I’m tired and I have a fever. With nothing else to do, I decided to break down Fate/Zero negative reviews, since they usually have trash reasons for hating it. Unfortunately it seems that most of the reviews that I remember have been deleted ( as expected from MAL as usual). Leaving literally only one negative review that is long enough to be broken apart. And this is that review:
“For the love of Holy Grail, if you have never watched anything from Fate/Stay Night franchise under any circumstances DO NOT watch Fate/Zero first! I’ll hold an even stronger statement – don’t watch it at all. I’ve just made this grievous mistake, because I had listened to advice given on youtube by several self-proclaimed anime gurus. And now how pissed I am! Sheesh!”
Just from this first paragraph, it is already obvious enough that the writer of this review is the typical idiot who lets himself be hyped up by the anime community, youtubers in this case. He went into Fate/Zero with unnecessary expectations and got disappointed as a result. My words on expectation and disappointment strike true as always.
“I am aware this warning and review will probably fall on deaf ears, because of the way unfavorable reviews are treated by MAL users.”
At least he is right about the shitty treatment of Mal and their crappy moderation system, so I can sympathize with him on some level, but I cannot forgive him the fact that his entire review lacks critical thinking and is done from an entirely subjective and biased perspective of someone who was hyped up for this show.
“Let me elaborate on my background – when I started to watch this series I knew only that Fate/Zero is prequel, supposedly much superior to its successor. And that it was written by the same guy who wrote Madoka Magica. I knew nothing about characters, basic premises and how this story ends. So it will be easier for creators to impress me, immerse me in their fantastical world and make me care for what happens. Or so I thought. Oh boy, how I was wrong.”
1/3rd of the review gone, and you only talked about your own expectation and disappointment so far, good job. The fact that it was written by the same person who wrote Madoka Magica only hyped him up more, due to the fact that the said anime is one of his favorites, so it would be highly unusual for him to not raise some expectations towards a work that was made by the same person. (I also seriously have to question his taste and his credibility on whats a good anime if he rated the convoluted mess that is Madoka with a score of 10). Either way he says that “it will be easier for the creators to impress me”, which is bullshit since he already made that harder for himself by having expectations!
“This anime has massive flaws in its narrative. And it is not even the main story itself – it’s of course ridiculous but it would eventually do. However the pacing of it is atrocious.”
The guy makes Claim A: “There are Massive Flaws in the narrative.” A good reviewer would proceed to immediately back up his claim by presenting facts and evidence that support his claims, like pointing out how the narrative has massive flaws in this case, but not him, he immediately moves onto another claim instead of developing his earlier one, which is how we arrive at Claim B: “The Pacing of Fate/Zero is atrocious.”
“The anime disguises itself as interesting in its first 5 episodes“
How would an anime disguise itself as interesting? Interest doesn’t come directly from the anime, it comes from within you, interest is one of your possible reactions to a show, if you felt interested in the first 5 episodes, it wasn’t because the show “cheated” somehow and pretended to be interesting, no it was because you actually found it to be interesting, even if it was only for the first 5 episodes. Boredom, Entertainment, Interest, Excitement, Arousal etc. Are just emotions that a show can try to invoke within its audience, but it won’t necessarily succeed as it entirely depends on the viewers tastes, mood and experiences, which are factors that can greatly vary.
“There is some introduction, then almost right off the bat we hop into a duel between characters.”
What some introduction? Was 5 episodes, perhaps not enough for you? It was already 1/5 of the show, especially since the first episode was 40 minutes long! This is way more introduction than what most anime have. Also you can’t claim “right off the bat” if the said duel only happens at episode 5, you would say that at episode 1 or maybe at episode 2, but it is no longer valid starting episode 3, because its not right off the bat, 136 minutes have already passed! That is 2 hours, which is more than sufficient for a series to start off a conflict.
“And then… then almost nothing happens for the next 8 episodes.”
