|Original Novel||Gen Urobuchi|
|# of Episodes||25|
Sum it up in a Sentence:
Seven mages summon legendary champions and kill the shit out of each other to possess the miraculous Holy Grail.
Set 10 years before the beginning of Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Zero chronicles the bloody events of the 4th Holy Grail War. After the 3 previous Grail Wars ended inconclusively, the prestigious Einzbern family elects to allow Kiritsugu Emiya, known as the "Mage Killer", to fight on their behalf and win the grail. Despite his dark and bloody past, Kiritsugu wants nothing more than to be a hero of justice. He intends to use the Holy Grail to bring peace for mankind, but he's not the only one seeking the miracle of the grail. So the 4th Holy Grail War begins.
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Fate/Zero is adapted from a novel, not a manga or visual novel. And it shows. There is a lot of clunky exposition and extraneous dialogue, but that is really the show's only major flaw. The visuals are mindblowingly good, with easily some of the most well-animated fight scenes ever seen in a TV anime. The score by Yuki Kajiura is fantastic, the characters are compelling, and the story is dark, engaging and well paced. Fate/Zero is such a stark contrast to it's sequel that it's hard to believe they're even the same franchise. Fate/Zero is to Fate/Stay Night as Batman Begins is to Batman and Robin.
If you are new to the franchise, you couldn't have picked a better show to start off on. Although that might change with the upcoming Unlimited Blade Works adaptation. Watch Fate/Zero if you like a story with the cards revealed face up at the start and battle-royale type action as each player is eliminated from the table. If you dropped or couldn't start the slow mystery revealing slog that is Fate/Stay Night, give this prequel a shot, it will hook you into the Fate franchise.