The bulk of the positive story aspects for Fate/Stay Night are to do with its premise. Quickly in, we find that a handful of magicians are locked into a Battle Royale type of situation, and each has a unique and powerful Servant to protect them and do their combat bidding. Sounds good. And that’s why I kept watching it.
But soon into the series I found myself constantly “waiting for it to get good”. By that I mean see some sort of epic battle or event that has all this build up around it. Whenever there was a battle, it appeared to be very quick, with no real spectacular nature to it. So I assumed it was building to something greater later on. But instead, the whole series ended up being like that. It almost reminded me of the series X-TV. At every non-battle opportunity the viewer was bombarded with talk of sinister events that were going on and about to happen, and that something truly huge was just around the corner. But when it happened it was very much an anticlimax.
The Animation is done by Studio DEEN who have also made the animation for Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Fate/Stay Night suffer from the same kind of animation error like their other work wich is low quality. Despite having great character designs they make them inconsistent or plain ugly, The only characters designs which actually managed to retain some dignity are the ones of Saber and the Archer. The action scenes where pretty good overall. I especially enjoyed the “invisible sword” fights with Saber. I actually found these scenes more interesting than when Saber actually shows her sword because the animators show you the “slashes” which Saber makes but don’t show the sword which makes the scene more intense.
Fate/Stay Night leaves allot of open-ends, but this is to be expected since it can only follow one scenario from the game which has 3 parallel scenarios. They writers did a good job in trying to blend in elements from all 3 scenarios, but in the end it left more questions. Which is again, why I think the anime is only there to get you to buy the game. however, the story is original. The anime gives you detailed background information and gives you a sense that there was a time before episode one came out. I think this is an important factor in all anime. The first arc of the anime was way too drawn out compared to the other arcs. It had allot of “filler” space meaning that not much happened. The ending did indeed seemed to be rushed, in fact, all the arcs after the first arc seemed to be rushed. The Caster arc was another part of the anime trying to implement things from other scenarios, as it did not happen in the game scenario that the anime followed. The very last arc seemed a little less rushed because that about how long it was in the game.
The further the story advances, the more it will start to focus on Shirô and his Servant and the relations between them and between them and the others, the story will get eventually very psychological, this is one of the best aspects of the series: the characters.
The main characters are very convincing and won’t stay the same. So if you first think that Shirô is a Naruto-like person who is like: must get stronger in order to protect the others, then rest assured that he will change and get multidimensional. Though Sabre won’t really change a lot, you’ll be able to peek deeper inside that mind and you’ll understand the dilemma that she carries with her while taking decisions. The relations between the characters are as great as each character on its own: you’ll constantly notice ‘potential’, but things never turn out as you were hoping they would (btw, this thinking shows how hard you get drawn in the story), this suffering for the viewer is just great, and it will hit you even harder when things are getting.
Despite its short comings, I did truly enjoy every single episode of this show, through and through. Given more episodes for development, I imagine that even more people would have had my point of view.