So if you guys weren’t paying attention on Friday, apparently there’s going to be another shot at adapting the Fate/Stay Night series by ufotable, who I think have become what KyoAni used to be with Key in that they really like this one VN company’s work. Therefore, I’m going to have to give it a try once it comes out and see if I can get into it. Apparently, it’s going to be adapting the Heaven’s Feel route, which is Sakura’s story in the original game, as well as the final route to complete after the Fate and Unlimited Blade Works arcs (which have been adapted by Deen and were incredibly shit). I didn’t know much about it besides that, so I took a quick look at the Type-Moon wiki page and whilst I didn’t read the entire summary because spoilers aren’t cool, it definitely feels like it could work.
Thing is, said stuff looks cool on paper and the pieces are all there, but will it work in practice? Fate/Stay Night, assuming it’s only adapting that one arc like I’ve been told, has one thing in its favor compared to all the other VN adaptations in that it doesn’t have to be too all-encompassingly fan-pleasing. But if that was the only requirement to get a good anime, the other adaptations (as well as many anime in general) would have been actually good. And yeah, ufotable’s Type-Moon adaptations (let alone the others) haven’t exactly had the best record with me because of how they take forever to go anywhere and when they do go somewhere, the results don’t always impress. Which is really my problem with a lot of anime series: they can’t seem to get the pacing right in regards to their ideas. And before people get on my nuts about this, no I don’t care if the actual source material isn’t to my liking or if it’s terrible or anything like that. Just because the source is bad doesn’t mean the adaptation has to be.
I’m not sure I’ve said this before, but I don’t inherently hate Type-Moon. Of course, the same could be said for every goddamn anime on the fucking planet so that’s not exactly the greatest confirmation I’ve ever given, but I don’t. I hang out with a bunch of peeps who are into nasu (although I haven’t lately due to time and the fact that I refuse to sit through any more of Prism Illya). I check out what they’re doing on occasion. I’ve never played the games or read the novels the anime adaptations I see of them are based on. I wouldn’t even be bothering writing this post if I didn’t care somewhat about them. The concept of secret battles taking place within the modern world is pretty cool and I sort of enjoyed Fate/Zero. My big problem though is that their material is given to directors who just aren’t creative enough. Yeah I know Type-Moon is famous for that wordy dialogue the same way Zack Snyder is all about slow-motion, but can’t they throw in some dynamic direction or visual aids to carry the thing? I know ufotable has creative directors, although I’ve never seen Futakoi Alternative, and even Fate/Zero had its moments when the direction was dynamic for entire episodes. I’m not saying it will help me care about what’s going on, as despite being pretty and well-directed and all, Moribito never talked about things I could get invested in. But it’d be a start.
And another thing, going back to the pacing issue I mentioned earlier. I don’t know how long this series is going to be, but please make it one-cour. Judging by what I know of the material, it seems there’s a lot to cover, but I doubt that all of it is necessary. In fact, if I had my say, I’d make this thing a series of really well-directed OVAs, cut out some of the characters and plot details (especially that long slog in the beginning that all VN adaptations seem to have), and accentuate the vital stuff. It’s true that the very basic structure of the Holy Grail War requires seven teams and all, but if Osamu Dezaki can remove the main character getting turned into a crow in Air, then I’ll believe you could have removed Rider’s useless ass in the UBW movie. I’m not saying you have to change the core of what people love about F/SN, but the very least you can do is not do what M. Night Shyamalan did with that Airbender movie. Also, if the series is that short, it’d be able to spend its money more freely on creative animation, unlike what’s been happening with Monogatari Second Season, which seems to be suffering from the two-cour format animation-wise (amongst other problems).
That’s the thing that bothers me most about Type-Moon adaptations. They could work. But they just don’t because of “not-that-easy-to-fix, but not-that-hard-either” problems getting in the way. But then again, this is what I say about most anime, so again that doesn’t carry as much impact as it should.
I guess what I’m saying here is that in order for this F/SN anime to impress me, I’d want a reinterpretation. Not just a straight adaptation. Which of course they’re not going to do, because anime industries are kind of fucked up like that, so I probably won’t have a good time with this. But to my colleagues at Metanorn who love ufotable’s adaptations and are looking forward to what I know the anime is going to be like rather than what I wish the anime is going to be like, congrats. Either way though, I am sort of looking forward to this, if only to see how Type-Moon will try to impress me this time. Not exactly the best motivation, but it suits me just fine.
P.S. The second part of my anime history post is getting pushed back a week due to the recent news.
P.P.S. I know Shinbo will probably fix the animation problems on the Blu-ray release, but seriously, this season’s animation is a huge step down from what I remember of Nise.