high for other studios — to the point that I can’t see most of them producing something that matches up. Granted, it helps when Fate/Zero is the only series they’re working on this season and they can fully devote their staff to it — a model that more studios should adopt to strive for quality over quantity — but it’s looking more and more like they’re giving this series the same movie-like treatment that they did for Kara no Kyoukai.

In both productions, the lighting is still a lot darker than I would’ve liked; however, the quality is very apparent in the consistency of the artwork and animation. There never seems to be a single frame where the characters aren’t drawn well, particularly their faces, and this is coming from someone who steps through the footage frame by frame in search of the perfect screen capture. Even in the distant split-second action shots where I normally expect some shortcuts to be taken, Fate/Zero doesn’t disappoint the least bit. The fighting choreography is also masterfully crafted and the slow-motion sequences give it a very movie-like feel, which coupled with the unique characters and riveting exposition/screenplay, would’ve left me perfectly content if Fate/Zero were the only new show this season. To maintain this level of quality, the producers have announced that the 25 episodes Fate/Zero’s been scheduled for will be split into two seasons with the second half airing in spring 2012. This may come as a disappointment to some viewers, but if it means the entire adaptation will look as amazing as it has, I think the extra three-month wait will be well worth it.

While it’s understandably very easy to get caught up in the impressive visuals, the storytelling deserves just as much praise for being completely engrossing with minimal action in the first two episodes (technically three given the hour-long premiere). All the exposition really sets the tone for the Fourth Holy Grail War, putting it in a very different light than the Fifth War that many of the Masters’ descendants take part in. For instance, Kiritsugu anticipates that other Master/Servants will likely be observing the battle and knows his limits when battling against a Servant, choosing not to engage Assassin. Then there’s the first fight between Saber and Lancer, which on the surface was a sheer visual treat that spanned nearly the entire episode. Not only did it serve as a means to wow audiences, it also featured a lot of honorable knightly pleasantries between the two Servants that helped establish their characters.

In Saber’s case, it left me wondering how she ever put up with having Shirou as her Master, since his idealistic ways clashed heavily with her code of honor. It’s pretty clear that he softened her up emotionally in a way that doesn’t really benefit her in the role of a Servant, making it more compelling to see what Saber’s originally like here in Fate/Zero. Noble, powerful, beautiful, and bold — the last of which she never really got to show because Shirou would always place her well-being above his own. In Lancer’s case, it showed him in an equally honorable light and more importantly, as a respectable adversary in this war — something that couldn’t be said about most of the Servants in the Fifth War. I like how they were both portrayed in a fairly neutral light with their inner dialogue about trying to figure out each other’s true identity, since it makes the story a lot less straightforward on who the antagonists truly are. Naturally, this goes for Rider as well, who I feel is going to hard for anyone to fight against given his charisma. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing his relationship with Waver, whose face had “Dude! You’re not supposed to tell them who you are!” written all over it at the end. Oh the hilarity.

As for some specific details that I can talk about now, yes, Saber uses a spell known as Invisible Air to conceal Excalibur because the sacred sword is a dead giveaway on who she is. Irisviel is also suspected to be an Einzbern homunculus, just as it was foreshadowed last episode. Lancer’s true identity is the Fianna knight, Diarmuid Ua Duibhne, and his Noble Phantasm consists of his two spears, Gae Dearg and Gae Buidhe, the first of which cancels out magic and the second of which inflicts wounds that can’t be healed. He’s known as a womanizer because of his “magical love spot”, i.e. the mole under his right eye, which charms women and causes them to fall in love with him. Saber notices it but is resistant to most magical effects, hence Lancer’s lines at the beginning on who she can blame for that. I don’t know if the wound Saber sustained from the Gae Buidhe means she’s lost the use of her left thumb for the rest of the war, but I do love Niconico’s translation of one of Lancer’s lines, given that he is known as a womanizer — “You’re as a good as naked before my spear.” I’ll let you decide which spear he’s talking about. I didn’t interpret that as either of the two he’s holding, so I couldn’t help but laugh at how “well” that translated to English.

 

Preview

141 Comments

  1. I almost crapped my pants when Rider announced his identity immediately after entering the scene. That was too good, especially after Lancer and Saber spent all that time trying to fight with their identities in secret and with Waver standing in awe.

