Ufotable’s been doing a great job of making me like the Unlimited Blade Works anime better than the visual novel, although the soundtrack could still be a bit more… verbose. I’m scared of how underwhelming the other particular songs are going to be remixed by Fukasawa.
Well, anyway, onto the rain of praise (and otherwise — Ufotable isn’t perfect after all, gasp).
Caster saving orphans is a thing now
We had a ton of expansion to the source material in these couple of episodes. For one, we get a lot more on Medea as a Servant before joining hands with Kuzuki. Though her first Master wasn’t exactly what I envisioned him to be when I read the brief description of him by Caster in the visual novel. Let’s just chalk this up to a glorious Natsu retcon…because it’s not like his universe isn’t already confusing as it is without them.
Nothing like setting moral dissonance in Fate/stay night than putting orphans in a blender and turning them into magic crystals. (Why is it always the orphans?!)
Wow Gilgamesh, taking the term “Lady Killer” a little too literally, huh? Not only were you fated to kill the best girl as per the source material, but you also apparently killed the other two best girls in the same route, according to the anime.
Bye Sella and Liz, it’s been a fantastic five minutes of screentime, as opposed to certain other assholes. See ya’ in Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei Herz!… ahem.
For the record, you never actually see them die in the visual novel, they just disappear halfway through all the routes. I guess it makes sense in UBW that they got killed by Gilgamesh by the time Shirou arrives at the castle to see the slaughter… and that bothers me. I mean, what on Earth happened to them in the other routes? They probably survived Fate…
and got killed by Zouken/True Assassin/the Shadow in Heaven’s Feel.
The extra material Ufotable added to the anime with more of Illya’s experiences before the Fifth Holy Grail War was an excellent move, considering how little investment the onlookers have with her within this route, especially if you’re only experiencing the anime or came off watching Fate/Zero (doing the latter is a bad idea in general, but I’m not going to pretend that bad ideas don’t exist).
I personally liked the extra touch of Fate/Zero’s Avenger!Iris sort of influencing Illya’s decision to target her younger brother in the war, as well as Illya’s interactions with the failed Lesser Grails. New material that adds to the source material that I’ve already seen is always a good bonus to watching adaptations. At least… it should be. Thankfully it’s the case here.
This episode’s adaptation + expansion on Illya is so well done that it’s a damn shame they didn’t use Die Lorelei in any of these scenes. What the shit, Ufotable! I’m pretty sure one of the 2sad4me tracks from the VN (remixed) played at the very beginning of the second season, so…why? When I played the VN, Type-Moon pulled off a neat carry-over effect when I cried bitch tears when this song played during Gilgamesh’s loli/Heracles slaughter and then later learning the significance of the song in terms of Illya’s character theme in Heaven’s Feel and I wanted this to happen for the anime viewers too.
Ufotable, at this rate, I’m thinking you’re either going to fuck up EMIYA or not play it at all. Little faith in your soundtrack whatsoever. It’s actually a good one — it’s not bad at all, but it’s hard to connect it to Fate/stay night when you’re leaving out the intermix of… iconic Fate/stay night tracks. Duh.
Anime Gilgamesh seemed a lot less enthusiastic about slaughtering the best loli character Type-Moon can offer compared to Visual Novel Gilgamesh. I’m guessing Ufotable didn’t want to piss off Gil fanboys that came fresh out of 2deep4me Fate/Zero.
Unlike DEEN’s UBW movie, Ufotable seems to have gotten Illya’s murder down to the finest detail in their rendition, up to her eyes getting slit, getting a sword pierced through her body, Berserker’s badass last stand against Gilgamesh by defying the laws of Nasuphysics, etc.
KILL THAT SWORDSPAMING SONOVA BITCH, BERSERKER… Oh, well shit.
Yes, I reacted like Shirou.
Now all we need to see is Dr. Gil performing heart surgery on the best girl… which won’t happen until episode 16! Oh boy.
…I want Illya back.
I did like what Ufotable did with Shirou’s reaction to witnessing Illya get brutally murdered though. No one wants to see innocent people die, but any normal person who probably be trembling in fear and would deal with the trauma of not being able to do anything after the fact (unless they’re a super edgelord). Shirou, on the other hand, is freaking out and having an episode because of his inability to save another person, and he has to be held back by freaking Tohsaka or else he’ll get himself killed. The kid has problems, and it’s a damn shame that most passive viewers of anime just see him as some generic shounen hero, just because his mental problems don’t involve him doing morally ambiguous things for the sake of edge.
P.S. Loved that Illya got her own ending theme for her farewell episode. Pretty sure DEEN’s Archer got the same treatment after his death… at around the same time, actually (episode 14–15). Huh.
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