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Manga Review: "Fate/Stay Night Vol. 3" by Dat Nishiwaki

Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing video games.

Fate/Stay Night manga volume 3 cover.

Fate/Stay Night manga volume 3 cover.

Quick Info

Author: Dat Nishiwaki
Publisher: Viz Select, formerly TokyoPop
Published: June 17, 2014
Page Count: 208 pages
Availability: Download on Kindle, or buy on Amazon or RightStufAnime

Story Summary

Shirou Emiya tries to defeat Rider and have her take down the Bounded Field around the school. Saber senses danger and comes to his rescue. What will Shirou do since Rin is also at the school?

The Manga Is Interesting and Entertaining

I love the Fate/Stay Night anime series—all three of the main storylines—and the Fate route, with Saber as the main heroine, is my favorite route. Even if the other two routes, Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven’s Feel, both have amazing production values when it comes to their anime adaptations, Saber’s route has always been my favorite story.

The manga is based heavily on the Fate route with some Unlimited Blade Works thrown in, but it is still not like the visual novel since it has scenes that weren’t in any of the anime adaptations or the original visual novel.

The manga has some new fight scenes that weren’t in the manga; while it does make the story interesting, I know that many fans would have preferred if the manga accurately followed the original visual novel more than it did.

The story is still fun and enjoyable, but not all the fans like it.

The Character Interactions Are Engaging

Because there are changes to some aspects of the story, there are different character interactions between Servants like Saber and Archer. They don’t interact with each other too much in the Fate route since Saber injures Archer early on in the story. In this version of the story, she doesn’t injure him, so they interact with each other more. Their antagonism toward each other is very entertaining, especially if you know Archer’s true identity.

I do enjoy the different scenario that the manga presents, and it’s a nice change between the manga and the anime—but not everyone likes these changes.

Saber battling Archer.

Saber battling Archer.

The Art Is Good, but Not Amazing

I like Dat Nishiwaki’s artwork, but it’s not the best artwork I’ve ever seen for the Fate manga—it looks good, but it’s not amazing. I enjoy the character designs, but the action scenes aren’t the most exciting fights I’ve seen for Fate manga.

It’s decent artwork and it does look alright, but Fate/Zero has much better artwork, and the art in Fate/Stay Night Volume 3 is not nearly as impressive as the artwork in Fate/Zero.

While the artwork does look good, when you compare it to the Fate/Zero manga by Shinjiro, the artwork isn't as impressive as the prequel manga's art.

Parental Warning

Fate/Stay Night is recommended for ages 13 and up; it contains some blood, violence, and mild profanity, but that’s all.

The Pacing Is Slow

The pacing of the manga can feel very slow because there’s a lot of downtime between the Holy Grail War battles between Servants. Sometimes it's too slow, and I feel like I’m just waiting for something interesting to happen in the manga.

Kirei Kotomine observing the Holy Grail War.

Kirei Kotomine observing the Holy Grail War.

It’s an Odd Adaptation of Fate/Stay Night

It’s an odd adaptation because it’s not a carbon copy of the Studio DEEN anime, and it’s not completely faithful to any of the three routes of Fate/Stay Night. It’s not going to please the diehard fans because of the changes.

I enjoyed the manga, but not everyone will. It is a strange adaptation that doesn’t follow the original story, and while it does have some new scenes to try to make itself stand out from the anime and the visual novel, they don’t really add a lot to the story.

The Manga Uses Inconsistent Terminology

The manga uses very different terminology compared to the newer Ufotable anime adaptations of Fate/Stay Night. It uses the terms that Studio DEEN used in their anime adaptations.

If you’re going to read the Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night mangas you will be thrown off by the inconsistent terminology. While it’s not a deal-breaker for me, it might be confusing for new readers.

It Is a Very Affordable Manga; I Enjoyed It, but Not Everyone Will

The manga itself is very affordable when it comes to buying a digital copy. It’s very inexpensive and costs less than $5.00 per volume on Kindle. Compared to other manga that’s very inexpensive, and while it’s not the best manga I’ve ever read or even my favorite manga, I still enjoy reading it.

It’s a great deal if you enjoy the Fate franchise; just don’t expect it to blow you away. If you have a Kindle or the Kindle app, you should buy it if you want to take some form of Fate on the road with you or if you just want an inexpensive manga to read, and you like urban fantasy stories.

Fate/Zero is an amazing manga, but it costs more; it is more expensive than Fate/Stay Night, but I enjoy both manga series. The inconsistent terminology is a little jarring if you’ve watched the newer Fate/Stay Night anime, but you can enjoy the story anyway.

Fate/Stay Night still has it's nightmare fuel intact.

Fate/Stay Night still has it's nightmare fuel intact.

What WorksWhat Doesn't Work

Good story, characters, and world-building

Sllow pacing makes the story drag

Engaging character interactions

Artwork isn't always as nice as it could be

Good artwork

Diehard fans won't like that it isn't a faithful adaptation of any of the routes

My Grade: B-

I enjoy the Fate/Stay Night manga a lot. It’s nice for me to read Fate/Stay Night when I go on trips or don’t have time to watch the anime. It's worth buying if you like Fate/Stay Night, but it’s not the best manga ever.

It isn’t super expensive, so I would recommend looking at some of the manga pages and seeing if you like how the art looks.

The writing isn’t the best, but I enjoyed it. It's very affordable, which is a nice incentive to buy it, especially if you have a Kindle or the Kindle app. It is a nice way to enjoy Fate/Stay Night in a different format.

I do recommend buying it if you’re looking for a cheap manga, but if you’re looking for a different way to enjoy Fate/Stay Night, then you’ll enjoy the manga. But if you’re looking for manga at the same quality of the Fate/Zero manga by Shinjiro, you will probably be disappointed.

This isn’t the best manga ever, but it’s not the worst manga I’ve ever read. The artwork is where the manga falls short. It’s decent, but not the most amazing art I’ve ever seen.

There are times when the artwork looks good and times when it doesn’t. If the art looked amazing on a consistent basis, I would give the manga a higher recommendation.

I recommend it if you like Fate/Stay Night and you don’t mind changes from the original visual novel. If you would rather have a more faithful adaptation, you should probably just stick to the Ufotable anime adaptations, but if you don’t mind changes, you’ll probably enjoy this unless you dislike the art style.

I recommend reading some of the pages and then looking at the artwork to see if you might want to buy it. It is worth my time and money to buy it, but it might not be worth your time and money to buy it. See if your local library has it or buy the first volume on digital to see if you’ll like it, but you should be able to tell from the screenshots if you want to pay for this or not.

I bought it, but I’m a diehard Fate fan, and I've enjoyed all the Fate properties I’ve read or watched. Just give it a try, and then you can decide if you want to buy a copy for yourself.

My Rating

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