    You know, I’m really digging the whole strategic side of Fate/Zero. All-out battles are freakin’ sweet, but when you add all of conspiring and underhandedness which goes on here, the end result is even better. Plus, even the low key battles are fluid and graceful. They come together like water.

    Also the story telling is incredibly solid with a great cast of characters. So far there hasn’t even been a reason to dismiss a character as illogical or silly. They’re all solid and incredibly likable, and the plot really moves a long well at a steady pace without getting too wrapped up in random technobabble.

    While the visuals are incredibly smooth and beautiful like Guilty Crown’s, the story and the characters are just as good.

    Click
    1. @ Click “They are all solid and incredibly likable..” You like the Caster especially when he destroyed that little kid? I will give solid, but likable.. is pushing it.( only applies to Caster )

      FadingMoon
      1. Pfft, I loved that scene. It sounds cruel, but I thought that was incredibly shocking and hilarious, haha.

        Plus, Caster and his master aren’t supposed to be likable I guess, so it kind of all works out in the end. I guess the best way to put it is that the characters have never actually gotten annoying or irritating, and that they stay true to their respective natures.

        Click
      2. That’s easily the best scene of the series. How awesome would Fate/Zero be if it was retold by ufotable and Urobuchi Gen completely from only Caster/Uryo’s perspective?

        Words would not be capable of describing how awesome that would be. 😀

        Drew
      1. WHAT?! BULLSHIT!!!! HERESY!!!! I think I’m the only one here who is pissed at Iskander right now… ARGH!!! I was so absorbed watching the EPIC battle then the FUCKING King of Conquerors decides to be FUCKING KILLJOY…

        Sigh. I am disappointed.

        Still, awesome show so far. I thought Guilty Crown would be my favorite but this episode just made Fate / Zero my favorite this season.

        I hate Iskander right now… I really do. Waver’s face was awesome though. “Dude! You’re not supposed to tell them who you are!” – OMG… so funny.

        Jared Drake
  2. Iskander’s Garness basically stomps everyone. Surprised that the master of Lancer didn’t get him to use his mole vs Irisviel. That would have been the fastest way i think

    Zaku Fan
    1. Lancer’s Mystic Face cannot be controlled at will. It is always active, hence a curse.
      But Iri isnt affected by it since she’s different from normal women and she’s a magus and so has a high magical resistance.
      This was explained in the novels at this fight.
      The anime left it out but Iri also said in the novels that it’s rude of Lancer to use that charm on a married person like her. So yeah.

      belatkuro
  3. poor Waver, getting slapped around like that^^
    And Oh my gosh, the animations, its like watching a movie quality production.
    I guess a true king never hides his Identity = =

    (Every Saturday morning when I wake up, I get really excited and immediately turn on my computer^^)

    oliviaven
    1. Bankai is the wrong way to describe it. Noble Phantasms are basically concepts that define the servants identity. Its not always a weapon, but its usually the power that embodies what the servants do during their stories/myths/legends. Servants usually try to conceal it because using it would likely reveal their identity, and their enemy would know their weaknesses. Unless its someone like Iskander who is just confident enough to show himself and declare himself loudly.

      fragb85
    2. Yep, as fragb said, Noble PHantasm is basically something associated with that hero’s legend. Usually an ability or weapon. For example those who are familiar with the legend of king Arthur would instantly recognize his sword Excalibur. Berserker from F/SN who was revealed as Hercules, had 12 lives as his Noble Phantasm which represented his 12 trials in his legend e.t.c.

      YanDaMan263
  4. About this episode’s animation quality, I for one favor a long chat and short but impressive fight scene. This episode was made not to be like that, instead what we see in most anime — long chat with short exchange of blows while still chatting in-between, although what this episode differ compare to the rest is really the animation quality.

    So I guess I’ll give kudos to the production studio for striving for quality, but if I’ll be choosing — I’ll choose the fight scene akin to the likes of Gundam UC ep.2 where Unicorn fought the Sinanju, they chatted long but after that the viewers are awarded by an almost 10min long fight scene with very few interruptions, and the fight scene in Madoka Magica of Sayaka and Kyouko — a short exchange of ideals and a even short but impressive exchange of blows that doesn’t need an entire episode just to make a point.

