Forum - View topic
EP. REVIEW: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works


Goto page Previous    Next

Note: this is the discussion thread for this article

Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
jl07045



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 1454
Location: Riga, Latvia
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:07 am Reply with quote
errinundra wrote:
To be or not to be a hero. Or, whether a hero does more good than harm. Shirou's ideal is that they do; Archer's experience is that they don't and that the desire to be a hero is just a manisfestation of one's ego. (Compare with Sayaka from PMMM: does she want Kyousuke's wish to come true or does she want to be the person to make his wish come true?) An array of heroes from history and legend are presented as exemplars. At one extreme is Arturia whose selflessness historically doomed her to failure; at the other is the pure ego of Gilgamesh. Despite evidence to the contrary and despite winning the lottery with Rin, Shirou decides to be a hero of the people anyway.


This is my take on Shirou.

I think from the start we should distinguish between "eiyuu", which stands for hero and is what the Servants are and "seigi no mikata" (SnM), champion/ally of justice, which is what Shirou wants to be and what Archer represents (and why the story separates him from other Servants as a Guardian). A hero is simply someone who's remembered by enough people for their great deeds. SnM is, in Shirou's eyes, a person who saves others from pain, suffering etc. The show however posits that the greatest source of suffering for humans are humans themselves. That's questionable of course, but loads of stories go with this, so let's do that as well for argument's sake. This leads to the contradiction - in order to prevent suffering, you will sometimes have to cause suffering to others. Archer's experience is not that SnM does more harm than good, it's simply that they have to do harm and there's no way around it.

So we come to the central problem of the story - not "should I become a SnM", but "why do I want to become one, am I qualified to". Archer is the result of Shirou facing the answer too late. His purely goal-driven attitude lead him to see no meaning in his life outside of being a tool to achieve what he thinks is justice. The epilogue pretty much spells out that Shirou experienced ego-death and had to rebuild his identity from scratch, and his immature psyche did that around the single positive emotion that Shirou felt during that catastrophe. You see throughout the show how much that single thought to become a SnM defines him, that's where the skepticism that he could change himself comes from. So the solution the story gives is for Shirou to focus on the undeniable worthiness of his ideal while keeping in mind the reality and hope that other people in his life will help him find joy in other things.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Errinundra
Moderator


Joined: 14 Jun 2008
Posts: 5208
Location: Melbourne, Oz
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:15 am Reply with quote
^
That's good. And also, HughAlexander. Thanks.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Chrysostomus



Joined: 11 Mar 2015
Posts: 335
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:34 am Reply with quote
I don't understand people's problems with UBW's 2nd cour. I hear that it was "badly paced" almost everywhere. But to me it was almost as good as S1, episode 1 had a huge plot twist to kick things off and each ep. after that had a defined point to it aside from maybe 16 and 19. There was no school nor cooking and the SoL scenes when they did happen were decent like Shirou confessing (marking his territory over Lancer, ugh, I didn't like that one) and the high jump flashback in 22 was pretty good as well. The original content with Illya and Caster was also nice.

As for the complains about the excessive philosophizing, I don't know it's almost as if people want some Naruto-tier battle shounen, and not one which tries to offer something different with a surprisingly profound dissertation on heroism and if happiness can be achieved that way. I'm not saying this is "wooooaaah so deep Texhnolyze has been dethroned!", but come on, really, would you rather want another extremely generic harem VN?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
GhostStalkerSA



Joined: 17 May 2015
Posts: 339
Location: NYC
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:34 am Reply with quote
Chrysostomus wrote:
I don't understand people's problems with UBW's 2nd cour. I hear that it was "badly paced" almost everywhere. But to me it was almost as good as S1, episode 1 had a huge plot twist to kick things off and each ep. after that had a defined point to it aside from maybe 16 and 19. There was no school nor cooking and the SoL scenes when they did happen were decent like Shirou confessing (marking his territory over Lancer, ugh, I didn't like that one) and the high jump flashback in 22 was pretty good as well. The original content with Illya and Caster was also nice.

