[Anime] Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works – Unlimited Blade Works (S2E12)


UBW Season 2

It’s show-time for everyone on Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works. After all the talking, the build-up, the hype generating, it’s time for everyone to put their money where their mouths are. Gilgamesh talked a big game for the entirety of this series, but can he pull his grand plan off? Shirou has come a long way from the confused, powerless little boy he was in the beginning, but can he defeat one of the most powerful Servants of all time? Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on the Holy Grail front as Saber has to make a call on whether to wait for Rin to escape the Grail or sacrifice her Master for the greater good. The episode shares its title, ‘Unlimited Blade Works’, with both the series and a previous episode but it’s earned – in every sense, this episode is a culmination of the ideas and concepts that the series has introduced since the beginning. This episode, which effectively is the series’ finale from a narrative perspective, always ties all the characters’ arcs together wonderfully, even though that means we have to part ways with some of the characters that we’ve come to love. There is even a surprising (and unexplained) guest appearance from everyone’s favourite man in red. The previous few episodes have been lethargic and gave the impression that they were in some odd narrative limbo but as it turns out, the series was just saving its best for last: this is easily one of my favourite episodes from the entire twenty five episode run and it’s hard to imagine the epilogue topping it.

Prior to this episode, it honestly felt like the Holy Grail and the subplot involving its destruction were secondary to the ‘real’ fight between Shirou and Gilgamesh – the Grail just didn’t seem all that dangerous or ominous. This episode changed that opinion a little but not enough to take the top spot from Gilgamesh, especially after he effortlessly put Shirou in his place in the previous episode. The series has received mixed response for its portrayal of certain characters, their arcs and the way it has attempted to combine routes at times but there have been absolutely no complaints about the way it has adapted the fight sequences and it’s hard to imagine that there will be any complaints on that front after this episode. The final confrontation between Shirou and Gilgamesh had to deliver – it was the fight of the series, the clash that would answer the question of legitimacy between them – and deliver it did. The fight between these two characters was perfect, from the action to the animation, and especially, to the music. As was the case in his fight with Archer, Shirou begins this fight down but not out. He has made his peace with himself and his ideals and he reiterates that commitment here. It’s great to hear the conclusions he has reached and see the consequences of his character development translate into something tangible. It’s extremely obvious that had Shirou never had that fight with Archer, he would never have been able to keep up with Gilgamesh – not just because of the skills he acquired during that fight, but also because he would have snapped mentally under the pressure of Gilgamesh’s goading. As things turned out though, Shirou knows exactly who and what he is – and what he is not. He is not under any delusions of his strength vis-à-vis other Servants but at the same time, he just knows that he can take Gilgamesh on and isn’t afraid to say it. This results in one of the most badass pre-battle one-liners of all time, pictured above.


The fight itself is nothing but pure eye candy though there are some interesting moments in it. We see the creation of the ‘Unlimited Blade Works’ Reality Marble – one sword at a time, at first, and then by the dozen. It isn’t a full, detailed explanation but one wasn’t needed. The creation of Unlimited Blade Works isn’t really about what kind of magic tricks and mechanics Shirou uses to construct that Marble but instead about the frame of mind that he is in when he does so. In that context, the Reality Marble is a representation of his commitment to his ideals and his intention to defend them. In the process of constructing the Reality Marble, we hear Shirou’s own version of the famed chant – the words are different, but more importantly, the tone is much more optimistic. Archer’s chant had words like ‘Unknown to death nor known to life’, which made him sound jaded and worn (or perhaps, I’m just attributing those qualities to those words because of what I know of Archer), whereas Shirou’s chant has lines like ‘I have emerged unvanquished from many battles’ which has a more positive twist to it. The difference is probably just academic and I’m reading too much into it, but it would be great if Shirou’s version of the chant reflected his new, healthier view of his ideals. During the fight, one might be wondering just how Shirou was summoning such a flurry of swords without running out of mana, especially when it was clearly stated that his limited was about twenty projections. It might just be that within the Unlimited Blade Works Marble, the swords are ‘pre-projected’, so to speak. In that fight, Shirou doesn’t really project new weapons; he just rearranges weapons that already exist and uses them to attack/defend. It’s a great way of visually demonstrating the resolution of the whole real versus fake debate – Shirou’s swords look visibly plainer than Gilgamesh’s shinier originals but they are just as potent. It’s also a way of illustrating to the audience that this is the conclusion that show has reached: ideals even if fake and borrowed, are no less valuable or noble because of it. Again, we’ve heard this in some form or the other before, but it’s important that this concept not be something characters just talk about but also something that has an actual effect on the plot. Finally, it also worth noting, that in light of this discussion of fakes facing off against the real deals, that from a certain perspective, Gilgamesh is the phony Heroic Spirit – he has not achieved true mastery over his weapons and techniques the way that the other Spirits have and even, Ea, his greatest treasure, cannot save him from what, by any measure, is an ignoble defeat.


