Episode 0 Impressions: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

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Tohsaka Rin has lived a rather rough life. Born into a family of mages dead set on winning the Holy Grail Wars, it seems her life has already been preordained. As she takes her first step into the battle head, we get an insight into her life before and after the first blood is shed.

e0unlimitedbladeworks1Synopsis
As the final days set on the awakening of the final Servant for the Holy Grail Wars, it seems Tohsaka Rin enjoys her final days of normal life. Going to school, greeting classmates, avoiding pursuing stalkers, and even getting in minor spouts with friends.

Though once she arrives home, things are anything but normal as she receives a message for her to obtain her Servant before it’s too late. Knowing this already, she prepares for her summoning ritual with everything necessary to get the winning Servant, Saber. However, after the dust settles, she’s greeted by a man who is in fact Archer. Seems that after she retrieved a pendant locked away in a chest from her deceased father, an unexplained occurrence happened that set her clocks off by an hour.  Ruining her perfect formula for getting her desired Servant.

e0unlimitedbladeworks5Accepting that what’s done is done, she accesses her dealt card. After some spouts between the two due to Archer being unable to accept commands from a spoiled girl, Rin uses one of her three commands to try to force him to obey her. However due to its obscurity, it doesn’t work but to waste a command. This sign of magic does however win the respect of Archer to be at her call.

Later while Rin attempts to remove a deadly barrier being erected by another mage, Rin is attacked by Lancer, one of the other Servants. After making her escape from the roof she’s on, Rin is saved by Archer’s quick thinking. As Lancer prods Archer for his identity and to draw his bow, Rin calls for him to fight as he seemingly is awaiting her approval. Drawing only blades, his attacks confuse Lancer even though the battle is insanely epic in scale. Shattering the area around them.

e0unlimitedbladeworks16After a student is seen fleeing nearby, Lancer drops his fight with Archer and gives chase. As it hits Rin that the Grail War code is to kill any witnesses of the battle in order to keep its secrecy, Rin feels at fault and rushes to stop him. Finding his corpse, Rin is struck with guilt as it’s a love interest of her friend’s.

After returning home, Lancer arrives without the information Rin required; to find the identity of Lancer’s Master. However he returns her pendant that she used to revive the fallen student. As she realizes that the student may still be in danger, Lancer rushes her to the student’s house where they are confronted by Saber, the final servant.

Thoughts
e0unlimitedbladeworks17What an amazing start to this new series. I was absolutely floored by the fantastic presentation being put into this show and I hope they manage to keep up the great work. Especially during the combat sequence, turning up the volume, the impact of every hit was epic.

Putting my gushing of the presentation side, the episode did really well in picking up Rin’s side of the world and flowing her into the Grail War. While the beginning was rather slow, I think it did well in allowing the viewer get to know Rin’s personality and what she was before the war.

What was really one of the two pinnacle points of the show was Rin and Archer’s interactions. Just seeing Archer’s personality up close and exclusively was great. Even after watching the original Fate/stay night, I’ve managed to gain a whole new like for Archer this time around. I also loved seeing her gain his approval.

e0unlimitedbladeworks2Now, of course, the second big point of this episode was the battle. While I was a bit turned off by Lancer’s personality in this show, mainly because the Hero of Fate/Zero was so amazing. Much more honorable. However in this one, even though his spear makes him seem like the same Hero, he’s much less inclined to honor. Though this isn’t in any way a negative to the show.

Again, and absolutely amazing episode and I cannot wait for the next installment. Definitely don’t miss out on this show if you’re a fan of Fate/stay, action, or a good modern fantasy related story.

This show is streaming on Crunchyroll.com!

Episode 0: Prologue

THUMBS UP!

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Amazing!

Pros:

  • Amazing presentation
  • Great introduction
  • Amazing battle
  • Rin and Archer’s interactions

Cons:

  • None

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.