You first complain about the action being too fast, then you complain about the action being too slow. Make up your mind, please. Also “nothing” is a gross exaggeration, the premise for the drama that was used in the second part of the series was built up here, characters were fleshed out, characters were allowed to form relationships with each other and express their ideals and views, you can’t call it useless or nothing. Or what did you expect this to be some mindless action series, or did you expect it to have some episodely battles like Madoka had?
“Ok, maybe I’m somewhat unfair, there were some skirmishes, though utterly insignificant. “
I guess he finds any battle where the characters don’t die to be utterly insignificant, as expected of a fan of Madoka Magica. It was exactly these early skirmishes that built up the relationship between Rider and Waver, Rider and Saber, Lancer and Saber (Hell their entire relationship is about wanting to settle their fight honorably, which turned into friendship in the second part) It was also here when we were shown the fragments of personality from various characters, as it has been said before, “A Person’s true nature can be deduced based on how he approaches the battlefield and how he acts in combat.” It was here where we learned that Lancer’s and Saber’s master were both willing to discard honour in order to win, it was here where the arrogance of Gilgamesh shined, it was here where it was first hinted that Berserker was Sir Lancelot, due to his fixation on Arthuria. It was also here that Gilgameshes’ “interest” in Berserker began.
“Then around second half something indeed started to happen – but it was still interrupted by All Talk episodes.”
The characters have lengthy dialogues in a fucking drama!!?? Jesus Christ, how horrifying.
“(I still get shivers remembering an episode containing conversation between certain priest and Gilgamesh)”
Another evidence that he was only watching this show for the action and the pretty colours, seeing he gets PTSD episodes from the parts containing dialogue.
“And, don’t you have wrong impression – I’m not some action junkie.”
That’s pretty much what you made yourself to be so far, and I’m 2/4 finished of your review.
“I was annoyed simply because discussion and character development episodes were just criminally uninteresting. It’s beyond describable how one doesn’t care for virtually any of the characters in this story. Given how much time the anime spends on exposing their back-stories and motivations it is fail of epic proportions.”
He cannot describe it because he is just talking from his own subjective perspective. The reason he doesn’t say anything is because he most likely knows that whatever he would say would be completely subjective and wouldn’t have any merit outside of his own personal viewpoint, so he avoids making this mistake by simply calling it “beyond describable”. He isn’t even arguing that the characters are bad, he is just arguing that they are uninteresting, which is something that is completely subjective to the person watching the show, like a critic, a reviewer should try to approach any material from the most possible objective viewpoint, yet this guy doesn’t even try that. Also notice how he takes this tone, as if he was speaking for everyone or for a large group of people when he is saying his sentences instead of just his own opinions, which makes him seem arrogant and conceited.
“It is partially because this whole exposition is handled very poorly.”
Just because you didn’t like it, doesn’t mean it is handled poorly. If you want to bash the exposition then find objective reasons to do so. Here let me illustrate: One of the major flaws of Fate/Zero’s exposition is that it focuses too much on certain characters (Emiya and Kotomine) while it focuses too little on others (Kayneth, Kariya), making it predictable who will stay until the end of the show and leading to uneven character development. Was that so hard? No it wasn’t, you are just incompetent.
“After the whole show I still don’t understand e. g. what is the actual cause of intense rivalry between main protagonist and main antagonist.”
Either you were fully asleep at this point or you just didn’t care to pay attention as it was quite evident and simple that Kiritsugu Emiya and Kotomine Kirei are two sides of the same coin. Both are pragmatic killers who do anything to achieve their goals, the only difference in the beginning is that Kiritsugu has ideals while Kotomine lacks them, Kotomine immediately notices the similarity between him and Kiritsugu but also can’t understand him due to his lack of ideals, which is why he is frustrated. It is not until Kirei is corrupted by Gilgamesh (You know the part you said that was fucking boring to the point of sending you shivers) that Kirei becomes the polar opposite of Kiritsugu. Emiya is the killer who fights for “good”, someone who is willing to sacrifice others in order to save the world, while Kotomine wishes to bring death and suffering upon the world as he learned to enjoy it thanks to Gilgamesh. But these feelings weren’t just suddenly pulled out of nowhere by Gilgamesh, no they were always inside Kirei, he just tried to suppress and deny them to his religious beliefs. Naturally these two cannot coexist so it was inevitable that they would face off with each other.
