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REVIEW: Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works Complete Blu-Ray Box Set


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tintor2



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
Posts: 586
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 3:38 pm Reply with quote
Normally things age bad, but this anime is like wine remembering how years ago, the score was for the last episodes were really low. Also, the postcredit scene is one of Nasu's biggest trolls ever. He once said in his blog that spoiler[the new man in Archer's dimension looks like Shirou but can't confirm it.]
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FilthyCasual



Joined: 01 Jun 2015
Posts: 1501
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 3:47 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Every thirty years in Fuyuki City,
Sixty years
Quote:
And now, twenty years too early, a new one is about to start.
Fifty years

As for episodes 19/20/21, I only felt there was unnecessary dialog when Saber recaps the last two episodes for her own development, but that's the breaks of it not being her route.

Quote:
Kana Ueda as Rin is iconic, and the character just doesn't feel the same without her distinctive voice.
I have to agree here; Mela Lee just doesn't work as Rin. Someday I'll check out the dub in full to decide on the others.

Have you gotten to see Heaven's Feel at all?
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The Anime Binge-Watcher



Joined: 28 Jan 2020
Posts: 12
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:09 pm Reply with quote
I really need to re-watch the Ufotable Fate stuff. I just read the VN for the first time, and now I'm eager to relive the memories in animation.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
Posts: 16527
Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:25 pm Reply with quote
Except for the dub, Caitlin's reaction to this version was almost exactly the same as my own, and I did go into it having seen all of the prior content. Strong action, mostly strong characters, and neat concept, but it got bogged down badly in the aforementioned episodes and struggled to recover. I also completely agree that the series works better in conjunction with other F/SN titles than as a standalone.
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ThatMoonGuy



Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 226
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 4:56 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Shirou is naive and stubborn, sometimes frustratingly so, and caring to the point of self-harm


I think this undersells the character a little bit. Spoilers: spoiler[It's not that he's caring to the point of self-harm, he's literally a dead inside boy chasing a dream he copied from someone else. Do you know why UBW, the very representation of Shirou as an individual, is a barren land filled with copied swords? Because that's Shirou. He died in the Fuyuki fire and when he was saved by Kiritsugu he got some serious survivor's guilty. He then proceeded to fill the void inside himself with the ideals Kiritsugu held and, seeing no particular value in his own life, decided to follow what he saw to the utmost. To a certain extent, the UBW route is about Shirou realizing and coming to terms with that, first by fighting and rejecting the dark culmination of his ideals (Archer) and then by denying that a copy has no value (defeats Gilgamesh, who is, literally as OG as you get in Fate).

Saying that he's caring makes his actions seem more healthy than they are. Sure, the result is good but the whole proccess beneath them is pretty messed up.
]


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Rin is emotionally guarded because her guardian for the last ten years was neglectful at best and often hostile


This also misreads Rin somewhat. While Kirei's way of handling her didn't help any, her core conflict lies somewhere else and ties very closely to what's happening to Shirou. Spoilers again: spoiler[Rin's main conflict is between what she believes she should be (a ruthless mage) and what she effectively wants to be (a normal person). This is something that comes from her father, Tokiomi, who entrusted the legacy of the Tohsaka lineage to her. And as being a magus in Type-Moon often translates to being an inhumane asshole this is what Rin tries to perform. To magi, humans are resources in their grand quest for the root but Rin is far more humane than that. This reflects Shirou's conflict as they both are trying to wrestle with familiar legacies, expectations and inherited ideals. Shirou also represents a different way of being for a magus, someone who protects and not someone who would give out their [expletive] daughter to some bastards over there, so, in a sense, this offers her a way out of her mental trap.]

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Is Shirou's friend Issei really nothing more than a background character, bookending the series?


Issei is pretty much just Arihiko Inui all over again - a male school friend of the main character who appears in the beginning but soon disappears from the story.

Barring that, I find that this adaptation of UBW suffers from being perhaps a bit too passionate for Nasu's work while also showing some of his worse tendencies, be it about his treatment of women in his stories (something that has been improving but is still REALLY questionable even as late as FGO) or his love for somewhat grandiose dialogue which, while mostly landing, can get really arcane really fast. At the same time, I feel like the series failed to translate some very important character points from the novel and this caused some confusion about the characters, mostly Shirou since a big part of his character in the novels is shown only in internal monologues.
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angelmcazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 5:14 pm Reply with quote
The first half of this show is great, but the second half became too stupid for me to keep caring.
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all-tsun-and-no-dere



Joined: 06 Jul 2015
Posts: 267
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 6:08 pm Reply with quote
FilthyCasual wrote:
Quote:
Every thirty years in Fuyuki City,
Sixty years
Quote:
And now, twenty years too early, a new one is about to start.
Fifty years


Damn, looks like my source on this was incorrect. That'll teach me to double-check my research beyond yelling, "THE GRAIL WAR IS EVERY THIRTY YEARS, RIGHT?" at my husband in the next room.

