God Eater Resurrection photo
God Eater Resurrection

Behold your next look at God Eater Resurrection

Now with more story
Sep 10
// Josh Tolentino
God Eater might be the hot new anime this season, but in the world of gaming, God Eater 2 is already a couple of years old. What Bandai Namco has on its hands is a problem of synergy. After all, folks turned on to ...

Final Impressions: Unlimited Blade Works

Jul 16 // Josh Tolentino
Except here, by virtue of Unlimited Blade Works' big reveal, we know that the journey of Shirou Emiya has only just begun. Here, after the world has been saved from a big hole spewing red jelly, and a jerk with blond hair's been taken down a few notches, only here is where Shirou Emiya continues down the path to becoming his ideal self.  It's worth pointing out that that self, not even a day before, had been hell-bent on killing him, but Shirou doesn't care. He doesn't care that Archer, the man he would become, wanted nothing more in the world than to un-become, to kill his younger self before he could suffer the pain of learning the true cost of sticking so doggedly to his ideals. That's a price that, here in episode 24, Shirou Emiya is willing to pay. But we knew that already. Shirou's heroic resolve here isn't in question, and it's been the true ending of this scenario since its time as a visual novel. The boldest thing about 2015's take on Unlimited Blade Works is the very last episode, which is an epilogue, and as far as I can remember, is almost entirely new material.  Set months after the final battle, the last episode explores the rest of the "True End" scenario, where Rin and Shirou have graduated from high school and are studying at the Clock Tower in London, headquarters of the Mage's Association. There we catch up with Shirou's not-so-great fashion sense (ew, green cardigan?!), Rin's new hair, and Luvia Edelfelt, a side character from the not-quite-canon spinoff/expansion, Fate/hollow Ataraxia. Brief words are exchanged with Fate/Zero survivor Waver Velvet, and a visit is paid to the alleged grave of King Arthur himself at Glastonbury Abbey. That's all well and good, and frankly not enough anime series actually have a decent denoument, preferring to end things right after the climax and saving the cooldown for the credits. But the most important thing here is hearing Shirou opt out of enrolling at the school, instead opting to do...whatever it is he planned to do next in his quest to become a Hero of Justice. Rin not only expects, but supports the decision, allowing him to drag her around for a change. It's a Big Development because at the traditional end of Unlimited Blade Works, we're filled with hope that the future can be changed, that Shirou would grow up differently, and become someone other than the Archer that would die for his beliefs and spend a purgatory enslaved to an unfeeling cosmic force, every moment confronted with the impossibility of his dreams.  And yet here, we see him consciously, deliberately, rejecting that potential outcome. Here, he's choosing to take another step down the road to becoming the white-haired, dark-skinned, red-clad cynic that seemed to hate everything that he became. At the same time, though, that's where all the difference lies. Shirou himself, through the crucible of confronting his own future, has chosen to accept it, judging the consequence to be worthwhile. He knows how impossible his dream is: A world where no one will ever have to suffer. But he's judged the struggle to put it into being to be worth the pain it will cause him, and possibly the compromises he'll be forced to make. That might sound fatalistic, but contrast his self-awareness here to the essential tragedy of his father, Kiritsugu. All his life, Kiritsugu made those compromises while searching for a miracle with the power to undo the need for sacrifice. Finding out that that miracle didn't exist was what broke him. Shirou faced the same challenge, but thanks in part to seeing - and fighting - his own future, as well as knowing how it turned out for dear old dad, chose to accept that cost. It's an interesting contrast to other, similar stories, especially once you try reading it - as so many other anime can be read - as a parable on growing up and learning to live with the hypocrisies and compromises of adult life. So many heroic stories reward protagonists for never compromising on their ideals. The takeaway for the teenaged Japanese audiences is to highlight the virtue in sticking to one's own guns, and never to accept the old men who undermine one's resolve with platitudes about "how the world works".  Here, though, Unlimited Blade Works, and more specifically this particular adaptation of it, shows another side of that resolve, acknowledging the truth about ideals: That they come at at price, and are often impossible to achieve, and that the true heroism lies not in simply holding those ideals, but to seek them all the same in the face of that impossibility, and to judge the price worth paying. 
Unlimited Blade Works photo
The Life After
And so the hero's journey begins. That's actually the weird thing here, as in these kinds of stories, most heroes are "born" at the beginning of the tale. A Link To The Past's hero is born when a green-clad youth leaves ...