As for the complains about the excessive philosophizing, I don't know it's almost as if people want some Naruto-tier battle shounen, and not one which tries to offer something different with a surprisingly profound dissertation on heroism and if happiness can be achieved that way. I'm not saying this is "wooooaaah so deep Texhnolyze has been dethroned!", but come on, really, would you rather want another extremely generic harem VN?

Yeah, to me, the Fate series has always gone hand in hand with Nasu's wordy philosophizing. Yes, his prose can get overly purple at times, and how much of it you can stand generally marks how much enjoyment you'll get out of the setting. Sure, the fights are awesome, and ufotable did a great job animating them, but I always felt that the whole point of the VN was all the talking. That's not enjoyed by everyone, and that's ok.

I know people complain about the 3 episodes the anime spent on the Shirou v Archer fight inside UBW and Shirou arriving at his answer, but when this anime was announced, that was the scene that a lot of VN readers I spoke with were afraid that would be underwhelming or done poorly. A lot of them afterwards were happy with the three episode spectacle that ufotable produced, but I can see why some people would see that as really repetitive and bloated. I can respect that opinion, even if I don't share it.

I will disagree with the quoted post on the whole Shirou speaking to Lancer about Rin thing, since that led to some of the best reaction faces in the anime and was one of the best choices from the VN that quite a number of VN readers were hoping would get animated by ufotable. Rin sama embarrassed and angry is hilarious, and was totally worth it.

Videogamep wrote:

I am the bone of my thread
Complaining is my body and mocking is my blood
I have created over a thousand posts
Unknown to mods, nor known to restraint
Have withstood arguments to create many replies
Yet those hands will never hold any agreement
So as I pray, Unlimited Forum Works.

I'm honestly surprised one of these hasn't been posted yet.

I have one that was posted in the Something Awful thread line by line without a double-post, and it would fit here with all the shitposting that has happened in this thread and others, though I dunno if it would run afoul of wordfilters here...

EDIT: Well, the word in question in this post didn't get changed, so I guess I'll have at it:
I am the bone of my post
Anime is my body and shitposting my blood
I have created over a thousand posts
Unknown to mods, nor known to admins
Have withstood trolls to create many posts
Yet these eyes will never watch anything
So as I pray, Unlimited Shitpost Works
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Videogamep



Joined: 10 Jun 2014
Posts: 564
Location: CA
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:22 pm Reply with quote
GhostStalkerSA wrote:

Videogamep wrote:

I am the bone of my thread
Complaining is my body and mocking is my blood
I have created over a thousand posts
Unknown to mods, nor known to restraint
Have withstood arguments to create many replies
Yet those hands will never hold any agreement
So as I pray, Unlimited Forum Works.

I'm honestly surprised one of these hasn't been posted yet.

I have one that was posted in the Something Awful thread line by line without a double-post, and it would fit here with all the shitposting that has happened in this thread and others, though I dunno if it would run afoul of wordfilters here...

EDIT: Well, the word in question in this post didn't get changed, so I guess I'll have at it:
I am the bone of my post
Anime is my body and shitposting my blood
I have created over a thousand posts
Unknown to mods, nor known to admins
Have withstood trolls to create many posts
Yet these eyes will never watch anything
So as I pray, Unlimited Shitpost Works


That one fits this forum even better than mine. Very Happy It's kind of amazing how many "Unlimited ____Works" possibilities there are.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 4548
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:50 pm Reply with quote
GhostStalkerSA wrote:
Rin sama embarrassed and angry is hilarious, and was totally worth it.

Rin angry and embarrassed is same old, same old tsundere stuff that's so overdone. Now seeing her relaxed and happy in the epilogue was nice.

