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EP. REVIEW: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works


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Key
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:38 am Reply with quote
jl07045 wrote:
What is weak and not interesting about him. . . Shirou looks like a Luke Skywalker type from the beginning (and of course there are a lot of people liking Luke), but a big part of it is a deliberate smoke screen. And the focus on the rationale behind Shirou's persona is quite unusual not just for anime alone. It can be likened to an origin story, but it is more thoughtful and empathetic towards the would-be "hero" than most origin stories I've read/seen.

His character pretty much boils down to "I want to be a hero of justice because it gives me a purpose in life." Going into painstaking detail about why he wants to do that doesn't make that any more interesting. What conflict he has over his motivations can easily be reduced to "are you going to stubbornly continue to pursue your goals even knowing that you'll come to a bad, unsatisfied end because of it?" Really, I didn't see anything in his development that was in any way unusual or that was at all different from your run-of-the-mill shonen action hero.

The one and only thing I find interesting about Shirou in this version is how he compares/contrasts with Kirigitsu from F/Z.

Videogamep wrote:
You might like the Heaven's Feel movie(s). HF Shirou is a radically different character from Fate and UBW Shirou.

Glade to hear that! I've long heard people rave about the HF route being the best of the routes, so now I have even more reason to look forward to the movies.


Last edited by Key on Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Agent355



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:47 pm Reply with quote
First of all, thank you to everyone who answered my question about Reality Marbles in the Type/Moon verse. I understand its concept now.

As for Shirou, if he's really superpowered I get that he has a superhero's dilemma--"With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility." But the person Archer became turned out to be more of an assassin or a mercenary, killing bad guys more than he actually saved good guys (not to say that his actions didn't save people, but for all intents and purposes Archer was on the "killing bad guys" end of things, surrounded by death and destruction for the benefit of people he'd never meet). From what I could tell, that's where his despair came from, and it made sense that he'd be depressed about his choices.

Knowing all this, you'd think Shirou (or Rin) would come up with a plan that could use Shirou's powers in a less mercenarial way, a way that focused more on saving and helping others than on fighting and killing. Even if he wanted to use his powers specifically, rather than become a doctor for Doctors without Borders or something along those lines, 3 years in a prestigious magic college should give him the skills he needs to modify his powers to help people in a positive focused way.
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jl07045



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:56 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
His character pretty much boils down to "I want to be a hero of justice because it gives me a purpose in life." Going into painstaking detail about why he wants to do that doesn't make that any more interesting.

Shinji Ikari boils down to "I'm not loved enough so I have trouble dealing with life's hardships." I bet we can turn almost any character conflict into a one-liner and then claim that closer exploration doesn't reveal anything that cannot be reduced to that one-liner. How about the question, whether a life that is spent trying to accomplish another man's wishes has meaning? What almost breaks Shirou in his duel with Archer is not how Archer ends (this was the case in the movie and thus one of the places where they dropped the ball big time as an adaptation), it's coming face to face with his own "fakeness" and that's very much not typical for shonen action heroes. In light of that Shirou's actions shouldn't be reduced to shallow stubornness, it's rather a struggle to give meaning to his own self knowing what would happen if he fails to find it.
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Key
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:33 pm Reply with quote
Actually, that whole business with the "fakeness" irritated me more than seeming like a deep exploration of anything. More than once during those tedious dialogues with Archer and Gilgamesh I shouted at the screen, "who the hell cares that he got his motivation by taking up the cause of someone else?" As long as he's doing it because he wants to, because he adopted the ideal for himself, and not just out of a sense of responsibility, why does the rest of that matter? It very much seemed to me like the writing was trying to make a big, deep philosophical point out of something that really was pretty simple, and then in the end didn't really resolve anything.
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GhostStalkerSA



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:52 pm Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
But the person Archer became turned out to be more of an assassin or a mercenary, killing bad guys more than he actually saved good guys (not to say that his actions didn't save people, but for all intents and purposes Archer was on the "killing bad guys" end of things, surrounded by death and destruction for the benefit of people he'd never meet). From what I could tell, that's where his despair came from, and it made sense that he'd be depressed about his choices.

This is a result of the person who would become Heroic Spirit Emiya making the pact with the Counter Force. It was shown that Archer remembers part of the good he did when saving people, but since he was constantly used as a Counter Guardian to kill people who threatened humanity and everything around them, it's what stuck in his mind and eventually consumed him and his ideal. Shirou knows what becoming a Counter Guardian actually entails now, so he won't make the same mistake, and just focus on helping people.

Quote:
3 years in a prestigious magic college should give him the skills he needs to modify his powers to help people in a positive focused way.

Shirou doesn't have any talent for magic besides what he can do as a result of his Reality Marble. 3 years spent at Clock Tower wouldn't have helped him in any way with his magic. Sure, he could get more skilled at Projection, as we saw in the epilogue, but that's pretty much it.