Tales of Berseria photo
Tales of Berseria

The next Tales of game looks beary interesting

Will this title feature a bear motif?
Jun 07
// Salvador GRodiles
As we're waiting for Tales of Zestiria's Western release to hit stores, the folks at Bandai Namco have announced the next Tales of game at the Tales of Festival in Yokohama. From the looks of it, Tales of Berseria might have ...

Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episodes 20-21

Jun 02 // Josh Tolentino
And honestly, it's almost sad, come to think of it. Ufotable have done a stellar job so far with Unlimited Blade Works, not only making an adaptation that actually manages to outdo the original game by deepening and strengthening its ties to Fate/Zero, and thereby enriching the "Nasu-verse" as a whole (unless you're one of those types that regards Fate/Zero as a mistake, at least). Unfortunately, the need to fill out 24 or 25 episodes has undermined the integrity of this last leg of the plot, adding in stretching where the story simply couldn't take any more padding out. Where filling in the little spaces in the canon with flashbacks and "side material" used to work for things like Caster's backstory or Ilya's relationship to Berserker, here feels like Shirou and Archer repeating themselves endlessly.  In part that's due to the fact that this debate isn't new. Idealism vs. Cynicism is one of the foundation conflicts of heroic anime storytelling, and Idealism, here represented by young Shirou and his determination to be a hero, no matter what it will cost him, always wins out. We know what happens here, even if we've never played the game or read the Wiki spoilers. At the same time, the bedrock of the conflict isn't what really matters here. This is where this particular attempt to adapt Unlimited Blade Works really shines: Ufotable's slight tweaks to the pace of the encounter, as well as keeping its canonical resolution (rather than the truncated version we saw in Studio Deen's 2007 feature) make the conflict all the more clear and comprehensible.  Even being able to read the original (translated) text back in the day, I always found the Archer-Shirou conflict a bit hard to pin down, particularly with regard to the relationship between Archer's motivations and Shirou's fixation on self-sacrifice. I'm not sure whether to blame it on the translator or Nasu's style of prose, but being able to see it play out in front of my eyes helped me understand just why Archer turned out the way he did, and just how much Shirou needed to beat the self standing before him. It especially helped that the whole thing was juxtaposed onto Saber's own internal conflict, and her own desire to avoid her heroic destiny. In that way it served as a bit of a coda to the game's original "Fate" scenario, which is unlikely to get its own Ufotable-produced series at this point. That said, from the most important perspective, namely that of a viewer joining the party through Fate/Zero (certain sectors of the otaku internet would call such a person a "secondary"), this does look like a lot of nonsense that should've ended when they started playing that awesome Aimer insert song. But they didn't, and inadvertently drained the otherwise great character work of much of its power.  Secondaries do get their own payoff, though, besides seeing a Lancer-class character act with great nobility and heroism once more: The emergence of Gilgamesh (who Saber amusingly calls "Archer") as the true final boss of this piece. He goes full Ultron here, declaring his intent to purify the world of all those unworthy to be ruled by him, and then gives Shinji more than he ever bargained for.  We're in the final stretch, though I really can't imagine how they're going to be able to keep this thing rolling another three episodes. Given what's about to happen next, I can only hope Ufotable find something as better than CG dolphins to represent the proceedings.
Unlimited Blade Works photo
Fight The Future
And here we are: The fight that defines the whole of Unlimited Blade Works: The final battle between Shirou Emiya...and Shirou Emiya, or rather, Shirou Emiya's future self, as Archer, the embittered hero. It goes about as wel...

Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episode 19

May 17 // Josh Tolentino
But let's not blow things out of proportion: Six good episodes outweighs a seventh less-good one, but it's hard to imagine that anyone but a Type-MOON fan with an *ahem* an especially hard lore-boner would get maximum enjoyment out of this week's installment. Given the need for Ufotable to fill some time I honestly hadn't expected the show to move straight ahead to Shirou's showdown with Archer. In a way it hasn't, since the episode saves the actual fight for next time, but I had assumed from the epilogue of episode 18 that episode 19 would be shifting focus to some sideline event while the Rin Rescue Rangers™ made their way to Einzbern castle. This was not the case. Instead, we skip straight to the main event, or rather the opening to it, as the squad arrives to confront Archer, though the primary confrontation that occurs here is of the conversational variety. If Rin's dream-time monologue gave viewers an insight into Archer's state of mind, this installment's lectures get deeper into the facts of Archer's past - and by extension, Shirou's (possible) future. At this point it's been long enough since I first played Fate/stay night to know how much of what's revealed here is new or expanded information, but they certainly get into much more detail than the Unlimited Blade Works movie ever managed to, exploring the circumstances of Rin's summoning Archer, his nature as a "Guardian" (an unusual type of Heroic Spirit), and to hearing the motivations for trying to murder his past self straight from the horse's mouth. The results, while intriguing for the dedicated fan, delve perhaps a little too deep into the weird rules of Fate creator Kinoko Nasu's "Nasu-verse" than is productive, especially not for the more casual, Fate/Zero-originated audience Unlimited Blade Works seemed designed to cater to. It doesn't help that what's actually said doesn't really make it clear just what Archer is, either. I'll take a stab at it, though. At some point in his future (detailed in the cold open), Shirou made a deal of some kind wth a big ol' CG effect, agreeing to become a Guardian in exchange for the power he thought he needed to fulfill his ideal of saving people. Except that as a Guardian, Shirou (now Archer) was more akin to a force of nature, an agent of balance. And forces of nature are rarely known for their compassion and life-preserving qualities. The tension between the merciless mandate of Guardianship and the broken little boy that just doesn't want anyone to cry took its toll, leading to the Archer of the present, now possessed of the belief that things would be better had he never existed, or at least never stuck to his heroic ambitions. But of course, Shirou won't ever give up on his ideals. It's who he is, for better and worse, and Archer knows it. Hence, the goal of murdering his past self. Honestly, it's a powerful conceit, and gets straight at the heart of Fate/stay night's three scenarios and their exploration of one's relationships to one's ideals and dreams. Unfortunately, it's all too caught up in Nasu's love of esoterica and oddball fantasy rules, and the strong core message gets drowned out the way Ufotable's digital effects can sometimes drown out the nice 2D linework (I'm looking at you, guy who adds too much damn smoke to all the fight scenes!) We also catch up with Rin, who suffers quite roundly. First there's sexual harassment from Shinji, who's even more of a dipshit here than he was in any previous take on Fate, then the reveal that Kirei was not only alive, but also murdered her dad back in Fate/Zero. And she's tied to a chair, and her Servant turned out to be a real tool. Being Rin is suffering. If there's anyone who comes out ahead here, it's Lancer and his fanbase. Ufotable's been especially kind to the Hound of Culann, giving him no shortage of badass moments in recent episodes, and even laying the groundwork for a fun little Rin x Lancer ship. If you've ever wondered why Fate/Extra's version of Rin showed up to the Grail War with Lancer in tow rather than Archer, their interactions from the last few episodes should make that particular story angle a no-brainer. But, as many fun little asides there are in this installment, it's hard to avoid the impression that Unlimited Blade Works is trying to run out the clock a little. There's more elegant ways to go about conveying this information, but unfortunately, the show's scheduled for several more episodes. [Watch Unlimited Blade Works on Crunchyroll!]
Unlimited Blade Works photo
Where You See Yourself In 10 Years
Ufotable's take on Unlimited Blade Works may be in many ways the Fate/stay night adaptation fans always wanted, but it's not without its sticking points. Besides the usual caveats that can be attached to a prop...

Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episodes 16-18

May 11 // Josh Tolentino
The pain train's next destination, of course, is the newlywed's paradise of Kuzuki and Caster. The most successful pair of Grail War participants this time around finally meets their end, but not before some of the best action of the season so far, as Shirou and Rin take the fight to their foes, with some unexpected help from Lancer. In fact, Lancer practically steals the show, his gruff Irish charm causing Shirou to get all possessive of his new girlfriend. After seeing both DEEN and even the game continually give Lancer the shaft in terms of characterization (there's a reason his Carnival Phantasm incarnation can't stop dying), having Lanceer  Everyone gets a chance to show off (though Kuzuki shows off by practically feeding Shirou his own ass), but the marquee attraction is the big ol' fight between Lancer and Archer, and it's a doozy. Once again Ufotable does Lancer some small justice by emphasizing just how good a fighter the guy in blue tights really is, and how powerful his Noble Phantasm, Gae Bolg, can be. Indirectly, this also makes the fact that Archer had planned out the whole engagement even more impactful, as to hold back when the other guy is playing for keeps isn't usually a survivable strategy. Rin's fight with Caster is also a treat, if only to see Rin get right up in Caster's face, right as the witch was monologuing, and punch the piss out of the mature lady. The show may have worked hard to make Caster a more sympathetic antagonist, but damn, it does feel good to see her get knocked on her ass. Atsuko Tanaka, Caster's voice actress, has turned gloating into an art form, and seeing that act taken down a peg is immensely gratifying. But, as is written, the final blow goes to Archer, who had been planning to ambush Kuzuki and Caster from the start. His latest betrayal of people who trust him is given more weight here, as well, as in the Unlimited Blade Works movie it was shown as a storm of swords flying out of nowhere. Here, even Kuzuki gets a final, ineffectual blow in, as if to twist the knife into the sides of Caster's fanbase.  Following that up is the big reveal: Archer is Shirou from the future. But, of course, every Fate fan already knew that part, and Ufotable all but spells it out through flashbacks, lengthy character analyses delivered by Rin's dream sequences, and Saber saying, out loud, that Archer is Shirou's "...". If it wasn't clear before, it sure as hell is, now.  We also get the much-anticipated use of Unlimited Blade Works itself. Archer's wasteland of an inner world is full of copied weapons, and since Shirou is Archer, it's the place where takes the first step on the road to becoming the person he will be. This is where Ufotable cheated a bit, by opting not to animate that bit where Shirou deflects a rain of swords through the power of discovering his abilities, but then again, the time it actually was animated didn't turn out quite so well: [embed]33802:4730:0[/embed] I'm willing to let it pass, on that. Besides, there's some good payoff right after, in the form of a deeper conversation between Rin and Archer. Whereas in even the game the bond between Rin, Archer, and Shirou seemed somewhat taken for granted (a bad situation considering that Rin isn't the obvious love interest out of Fate/stay night's shipping selection), here it gets shape and texture. Like seeing Archer "sell out" his old Master, as if to punish her for having the temerity to read him like a book. Even Gil could tell, and when he takes notice, you know you're probably not in the best position. Next week...I actually don't know. We've a few episodes left before Unlimited Blade Works has to wrap up, so only time can tell just how Ufotable have managed to fill in those gaps.
Unlimited Blade Works photo
They've Got The Touch
The last time we checked in with Unlimited Blade Works, we'd seen the lengths Ufotable was willing to go to give the passing of Ilya and Berserker the gravitas that moment deserves. It worked, for the most part, though t...

God Eater photo
God Eater

Your first look at Ufotable's God Eater anime

Chow Down
May 06
// Josh Tolentino
I've mentioned this before, but of the many games that tried to steal Monster Hunter's fire, I liked God Eater the most. While mechanically it was often just "diet" Monster Hunter, its approach to storytelling and anime...