Shirou's dilemma was overdone because I could not understand why someone so mediocre at fighting would be so focused on physical defense as the one and only true way to be a hero (or defender of justice). Shirou isn't some supernaturally gifted superhero, he's an average kid with some magic powers and some archery/fighting skills. He likes to help people and save them from pain, he wants to walk a path of selflessness for other's sakes, which is a great goal, sure, and one he could take up in multiple ways without needing mana transfers or reality marbles (as an anime-only viewer, "reality marbles" were never properly explained. What are they, why does Shirou have one and Rin not, etc, etc I figured they're a special type of super magical attack mode that few mages have access to, but it's very vague in the show). If Shirou had said to Archer "I don't have to become a mercenary to be a defender of justice and live up to my ideals," heck if any character (Saber? Rin?) had suggested that to Archer or Shirou...it's like they live in a world where it's the only possible option. It's just not logical. Even Samurai Flamenco had a cop to contrast its superheroes.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
HughAlexander



Joined: 25 May 2015
Posts: 51
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:16 pm Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:

Shirou's dilemma was overdone because I could not understand why someone so mediocre at fighting would be so focused on physical defense as the one and only true way to be a hero (or defender of justice).
When was "physical defense the only true way to be a hero" ever even alluded to? They were in a war with fights so of course he'd get through by fighting, but that's because the situation called for it. If there was someone inside a burning building he'd run in there in save them, if someone was drowning he'd dive into the water to save them. I don't get where you're getting physical defense is the only way to be a hero from.

Quote:
Shirou isn't some supernaturally gifted superhero, he's an average kid with some magic powers and some archery/fighting skills. He likes to help people and save them from pain, he wants to walk a path of selflessness for other's sakes, which is a great goal, sure, and one he could take up in multiple ways without needing mana transfers or reality marbles (as an anime-only viewer, "reality marbles" were never properly explained. What are they, why does Shirou have one and Rin not, etc, etc I figured they're a special type of super magical attack mode that few mages have access to, but it's very vague in the show).
Reality Marbles are were called forbidden magic iirc, why would a mage from a noble family like the toshakas use forbidden magic? Why would they even attempt to achieve it, when they're part of the magic association?
As to why Shirou has it, it's because of Archer. Archer's Reality Marble is something he spent his entire life trying to achieve, it became his noble phantasm after he became a guardian. Shirou basically shortcut-ted all his skills from archer.
Either way, i'm having trouble understanding why mana transfers and reality marbles are a bad thing anyway. Especially given the universe he's in. It's like you expected him to save people using a broom and stick the entire time.
Even if he could take up his ideal in multiple ways, what's wrong with reality marble's and mana transfers?

Quote:
If Shirou had said to Archer "I don't have to become a mercenary to be a defender of justice and live up to my ideals," heck if any character (Saber? Rin?) had suggested that to Archer or Shirou...it's like they live in a world where it's the only possible option. It's just not logical. Even Samurai Flamenco had a cop to contrast its superheroes.

What does becoming a mercenary have to do with anything, it has nothing to do with what the conflict was about. Archer became one for "world", sure, but what does that have to do with Shirou's answer? Shirou's answer is basically, even if I walk the path that you did I was not wrong with trying to save people. That doesn't mean there is no other paths, nor that shirou can't go down other paths. He said he's going to try to save the people he can, and if for some reason he ends up going the same road archer went, well so be it.

It's pretty clear this Shirou will never become Archer, Archer became a CG because he died without fulfilling his ideal of saving everyone. Shirou chose to live by his ideal instead of focusing on the end goal, meaning that when he meets his end he won't regret his life, meaning he won't form the contract.

It honestly seems like you focused on the wrong stuff, or didn't really pay attention to the content.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 1863
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:26 pm Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
(as an anime-only viewer, "reality marbles" were never properly explained. What are they, why does Shirou have one and Rin not, etc, etc I figured they're a special type of super magical attack mode that few mages have access to, but it's very vague in the show)


The Blu-Ray for the first season added a conversation between Archer and Rin where they talk about Reality Marbles. I believe Fate/Zero also discussed it a bit what with spoiler[Alexander and his army producing one]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
GhostStalkerSA



Joined: 17 May 2015
Posts: 339
Location: NYC
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:26 pm Reply with quote
Videogamep wrote:
It's kind of amazing how many "Unlimited ____Works" possibilities there are.

