Can’t complain with the high octane action in the past episode, but I am still looking for that wow factor. Unlimited Blade Works can be an entertaining show, but I am waiting for that moment that will elevate it to a show I will always remember. Many moments in the previous season have came close to that point, yet I still can’t imagine this show being one of my favorites. With only the final stretch to go, Unlimited Blade Works is running out of time to really impress me.
01:18 – I understand Archer’s frustration with his own life already, can we please stop having the incessant monologuing.
03:48 – The fight is kind of cool, but I think its missing a sense of weight for these two characters. I can forgive it for the Heroic spirits, but watching Shirou spin in the air as he fights Archer lacks the impact I am looking for in the action sequences. Also I see a significant decrease in fluidity compared to some other fight scenes. Ufotable has seemed to have put less time into this scene then many others, even though it still the big fight between Shirou and himself.
04:31 – Intense shot of Shirou’s eye. Ufotable likes animating clouds so much they even animate it into his eyes.
05:41 – Thank you for explaining it to us Saber. I never would have understood otherwise.
06:17 – Always love seeing new clothes for Saber. Her character design has always been appealing for me, and Takashi Takeuchi, the artist for Fate, loves to draw her.
07:12 – The effects for Archer’s Unlimited Blade Works is much less flashy than blondie, but I enjoy the portrayal better. It doesn’t have as many special effects cluttering the screen when the blades are thrown.
07:57 – The movement of the clouds symbolizes Shirou’s continued faith in his ideal. That’s why Ufotable always focused on animating those clouds.
08:02 – Shirou taking over Archer’s reality marble was cooler than I expected it to be. It’s surprising how much presence Shirou has even though he is such a small portion of the shot. The framing draws your eyes to him.
09:10 – Archer has renewed faith in his ideal, after admiring his own dedication. How narcissistic can he be.
10:09 – Wait, how did Rin do anything?
11:01 – Archer is always the one that gets stabbed, but he has too much GAR to fall down. Meanwhile, Shirou won but seems to be on his butt quite often.
11:28 – Honestly, the actual death of Archer was kind of underwhelming. The way he went down like a dog to Blondie in the end was anticlimactic.
13:24 – This exposition used to explain how the Holy Grail works is necessary, but really shows how convoluted the Holy Grail War is. There are so many random nuances and rules that makes it appeal to hard core fans, but it is often a hassle when it comes to narrative as it has to be explained in a very boring manner.
13:56 – At least Ufotable was able to come up with some pretty CG visuals to watch during this explanation.
15:30 – This is the most out of place CG I have seen in this show. It almost looks as bad as Arslan Senki’s computer graphics.
16:24 – Now Saber finally knows the true nature of the grail. Scenes like these are really benefit from watching Fate/Zero prior to Unlimited Blade Works. Makes the scene make a lot more sense.
16:45 – Blondie and the grail itself are the antithesis to Shirou’s ideal. This is good to keep in mind for Heaven’s Feel, the last route in the visual novel.
17:23 – Moving on to Blondie’s goals with the exposition. I am so bored.
18:02 – Directly opposite color scheme of the clouds that represent Shirou’s ideals is used to portray the grail. This shot looks particularly neat because of the dark shrouds that swirl around.
19:12 – One of the few times that I do not mind the villain telling the heroes his plan. It plays well into his cocky attitude.
21:03 – Ufotable has to be purposefully making these comical faces for Shinji. They seem to know that we can’t take his character seriously, and I appreciate that.
23:31 – It’s time to see how Ufotable will handle it! CG Dragons on the way.
That was a disappointing episode, and after everything seemed to be improving too. The battle between Archer and Shirou looked significantly worse than the previous episode. The characters were fighting without any weight, and the lines they were spewing didn’t help either. Almost every line spoken during the fight was already conveyed earlier, or through the fight itself. The lines also broke up the tension of the scene, which made it hard to care about the fight itself. Lastly was the way Archer died. How could such an important character die without me feeling anything? The energy from the previous episodes just didn’t carry through to the climax. Which made it even more difficult to swallow the tedious second half.
I thought Unlimited Blade Works finally got past all of the explanation of rules, but then came a rude reminder in the form of the holy grail. The whole Fate franchise had always had this problem, just look at the first episode of Fate/Zero. It was entirely exposition to get all of the overly complicated rules of the Holy Grail War out of the way. The only redeeming feature of this episode was some of the more engaging visuals for the Holy Grail and Shinji’s comical death. It almost made the second half of the episode bearable.