Fate/Stay Night is a famous 2006 anime series produced by Typemoon, which consists of 24 episodes. The story of Fate/Stay Night(abbreviate as FSN in this review) is based on the visual novel. In ( ), a PS2 game based on FSN was also released.
The story of FSN begins when Shirou Emiya, an ordinary high school boy, who suddenly discovers himself being chosen as being one of seven “Masters” of the “Holy Grail War”. The night of his life being threatened by Lancer, one of the seven “Servants”(or ancient spirits assigned to each “Master”), Shirou is able to summon his own servant, Saber, which marks the beginning of his journey in the story. The seven servants are: Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Berserk-er, Caster, and Assassin. The winner, or the only one pair of Servant and Master survived(masters don’t have to be killed though), will get the Holy Grail and be granted one wish.
One big theme of FSN is “Sacrifice and Salvation”. In the story of FSN, the power of “magic” is the key to compete. Shirou, however, does not inherit any magical abilities besides “strengthening”. In the beginning of the story he appears vulnerable, that he often causes Saber to be in danger when he tries to act beyond his own capacity. Being an orphan survived in the fire, Shirou was adopted 10 years ago by the magician ( ), who was also a Master of the last Holy Grail War. Shirou always feels guilty for the fact that only himself being saved from the incident, so he decides to take on a path where he will save everyone else. In the first half of the story Shirou has nearly no ways to defend himself nor protect Saber, besides turning a baseball bat into a pipe, or creating a perishable pipe(laugh) when they fight the enemies together. However, Shirou eventually gets stronger and more courageous, that he is able to fight the enemies face-to-face. At one point, Shirou is even able to replicate the most powerful weapon, Excilibur, with his “imagination”. This transformation of Shirou is very inspiring, and it makes FSN a very touching piece. Shirou’s attitude is very remarkable–he is a character who is selfless and brave, even though he might start off the weakest. He has a strong will, not for himself but for others, and that’s why he is suit with the power gained through the story as a hero because Shirou uses to power to protect.
In the movie Fate/Unlimited Blade Works, we deduce that Archer(in this Holy Grail War) is essential the ideal image of Shirou’s. Shirou grew up wanting to be a “hero” who can save others or even sacrifice self to save others, thus Archer, who appears to be stronger and more mature, joined the War as a servant from the Utopia(?) in attempt to stop Shirou form taking the wrong path. Archer, like Shirou, is also good at using bow(right, that’s why he’s an “Archer”), but it’s also really interesting that he prefers swords sometimes like Shirou. Swords are a symbol of power that can slay, but also a power can be used to protect when it is used right. Shirou believes that his “sword” can be used to end the War while saving as many people as possible.
His “servant”, Saber, which is the female protagonist in FSN, therefore becomes another very significant role model in the story(Saber route). Saber started with disadvantage as Shirou does not possess any useful magic ability whereas other “masters” do. Saber is always brave no matter how strong the enemy appears to be(whom she is facing against). Saber is also very loyal to Shirou, she is very selfless that she values Shirou’s life more that her own, The conflict often occurs when they are trying to die for each other(laugh). Both of these two characters have very similar personality, the only difference is probably their background. Shirou is an orphan from the fire 10 years ago(caused by the War), and Saber was once the King Aruthur of Britian. Having regrets from having her country dis-unified, Saber joins the War in intention to go back in time and fulfill her regrets by winning the Holy Grail. it is also very interesting how Saber gets exponentially stronger along with Shirou. Saber is the user of the legendary sword, Excalibur, which represent the strongest power in the story. The battle scenes where she pulls Excalibur out are very remarkable. During the last battle Shirou and Saber are able to defeat their final enemy(this is the furthest spoiling i will do, sorry…) and Saber comes to an epiphany after all their journey.
FSN has become very well known for a very long time(well, is 5-6 years old not long enough for anime fans?). It is a great example is a battle-incorporated story. I absolutely enjoyed FSN’s anime series, watched it 3 times actually…The plot has good originality, the animation is considerably decent, the music is also decent(best OST ever, to me). But out of all the elements FSN really touches me with its big idea where people can actually dedicate and even sacrifice themselves for others’ sake. Fate/Zero by the way is also a very good piece! The story is about the previous War and the protagonist is Shirou’s father9=(who adopted him). Anyway, I recommend you guys to watch Fate series!