Fate/Zero’s hour-long debut episode was streamed live on nico nico douga in eight languages (you can still watch it anytime this week, but I won’t blame you for waiting to get higher-quality video), and it was every bit as phenomenal as I knew it was going to be. It was also utterly fucking terrifying.
There are many reasons for this show to terrify me, just knowing what it is and who’s creating it. First, facts:
1. I have not seen the original Fate/Stay Night anime, and I’ve played through less than an hour of the visual novel.
2. I have, however, seen the Unlimited Blade Works movie, which isn’t very helpful for understanding the plot of the franchise, but it does give me a degree of knowing what happens in the future and how dark it can be. (BIG SPOILER: that baby just born of show’s main characters will get her fucking heart torn out when she’s about 13.)
I don’t really know what’s going to happen in Fate/Zero based on Fate/Stay Night, but I do know that
– The team doing this show did one of my favorite anime, Kara no Kyoukai, which is a psychologically menacing work.
– Fate/Zero was written by Urobuchi Gen. I’ve seen Madoka Magica and I’ve read Saya no Uta, and no one is quite capable of being truly terrifying like he is in the anime world.
Fate/Zero is clearly a bloodthirsty and brutal work. Episode one takes a no-nonsense tone in directing and dialog. There are a lot of adults explaining a lot of things, and a lot of those things are scary things. We are told that the five main characters are essentially assigned to kill one-another. From even playing an hour of F/SN, I know that most of these characters should be dead by then.
Waver Velvet couldn’t be more doomed. He is tragically ignorant and reeks of “going to die” from the get-go. Watching him is just painful.
Emiya and Iri are new parents, and they’re cute together. The show doesn’t let them be a cuetesy couple because again, it is no-nonsense and Emiya is very serious, but seeing bad things happen to them will definitely be hard.
Kirei is tragic from the beginning because we know that his wife has just died and that he’s driven by duty, and I know that he becomes some sort of villain by the time of Unlimited Blade Works. That he and Emiya terrify one-another is scary enough.
Kariya is ten kinds of fucked because he’s fighting to save a little girl who’s already fucked from the beginning.
And that was the most terrifying part. Nevermind that I’m scared of bugs and will have nightmares about Sakura drowning in them, but the dialog that she’d been screaming for the first three days, but she’s gotten used to it by now. “Violated by bugs from head to toe.” Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Double fuck because knowing how she’ll turn out later makes me want to write a book.
It can only get worse from here, folks. Twenty. Five. Fucking. Episodes.