tek's rating:

Fate/stay night, on Television Saitama
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Caution: potential spoilers.

So I guess this is based on a computer game or "visual novel" or something, which I've never played/watched or whatever. There have been multiple anime series and movies as well as manga based on it, but I think this was the first adaptation. And based on this series, I have no interest in watching any more of the franchise. I mean, I guess I kind of liked it, at least enough to get through the whole 24-episode series, but it's just not something I managed to care about very much.

So, anyway, there are these things called the Holy Grail Wars, which happen once every ten years. Seven servants of different battle skills are summoned, each by a magus whom they serve in the war. The last one left alive in the end gets to use the Holy Grail to make a wish. This story focuses on an untrained magus named Shirou Emiya, who wants to be a champion of justice, or whatever. He doesn't know anything about the wars, but he unwittingly summons a servant named Saber. (Each servant, btw, is like the spirit of some past epic hero, and Saber, in spite of being a girl, was somehow King Arthur in her past life. There are occasional flashbacks to that life, but it's not at all clear to me whether or not she was a girl back then, as well.) I don't want to list all the characters in the series, but one of Shirou and Saber's first enemies is a girl named Rin Tohsaka, whose servant is called Archer. They become allies of Shirou and Saber, and since Rin knows a lot more about being a magus than Shirou does, she tries to teach him a bit. Another enemy is Illya von Einzbern, a young girl whose servant is Berserker. After Berserker is defeated, Illya becomes a friend of Shirou's, sort of. Another friend of Shirou is a girl named Sakura Matou, who often comes to his house to cook for him. She knows nothing about the Grail Wars, but she will eventually become an instrument of one of the enemy servants. There's also a teacher named Taiga Fujimura, who I think lives with Shirou, as his guardian, since he is an orphan. (Before her, he had been adopted by a magus named Kiritsugu Emiya, who fought in the previous Grail War.) Taiga is of no real importance to the story, she's basically just comic relief, now and then. And... that's everyone I feel like mentioning.

Of course there are lots of intense battles throughout the series, as well as some personal drama. Eventually, Shirou falls in love with Saber, which never really made sense to me, it just seemed like a plot device that developed out of the blue. But she isn't interested in romance... and at one point something happens that really bugged me. Shirou kissed Saber despite her specifically asking him not to. But I guess it didn't bother her as much as it did me. In any event, any chance of a relationship between them was pretty much doomed because of the nature of the Grail Wars. (Either Saber would be killed, or if she won in the end, she'd just disappear anyway.) And I don't know what else to say without spoiling too many details of the plot. Nor am I particularly interested in detailing the series any more than I already have. I guess it's not a bad show, but I just never got that into it. (And it's definitely nowhere near as good as a lot of the anime shows I've watched. Though it might be better, objectively, than some shows that I enjoyed a bit more than this.)

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