Just today, I finished rewatching the second season of Fate/Zero on the recently-release blu-ray box set. Since I’ve reviewed the full series as well as the first box set, I’ll go ahead and give my thoughts on this second set as well. Most of what I said about the first set will also apply to the second, so I’ll focus on the things that are different, including a few disappointments.
Once again, the video and audio is very well done. In the first set the studio, ufotable, added some material – a few shots in the episode where Rider and Waver find Caster’s hiedout, and several minutes to the episode “Discussing the Grail” (the episode which formed the basis of this post). Here, as far as I can tell, there is no new material; I assume there’s been some touch-up work, but if anything extra was added I didn’t notice.
The subtitles were fine; I only noticed one really awkward line in the next-to-last episode.
As for extra features, we get a few more episodes of “Einzbern Question Corner,” which has decent animation for a bonus, but is untranslated. Some of it seems like it’d be pretty funny, but I wouldn’t know. More trailers are included for the completionists out there, as well as a couple “Remix” episodes. Again, these are untranslated, but they seem to be more-or-less a highlight reel of the series. I don’t really see the point.
Aniplex also included another soundtrack CD. This one is longer than the first by twenty-three minutes, partly because a few tracks are just variations of each other. The overall quality is just as high as the first one, and both CD’s have a comparable number of the best pieces. Again, though, the opening and ending credit themes are not included; I suppose we’re expected to buy the singles.
Like last time, there’s a drama CD, and also like last time it’s untranslated, which makes it basically worthless for most of us.
The first set included a book of interviews with staff members along with a translation booklet, this one has interviews with the acting cast with a few comments by various staffers. It’s entertaining enough to read, though I’m less interested in the actors than I am in the staffers.
Now, as much as I love this show and am glad to own it, I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed. Consider, what exactly do fans get for their money? We can already watch the show in high definition on Crunchyroll, and there’s nothing significant added to the animation or audio here, so the discs themselves are simply conveniences or archives in case Crunchyroll takes down the stream at some point. The box is nice, but nobody should get too excited about that. The soundtrack is great, and the animation material book is nice, but neither the special features on the disc nor the drama CD are translated. That may be fine for those who speak Japanese, but most of us don’t. As I said last time, I realise that, except for the translation booklet, this is the Japanese release, but Aniplex USA is already asking Westerners to spend far more than we’re used to for this set; is it really too much to ask that they translate the special features?
Those complaints aside, ufotable did a great job on the show itself, and even if I’d hesitate to recommend this release to others, I do think it was worth buying for myself; I only wish there were more shows worth putting this much money into.