Here it is, the final episode of Unlimited Blade Works. With the Holy Grail War already wrapped up all that’s left is to show what ends up happening to Shirou and Rin. I am not too invested in these people as character’s so I don’t care where they end up, but I do wonder how Ufotable will compose the finale. This episode could easily be boring if it isn’t handled with care, and I want to see a testament of Ufotable’s ability to improve existing content. The epilogue in the original visual novel was just an afterthought in the story.
00:47 – Going straight to the time skip. I guess that is a simple way to circumvent the ending sex scene. Or was that after Rin came back? I forgot.
01:02 – Sometimes I forget what great animation could pull off, but Ufotable makes sure to remind me.
01:40 – Alright, this is totally different than the source material. Already a good start for Ufotable.
01:46 – Didn’t see the bagpipes coming.
03:01 – Either Shirou is dumb and needs this explanation after two years of being there, or they just got here. If it is the latter, I wonder what they have been doing for two years.
03:43 – Who the hell is this? A character introduced at the end of the show never has any relevance.
03:47 – This is the true face of annoyance.
04:02 – Rin has the best facial expressions in the show.
04:35 – I didn’t expect the harem shenanigans to ensue at the end of the show after it was clear who Shirou has chosen to be in a relationship with.
04:44 – Also didn’t expect any action in this episode. Glad to be proven wrong. What are those outfits?
04:46 – Oh god, she is even more busty than Sakura.
05:06 – Shirou seems to have returned the magic circuits to Rin.
05:15 – Why didn’t Rin ever fight like this against Illya or the servants. What a suplex by Luvia.
05:33 – Ufotable still seems to have an obsession with Rin’s thighs, but now she has abandoned the way of Zettai Ryouki.
05:52 – More fun Rin faces. This time featuring pouting!
05:56 – The most stereotypical thing a tsundere can do.
06:09 – There is actually going to be a meaningful conflict in this episode.
07:32 – More phenomenal picturesque backgrounds.
08:16 – I’m enjoying this intimate moment between Shirou and Saber.
08:51 – That answers my earlier question, but still proves Shirou to be inept.
08:58 – Your not all that insignificant Shirou. You did stop a homicide of most of the human race. And that’s part of what is frustrating in Unlimited Blade Works. Even after all of his experiences in the Holy Grail War, Shirou has only changed a little bit. He no longer believes that he can achieve his ideal, but he is still very self deprecating and values other lives more than his own. Even Rin agrees with me.
10:11 – The idea ties in well with the rules of the Holy Grail War, but hasn’t been developed enough to have any resonance.
10:40 – Ufotable has used this effect multiple times, but I am impressed every time.
11:48 – Got to cover all the bases and check in with everyone else, and poor Sakura had nothing to do with this story.
13:09 – I’ve missed this slice of life banter from the first season. It isn’t as natural as some other shows of the Spring season, but it is amusing.
13:26 – I think I enjoy watching other people being teased a little too much.
13:31 – Issei must be from be a character made by Shaft, otherwise his neck would have been ripped off by that head movement.
13:45 – I wish Mitsuzuri had more prevalence in any of the Fate/Stay Night routes. I have always admired her character design and personality.
14:57 – These are the scenes I remember from the epilogue in the visual novel.
15:42 – How can Shirou say no, when he sees himself in her eyes.
16:05 – Shirou being happy without the burden of people’s death on his shoulders would be a sight to see.
17:09 – Its Waver from Fate/Zero! A nice touch.
17:47 – Repeatedly showing the same resolve we know Shirou already has. Shirou is randomly talking about his ideals to someone he just met.
20:48 – An intimate two year relationship where one follows the other around the world. They make a big decision, and shake hands. Didn’t know these two were so chaste.
23:02 – The music preceding this was pretty epic, I thought it was a decent place to end. I hope Archer doesn’t spout his ideals for the next 2 minutes.
Ufotable added a lot more anime original content than I expected them to. Some of it was entertaining, and some of it was a little boring, but I guess it got the job done. The epilogue was more comfortable in the slice of life portions of the episode than the serious concluding ideas. It ended up being better than I expected it to be, but still fails as a conclusion to the series. Shirou already has closure on all the important conflicts, and this episode was only created to check up on what happened afterward. All the things that have happened after the Holy Grail War didn’t have any significance to the message of the rest of the show. It only confirmed things we already knew and added physical events to go along with it.
I generally enjoyed the series overall, but it had a few hiccups here and there. The show succeeded at heart pounding action, facial expressions, and background art. If Unlimited Blade Works could cut back on the endless exposition and exploit Ufotable’s great artists it would have been better. The exposition is inherent in the Fate/Stay Night visual novel. But I wanted Ufotable to take more liberties with the narratives, and develop their own style of Fate/Stay Night that would improve upon the source material. They tried in many places such as Illya’s arc, but it lacked the time to develop emotional connections to the characters and was still constrained by the arbitrary rules of the Holy Grail War. Despite all its flaws, I can’t say that I hate the Fate franchise. The character designs are some of my favorites in all of anime, and I still enjoy banter between some of the side characters. I don’t think I will ever be completely happy with a Fate/Stay Night adaption, but Ufotable did a fine job at trying to comply with visual novel purists and anime viewers.