Fate/Strange Fake – Whispers of Dawn: I’m Confused, But I Love It

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| July 12, 2023

Fate is back, baby!! One of my favourite franchises of all time has returned with a new spin-off/sequel/alternate universe (don’t worry, I’m a fan, and I’m confused), Fate/Strange Fake – Whispers of Dawn. This new one-hour special is set five years after the events of the original Fate/Stay Night, and it’s time for a fake Holy Grail War. Animated by A-1 Pictures, this special is a treat to watch. Everything from the mysterious plot, engaging characters, and drop-dead gorgeous animation make this special one of the best things you can watch right now.

For those unfamiliar with the rabbit hole that is the Fate franchise, let me give you a quick rundown. The series revolves around battles to the death called The Holy Grail War. During these wars, masters summon heroic spirits from legend to fight against one another to be the last ones standing and claim the grail. These spirits are famous historical figures from the past, such as King Arthur or Jack the Ripper. Why do these masters want the grail? Well, because it’s an omnipotent wish-granting device. This might seem like a lot to take in (I’ve only scratched the surface) but don’t worry about it too much; you don’t need to understand everything to enjoy Fate/Strange Fake.

When I try to understand this universe. (Type-Moon/A-1 Pictures)

The plot of Fate/Strange Fake – Whispers of Dawn revolves around the start of a fake Holy Grail War. What makes this war fake? Who knows at this point, they don’t answer that question, but that’s what makes it so interesting. Why is this war happening? How did they manage to start it? Why is there one less heroic spirit? All these questions help to suck you into the story. You’ll be trying to piece together bits and pieces of information and work out what is happening. We don’t get the answers in this special, but seeing as there’s also going to be a full series of Fate/Strange Fake, I’m sure the answers will be revealed. Besides all the questions you’ll be left with, the excellent characters are the other aspect of this special that will stick with you.

At least 50% of the people in this city are gonna die. (Type-Moon/A-1 Pictures)

When this special was first announced, I was cautiously excited. While Fate is one of my favourite franchises, it can be a little hit or miss when it comes to TV specials. That is until I saw that motherfucking Gilgamesh was showing up in the special, and he’s voiced by MOTHERFUCKING DAVID VINCENT! Sorry, got a little excited. Anyway, David Vincent returns to voice the King of Heroes Gilgamesh in all his golden glory, and he’s just as amazing as ever. I could tell instantly that it was the same Gilgamesh when he called all humans mongrels and destroyed an entire desert (as you do).

Besides Gilgamesh, other returning characters include Enkidu, voiced by Marin Miller, and Waver Velvet, voiced by Lucien Dodge, both bring excellent performances. The biggest surprise to me was hearing Clifford Chapin voice one of the mentally unstable mages. He nails the unhinged lunatic vibe perfectly. The intriguing plot and amazing characters aren’t the only things that are amazing in this special; the animation is also fantastic.

God he’s just perfect. (Type-Moon/A-1 Pictures)

When it comes to the Fate series, one of the constants besides mages, servants, and grails is the god-tier animation. Regardless of which studio works on the series, they always look stunning; this special is no exception. A-1 pictures have created one of the most visually striking Fate series to date (which is saying a lot). The special is amazingly animated; everything is top-notch, whether it be two people talking about the war, a young girl slicing a man’s hand off, or an assassin ripping out someone’s heart.

You also have the moment I mentioned before where Gilgamesh destroys a desert (which is the second time he’s done this in the franchise). The music is also amazing, adding to the already exciting animation. In both the calm and intense moments, the music fits perfectly and emphasises the key aspects of each scene. The final battle, in particular, has a vocal track that just hits different.

Just casually destroying a desert. (Type-Moon/A-1 Pictures)

Fate/Strange Fake – Whispers of Dawn is another excellent addition to the Fate franchise. The plot leaves so many unanswered questions that I’ll be wrapping my brain around for the next few months at least. The return of my favourite character Gilgamesh is something I will always adore. The rest of the characters are also amazing, and I’m excited to see how they’ll interact later in the story. Finally, the animation and music are some of the best you can experience. Even if you’ve never seen Fate before, I implore you to check out this special. Not only is it amazing, but they’re continuing the story with a full season, so you don’t want to miss out on what will definitely be a contender for anime of the year! Fate/Strange Fake – Whispers of Dawn is currently streaming on Crunchyroll in both Sub and Dub.

Have you watched Fate/Strange Fake – Whispers of Dawn? What did you think? Do you want to be called a mongrel by Gilgamesh? Let us know in the comments where we can try and figure out the convoluted story that is Fate.

Score; 10/10

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