Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works 14 + 15 — Thoughts (R.I.P. Best Girls, no Die Lorelei, etc.)

TOOOOOOOHsaka

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).

Super Caster!

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?!)

LIZ NO

SELLLLLA

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

Iri, stahp

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.

BFFs yes

Berserker, you're the strongest

イリヤ 「バーサーカーは、強いね―――」

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.

shouta Gil is better

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.

Her beautiful red eyes!

STOP IT.

STOP BULLYING ORPHANS

NO.

BERSERCAR HIT AND RUN PLEASE

KILL THAT SWORDSPAMING SONOVA BITCH, BERSERKER… Oh, well shit.

Not the peg, not the peg!

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.

Still not Die Lorelei

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.

TO BE CONTINUED

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