    1. You basically compared this episode to an OAV that took months of production, and an anime fight that made use of highly noticeable animation loops. Not that I enjoyed Unicorn or Madoka, but come on those analogies of the fight scenes are weak.

      fragb85
      1. so basically they’re delaying the season in order to milk the cash the BDs are gonna pull in? Well if that cash goes to the quality of the second half of the seasons then i have no real problem with it being split in two but if the shows quality gets crappier its raging time.

        rasone0104
      2. Yep, I think I read somewhere that the reason for the decision was indeed for “quality” you know, in order to maintain that same level of quality every episode they have to do that or something along those lines.

        But I think it’s justifiable, if they deliver it like this.

      3. Quality costs, so it’s not strange that they need to reap in some of the cash for the series to keep it up. Note that anime DVD/BD are extremely expensive in Japan and the main income source for animes, unlike elsewhere where the main income comes from the TV channels and what they pay and the DVD/BD are released fairly cheap in collectors boxes. I am sure they would have gone for a continuous season if they had the reserves needed to do so.

        Znail
  5. The battle was ridiculous AWESOME!!!! I have to pause one or two times during the clash between Saber and Lancer, to take a breath. Especially at end when Iskander charge in on his ox chariot! Now I understand why people keep saying his badass. I was WWWWWTF face and speechless (literally) the whole time when he’s doing his introduction. Man, he really does not care about the “not naming yourself rule” does he?!

    Out of all the Master and Servant, I think Waver and Rider will have the closest relationship. Some of Rider’s advice will probably shape Waver into a better man in the future.
    When Rider said, ” you are in the present of the king.” I was LOL, and thinking yay, there are two kings gathered. No word or words in my dictionary can describer Rider. Although it is hard to imagine he is the fastest Servant amount the seven, but I heard Alexander’s noble phantasm is EX-class… Is it true?

    About Diarmuid Ua Duibhne, due to his charm, his master will have some trouble…..later……

    The production quality so far has meet up to my expectation, I wonder if this kind quality can continue through out the eps…hope they will not run out of money to keep the epicness going.

    Also, Berserker!!!, looks like my man Kariya will finally appear next week, can’t wait, this is going to be even more epic!!

    Zleihsh
    1. Haha every time you say Rider it throws me off a little. I think of him as Alexander or Iskandar since his extremely large body and muscles doesn’t look like much of a Rider.

      Pride
      1. My memory may be off, but I do believe “Rider” comes from the ability to ride. And a Rider has the ability to ride everything(Rank A) up to mystical beings. Hence Rider is capable of riding his chariot while Saber(IIRC Rank B) can only operate lesser, mortal instruments like an airplane.

        As for Iskandar’s Noble Phantasm, you can spoil yourself through one of the wiki sites. Otherwise, I’ll just say that in this episode, it is mentioned that servants aren’t limited to one Noble Phantasm.

        baubo
      2. Hmm I think you’re right about that. I only assumed Rider = fast because of the Rider in Fate/Stay. Perhaps it’s a mixture of both because if i recall correctly, didn’t Iskandar say something about being the fastest of the servants?

        Pride
      3. As far as physical abilities goes. Lancer always has the highest rank in Speed, and hence known as the fastest servant. However Rider class servants with their Ex Rank in riding anything to even mythical beasts, can easily surpass Lancer’s physical speed. I think that’s what Iskander meant as him being the fastest servant. I doubt Lancer can outspeed him while he’s on his mythical chariot mount.

        YanDaMan263
  6. Somehow these masters in the 4th war is fighting a lot smarter than those in the 5th. The way they plan their next move or schemes of throwing off other masters makes this series a lot more interesting than FSN IMO. Well here is wait for the next episode to come out. I cant imagine the impatience of waiting for the next half to air for a period of 3 months.

    Flappy
    1. The masters in this 4th war had ages to prepare. But as already know that the 5th war occured WAY earlier than anticipated, which hasn’t given enough time for the next generation to prepare. It also doesnt help that many of the masters from the 3 major Magus houses (Tohsaka, Einzbern, Matou) were still young when the 5th war occured.

      YanDaMan263
  7. It’s pretty cool how they’re making this an all out war, but it’s also sort of strange. We’re taking heroes from a time with no guns, and putting guns to their heads. I wonder what happens if you shoot a hero, would he die like a normal human? I’m curious to see how modern warfare does against ancient warfare.

    Pride
    1. It’s strange either way. It’d be sort of anti-climactic for a hero to be shot to death wouldn’t it? I mean in Fate/Stay it was pretty hard to kill another hero. Esp. Beserker haha. Loved Heracles.

