This week’s episode opens with that “hero of justice” talk between Shiro and Kiritsugu. To be honest, it’s pretty difficult to discern how Kiritsugu feels about Shiro wanting to be the hero Kiritsugu once aspired to be. Perhaps Kiritsugu sees a bit of himself in Shiro, or he hopes Shiro can achieve what he failed to do. Where I found the Fate route Shiro too annoyingly vocally repetitive with his “hero of justice” ideals, I feel like Unlimited Blade Works Shiro seems pretty disconnected from the reality of the Holy Grail War. Either he really doesn’t see Rin as a threat or he doesn’t believe she’ll actually hurt him – it’s definitely the latter right now. Shiro also has a problem with judging the level of intensity in dangerous situations. He just pretty much dives in without inhibitions.
Rin stays true to her word to Archer about attacking Shiro should he continue to provoke his peaceful position within the Holy Grail War. After all, the quickest way to cripple a servant is to kill the Master. Once again though, Shiro ends up saving Rin from a fatal attack, this time by Rider.
The new animation is certainly generous to Rider’s fighting style especially all those acrobatic flips and kicks. She has wicked hyper-extended limbs which makes her both graceful and deadly in battle. I really felt a bit sorry for Rider in Fate Stay Night because she’s so off base with her master. Though the servant and master are usually compatible in ideals I didn’t really get that sense of teamwork and mutual dependency between Rider and her master.
My favourite part of the episode is probably the talk Rin has with Shiro after she’s applied first aid to his wound. The two decide on a truce for now in order to weed out the other master at the school who is ordering his servant to drain other students’ mana. Shiro opens up a bit about his strengthening magic, (the only magic he can really do), and about his father as well. Rin ends up lecturing Shiro about his freeform and unorthodox philosophies when it comes to magic due to what Kiritsugu taught him as a kid. Rin tells Shiro that each mage family tries to keep their mage arts a secret because it’s the culmination of generations and centuries of hard work passed down through the century through the mage crest. Kiritsugu wasn’t a conventional mage because he didn’t abide by the social customs and standards that noble and prestigious mage families uphold.
As the heir to the Tohsaka family mage arts, she really feels the weight of all this tradition and the standards of which she’s required to uphold. I’d really love to see a side series jut devoted to her because she’s pretty much the only way the viewers get any information about the Holy Grail War in this route. She also lends insight to the political dynamics of the mage world that Shiro’s perspective clearly lacks.
A fairly strong episode all in all and I’m looking forward to more servant versus servant fighting.
What are you pondering today?