The episode isn’t just all about Gilgamesh and Shirou, though their fight is very much the primary focus. In the background, the artefact that started this entire mess, the Holy Grail, is festering. There were some interesting remarks about an incorrectly summoned Servant, from Rin, Saber and Gilgamesh. This undoubtedly involves more detail about the nature of the Holy Grail than the story requires at this point but it would seem that the Servant the characters are referring to are not Saber (who was incorrectly summoned by Shirou) or Gilgamesh (who wasn’t even summoned this time), but something else entirely. We might have a clue in the form of the enormous monstrosity t that emerges from the muck but given that Saber pretty much one shots it (at the cost of her life), it’s unlikely that we need to concern ourselves with it for now. Saber’s Noble Phantasm, Excalibur, is glorious but it’s unfortunate that we are only able to see it in action once. Rin blows all three of her Command Seals to ensure Saber takes the Grail out and boy, does she ever. It seems that in an attempt to save itself, the Grail tries to replace Gilgamesh with Shinji (despite being Ea’d the last time it tried) but that does raise the question of just what Gilgamesh is at this point. Is he still a Servant? Or has he become human or whatever he was before he became a Heroic Spirit? It would seem like more of the former based on his remarks as he was being pull into the Grail black hole.


Unfortunately, the destruction of the Holy Grail comes with a price and we have to part ways with the series’ most stalwart Servant – Saber. Saber, for all her loyalty and dedication didn’t really get a particularly emotional send off. Shirou’s final words to her were more along the lines of ‘Thanks, you were swell, sorry I couldn’t do more.’ What Saber needed to be saved from isn’t entirely clear in the anime and it’s surprising that Shirou even knows given that she never really tells him about it. Still, her end is satisfying enough – she ‘dies’ knowing that she protected her two friends and Masters and that she did her duty to the full extent of her abilities. It was a nice touch seeing her surprise when Shirou declared that he will face Gilgamesh alone, especially considering that not too long ago, she was giving Shirou sword-fighting lessons. I suppose this is also as good a place as any to bid adieu to the series’ final villain, Gilgamesh. In all honesty, he was disappointingly underwhelming, and that’s difficult to do when you’re as ridiculously overpowered as he is. What disappointed me wasn’t that he didn’t give our heroes a run for their money but rather than he never really seemed to have a compelling reason for doing what he did. Still, he was an entertaining villain and his arrogance made his fall all the more satisfying.


We had a surprise appearance from Archer this week and I can honestly say that I did not see that coming. On hindsight, it was a little strange that a character we spent so much time with got as poor a ‘farewell’ as he did when ‘died’ but this week’s conclusion to his story is much more satisfying. We will need an explanation of just how he was able to stick around after what looked like his death, but perhaps next week’s epilogue will clear that up. Under normal circumstances, I would be crying foul and claiming deus ex machina but it really didn’t feel like Archer’s reappearance changed all that much in the larger scheme of things. He saves Rin but Saber was being forced to destroy the Grail, so one way or another, the Grail issues would be resolved though obviously, this particular outcome is preferable, since Rin lives. As for his headshot on Gilgamesh, given that Shirou was willing to chop his arm off to see Gilgamesh die (and he would have done it too, that crazy bastard), Archer’s arrival just saved us from seeing two characters being de-armed in one episode. More than his intervention, his farewell to Rin showed us that it wasn’t just Shirou who changed during the course of this war – Archer’s final smiling farewell to his Master was very reminiscent of Shirou’s own smile and for perhaps the first time in the entire show, you could really see that they were the same person. I have mixed feelings about Archer and Shirou not having a final conversation but perhaps they’ve reached a point where there really isn’t anything to say that they haven’t already.

