Going Down The List: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV)

(MAL LINK)

My experience with the Fate universe started in or around May 2013, when I watched Fate/Zero. I was absolutely enchanted by it, because it was a gorgeous-looking show, and it still is. Then, about a year later, I read the Fate/Stay Night visual novel. At first it was pretty exciting to finally see the origins of the whole series(since watching F/Z I’d also seen the first season of Prisma Illya), but the experience was soon soured by one single character: Shirou.

Words cannot describe how much I dislike the character Shirou. He disgusted me so much that I eventually had to turn off his voice in the VN. And he basically single-handedly ruined the parts of the VN that I was actually enjoying. Naturally, this carried over to the new UBW anime as well. Sure, it was once again a great-looking show(most of the time), but I had a hard time enjoying watching it because of Shirou. At this point, I realised that my hate had lost any remaining threads of rationality, so I stopped veiling my hate behind my criticism of the show itself. Note to reader: This is why you should take what I say here with a grain of salt. Shirou does deserve some amount of disgust, but my hate is way too over-the-top. He’s honestly not that bad.

Lorem Ipsum. That’s not my only criticism of the series, though. As Kotomine makes apparent with his long monologues in the VN, and to some extent in the show, the pseudo-philosophy and mechanics in the Fate universe are about as deep as paper. The story seems complex and paradoxical and deep, but it’s really not. The servant “stats” are also kind of arbitrary, which isn’t that weird considering they serve no purpose in the VN(it really is a VN, not an RPG). They’re just there for show, as are many other aspects of the story.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel, however. While I really disliked most of the Fate and UBW routes in the VN, Heaven’s Feel actually had some really cool moments, which I’m guessing is why many people consider it by far the best part of the VN. I must admit that I was pretty burnt out when I got around to reading HF, but I still enjoyed many aspects of it. And I’ve actually had great experiences with everything related to HF since. I watched the VN OP of HF that was made for the Vita version of Realta Nua, and I thought it was fantastic. I watched the live event where the movie adaptation of HF was announced, and I thought the teaser trailer was fantastic(it still sends chills down my spine every time I watch it). I’m just hoping Ufotable can manage to produce the whole adaptation without collapsing under the workload. So, as I pray… pls make Heaven’s Feel good.

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3 thoughts on “Going Down The List: Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (TV)

  1. My experiences with Fate and its assorted counterparts began with Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works- so I’m admittedly a lot more inclined to it than its cousins. Though OPM’s already got it beat with fight scenes, and Zero handled a lot of the filler text better by just cramming it into the first episode.

    Shirou never really got on my nerves here, though- I keep hearing about “stupid sexist Shirou” and the “monstrosity” that was DEEN’s UBW movie. But /this/ Shirou… He’s actually one of my favorite protagonists, to be honest.
    A lot of the other problems, like Illya and Caster’s scenes, seem to be due to the three-route-VN thing, so I’m just going to
    1)Wait for Heaven’s Feel
    2)Finish Prisma Illya and reading Fate/Apocrypha, and
    3)Try to find a copy of the VN. Speaking of which, how’d you get your hands on it? Just wondering.
    Thanks for the review!

    • Regarding Shirou, yeah, I had other people comment similar things on Twitter as well. They, and you, are absolutely right. Shirou is not insufferable in Ufotable’s UBW, he’s slightly annoying at worst. It’s just that having finished reading the VN so recently(a few months before the first cour of UBW started), I couldn’t separate my dislike for VN Shirou from the adapted version of him in the anime.

      As for where I got my hands on the VN, well, it was sort of an amalgamation of different versions that someone had cobbled together and released somewhere on the internet. That is to say, it was not an official release. And I can’t recommend it anyway, because it was confusing to install and didn’t work properly.

      If you can, definitely try to get your hands on an official copy. Maybe wait and hope that it gets a western release.

  2. He disgusted me so much that I eventually had to turn off his voice in the VN.

    Ah, this is nostalgic. This is the very same type of disgust that I felt when I watched Fate/sn some years ago. And that single role kind of ruined my expectations from his VA. Totally not a fan of his voice. It’s hard to associate it with Sasuke, in a way.

    While I really disliked most of the Fate and UBW routes in the VN, Heaven’s Feel actually had some really cool moments, which I’m guessing is why many people consider it by far the best part of the VN.

    Now I feel bad for wiping off the whole VN of my disk. I’ve got no exposure to HF route whatsoever, so this post did make me curious about it. Oh well, shikata ga nai.

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