      Pride
      1. How many people have no idea what they are talking about.

        Yes Fake Assassin did that. yes Kotomine did that. BUT THEY WERE NOT USING NORMAL WEAPONS.
        Show Spoiler ▼

        unknownvoice
  8. Is it still the in thing to bash DEEN’s crappy F/SN adaptation? Because the short fight in this episode easily trumps all the fight scenes in F/SN combined. I like the perfect use of slo-mo, the use of dynamic angles and the great music cues. Every exchange of blows just felt significant and meaningful, just to portray how epic the War should be.

    Maybe it just me though, but despite Saber’s sweet moves she is still the dullest most boring character of the show. It might be because ever other servant overshadows her in characterization and awesomeness.

    fragb85
    1. It might be because we know Saber so well from FSN, whether it be from the anime or VN, that there’s really not much mystery behind her. All the other Servants, bar one, are completely new to F-Zero, hence providing a great deal of room for character development.

      Despite that, Saber is still quite the eye-candy, especially with the high quality animation by ufotable.

      “Because the short fight in this episode easily trumps all the fight scenes in F/SN combined”
      ^^Couldn’t agree more

      Kentaiyoshimi
  9. I never knew I would say this, but Fate/Zero’s anime is so much better than the Light Novel. Normally I feel the opposite. Even Kara no Kyoukai movies, which I loved, I enjoyed the novels more.

    But this adaptation has carried over all the awesomeness of the LN and managed to make it much, much better. It is the most mindblowingly awesome series I’ve seen since Code Geass. Perhaps even more amazing since I would feel this way, knowing the entire story already.

    baubo
      1. Huh, never thought that way. I guess perhaps so since we see the characters’ inner thoughts, and the masters in this story aren’t exactly saints. But I think the anime shows the dark side plenty well. Although that might change if they don’t expand on Kirei’s inner feelings later on.

        baubo
  10. Unbeleivable animation quality, especially with the fight scenes. Like the previous episodes F-Zero manages to include just the perfect amount of plot advancemnt and character development, while not neglecting the fight. It really does feel like watching a movie, but even better because it goes on for 2 seasons. If they can keep up this quality throughout the 2 seasons, I think it will justify the 3 month break halfway through. (I’ll probably marathon the 1st season during that time)

    I am completely blown away by this so far. Lol at Rider for blatantly revealing his identity to everyone, while Lancer and Saber spent the entire episode just trying to keep their identities hidden. that guy uis absolutely hilarious. It’s even more intriguing because I’m quite sure Rider will be a force to be reckoned with, being at least an even match versus the other Servants.

    I’m especially enjoying this because I only know bits and pieces of F-Zero and most of FSN. I can understand all the terminology and pick up on the subtle references to FSN, but I don’t know how the plot actually unravels, making it an extremely entertaining ride for me.

    Saturdays have never seem so far away.

    Kentaiyoshimi
  11. Yes, the anime is beautiful, and quality is great. But one thing that must be noted is that the details in every scene are not too much, compared to Guilty Crown (or even Kara no Kyoukai). Rarely you see in one action scene more than two characters (so most of what is visible is background work, which makes artists focus more on the characters). And even the action scenes are always being fights between people so the work for the artists can be narrowly focused on the motion aspect. For example, drawing two characters, you can make both the rendering and motion of really high quality, but if you have tens of of rockets + a moving character + explosions and particles, then it’s difficult to get everything perfect, though, one shouldn’t notice as you simply don’t have time to pay attention to everything in an action scene with too much details (like Guilty Crown).

    Just to make it clear, I’m a big fan of ufotable myself. I re-watched Kara no Kyoukai more than I can remember both on the computer and on a t.v. screen, especially episode 5. And Fate/Zero is one of my favorite shows this season. But still, saying that Fate/Zero seems to be the only show of the season is a bit unfair (even in terms of production and graphics quality, as there is Guilty Crown). The reason is like I mentioned the themes are quite different, which makes both shows very beautiful in different ways.

