Considering how much Anime there are already of the whole Franchise it’s a bit surprising how long it took for them to do Heaven’s Feel. To get that out right now so far it has been worth the wait. A movie trilogy is also first for the franchise. So far only the first movie with the subtitle “presage flower” is out right now and this is what I’ll be talking about.
For a bit of context Heaven’s Feel is the third and final route of the Visual Novel the movies are based on. The whole Visual Novel is about the Holy Grail War in which Magus fight each other by summoning Servants. Those servants are usually historical characters, but some of them come more from the realm of fiction.
I was watching the movie shortly after finishing the Visual Novel in question and reading Heaven’s Feel made me hyped to see some of it animated. I did end up importing the biggest limited edition of the movie that they put out. My expectations where pretty high, but I was also expecting some adaption decay or maybe them adding something I wouldn’t be that fond of.
As it turned out I’m really happy with the adaption, it’s a great movie and it should please most fans of the source material. There are some scenes that where changed from how they originally happened, but it’s clear that those changes work better for an adaption which has much less time to tell it’s story than the original.
The movie even expands on some things like a certain fight that is told from a much earlier point than when the VN jumps into the action. Instead of trying to put all the lore into the movie it just presents as much information as is needed to understand what is happening.
I’m quite sure that even someone unfamiliar with the Fate Franchise could follow the story of the movie just fine. Still no one should go into this expecting to learn everything the original work as a whole is about. While the first movie isn’t really spoiling anything that plays much of a role in the other routes – the second and third movie will definitely do that. There are even some characters that play a big role in the other routes that don’t appear much in Heaven’s Feel.
I guess it would be possible to start here into the franchise, even if it’s not really what I would recommend. Not that I could stop anyone from doing so though.
Looking at the animation it’s obvious how this is a movie and not something made for TV. The visuals are just beautifully done. Only some of the CG scenes where someone was running looked a bit odd, but the fights themselves where stunning. Though the fights where definitely also done with CG.
I do have a soft spot for the kind of soundtrack that is featured in Type-Moon works and this is no exception, the songs fit the mood so well. The whole mood shines through so well due to the songs and are a little window into what Heaven’s Feel will turn into. You can already sense how some moments are just small temporary spots inside the darkness that is lurking beneath.
Heaven’s Feel is a lot darker than the rest of Fate/Stay Night. Sure a fight till death isn’t that happy either, but Sakura’s back-story is a different kind of beast.
The limited edition of the BD is pretty awesome: It comes with the movie, a disc of extras like interviews, the soundtrack, a poster (and another one if you buy from amazon), an artbook and a book about the animation. The movie itself even comes with English subtitles for some reason.
As a fan of the original I’m really happy with how the first movie turned out and I’m highly recommending the movie to at least fans of the franchise. There are some downsides for watching this first for someone not familiar with the franchise, but there are worse points to start. It will also take a while before the second movie comes out which is easily enough time to check out other parts of the franchise.
I don’t have any screenshots of the movie, but to get some pictures in the article here are some pictures of the BD:
I shouldn’t have teased this article when it takes me more than two weeks to actually write it...
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