Annotated Anime: Unlimited Blade Works episodes 13-14

Apr 11 // Josh Tolentino
Fans who know how this story goes won't be surprised: We're pretty much at the nadir as far as fortunes go for the good guys. To recap: Shirou and Rin are alive, but have lost Saber to Caster's cheat-dagger, the Rule Breaker. Shirou's been stabbed through the shoulder (by Excalibur, no less), and is no longer a Master, due to Caster stealing his Command Seals. Everything's turning up villain, too, as Caster has taken over Kotomine's church to try to summon the Grail herself, and played dress-up with Saber in this arc's most creepily erotic scene. Look, I get that Fate/stay night had to have its sexy times for commercial purposes, but wedding-dress Saber with the panting and whatnot feels even more gratuitous now than it was in the original. As a fan, I'm sort of happy they left it in (and it certainly is done now than Deen managed in its 2010 movie adaptation), but it's kind of gross. Then again, the show's done a lot to make Caster seem like a properly formidable antagonist, so I guess this could be counted as a net gain, since it makes her look like a real creeper. That aside, heroic hopes are crushed a bit further when the big twist hits: Archer completes his face-heel turn, and betrays Rin to free himself from their pairing. The sting's made all the more painful in this go-around because just earlier that morning Rin seemed to have come to an understanding with her jerk of a Servant. Their bond of mutual respect and closeted admiration had finally set in, only for Archer to break it once again upon the altar of opportunism. What a dick! Well, if nothing else, fate (and Fate) throw fans a bone, because there's always a silver lining. That silver lining is the closest anyone in this show comes to confessing their feelings, which, for a tsundere like Rin, really does take being pushed to the edge of disaster. And it's adorable. I had wondered back when this show began, how ufotable would make the most of twenty-four episodes when Deen could stuff the whole plot into a not-terrible feature-length movie. It turns out that going long with it was the right decision, as the character arcs and relationship-building feel much more natural and less forced when given this much space. It also helps that ufotable's been able to fill the gaps adeptly, to the point that I've begun to consider this work a more "definitive" take on the Unlimited Blade Works scenario than even the original game. It's not even so much a question of "canon" as of presentation. Just like Gintama and Naruto work better when animated than in their "lead" manga formats, having it done this way just feels more "right" to me. And just in time to validate my view comes this week's episode fourteen, which fully capitalizes on ufotable not just having that extra time to fill, but also its experience making Fate/Zero. I've mentioned in previous recaps that the most interesting viewpoint one could examine for your average Unlimited Blade Works audience member isn't that of the die-hard Type-Lunatic or the fresh eye that's never seen anything else, but of the Fate fan who got their start by watching Fate/Zero first.  From their point of view, episode fourteen's examination of both Caster's tragic past and Shirou and Rin's attempt to visit Ilya in her castle feels completely at home, a natural extension of the work ufotable's been doing with Fate/Zero's adaptation. Caster's backstory, which as far as I'm aware has never been flashed back to before, is a scene straight from the Zero playbook, with Caster's first Master being exactly the sort of clean-shaven monster Gen Urobuchi likes to pen. It's genuinely disturbing to see this jerk liquefy little girls to make magic crystals, then beat on his Servant for daring to be the better wizard, so much so that you feel relieved when he gets his comeuppance, and feel a little more pity for Caster's lot in life (and the afterlife). Forever to be used, abused, and betrayed, it's no wonder that she herself became a monster. In fact, you almost feel retroactively angry at Archer for his contemptuous dismissal of Caster's character. "You don't know what she's been through, man!" is what you want to yell at the screen when rewatching those episodes. Seeing Ilya again, after so long, is also a good callback to Zero. She was always a bit of a non-presence in the original game Unlimited Blade Works scenario, relegated to get fridged by Gilgamesh practically off-screen. But now, callbacks to Fate/Zero, as well as speaking roles for her maids Leysritt and Sella, deepen her character, as well as shedding light on her motives in this and other scenarios.  All in all, episode fourteen feels like a checklist of why everyone was so excited back when it was first announced that ufotable would be adapting Unlimited Blade Works. It shows that they "get" the material, and have both the talent and wherewithal to improve on the original.
Unlimited Blade Works photo
Welcome to Wedding Night
When last we checked in with Unlimited Blade Works, ufotable's big, fabulously expensive-looking adaptation of Fate/stay night's most beloved story arc left our heroes in the lurch. Though an adorable date opened episode twel...

Anime photo

Ufotable's take on Fate/stay night UBW looks hot

Oh, and so does Heaven's Feel
Jul 28
// Elliot Gay
In what can only be described as a "oh wait, really?" kind of moment, Ufotable revealed this past Sunday that their upcoming new Fate/stay night TV series would be adapting the Unlimited Blade Works route of the video game. ...
Fate stay night photo
Fate stay night

New Fate/Stay Night trailer features Taiga's lesson

This ufotable remake looks just like the other ufotable anime, color me surprised
May 08
// Jeff Chuang
Aniplex Japan has posted a new trailer for the remake of Fate/Stay night by animation studio ufotable. It's not really different from the first Fate/Stay night trailer shown from Anime Japan earlier this year, but it's worth...
Fate stay night photo
Fate stay night