    P.S. Also the issue, concerning dark light. Typically, darker material seems of higher quality because there are fewer details to draw (for example buildings that are far away can be presented as lights, and street’s asphalt need not be handled), plus the contrast between colors is higher (which has a stimulating effect on the eyes). That said, fights in lighter themes will probably not be as beautiful (though the motion, undoubtedly, will still be great).

    vladrin
      1. Thanks 🙂 Long time ago I was into 3D Graphics, but didn’t end up choosing it as a career path. So I started watching anime just for the animation part. But from the second series I watched, I became drawn to the anime world itself. Though, I still much care for the animation aspect.

        vladrin
  12. Is it me or Lancer here is WAY less nefarious than he was in FSN? He is more respectful, less agitated and doesn’t jump the gun as much?

    The subject of “maturity” has already been talked about here but I think the servants do indeed feed off of the maturity of their masters as well because then all would make sense..

    dimasok
    1. Lancer in F/Z is Diarmuid while F/SN Lancer is Cu Chulain. They are not the same person. How can you even make that mistake? They look different, their Noble Phantasm are different.

      And since when was F/SN Lancer Nefarious? He’s the definition of “bro”.

      fragb85
      1. The servant summoned depends on the master summoning it. Kiritsugi in this war summoned King Arthur because he used her sheath as a catalyst. Shirou of Fate/Stay summoned the same Saber, King Arthur, because Kiritsugi embedded Excalibur’s sheath into Shirou’s body in order to save his life. So in essence it’s because of the Excalibur’s sheath that the servants are the same.

        As for the other servants, their all different because of different masters and catalysts. Only Saber is the same.

        Pride
  13. Divine I definitely agree about the relationship between Saber and Shirou.

    Honestly, after seeing these first couple of episodes I feel like Shirou seriously hamstrung Saber. He may have helped her find an alternative to the constant wars that surrounded her previous life. But his stereotypical saving of the girl really sucked hard. His actions basically prevented Saber from showing that a woman could be exceptionally strong in martial terms and character.

    In other words screw Shirou and the children of Fate/Stay Night.

    synkronized
    1. Shirou’s tendency to save people has nothing to do with sexism or girl-saving. Its a lot more deeply rooted psychological problem that is revealed as the novel goes on.

      AS it stands now, I count Shirou as one of the best and most baadass game protagonists who have ever lived.

      Of course DEEN’s adaptation shitted it up.

      unknownvoice
    2. Saber also had plenty of chances to show off in FSN as well. They also clashes wills many times over this issue and Saber was hardly meekly agreeing with Shirou over it. A lot of that doesn’t show up in the anime as it was streamlined away to make it easier to watch. I think that was the main mistake of the anime as while it made it easy for kids to watch, so did it take away a lot of the complexity of the otherwise deep story.

      Znail
  14. Best anime of the season, hands down. I’ve said this in previous episodes and I’ll probably keep repeating this for every subsequent episodes.

    Fight was amazing. Its not just mindless action, theres tons of thought behind each fighter’s move, and you can really see the fight through both of their perspective, what they’re thinking, its amazing.

    Iskander is definitely my favorite servant, as to many others. He’s just too damn funny and has that lovable charismatic personality. I mean hell, he’s the King of Conquerors and he dont mind having some shrimpy little beginner magus kid being his master while everyone else had respectable maguses. Man remember the disappointment Saber must have felt seeing Shirou as her master.

    Honestly I cant wait to see him fight also. Yet it just makes me sad since all of us who watched F/SN will already know the inevitable outcome of this war and which servant remains standing.

    YanDaMan263
  15. If this episode is considered with high remarks….I can’t even fathom how the scenes will be as we reach the climax of the series and the boundless fights to come -> especially the fight between Gil vs Saber.

    Bakanekokun
  16. It’s quite interesting to see that there are not many comments here on RC about Kirei even among those who watched FSN. I think he’s the most intriguing character here or maybe thats just my bias coz i read the LN.

    Rakkyo
    1. I think its also because the LN had lots of exposition and a bit if inner monologue. IMO the two most interesting masters here are kirei and kiritsugu and iskander is the only servant worth watching XD

      i’m glad that they’ve added some portions of how lancer was having a hard time measuring the blade due to invisible air and saber’s hesitation to attack fully without knowing which one was the NP.

  17. The best part of this episode was when Rider decided to screw with all the secrecy and interrupted the battle like he was Santa Claus.

    Search it in your hearts, you know it to be true.

