Sorry for the delay on this post, the last couple of days have been for the holidays and family. Today’s episode is a one hour special similar to the prologue and first episode. For most 24-26 episode anime the 12/13th episode is a climax that will lead into the next half with excitement and a decent mini-conclusion. Especially since Fate/Stay Night will be taking a break through the winter season and starting back up in the Spring, we do not want to be left unfulfilled.
01:12 – Shirou can’t even look her in the eye.
01:38 – How can someone be that innocent in high school.
03:13 – Fujimura reminds me of an older sister teasing her younger brother on his first date.
03:51 – At least Saber is happy about this date.
04:32 – Shirou is the tsundere girl and Rin is the male lead in this date.
05:35 – Clocks are a recurring image throughout Unlimited Blade Works, but I am unclear on why. I think it is in reference to the words clockwork and the word blade works in the title. Clockworks is used to describe a the machinery that runs a clock. Unlimited Blade works would be the machine that has the power of unlimited blades. If you have read the light novel you can see where I am headed with this otherwise it might be a little confusing.
05:43 – Saber is so cute, when trying to figure out how to start eating the fish shaped takoyaki.
05:46 – Very cute.
05:51 – Tsundere guys are just not as cute.
06:35 – This is definitely a line of a male protagonist comforting the heroine in most visual novels, but the roles are reversed here. Rin is going on a date with Shirou to solve his insecurities rather than the other way around, again playing with the theme of what actually makes a hero.
08:06 – The only one with the a helmet is Saber, the person who needs it least.
08:21 – The tilt of the helmet as Saber shows her competitive side.
08:34 – Look at that “I’m done with this shit” face.
09:04 – I am going to go do some push ups and become a professional baseball player.
09:13 – I don’t get why this embarrasses her.
09:24 – How is Saber not best girl! Look at that gleam in her eye.
09:27 – WOW. Just look at the detail on those oranges. Truly Unlimited Food Works.
09:47 – I like how they left Rin’s face up to the imagination this time. Probably just did it for budget though.
10:44 – Look at that smug face.
11:55 – The blushing ears, because someone said thank you. I don’t get it.
11:57 – While Saber just happily keeps on eating, Shirou and Rin have a role reversal and Rin is the tsundere again.
12:20 – Another embarrassed Rin face.
12:55 – Is it just me, or did this scene feel like their was more emotion between Kuritsugu and Fujimura?
14:20 – I like how they showed it in a way that Shirou and Rin would also see it as.
14:57 – Even after what happened last time, Rin doesn’t bring Archer around with her. Honestly sometimes the characters just lack common sense. Rin almost killed Shirou for not taking the Holy Grail War seriously and leaving Saber at home.
16:48 – Didn’t Kuzuki let her do whatever she wants anyways?
16:56 – How did the conversation lead to how she does not desire to have omnipotence.
19:11 – I actually don’t remember how Caster knows this stuff.
19:25 – Please stop with exposition and get to the action already. We need to have an exciting climax. Also the only animation is Rin’s eyes twitching.
19:48 – So many still frames with exposition. This is not the episode to have it in. This is the episode where you are supposed to dump money to keep us coming back in April.
20:35 – At least Fujimura looks pretty cool with that light surrounding her.
22:12 – There better be a fight scene after all of this, or I am going to be very angry.
22:55 – AW YEAH ITS TIME.
23:01 – What the fuck is this animation for this fight. Ufotable, please don’t tell me your running out of money.
23:13 – Nice expression on Saber’s face, but couldn’t the fight have been extended a little bit before Shirou used his command seal.
23:38 – I guess this noble phantasm is harder to show, so they had to use exposition. Definitely the worst portrayal of a noble phantasm so far. I am actually so disappointed right now.
24:23 – At least they did this scene well.
25:09 – So many things wrong with this scene in animated form. First of all how did Shirou move more quickly than Saber. Second, where did Fujimura go since he probably couldn’t have moved very far. Honestly I am just nit picking now, but I am really annoyed with how the first part of Unlimited Blade Works is ending right now. I bet its just going to stop after this and make us wait until April feeling unsatisfied.
26:10 – This is cool, but where did the background go.
26:36 – Oh this is where all the money went. It looks fucking gorgeous. Saber’s face is so disheartening.
27:53 – Rin looks kind of funny here.
28:51 – These shots are actually horrible, also I wish they didn’t have Rin explain it to us. It should feel apparent in the second evidence when he provoked Saber.
29:30 – Are you trying to seduce Archer or something Rin?
30:49 – Rin is oddly happy after these turn of events.
31:13 – Suddenly everything is serious. I guess that fits with Rin’s personality.
32:56 – Even when Shirou has a hole in his body he thinks of others over himself.
33:32 – Lots of reused frames this episode.
34:05 – Ufotable still has the scenic shots at least.
36:05 – At least he stays true to his personality, even on the verge of his second death.
36:34 – Even Assassin knows they are bad jokes.
37:18 – I don’t know why but the rib sticking out of Assassin just makes me laugh.
37:30 – Am I seeing things or did they just paste Caster onto a scenic shot they already drew?
39:02 – What kind of face is Kotomine making?
40:10 – This is the stuff we watch Unlimited Blade Works for.
41:13 – You are not suspicious at all, walking around in the middle of the night with a blood all over your jacket.
41:48 – The sound direction during this scene is pretty spot on, with the conversation being weaving in out of the silences of the track playing in the background.
42:53 – They are doing it again…
43:10 – Just like Archer always said. Shirou is powerless and unable to uphold his naive ideals.
43:37 – I love this song.
44:24 – We need more Illya in this route.
44:54 – In Shirou’s mind he is already dead and owes his life to Tohsaka. Paralleling what Assassin said earlier.
Like I mentioned above, I was looking for a mini-conclusion that would be a good halfway point to end on while we wait for the rest of the broadcast in April. I was sorely disappointed in that department and the climax in general. The best parts of the show have always been the action and how they depicted the noble phantasms, and in my opinion they failed in both of those categories today. The few bits of action itself were lacking compared to prior episodes and the exposition was quite boring with nothing going on the background to entertain. I felt this whole episode was just a teaser of whats to come, which is just a horrible point to end on. I could handle it if the show continued on throughout the Winter season, but this waiting period in between really kills the hype.
To be fair there was a lot of good points to this episode too. They really showed promise in the slice of life portions of the episode, that were not only entertaining but also addressed Shirou’s inability to live his own life due to his guilt of being saved twice. Then it was followed by Shirou’s own ideal being destroyed as while he tried save Fujimura, he endangered Saber and got her captured by Caster. He tried to save everyone and yet it only made the situation worse with Caster gaining Saber to her side. With the destruction of his ideal, Shirou also became truly powerless to do anything. Rin painfully pointed this out, leaving Shirou is now at his lowest. This perfectly leaves the rest of the show to develop how Shirou forms new ideals and actually gains the power to deal with the situation at hand, but as a climax it was just underwhelming.
The pacing makes sense but the conflict in this episode just felt so dry for a finale that I could not get into it. It had way too many still frames for the scenes that was supposed to be the most exciting, and the lack of action in general was a horrible decision. It may stay true to the source material, but in animated form the main draw of the show is the action. Maybe the first episode in April will be the finale that this cour deserves.