If you have never seen Fate/Stay Night I highly recommend you watch the 2006 adaptation and then Fate/Zero or play the game before watching Unlimited Blade Works but that’s not really mandatory so it’s really up to you. What you’ll be seeing in this series is an adaptation of a secondary route in the Fate/Stay Night game.
The storytelling is really well done in the pair of opening episodes in these two weeks of Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works. Episode 1 walks us through the exact same day that Rin experienced in episode 0, except through Shiro’s eyes. We relive all the classic opening events to Fate Stay Night, with Shiro helping out around the school, tracing to fix objects and having meals with Taiga and Sakura. There isn’t anything in particular I want to recap because most fans will know what’s going on in episode zero and episode one but I do want to take this opportunity to just highlight some aspects of the episode I really enjoyed as a fan.
I have to admit the “trace-on” looks a lot cooler now.
And the opening is AWESOME!!
Some people said that the characters look totally different from the original anime adaptation and that Rin especially looked strange but honestly I think all the characters look a lot more three dimensional. Even the eye colouring is shaded with a lot more detail.
MY GURL ILLYA MAKES HER APPEARANCE!! I love how her red eyes look even more striking in this new adaptation. She looks deviously adorable!! <33 Everything is new and gorgeous. YAY! Even though her ending isn’t as… positive in this route. I still love having her around.
For the most part, Shiro’s day was really average, but I quite enjoyed repeating the back story of Kiritsugu saving Shiro. It takes us once again into Shiro’s perspectives on life and his survivor’s guilt. Though I’m usually quite annoyed at Shiro spouting off his ideals with the back story scenes, I really admire the way they reworked the script and pacing to hint that Shiro is aware of the more realistic nature of society rather than sticking blindly to his ideals.
At the end of the day, most fans can predict what’s coming because of the introductory bits we get in each route in the visual novel as well as previous anime adaptations. Shiro witnesses the fight between Archer and Lancer and ends up being stabbed by Lancer. Rin revives Shiro and later Lancer goes after Shiro again in which case Shiro ends up summoning Saber.
The point of this episode was really just to reinforce the fact that Shiro is the main character AND introduce Saber into the series.
The battle between Lancer and Saber is made SO MUCH MORE exciting because of the new revamped angles and special effects. The first Noble Phantasm shot is fired here, which reveals Lancer’s identity to Saber. As well, Shiro accidentally uses his first command spell on Saber when she is fighting Archer in order to halt her. At this point, the route begins to differ from the main Fate route. I’m just gonna point out here to anime-only viewers that the romance is going to a little bit differently from the last adaptation because this is an adaptation for a different route. Personally I think this route is a lot more complex so I’m interested in seeing how all the relationship dynamics and plot pacing will work together. There is A LOT to cover.
I’m also waitingggggg for Gilgamesh to make his epic appearance but that happens later on of course (even though he’s already hinted at here).
Can’t believe we actually have to wait a week, every week for a new episode of this series. The week has never dragged this slowly. As well, if you’re the type to wait for the entire thing to finish before you watch it all at once… I ask you… HOW DO YOU RESIST THE TEMPTATION!???
What are you pondering today?