Kirei is the villain or “monster” to Kiritsugu’s “superhero”.
“Additionally narrative is prone to raise some significantly-looking issue (or character) and then to drop it for long or even forever. “
Once more the reviewer makes a claim yet doesn’t gives any explanation or example as to what it is. What issue or character was raised? We will never know because the reviewer doesn’t know how to review.
“And there is this most important issue, which even one character in the story (Gilgamesh I suppose) noticed – how abysmally dull are most of these characters’ motivations. It makes you automatically yawn at the mere sight of them.”
Gilgamesh is literally a demigod who has seen everything that the world has to offer, of course he wouldn’t be amused by our boring modern times and people that came after him. What I find strange here though is that you have the same boredom as the said demigod. In Fate/Zero we have almost a dozen “player characters” that take an important role in the story and each have their own motivations and reasons for fighting, so I find it odd that you cannot find at least one character that you can identify with, relate to or otherwise sympathize with. We have save the world (Kiritsugu), redeeming the mistakes of the past (Saber), saving someone dear to you (Kariya), chivalry and honour (Lancer), personal redemption (Berserker), Conquest (Iskandar), Self Growth and proving oneself to be worthy in the society they belong to (Waver Velvet) etc. I especially find it weird that you couldn’t find Kariya to be interesting seeing he is essentially the same as Homura Akemi from Madoka Magica, a character that you have on your goddamned favourite list( even though she is literally just a plot device character). Both Kariya and Homura sacrifice their own well being in order to save the one that they care about Madoka/Sakura and that is what defines them as characters, but I guess the fact that Kariya wasn’t a loli made him unappealing to you.
” There are some events which simulate plot twists, but there are all so boring and the reasons for them so contrived they are not something to speak of. “
Once more the writer refuses to elaborate and delve into what these events are, so there is nothing to break down for me.
“In other words – it’s impossible for a viewer to care if character X treacherously kills character Y, when you couldn’t care less neither for X nor for Y.”
Sounds like a personal problem rather than anything else. Sure you can say that it is the show’s fault for failing to make you care, but then I can just grab any of the thousand fate fanboys who will say the opposite of your words. They watched the same series as you did, and unlike with you, the show has managed to make them care about its characters. And due to your subjectivistic viewpoint you won’t be able to deny them since their opinion will worth the same as yours. Another example of why subjectivist reviewers are cancer, they can’t even defend or validate their opinions.
“Ok, so maybe at least fight scenes redeem the show? No! Most of them are astonishingly anti-climactic, including two of the three final ones.”
I actually agree with this one as many fights are actually anti climactic, especially Kiritsugu vs Kotomine and Gilgamesh for simply being overpowered. But the show redeems itself by resolving other conflicts through scheming, stealth and assassinations rather than mandatory direct conflicts that many anime tend to favour.
“BTW not only fights are anti-climactic. So is the ending, concluded thanks to idiotic Diabolus ex Machina. “
It’s not a true Machina if its existence was previously hinted to or otherwise foreshadowed to. But I agree that the ending is anti-climactic and that comes from the fact and the necessity that this was a prequel to Stay/Night. But I can appreciate it due to the fact that it focused on Kiritsugu losing pretty much everything he fought for and believed in, thus a great tragedy occurred. Kiritsugu couldn’t have been deconstructed as he had been if the show was not bound by the laws of a prequel.
“And after having watched this I saw juvenile shounen-like Fate/Stay Night anime series from 2006.”
Fate/Stay Night is a seinen not a shounen, not only you lack critical thinking but you can’t even do basic research. I expected this much from a MALtard as they don’t even know what is shounen/seinen etc. And I doubt that this guy is any different.
“Yes, 2006 anime is cliched. “
Not only it is clichéd, and it has terrible execution, production values but it also butchered the original source material. Though even with that, it still isn’t as bad as 2015 Ufotable version.