And so, with that, we have reached the effective end of the story. There is still an ‘Epilogue’ episode next week but that’ll probably just tie up the last few threads – what happens between Rin and Shirou, Shinji’s fate and maybe we’ll even see the rest of gang (Fujimura, Sakura, etc). Given the way things turned out, a happy-ever-after vibe would be in order. Looking back at the first episode and seeing how things turned out, this particular war turned out to be much bloodier than I expected. Coming into the series, I felt like it would be a little lighter in tone – Servants would be ‘defeated’ but not outright killed and Masters would just quietly bow out once they are defeated. It’s hilarious how wrong I was, of course – the only survivors were Rin, Shirou and Shinji, out of a group of fourteen. Since I don’t expect the epilogue next week to introduce any new material, I’ll spend most that write up discussing a few things that have been bugging me. I’ve finished the Fate route, at long last, and while I did enjoy it, I do also have some problems with it (hopefully, I won’ get flamed too hard, but I think it’s good to discuss any work’s strengths and weaknesses, regardless of whether you enjoyed it or not). I’ll also talk a little about my thoughts on this anime, specifically as an entry point to the franchise and as a standalone work.

 

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48 thoughts on “[Anime] Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works – Unlimited Blade Works (S2E12)

  1. When Gilgamesh was doused with the Grail’s Corruption at the end of Zero (as we saw in the flashbacks) he was given a physical body. This is why the Grail attempts to make him it’s new host even though he can’t be since it does not realize that Gil is also a servant.

    Also Gilgamesh was born as 2/3 god and 1/3 human and as a child, acted like a “perfect” king who was merciful to his subjects and was widely loved. Gil was born in an age where the gods were losing their control over humanity, and they created him so that they would regain it.

    As Gil grew up, he realized that he was closer to being a god than a human, and therefore, if he helped humanity accomplish anything, the final product wouldn’t be from humanity’s own merits, but from the help of a god, making people only slaves to the gods that they were finally beginning to let go of. Gil didn’t want that because he loved humanity so much more than the gods.

    So Gil thought to himself, “hmm, how can I help humanity without helping them” and then Eureka, he decided to be an ass to them. In order to help humanity further its own growth, Gilgamesh himself had to be the “North Wind” that would act as the adversary against humanity; the more he loved humanity, the more he had to hate them. By doing this, he would become the “observer” over humanity that would watch over its course and achievements.

    He collected all the treasures in the world so that he would have a standard to judge mankind by and see what they would have to aim for in the future.

    In F/SN he’s an even worse ass because his physical incarnation screws with his mentality so that it “gravitates” towards the humanity of the era, which is implied to be self-destructive and such.

    Shinji basically asks Gilgamesh what he wants out of the grail war, and Gilgamesh tells a story from back when he was a king about how he wanted to go out to kill someone. He went looking all around his kingdom looking for someone whom the world wouldn’t miss being dead, but had to give up because there was no one without worth in his kingdom. He look at the modern world and how many worthless people there are in it, how even some of the people with worth are bogged down by the worthless, and blames it on how easy the world is on humans compared to his time. He wants to use the Grail’s senseless destruction to weed out the worthless.

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    • Where is all this explained?

      This does help me understand where he’s coming from though it doesn’t quite make him sympathetic (though I guess it isn’t meant to?)

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      • The Fate franchise is huge, there are additional Light Novels, Video Games, Manga as well as F/SN’s sequel VN, Fate/Hollow Ataraxia, that expand upon his character. So this was basically pieced together from the various Fate entries as well as supplemental material books.

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  2. Great review as always! Really looking towards your final thoughts on UBW and Fate.

    “I do also have some problems with it (hopefully, I won’ get flamed too hard”

    Don’t worry, Fate route has a couple of flaws and every sane fan acknowleges them, so as long as your complaints aren’t absolutely ridiculous, there shouldn’t be any problems with pointing out those flaws.

