My thoughts on Fate/Zero

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.

The Game genre

The ‘game’ genre has been becoming increasingly popular lately with anime like Accel World, Sword Art online, BTOOOM!, etc. being produced frequently. One can call it a trend by all means, because that’s what it is, considering the increasing audience these type of shows are gathering. Primarily, the game genre consists of a plot where people are involuntarily (in some cases voluntarily) dragged into a ‘world’ where their only objective is to survive and beat the game to get back to their normal lives. There are exceptions, but this is how it is in most cases. Also, some players start attacking each other and our MC comes and shows them who is boss.

Sword Art Online is an anime which has a great start and build up potential only to lose it in the subsequent episodes like the air oozing out of a punctured tyre. Frankly, the reason I view SAO as a decent anime is because of the complexity of the plot. It feels like at least they tried. When you have a complex plot, moulding it to your will (and keeping in mind that readers and viewers have to like it) proves to be a difficult task. Anime with simple plots are easier to make, take usagi drop for example. Its creators did a fantastic job of course. But throughout the series, nothing much happened. It’s a slow paced slice of life anime and it is supposed to be like that but my point is: it’s much simpler to deal with less intricate plots. Once you get tangled in the complexity, it’s difficult to navigate through it and tie up all the loose ends once you are out of it. That’s what separate the good from the great stories. The ability to wield complexity.

Speaking of plots, there are ones that dictate the rules of a game like Log Horizon and SAO. Also, there are ones wherein players develop and discover new rules as they go (a good example would be No game No life). No Game No Life was more focused on a more practical way of introducing the plot where they didn’t dwell into every detail right from the beginning. Viewers were supposed to take in what was going on during a particular scene as is (instead of applying logic). This can be understood because the creators never intended for the story to be sci-fi, as a result they did not have to tie up loose ends in that domain. They wanted a story which solely had the following: setting followed by a genius strategy. Its 12 episodes were more entertaining than either of LH and SAO (25 episodes). I was curious about what new things I will get to see in the world they were in and of course blank’s genius tactics. There is no denying that they could not possibly explain every tiny detail, but all we knew was that there were 16 races which resembled the chess pieces on each side of a game of chess and that the whole earth was covered by them. There were 10 rules, one god. Pretty much nothing else. Video game based anime had a fixed set of rules that viewers couldn’t possible be surprised by much, since we are acquainted with the setting beforehand. On top of that a video game based anime cannot be lax with their rules, that’s what games are all about right?

One reason that has come to my notice as to why some anime lose their ‘fun factor’ is because they get DEAD serious. Yes, people died. Not that such a plot should become taboo. SAO did a good job with its seriousness for the first few episodes. They should have deviated to being more fun and friendly in the later episodes. Instead, they highlighted selfishness, revenge and killing without reason. Not good. Same with BTOOOM! Instead of being a strategy anime, it turned out to be barbaric death ground. Even the characters were terrible. I really wish I hadn’t watched that. Ha! By the way, Log Horizon feels all the more better to watch because we needn’t worry about our favourite characters dying. With staying alive not the first thing on their mind, the story progressed well. This has been very well thought of, and I am impressed making LH one of the good anime I’ve seen. Need I say anything about NGNL? 😉

I’ll be honest with you, during the time I had just begun LH, it felt like I had covered more episodes than I really had. For example, once I finished the 6th one, it felt like I had completed 9-10. Not because it seemed long and boring but because it felt as if they covered so much in one episode that had it been another anime, the same amount of coverage would have taken a greater number of them. While watching, I thought if it keeps up this kind of awesomeness, I’ll give it a 10 :3

“An anime is as good as its characters”
We need cute girls! Haha 😀
This is where NGNL and LH showed their true colours.
I’ve seen plotless anime which had a strength only in character development and their general nature. Sakurasou is of that kind. After finishing it I was like, the person who created this has fantastic potential to create even better work! Sakurasou is a good example of making something out of nothing. Hajime Kamoshida is a genius. Characters are central to anime or any kind of entertainment of that matter. You become attached to them. Some even fall for them (I have a thing for red headed girls :P) and once the anime gets over, we miss them. You know why watching anime makes us feel better? Mainly because of them 🙂
NGNL and LH have both great characters and stories. If you haven’t watched them yet, whatchu waitin’ for 😉

Anime Review – BECK

Everybody loves music! All of us listen to music, some of us can play covers. There are a few who compose… Ever thought of starting a band of your own?
Oh yeah?
Then BECK will be your ‘The Thing’.

BECK (The Mongolian Chop Squad) is an anime of the music genre like no other. Passion has truly been seen in the making. Except for their low budget on the animation, the anime is sound. Animation plays a big role in making an anime interesting as you all know. Even then, BECK has quite stood out from the crowd. It has a great storyline, and I am sure if the animation quality would have been even slightly better, it would be one of the best anime out there. For the same reason, it is a bit overlooked too.

A little praise… BECK has a more or less high school plot with crushes, fighting and bullying, etc. MC sure is a natural at music and his temperament makes this show even more enjoyable. He is a very reasonable person. His bandmates on the other hand are eccentric esp. Chiba who I thought was quite funny. The music was great, honestly. I’m not sure whether I liked the OP or ED more. Maybe the ED, just a lil’ bit…

BECK turned out to be a good show, but it seriously could have been just 12 episodes long. Cut all the mafia parts and boring drama. In a way the number of episodes helped it to get the viewer feel passing of time as our MC got better and better at playing and singing. It’s nice how they kept close attention to minute details. Also, the way characters entered the MC’s life and how they exited were done well. Never again did we see Izumi! But that was just weird. Why wouldn’t he see her even though she went through all the trouble of finding Maho and telling her that there was nothing going on between her and Yukio.

I often found some friends on an anime group comparing Kids on the Slope (one of the best anime of 2012. I gotta review that soon…). Sakamichi no Apollon (same thing) is a josei anime and their main focus is on the drama whereas the music is not that highlighted. I couldn’t have got an inspiration to play an instrument by watching Kids on the Slope. But I did get that feeling after I watched BECK. Kids on the Slope was just 12 episodes long but the timeframe was much longer than in BECK, but that was only due to the last episode. Well, enough with kids on the slope. You guys should watch it if you haven’t yet.

BECK had a ton of drama. Well, they couldn’t talk about music forever 😉
But it was enjoyable nevertheless, even for the characters. Yukio had a genial character which made him pretty popular among girls. There is some love rivalry, but we all knew who was going to win. Their band had extremely talented members and good chemistry. So, as long as problems stayed out of their way, they were going to become big. But problems are always there…

Maho was cool, but she got on my nerves sometimes because she hung out with that other jerk. But girls are players, can’t be helped. Koyuki (his name in the dub, fir some reason it’s different) played his part well in the love rivalry. It felt absolutely normal watching it in the anime. I must admit, that I like at least one girl from every anime I watch. Not sure I can say the same about this one. Probably one reason is because none of the girls get a lot of screen time. Another plausible reason is that I would like Koyuki to keep Maho for himself. It’s rare for me to like teen boy MCs, who often screw around with girls and stuff. This guy however, is serious about music and loves playing in the band…

The premise is small comparatively, don’t expect too many of unexpected people to pop up every now and then. There’s some politics that was played by Ryuuske’s rival’s band manager, and by that mafia guy. An anime of this sort cannot have a large premise, if it does though, you have to be really good at shaping the plot the way you want it to go instead of circumstances in the story to lead you to making decisions. BECK is about the band and the MC. Those are the two things that stand out in my memory clearly.