Episode 2 Impressions: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

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A battle to the death between seven Masters and their seven Servants. A bloody one that has no real way out. Even if Shirou would rather have it end peacefully. That’s because someone will have to wield the Grail, and it can’t be just anyone.

e2fatestaynightunlimitedbladeworks1Synopsis
Following a battle brought to a halt by Shirou’s command of Saber, Rin sits with Shirou to get him more clued in on just what’s going on. Namely the concept of there being a Holy Grail War and Shirou being included into it. Not only that, but Saber and Rin fill Shirou in on his shortcoming as a Master since Servants gain mana from their Master. She’s essentially “incomplete” and not at her full potential. Saber being very observant and proper, it doesn’t take long for Rin to be quite upset at such an ill-equipped Master taking her prized Servant.

Needing more information, Rin leaves the details up to her guardian Kotomine Kirei at the church in New Fuyuki. He serves as an observer of sorts for the Holy Grail Wars while also being the one who took in Rin after her parents died.

e2fatestaynightunlimitedbladeworks6Kirei explains the Holy Grail Wars as a ritual created by the Grail in order to select one worthy to hold it. Seven Masters who will summon a Servant to battle to the death. While Kirei points out that killing Masters is the simplest way to win since a Servant is nothing without a Master, Rin is of the mindset that no rule is in place that killing a Master is needed, only to disable them by removing the Servant.

The only flaw in Rin’s thinking is that a Master with Command Seals can still become a Master. For this reason, most Masters focus on killing other Masters to completely rid them from the conflict.

While Kirrei aggress to Shirou’s desire to use his Command Seals and back out of the Grail Wars, even going so far as to offer him sanctuary until the battle is over, one key bit of information strikes Shirou where is hurts. The last Holy Grail War was 10 years prior, the cause of the flames that killed many and almost cost him his life.

e2fatestaynightunlimitedbladeworks10For this reason, Shirou decides to continue on the path as a Master. Unable to allow just any person to obtain such power. After reaffirming his pact with Saber, Shirou along with Saber, Rin, and Archer head back home. However Rin asks Shirou to head alone as they will be enemies from that point on. Even though Archer desires to fight now, Rin claims she owes Shirou for commanding Saber to stop her last battle. So their fight will wait.

Even still, the night will not end without some further bloodshed as a young girl appears with a large Servant.

Thoughts
Well, our spoiled selves were quite unwilling, but finally the one hour episodes have passed and we are back to regular sized episodes. Quite a wordy one at that. In a nut shell, this episode was to fill e2fatestaynightunlimitedbladeworks11people in on the inner and outer workings of the Holy Grail Wars. How it works, how you win, how you lose, and what is at stake. As well as getting into Shirou’s shortcomings as a Master, but yet Saber’s willingness to be loyal to him as her Master.

So while there is little to talk about, unless you’re a newcomer to the Fate series, I believe it did very well in explaining how things work. I also get quite a kick out of Archer attempting to grab an opportunity, but Rin not willing to.

All things aside, I’m excited for what’s to come. The first battle with Berserker is going to be quite exciting to see as ufotable has been pretty spectacular with things such as environment destruction, and Berserker isn’t the most gentle of ones.

This show is streaming on Crunchyroll.com!

Episode 2: The Curtain Rises

THUMBS UP!

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Good!

Pros:

  • Holy Grail War explained
  • Saber and Shirou’s bonds
  • Setup for epic battle

Cons:

  • Bit wordy
  • No real action

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.