The Series (3.5/5)
It took a little bit of work on my part to get into Fate/Stay Night. The series is an interesting anime series based on a Japanese Visual Novel. For those unfamiliar with the form Visual Novels are interactive reading experiences akin to the American "Choose Your Own Adventure Series," with a more firm basic in A/V tech. The Series Fate/Stay Night both in the visual novel form and in the anime series follows a group called the "Magi" who are fighting in an event called the Holy Grail War. The series follows one particular of the visual novels paths.
Fate/Stay Night as stated previously is based on a classic 2004 visual novel, and first appeared on TV in Japan in 2006. It was imported to the US on DVD in 2007 in single volume sets, and finally was released by Funimation in complete form in 2008 and 2009. We now have a complete Blu-ray from Sentai Filmworks in 2014.
The series was animated by Studio Deen of Samurai Deeper Kyo/Rurouni Kenshin fame. The episodes have a more computer animated look to them, that works for the series, but is certainly of it's time, even though the series is only 8 years old. The series does have a slow start as the action begins to build, but after episode 12 things begins to get quite a bit more exciting, so for viewers who are having trouble with the early episodes it does pick up in the last half considerably.
The main character of the story is Shirou Emiya, whose magi father died when he was just a boy and before he could even begin to pass his own skills down to Shirou. This leaves his son in a difficult position when he is attacked one night at school, and finds himself thrust into the Holy Grail War. This conflict will require Magi skills that he barely has. Shirou manages to summon a servant, who will fight on his behalf Saber through the conflict, but although Saber is strong with blade his lack of experience will prove difficult to overcome.
Sentai Filmworks presents Fate/Stay Night in an AVC encoded 1080i transfer preserving the original 1:78:1 aspect ratio of the series. The series looks quite decent with colors popping, and fine detail being similar good throughout. I did notice some issues with banding, and some minor softness, which might be either an aspect inherent in the production or a sign that this is an older master.
The audio is presented in 2 forms. There are 2 DTS-HD MA 2.0 tracks one in English, the other Japanese. Both are quite suitable for the purpose of viewing the show, but I primarily for my viewing stuck to the Japanese language track. The dialogue, score, and effects came through strong, and I could not hear any issues such as pops, cracks, or hissing on the track.
No extras have been provided for this release.
Fate/Stay Night is a bit slow to get going, but once it begins to unfold it becomes a fun, exciting anime. The A/V is not perfect, and there is a distinct lack of extras on the release, however it is a quality show, and combined with the decent A/V Fate/Stay Night the Complete Collection Blu-ray comes Recommended.