Fate/Stay Night Review

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Fate/Stay Night Review

Unread postby Miraploy » December 3rd, 2008, 1:07 am

Here's typemoon.us' official spoiler-free FSN review. This is based off of the mirrormoon translation of course. Been waiting for Heaven's Feel to finish before reviewing it.

Fate/Stay Night Review

Here's how it starts:

"Are you my master?" she asks. Of course, yes. Shirou Emiya is the Master and Summoner of Saber, one of the Heroic Spirits called forth to take part in the battle royale known as the Holy Grail War. The war requires the summoning of seven Heroic Spirits, who are mythological heroes, by seven mages, and the winning team of mage and Heroic Spirit controls the Holy Grail, a device capable of granting any wish.

Shirou is an unwitting master forced into the war due to circumstances that he at first doesn't understand, but he soon finds his footing due to his most visible personality trait, his desire to be a superhero. He doesn't want to win the war for the sake of winning, he wants to win the war to stop the war. And this isn't some anti-hero should I or should I not use any means to an end philosophical debate either, Shirou is legitimately in it to do good.
Last edited by Miraploy on January 8th, 2009, 5:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby Keeper of Gil's Vault » December 3rd, 2008, 1:54 am

My, this review is so heavily biased, the author did not bother to disguise it. If you read it thoroughly, you will see that the author did not like the premise of the holy grail war, so he went ahead to discredit the whole story. For the most part, I am not going to argue against it, as it expresses the personal opinion of the author, there is no point to argue. However, some criticisms were derived from the author's failure to fully read the story, which is unacceptable for a review.
For example, one of the criticism listed is that the villains are "apathetic, cold, and ultimately robotic, unsympathetic, and unimportant". I am not sure about this. The beauty of Fate/Stay Night is that the "villains" all have their motives and reasons. They are very complex characters. As you learn more about them, your view on them gradually changes. Lancer, Ilya, Archer, Assasin, Caster etc are all villains at one point or another. Do you feel any of them are robotic and unimportant? Can you say Kotomine is a one-dimensional character?
The other criticism the author had was on Fate's avoidance of "the savagery, greed, and brutal human emotions that one would expect to be brought upon such an important contest". I don't know about this. I felt the servants are pretty liberal when it comes to killing. Lancer cleanly eliminated Shirou the first night; Gilgamesh ruthlessly slayed Ilya and Berserker; and not to mention Shirou killing Sabre with his very own hands in Heaven's Feel. Savagery and death are ever present in Fate. And greed you ask? The von Einzberns sought the grail for a thousand years! Can anyone be more driven by a single desire?
Ya, I don't like the review at all. It is ok to like Tsukihime, but shunning everything else as inferior is treading on the edge of being a close-minded rabid fanboy.
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Unread postby inferno_flamex » December 3rd, 2008, 2:25 am

"the sex scenes are erotic"


Suddenly im getting hungry...
I wonder what my mom is cooking up right now...
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Unread postby Mkilbride » December 3rd, 2008, 2:25 am

I feel Tsukihime was better also, but that's just me.

I loved Fate / Stay Night and I feel his review is far to biased. I mean, getting that low of a score, and comparing it's effects to Ever17? Type-Moon was a success due to Tsukihime, but mind you, it still did not have that great of financing as Ever17 did, look around for abit.

I'll agree again on the fact that Heavens Feel was a real letdown compared to the other routes. Fate filled your heart and ripped it to shreds with it's romance. Unlimited Blade Works amazed you, made you think, and really get yer blood flowing. Heavens Feel seemed...well, quite frankly, to be a very generic route. I like Sakura, but eh, at the same time, I liked her before she had her route. Her route totally violated anything I liked about her, really.


Overall, his review, I wouldn't take it to seriously, and I'd take it with quite a few grains of salt.
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Unread postby Shikiller » December 3rd, 2008, 2:46 am

meh. Of course Tsukihime is superior to fsn.
I agree with some of his points, but 5/10 is too low. Maybe 7/10.
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Unread postby Miraploy » December 3rd, 2008, 4:08 am

My, this review is so heavily biased, the author did not bother to disguise it.

