Fate/stay night TV Reproduction Review: Fate/stay night in a Nutshell

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Happened to have some free time today (and no laptop when I needed it) so I decided to take the chance to watch Fate/stay night TV Reproduction, which is basically a 2-episode recap OVA of the Fate/stay night anime with an hour for each episode.  It was certainly enjoyable, but cramming 24 episodes’ worth of content into 2 hours of runtime means missing a lot.

To sum up the story of Fate/stay night, there is a Holy Grail War in which 7 magi summon Servants, all of which are heroic spirits of the past that fall into one of 7 categories, and battle to the death in order to claim the Holy Grail and have their wishes granted.  The protagonist is a boy named Shiro Emiya, who always finds himself helping others and lives a fairly average life until he gets drawn into the chaos of the war.  In the midst of the trouble he gets into, he manages to summon the Servant known as Saber and decides that he will fight in order to prevent meaningless casualties from taking place.

As the description suggests, the story is definitely quite action-packed and this is one of the main aspects of the series.  While the original anime has a decent portion of more relaxed, slice of life style scenes, TV Reproduction omits almost all of these in favor of fitting in the more plot relevant portions and battles instead.  TV Reproduction does include all of the truly important parts of the story, but in no way could it qualify as a replacement for watching the original anime.  Because of the short run time, much of the character development is lost in the rush to finish the story and many details are glossed over because the recap simply cannot fit them in.

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Another thing to note is that this recap is essentially a direct copy of the TV anime and as far as I noticed, there were no new scenes.  However, there is a new opening made specifically for TV Reproduction with nicer graphics and a remix of the anime’s opening song, which I enjoyed more than the original opening.  There are also two new ending songs, one for each episode of the recap.  Aside from those, there really isn’t any new content to be seen.  But one thing that can be said about the recap is that it serves as a very quick way to rewatch the series.  One of my main gripes with the original anime was that it began slow paced and did not get through the plot as quickly as it could have, which at times disappointed me since I had expected a fast-paced series.  However, TV Reproduction is definitely much more fast paced, and while it goes much too quickly for a newcomer to appreciate to the greatest extent, it can certainly serve as a convenient way for one who has already seen the anime to experience the story all over again in a shorter, much faster way.

One of the most disappointing parts of TV Reproduction was that almost all of the comedy was taken out.  Without the parts of Shiro’s school life and friends at home, the story is serious for essentially the entirety of the recap and it’s too bad that it went too fast for even a quick laugh.  More than those, however, was that TV Reproduction completely missed one of Shiro’s iconic quotes.  For some unknown reason, the recap does not show when Shiro states, “People die if they are killed” in spite of the fact that the parts around this scene were actually shown.  It’s a shame that Shiro’s words of wisdom were not spoken in the recap, especially because he only spent about 5 seconds saying them in the first place.

Ultimately I can say that I did enjoy the recap since it was fun watching bits of the great fights that made me enjoy the original anime.  It’s a decent way to go through the series again, but for obvious reasons it can’t match up to the quality of the TV series and aside from the fantastic opening, there isn’t anything new to look forward to.  Because of this, I would give it a 7/10.  Good, but not great.

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