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DVD Review

DVD cover

Fate/Stay Night
Volume 4


Starring (voice): Ayako Kawasumi, Kana Ueda and Noriaki Sugiyama
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 05 April 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 that 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 4 (2006) contains another four episodes of the series - episodes 13 to 16. The show was directed by Yuji Yamaguchi and animated by Studio Deen. Originally based on a 2004 visual light novel game; the concept produced both a manga and the anime show.

The concept behind the show is better than most, not only is Shirou unaware of the Grail War and his father’s part in it, he isn’t, at the start of the story, even a good magician. His spiritual helper and servant Saber, who is initially disgusted to be linked to such an inexperienced child, exquisitely highlights this fact.

The first two volumes detailed Shirou’s growing power and Saber’s slow acceptance and then appreciation of Shiou’s humanity, which often leads him to tacking decisions, which she disagrees with. His ability to empathise means that often he will place himself, needlessly, in the path of danger, when Saber would rather he took more of a secondary role. Just as well that he has the power to heal himself as his lack of training often leads to injury and a stern talking to from Saber.

When we left our young magi Saber had unleashed her Noble Phantasm Excalibur as the only way of defeating Rider. The fourth instalment picks up following the battle with Saber seriously depleted in mana energy and confined to bed. This lead Shirou to a dilemma, if he was a fully fledged Magi he could have replenished her but his only apparent option is to give her permission to feed on innocent humans, something he refuses to contemplate.

In the midst of this crisis Shirou is kidnapped by Illya, who tries to persuade him to become her servant. When he refuses she attempts to kill Saber, but is thwarted following a battle with Tohsaka. To save Saber Shirou is more fully bonded to her by passing on part of his magic circuit to her. The disc closes with Saber and Shirou finally joining forces to defeat Berserker.

Wow, so Saber is the reincarnation of King Arthur. That’s going to really cramp their growing relationship.

The disc does come with a few extras with the inevitable textless opening sequence, some trailers as well as the OP Music Clip, which has a nice young lady singing the title sequence.

The disc is presented with either an English of Japanese 2.0 audio track; the show really could have done with a 5.1 track. Visually the show is impressive, but then it’s only a year old.


Charles Packer

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