    Ryua
    1. Double entendre aside, Niconico did that translation? I wonder if those particular translators were Japanese with a good mastery of English (since most of the time Japanese are not good with English–but prove me wrong anyway), or if they are Western English-speakers (with a good mastery of Japanese) who were hired to do the translation…

      Incognito
      1. That and the fact that most of the dialogues are almost the same as in the novels.
        Lancer said that exact same sentence in the novels. Or at least the translated one in BakaTsuki 🙂

        belatkuro
  18. Can someone please answer to these questions.

    What mainly determine a Servant strenght -its historical life! or something else?

    What happen if a Master used up all his/her Command Spell?
    Does he/she still be considered as a Master Or he/she has to make another contract with Another Servant to be reconsidered as one?

    Zeon
    1. Zeon: a servants strength is determined by 2 things.
      1. How old their legend is
      2. How well known their legend is today
      That’s why Gilgamesh is so powerful, because he is the oldest hero.
      at least that’s what i remember. i could be wrong.

      As for the command seals, i think you would still have a contract even if all 3 are used up, as in you would still supply mana to the servant, but im not sure. With all 3 used up the servant would be able to attack you if it wanted to though. I know that a command seal is required to make a contract with a new servant, so i guess if you don’t have any, then you automatically aren’t a master.

      takashid
    2. Servant’s strength comes from two things. His class (Saber, Rider e.t.c) and his history/legend. You’re put into a specific class depending on certain attributes that you match. Iskander’s chariot thing is what caused him to be a Rider instead of whatever else. Excalibur is one of the most famous swords in western legends, therefore they made Arthur into a master swordsman of the Saber class.

      Your class also provides you abilities and bonuses. For example, Saber class has high magic resistance, Lancer class has the highest agility, Rider class can control all mounts, even mythical beasts. Archer class has Eagle-Eye (can see very long distance and aim accurately at that distance) and the ability to act for a set period of time even without a master (More on that later).

      When a master loses all his/her command spells, you just lost your rights as a servant. You can still forge another contract with another Servant (not new one) who dont have a master if they accept, you’ll get 3 new command spells and be a master of that servant. Servants are made entirely of mana, so they need their masters to sustain them (which is why idealy you’re a magus). So if the master gets killed, the servant will vanish, unless you’re an Archer class as just explained, you can linger around for a bit, giving you a chance to forge a contract with a new master. This is why in the original F/SN, going after the Master was a common tactic.

      YanDaMan263
      1. When a master loses all his/her command spells, you just lost your rights as a servant. You can still forge another contract with another Servant (not new one) who dont have a master if they accept, you’ll get 3 new command spells and be a master of that servant.

        Incorrect. Once you loose your command spells, your servant no longer is yours and will most likely kill you to get your supply of manna so that they will have long enough to form another contract with another master. You do not get any more command spells unless you have the ability to steal them from somebody. That is why you never want to use them all up. If you do, then you do not have any control over the servant.

        KuroYume
    3. Oh if you literally meant how powerful as servant is then what takashid said pretty much. Your fame and how well known your legend is a major factor, along with how old your legend is (since the older your legend is, the more people will known about it, hence the more well known and famous you’ll be).

      YanDaMan263
    4. Adding to the above posts.

      1. The Master factor into it. This is why Matou said in the first episode why it was necessary to add the spell for berserk on the servant, because the master isn’t as adapt as other masters.

      This is more apparent if you’ve played FSN the visual novel. Because
      (FSN VN spoilers)
      Show Spoiler ▼

      2. Also, a Servant’s battle capability is not exactly the same as its core stats. Noble Phantasm plays a huge part in a servant’s overall power. The overall “fame” of a servant affects its noble phantasm more than its sheer power. Gilgamesh, for example, may not be nearly the hand-to-hand fighter that Diarmuid is. But his overall power is still higher because he was king with a vault full of ridiculously powerful weapons. Similar with Saber as her Excalibur is a very, very overpowered Noble Phantasm.

      baubo
  19. The only thing I would complain on this episode is the feeling that the battle is dragged out. That they have to take a pause everytime they speak. They could have spoken while attacking each other, but maybe if that is the case, there wouldn’t be enough material to fill the time slot.
    Although actualy I don’t really mind this approach too, as I can concentrate more on the conversation. I also highly enjoy the way the “spectators” act, it feels like the series is treating the audience with big respect and regard the audience as smart people. This is not the right sentence to put it, but that’s the vibe I got!! 😀 this series is getting to the point of beyond awesome!
    Strangely, although both parties are really honorable, I find myself rooting for Lancer more! But the real show stealer is Alexander. I dropped my jaw when he stated who he was like a big badass boss, and then I bursted into laughter, especially after seeing Waver’s face. Fucking priceless!! :DD but hopefully this won’t get him killed (at least) too soon 🙁

    kgfj
    1. I think there’s something wrong with me. When Alexander interrupted the battle… I hated him then. I REALLY hated him then. Screaming out “WHAT THE FUCK?!” IRL in my room… Sigh. What a killjoy… I wanted Lancer and Saber to finish their battle.