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  3. I watched the episode this morning and then after a pretty long busy day, as I was reading this, scrolling down to the first image it suddenly hit me, “it’s real, this fight actually got properly animated and it wasn’t just a dream”. Sorry for the hardcore fanboy response but I’m really really happy with this episode and I was soo looking foward to that quote specifically.

    As much as I love Fate route it does have it’s problems, and it’s the one route that has the 2 things I’ve seen Nasu regrets doing and wish he had pulled off better. One execution wise(You’re a girl, Saber!) and one lore wise(Caliburn projection). Oh that and the terribly written sex scenes that were then terribly translated.

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  4. Actually you’re not reading too much into it – you are spot on with Shirou’s different UBW chant being a representation of his more positive andh ealthy worldview. This kind of ties to the idea, which I think wasn’t mentioned in the anime itself, that spell chants aren’t really some rigid phrase for casting a specific spell as in most fantasy universes, but instead a form of self-hypnosis to put caster’s mind in a proper state to make the magic happen.

    As for Archer’s reappearance the explanation is quite plain: He managed to dodge the worst of Gil’s final sword barrage and used the ensuing explosion to cover up him going into spirit mode and getting out.

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  5. As previously mentionned, both Shirou and Archer have two versions of the UBW chant- one in Japanese and one in English/Engrish. We’ve heard both versions of Archer’s (though I can’t remember if the japanes one was properly translated) but only the japanese one for Shirou. Here’s the English one, for better comparison to Archer’s:

    I am the bone of my sword
    Steel is my body and fire is my blood
    I have created over a thousand blades
    Unaware of loss, nor aware of gain
    Withstood pain to create weapons, waiting for one’s arrival
    I have no regrets. This is the only path
    My whole life was unlimited blade works

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    • Actually Shirou only has a Japanese one, it’s just the translators apparently always translate the chants differently for some reason. I think the next to last line is especially important compared to Archers.

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    • Ugh the number of versions is confusing me.

      So there’s Shirou’s Japanese one, his English one and then there are two Archer versions?

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      • There is Shirou’s which he says Japanese and Archer’s which he says in English. So there are only those two versions though they both have English, Literal English, Japanese and Romaji translations.

        Archer’s Chant is
        English:
        I am the bone of my sword
        Steel is my body and fire is my blood
        I have created over a thousand blades
        Unknown to Death, Nor known to Life
        Have withstood pain to create many weapons
        Yet, those hands will never hold anything
        So as I pray, unlimited blade works.

        Literal English:
        His body is made out of swords
        His blood is of iron and his heart of glass
        He survived through countless battles
        Not even once retreating
        Not even once being understood
        He was always alone
        Intoxicated with victory in a hill of swords
        Thus, his life has no meaning
        That body was certainly made out of swords

        Shirou’s
        English:
        I am the bone of my sword
        Steel is my body and fire is my blood
        I have created over a thousand blades
        Unaware of loss, Nor aware of gain
        Withstood pain to create weapons, waiting for one’s arrival
        I have no regrets. This is the only path
        My whole life was unlimited blade works

        Literal English:
        His body is made out of swords
        His blood is of iron and his heart of glass
        He survived through countless battles
        Not even once retreating
        Not even once being victorious
        The bearer lies here alone
        Forging iron in a hill of swords
        Thus, my life needs no meaning
        This body is made out of infinite swords

        So as you can see the subs for the episode leaned towards a more literal translation of shirou’s chant. Archer saying his chant in english thankfully removed any chance of poor translation.

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        • Sorry to say this, but you’re blatantly wrong. There are definitely two versions of each chant, and we see both of Archer’s right at the beggining of the visual novel, on the first screen after Rin’s prologue ends: http://lparchive.org/Fatestay-night/Update%2006/1-F01-01-08.jpg
          Nasu’s English version (bone of my sword one) is NOT a translation of the Japanese one. The one listed on Type-Moon Wiki as Literal English is an ACTUAL translation.
          Please don’t spread misinformation.

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  6. I would love to hear your thoughts on Fate Route. The popular opinion among fans is that that it is the weakest of the routes so I wouldn’t worry too much about flames. Personally, I can appreciate that it does a decent job of setting up a lot of things for UBW and Heaven’s Feel despite its numerous flaws.

