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Fate/Zero Episode #04 Anime Review

3 min read

The fight gets underway, slowly, but with some serious intensity.

What They Say:
As Saber and Lancer continue their battle, Kiri and Maiya continue the search for Lancer’s master. What they discover is shocking…

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After some decidedly fun character material the last time around, particularly between Rider and Waver, Fate/Zero sets the stage for some very good action here. The relationships between Master and Servant is where a lot of the appeal for the show is for me though since the pairings can be pretty amusing and intriguing, which is why the Rider/Waver one definitely has a lot of appeal. There’s a certain lightheartedness to Rider that just makes him enjoyable to watch. When it comes to battle, he’s more serious, but others are just serious through and through. Case in point, Saber and Lancer, who get to battling right from the start here. Lancer has a grin as he enjoys the fight, especially since she is a woman who will fight, but there’s also just a stronger serious side to it that’s enjoyable if predictable.

While there’s some solid action at the start, the action doesn’t get going until the second half as most of the first is made up of careful observation and planning. With Masters looking to off each other while their Servants fight, it’s a solid idea that helps to quickly cut down the competition, though they all know about it. What complicates Saber’s Masters plan is that Assassin has ended up in the area and observing it all. What his advantage is though is that he has another agent on the field ready to snipe and the distraction of his silver haired maiden which is still thought to be Saber’s true master. It’s a good setup that lets him observe the field and figure out the best way to take down Lancer’s Master, but the complications are definitely significant.

The back and forth here is quite good and the animation is simply beautiful when you get down to it as Lancer and Saber fight. There’s just such a sense of color and movement to it here that I do want a full non-streaming high definition version like, yesterday, with lossless audio just to soak up the whole scene. The mood, atmosphere and action all come together very well, even if they do slow things down regularly in order to have dialogue. But those slowdowns are useful as we get some solid character material as well, particularly at the end as Lancer and Saber both make their revelations to each other about who they truly are, and that puts them on a new footing with each other.

In Summary:
Fate/Zero has a lot going for it but it took a couple of episodes to really hit its stride. The first episode was a lot of setup and was, frankly, too long by doing a double length piece. The second episode helped to ease things but it was the third episode that started to cement the characters. This one pulls things together even more and has a few of the Servant’s coming together for what looks to be quite the fun battle. The downside to the show so far for me, having come into this with little real knowledge since I don’t remember much of Fate/Stay Night anymore, is that the Masters aren’t getting much attention yet outside of Rider. There’s a lot to like though and I have hopes that things will flesh out and expand more as it progresses, which could make this one hell of a series and potentially the show I’m most keen on this season and next season.

Grade: B+

Readers Rating: [ratings]

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.