There's a rather memetic one that made the rounds back when 4chan was just getting started regarding essays, which I quoted in a introductory writing assignment I handed in for an basic English college course. The professor liked it, at least!

Agent355 wrote:
Rin angry and embarrassed is same old, same old tsundere stuff that's so overdone. Now seeing her relaxed and happy in the epilogue was nice.

I don't agree with this opinion, but you're entitled to have it. I just felt that it injected a moment of levity in a scene that otherwise didn't have any. It's a specific choice you have to make when encountering Lancer in the VN, and I think that's why so many VN readers took it so well.

Quote:
Shirou's dilemma was overdone because I could not understand why someone so mediocre at fighting would be so focused on physical defense as the one and only true way to be a hero (or defender of justice). Shirou isn't some supernaturally gifted superhero, he's an average kid with some magic powers and some archery/fighting skills.

I think the anime didn't explain this all that well, but whenever Shirou traces a weapon, he also gets the experience of said weapon being used by the hero that made it famous, albeit somewhat degraded. It's part of how he can just analyze swords and other weapons just by looking at them and figure out what they're called and what they can do. So in a way, he is a supernaturally gifted superhero whenever he pulls a sword out. How else did he manage to fight off Kuzuki the first time he projected Kanshou and Bakuya, but with the inherent sword skills he downloaded from their former user, Archer?

Quote:
(as an anime-only viewer, "reality marbles" were never properly explained. What are they, why does Shirou have one and Rin not, etc, etc I figured they're a special type of super magical attack mode that few mages have access to, but it's very vague in the show).

It was touched on in the show, but not explained fully, and an extended concept in the Nasuverse. Basically, a Reality Marble is forcing the landscape of your soul outside of your body and imposing it on the real world. The manifestation of Archer's soul is the endless desert filled with the weapons he has seen, with the giant gears in the background representing unending labor or something to that effect, while Shirou's is a lot more hopeful, with a clear blue sky representing how he never regrets his ideal. The person who would become Heroic Spirit Emiya spent decades mastering the magic required to create the Reality Marble after he made his deal with the Counter Force, but Shirou developed his more quickly due to his constant interactions with Archer and being inside his version of UBW, the setting there basically helping shape his own soul. You need to constantly feed a Reality Marble with your mana because the spirit of Gaea, the world, is constantly pushing back on it, attempting to erase it to reassert the primacy of its landscape over yours. That's why it disappears once you run out of mana.

A Reality Marble is a rare ability, and as I mentioned before, being found to possess one is grounds for a Sealing Designation from the Mage Association because the higher ups want to bring you back to the Clock Tower to experiment on you to further their own research and see if it can be replicated by them. If not, then you're either confined to Clock Tower for life, live out your remaining days under constant magical surveillance, or killed outright so you're no longer a threat to them. So yeah, Tohsaka developing a Reality Marble would be a bad thing.


Last edited by GhostStalkerSA on Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Videogamep



Joined: 10 Jun 2014
Posts: 564
Location: CA
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:26 pm Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
(as an anime-only viewer, "reality marbles" were never properly explained. What are they, why does Shirou have one and Rin not, etc, etc I figured they're a special type of super magical attack mode that few mages have access to, but it's very vague in the show).


That's one of the things they cut out. I was at one of the premiere screenings of episode 0 and they had a short scene there where Rin and Archer talked about them that wasn't in the broadcast version. My guess is they cut it out of the broadcast version for time. It'll probably be one of the extra scenes on the Blu-ray release.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
jl07045



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 1454
Location: Riga, Latvia
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:31 pm Reply with quote
Videogamep wrote:
My guess is they cut it out of the broadcast version for time. It'll probably be one of the extra scenes on the Blu-ray release.

