Fate/zero is the kind of anime I wouldn’t recommend as a starter. For some people though, it would serve as a good starter anime but not for everyone. Anime that are good starters often have a hit-and-run kind of entertainment. They tease the viewer enough for them to start liking it, and just as they begin to ‘love’ it, it gets over. Then it is the viewer’s turn to beg for more. Again, opinions may differ. A viewer with more taste and experience will probably like different titles than a person who hasn’t had much exposure to media. However, there are titles which have a general consensus of being truly great. Fate/zero is an anime which comes very close to that mark.
As for the first few episodes the viewer is introduced to the concept. We are sucked in by its sheer complexity and creativity. The concept of FZ is one of the best ones I have ever come across. It is beautifully crafted plots like these that enable us to ignore the small flaws an anime has. It is not just the plot though, it’s animation, music and characters provide viewers the perfect ambience suited to the story. It’s all about the ‘feeling’ in this anime, forged by people with stellar experience and a wide vision.
But like you said in the review, there is a lot of unnecessary bloodshed and children being killed for joy. While at the same time you will find more talks about honour than any other anime you have come across. “What makes a true king?”
FZ could have done without Caster and his master. Also, even assasin was very weak (even in character) compared to others. Their prescence added little or nothing to such a magnificent concept’s aura. Felt like a waste, to be honest. I would like to add, even berserker seemed to be like a mad dog (just the way Gilgamesh reffered to him). Not a good character, peeps :3
If there would have been a preqel to this which was normal in every sense, had great characters and the victor won the holy grail which granted his wish, Fate/Zero would be the infamous second season. My favourite character is Saber. I also liked Lancer, rider and his master, and Gilgamesh for being true to his code as a king. Some good characters were killed soon like Lancer and Gilgamesh’s first master and the show had to run with the remaining few. FZ is an example of a story where a good and complex plot was not covered by a sheath of simplicity.