Fate/Zero

Fate/Zero

Fate/Zero Cover Art featuring Saber (Altria)
Fate/Zero Cover Art

Overview

All right, so here we are with another installment of the Fate series. I previously wrote about Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (UBW) which is either the sequel to Fate/Zero or it’s the first one and Zero is a prequel. I have no idea, but Fate/Zero comes first chronologically.

As we know from UBW, there are seven unique classes of servant in the Fate series. Those classes are Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Caster, Assassin, and Berserker. While those classes are familiar to us from before, that doesn’t mean the heroic spirits attributed to them are the same.

Putting the classes aside for now, the general plot this time around is the Holy Grail War that came the generation before the one in UBW. Instead of Shirou Emiya being the main character, his adoptive father Kiritsugu Emiya is the main character.

Anything past this point is probably going to contain spoilers for both Zero and UBW so keep that in mind if you haven’t seen either series.


**Spoilers Ahead**

Issues

The first issue I want to talk about is the relationship between Zero and UBW. I watched UBW first, but some people watch Zero first. That’s all fine, but the real issue is that no matter which one you watch first, the other one gets spoiled.

For example, in UBW the identity of Saber is supposed to be a mystery with some big reveal towards the second half if I remember correctly. However, if you watched Zero first then you already know everything you need to about who Saber is because it’s the same Saber. I don’t believe she tries to hide her identity at all from the viewers in Zero.

Hiding the identity of Saber from the viewers in UBW only makes sense if you’re assuming the viewers are watching UBW before Zero. On the other side, if you watched UBW first like I did, then you already know how Zero ends and who the winner of that Holy Grail War is.

Now I know you’re probably thinking, “oh, well spoiling the ending of Zero seems like a bigger deal than spoiling the identity of Saber so you should just watch Zero first.” Well you’d be right if that was the only thing Zero spoils for UBW, but there’s more.

The fact that there’s a second Archer in UBW is supposed to be some big reveal that changes everything, but if we watched Zero we already know there’s a second Archer and we know exactly who it is.

That’s all I’ll say about the relationship issues between these two entries in the series, because this review is supposed to be mainly about Zero after all. So why don’t we look at the servants themselves next?

Most of the servants are fairly straight forward, but then there’s Assassin. Now I know that I just mentioned this is about Zero, but UBW also had something strange happening with Assassin which you can read about here. This time around, however, we learn that there is a “True” Assassin

What does this mean when I say there’s a “True” Assassin? Well it means exactly what it sounds like, there’s actually only one real heroic spirit attributed to the Assassin class and all the others are fake. Dumb, I know.

Why would you make all these other Assassins throughout all the other entries in the series and decide they’re all actually fake? It goes against everything that was set up as the basic rules of the Holy Grail War, but that’s nothing new for the Fate series as we already know. Breaking its own rules is just standard by this point.

Saber (Altria) vs. Lancer (Diarmuid Ua Duibhne)
Saber vs. Lancer

Conclusion

I rated Zero the same as I rated UBW, 7/10. For me, they’re both fairly similar, but Zero might be slightly better. Also as for which you should watch first, that’s up to you. As I laid out, there are drawbacks to watching either one first so as far as I’m concerned there’s no right choice.

This wasn’t the first Fate entry I’ve reviewed and it won’t be the last. Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya will probably be next and we may even start to dabble in anime game reviews which means Fate/Grand Order could be coming as well.

Finally, because it would have taken me more than 15 seconds to find a good version of OP 1, here‘s the second OP for Fate/Zero.

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