    Love your analysis as always. You are absolutely right about UBW opening with pre-traced weapons (hence the “My Swords are ready and waiting so I’m one step ahead” line). I would also love to see you do Fate Zero once you are done with the VN.

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  7. You’re actually right on the UBW chant representing his changed and healthier worldview rather than just being a different chant for a different person. I’d recommend looking at the one Aumanor posted; the “I have no regrets” line really takes it apart from Archers version.

    Yeah I think you more or less got how UBW worked and the whole bit with only 20 projections outside it and things.

    As for Archers appearance, there really unfortunately isn’t too much explanation-the official one given is that Gilgamesh missed his “spiritual core”-and if you look at the still http://i.imgur.com/3yJPmL9.png You can see they didn’t show him being completely skewered, though you wouldn’t really notice that unless you were looking for it.

    Fate is probably the weakest route and I find some problems in it myself so don’t worry about talking about its weaknesses haha.

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    • The problem with that explanation is that Gilgamesh should’ve noticed that he didnt go away, and if he did try to go away he would be spotted. The explanation so far has been “Archer just dematerialized”, but that also doesnt make sense given the fact that in episode 0, Lancer proves that servants can see other servants who are dematerialized, even if they themselves are not dematerialized. I’m just going to go with my personal explanation that the power of asspulls saved Archer, as they usually do with characters written by Nasu.

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      • Like I mentioned, the lack of explanation would have bothered me much more if it really drastically changed the outcome of things. As things stand, it just saved the characters some misery – Rin survived and Shirou didn’t have to chop his arm off. If Archer single handedly saved Shirou from certain defeat or destroyed the Grail after Saber failed to do so, that would be a very different matter.

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  8. Interested in your problems with Fate I can only think of 2-3 major things that people have problems with in that route.

    I just hope they adapt all of the epilogue next week.

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    • I honestly think I went I to the VN wrong. The whole Shirou Saber thing felt wrong to me because in my head it’s Shirou-Rin. That wasn’t a major problem of course. The issues I had with it are more with the pacing and the dynamic (both the romantic and non-romantic) between Shirou and Saber. Also, the sex scenes atrocious but you guys warned me about them in advance, so I wasn’t too shocked

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      • Ummm… oh dear. You’re playing the old version. Well, That explains a lot. For your information, Fate/Stay Night has been re-released twice, once for Play Station 2, with a subtitle Realta Nua and once in 2012 for PS Vita. Both versions had the H-scenes replaced and multiple graphics and music tracks added, as well as being voiced. When Mirror Moon was originally creating the fan translation patch they used the PC version as base and only added the possibility of importing voices over from the console version, without ingering into the engine in any way. Since then a couple of independent patches were created, the latest one using the PS Vita version, somehow imported onto PC and broken into three parts (so each route can be played separately), as a base and including all the features of the newest release. By default it’s pretty much the PS2 version, though you can choose to replace all the music with 2012 remixes (you should’t do this imho, they’re pretty much universally worse than the originals), restore the H-scenes (you’ve witnessed Nasu’s hmmm… erotic, let’s call it, writing, I don’t think I need to tell you why it’s a bad idea) and use PSV openings (also not recomended for a new player, they spoil A LOT, particularily the Heaven’s Feel one. They’re definitely worth the watch once you’re done with a given route though, being done by Ufotable and after next Saturday the spoilers for UBW won’t really be a problem). I definitely recommend checking it out, the Realta Nua tracks really add a lot to many scenes, one in Heaven’s Feel in particular.

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        • This is my bad entirely. Someone posted this nice installation guide for Realta Nua earlier and I downloaded it and everything but then I ended sticking with my version because of the save file. I figured a few translation changes were no biggie, but now I wish I had avoided Fifty Shades of Fate.

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          • It’s quite all right. I believe even Nasu hates his sex scenes (If I’m not mistaken he was against putting them in the first place, but they were afraid the game wouldn’t sell without SOME sex scenes. After the series became a hit, they were no longer needed). And at the very least, they have some truly laughable bits.

            That and it gives you a greater appreciation for the replacement scenes. Rin transferring a bit of her crest has a bit more emotion to it, I think.

