Fate / Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works 01 — Shirou Doesn’t Die When He is Killed

Yeah, this didn’t win the poll, but I decided to blog it anyway. Parasite is too gross for me, I think I’ll probably drop it. (I can take Cross Ange but not Parasite, I know, I know…) Shingeki no Bahamut is awesome except I’m afraid I’d have nothing to say except how awesome it is and screencap dump on Pink being cute. I haven’t seen the second episode yet, but I’m guessing Amagi Brilliant Park will be the final show I cover.

Anyway, Fate / Stay Night. Holy shit this is awesome. I was complaining that they were redoing this instead of Heaven’s Feel, but I take it all back. This is so much better than the original TV anime it’s not even funny.

Some background on my own experience with Fate / Stay Night: I watched the original series, played the game (with Tsukihime, the only visual novel I’ve managed to finish), and blogged Fate / Zero. It’s interesting that for many people watching this, I’m guessing their only experience with the franchise may be Fate / Zero.

Shirou is Dumb

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Oh, Shirou… people who don’t try hard die too, if that makes you feel better…

One of the most annoying parts of the visual novel (after the repetitive battles and sex scenes) was Shirou’s monologue. He can get really annoying. He wants to save all the people in the world from dying, while he’s just a normal high school student. He has some serious delusions of self-grandeur. He doesn’t even realize it’s not possible for him to be a hero who saves everyone in the entire world. So hearing him self-righteously spouting all the time about how he wants to save everyone is ridiculous and frustrating.

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Shirou doesn’t even have the power to save himself, as made abundantly clear by Lancer.

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This adaptation makes dealing with Shriou’s idealism a bit better, because we aren’t subject to the first person perspective. We get some time away from each other. Also, I think this adaptation may be aware of how silly and childish this idea is. We see Shirou form this ideal when he is just a little kid. Furthermore, his friend from the temple says how crazy he is and how people will take advantage of him, and then Shinji does just that. If Shinji asked Shirou to hold down Sakura while he beat her, I think Shirou might just do it. Gotta “help” everybody after all!

Another thing: Shirou’s ideals seem quite different after seeing what happened to Kiritsugu’s ideals in Fate / Zero.  I imagine the show is intentionally relying on its prequel here, where the previous adaptations were unable to do that.

Further Thoughts

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Sakura is best girl, but she does seem extraordinarily lame at first… I guess Rin is way cooler at the moment.

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Saber always sucks though. If there’s one thing I don’t understand it’s Saber fandom.

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Shirou sure likes to grip his rod in his hands and make it hard.

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I don’t remember these three from the previous iterations, but this scene was pretty funny. A good addition (assuming it was one).

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Evil Ilya is so much better than Prism Ilya version.

Also the fights are amazing in this adaptation. The anime turned one of the visual novels into one of the show’s best parts.

Can’t wait for more! Also, anyone know how long this is going? It seems like they’re continuing with double length episodes!

In the comments, please feel free to mention spoilers, but tag them for the benefit of others.

37 thoughts on “Fate / Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works 01 — Shirou Doesn’t Die When He is Killed

  1. Sadly, they already said that only episode 0 and 1 were going to be double length features. Which is a shame, but then again if they continued like that it would make the series the equivalent of 50 episodes long, and I’m not sure UBW even has enough content to not make that boring after a while.

    1. Well, it’s based on a visual novel with lots of (bad) sex scenes, so I find it hard to call it shounen… What exactly do you mean by “yet another shounen anime”?

      1. Whatever the franchise was based on, Stay Night still gives me strong shounen vibes. A righteous, but pretty clueless teenager as the MC? Check. School settings? Check. High school kids with super powers make the majority of the cast? Check. A clear separation between who is ‘good’ and who is ‘bad’? Check. A mission to accomplish? Check.
        I’m sure dialogues about the power of love and friendship will show up sooner or later.

        1. Ah, I see. It definitely takes place in a school with a clueless but righteous teenager as the lead. A clear separation between “good” and “bad” is definitely not something I’d attribute to Fate / Stay Night though…

          1. I think it’s quite obvious who will get a ‘bad end’ for being ‘that one evil guy’ (Shinji). Also, I’m pretty sure that being on the side of the MC is a guaranteed way of being the ‘good guy’.

          1. I hope you did not imply that I despise shounen anime and manga, which I don’t. I simply find it jarring that the sequel feels more simplistic and unfocused in the narrative (high school bullshit) than Zero. It should be called…regression?

  2. Nah, end of the line for double features for now, but we have two seasons to look forward to. I, for one, welcome our new Ufotable overlords.

