In a world where mages dwell among commoners, magic battles among mages that are hidden from public view are commonplace all over the world.
Go home, Hagrid. You’re drunk.
One such battle, or rather, war, is the Holy Grail War which takes place in New Fuyuki City of Japan. It involves the summoning of seven mythical figures with otherworldly strengths and powers which allies themselves with seven mages to do battle in order to gain the omnipotent, wish-granting Holy Grail.
During this period of time, mages kill each other, glorious, landscape-destroying battles erupt spontaneously out of nowhere and everyone involved in this war put their lives at stake in order to gain the Holy Grail to satisfy their wants and desires, some good, some bad.
First, let us go on a date!
This is a pic of me and my bae, window shopping together. We had a lot of time to get to know each other! I mean, we could get killed if we miscalculated anything ‘cuz you know we’re in this Holy Gold War thingy. But, I mean, life is but a game, right? Like a hentai game, right?
Mmm…I love orange cake. And tea too! Mmm…my favourite. I’m almost broke, but I’d rather eat this banana/cherry/ice cream whatchamacallit thingy before I get killed by some cray-cray bastard from the ancient civilization of Mesopotato or some other Indian name. Forgot it.
Why don’t we escape somewhere too? I know! Let’s go to London! Why not?! I mean…
WHY THE HECK NOT????!!!!!!!
Fate/Stay Night:Unlimited Blade Works is an anime series adapted from the eroge visual novel Fate/Stay Night. Like all visual novels, the story has different routes which is decided by what the character chooses to do during the course of the game. For the visual novel Fate/Stay Night, there are three routes to be chosen: Fate, Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven’s Feel. This series adapts the second route Unlimited Blade Works from the visual novel and is comparatively less informative than the original Fate/Stay Night (2006) adaptation but it shouldn’t too much of a bother even if you’re completely new to the Fate series.
As aforementioned, Fate/Stay Night: UBW revolves around the Holy Grail War in which seven mages known as Masters are selected to battle each other by summoning seven legendary heroes known as Servants. The main goal of this battle is to eliminate all other opponents and gain the Holy Grail which will grant the owner’s wish. Unlike its prequel Fate/Zero which has only a shadow of a main character, this one has a definite main character by the name of Emiya Shirou.
Unlike in the first anime adaptation back in 2006, Emiya is now more impressive and less of the stupid jerk that he is. Well, actually, he hasn’t changed that much. His blunders are still pretty much intolerable, like screwing up strategies and stopping others from fighting properly because…
Okay, now this Emiya guy is also one of the selected participants in the Holy Grail War after summoning a Servant of his own, known only as Saber.
Although he summoned the strongest Servant class, he is an unwilling Master supposedly mainly because he only has a little knowledge about magic and doesn’t like killing people. In fact, he’s so unwilling to see people being miserable that he ends up being miserable himself and thick-headed towards other people’s kindness towards him.
Anyway, after unexpectedly summoning Saber, she proceeds to attack his schoolmate, Tohsaka Rin, observing nearby which is co-incidentally also another Master and he stops Saber by using a Command Spell.
Um…well, there are too many plot points to be discussed, so I’ll just leave it at that. You must understand the first two episodes in the series are a total of 2 hours long, so please, watch it yourself if you’re interested.
In terms of plot and story, this adaptation of Fate/Stay Night is undoubtedly better than the first. There are a plethora of plot points and development in the story department and at the end of every episode, we are treated with plenty of suspense to keep you up all night. Even though the ending is kind of predictable already, the show keeps you guessing on what will happen next and the characters’ back story like the various identities of the Servants, the most intriguing back story being that of Archer.
However, Ufotable Inc., the studio producing this series, follows the original storyline from the visual novel closely. And one can’t expect too much, from a story adapted directly from an eroge visual novel. I mean, seriously, most of the characters in the series are high school students. What can you expect? Even though there is that one plot twist spanning the entire series which is refreshing, but that is all there is to it.
Aside from being a tad bit predictable, the show seemingly just pushes on with the plot even though stuff happened and no explanation is available at all. In fact, the two main characters can leisurely go on with their lives even though they are involved in a supernatural, magical war which could potentially destroy the world. Too little f***s were given as they leisurely went to school, went on a date, strolled all over town and walked right into enemy territory to chit chat.
I mean, seriously, did you forget that you were in a war?
Character wise, this show is not the most original nor the most intriguing, especially if you compare it with its prequel Fate/Zero.
While Emiya Kiritsugu kills in cold-blood and employs whatever methods at his disposal to achieve his goal, Emiya Shirou, his adopted son is so transfixed on helping others that he is willing to hurt himself to do so. On the other hand, Tohsaka Tokiomi is a prideful mage that will cut down whoever he thinks is unworthy, Tohsaka Rin is the sort of generic tsundere with fake pride and is actually a total klutz.
While I don’t mind the characters being the way they are, I kind of wished that their actions to be more thoroughly explained because most of the second half of the series, I cannot comprehend the logic behind their reasoning and that kind of bugs me to no end. In the end, the second half of the series was kind of a blur for me, and I can’t seem recall much from it.
Animation-wise, Ufotable Inc. is one of the best studios out there in producing splendid and jaw-dropping action scenes. The action in the series was simply gorgeous as every frame was so detailed that I can’t help but wonder… Just how deep are their pockets anyway?
Maybe, just maybe, this show should be renamed:
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Budget Works
The music was also great, as the soundtracks were amazing. Well, in the technical aspects, this show is simply the best. No doubt about it.
But is it the best anime can offer?
To say that this series is good is an understatement, but saying that this is the best, is an exaggeration. While this is a very enjoyable series and most of its flaws can be overlooked easily, I can’t deny the critic inside me because it is not perfect. While I’m just being selfish here and trying to satisfy my ego, I can still guarantee that if you are looking for a great anime, or simply looking for a way to entertain yourself endlessly, this series will definitely fulfill your requirements.
So, after meticulously calculated the points awarded for story, character development, animation and sound and the degree of my inflated ego, after which going through a wet dream in which I got laid by Archer…
I decided to give this series a rating of:
8.4 (Near Great)
Before I go, I must apologize for being so late in publishing this review but as you guys would have already known, I’m quite busy and my hands are kind of full, so I must ask that you guys bear with me, ’cause I don’t wanna compromise on the quality of reviews I produce. I mean, quality over quantity, right?
But, fret not, my semester break is near and I have yet to review a number of anime series and OVAs that I have watched recently. But, I must ask that you guys not keep your hopes up too high, cause things may pop up and I may be once occupied with real life and stuff. So, I guess this is it for now.
Thanks for all the support thus far. I appreciate it and look forward to writing more reviews.
Till the next post, cheerio~~