Saturday, January 14, 2006

Fate/Stay Night

Before I get back to Part 2 of my MO ramblings I thought I'd share my thoughts on some new series that started airing this month.

Fate/Stay Night is probably the most anticipated series in recent memory, well, at least I think it is, given that it's talked about in most forums I've been to, and everybody seems to be blogging it. Don't believe me? Check out Anime Blog Toshokan or the Animeblogger Antenna and either scroll down for the past week or do a search for Fate Stay Night.
Anyway, SOP for this. SPOILERS AHEAD. Check elsewhere for screencaps, summaries and most likely, more informed commentary. (Hint: look at the last paragraph.)
So FSN started out life as a game by TypeMoon, the same people who brought us Tsukihime. Not being a gamer I don't know the proper terminology (eroge, H-game, visual novel, or ren-ai), but basically one of the selling points of the game, I presume, is that you get to have sex with the female characters along the way.
Which got me to thinking about this trend of making mainstream anime series from eroge. (I've decided I'm going to use this term, distinctions and subtle differences be damned. ;) As a corollary, Zyl and I had a brief discussion on a somewhat similar theme in the comments section on his post for episode 5 of another eroge conversion, Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito.
Often lost in the translation from one medium to the other is the sex, which for some games, just transforms them into run of the mill harem anime, so in a lot of respects it's a step down. For others, the story is usually strong enough to survive without the sex, but often doesn't live up to the hype that hardcore fans of the game promulgate.
I'm putting Tsukihime, Air and Kanon into this latter category, all the stories were entertaining and decent, but it certainly didn't inspire the kind of awe in me that Evangelion did, nor were they craptacular enough for me to rant about like GSD, or inspire the kind of over-obsession to write 3000+ word speculative histories like Mai Otome. (Though Fred Gallagher of Megatokyo fame clearly cites Kanon as inspiration for Megatokyo.)
So you can look at this in a couple of ways: 1) I just don't get it, (which is a distinct possibility, I admit) or 2) the stories just aren't as good as the fans think they are. (This second point would probably get me flamed if anyone actually read this blog, so I guess I should count my blessings. ;)
Anyway, getting back to FSN finally, my curiosity was intially sparked by the proliferation of RinXSaber doujinshi and fanart, so as the potential yuri angle is always a major draw for me, I downloaded the raw. The first episode was good, but it wasn't quite clear what was going on. So I did some research, first to Wikipedia, which lead me to The Moonlit World a fan site with synopses of the the different iterations of the game. Armed with my new knowledge, I realized that the yuri potential dropped considerably from what the plethora of RinXSaber stuff among the fans had led me to believe, but I'll continue to watch to see if the story sucks me in.
I remember thinking that Tsukihime would have probably been better served by being longer than 13 episodes, there was clearly more story than what they had budgeted for and I think the series suffered as a result. So, if FSN is similarly interesting and complex as Tsukihime, then I'm certainly open to watching the rest of the series, regardless of whether there is any actually RinXSaber, though that would make me happy.

(NOTE: Found the above image using Google Image Search on "Fate Stay Night." If it's yours and you don't want me to use it, let me know.)


Anonymous Mellow RG said...

How about option 3) an adaptation is rarely as good as the original work it is based on.

I agree though, that to this day, I have yet to be completely satisfied with a galgame anime. I guess the closest would be Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, but then again I AM a sucker for oversymbolic melodrama.

The first 2 episodes of Fate show promise, though. Furthermore this is scheduled for a full season 24+ episode and the script writter of the original work is closely involved.

Sun Jan 15, 04:30:00 AM EST  
Blogger Serge said...

Yes, I saw that they had a longer show to work with, just forget to mention that. Hopefully, that translates into a better story.

Sun Jan 15, 12:08:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The moonlit world is a good site, providing detailed info on the characters, game rules and servant status (which if you already read means you have been almost spoiled silly). One gripe I have is that their description on the storylines are somewhat glossed over and towards the author bias. I wonder if people actually knew that the 3 storylines are kinda au to each other and nothing is really what it seemed? Also,a good part of the intros were the bullet points of Rin's pov, not shirou's and Rin was REALLY pissed at getting archer instead of saber unlike the calm way by which she simply accepts it in the anime. To quote you, "the pletora of rin/saber stuff fans led you to believe" is real, at least from all folks I spoke to who actually played the game.Rin/saber is half-cannon in the first storyline to almost full blown cannon in the second one(ultimate blade works)-Rin REALLY likes and wants her saber.There is also another coupling you might want to look out for which is Rider(the hot cyclops chick with chains in ep 6 anime)/Sakura.To quote info taken from a forum: Rider is shinji's servant in storyline 1- Gets killed off quick in storyline 2- Is Sakura's servant and gets to live with her in the end in storyline 3. She was extremely loyal to sakura. Once sakura had to use a command spell to force her to protect Shirou but DESPITE it Rider still managed to help sakura not out of loyalty but because she loved her and didn't want to see her get hurt. Now the thing is whether the anime is gonna put them all in or not. Rumor has it that the anime is gunning for the first storyline which doesn't bode too good as it's more het friendly than shoujo-ai.But according to someone who actually played the game, they seem to be mixing the 3 storylines together in a way for now.I guess as to whether we will see any shoujo-ai it will be totally how the writers wish it to be. For all you know they may just totally alter the storyline later! A little thanks for allowing me to write in here. ^_^

Tue Feb 14, 01:05:00 AM EST  
Anonymous anime fan said...

It's a pretty good anime. Really good adaptation (IMHO of course). I wanted to see more Shirou x Rin :)

Tue Apr 08, 04:57:00 AM EDT  

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