Fate/stay night – Unlimited Blade Works Ep. 0: Exposition rules the day

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I don’t even remember what Fate/stay night was about anymore. I watched the Studio Deen production way back when (to be fair, 2006 isn’t that long ago) based on a friend’s recommendation. This was a few years before Moe Sucks came into being, so my mindset towards anime at the time was simply “Did I like this?” If the answer was no, I quickly tuned the show and its story out until I would just plum forget to watch more episodes. So I don’t remember a lick about the original story anymore. I know there’s a knight-looking lady. And uh, I think she falls ill at one point and maybe the main character had to “enter her” in order to save her? That’s pretty much it. Hell, I probably got that part wrong too. Point is, I’m watching Fate/stay night – Unlimited Blade Works as if I’m completely new to the series.

That’s not completely true, of course. I did watch… well, try to watch an episode of Fate/Zero, but when I complained about characters walking in a circles around another guy as they fed us exposition, fans of the story vehemently defended this sort of storytelling. The resulting “debate” turned me off from checking out the rest of the series. Oh well, that was then and this is now. I’m just going to try to take in Fate/stay night – UBW as it is without worrying about rewatching the original series, without worrying about what fans think, etc. Alright, UBW… what have you got for me? Hell, if it impresses me, I might even go back and rewatch the original series!1

— So what do I know about Unlimited Blade Works? Nothing, really. I just know that this will follow Rin’s route. I even heard they’re going to do yet another series to cover the third route. Do we really need to tell this story three times? I realize the story changes with every route, but to a large enough degree that we will do three different adaptations? That seems silly to me, but I suppose they can get away with it because of the source material’s popularity.

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— The animation and the character designs don’t look too impressive for a late 2014 anime series, but maybe the show’s just staying true to the original Fate/stay night aesthetics. As such, longtime fans probably won’t mind, but I still won’t like it. You have a solitary red pendant sitting in a room of varying shades of dark blue. That’s probably eye-popping for a visual novel, but it looks out of place in an anime. As for Rin herself, she looks rather simple-looking, as if she belongs in an older anime. Like this profile shot of the girl; I think it looks ugly.

— Why is the prologue deliberately avoiding Shiro’s face?

— We meet a lot of new characters. Lots of new characters. And half of them seem to dislike Rin in some form or another. See, this is the benefit of not remembering a damn thing about the original anime series. I get to relearn why they dislike Rin! But she seems like she embodies the tsundere archetype, which would make her character come off prissy and elitist to others. Still, her words to the student council president seem innocent enough, but the guy bites back as if she had insulted his mother or something.

— Kind of awkward how the girl’s just sitting on the school’s rooftop, talking to herself. But usually, when you talk to yourself, you usually say personal, emotionally-charged thoughts out loud. And usually, those thoughts are a bit disjointed or staccato. A bit like stream-of-consciousness, if you will. Here, however, Rin’s just, well, feeding us exposition. Exposition with fully-formed sentences, and they end up sounding unnatural to listen to. In general, there’s just a lot of unnecessary information being bandied about. Again, longtime fans will probably complain if these lines are cut short, but to someone like me, brevity and succinctness should win out. This is an anime, so we should thus let the visuals carry a larger burden of the narrative.

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— Like a lot of recent stories, Fate/stay night is all about some tournament, and the winner of said tournament will have their wishes granted by the, uh, Holy Grail. Rin wants to be able to summon Saber, the strongest Servant. It seems silly to me that the tournament would have Servants of varying degrees of power. That hardly seems fair. But in any case, Saber won’t be her Servant. I don’t remember much about the original series, but I remember that much. Plus, she’s wears a lot of red and shit, so she’s gonna get the red-looking dude.

— Rin was reminded repeatedly that she’s an hour early all day, and yet she still forgot to do her summoning at the right time? That’s careless, girl… So instead of Saber, she gets some badass bishie with chiseled abs. B-but it’s not the strongest Pokemon!

— So what are Servants exactly? I mean, where do they come from? Why do they exist? Why can’t we just cut out the middleman and have the mages directly battle each other for the Holy Grail? Hopefully, the anime will explain this to me so I don’t have to go look it up on Wikipedia.

— I guess the tsundere heroine got the right Servant to match her personality: “In the war to come, I will disregard anything you say. I will decide all battle policy.”

