On this edition of Animediction, we'll take a look at Fate/Stay Night, an anime based on a video game of the same name (also now a visual novel!). Fate/Stay Night is not to be confused with Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works. From my understanding, Unlimited Blade Works follows the same general premise as Fate/Stay Night but changes key parts of the plot so that the viewer experiences an alternate storyline to the one seen in Fate/Stay Night.
Now, originally I had planned to watch Fate/Zero, but then I realized that there were two more Fate/ series listed. After some research, I decided to watch the anime(s) in the timeline in which they were released. Therefore, I settled down to watch Fate/Stay Night.
The concept behind this anime is interesting. The main character, Shirou Emiya has been chosen as one of the seven magi for the fifth Holy Grail War. Essentially, seven sorcerers battle each other in a battle royale-esque setting, where the last one standing is able to summon the Holy Grail and is granted one wish. The magi each have "Servants", who are reincarnations of legendary heroes from across time. The servants are the ones who do most of the fighting, although the Magi themselves are also targets. There are different classes of Servants and the more powerful the Magi, the more powerful the servant (usually). This doesn't seem to be the case for our friend Shirou as he summons Saber, one of the most powerful servants without even really realizing it.
Throughout the anime, Shirou learns that his adoptive father was a Magi and fought in the previous Holy Grail Wars. In addition, he faces various different enemies, many of which somehow become his friend throughout the course of the anime. In addition, despite Shirou's inability to perform much of the most basic spells, he somehow can create items out of thin air and is able to hold his own against the rest of the Magi. And this was me:
Not to mention, Shirou falls in love with Saber but tends to undermine her power. At first Shirou comes off as sexist, saying that, "a girl shouldn't be hurt like that/have to fight" until the anime tries to explain that the reason why he makes those excuses is because he doesn't want Saber specifically to get hurt in battle. I suppose it makes sense, as Tohsaka, a fellow Magi, never has any issues entering a fight as Shirou doesn't try to stop her simply because she's a "girl." Nevertheless, it irked me that Shirou often referred to Saber's gender to justify his concern and I would cheer when Saber would reply that her gender should not matter as she was, first and foremost, a warrior.
All in all Fate/Stay Night was interesting and I liked the details that constructed the Holy Grail Wars. Each servant was interesting in his/her own way and I really liked the ending. I felt like it truly brought the story to a close and my other favorite character didn't die.* I did strongly dislike Shirou. It just annoyed me that he is one of the typical character types that gets all the girls despite not really having any ability at all. He's one of those characters that is not really special yet overshadows all of the supporting characters. Then, about halfway through the anime, we get something that makes him special, but by that point, it seems pretty stupid because he's NOT a real magi! I would give anything for this anime to have a different main character, seriously. However, Saber was a great character as well as Tohsaka. Illya annoyed me at first but over time I grew to like her quite a lot.
Overall, I didn't hate the anime, but I felt it left a lot to be desired in terms of its main character. I will go on to watch Unlimited Blade Works and Fate/Zero because Shirou's role is no longer the main one. Perhaps I should have listened to all the forums online that said to just skip this anime and watch Fate/Zero instead, hehe. I will report in when I have finished the next anime in this franchise.
*SPOILER (highlight to view spoiler): My favorite character was Archer but he died halfway through and I almost dropped the anime altogether. Tohsaka was was what kept me watching, thank goodness she didn't die! >.<