It is. As well as couple of scenes in 2 and 12.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
jojothepunisher



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 799
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:26 am Reply with quote
I was talking to my friend today about the epilogue, and he brought up this very obvious but interesting point. Let's say you have a dream to be a doctor to save people's lives, but your future self suddenly appears before you, telling you not to be a doctor, because of the hardships and brutal reality involved in being a doctor. Will you listen to your future self and give up on your dream, or will you continue down that path believing yourself to be right for choosing that path?

Gabriella mentioned several times in her review that Shiro's stubbornness is something like an artifact of Nasu's supposedly obnoxious writing, but I think Shiro's stubbornness actually stems from human nature to believe in themselves, their desire to learn from experience and not live in ignorance. When I think about it this way, it really makes me respect Nasu as a person. He has this belief that fearing the future and the consequences of your actions will only limit your growth as a person, and people should live for the present and their dreams.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Key
Moderator


Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 15748
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:23 am Reply with quote
Chrysostomus wrote:
As for the complains about the excessive philosophizing, I don't know it's almost as if people want some Naruto-tier battle shounen, and not one which tries to offer something different with a surprisingly profound dissertation on heroism and if happiness can be achieved that way. I'm not saying this is "wooooaaah so deep Texhnolyze has been dethroned!", but come on, really, would you rather want another extremely generic harem VN?

Really, let's not go there. (And how "profound" any of that was is entirely a matter of opinion.) I've seen all of the Fate animation that's legally available, and in my experience the franchise is always at its best when focusing on its action scenes and on characters other than Shirou, whom I regard as the weakest and least interesting character in the entire franchise.

Now, if you want to see somewhat similar examples of philosophizing on heroism and justice and how they relate to happiness that are done right, look at Moribito and, to a lesser extent, Black Lagoon. Granted, neither one of those go anywhere near as in-depth on the topics, but both deal with those topics in significant fashion without them ever becoming burdensome.

And now for a more sensible take. . .

GhostStalkerSA wrote:
I know people complain about the 3 episodes the anime spent on the Shirou v Archer fight inside UBW and Shirou arriving at his answer, but when this anime was announced, that was the scene that a lot of VN readers I spoke with were afraid that would be underwhelming or done poorly. A lot of them afterwards were happy with the three episode spectacle that ufotable produced, but I can see why some people would see that as really repetitive and bloated. I can respect that opinion, even if I don't share it.

I guess that's where the biggest break between VN and anime-only viewers is, then.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
jl07045



Joined: 30 Aug 2011
Posts: 1454
Location: Riga, Latvia
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:13 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
I've seen all of the Fate animation that's legally available, and in my experience the franchise is always at its best when focusing on its action scenes and on characters other than Shirou, whom I regard as the weakest and least interesting character in the entire franchise.

What is weak and not interesting about him? Anime is littered with nice guy ordinary high school boys that eventually turn out to be just that and pretty girls whose characters come from a short checkbook of shallow quirks and childhood traumas meant to make them more attractive. Lots of characters in Fate are little more than walking ideas given background, moving towards a pre-determined end.

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. I would agree that the second season suffered from the story being stretched out over too many episodes, but how does that impact the quality of his characterization I have no idea.

I'm asking this because rarely do people provide better answer than dumb memes or "he's dull". At least I can understand the sexism angle.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Videogamep



Joined: 10 Jun 2014
Posts: 564
Location: CA
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:12 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
I've seen all of the Fate animation that's legally available, and in my experience the franchise is always at its best when focusing on its action scenes and on characters other than Shirou, whom I regard as the weakest and least interesting character in the entire franchise.


You might like the Heaven's Feel movie(s). HF Shirou is a radically different character from Fate and UBW Shirou.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website My Anime My Manga
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Anime News Network Forum Index -> Site-related -> Talkback All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous    Next
Page 135 of 136

 


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group