Episode 1 Impressions: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

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In the previous episode, we caught a glimpse of the events that shaped Rin coming into the Holy Grail War. In this episode, we dive into the parallel story of another boy intertwined in these events.

e1fatestaynightunlimitedbladeworks2Synopsis
Shirou has had quite a troubling past. Being a survivor of a huge catastrophe, he was saved by a mysterious man named Kiritsugu, a magic user. Now, many years later, he attends the same school as Rin but the two of them don’t seem to be friends in any way.

Over time, we learn that he can in fact use magic, but usually to fix items and be of help to others. He honestly lacks any ability to decline to help people. While some find that his downfall, with a traumatic history that he had, seeing so many people die, he can’t accept not being able to help anyone.

Which is also why he tries to push his limits as a magic user. In hopes of proving Kiritsugu wrong and not be selective who lives or dies when the moment of tragedy occurs. Kiritsugu, knowing real loss, knows the limits of one person to save many.

During the events of Rin’s battle with Lancer, we see Shirou confronted by his killer. As well as his confrontation after returning home. But things heat up as Lancer returns to finish the job. Attacking Shirou at his house and driving him so far as the shed in his back yard. There, Lancer attempts to deal another lethal blow but is repelled by the summoning of the final Servant, Saber.

e1fatestaynightunlimitedbladeworks14Thoughts
Pretty solid episode overall. We got some great build in the character of Shirou and the events that unfolded behind the scenes of Episode 0. However, I have to admit that most of it was rather trivial stuff that doesn’t bear much in the grand scheme of things for the Holy Grail Wars.  But I guess you can’t discount the decent character building of surround characters who will be involved later.

I’d be lying if I didn’t want this show to be strictly about Rin, but at the same time Shirou is also a huge part of her story. Let’s just hope the focus shifts back to Rin as we move forward. Having already seen the previous tellings of Fate/stay, I have had plenty of Shirou.

While not as great an episode as Episode 0, mainly because it was side skirting most of what has already transpired, it was still a good episode. Seeing Saber in action is always a great thing and I can’t wait for more as this story moves forward in Episode 2.  Unfortunately.. that means we move to standard length shows and no longer get spoiled with 1 hour episodes.

This show is streaming on Crunchyroll.com!

Episode 1: “Winter Days, A Fateful Night”

THUMBS UP!

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Great!

Pros:

  • Still visually great
  • Solid backstory
  • Saber!

Cons:

  • Same events, different perspective
  • Some less interesting elements

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.