Also, his ability to use a Reality Marble would've been discovered had he officially joined the Mages Association, as they record a new member's Origin and Affinity when they join. Then he gets a Sealing Designation and is unable to pursue his goals at all as he is confined to Clock Tower for the rest of his life.
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jl07045



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:39 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
More than once during those tedious dialogues with Archer and Gilgamesh I shouted at the screen, "who the hell cares that he got his motivation by taking up the cause of someone else?" As long as he's doing it because he wants to, because he adopted the ideal for himself, and not just out of a sense of responsibility, why does the rest of that matter?

The question "who am I" matters to adolescents, I'm sure you know why even if you might think it's silly. So what happens if the answer to that question is: a confused attempt at Kiritsugu_v2 and nothing more? Shirou several times avoids talking much about it, so he's clearly afraid of the answer. While I think they overdid with the dialogues a bit, I don't see their purpose as a philosophical breakthrough, but rather as a way of achieving catharsis.
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Jose Cruz



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:15 pm Reply with quote
Despite the enormous amount of criticism for the series I am getting excited to watch it, given the volume of attention people are paying to it. I was focused on finishing the old series (2005) since I had never watched it and I hate following series one episode per week (I prefer to wait for the whole thing to finish before binge watching it or at least for most of it be done already). Now I will binge watch the whole thing, it's apparently pretty long considering it even has an hour long episode zero.
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Videogamep



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 7:20 pm Reply with quote
jl07045 wrote:
Key wrote:
More than once during those tedious dialogues with Archer and Gilgamesh I shouted at the screen, "who the hell cares that he got his motivation by taking up the cause of someone else?" As long as he's doing it because he wants to, because he adopted the ideal for himself, and not just out of a sense of responsibility, why does the rest of that matter?

The question "who am I" matters to adolescents, I'm sure you know why even if you might think it's silly. So what happens if the answer to that question is: a confused attempt at Kiritsugu_v2 and nothing more? Shirou several times avoids talking much about it, so he's clearly afraid of the answer. While I think they overdid with the dialogues a bit, I don't see their purpose as a philosophical breakthrough, but rather as a way of achieving catharsis.


According to Nasu, UBW actually was supposed to be the "adolescent" route and Fate and HF were supposed to represent a child and an adult, respectively. It kind of makes sense considering how each one takes a completely different perspective on Shirou's ideals.
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Animerican14



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:13 pm Reply with quote
Ooh, discussion of Shirou's character and people's issues with him beyond "lol he's sexist and dull."

jl07045 wrote:
Key wrote:
More than once during those tedious dialogues with Archer and Gilgamesh I shouted at the screen, "who the hell cares that he got his motivation by taking up the cause of someone else?" As long as he's doing it because he wants to, because he adopted the ideal for himself, and not just out of a sense of responsibility, why does the rest of that matter?

The question "who am I" matters to adolescents, I'm sure you know why even if you might think it's silly. So what happens if the answer to that question is: a confused attempt at Kiritsugu_v2 and nothing more? Shirou several times avoids talking much about it, so he's clearly afraid of the answer. While I think they overdid with the dialogues a bit, I don't see their purpose as a philosophical breakthrough, but rather as a way of achieving catharsis.

Just to back up jl07045 here, to speak from personal experience… even as a twenty-four year old, I *still* somewhat struggle with the matter of "who am I." I second-guess myself constantly and sometimes wonder if I am "original" enough, whether some of my thoughts are really bottom-of-my-heart my own, and if I really "want" to do or be such-and-such-a-thing or I'm just borrowing that thing from some authority figure because 'it sounds nice.' (This feeling may have been reinforced by a fairly close-nit, conservative, and family-oriented social life.) So not only is Shirou's struggle one that's not so uncommonly shared between adolescents, it's also one I still have as a college graduate! XP

Videogamep wrote:
According to Nasu, UBW actually was supposed to be the "adolescent" route and Fate and HF were supposed to represent a child and an adult, respectively. It kind of makes sense considering how each one takes a completely different perspective on Shirou's ideals.

Do you have a source attributing this notion to Nasu? I actually suggested the same thing over twitter (though I chalked it up more to a 'legitimate perspective to have on the story' than something that Nasu suggested himself), but I was kind of called out on it-- it was the "worst interpretation" for some, among other things. So, I have a feeling Nasu might've not said that at all. Nasu has definitely said this regarding the three routes, though-- which is very important stuff!

