Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works Episode 21 Review

Rating: 4/5 curious clouds Crop_4 CloudsExcited Transparent

“Justice is a representation of order. Saving all and saving the individual are two different things.” – ArcherFate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works Episode 21 (12)

Archer and Shirou’s battle reaches a climax of frustration where they hit a wall with each other. Since we recapped last week that the more Shirou comes into physical contact with Archer, the stronger his skills develop, the two end up dragging out the fight for quite some time. Interspaced between the side scenes with Rin and Shinji in the previous episodes, the fight just felt choppy and every time we went back to it, Archer reordered his lines to say the same thing in just about, if not more, words.

Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works Episode 21 (6)I love Fate but it’s because this series in particular was made as an extension of fandom so really not enough explanation over all. Things just keep happening in succession and the audience is forced to take mental notes wherever they can in case we happen to need that tidbit of information like so much further down the road. Nevertheless, I can’t rate Fate any lower than a four out of five. Plus, Shiro gets such amazing dialogue in this route you end up really admiring him for his gumption and persistence in his ideals.

My favourite scene in this episode is the part where Shirou and Archer clash for the last time, we get a scene of Kiritsugu and childhood Shiro inserted between the slow motion emotional introspection and whether it’s Archer or Shiro remembering this scene, well, the anime doesn’t tell us.

Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works Episode 21 (22)OMG most awkward moment, when Rin runs in on Archer and Shirou after the two of them have had a huge duked out fight. After ALLL the episodes Archer tries to kill Shirou, Archer ends up saving Shirou from Gilgamesh’s attack and perishes (somewhat anticlimactically). After that, Gilgamesh provides the audience with a much needed and long due information dump on what the Grail is, its nature, the semantics of the war and the curses. Here while we get a thorough explanation of the Grail’s “evilness” we’re not explained the difference between the Lesser Grail and the Great Grail. Rather, the general Grail mentioned by Gilgamesh serves as a key reveal that ties us back to the events in Fate/Zero when Saber “destroyed” the Grail.

Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works Episode 21 (24)Then out of nowhere, Gilgamesh reveals his desire to use the Grail to wipe out humanity and the world so that he can recreate the world under his rule. Only those who survive the destruction are worthy of being his servants. He remarks callously on how weak humans are in this era, which is probably true. But I wish they hinted more at Gilgamesh’s “intentions” because now that Archer is gone, he serves as the final antagonist in the epic finale of the series. I believe Shirou’s been strengthened A TON since his fight with Archer. For one reason or another, Gilgamesh opts to retreat for the day, switching our scenes to Shinji and Gilgamesh. The episode ends with Gilgamesh inserting Illya’s heart into Shinji, forcing him to mutate into the vessel for the Lesser Grail. Gross, but perhaps fitting for a scum bag like Shinji.

The season’s gone by too quickly! I need to re-watch all of UBW all at once. Seriously.

– Cloudy

What are you pondering today?

 

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