Oh dear. This is what happens when a company adapts a visual novel but takes a creative approach to doing so. If you read my review of the novel, Fate/Stay has three routes: Saber’s route, Rin’s route, and Sakura’s route, or the “true” route. The majority of this show has been adapted from the Saber route of the show, but they’ve taken a very artistic approach to doing so, cutting and pasting the character development from all the unique routes…and the result is a very mismatched show.
The show very loosely focuses on the Saber route, showing the story of Saber and Shirou as they progress through the Holy Grail War. However, they take parts of some stories and ignore parts of other stories, and then just add some things in when they feel like it. And what makes this really odd? They don’t start doing this until the halfway point, sticking very rigorously to the original story for the first half.
I’m a firm believer of the “original is better”, especially when it comes to complicated stories like Fate/Stay. In this particular adaptation, they’ve removed the majority of complex elements from the complex show. The original novel was so long and so complicated because it went into detail over every single characters actions, why they acted the way they did and why the said what they did. Infact, now that those thought processes have been removed, Shirou, the main character, has turned into a horrible character, saying arrogant and ignorant things, and even being sexist towards females several times. That’s just not how someone who’s carrying a show as detailed and as complicated as this one should act.
Granted, his acts are made up for how they’ve adapted the other characters, even though they’ve changed several of their motives and reasons, the personalities are still there. You’ve got the strong female lead of Saber, you’ve got Tohsaka Rin as the alternate female lead, and you’ve got the other characters to provide backup. But sadly, the other characters are actually where some of the problems are lying. The other masters are rather bland and plain, and several servants didn’t even get a backstory or a story, they just got thrust into a fight and fight. They even butchered the main antagonist and his partner, Kirei and Gilgamesh.
The story’s nature of heroic spirits from the past fighting to obtain a single wish hasn’t been removed, it still exists and it still serves as the primary function, and there are still characters who haven’t been butchered entirely, like Lancer and Archer. But they don’t redeem the show. The show is simply a fear of stunning action, and completely fails to show the plot of Fate/Stay. If you’re interested in seeing the story of Fate/Stay, you’re better off reading the novel and watching the anime afterwards, so that you can enjoy the battles and action animated…since that’s the only area which doesn’t disappoint.
Mimi’s Score: 6 Meeps out of 10 (Fine)