October 2011 Anime Season – Fate/Zero Episode 5

Business has officially picked up as of this episode.

Which isn’t to say I didn’t like what came beforehand. I’ve certainly found its animation to be superior to FSN/Tsukihime adaptations and on the Garden of Sinners level of quality ufotable produced in recent years. The cast in Fate/Zero has incredible depth and a great mix of personalities across the spectrum.


My one issue has always been how the sheer volume of dialogue at times has hindered the pacing and atmosphere.  Book 1 of the original novels is very saturated with dialogue. This slow start was always going to happen. I’ve forgiven it somewhat with the character development that has gone on through it, but it becomes testing at times. Episode 4 didn’t flow that well for me since dialogue between combatants or to other people present always seemed to happen when the scene was picking up, then lose that momentum. Even my hardcore Type-Moon fan friends think Episode 4 didn’t need as much dialogue as was provided there.


However, the promise of what this adaptation can deliver is now coming to fruition. Dialogue was sharper, fitted the mood/scene and allowed the atmosphere to build up all through the episode. The fighting in this episode was flockwin. Fluid animation, lovely smoke effects (FINALLY in anime there is smoke animation that actually looks/feels like smoke!), Berserker looked festy as hell with the CGI, dialogue within was short and to the point. And best of all, within that action/scheming we now have a very clear grasp of the methods and motivations of most of the Servants and their Masters. This episode achieved so much but was able to provide plenty of action and the like to be entertaining/stimulating while developing the characters and delivering dialogue. This is the balance I’ve been wanting to see in this show all along. And I’m fairly confident it will be able to provide that balance more often as the dialogue volume tones down as of Book 2, which the adaptation will be reaching soon.


Saber continues to be charming and honorable – gotta love that. Irisviel isn’t afraid of her mortality at all and sticks with Saber even under the worst of circumstances – lovely woman. Rider is a freaking man’s man and is Mister Charisma in spades. Power to him for the way he stuck up for Waver when his old teacher tried to talk him down. Lancer is pretty FAB-ulous but not a cockblock, kudos to you Grand Master Sexy. Archer has an ego the size of Jupiter but is amusing. Kariya’s re-emergence as a cold-hearted bastard from the once soft, caring person is poignant, although he has his (deluded) reasons.


I really couldn’t have asked for more from this episode. If Episode 4 left me underwhelmed, Episode 5 more than made up for it.

PS. Rider, my man, let’s hang out sometime and talk about kingship and manliness! My shout!


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mappy
    Nov 09, 2011 @ 22:56:35

    If you want to feel real pain, read ANN’s review of Fate/Zero episodes 1-6. It hammers the final nail into the coffin of “ANN is pants-on-head retarded”. ANN is a fucking embarrassment to the anime community.


  2. lastsinner
    Nov 10, 2011 @ 00:10:05

    Tell me about it, mate…I read their review earlier today. Their gripe about the dialogue – it’s overblown. Sure, early it was a bit excessive, but necessary. Carlo Santos let his personal bias get in the way – AGAIN. I honestly thought no review could be more offensive than Carl Kimlinger’s rant about Nanoha Series 1 being the reason otaku are scum and that it’s porn before he rolled into reviewing Dance in the Vampire Bund and considered it an artistic masterpiece. Santos just topped it.

    I read all the ANN comments about 1st/2nd episodes. Most of them were giving Fate/Zero 4/5 or so. Santos was the one scoring it low. He let his personal feelings get in the way of writing a review – which he tends to do. He thought the 2nd Eden movie was virtually perfection. He regularly rants about how he hates the typical anime fan in Japan and what they should be doing instead. He’s very preachy. I honestly think ANN employ him to be a shock jock, because he tends to positively review all SHAFT material and material taking a swipe at otaku, but be very negative about anything else. Hardly an objective reviewer.

    Honestly…I almost wonder if AJAS should organise something to give people somewhere else to look, because ANN as the ‘only option’ has gone too far.


  3. TRazor
    Nov 11, 2011 @ 03:36:31

    There are two things about Fate/Zero that I love:

    1. The grandeur. Right of the bat, things are elevated to an “epic” level. It’s like a game that puts you straight in the boss level, without all the mucking around. Whoever thought of making the first episode a 45min explanatory episode was a genius – they built up swiftly to the grand scale of things, introducing even non Fate/Stay Night fans such as myself to the franchise. Another thing, in terms of grandeur, is that it shoves it right in your face. Each hero is given a large array of powers and skills and they all look and feel powerful. Which brings me to my next point…

    2. The battle-royal feel. Y’know the WWE Royal Rumble and how there are so many wrestlers coming in and you never know which one is going to win? That’s how Fate/Zero feels to me, a person who’s yet to watch Fate/Stay Night. All of the characters seem on equal footing, except for Saber who seems to be the character they’re pushing the most. Most anime involving more than one protag go with the “When two people are fighting, let’s just watch!” route, but not F/Z. This bad boy throws all the chips on the table at one shot and that’s what;s really fun for me.


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