Quote:
As for episodes 19/20/21, I only felt there was unnecessary dialog when Saber recaps the last two episodes for her own development, but that's the breaks of it not being her route.


As I pointed out in the review, I understand that everything they revealed in those episodes was necessary. The problem was more the complete loss of momentum and the fact that, presented all in one big chunk like that, it just wasn't fun to sit through.

Quote:
Have you gotten to see Heaven's Feel at all?


Yep, I've seen the first two movies, so I do know what happens with Sakura and Shinji. The question was to point out how their thread was left unresolved if UBW is taken on its own, not an actual inquiry.

ThatMoonGuy wrote:
character stuff


I completely agree with everything you're saying, but I also stand by what I wrote. Reviews are not the place to go for in-depth character analysis, especially when there's as much to talk about as there was here. As it is, this was already 50% longer than most of what I've had published on ANN; to discuss Shirou and Rin in such detail would add unnecessary bulk, and run the risk of spoiling character beats for new viewers.

Furthermore, most of what you wrote about Rin isn't really covered in the anime, which is what I was discussing. You know and I know the greater context that wizard culture is toxic and inhumane, and the UBW anime may offer some inkling of that, but there's much greater coverage given to Rin and her poor relationship with Kirei. I'm not just talking about her seeming callousness early in the series; I'm thinking about things like spoiler[her glowering at Shinji when he threatens to rape her, rather than show any sign of fear or weakness.] So, I think both things are true.
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ThatMoonGuy



Joined: 13 Oct 2017
Posts: 226
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:35 pm Reply with quote
all-tsun-and-no-dere wrote:
I completely agree with everything you're saying, but I also stand by what I wrote. Reviews are not the place to go for in-depth character analysis, especially when there's as much to talk about as there was here. As it is, this was already 50% longer than most of what I've had published on ANN; to discuss Shirou and Rin in such detail would add unnecessary bulk, and run the risk of spoiling character beats for new viewers.

Furthermore, most of what you wrote about Rin isn't really covered in the anime, which is what I was discussing. You know and I know the greater context that wizard culture is toxic and inhumane, and the UBW anime may offer some inkling of that, but there's much greater coverage given to Rin and her poor relationship with Kirei. I'm not just talking about her seeming callousness early in the series; I'm thinking about things like spoiler[her glowering at Shinji when he threatens to rape her, rather than show any sign of fear or weakness.] So, I think both things are true.


Hmm, makes sense, makes sense. I tend to see a lot os misinterpretation of the characters so I usually comment on that. I do feel that the anime could've done more in translating those aspects given they were a very important part of the UBW route.

I hope I didn't come up as condescending or anything in my comment.
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all-tsun-and-no-dere



Joined: 06 Jul 2015
Posts: 267
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:03 pm Reply with quote
ThatMoonGuy wrote:

I hope I didn't come up as condescending or anything in my comment.


You kind of did but I forgive you.
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zrdb



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 719
Location: Who-me? Am I supposed to be somewhere?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:44 pm Reply with quote
First off I have to say I'm a Fate fanboy. I loved the dub-can't even conceive of watching it in japanese and I really liked the characters, As for the slow episodes I kinda look at them as the calm before the storm before everything goes boom-and boy are there some big nasty fights. Fate Zero is even better.
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Sisyphusson66



Joined: 04 Dec 2018
Posts: 85
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 9:11 pm Reply with quote
Can't argue with the criticisms of UBW. It is easily my favorite route of the VN, and my favorite of the adaptations, but the last quarter of it does drag. For me this story was all about the characters (all of the routes from the original VN are) and finding humanity, so the final quarter setting that aside for some self-philosophizing is a bit disappointing. However, I would argue that the only story from the VN with a satisfying final act is Heaven's Feel, so it comes down to a discussion of adaptational decisions.

Additionally, I think the epilogue does a lot to return to the character focus and is probably my favorite part of ufotable's UBW.
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OtherSideofSky



Joined: 19 May 2016
Posts: 147
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 10:32 pm Reply with quote
Is there any difference between this and the two separate sets they released years ago? Like, does it not include the OSTs those did? (I don't see them mentioned.)
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all-tsun-and-no-dere



Joined: 06 Jul 2015
Posts: 267
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 10:44 pm Reply with quote
OtherSideofSky wrote:
Is there any difference between this and the two separate sets they released years ago? Like, does it not include the OSTs those did? (I don't see them mentioned.)


No, just the blu-rays and a little booklet with some images, the Unlimited Blade Works incantation, and episode listings for the discs.
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nobahn
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 4779
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 10:53 pm Reply with quote
The Anime Binge-Watcher wrote:
[...]. I just read the VN for the first time, [..]..

Just out of idle curiosity, how long does it take to read/play it?
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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 2174
PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 10:55 pm Reply with quote
^
I took about 20 hours to read it completely way back when - going through all 3 routes but skipping common content between the routes.
Do note I'm not a particularly fast reader, and was keeping voices on - so a lot of dialogue I read faster than I actually spent time on the screen.
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