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Manga Review: "Fate/Stay Night" Vol. 4

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 4 cover.

Fate/Stay Night manga Volume 4 cover.

Quick Info

  • Author: Dat Nishiwaki
  • Publisher: Viz Select, formerly TokyoPop
  • Published: June 24, 2014
  • Page Count: 192 pages
  • Availability: Download on Kindle or buy at Amazon or RightStufAnime

Story Summary

Shirou and Rin form an alliance and decide to let Caster make the first move against them. Saber disagrees with Shirou and decides to go against his wishes and attack Riyudouji Temple on her own. She encounters the Assassin class epic spirit and they begin to fight.

This Manga Uses the Fate Route

While the Fate route is my personal favorite between the three routes so far. It’s also the least action-heavy route, so it is a strange choice to use it as the base for the manga route, but this manga was published in 2006 when Studio Deen’s Fate/Stay Night anime was coming out and there weren’t any adaptations for Unlimited Blade Works or Heaven’s Feel movie trilogy from Ufotable.

The Fate route is not as action-heavy as the other routes and that’s why new scenes are added to the manga to give them more fight scenes so you wouldn’t get bored of exposition and character interactions. I don’t mind it that much, but as someone who has seen the DEEN anime, it is a little strange, they add action scenes from other routes into the Fate route, but the manga creates completely new fight scenes which do not appear in any adaptation of the visual novel.

Rin has the best reactions.

Rin has the best reactions.

The Artwork is Nice

Dat Nishiwaki’s artwork is nice, but it’s not amazing. While the manga does look pretty good, it’s not anything that’s going to blow you away or make this a must-have manga just for the art.

As a fan of Fate/Stay Night, I enjoy the many adaptations of the story that are out there. Because I love this franchise I’ve enjoyed buying everything that is available or legally streaming what is available, so I like this manga.

The fight scene with Assassin is very well done and it is very intense and exciting, it’s just not the best artwork I’ve ever seen when it comes to the fights in these stories.

Many Fate fans don’t like the manga because of the story changes, but I can see why they wouldn’t like it because of the art. It doesn’t look as nice as other spinoff manga or the prequel manga Fate/Zero by Shinjiro.

I don’t mind the artwork in this manga, but if you’re buying a manga because of the art, this isn’t one of my must-buy the manga for the art. IF you’re buying a Fate manga for the artwork buy Fate/Zero.

Overall, Dat Nishiwaki’s art is decent; it looks okay but doesn’t really stand out as a mangaka when it comes to his Fate/Stay Night’s art. It’s not bad, but it’s not like it’s going to be showered with glowing praise either.


The Pacing Is Slow

The pacing of the manga can feel rather slow because there is a lot of downtime between the fights. Character interactions can be entertaining but if you are expecting a lot of fights you might be disappointed because while there is always at least one fight per volume, there isn’t a lot of it and if you want an action-heavy manga you might want to read something else.

The Manga Uses Inconsistent Terms

The manga does use inconsistent terminology when it comes to magecraft terms and the Holy Grail War. They use Epic Spirits instead of Heroic Spirits and Command Mantra instead of Command Seal.

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While this might not be a big deal, if you’re only reading the manga for Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero, you will find the terminology changes to be very jarring.

Shirou and Rin discuss Caster.

Shirou and Rin discuss Caster.

Reader Poll

Parental Warning

Fate/Stay night contains blood, violence, and some profanity. It is recommended for ages 13 and up.

The Manga is Inexpensive To Buy

One major advantage that the Fate/Stay Night manga has over other manga available digitally is that it’s extremely inexpensive to buy a digital copy on Kindle.

At the price point of $5.00 per volume the manga is a steal to purchase. Other manga range from $7.00-12.00 depending on the publisher. It’s a great buy if you’re looking for a good manga that’s not extremely expensive. The physical copies do cost more but the manga is available for purchase if you want to buy a physical copy over digital. It will have the TokyoPop logo instead of the Viz Media logo on the manga’s front cover and spine.

It may not be the best manga I have ever read, but I can’t be at the price of each volume.

It’s a Fun Manga that not all Diehard Fans Will Like

I love Fate/Stay Night so I love this manga, but not all the diehard fans of the franchise love it as I do. They mainly dislike it because of many story changes that occur in the manga, and that they toned down some of the darker aspects of the manga, even changing it compared to the Studio DEEN anime.

It’s a fun manga, but it’s not the best version of the story for Fate/Stay Night and the artwork isn’t the best either. It’s still enjoyable for me, and a way to take Fate/Stay Night on the road when I don’t have the ability to watch the anime.

Saber battles Assassin at Riyudouji temple..

Saber battles Assassin at Riyudouji temple..

Quick Summary

What Works:What Doesn't Work:

Good story, characters and world-building

Inconsistent terminilogy between different Fate manga

Good artwork

Slow pacing

Inexpensive price

Diehard fans don't like elements from UBW and new fight scenes

My Grade: B

The manga is inexpensive and that gives it a price advantage, but is it worth the money? I’d say if you really love Fate/Stay Night and you don’t mind changes in the story, you’ll probably like it, and you’ll probably buy it.

You can see if your local library has it and borrow it if you want, but I do recommend giving it a try by looking at the pages I’ve posted to see if you’ll want to read it.

It is worth your time to read, and worth your money if you don’t mind spending $5.00. It is a good manga but it isn’t a great manga, nor is it a must-buy manga, but it is something that I enjoy reading a lot. It’s a nice way for me to enjoy my favorite franchise in a different medium than what I usually do when it comes to consuming this franchise.

It is one that is a nice manga that is inexpensive and enjoyable, but not all the fans are going to like the story changes which is understandable because they want a direct adaptation of the visual novel and not a combination of different routes like the Studio DEEN Fate/Stay Night anime.

Diehard Fate/Stay Night fans might not like it, but if you’re a casual fan you’ll probably enjoy it if you’re a diehard fan I would recommend buying Fate/Zero manga by Shinjiro instead. This manga is fun but it’s not one that all fans will enjoy.

I enjoy the manga and if you want an inexpensive way to enjoy Fate/Stay Night, this is a great bargain for the price of the digital copy online.

My Rating

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