SPOILERS BELOW – DUH. We’ve gotten to the BIG REVEAL in the show…
We return to Unlimited Blade Works this week with an epic showdown between Shiro, Rin, Lancer and Archer. This week’s episode delves into themes of heroism and idealism, teasing them out fully in the Shiro and Archer parallels. Ahh, just as a tip though, for any of you wondering about Lancer’s back story and his master, you can definitely go check out the online fan wiki page on his story regarding the unlimited blade works route. It gives his character so much more depth in my opinion…
As if last week’s flashbacks, narration, dialogue and hints WEREN’T ENOUGH to hint at the connection between Shiro and Archer. Shiro points out the two identical pendants. Rin had no catalyst for having summoned Archer (if you remember, he basically appeared out of nowhere). As a result, Archer possessed his own catalyst for summoning in this Holy Grail War. As Shiro prepares to fight Archer, Lancer goes after Rin who’s been carted off by Shinji. Oi Saber, that’s your master, I know Shiro is defenseless and all but STILL – you should really got after her =.=”””
Saber is literally Shiro’s plot armour here. But despite all this, Saber decides not to intervene in the battle between the two. She presses Archer for answers concerning his obsession with killing Shiro and his cynical response to Shiro’s ideals.
Meanwhile, Shinji is sexually harassing Rin. Damn I’d love to see her KICK. HIS. ASS once she’s untied. BUT LANCER HOOOOOO HE ARRIVES AS THE KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOUR. TOO COOL ARCHER I CAN’T DEAL WITH YOU RIGHT NOW. YOU’RE ADORABLE!! I’M A TOTAL FANGIRL.
“No matter what happens to me, I’ll never regret a thing… and that’s why I’ll never accept you.” – Shiro
Big reveals on both sides. With Saber, we learn that heroes become guardians of the world to protect humanity. She still believes there is goodness in Archer despite all that’s happened. Archer reveals that he did in fact become a “hero of justice” after his death (as a human) he realized the harsh realities the world and lost faith in humanity. Much like Saber, Archer now wishes to undo a decision he made in the past based on blind and pure ideals. Saber wished she never pulled the sword out of the stone so Britain might not have been destroyed. For Archer, who weighed one life against thousands, he killed and killed and killed for his ideals as a counter force to humanity in order to wring justice from the world. But of course he discovered that it is impossible to save everyone and in the end, all that was left were regrets.
Kirei approaches Lancer and Rin and Shinji is naturally cast aside for much more important matters in the plot. I honestly think if Rin had been actually trained by her father and not raised by a weirdo like Kirei then she’d be an even more capable mage. Kirei’s scehems from Fate/Zero are revealed even here, tying many fans back to the Fourth Holy Grail War including Tokiomi Tohsaka, Rin’s father. Rin sure is clever, putting two and two together so quickly. Kirei intends for Rin to become the vessel for grail.
While all this is happening, Archer’s spiel continues and to be honest, it runs a bit long. The writers for Fate definitely go for serious melodramatic dialogue over short and concise truths. It definitely adds weight to Archer’s struggles and burdens as a character but it’s quite long-winded, especially for fans who already know of Archer’s background (And let’s face it, most of the fans in Japan are fans of the visual novel originally). I really wished Shiro was more of a participant in Archer’s monologue because Saber just doesn’t seem like a sufficient character to draw out the intricacies in Archer’s morality. Archer just blabs at her.
I kind of wished the episode divided the episode into two halves, one which focused on Archer and one which focused on Rin’s side of things because Lancer’s entire ending is just too anti-climactic. Upsetting enough, he’s command-seal-ordered to commit suicide and doesn’t even get the chance to spout curses before his death. I really think Lancer’s death in Fate/Zero was much more dramatic.
“Don’t you think if such a man died, the world would be better for it?” – Archer
Archer’s presence from the future, returning to kill Shiro just generates such a huge conflicting time loop. If you kill your former self, you kill your future self, thus rectifying your future deeds. What will happen to the world as a result of Archer/future Shiro’s disappearance as a counter force? Ahhh all the implications that come with time travel. But seriously, we’ve been waiting for this epic Archer-Shiro-showdown for nineteen episodes and so so so many more weeks since the first season, up till now. EPISODE TWENTY WILL BE EPIC!!!
What are you pondering today?