Biased? What? Am I supposed to have come with preconceptions about Typemoon works, or am I supposed to hate anything that's not Tsukihime? Really, that accusation is ridiculous.

If you read it thoroughly, you will see that the author did not like the premise of the holy grail war, so he went ahead to discredit the whole story.


Did you even read what I wrote? Clearly I liked the potential for the story and I liked the concept of the war extremely. I quote what I said on the premise, and FSN's inability to fully realize the promise of that premise "the walls it purposely construct to obstruct it from achieving its full potential."

However, some criticisms were derived from the author's failure to fully read the story, which is unacceptable for a review.


Insulting and outrageous theory.

For example, one of the criticism listed is that the villains are "apathetic, cold, and ultimately robotic, unsympathetic, and unimportant". I am not sure about this. The beauty of Fate/Stay Night is that the "villains" all have their motives and reasons. They are very complex characters. As you learn more about them, your view on them gradually changes. Lancer, Ilya, Archer, Assasin, Caster etc are all villains at one point or another. Do you feel any of them are robotic and unimportant? Can you say Kotomine is a one-dimensional character?


Lancer says he doesn't really care about Grail. Kotomine calls himself apathetic. Assassin (the samurai), has no desires other than to clash swords with Saber, Caster is the only sensible villain, but unfortunately always dies early. I also said good things about Archer and UBW when I discussed Shirou's superhero complex... As for the rest it didn't fit in the review to give a run-down of every character and their personalities. This is a valid enough statement when the majority of the villains fit this description. Also, what do I mean by unimportant? Throughout the game there was rarely any sense of danger. Certainly the atomsphere didn't try to create that sense. It's not scary sitting around eating breakfast with Saber and Tiger. That's undisputable. When is Shirou motivated? In the Fate route for example, twice. Once to stop Caster and finally to stop Kotomine. Out of six purported enemies that is too little.

Putting it another way, even if the enemies are said to be dangerous, there's a dire lack of tension.

In fact, Shirou never claims to want the Grail. His most important mission is to stop people, that is, unknown statistics from being knocked out by gas. You never get a sense that his mission is of urgent import, this is not a save the world thing, this is... a good setup but lackluster followup.

I never claimed Kotomine to be one-dimensional. But maybe it's just because I've seen more anime than you, but Kotomine is very much an anime archetype (Schneizel!), and he's no deeper than that. The same is true with the majority of the characters. I do think that they are complex and interesting, and that's why I called the concept DECENT. Which isn't bad at all.

The other criticism the author had was on Fate's avoidance of "the savagery, greed, and brutal human emotions that one would expect to be brought upon such an important contest". I don't know about this. I felt the servants are pretty liberal when it comes to killing. Lancer cleanly eliminated Shirou the first night; Gilgamesh ruthlessly slayed Ilya and Berserker; and not to mention Shirou killing Sabre with his very own hands in Heaven's Feel. Savagery and death are ever present in Fate. And greed you ask? The von Einzberns sought the grail for a thousand years! Can anyone be more driven by a single desire?


I expected something more. If you see a movie like Gladiator, you see people struggle for freedom. If you see 300, you see heroes defending their homeland. You see people fight with real desperation and genuine NEED. You see this at some points. For example during the battle between Archer and Shirou in UBW. But the vast majority of conflicts are macho posturing that have the antagonists debate philosophy first with smirks and sneers. That isn't real human emotion.

Perhaps the best example you gave is the von Einzberns. They're so greedy that they send one girl in to fight with no backup (the rules right, yes for control of the universe they follow rules they made up themselves). When she loses she sits around and eats breakfast with the people who she's enemies with. She then does nothing afterwards to try to return herself to the field. A thousand years of greed, and this is all you show me?

