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DVD Review

DVD cover

Fate/Stay Night
Volume 5


Starring (voice): Ayako Kawasumi, Kana Ueda and Noriaki Sugiyama
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 03 May 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 5 (2006) contains another four episodes for the series - episodes 17 to 20 - Mark of the Witch, Decisive Battle, The Golden King and Distant Trace of a Dream - which represents the penultimate disc. 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.

This DVD release begins another story cycle. The first three episodes consist of one continuous story. With the cities inhabitants succumbing to mysterious comas, the finger appears to point to the witch at the Ryudoh temple and Caster, who thinks little of stealing Mana from innocent humans, even if it causes their death. Sakura is taken by Caster, who turns out to be a Servant who is powerful enough to summon her own Servant, to be a human sacrifice - in an effort to summon the grail. What follows is one protracted battle. At the pinnacle of the battle, when it looks like Caster will win, a new Servant appears and strikes her down.

The arrival of the Golden Servant, a creature not only more powerful than Saber but also a survivor of the previous Grail war, forces Saber to reveal what she really knows about Shirou’s father.

The disc closes with Shirou accepting his growing feelings for Saber and asking her out on a date. Okay, so I thought that discovering that the object of your desire was the reincarnation of King Arthur would be a barrier to their romance, guess I was wrong.

The disc is presented with either an English or Japanese 2.0 audio track; the show really could have done with a 5.1 track. Visually the show is impressive, with a 1.78:1 anamorphic picture, but then it’s only a year old. This time around there is even less on offer as far as extras are concerned with only a promo, short TV adverts and trailers for other anime shows.

So there is only a single release to go to conclude the Grail Wars. The show is above average with good animation and some thoughtful character designs, only part of the plotting can be faulted with the show's desire to maintain some form of romantic storyline.


Charles Packer

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