I’ve decided to stick to blog recaps and general commentary for the remainder of Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works… or until something psychologically twist-ee happens. The difficulty in reviewing FSN UBW is due to the fact that things are more or less happening in action sequence and actions sequences are pretty much drawn from the visual novel. If you’ve played the visual novel or even watched the 2006 adaptation of Fate Stay Night, you’ll realize that there are quite a few key similarities between the two anime adaptations.
I find myself enjoying this Fate/Stay Night adaptation not only to watch its stunning new high-definition animation, but also to pick out small differences in the different routes. It’s a world I’m familiar with and a world I feel very comfortable engaging as a viewer. However, because the Holy Grail War’s purpose and rules have been generally set in stone, at this point in the story we can only watch the different brawls take place between the Servants.
Big flip-around in this route because we are immediately revealed all the servants at the beginning and Archer easily deduces that Caster broke the rules (haha rule-breaker, get it?) and summoned Assassin as her Servant. Concerning Caster’s true identity, no matter how many times I see her, I feel like they really went wishy-washy with her character design at the beginning of the creative process. There is little to nothing that hints at her cultural background… and though Lancer and Archer are also given generic archetypes, their personalities emanate the key differences between them. When you look at her back story in the series, Caster just comes off as a dramatic mood-swing-driven female and when you refer to her myth, they haven’t really derived anything from the historical-mythological figure.
“Fighting for others but not yourself, is completely hypocritical.” – Archer
I really wanted Archer and Shiro’s dialogue to be more intense. It didn’t feel like they were hinting at Archer’s back story as much as they could have and the right and wrong-morality debate came off a bit dry to me. Archer also doesn’t seem that keen on obeying Rin word for word and freely moves about as he wishes when she hasn’t given specific orders to restrict his actions. Clever of him, though. Archer’s ambiguous philosophies also seem pretty contradictory at times. He’s fine with killing a small few to save the masses, but doesn’t like meaningless slaughter. He engages in violence (or randomly cuts up Shiro) when the moment calls for it, but calls himself a pacifist. It seems like the running in circles has to do with the fact that the writers are trying to keep things mysterious with Archer for the time being.
On a brighter note, Junichi Suwabe’s English has gotten better though and the “I am the bone of my sword” line sounds wicked awesome cause he presses his voice lower at the end of the line. Compared to the line he said in the 2006 version, I think this one sounds more Archer-like…
Props for Saber charming another warrior-swordsman with her topnotch swordswoman skills and charismatic knightliness. Assassin also defends Saber from Archer and buys enough time for them to escape. What we get here are some awesome Archer x Assassin clashes before the episode ends. Hopefully the next episode backtracks and shows the actual fight because the previews after the credits in this episode were devoted to Saber and Shiro’s first-aid session after escaping.
What are you pondering today>