Ya, I don't like the review at all. It is ok to like Tsukihime, but shunning everything else as inferior is treading on the edge of being a close-minded rabid fanboy.


I defended my review as best as I can, I hope you won't be so dismissive.

You're anonymous right? You should read my reply to your comment on the review.
Last edited by Miraploy on December 3rd, 2008, 4:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby xthr » December 3rd, 2008, 4:09 am

Honestly I think Tsukihime had a [much] better story, but FSN had better character design. This is as objective as I can put it, because I love TH a LOT more than FSN, mostly owning to 3 factors:

Shiki >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Shirou
Hisui Route (manly tears?)
>>Sacchin<<

...and of course, the general story doesn't seem as contrived as FSN.

But I do like the charactes in FSN, especially the villains. The charactes in TH that weren't actual heroines were much less developed than the side characters/villains of FSN.
I mean seriously, for side characters/villains in TH, we get Chaos (some random beast-y vampire that just appears), Roa (some random vampire that... Arcueid has a history with? Greaaat. He was not fleshed out at all in the actual game), Sacchin (Lol-girl-that-turned-into-vampire-but-gets-killed-no-matter-what. She gets like 2 scenes), and... uh. Arihiko Inui (some random dude. shiki's *friend*).

While in FSN, we get GARcher (too much history/background. I don't like him, but he's very fleshed out), Ilya (an almost heroine), Rider (another almost heroine), Shinji (easy to hate, but you have to admit, Nasu crafted his character very well), Taiga (comic relief, but you have a good sense of character here as well), Caster/Soichirou (once again, a LOT of background that lets you empathize with the characters), and of course Kotomine (freaking GAR priest dude. If he was a she, would be my favorite character in Nasuverse. Instead it's Warcueid... :\. Wait... sexchanged Kotomine :D FanArt time :D)


Uh yeah, I was going to write more, but now I'm running off to draw female Kotomine.

Later :p
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Unread postby Miraploy » December 3rd, 2008, 4:36 am

Shikiller wrote:meh. Of course Tsukihime is superior to fsn.
I agree with some of his points, but 5/10 is too low. Maybe 7/10.


I said the conceptualizing of FSN, which includes things like plot, story, characters, etc, was full of unmet potential, but ultimately decent. Its execution of that concept, in fators such as development, pacing, overall storytelling, was good but not great. I think that's more than fair. To give FSN a 7/10 I would either have to call the concept superb, which is ridiculous, or the concept good and the execution a masterpiece, equally ridiculous. FSN is not a bad game, it is just mediocre, and I really can't believe that people are seriously telling me that FSN is any better than that.

comparing it's effects to Ever17? Type-Moon was a success due to Tsukihime, but mind you, it still did not have that great of financing as Ever17 did, look around for abit.


I never compared its effects to Ever17. All I said was that its story telling wasn't as great, but still good.

Thanks for your replies everyone, I'm hoping to wean everyone away from the 4-point scale.
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Unread postby nobaka » December 3rd, 2008, 4:39 am

inferno_flamex wrote:
"the sex scenes are erotic"


Suddenly im getting hungry...


Hungry... for WORDS.

On topic:

It's good.
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Unread postby Rikh » December 3rd, 2008, 4:44 am

I dislike this review honestly...

First and foremost, a comment about why its stupid for all servants to fight

its obviously explained several times in the story that the reason to fight was to allow the dead servants bodies to be absorbed into the grail container... aka Illya

after the large battle, the container/grail would have enough mana to create the fully functioning grail

you Need servants to die to win this fight. Also the concept of sharing the grail is easily impossible to some
Shiro wants to destroy the damn thing, so nobody should side with him
Caster wants to use it for very negative things
Gilgamesh needs it to clense the world
Archer or Lancer couldnt care less about it honestly.... Archer wants to kill shiro, and lancer is just GAR

Garzerker doesnt have much of a use for the grail, nor does illya... If illya wins the war, the grail will be in Zokens or Kotomines hands easily

Shinji wants to use the grail for evil tasks considerably obviously...

