Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works 4

Super swamped with work this week, but I am committed to getting these episodics for Unlimited Blade Works out weekly! Lets just hop right to it today.

00:03 – More of Ufotable’s trademark scenic transitions. This is so apparent that it feels like Akiyuki Shinbo and his close up on character’s eyes and moving backgrounds.

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00:06 – Look at those stone cold face and eyes that stare through your soul. Do you feel the guilt?

00:14 – What? Why are you naked Illya? I do not remember this, but I do have to mention they took a very interesting approach to the lighting for Illya in these frames. In general Illya looks very bright to contrast with the generally dark backgrounds of the show, but here her whole body and face are cast under a shadow. I think this effect is being used because Illya acts so differently around these two supervisors of hers.

00:25 – Again Illya is cast under the shadow and her face is unseen as she is being scolded. Illya’s distate of this place? The bathroom itself is animated phenomenally with the fog. Generally I hate blurry effects, but it is understandably used here.

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00:47 – Who knew a loli character could be so creepy as she descends down into the water and her own madness.

02:30 – CG clouds look funny.

02:40 – I really dislike blurring effects in animation, but the expressions shown on Shirou’s face make up for it.

02:50 – Look at Rin’s smug face.

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03:39 – I feel like anime Rin has too much dere and not enough spunk.

03:55 – For someone that always has girls hanging around with him, he doesn’t really know what to say at all. Typical anime protagonist I guess.

03:58 – This face and reaction from Rin is gold though. It depicts her emotions so well. Then you get the face of the dumbass.

04:52 – Another iconic Saber shot, and one that I personally love. The dignity and composure of Saber is really what defines her, and is also why I dislike her outfit in Fate/Stay Night. A suit just fits Saber so much better.

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05:49 – I would find Shirou trust endearing and creepy, but again Ufotable gets the reactions spot on. They are really part of what defined the characters and made them interesting in the visual novel.

07:41 – More exposition to explain the rule set for the Holy Grail War. Needed and explained in a way that’s not too dry. At least they spread it out over many episodes.

08:11 – My god, I am just in love with all of the facial expressions this episode. The face Saber makes as she says these lines is so right for her. I would say why but it would spoil some things that will be coming in later on in the series.

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08:55 – I said I hated this outfit, but Saber is still the best and she is damn cute.

08:59 – I find this line hilarious, because I can totally see myself doing that.

09:21 – Akiyuki Shinbo, is that you over there directing this show?

09:23 – God damn the food looks good. I am actually so hungry right now.

09:56 – I really like the posture that Fuji-nee has in this scene. I think they are doing a great job representing each characters personality well.

11:01 – I would be stunned like this too, if the person I have been crushing on for over a years brings a super handsome boy over.

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11:24 – And 2nd best girl has arrived.

12:29 – Why are you protecting Saber from your teacher like he is a rapist or something Shirou?

13:25 – Wow, do you see his reflection in the fish tank in the background?

13:42 – I also feel that they made Saber a little too cutesy.

14:51 – I love what they did with this scene. Finally bringing up that Emiya lacks self appreciation. I wrote about it more in a different post, but I find characters like him fascinating and am glad that Ufotable is keeping that aspect in the anime.

15:10 – This interaction between Mitsuzuri and Shirou, and the reaction was perfect yet again. The creepiness of his face as he stands their shocked, thinking of the past and how he doesn’t deserve the happiness that Mitsuzuri is presenting to him as an option.

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15:34 – NOOOOOOO! Mitsuzuri don’t leave, your one of my favorite characters and it was such great conversation for insight into Shirou’s character. Why can’t all the side character conversations be this good in anime. Thank you for not being that useless sidekick friend of the main protagonist like in every harem anime.

15:44 – Abandon all the routes and follow her! I really wish there was a route for her in this game :(. If she had more screen time she would have easily been my favorite character.

15:54 – The amount of awkward in this scene makes me cringe.

16:25 – I love the sequence of comedic faces here. Have some more.

16:36 – I like this little hint here, though it doesn’t really play a big role in this route.

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16:40 – Let us have a moment in silence to mourn the death of Sakura’s heart. Poor Sakura, Just wait for Heaven’s Feel.

17:31 – Stop making me so hungry!!!

17:40 – More awkward silence fun.

17:54 – That water animation is really bothering me because it doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the style.

18:32 – Well now we know the otp for Fuji-nee is Sakura x Shirou.

19:04 – The green light in the last shot sets up so well for this one. It makes Rin looks so much cooler with the green behind her that goes well with her red based design. Yay Christmas colors!

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20:02 – A poison that destroys love? It has to be a woman.

20:17 – Again with the expressive faces, Rin’s rage is easily shown and not told. I know I am pointing it out a lot but compared to a lot other anime, they are really killing it. Reminds me of a Hunter x Hunter, Gon and Killua always had the best faces.

21:54 – Now for the intensity to amp up… Next episode.

After thinking about some of my qualms with this episode, Illya being naked, lack of screen time for Mitsuzuri, CG etc, it actually isn’t that bad. Being naked often depicts innocence, and vulnerability and in this particular scene Illya shows both. The vulnerability shown by being scolded by her chaperones, and the childish innocence of not understanding certain emotions.  I am going to have to deal with the CG and lack of screen time for Mitsuzuri, but I can handle that.

A solid episode, It really delved into Shirou and Saber’s personalities and hinted at a couple other things down the road but it lacked the action that episode 3 had. The first third of the episode was light hearted and fun. The 2nd third of the episode was all about the characters, their past, and hints at future progression. The last third of the episode had more insight in Rin’s morals, and a little bit of action to tease us for future episodes. The pacing for this episode was just right for me too! It contained a little but of exposition, but not as much of a dump as episode 2, and even during the exposition I was entertained. If the rest of the episodes are as good as this one I will have to say that it lived  up to the hype, and I do not say that very often.

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