Fate Stay the Night

Hi!  I’m going to save the in depth intro on myself for later, but the name’s Atlas and I joined Glamour’s team to help her review anime, manga and other such things.  I also dabble in creative writing on the side, so keep an eye out for my posts and let’s see if I can hold your attention! I’m definitely glad to be here and to be able to lend my support!  I’m a bit rusty, so bear with me as I find my ground again on reviews, but I’ll be starting out with the latest series I’ve just finished: Fate/Stay Night.

Synopsis:  Shiro Emiya is not what you’d call a traditional magus.  He’s only good in one form of magic which surmounts to basic repairs on every day appliances.  Big deal right?  Well, that all changes when he unwittingly summons a servant and gets involved in a winner-take-all, death match between him and other magi in the city to claim the Holy Grail, which will grant both the magus and servant one wish if they are the victor.

The servants are all reincarnated figures of legend, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and signature style (called a Noble Phantasm) .  To know your servants true name allows you to know their full potential, but in the wrong hands, allows the opponent to exploit their weaknesses.  Additionally, not all servants are created equally.  Some are heroic legends of the past, while others might only be mentioned in the footnotes in a supporting role.  Each servant is decided based of the personality and overall capability of the magus who summons them.

The story revolves around Shiro and Saber, his servant, and their struggle to find a common ground between one another in order to survive the Holy Grail War.  Along the way, they run into other much more capable magi, form alliances, experience betrayal and develop as an effective fighting team through understanding the driving force of one another and of the secret bond between them.

Ultimately, nothing is as it seems and they have to learn to separate myth and legend from the facts in front of their faces.  In the end, there can only be one victor and Shiro and Saber have the odds stacked against them, but there’s more than meets the eye in the latent potential of both characters.  Any more details than that and I’d spoilt the numerous surprises in store for you.

The Good:  On the up side, I’m not a fan of long drawn out series w/ multiple filler episodes.  This series does a great job of balancing it out and making them pertinent to the later story.  The series also proved to be quite dynamic through to the end.  There are more than enough twists and turns in the plot to hold most anyone’s attention.

The Bad:  On the down side, I’ve never been a fan of the “harem anime” genre.  You don’t get too much of it here, but what little of it there is seems as if it was done just because.  Additionally, while everyone enjoys a good tournament, I was left wanting more character development in many of the side characters.  You’d start out hating them, then you’d love them, and then it seems as if someone let George R R Martin write an episode…

The WTF?!?:  Why must all captured damsels be put in BDSM lingerie?  I just don’t get it…

Final Verdict: Overall, this was a refreshing series for me and I recommend it to anyone who appreciates a series where good can be evil and evil can be good depending on the angle you view it and for those who appreciate that not everyone makes it out of a war unscathed with a happy ending.

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