Anywho, the reason for fighting is VERY justified in the game

Also stating that all characters have a tragic backstory by showing a picture of Rin as a child...
Rin had NO tragic back story... She liked her life growing up, and she accepted everything. Saber had a tragic backstory yes, but she used it to fuel her desire to re-change history for the better...
The only tragic backstories that truly contained a big section of the game were Archer's and Sakura's... Archers backstory fueled the whole plot behind UBW, which was obscenely amazing.

Sakura's backstory was at the end, and was strangly arbitrary to the rest, because it COULD NOT be understood until fate+UBW were played. Sakura's storyline is the true storyline to fate, and what really goes on... Of course it should feel different, since it is an alternate route in a VN

Overall, even comparing to games like ever 17 is rather pointless... The genres of games are completely different from one another. Ever17 has a great story-line true... but you ONLY think that after playing through 1 or 2 routes, or finishing the grand finale... other than that, Ever17 annoyed a lot of people with its slow development

and i quote "the sex scenes are erotic"???????
Excuse me?

I'm sorry, what? You deny most of the principles in the game... and yet the only one thing ALL F/SN fans agree on, are that the sex scenes are Not erotic, and are honestly un-needed (except in sakuras case... thats probably the closest to needed you can find) at many times. Your looking at all the great parts and discrediting them because they do not fit your taste, and your making the popular-belief hatred (Ero scenes) turn into something good

I'm sorry, but i dont think your review is accurate... You did not explain into the story much at all, and just stuck on only 3 subjects or so throughout the whole review. Just because you liked the protagonist style in tsukihime, or something, does not mean Nasu will always write the same storyliens...
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Unread postby Catastrophe » December 3rd, 2008, 4:56 am



and is late now, i'll go to sleep <.<
[edit] didnt like the review either [/edit]
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Unread postby Miraploy » December 3rd, 2008, 5:05 am

@Rikh, clearly you missed that
After all, why wage war when you can be friends?
was huge sarcasm. I was criticizing the game for setting up the premise of battle royale and then in the actual plot have Shirou make so many allies.
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Unread postby Atriel » December 3rd, 2008, 6:28 am

I don't like it. First of all you are comparing it to Tsukihime. Why? Please don't say "because it's the other Type Moon VN"

It almost feels as if your whole argument is based on your experience with Tsukihime.

Random picks:

Rin as a child: Every heroine has a backstory of varying tragedy.


Heh... yeah. Rin's past was a real tragedy... /sarcasm. Or you just randomly decided to use that picture. Who knows?

the sex scenes are erotic


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.


Regarding Shirou's allies. Yes, you see that's called being smart. You can't do it alone, get together with someone that can't either. Even if only for a while. And that's precisely what happened, the only exception being Ilya & Rin. And their reasons are pretty clear.

the third takes a completely new direction that seems not just arbitrary, but also contradictory from the storylines of the first and second.


Indeed, it is a new direction. Very different from the first two. But contradictory? Why? It states the truth behind the Holy Grail War. It is a contradiction only to what it was originally thought that the Holy Grail War was. Nothing more.

When she loses she sits around and eats breakfast with the people who she's enemies with. She then does nothing afterwards to try to return herself to the field. A thousand years of greed, and this is all you show me?

So? You do remember who she is, and her reasons (in this case, lack of) to be in the war? The greedy ones are her ancestors, not her. She only did as she was told and actually ended up having a bond with Berserker.

I expected something more. If you see a movie like Gladiator, you see people struggle for freedom. If you see 300, you see heroes defending their homeland. You see people fight with real desperation and genuine NEED.


People from 1,000 years ago are not the same as the ones today.
Shirou wasn't exactly relaxing when fighting.
Neither was anyone that knew of their own weaknesses.