“Its stereotypical high-school protagonist whines too much.”
The fact that he gave you such an impression proves that Studio DEEN completely failed at adapting his character.
“Hell, the whole coming-of-mage plot is ultra generic.”
Not even the plot or anything important in Stay/Night.
“And yes, it’s more light-hearted. But still I liked it more, even though I was spoiled by prequel. The creators of F/Zero failed to notice that it’s not enough to be “darker and edgier” to have a good plot and interesting characters. “
It’s called consistency, something which Stay/Night lacked as it mixed romantic and harem elements with all that was going on. (While completely leaving out the fact that originally it was also supposed to be under the mystery genre oops, nobody cares about that, harem elements and light hearted comedy are clearly more important.) Fate/Zero unlike Stay Night stayed true to its mood, atmosphere and story throughout the whole show.
“The art part of the anime is only thing in which creators didn’t fail. “
Wrong. Ufotable noticeably ran out of budget in the first half of the show as they spent it all on animating the more costly effects (ionian hetarioi for example), the animation and art became worse after even to the average viewer’s eye, especially when it came to the characters. Ufotable repeated this mistake in the Fate Stay Night 2015 as well.
“Although the story deserves clear zero points, animation, sound and the fact that Saber is always fully-clothed wind up the total score to 4/10 (or 3/10 for first season alone). “
And this is where it is shown that our reviewer has no idea about how scoring works or how he is supposed to score as a critic. Scores are meant to be comparative. Comparative to what? You might ask. To other fucking anime. You look at every anime and decide what the average anime is like before beginning any scoring. Naruto is an average battle-shounen, Slayers is an average shlock adventure, To Aru no Majutsu is an average light novel shit, all 5. Now that you got the average, you look at whether the show is below or above average. After you are done with that you look at how much farther it is from the average anime, and thus push it closer towards either 10 or 0 based upon your judgement. It is quite obvious that Fate/Zero cannot be below a score of 6/10 as a minimum due to the fact that its nothing like the average fucking anime. And no characters, story and plot also have to be done comparatively as well, look at the average anime once more, then look at the cast of the average anime. Surely even you must see that Fate/Zero has a better cast and story than let’s say Naruto. Thus it should naturally be higher on the list, somewhere on 7/10 or so.
My personal addition to this scoring system is that the average is always shit , it is my firm and unshakable belief that 95% of everything is shit, 95% of books, movies, cartoons, anime, manga, visual novels, music, drawings are simply shit. Therefore if I score something below 5 it means that its below shit, which is exactly how we arrive at scoring the review of this guy.
Presentation: As it should be clear from the picture below our writer here wasted 1/3 of the review (marked with a blue) by telling us about his expectation and disappointment and what mindset he went into watching Fate/Zero with, it doesn’t have much to do with actual reviewing, but it helps us understand his viewpoint on why he hates this show so much. The section encircled by red marks how much sentences are actually spent on reviewing Fate/Zero, as you can see only 1/3 of review is actually about reviewing, Jesus Christ. The last third is one half comparison to Fate Stay Night (yellow) and one half Conclusion (pink). 3/10
Writing: Not really exciting or humorous to read, nor is it informative, the reviewer is below average in terms of writing skills but average as far as the reviewers on MAL are concerned as most of them are equally bad, he also had a few grammatical mistakes, so this makes a score of 5/10
Reasoning: His entire reasoning can be summed up as “I did not enjoy it=its shit.” It’s not like he says anything actually worthwhile as all of his reasoning are based on something subjective rather than something factual or concrete that can be properly analyzed. 0/10
Tone: He has a slightly noticeable arrogant and condescending tone, probably meant towards those who like the series. He also likes to emphasize multiple times that you should stay away and not watch the show most likely due to his personal disappointments, but that is once more not objective, so that makes a score of 3/10.
Review: Doesn’t even go into detail enough to be called an actual review. 0/10
And with this I give this shitty review a generous score of 3/10. What a complete waste of time.