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            • I think that scene makes less sense compared to the original, because of how important a family crest is and the trials the heir of a family has to go through to receive it.

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            • Personally I think the replacement scene makes less sense compared to the original. The visual novel tells us that a crest is very important to a mage, It is the culmination of generations of study and research by a mage family. By giving (a part of it) away Rin would seriously hamper her magecraft. We are also told that it is a very difficult and long progress to transfer chrest. There is suppose to be a high change of rejection when it is transferred to a non blood relative.

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          • It’s fine if you turn the sex scenes off in Fate & UBW, but I highly recommend keeping them on if you decide to read Heaven’s Feel before it’s movie project releases. As bad as they are, turning them off in that route actually changes a good chunk of the plot and characterization (for the worse I might add). Without spoiling anything, it’s also worth pointing out that while many sources, including the most recent anime, opt to acknowledge the [Realta Nua] version as when it comes to the first two routes, Heaven’s Feel references always point towards the original, “Fifty Shades of Fate” version in the most unsubtle ways.

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          • It’s fine if you turn the sex scenes off in Fate & UBW, but I highly recommend keeping them on if you decide to read Heaven’s Feel before it’s movie project releases. As bad as they are, turning them off in that route actually changes a good chunk of the plot and characterization (for the worse I might add). Without spoiling anything, it’s also worth pointing out that while many sources, including the most recent anime, opt to acknowledge the [Realta Nua] version as when it comes to the first two routes, Heaven’s Feel references always point towards the original, “Fifty Shades of Fate” version. This adaptation is no exception.

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          • That said I wouldn’t recommend turning the sex scenes off, horrible as they are, but rather just skipping them manually since the censored version also censored out other mature content that is plot and character relevant, especially in HF.

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  9. What anime do you plan on doing after Fate/Stay Night and how soon do you plan on starting it? You seem get more information and subtle hints from the shows then I do when I watch or even rewatch, so i’m excited for whatever comes next.

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      • Great choice! Will you write about Kara no Kyoukai? Some of the movies are utter behemoths, so I’m interested in seeing what you have to say about it!

        Also looking forward to your thoughts on the Fate route (which is generally considered the weakest route, by the way)

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        • Yup, I meant that my next blogging project will be Kara No Kyoukai. I’m also watching Shokugeki no Soma (don’t ask) but didn’t really think I had the time to do two concurrent shows this season.

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  10. I really enjoyed this review much like your previous ones. I would say that Archer’s survival isn’t entirely explained except for a one-off line in HF describing Archer’s compatibility with his Independent Action skill which let survive Gil’s barrage by turning into spirit form. It is a bit of a deus ex machina as other Servants can sense each other in spirit form; however, the way it was handled gave off a more conclusive feeling towards Archer’s character arc in comparison to if he had really died back in the castle scene.

    As for your potential review of the Fate route, I’m absolutely fine with it. The visual novel has problems. Most people recognize that; as such, I don’t believe you will suffer from too much “flaming” for critiquing an eleven-year old work.

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  11. Hey rereads, I just wanna say I have been following your reviews through ep 1 to now, and you’re easily the most perceptive person I’ve seen. I would like to recommend Fate/Zero to you but I think others may have as well because with such a great job you did with a lesser plot intensive anime, I would really like to see how you think and feel about Fate/Zero, which has a darker and more mature setting, with themes that fate stay night has shown. Also, many questions you asked during the F/SN reviews will be answered(especially the questions about Saber) in F/Z. Kudos on the good reviews! I really did enjoy them, and look forward to KnK revews as well as maybe F/Z(hopefully?) reviews.

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    • There has been a lot of discussion about viewing/reading order but yes, I’ll definitely be covering Fate/Zero at some point, probably soon.

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      • DO NOT WATCH ZERO UNTIL YOU HAVE FINISHED HEAVEN’S FEEL.

        To put that in a less capslocky way, Heavens Feel has a lot of great emotional punch to it after finishing the other two arcs. I don’t feel like a lot of it is lost from the few spoilers in Fate/Zero but I also think that Heavens Feel is so good that it doesn’t deserve to be sullied even that little bit.

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          • You’re enjoying the VN then? I’ve seen too many people give up in the middle of the first route and I hate it when that happens.