Your review is lacking. I can say more, but meh.
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Unread postby Nerroth » December 3rd, 2008, 7:34 am

I wonder how differently you'd feel if Fate/Zero is ever fully translated into English, and one could then make a comparison into the way that War played out compared to the routes presented for this one.

(Or what kind of factor having such a generational gap between the Third and Fourth Wars compared to that between the Fourth and Fifth - which, remember, is fifty years early - had for those taking part in the War. I get the feeling that almost no-one was fully ready, or even expecting, the Fifth War to be so soon...)
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Unread postby wyldfire » December 3rd, 2008, 1:00 pm

dude, i can't simply believe it...abt illya and everything else has been said by others...but kotomine!!!u compare him to schneizel!!!i can't even find a word...in HF kotomine was greatly explained...that how his logic is completely opposite of normal humans...how he tries to find his purpose of existance and i shouldn't even have to say all this to someone who has read HF...i'd admit kotomine isn't explained until HF...but if u read HF and u still found no excellence in kototmine then i gotta say that u didn't understand anything at all ( and excuse me for personal attacks )...

FSN is NOT TH...if u want a story like TH then why don't u go read it again...FSN has its own charms...every single little detail was explained and there was more than excellent character development...contrary to u, i WILL say FSN has a superb storyline and the plot was even more gracefully executed...
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Unread postby Mkilbride » December 3rd, 2008, 2:04 pm

Now that I've started watching the anime, it seems like his review is based on the anime and not the novel, but to avoid looking like a jackarse, he skimmed a few pages of the VN, took a few pictures, and reviewed it. I can see how the anime makes it look Mediocre, but that's just cause you miss the best parts.
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Unread postby Raitei » December 3rd, 2008, 2:08 pm

Mkilbride wrote:Now that I've started watching the anime, it seems like his review is based on the anime and not the novel, but to avoid looking like a jackarse, he skimmed a few pages of the VN, took a few pictures, and reviewed it. I can see how the anime makes it look Mediocre, but that's just cause you miss the best parts.
seconded. for all we know, f/sn anime is fairly good (for an anime), but compared to the in-depth story of the vn... meeh. and the author didn't even grasp the in-depth feeling of fate (the first route, oh please), did he? more so ubw, let alone hf.
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Unread postby Benawi » December 3rd, 2008, 2:30 pm

Its sad that the anime tried to combine the three scenarios instead of just focusing on one. The anime did a real good job presenting the action bits as well as a small background of the characters and the holy grail war but the combination doesn't let you understand the behind the scenes stuff that goes on as well as the confrontation of ideals and emotion that happens frequently.

As for the review i dont agree with most of it. The reviewer seemed to take points off anything that didnt mimick tsukihime. I stronly disagree with the whole having only 3 long routes instead of a ending for each character is a bad direction. As much as i love Tsukihime(it was my first VN) i liked how each time u read a route in FSN u were getting an entirely new story to follow and immerse yourself in. In Tsukihime theirs in my mind two routes that branch into different character ends. I prefer the whole spend one route focusing on select characters and making an entirely new route for others more than the have this 1 route's ending changes by picking a new heroin to be with.
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Unread postby Mkilbride » December 3rd, 2008, 2:37 pm

Unless we somehow could get Fate / Stay Night quality routes for EVERY character, it'd be super effing long, but enjoyable. Imagine a -entirely- different route for each gal. Of course, there are only SO many ways you can tell a story.
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Unread postby Miraploy » December 3rd, 2008, 3:18 pm

Atriel wrote:Regarding Shirou's allies. Yes, you see that's called being smart. You can't do it alone, get together with someone that can't either. Even if only for a while. And that's precisely what happened, the only exception being Ilya & Rin. And their reasons are pretty clear.


Everything you say is completely accurate, the ways that Shirou makes friends is well explained and makes great sense in the context of the story. However, all of that takes away from potential drama and epicness. Was nobody else hoping for a showdown where Shirou is forced to kill Rin?

