The first episode introduces Shirou Emiya who we see a normal teenager attending high school with his friends. There’s foreshadowing and hints thrown in the backgrounds already to show that not all is going normal around Shirou’s neighborhood. It doesn’t take long for the show to hit the supernatural realm when we see magic and otherworldly powers in Fate style.
The way the story is crafted involves the main cast, or specifically the Masters and the Servants. We already know who Shirou is but there’s also another prominent master that is introduced. Rin Tosaka, the master of Archer. For those who have seen episode 0, it’s likely that you’ve got to know her a lot more than the previous Fate franchise. Nonetheless, she comes into conflict with Shirou and the other Masters in the Holy War. The servants play prominent roles as well especially involving the infamous Saber.
Shirou represents the most human character in the series. Honest, loyal, and courageous are a few words to describe him. And although he may seem like a generic character, there’s no doubt that he can influence others. For new fans of the series, they will be delighted to find out just how much the adaptation extends beyond the movie. Characters such as Illya, Kirie, Shinji, Issei, Taiga, and Sakura are all introduced in clever ways.
The series offers variety. What that means is a balance of mood and pacing for the series to work. Taking place in a high school setting, the series also finds time to lend comedy and even realism to what could have been an all-around action flick. While this may come as a mixed bag, the series does it cleverly to build narrative with the characters. Rather than just talking, they show what the main characters’ lives are like with others. Which I think is pretty cool and a nice change of pace.
What goes around comes around and this show proves a point when it crafts its story’s relationships between characters. There’s chemistry between certain characters that can easily been such as with Shirou and Saber or him and Rin. Unfortunately, we don’t find out too much about some characters’ intentions such as priest Kirie Kotomine. But do we want to? For some, that is without certain, it is why the show will keep the audience at their feet. It makes the audience want to figure out the puzzle with the pieces.
Then, there’s also the more charming moments as some tense scenarios focuses on Shirou’s own personal perspective. There’s no doubt that he is becoming closer to Saber and the show portrays this with tiny packages of hints rather than explicit fatal attraction. Still, don’t expect much romance for the first cour of this show. Treat it more as a setup with all the key characters bought into the series like players to a game. Because honestly, this Holy War is where winner takes all.
The animation style of this series looks lavishly done whether it’s the backgrounds, character designs, or the jaw-breaking action scenes. The action itself is well coordinated and with rapid movement. In short, Ufotable outdone themselves with the budget they have.
Soundtrack also plays a pivotal role although not as strong as the artwork department. The OST is a great comeback and treat for fans who are in favor of action. Every action sells with even tiny details being incorporated with the battles. This can be easily seen such as Saber being tossed into objects, Shirou being tortured by Rider, or Rin jumping several stories to avoid Lancer’s blows. While not as fantastic as the visual realm, soundtrack is by no means a pushover.