— Lots of exposition. Long story short, Rin and her Servant have now formed a bond, the guy’s name is Archer, and she’s a kick-ass mage. The girl ends up blushing way too much for my liking. It’s not even the first episode yet. This is just the prologue. If you’re going to tsundere this shit up, give us more tsuntsun and less deredere.

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— Ooh, he won’t tell her his true identity (he claims he doesn’t know), so it’s going to be a twist… let’s hope it’s not a silly twist.

— Rin: “The battle I’ve been awaiting for ten years is about to begin.” Every little girl dreams of her first life-or-death tournament. Screw wedding day fantasies, this is what it’s all about.

— Why does Archer constantly close one of his eyes? What’s up with that?

— So Rin’s waited ten years for this tournament to begin, but she has nothing to wish for. This is especially damning because she can wish for anything if she wins. She can even wish for world domination. She’s just fighting because, according to her, “there’s a battle to be fought.” They make it sound like their lives are on the line, but at the same time, the girl doesn’t really have any convictions. Everyone has dreams. Whether it’s wealth, world domination, true love, or just raising a dead cat, everyone has something. So something’s messed up with Rin doesn’t even have a wish. But for some reason, Archer is content with this. More than content, in fact; he thinks she’s the ideal Master for someone like him. What? Does he have no wish either?

— How did Archer clean everything up so perfectly? Magic?

— More exposition as the girl walks to school, but at least the girl’s no longer talking to herself. More exposition as it is now nighttime. We can’t get enough exposition! Yeah, it’s episode zero, and as such, we’re not going to get much action. But there’s gotta be a more compelling way to set the story up. Giving us over thirty-plus minutes of exposition can’t be the only way to go.

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Sigh.

— We finally meet a guy who carries a lance. I remember Lancer killing the main character in the original series, so this must be him. But yay, finally some action.

— The battle choreography honestly isn’t bad. Pretty fluid, actually. It’s pretty funny too that it’s more impressive-looking than a show like Sword Art Online, especially with the words “sword art” in the title. Better than Akame ga Kill! too, and let’s just forget Mahouka ever existed. That wasn’t an action anime with magic. That was a poorly-written textbook pretending to be about magic.

— This Archer doesn’t seem like much of an archer, though… Plus, I didn’t think you would really want to bring such short swords to a fight against a lancer, but this just shows what I know about combat.

— Nooooooo. Noooooo. Why are you pausing the fight to talk each other up?!

— So here’s the part I remember: for some reason, Shiro is still at school, so he stumbles upon this battle between the two Servants. For that, Lancer’s going to kill him. And trust me, Shiro knows a thing or two about dying:

people die

You said it, brother.

— Why is Rin so worked up about Shiro dying? Does she like him already or something? Ah, if only I remembered anything from the original series. She saves him with her pendant, leaves his side, realizes that he’s still in danger from Lancer, so she rushes back to him… all in the matter of a minute or so. Funny how this part of the story happens so quickly, but the first forty-plus minutes took forever to tell.

— Saber finally shows up, and the episode comes to a close. So will the rest of the series be told from Rin’s perspective, or are we shifting back to Shiro? Probably the latter, huh?

— All in all, still too much exposition, but hurr hurr we’re setting up the story. Still, I only managed to get through this episode, because Rin and Archer can carry the narrative a tiny bit better than a pair of guys walking in circles around another guy. I’m down with the action in the episode. It’s just too bad it took like… thirty-seven minutes or something to get there. But hey, we survived episode zero. Maybe it gets better from here on out!2

1 Not likely.
2 That’s what everyone says. You’re going to believe everyone?
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35 thoughts on “Fate/stay night – Unlimited Blade Works Ep. 0: Exposition rules the day

  1. Kaique Miranda (@kaiquemf)

    Comparing with the prologue of the visual novel, 90% of the exposition was cut in this episode. Rejoice.

    “I realize the story changes with every route, but to a large enough degree that we will do three different adaptations? ”

    Every route is completely different from another, the theme, genre and events too. Only in the third route (Heavens Feel) the main mystery that connects all the routes is explained (What the fuck is the Holy Grail).

    Reply
  2. eternia

    If they adapt the VN faithfully, only the prologue is narrated by Rin.
    After this prologue, we are shown the OP sequence and the narrator shifted to Shiro, the real protagonist.
    As for her motivation…
    It’s unfortunate that you dropped the prequel, but it was like this: She comes from a mage family. Her father is one of participant during previous tournament, ten years ago. But he lost. And died.
    During the time he was alive, he had told her often, that winning this tournament is the duty of Tohsaka family, as one of the main mage families who settled in this town.
    He never had the chance to tell her what does it really means, why is that their duty? But she went along with it anyway. Following her father’s death wish.