About the Rin picture, wow you guys are nitpicky. I used that picture because I didn't want to use an actual spoiler picture. I considered Rin's past tragic enough being Sakura's sister and all. What does it matter anyway? The picture was an accurate enough representation of the general situation. And you seem to think that a tragic backstory is a bad thing. Why? I was saying it as a compliment. :?

Indeed, it is a new direction. Very different from the first two. But contradictory? Why? It states the truth behind the Holy Grail War. It is a contradiction only to what it was originally thought that the Holy Grail War was. Nothing more.


It didn't fit in the review to specifically say this, but the contradiction is in the characters. Why did Shirou abandon his Superhero dream? Why does Archer not want to kill Shirou anymore?

Atriel wrote:So? You do remember who she is, and her reasons (in this case, lack of) to be in the war? The greedy ones are her ancestors, not her. She only did as she was told and actually ended up having a bond with Berserker.


That's absolutely right. But you're reinforcing my point that she wasn't greedy. I was trying to make a point on how unpassionate the contestants were and how easily they are sidetracked by things like friendship, and that's exactly the point you brought up.

Now that I've started watching the anime, it seems like his review is based on the anime and not the novel, but to avoid looking like a jackarse, he skimmed a few pages of the VN, took a few pictures, and reviewed it. I can see how the anime makes it look Mediocre, but that's just cause you miss the best parts.


Hi, that's totally untrue. I said a lot of good things about FSN's good parts, I quote, "But when those moments kick into high gear, it can be hard even for the coolest detractor to stay unaffected.", and "And that is, in Fate/Stay Night the effectiveness of every scene is high. The action scenes are visceral, the sex scenes are erotic, and the romances are, for the most part, true."

I don't know what you got out of the review. But I played and I liked FSN very much. But I can step back and say, while this game was fun, it wasn't great. Because good parts doesn't necessarily mean a great game. All games have good parts, it is only when the good parts are better than other games' good parts can we begin to say this game is above average.

People from 1,000 years ago are not the same as the ones today.
Shirou wasn't exactly relaxing when fighting.
Neither was anyone that knew of their own weaknesses.


Like I said, there are some scenes that are really good. The Archer vs Shirou battle was one example. But there are many many other fights opponents face off as if they're dismissive of the engagement in general. For example Lancer, yes I know he had good reason, but his lack of enthusiasm waters down the emotional impact of the battle. Same cheese with the first battle between Rider and Saber, Saber and Assassin, Gilly vs anyone, Archer vs Caster. You're right that their attitudes make sense in the context of the story as it was presented, but it does not make for compelling drama nor does it make for characters we can easily identify with. Put another way, those fights lack the vicarious emotion we were expecting, and run opposite to my understanding of human nature.

Now about the sex, you know, I may simply have low standards on that. I didn't read those scenes carefully, but what I saw of the images on fast forward I found titillating enough. They might not be able to reach the standards that you set, but Saber/etc was certainly sexy enough for me.

wyldfire wrote:dude, i can't simply believe it...abt illya and everything else has been said by others...but kotomine!!!u compare him to schneizel!!!i can't even find a word...in HF kotomine was greatly explained...that how his logic is completely opposite of normal humans...how he tries to find his purpose of existance and i shouldn't even have to say all this to someone who has read HF...i'd admit kotomine isn't explained until HF...but if u read HF and u still found no excellence in kototmine then i gotta say that u didn't understand anything at all ( and excuse me for personal attacks )...


It is indeed HF Kotomine that has the most similarities to Schneizel, while in Fate and UBW he has more of typical villain vibes, in HF he has the same sort of disgusting apathy to everything, or as you put it, logic completely opposite of normal humans, just like Schneizel.

FSN is NOT TH...if u want a story like TH then why don't u go read it again...FSN has its own charms...every single little detail was explained and there was more than excellent character development...contrary to u, i WILL say FSN has a superb storyline and the plot was even more gracefully executed...


Hi, if you don't like my review I encourage you to write your own. Your review will take precedence if more people recommend yours.
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