      All of you LOVE Rider. I wonder if I’m the only one here who got pissed at him.

      Jared Drake
  20. Ha, I definitely agree with the people here talking about Saber and Shirou, and in entirety, F/SN.

    At first I thought it would be running good and awesome (which it did), but when Shirou suddenly resolves to fight in place of Saber just for the sake of protecting her, it made me quite disappointed. It was like Shirou didn’t give much appreciation of how strong and powerful Saber is. That’s why I don’t like F/SN that much (even if I have already played the VN).

    On this week’s episode of Fate/Zero, the battle between Saber and Lancer were awesome as both are aspiring, honorable and strong warriors. The battle was not rushed, and both sides had shown their strength to one another (but lol, I had to admit, Lancer is kinda showy here). Their fight was the best yet, and it’s just episode 4!!! We will see more of their battles soon. I’ve read the light novels and I do hope the anime stays true to that.

    And Rider/Iskandar, really. He brings out the best quotes. XD Although I freaking hate the way he intervened in the battle between Lancer and Rider.

    1. It was like Shirou didn’t give much appreciation of how strong and powerful Saber is.
      Erm. No it as because Show Spoiler ▼

      Also, Kiritsugu might have style, but Shirou is the true embodiment of badassness and determination. Come back to me when Kiritsugu Show Spoiler ▼

      . Then we will talk.

      unknownvoice
  21. Men i love when Rider just crash the party and said “Stop fighting you bitches, your in the presence of a King!”
    I wish Gilgamesh was there to see it. And maybe will have the most epic trash-talking ever.

    Jhacks
  22. The 2 most irritating protags from the top of my head are Shirou and the one from Claymore. Playing the VN on Saber’s route was downright frustrating b/c of Shirou. He wasn’t protecting Saber. He was just getting in her way.

    Quant
  23. hands down the best anime this season for me. The quality, story, and characters just pull me in. I cant get enough!! Loved the saber and lancer fight,especially how they show it was very strategic and well thought out each others moves were. Too bad it was ruined by rider interrupting them, i wanted to see what saber would do with her hand like that!

    darkloco
  24. Kara no Kyoukai is a masterpiece, one of the best (if not in my opinion THE BEST) series I’ve seen in such a long while (story, animation, soundtrack, pretty much everything is great). I honestly want to watch this just to see Ufotable’s quality work on the screen again. 😀

    Demented-P
  25. I just about died from laughter when Rider just busted out of nowhere like that. I feel like this is SO much better than Fate/Stay Night, even story wise (sorry Nasu~!)
    But now I really want a remake of FSN by ufotable 🙂 Oh, and Tsukihime. Oh, and why not just throw in some more KnK from somewhere? 😀

    innerchihiro
    1. I would be satisfied with:
      – Remake of FSN, all scenarios, 12 episode each + F/HA.
      – Theatrical anime movie of Notes.
      – ufotable finally adapting tsukihime, since its pretty much the only type moon work without anime.

      unknownvoice
      1. Yeah, an adaptation of Notes in any form will be awesome. Imagine how epic it is to see the Slash Emperor fighting Type-Jupiter with ufotable QUALITY.

        Though the chances are very low…

        Rakkyo
  26. Best. Reaction. Ever. (at least so far for this series)
    https://randomc.net/image/Fate%20Zero/Fate%20Zero%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2036.jpg

    The first few episodes did a lot of explanation about the basic rules of the Fourth War, especially concerning revealing a Servant’s identity, and then Rider comes in and declares “Screw that, I’m Alexander the Great”

    What’s with Lancer always being Heroic Spirits of Irish origin? As the 5th War Lancer was Cú Chulainn, also of Irish mythology. I would’ve thought Kayneth would summon someone else from the British Isles after Waver stole his Rider artifact unless Kayneth is Irish himself. Speaking of which, wonder how the Waver and Kayneth sub-plot will play out, considering how funny it is to watch Waver look pathetic before Rider?

