“A man who created nothing of his own is trying to accomplish something?” – Gilgamesh
I was seriously SO EXCITED for this episode. Gilgamesh calls out Shiro for his ideals, for living his life based on a false dream, unable to save others, unable to save himself. Surprisingly quickly, Shiro does come to terms with the fact that he’s copied his ideals from someone else; wanting to save others even though he didn’t fully understand what that meant. While the ideal – to save everyone – is an unattainable wish, he still chased after it. This was probably one of my favourite Shiro monologue ever. Hearing him voice his ideals while the blades in the Reality Marble fall from the sky one by one, one battle after another, despite the fruitlessness of the endeavour… there is a sort of tragically beautiful and poetic kind of charm to it. The dialogue REALLY makes you root for dialogue before the big battle, even though the odds are stacked against him. To be honest, they’ve always been stacked against him.
I’m also impressed with Shiro’s confidence against Gilgamesh. Even with Saber’s presence, Shirou acknowledges his own strengths and weaknesses, being all too aware of both. He also sees the pros and cons to Gilgamesh’s fighting style and figures out exactly what Archer means when Archer tasks Shirou with beating Gilgamesh. Shirou’s remark on him and Gilgamesh’s similarities is actually quite profound. He observes that because he and Gilgamesh both boast an entire storage of weapons (real or fake aside), they’ve really mastered none of them. Unlike other Servants who clearly have one mastered Noble Phantasm, Shiro is able to stand against Gilgamesh because of their similar Noble Phantasm styles. The entire battle turns into a fakes versus real weapons showdown.
“I don’t create swords. I create world that contains an infinite amount of swords.” – Shirou
I’ve said this again and again throughout the series, even starting from season one but DAMN the animation is ABSOLUTELY STUNNING, from the Unlimited Blade Works reality marble to Shirou’s combat movements, the disgusting mass of flesh that is the Lesser Grail and the stunning beam of light from Saber’s Noble Phantasm, a moment we’ve been waiting for SINCE EPISODE ONE OMG. I really wanted more of a build-up with Excalibur, I didn’t expect it to go through so quickly but I suppose the episode needed to allot more time to the epic battle finale between Shirou and Gilgamesh. It’s pretty damn amazing Saber can keep up with Gilgamesh and even force him back. The battle between him and Archer was definitely a good thing to boost his magic stats. Plus Tohsaka mana is A+ OMG
Loved seeing Rho Aias summoned in battle and seeing Shirou re-use Kanshou and Bakuya.
In the end, things don’t exactly finish neatly. The Grail, one little piece left of it, is desperate for a core, attempts to drag Gilgamesh along with it to oblivion but Gilgamesh tries to latch onto Shirou to escape. Thankfully, what little remnants of Archer that remain appear. No one questions his presence, despite the fact that he should already be gone… We see him intervere twice – in two moments that are REALLY monumental to the wellbeing of our characters. At first, he fires a few shots to pave an escape path for Rin and Shinji. Towards the end, he throws a knife into Gilgamesh’s skull, freeing Shirou. Rin meets Archer for the last time and sees him smile genuinely at her, promising to do his best despite the obstacles that await him. AHHH TOO CUTE. I LOVE THIS SHIROU x RIN ship. it’s too cute. Despite the fact that I really wish Saber could have stayed till the end, the series is going for its True ending in the visual novel which really just leaves off with Rin and Shirou.
Most of the wrap-up was in this episode, the next episode as an epilogue to conclude a bit of the loose ends to do with Rin and Shirou personally. I really enjoyed the final episode overall and I’m so sad to see the series go. Fate Stay Night always unfolds like an epic and though there was a lot less dialogue and less emotional impact, there were definitely enough actions and key character moments to satisfy viewers and fans.
What are you pondering today>?