But as I just finished the anime, I figure it's better than making a new topic
Fantastic anime; one of my top 5. Anyone familiar with Type-Moon's universe and the fate/series likely knows the plot already. The series revolves around "The Holy Grail War;" every 60 years, the Holy Grail is summoned by three great houses of mages, and seven mages are chosen (by the Grail itself) to compete in a battle. These mages are able to form a contract with a Heroic Spirit, who is a famous figure from history resurrected by magic for the battle. The last pair standing wins the Grail, which will grant the master and servant one wish each. Apparently Fate/Stay was the original LN in the series made into an anime; this one takes place 10 years prior to Fate/Stay.
The series is broken into two seasons; the first focuses more on planning and opening feints, while the second is more about direct battles. What makes the series great is that it develops almost all of the characters, so while you may have "favorites," you don't really have "good guys and bad guys." Kiritsugu might be considered the protagonist, but he uses people for his own ends - his goal is to get the Grail and stop all fighting in the world, and he has no qualms with killing anyone to get to that goal. Where as Kariya is fighting to save the life of a young girl he looks after, but transforms himself into a monster to do so. The mages themselves are interesting, but their Servants are just as impressive (if not more so). Saber is Kiritsugu's Servant, and while she's one of the strongest Servants she is also one of the most flawed; her chivalry, honor, and righteousness are both her biggest strength and worst handicap. The Servant who really steals the show is Rider, who in life was Ishkander (Alexander the Great). His philosophical discussions were some of my favorites.
The only thing I didn't necessarily like about the series is that assumption that the viewer is familiar with the series and some of the terms going in to it. It took me a few episodes to adjust to the pace and information (what is a Phantasm Weapon? What is prana? Etc.). The ending was also a little unclear - I didn't actually realize who won the Grail until I looked up more information online (at least, I didn't realize how they won it). Still, a really great series; highly recommended. It's rated #3 on myanimelist's top anime, which is how I found out about it
Also, the writer for the show is the same writer for Madoka and Psycho-Pass... so expect some tugging at the heartstrings and a bittersweet ending.
Retired News Writer for the ZAM Network
WoW - Aureliano the Insane - level 90 Druid on Sen'Jin
Nanaoki - level 90 Mage on Sen'Jin