    I’ve been noticing that some of the most memorable and enjoyable battle titles recently involve the production studio purposefully delaying the broadcast date, or even skipping all that altogether and going straight to DVD. Bakemonogatari and MadoMagi comes to mind, both being by Shaft. ufotable is perhaps following Shaft’s good precedent, and I see it as a good thing and we should be assured of a faithful and quality adaptation come June next year.

    Kinny Riddle
  27. Couldn’t be happier with this show overall. All the points you made here ring true to my opinions as well. (btw I’d LOVE to know what, if any, specific program you use to “step through the footage frame by frame in search of the perfect screen capture.” I long to do that myself while not compromising the image’s quality!!)

    I’m thinking of going back and watching F/SN once I’m finished with Zero, but I’m also a bit hesitent because of how amazing this prequel has proven itself to be in only 4 episodes. Shirou’s protectiveness of Saber in the original series was always something that irked me, so it’ll have to be for the other characters, compelling plot, amazing fight scenes and the tie-ins with these Fourth Grail competitors that I tune back in.

    1. You DO Know that this does NOT directly connect to FSN anime and counts the FSN visual novel routes as the canon and true continuation of f/0, right?

      FSN “adaptation” by deen essentially is a non-canon stand-alone work full of bullshit.

      unknownvoice
      1. It’s funny that some people still fail to understand that Fate/zero is a prequel to the original visual novel. Not Deen’s anime or movie adaptation…… Seriously people if you have only watched the fate stay night anime and movie don’t bother comparing it to zero.

        Gilgamesh92
  28. Oh man, finally Iskander aka Rider comes into the fray. And damn, it sucks that it’s split between 2 seasons meaning I have to wait to damn June for the entire series to be done. I love ufotable story telling, as it’s a force to be reckoned with. It’s literally like an animated novel. It really does the light novel justice. I don’t know if Ufotable is a relatively new group or not, but I’m looking forward to seeing them do more work, especially more light novel work. Now I can see some light novels do really well with this group.

    I wish that they did the same with Fate Stay Night, as there is so much detail that wasn’t covered in the actual show and even in the movie. Either way, I can’t wait til next episodes. Some crazy things are about to start and it’s going to be the most interesting battle yet.

    Sora no Kaze
  29. Man, this series is fucking incredible so far. It’s in a completely different league compared to anything else this season. But, the thing that annoys me is people comparing Kiritsugu to Shirou. Not only have we barely even scratched the surface of Kiritsugu, most of these people are going by the neutered adaptation of F/SN. One thing the first anime failed at doing was showing what drives him and, even though he can still be a bit trying in the Fate Route, it is not sexism that drives him it is pretty much a guilt complex.

    As for this episode? I usually don’t care much for fighting, but this was pretty damn engaging and it is ridiculous how well animated this has been so far.

    insan3soldiern
  30. Looking at the list of works ufotable has produced before, they have not been that consistent in their quality. THey are better than Gonzo, but most definitely not as consistent as KyoAni.

    You really can’t judge a studio by 4 episodes of anime. You have to look at their entire work todate.

    silentv
  31. i never read the LN so i dunno what’s gonna happen next. but dang, dark as fck is this. and great great animation,ufotable. although i ain’t liking the facial structure of the characters DX that was my problem with knk.

    anyhow, saber rockz!! lol

    hOmeRunDaiSuki
  32. to conquer and not humiliate… what a noble ideal from rider!
    …and it perfectly fits the way he incorporated local nobility – Persian and of other countries – into his empire building, in real history
    oh, and that duel made the series already into annals of history of anime, and this is just the start of the series!

    ewok40k
  33. LOL, I really love it when some fans are in denial about Tsukihime anime (wait, what did I say again?). Oh, and Rider is AWESOME 🙂

    p.s. Am I the only one who want to see the Original Fate/Stay Night? I mean, that one with Male Saber and a heroine. I don’t even mind if they adapt it into Shoujo manga…

    JelJel
  34. I like how each of the Noble Phantasm works like Rock-Paper-Scissor against other NP. This fact is made more apparent and becomes an important part of battle tactics than Fate/SN.

    Divine : “I don’t know if the wound Saber sustained from the Gae Buidhe means she’s lost the use of her left thumb for the rest of the war…”

    Show Spoiler ▼

    Lxc

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