I’m glad that Ufotable picked the best answers to Lancer’s questions for the absolute best Rin reactions. Jeez, it’s almost impossible for me to go back to Rin’s old VN design. Ufotable managed made her 10x cuter than she already was. I was iffy on it at first, but now I’m sold.
I swear, this adaptation feels like it’s been 50% action, with the other 50% being Rin making cute faces. (Not really, but that doesn’t sound like a bad deal either.)
Ufotable Dr. Gil
Visual Novel Dr. Gil
DEEN UBW Dr. Gil
Ufotable sure went out of their way to make Gilgamesh look a lot less jolly about tearing out Illya’s heart to please the Zero fans who admire his “nobility” (uh)…
Details from the visual novel: Shirou took Berserker’s ashes and buried it in the same grave as Illya.
In retrospect, the aftermath of scene is a bit sadder in the visual novel thanks to Shirou’s narration. And also:
You really don’t get to know how messed up Shirou is during the bit where Rin calls him out on his lifestyle. While the anime does a great job with visual cues, visual cues won’t really clue you in on just how much the fire from ten years ago affected Shirou. The kid basically realizes that his emotions and his sense of self died that day because of the things he saw and experienced, and seeing Kiritsugu’s face upon being “saved” (Kerry himself being “saved” by Shirou) sparked a single emotion for Shirou to keep living for. Not only does he suffer from a tremendous amount of survivor’s guilt, a part of him transformed to a tool that day; living like a sword.
While I feel that a lot of the visual novel’s story heavily leans on Shirou’s perspective, at least when it comes to himself as a character, I appreciate the anime improving on the action. That’s where the visual novel kind of dropped the ball. Type-Moon certainly knows how to make battles feel dynamic in a visual novel format, but a lot of the fights end up feeling the same Nasutext-wise, aside from a few exceptions (towards the tail-end of this route and many of the fights in Heaven’s Feel). A lot of the fights ultimately end up being decided by whose Noble Phantasm is more OP, with the accompanying text being filler.
Even then, one of the cooler “fights”, Shirou and Archer’s fight, feels more like Shirou’s therapy session than an actual fight.
Oh, by the way, information the writing really expects you to know beforehand (Fate route stuff):
Lancer’s Master was killed and had her Command Spells stolen by Kotomine. Kotomine was “killed” a few episodes ago by Caster. Servants without Independent Action won’t really survive all that long if their Master is killed. Lancer is still around. Put the pieces together.
C’mon, even the anime is really obvious about it by showing that Kotomine’s body is gone.
More info-dump for anime-onlys: in the Fate route’s narration, Shirou used his knowledge of mythology to deduce Gilgamesh’s identity, using his abilities to analyze every weapon Gilgamesh launched from his Gate of Babylon as “genuine Noble Phantasms” and realized that only the King of Heroes could own that many weapons. Here, Shinji kind of just says “Zero Archer“ ‘s identity out loud during their confrontation in the castle, but regardless, Shirou suses his agility to analyze swords to essentially figure out what Gilgamesh’s abilities are.
Another change from the visual novel: Originally, Lancer assumes that Archer hasn’t been taking him seriously because he hasn’t used his bow yet. But in the anime, Archer’s clearly using it.
Don’t get me wrong, just because I’m pointing out these discrepancies doesn’t mean I didn’t like the fight in the anime. In fact, I thought Archer vs. Lancer was pretty GAR in the anime. But I’m wondering if changes like this, along with other tidbits such as the time of day or Caster’s original Master not being some old dude, are really considered retroactive continuity rather than details that are unique to the universe portrayed in the adaptation (because god knows how many universes there are in the Nasuverse).
>100% accurate archery
>becomes an Archer class
>barely uses his bow
>I am the bone of my sword
>projects a shield
Damn you Shirou.
FUCK YOUR COOKIE-CUTTER BUILD
MY VITALITY > YOUR MAGICAL DEFENSE
Like I said, the fights that didn’t rely on the “SMASH CLANG SLASH BONK, KAY HERE’S MY NOBLE PHANTASM CAN YOU BEAT THIS?!” formula were some of the best fights to read from the visual novel, in my opinion, and this was one of them. It was great seeing Rin smack the fuck out of an all-powerful mage like Caster, and taking advantage of the fact that Caster was a classic mage who heavily relied on a tank and beefed-up INT/MDef to make up for her shitty HP and defense.
It was cool seeing Ufotable animate Rin pulling off some Kotomine-esque moves too.
…Oh my god…
…A HEROIC SPIRIT THAT CAN COPY SUPERPOWERS?! First he copies Ajax’s shield, and now he’s copying Shirou’s Trace On and Golden Archer’s swordspam! What the hell?!
After this episode, if I see any more stupid theories about Archer, I’m going to smack someone.
Welp, Caster’s death felt a bit rushed to me, and I’m not even comparing it to the visual novel in this case… it feels rush regardless. Still, at least it was better than how it was portrayed in the DEEN version of UBW (but that’s like saying eating a booger is better than eating a pile of shit).
In other news, Caster’s death in the VN was the moment I realized that she’s pretty damn hot without that hood. Thank you Carnival Phantasm for showing more of it.
To get real.
The Unlimited Blade Works anime is about to get into the really good stages of the route (at this point, I read it straight through with no breaks). Hopefully Ufotable made remixes of Whirlpool of Fate and Into the Night for their… respective scenes. Or else this little fanboy will be pulling his hair out at the disregard for awesome music.
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