New Fate/stay night anime cast announced, trailers, speculations

Everybody returns for the new Grail War, sort of
Mar 25
// Jeff Chuang
The new Fate/stay night anime remake featuring a newly written story showed off its second animation trailer over the weekend at Anime Japan 2014. If you haven't heard, this is a new TV anime in the works that will be produc...
Fate/Stay Night photo
Fate/Stay Night

Fate/Stay Night remake to air in fall 2014

ufotable is up to bat
Jan 28
// LB Bryant
I'm a freak. I admit it. Why am I a freak? Well, according to the Type-Moon fans in the audience it's because I actually really liked the original Fate/Stay Night series created years ago by Studio DEEN. Yes, despite its flaw...
God Eater 2 OP photo
God Eater 2 OP

God Eater 2 opening anime is cool as ice

Ufotable delivers the goods
Oct 13
// Elliot Gay
Animation studio Ufotable doesn't exactly handle a whole lot of projects at once, but they put a ton of care and effort into the stuff they do work on. Case in point: God Eater 2's beautiful anime opening up top. For those o...
fate ufotable photo
fate ufotable

More Fate/stay night anime, confirmed by ufotable

Will fans get what they wished for?
Jul 12
// Jeff Chuang
During the premiere of the new 3D Garden of Sinners: Fukan Fukei movie in Japan, a preview video confirming animation studio ufotable's next Fate universe project was screened. Various witnesses reported the PV sigh...
Fate/Zero BD/DVD photo
Fate/Zero BD/DVD

Huzzah! Fate/Zero gets a NA BD/DVD release with the dub

Maybe this time you won't pay a bajillion dollars!
Jul 08
// Elliot Gay
I'm in love with Ufotable's Fate/Zero anime adaptation.  On a technical level, it's a beautiful looking show with fantastic direction, a great soundtrack, and amazing cinematography. In fact, I loved it so much that I bo...
GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack! photo
GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack!

GYO: Tokyo Fish Attack! doesn't need any extra wasabi

Something's fishy with the attackers!
Jun 06
// Hiroko Yamamura
The television and theatres are overrun with zombie movies nowadays. You just can't avoid 'em. Cities infested with the evil walking dead. How about a film with some evil walking fish? You might not look at your sushi the sa...

Wait, what? Neon Alley to summon Fate/Zero's English dub

I guess this is sort of a good thing?
Feb 06
// Salvador GRodiles
I didn't think that I would live to see Fate/Zero and English dub in the same sentence, since many of us assumed that Aniplex's release of Fate/Zero's import set would nullify the possibility of seeing a release wi...
Friday Night Fights photo
Will the gun wielding Puella Magi triumph over the Magus Killer?
*ding, ding, ding* It's over! Red XIII is taking quite a blow from Repede's swift knife attacks -- very impressive, Repede. And right as Repede readies one of his Artes, Red XIII attacks with Cosmo Memory. Luckily, ...

Unboxing! the Garden of sinners

Jan 22 // Hiroko Yamamura
Unboxing!  photo
This is a lot of movie to watch...
Somehow the 2007 series of movies, the Garden of sinners totally escaped my radar. The story is made up of seven different ful length films, each brought to us by a renowned director. The story revolves around the&...


These Fate/Zero cushions are manly as hell

So much man action
Dec 05
// Elliot Gay
There's no hiding that Fate/Zero filled me with all sorts of happy feelings. It's one of my favorite shows from the past five years, and I go to bed every night while caressing my BD sets.  Ok, that last part isn't true,...

This new Fate/stay night [Realta Nua] trailer is awesome

Ufotable strikes again
Aug 30
// Elliot Gay
I can't wait for this November. As a Vita owner, not only do I have Atelier Totori Plus to look forward to, but the Fate/stay night [Realta Nua] port as well. The latter just got a new trailer and it's making the wait all the...

Fate/stay night[Realta Nua]'s main visual is pretty cool

Jul 09
// Elliot Gay
As we reported a few days back, Fate/stay night[Realta Nua] will be hitting Japanese Vita's this fall. At the time, we had little in the way of confirmed details, but now we have a main visual image, some screenshots and some...