Quote:
Nasu: "Fate" has 3 routes. The theme throughout all of them is "a battle with oneself", but each route has its own theme as well. The first route is "the shape of the ideal". The next route is "confronting one's ideal self and defeating it". The third is "the friction between ideal and reality, and its restoration [TN: is this supposed to say 変換?]". Each route in this work has a heroine, but the protagonist is Emiya Shirou alone. The story depicts how he, who has the most emotional problems in a sense, grows. The first route shows his fanatical way of thinking, the second route shows a solution, and the final route shows another answer for him as a human. "Fate" is written as an escalating story from a game standpoint, but every ending is equal. Please think of them as different answers.
(Forum Source)
[From Dengeki Online. For another, non-BL-approved translation, see Comipress.]

- Nasu: "That's right, when I finished writing the Saber and Rin route all in one go, part of me thought the game wouldn't be settled unless I flipped it over. As the theme of Fate/stay night, if we assume the Saber route to be posing a question, the Rin route is the answer and the Sakura route is a practical application.
(Forum Source)

- That being the case, after I reread the original work during the script-making, I couldn’t help but be extremely interested. The main idea of this work, Prototype, was in the style of the ‘80s romance, or “A story of revolutionizing the world”.
This story was released in 2004 as “A story of revolutionizing oneself”, keeping the basic rules the same but massively different, Fate/Stay Night being the result. The large differences in purpose for obtaining the Holy Grail represent the changing of trends of the period, interesting.
(Forum Source; Nasu’s Prototype Material postscript)


(Sourced from the "Useful BL [Beast's Lair] Notes", under the section "Themes of F/SN")
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Videogamep



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 10:13 pm Reply with quote
Animerican14 wrote:

Videogamep wrote:
According to Nasu, UBW actually was supposed to be the "adolescent" route and Fate and HF were supposed to represent a child and an adult, respectively. It kind of makes sense considering how each one takes a completely different perspective on Shirou's ideals.

Do you have a source attributing this notion to Nasu? I actually suggested the same thing over twitter (though I chalked it up more to a 'legitimate perspective to have on the story' than something that Nasu suggested himself), but I was kind of called out on it-- it was the "worst interpretation" for some, among other things. So, I have a feeling Nasu might've not said that at all. Nasu has definitely said this regarding the three routes, though-- which is very important stuff!

Quote:
Nasu: "Fate" has 3 routes. The theme throughout all of them is "a battle with oneself", but each route has its own theme as well. The first route is "the shape of the ideal". The next route is "confronting one's ideal self and defeating it". The third is "the friction between ideal and reality, and its restoration [TN: is this supposed to say 変換?]". Each route in this work has a heroine, but the protagonist is Emiya Shirou alone. The story depicts how he, who has the most emotional problems in a sense, grows. The first route shows his fanatical way of thinking, the second route shows a solution, and the final route shows another answer for him as a human. "Fate" is written as an escalating story from a game standpoint, but every ending is equal. Please think of them as different answers.
(Forum Source)
[From Dengeki Online. For another, non-BL-approved translation, see Comipress.]

- Nasu: "That's right, when I finished writing the Saber and Rin route all in one go, part of me thought the game wouldn't be settled unless I flipped it over. As the theme of Fate/stay night, if we assume the Saber route to be posing a question, the Rin route is the answer and the Sakura route is a practical application.
(Forum Source)

- That being the case, after I reread the original work during the script-making, I couldn’t help but be extremely interested. The main idea of this work, Prototype, was in the style of the ‘80s romance, or “A story of revolutionizing the world”.
This story was released in 2004 as “A story of revolutionizing oneself”, keeping the basic rules the same but massively different, Fate/Stay Night being the result. The large differences in purpose for obtaining the Holy Grail represent the changing of trends of the period, interesting.
(Forum Source; Nasu’s Prototype Material postscript)


(Sourced from the "Useful BL [Beast's Lair] Notes", under the section "Themes of F/SN")


Sorry, can't remember. I have a terrible memory for things like this, although I think it was from some interview or other. I might also just be misremembering.
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Key
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:21 am Reply with quote
Animerican14 wrote:
jl07045 wrote:
The question "who am I" matters to adolescents, I'm sure you know why even if you might think it's silly. So what happens if the answer to that question is: a confused attempt at Kiritsugu_v2 and nothing more? Shirou several times avoids talking much about it, so he's clearly afraid of the answer. While I think they overdid with the dialogues a bit, I don't see their purpose as a philosophical breakthrough, but rather as a way of achieving catharsis.

Just to back up jl07045 here, to speak from personal experience… even as a twenty-four year old, I *still* somewhat struggle with the matter of "who am I." I second-guess myself constantly and sometimes wonder if I am "original" enough, whether some of my thoughts are really bottom-of-my-heart my own, and if I really "want" to do or be such-and-such-a-thing or I'm just borrowing that thing from some authority figure because 'it sounds nice.' (This feeling may have been reinforced by a fairly close-nit, conservative, and family-oriented social life.) So not only is Shirou's struggle one that's not so uncommonly shared between adolescents, it's also one I still have as a college graduate!

