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DVD Review

DVD cover

Fate/Stay Night
Volume 3


Starring (voice): Ayako Kawasumi, Kana Ueda and Noriaki Sugiyama
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 08 March 2010

It has been ten years since the last confrontation between the master mages for control over the Holy Grail. Now another war is on the horizon, one which will draw Shirou into its dark heart. As a survivor of a calamity Shirou, to honour the memory of his father, uses his magical gifts only for good. But how long will goodness keep you safe in this new war of the mages...

Fate/Stay Night: Volume 3 contains another four episodes for the series, and having introduced us to the characters the series was settling in quite well. But now the pace of the overall war seems to have slowed considerably in order to swing between Shirou’s domestic problems - now he is filling his home with females and his personal confrontation with Shinji.

Having turned down the opportunity to join with Shinji, in the previous disc, Shirou’s servant Saber defies him and heads off to fight with the servant Assassin, which is where volume three picks up.

Episode nine, and Saber and Assassin are kicking seven bells out of each other until Shirou arrives. This stops the battle but when the two return home its clear to Shirou that an ability to heal and a good moral position are not going to save him in the battles to come, so he reluctantly agrees to start training with Saber.

Episode ten, and the fight between Shinji and Shirou takes a break when Shirou bumps into Ilya in the city. His training with Saber continues but does not go well. Shirou is more lover than fighter. When he finally gets home, to his increasing harem, Rin makes him swallow a jewel which is supposed to unlock his magical abilities.

Episode eleven, and Shirou gets a chance to demonstrate his new skills when he is summoned to the school, supposedly because Shinji has some important information. Of course it is a trap and Shirou is captured behind a Blood Fort Andromeda barrier by Rider. Initially he tries to deal with the fight, but soon realises that he is no match for both master and servant, so he calls Saber. At the moment of victory Rider uses a level of magic, that a servant should not possess, to help her and Shinji escape.

Episode twelve, and it the final confrontation between Saber and Rider. The protracted fight is brought to an end when Saber unleashes Excalibur.

The disc does have some extras on it including a music video presentation of both the opening and closing sequence (1 min, 51 sec and 1 min, 26 sec). Both are short, but then the music was created for the show and is not part of a longer song. Riders Diary (5 min, 50 sec) consists of shots from the show with a narrative by Rider - warning! Do not watch this before watching the episodes as it gives much of the plot away. The disc is rounded off with a couple of trailers.

Overall the plot is coming along quite nicely. If i did have a criticism it would be that having concentrated so many episodes on the confrontation between Shinji and Shirou and Shirou’s relationship with Saber, the show has yet to give any impression of the greater war going on, leaving the scale of the show quite small at the moment. You can also add the annoying way that Shirou behaves, constantly throwing himself into battles he cannot win and then spending half of some episodes just shouting ‘Saber’.

On the plus side, if the character design of the magi is a little dull at the moment the design of the servants in their battle dress is always striking, if a little fetishist. Still, that should appeal to all those teenage boys out there.


Charles Packer

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