Episode 4 Impressions: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

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Following the epic battle against Berserker, questions arise as to the fate of Shirou who had fallen in battle.  Thanks to Illyasviel’s retreat from the battlefield, her opponents are able to lick their wounds and hold onto their lives for another day.

e4fatestaynightunlimitedbladeworks1Synopsis
Shirou is in bad shape, with a large wound on his back.  However for some strange reason, he’s restored back to full health.  While originally expected to be healing provided by his link to Saber, she seems to believe he possesses some sort of self-healing.

After parting with Rin, who claims they are now enemies from henceforth, Shirou spends a little time with Saber and gets to know a bit about the different classes.  Seven in total Servants of different skill sets, all being heroes from the past.  Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Caster, Assassin, and Berserker.

After learning about these classes, Saber also mentions a bit about the Noble Phantasms that each possess.  These are secret weapons that each can call forth in battle and are very powerful.  However they come at two great costs.  First, they have to call them forth, thus revealing their identity, and with that, their weaknesses.  It also takes a considerable amount of mana to use.

e4fatestaynightunlimitedbladeworks5As Rin works through the night in order to track down a Master who is sacrificing people to gain mana, Shirou battles with his normal life once again.  Not only in dealing with his old Archery club that he used to attend, but also getting Sakura and Fujimura to accept Saber staying at his place.

Thoughts
Quite a restful episode following the insane battle before.  A pull back from the insane to get a bit more connection between Shirou and Saber, as well as to get comfortable with a few more side characters.  There was also quite a bit of reveals made on Shirou as a character, his archery background, his healing, and also his dreams.

I realized in writing the synopsis that Rin is definitely remaining a powerful part in this telling of the series, as Shirou mingles while she saves lives while searching for (supposedly) Caster’s Master.  Though it was still comical to see her frustration in dealing with Shirou being a Master.  Ignoring him as long as he stays home.

e4fatestaynightunlimitedbladeworks4More and more so lately I’ve been feeling that this series is made as a sequel to Fate/Zero, as Ufotable are seemingly giving many nods to the story elements that made up the prequel.  During the first impressions we did on this series, we were a bit conflicted as to if those that haven’t seen Fate/Zero should watch it first.  Mainly because Ufotable made the anime adaptation of Fate/Zero.

It’s not as if the original Fate/stay night (2006) didn’t acknowledge the events 10 years prior, it just seems as if this rendition is taking more liberties to point out its events specifically.  With that, I’m more inclined now than ever to tell people to watch Fate/Zero first (though some would definitely disagree with me).

Episode 4: Finding the Will to Fight

THUMBS UP!

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Good

Pros:

  • Build for Shirou and Saber
  • Insight into the classes
  • Nods to Fate/Zero
  • Rin’s conflict in Shirou
  • Rin becoming a strong character

Cons:

  • May become spoilerish to Fate/Zero

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.