Hmmm. If this is what the series was trying to do then clearly this is a "some will get more out of this than others" case, as that aspect didn't click with me at all. (But then, I've always - even as a teenager - felt that I understood myself very well, so I've never even remotely approached having an identity crisis.) I will concede, then, that the writing did have loftier goals, even if its execution of them still sucked.
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Merostay



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:37 am Reply with quote
the English voice cast has been announced



why do they feel the need to censor Gil`s name, but not the fact that he`s a servant? theres not even any proof that he`s a servant till Shinji reveals that he`s a servant in episode 10...
Blond "Guy" could`ve easily been Lancer`s master till then,but no, were 100% sure that everyone`s seen Fate/Zero and know that the blond person is a servant but despite that they ALL saw Fate/Zero ,they still dont know that he`s Gilgamesh

dub trailer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDFWHD9cm-E

congrats on getting the same VA for Saber again, but how Rin sounds and not getting Liam o`Brian for Archer ruins any good will i have for this dub...
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Animerican14



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:26 pm Reply with quote
I didn't say anything at all in response to the episode 24 review before episode 25 aired, did I? Well… with how old that story is now, and with how many responses already arrived in its wake, I guess there's little point in making a huge and thorough response. Especially when such a thorough response from me could end up being a rebuttal that tries to rival or surpass the text length of the review. At this point, it might just be talking into the wind, if not unfair.

…Will at least comment, though, it really surprised me to see this big fight episode rated as it was. It's difficult for me to see how this actually ranked lower than episode 23, never mind lower than any of the Caster episodes or any of those in the first cour.

Among other things, the front page tagline used from the review itself, "Ufotable missed their chance to make FSN:UBW's conclusion a real spectacle", confused me. I thought the Gilgamesh vs. Shirou fight easily had the most energy output of any fight in the series for a long while, and considering what Reality Marbles are-- created worlds that "are completely cut-off from reality" and have their own "set patterns and rules", to reference the sourced Wiki entry (in addition to what the BD content of the prologue says)-- some big aerial maneuvers wouldn't be too unwarranted. The lack of any memorable weapon "cameos" didn't seem much of a point to count as a negative, either. "Unlimited Budget Works" may have become a meme, but it's still a TV anime on a finite budget; to include and animate recognizable and incredibly distinct phantasms may have used up a level of care that I'd prefer to be spent elsewhere in the episode. This lack of notable weapons could even be justified from both a creative and story standpoint, respectively. Most, if not all, of the noble phantasms we've seen have had a "starring" presence intended to be impactful; for them to be used willy-nilly in a disposable fashion could have served to "disrespect" them, from staff perspective. And Gilgamesh may not have desired to use any high-tier noble phantasm like Gae Bolg on a mongrel like Shirou-- not if he was reluctant to put on his Golden Armor the whole time, and not if he waited to pull out Ea until the very last moment (and even then his hand showed hesitation in pulling it out). If he used more of the treasures at his disposal, it'd be that much more improbable for Shirou to come out on top.

On that note of noble phantasms that didn't cameo in the episode…I suppose examples were just being reached for, but I doubt it'd make much sense for Caster's dagger to be used in physical combat, never mind a high-octane battle like Gil vs. Shirou. With all the spamming of much greater weapons, it'd literally be bringing a dagger to a gun fight. (Or might have it been thought that Gil could somehow use its function, to dispel thaumaturgy, to try and break the Reality Marble? Because I don't think Gil can call out others' NP functions.)

Also-- and maybe it's a typo, though it'd still be nice to see it adjusted in the episode 24 review-- Caster's dagger noble phantasm is "Rule Breaker," not "Curse Breaker." Thought it'd be more memorable than that-- not only is it said in English, much of the cast are practically "rule breakers" themselves! Maybe that's why Caster wasn't ultimately Super Effective and had a fairly limited shelf life, hah.

------

It's nice that the reviewer found a lot of enjoyment from the epilogue, at least. It was really fun and sweet! Though it's a tad disheartening to think that had she liked the immediately preceding episodes more, it'd have amounted to an "A". Contrary to the implication inherent in the stated temptation to skip from episode 13 to the epilogue, I think the second half of UBW handled its story quite appropriately once we got outside of Saber's situation with Caster. It also seemed strange to suggest that the story "didn't know" what to do with characters outside of Shirou and Archer-- its choices with the cast members felt very deliberate, especially when one considers that it was intended to be a faithful adaptation of an already-10-year-old route from a VN anyway. Couldn't it just have been opined that it didn't make some good choices for its cast, for what you may have wanted to be a standalone adaptation? Razz

Anyway, thanks for helping to provide a venue to discuss UBW, Gabriella, as much as I expended energy in my posts over the last several episode reviews. It was an interesting perspective to hear from.
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