Fate/Stay Night: Another Way to Look at Things

It’s a story you’ve seen countless times before: Five powerful individuals are called together to battle for a magical object that will grant them incredible power. With such a “creative” plot, and promises of action, magic and a forgettable protagonist, the overall prognosis for Fate/Stay Night would seem rather dim.

And, to be fair, if you absolutely detest fighting anime, it will probably remain so. If there’s more than one episode that doesn’t include at least one fairly major battle between two or more of the magicians and their “servants” (summoned spirits that take the form of heroes and villains from various mythologie), I can’t recall it.

That said, it’s not your typical fighting anime either. The battles aren’t planned, victory doesn’t hinge on one character or another suddenly discovering a new move that they’ve never seen before (with one exception), and when someone dies, they stay dead.

For all that the story has been done so often, however, Fate/Stay Night manages to approach it from a fresh angle. The show has a dark, fatalistic tone that is only occasionally broken for bits of humor or romance (if you’ve seen Lunar Legend Tsukihime or any other show based on a fighting-centric H-game, you’ll understand the basic ratio). The art, while a bit too “clean” to get top marks, is nonetheless interesting, and the music is, generally, more than acceptable.

If you take everything into account, this is a pretty average show. The characters are likeable and the storyline is engrossing, but you can guess how it’s going to turn out more than half the time. In fact, the only time you get a real surprise about who’s behind something is when the story pulls something completely out of left field that you couldn’t have begun to guess ahead of time.

With that in mind, if you like fighting shows that actually justify the fighting, this show could very well be for you. I know I certainly enjoyed it!