      1. dont fret draggle; while the jury is not yet out on this, rumor has it that heaven’s feel is going to be a set of movies instead of one movie (sort of like Kara no kyokai) which actually fits. Heaven’s feels thematic tone and story progression works better as movies in my opinion. Im just waiting for that 100% confirmation.

  3. So Sakura the submissive shrinking violet and St. Rin, Our Lady of Tsundere are okay, but Saber’s lame? Not sure I understand the reasoning there, but okay.

    I’m so glad to see some positive coverage of this show. I’m one of the ones who came onboard with F/Z and I’ve got it as one of my all-time favorites, so I’ve been looking forward to this adaptation for a while now. Lately it seems that Fate is a franchise is it’s trendy to hate on, which is too bad considering how much potential for awesome F/SN has.

    1. “I’m one of the ones who came onboard with F/Z”

      Listen closely, DO NOT READ SPOILERS!. There aren’t many things in F/SN that are a mystery (considering that anyone who have seen F/Z knows about Gilgamesh and the Grail- which are plot-twists in the original visual novel).

      But there is one major reveal in FSN- unlimited blade works that you really shouldn’t spoil yourself about. So I suggest that you should be very careful about watching youtube videos or reading stuff in forums, because someone can ruin your experience with 3 words (comments on youtube videos are very dangerous).

      I suggest that you stick with watching the show instead of reading reviews/stuff in forums, it’s a great story and you should watch it unspoiled.

    2. Sakura is much more awesome in Heaven’s Feel. In the first parts I have to agree that she’s pretty lame.

      Rin was basically the first tsundere I saw so she doesn’t annoy me as much as others. 🙂

      As for Saber, I never cared for her much, but I really came to despise her in Fate / Zero. Always going on and on about chivalry with Lancer. It really got on my nerves.

      And yeah, lots of people hate Fate / Stay Night, but whatever, lots of people hate everything. Some people even hate Code Geass.

  4. “Saber always sucks though. If there’s one thing I don’t understand it’s Saber fandom.”
    Which is exactly why UBW (aka “the best route”) is being adapted.

    “I don’t remember these three from the previous iterations, but this scene was pretty funny. A good addition (assuming it was one).”
    They played a veryveryvery minor role in the prologue of FSN. This is actually an anime-original scene written by Nasu, apparently they are super minor characters that got more popularity than they should.

    1. Is this actually just UBW? I was under the impression from what other people have said they were doing both the first route and UBW, but I’ve been unclear on this.

      1. (Minor spoiler alert)

        It is UBW, they are not doing fate.
        The general opinion is that they will probably add some more “Saber” content to resolve her story better than the original route did.
        But the real heroine is Rin, the OP is making Saber look important because thats what F/0 fans expect. But I suspect they are doing it just to make the twists in the second half more surprising.

        So yeah, this is UBW. Don’t let all the Saber pandering confuse you.

        1. >The general opinion is that they will probably add some more “Saber” content to resolve her story better than the original route did.

          Goddamit NOOOOOO

  5. The GAR for Archer is still alive. Ufotable just made it better, if not perfect. I am now waiting for the Unlimited Blade Works. That field of blades will be awesome, I guarantee it.

  6. I laugh at your cowardice of Parasyte’s grotesqueness. That shit is fucking TAME compared to what I tend to watch. For example, there’s this director named Chester Novell Turner who made this film about a black doll that performs worse sex than anything in FSN.

    Anyways, UBW is 12 episodes, another route is 12 episodes, and there’s a movie.

  7. Uh huh. Parasyte is not really grotesque.
    I finished it’s manga as a kid after all.
    Draggle is a wimp, teehee.

    About the three girls, they are characters from Fate/Hollow Ataraxia.
    I think they are only cameo here and might not make appearance anymore when the battles started.
    But this shows that, it’s wrong to say Ufotable is playing safe and didn’t improvise, as most commenters in moesuck think.
    F/HA itself is almost finished being translated by TLWiki so you might want to read it.
    These three girls are pretty funny.

  8. How’s Tsukihime as the only VN you finished?

    Also yeah i agree with your comment on saber. Never know why she’s this popular.

    1. Tsukihime as well as Fate / Stay Night. I’ve tried a number of others but I just get really bored… I’d much rather watch an anime, read a manga, or read just a plain old book where at least I can go through it quickly instead of pressing the same button over and over again.

          1. Saber in Fate/Zero is unbearable, bro…
            By the end of that series I wouldn’t be surprised if Saber told something like:
            “-A hurricane devastated my country? It must be because I was a lame king… How could I help them when I couldn’t understand them?”
            And then I was like: O_o
            And even in FSN she was always this rightful generic archtype. I could not really sympathize with her, but I don’t hate her either. Also I dislike the way the series states which Servant is the strongest. This is fucking anti-climatic.

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