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            • I am, but I also have some problems with it. My biggest beef is just the writing style. It seems very fluffy and long winded but I suspect it reads better in Japanese than in English.

              Not the biggest put off, but it makes reading it harder than it has to be. Plot and character-wise I have some minor issues but nothing Earth shattering.

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        • To add to this: Fate/Zero was written after Fate/Stay Night, because of this it assumes the reader/viewer has read Fate/Stay Night. In its prologue for example it spoils some big twists from the Heaven’s Feel route.

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  12. Just wanted to add something about the chants of Shirou and Archer.
    Both are in the original japanese VN as the japanese chant with english Rubytext. The translators of the VN simply didn’t include the japanese version.
    It should read like this
    Archer:
    – I am the bone of my sword
    His body is made out of swords

    -Steel is my body and fire is my blood
    His blood is of iron and his heart of glass

    – I have created over a thousand blades
    He survived through countless battles

    -Unknown to Death,
    Not even once retreating

    -Nor known to Life
    Not even once being understood

    -Have withstood pain to create many weapons

    Yet, those hands will never hold anything
    He was always alone. Intoxicated with victory in a hill of swords

    – So as I pray, unlimited blade works.
    That body was certainly made out of swords

    And Shirou
    – I am the bone of my sword
    His body is made out of swords

    – Steel is my body and fire is my blood
    His blood is of iron and his heart of glass

    – I have created over a thousand blades
    He survived through countless battles

    – Unaware of loss
    Not even once retreating

    – Nor aware of gain
    Not even once being victorious

    – Withstood pain to create weapons, waiting for one’s arrival
    The bearer lies here alone. Forging iron in a hill of swords

    – I have no regrets. This is the only path
    Thus, my life needs no meaning

    -My whole life was unlimited blade works
    This body is made out of infinite swords

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  13. I’m just looking for some confirmation here since you’ve started the VN already, but are you going to review the UBW route of the VN? I would love to see a comparison between the VN and the anime version.

    Right now I am working my way through the VN again, because I wanted to experience the VN again and have a fresh understanding of the VN’s content before trying to figure out how well I feel the ufotable’s UBW anime adapted the route from the VN, and whether it can stand on its own apart from the VN.

    And of course, I would love to see you review both the VN and soon to be released ufotable movie (series?) adaption of Heaven’s Feel!!!

    Since you have already started the VN, I would advise you (like sooooooo many other people have before) not to read/watch F/Z before completing the VN. Which also brings up another question: will you review the anime version or the original Light Novels (they are all online to read). It’s funny, most fans of the F/SN VN that I have interacted with have only watched the ufotable adaption of F/Z, but did not read the novels. I am going to after I reread the F/SN VN, along with Kara no Kyoukai novels that I have neglected to read as well (watching the ufotable movie series adaptation).

    I do not remember whether you or someone else posted your reviews on the /r/fatestaynight subreddit, but I am glad to have read not only your reviews of the UBW anime adaption, but your entire website to peruse. I have in the past posted some of your reviews on the subreddit, and have used them as a source of knowledge to understand if viewers ignorant of the original source material could enjoy the anime adaption on a more deeper level akin to the VN. Most people (like any piece of media) could enjoy the anime at a very surface level, but I was worried that the deeper natures of the characters would not properly translate well to a visual-audio only medium. It was refreshing seeing an outside perspective enjoy the narrative of UBW.

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  14. Regarding EP 25 you may want to look at this part of Nasu’s blogpost about the last episode before reviewing it because it “clears up” possible missunderstandings with the final scene
    Kinda spoilerish

    —-
    [[Wasteland Scene
    After the credits. The same wasteland as at the beginning.
    Shirou is walking alone. Exhausted, he comes to a stop.
    When he looks down, there are signs that somebody was here before him. (This is where Archer stopped.)
    He sighs, and looks up. Though his expression is a little weary, it is also full of hope.
    With a purposeful stride, he begins walking forward again.
    The camera stays at Archer’s footprints, watching Shirou’s back as it recedes into the distance. End Scene.
    (If you need to make it easier to understand, have Archer appear at his footprints after Shirou leaves, watching over him… though hopefully you won’t have to do that.)]]

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