Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works 16

Riding off of a strong episode last week, I have high expectations for the rest of Unlimited Blade Works. As we head into the last act, I want Ufotable to change up the source material a bit to give Shirou some character development. Normally Unlimited Blade Works is the 2nd route in the visual novel so his character growth is stunted at the end of this arc so that there is room for improvement in the last route. This is all fine and dandy for a visual novel, but it really makes it difficult to create a strong thematic finale for the show. I guess even if they choose to stick with the material Nasu has written I can always appreciate their superbly animated skies.

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00:38 – Ufotable makes Shinji look the most annoying person in the world by just using facial expressions. His voice actor is pretty spot on too!

03:57 – The contrast in color between Gilgamesh’s eyes and the Illya’s heart create an interesting dynamic.  I wonder what effect they were trying to get out of that.

04:45 – Look at Shirou’s deadpan face. He is going to do something stupid again. Hopefully Tohsaka will rein in his tendency to want to die for others.

05:14 – Really like how Shirou and Rin are framed slightly to the right. It gives the audience a feel that everything is slightly tilted just like how Shirou isn’t thinking straight.

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06:26 – Ufotable is doing a great job showing why Shirou’s trauma first started. It must have been agonizing to watch everyone die as you slowly tried to get yourself to safety. The screams would probably haunt someone forever.

06:32 – What a pretty shot of a destroyed city. I especially enjoy how the shot focuses on the front by blurring the background with lighter colors depending on the depth of view from the camera. It adds a real sense of distance between the camera and the whole city.

06:39 – More great scenery with Rin and Shirou now in the center of the shot. The distance from Rin and Shirou is used to represent the scale of his trauma and how it isn’t just about him.

06:47 – You tell him Rin! I feel like this is a common protagonist flaw in anime. Hachiman (Oregairu), Araragi (Bakemonogatari) , and Shirou come to mind so far. Maybe this is because it creates likable characters that are not perfect so there is still some room for character development. The camera is slowly tilting upwards as Shirou realizes that his own life is precious and that he would hurt others if he threw his life away.

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07:09 – Rin takes over the scene by pushing him out of the center! The attention is all on her and she is killing it.

07:28 – Too bad Shirou doesn’t change at all because there is another route! He only realizes it here… Oh and I haven’t seen these two characters in a while!

08:06 – Wow, what a gorgeous shot of small stream. Kyoto Animation and Ufotable are just fighting for which can animate better water and scenery.

08:51 – How does Shirou know this stuff but not Rin?

10:07 –  I found this back and forth hilarious, I feel like Shirou is rubbing off on Rin a bit.

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12:26 – Great lighting to soften Lancer’s features to make him look less threatening.

13:41 – Shirou is such a fun idiot.

13:59 – You will have to given in someday Rin! One does not simply resist the main character’s charm.

16:28 – The insight to Kuzuki’s thoughts always felt so shoehorned here. Archer doesn’t seem like the personality to ask, and Caster wouldn’t trust him around Kuzuki. It doesn’t make sense, but is allowed to go about anyways.

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17:00 – Another great shot by Ufotable. This one shot alone made me empathize with Caster more than her whole “tragic” history. Too bad it isn’t very much still.

19:06 – The animation quality just kicked back up a notch. Looks like we are going to get some action before this episode ends!

20:45 – Ufotable has an obsession with clouds. Using low angle shots so they can show them off.

21:32 – I hope everyone gets what this means by now.

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That wraps up a decent episode of Fate. No action again this week, but I enjoyed the progression between Shirou and Rin. Rin snapped some sense into Shirou and made him realize that his suicidal tendency were not healthy. As always, lots of exceptional scenery shots and another build up to a final showdown with Caster, Archer, and Saber. Not as impressive as Illya’s back story in the previous episode, but it’s enough to tide me over until I get more epiosdes of Hibike! and Oregairu.

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