Fate/stay night[Realta Nua] hitting the Vita on 11/29

Jul 06
// Elliot Gay
A recent Newtype leak has revealed that the popular Type Moon visual novel, Fate/stay night, will be hitting Japanese Vita's this year on November 29. As far as I can tell, this is the first time that the game has been brough...

New season of Fate/Zero gets a theater premiere

Mar 13
// Elliot Gay
The second half of Fate/Zero is closing in, ladies and gentlemen. As the man who covered it in 2011 and then purchased the hilariously expensive BD box set, I think it's pretty clear that I'm excited for the conclusion. Looks...

Ufotable releases full length trailers of upcoming OVAs

Feb 02
// Michelle Rodanes
Ufotable Animation Studios has just released a brand new batch of upcoming feature trailers. Fresh out of the oven, we have gotten our hands on three extended previews for the OVA adaptions of Minori Scramble, Yuri Seijin Naoko-san, and Junji Ito's Gyo. All three titles are scheduled for DVD and Blu-ray Disc release on February 15th. Enjoy! [Via Dengeki Online] 

First Impressions: Fate/Zero

Oct 02 // Elliot Gay
  Fate/Zero takes place ten years prior to the events that occurred in Fate/Stay Night. We follow a significantly older cast who are clearly experienced in their various fields of expertise (save for Waver). The 4th Holy Grail War looms over the horizon, with those vying for its power preparing for the battle at hand. It is here we’re introduced to the apparent main character, Emiya Kiritsugu, who some may remember as Emiya Shirou’s adoptive father in the original anime series/game. Ten years younger, he’s a talented assassin known for hunting down mages, though he lacks confidence in himself and is unsatisfied with his life. We’re also introduced to his wife, Irisviel von Einzbern, a young woman who is as kind as she is beautiful. Through out the episode, we’re introduced to a majority of the main players, one by one. Introduced as a kind of foil to Kiritsugu is Kotomine Kirei; a young member of the church who is chosen to participate in the 4th war. He serves Tohsaka Tokiomi (father to the adorable little Tohsaka Rin), who seeks to acquire the grail for himself. We also meet Matou Kariya, uncle to Matou Sakura and a kind hearted man in general. Finally, we meet the young and proud Waver Velvet. Despite having what is quite possible one of the strangest names in the entire Fate universe, you can’t help but like him for the youthful energy he brings to a cast of mostly adult characters. If you’re wondering why I’ve only spoken of the human cast thus far, there’s a good reason for that. The Servants don’t actually appear until the very end of the episode(save for one), and only briefly at that. The entire run-time is used as something of a prologue, serving to introduce the very large cast as well as the universe the show takes place in. The rules of the war and the history of it are covered as characters discuss their motivations for trying to obtain the holy grail as well as their connections to the various participating groups. If you didn’t know anything about Fate/Stay Night before this, I don’t think you’ll have a hard time figuring things out here. It can get a little slow, but I felt the pacing was spot on. It’s important to establish the rules of this strange world before we get to the high tension action. If this episode is any indication of the overall visual and audio quality of the series, I cannot wait to see what happens later. Shot choices are very deliberately chosen and the way objects and people are placed within the frame reveals a true eye for the art of film. I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention the beautiful background art glimpsed throughout the episode. Character designs are consistent across the board and well animated, despite not having a lot to do in this opening episode. The music is also a delight for the ears. Honestly speaking, I felt like I was watching a mini-feature film rather than a TV series. If Ufotable and Yuki Kajiura can keep this up for the duration of the show, I might have to cave and purchase the blu-rays when they’re released.    At the end of the day, Fate/Zero appears to be a completely different beast than Fate/Stay Night was. It's much darker right from the start and makes no qualms about diving straight into the heart of the story. Of course, part of this more dramatic feel is owed to the older and more experienced characters as well as having a top class animation studio handling the production. Does this first episode meet my expectations you ask? Damn right it does. Hell, I’ll be giving this episode multiple watches before next week rolls around. And man, next week cannot come soon enough.  [Watch for free on Nico Nico]

Here we go folks. The first episode of the highly anticipated Fate/Zero has come and gone. With such big names attached the project (Ufotable, Yuki Kajiura), I’d say expectations are running pretty high. As a bit of a d...


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