Or else it would be, if I didn’t have people expecting first impressions!
The thing is absolutely beautiful. Character designs are nice and sharp, backgrounds and ‘special effects’ are incredibly well-done. Screenshots, similar to the case with C3, do not do it justice. It’s that good. The music in particular is atmospheric as all hell and I cannot wait until I find the OST. The track that plays during the summoning of the Servants is absolute musical brilliance.
As for the story, I have no idea how close it is to the original novel (which shouldn’t matter anyway, but that’s not the point). What I do have an idea about is how much it expects you to go in knowing. It explains things nicely, don’t get me wrong. I mean, an entire scene with Waver, a disgruntled magical academy student who joins the fight to show up his professor, explains pretty much what the entire Holy Grail Wars are about. It doesn’t bog you down with a lot of unneeded details, either.
However, that doesn’t mean that you’ll get the full experience if you go in without experiencing Fate/Stay Night. A certain scene, while invoking a feeling of ‘oh god why?’ on its own, becomes absolutely terrifying when you connect it to the original characters. It’s interesting to see familiar characters during the last War, as well. If nothing else, read up on the visual novel, then watch this.
I also have to give a huge thumbs up to whoever wrote the dialogue and directed the scenes. There’s a particular bit where Kotomine Kirei and Emiya Kiritsugu are researching one another and listing off their thoughts. The scene jumps back and forth between the two talking about each other. I don’t know why, but that strikes me as a really good way to pull that off.
Speaking of Fate/Stay Night, at least in the sense of the anime series, this is infinitely darker. I don’t want to say too much, because there’s no fun in spoiling things, but… I’m a pretty hard to faze kind of guy. Guro and other weird crap do nothing to me (although I don’t go looking for them, either). But this… This had a couple of moments where I had to say ‘okay, I need a short break,’ pause the OVA, then go outside for a bit. It’s pretty awful.
All in all, this has me excited. If each episode is about 45 minutes of sheer ufotable/TYPE-MOON goodness, I can die a happy man. Definitely, definitely give this one a watch, but read up on Fate/Stay Night if you’re completely new to the series. Anyhoo, that’s it for the moment! Stay tuned throughout the week for more first impressions (and other fun stuff) as I get around to watching them. Thanks for reading and have a good’un.