Fate/Stay Night: Heaven’s Feel is one of the newest animated entries into the hit Fate Series (also known as  the Nasuverse).  For those who are unaware, this series spans a large number of works most of which have Fate: “—-” in their names.  Popular entries in this series include Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night, and the hit Gacha Game Fate/Grand Order.

What Is This Series About?

But what is this series?  The premise of Fate in general is that there is a Mages Association that periodically has a battle royale  against itself.  What might you ask is the prize of this grand battle?  Why the legendary Holy Grail of course!  This wish granting item can grant any desire of the winner of the battle. The other distinguishing feature of the Fate Series is how these battles are waged.  The magical power of the holy grail grants a miracle that summons fighters from legend.  These servants each serve the mage who seeks to be the winner.  With seven in total (most of the time) each part of the series offers a unique experience.

The servants are summoned into one of seven classes, hence the reason there are normally seven combatants.  The classes are: Saber, Lancer, Assassin, Caster, Berserker, Archer, and Rider.  Each individual summoned is a major figure from legend.  Some come from actual history while others are right out of a storybook.  Notable examples include Gilgamesh from the Epic of Gilgamesh, King Arthur from the Arthurian Myth, and Joan of Arc.  Each battle with the tools that made them famous in the first place such as King Arthur using the holy sword Excalibur.

The Fate Universe is incredibly complex and there is a common complaint of having difficulty getting into this series.  However, for those with the patience, this story is well worth the time investment.  The fact that I spent time elaborating on the premise of the story shows how much I enjoy Fate in general.

The Review

Anyway, with all that in mind, lets talk about Heaven’s Feel.  This is the third route in the Fate/Stay Night part of the series.  What this means is that it is part of a larger story showcased between this movie, the Fate/Stay Night Anime and the Unlimited Blade Works Anime.  All three are based on the visual novel of the similar name.  All three of the Anime Adaptation showcase one of the three routes that can be taken in the story.

Heaven’s Feel is in my opinion, the strongest of these three routes.  With a much darker tale and higher stakes, the story lends itself to a more adult plot.  Heaven’s Feel focuses on a few characters not nearly showcased enough in the other two routes.  The most notable characters that get this treatment are Sakura Mato and the Rider Servant.  Though both play roles in the other two routes, here they are much more prominent.

Once again, the protagonist is Shirou Emiya, hero wannabee extraordinaire.  Fan favorites Rin Tohsaka and her Servant Archer make their return.  With them of course is Saber, Shiro’s own Servant.  Also appearing is the adorably creepy Illya von Einzbern and her incredibly deadly Berserker Servant.

What Heaven’s Feel does very well in my opinion is get quickly through the parts that repeat in the other two routes while focusing much more on the new elements.  The relationship between Shirou and Sakura is one of the strongest points of this route.  Quickly, even a viewer who is not as familiar with the greater Nasuverse will be drawn to these two.

Mixing Comedy and Seriousness

Another major draw of this route of Fate, is that perfect blend between serious and comical.  Many movies and shows tend to go one way or the other in this category.  Though Heaven’s Feel is for sure one of the darkest plots in the Fate Series, there is plenty of lighthearted moments.  Taiga Fujimura is a major contributor to the silly scenes.  And unlike her appearances in the other two routes, her behaviors do not feel nearly as forced.

The fight scenes are a hallmark of Fate.  There are some very well animated action sequences in this movie and I was very impressed with them.  Servant battles tend to be complex affairs to animate. Thus fans will frequently complain when their favorite fight scenes are adapted poorly.  I can assure those who wish to watch Heaven’s Feel that this is a non factor.

Final Thoughts

I only have one source of criticism for this Anime Movie.  Fate/ Stay Night Heaven’s Feel moves very fast.  For a person who is not familiar with the Nasuverse, this movie has some moments that are difficult to understand.  When I went to see Heaven’s Feel, at least one person who viewed it with me had not seen any other part of the series and thus needed a few explanations.  This is minor though in the grand scheme of things.  I would recommend that those wishing to watch Heaven’s Feel watch Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night, and Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works before seeing this route.  It grants a much grander understanding of the plot.

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A Fantastic Addition to the Nasuverse Fate/Stay Night Heaven's Feel may be the best route adaption of the Visual Novel. With superb Animation, incredible fight scenes, voice acting that is not cringe inducing, and great characters that have been expanded upon yet again, this is a must see!

About Ross Ellison

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Ross is a new writer at BentoByte. When he is not writing articles, he amuses himself by writing dark fantasy of nightmarish proportions and being a general menace to society. His favorite Anime is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, favorite Manga is Berserk, favorite Video Game is Final Fantasy VI, Favorite novel is Mistborn, and favorite TV Show is Breaking Bad.

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