    It’s unfortunate that I have to serve in the church during Sunday. I can’t wait to watch the actual episode itself.

    Reply
    1. Sap

      Well, the story does switch back to Rin’s POV for a couple, non successive scenes, even though most of the route is told from Shirou’s perspective.

      Reply
  3. The Real Sugoi Sugoi

    This was a lazy, lazy, lazy episode.

    It’s like the writers of this series (and a lot of other exposition-heavy shows) don’t know the meaning and value of “show, don’t tell.”

    They could have shown scenes showing through images (not words) what the Masters and Servants are, and what Command Spells are like and all. Instead, they just have characters either talking to each other as if they’re quoting encyclopedias, or they just have the characters talk to themselves. I really hate it whenever anime characters do that. That shit works in comic books and manga, but it doesn’t work in film.

    Granted, this stuff isn’t as boring or offensive as the dry infodumps of Mahouka, but it’s not like there aren’t standards in animation that anime can’t model themselves after.

    The movie Wall-E was able to introduce and build a rich, post-apocalyptic world with about 30-40 minutes of nearly no dialogue. You would think that a company that made so much money on Fate/Stay Night’s predecessor would use this increased profit as a means to experiment with more artistic ways of delivering narrative. But I guess Ufotable ain’t one to really take risks.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      But I guess Ufotable ain’t one to really take risks

      Well, you can see how people lap this shit up, so there’s no real need.

      Reply
    2. Iormungand

      But sometimes it’s better to tell and not show. I don’t need a needlessly zoomed-in pan that lasts for 10 seconds to show me something that instead could’ve been said. I’m sick & tired of misinformed know-it-alls thinking “show, don’t tell” is the best directing style . The best scenes are when people only talk and don’t show anything in a hackneyed “look! look! pay attention!” manner.

      Reply
      1. SP

        >>The best scenes are when people only talk and don’t show anything in a hackneyed “look! look! pay attention!” manner.<<

        So according to you that piece of trash fanboys like to call Mahouka is the best anime ever since it always tells all kinds of unnecessary things & never shows anything beyond some god mode sue one shotting everything thrown at him? "Show don't tell" is boring in a tv show except for documentary & even in written form, it's only good for either a text book or for writers who gets paid according to how much he wrote.

        Reply
      2. E Minor Post author

        I’m sick & tired of misinformed know-it-alls thinking “show, don’t tell” is the best directing style

        lol

        Reply
    1. Sap

      Well, it follows a different route from the one DEEN adapted in 2006, so you got at least the guarantee that it will be different.

      Reply
  4. kaoknight

    from what ive heard most fate fans really hated the ’06 adaptation while many loved zero and have high expectations for ubw just because ufotable is also behind it.

    I didnt like the visual novel all that much but I still really liked zero, but now that they are going back to fate stay night, it’ll probably feel like an annoying highschool battle shounen.

    when it come to the fate series or what the fans like to call the nasuverse, it has a bad habit of being so up its ass in its own lore that it forgets everything else. and as you said before, fate/zero also had a boring hour long exposition episode but after that they went straight to their magical sekirei battle royal.

    Reply
    1. SP

      Fate series is beyond your average shonen manga or anime (I only have slight knowledge on the VN & enjoyed Zero). I doubt it is going to be on the same level as Zero, but it is going to be enjoyable once the battle royal begins. However, I really hate that smug bastard Gilgamesh & don’t understand why is that guy considered so awesome. Even dog barking is more pleasant than that guy’s regular bragging.

      Reply
      1. kaoknight

        since they already made a ubw movie I was hoping they’d adapt the third route instead(the ones the fans claim to be the best one of the three since I only played less than a third of the vn)

        and about gilgamesh, I guess its just his character to be smug, conceited and type-moon fans love to debate the power ranks of characters so gilgamesh being the aizen of this series..

        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          UFO-Table is working on a Heaven’s Feel movie (the third route). Interestingly they kept a little scene from the Visual Novel version of UWB that serves no other purpose than to tie Unlimited Blade Works to Heaven’s Feel, a little Tsjechof’s gun if you will.

          What I like about Gil is that he’s not conceited. His confidence in himself is entirely justified, not that that stop it from working against him. His importance is, in universe at least, not exaggerated. I loved how Nasu made it cannon that Gilgamesj has a good alignment, and that he is incorruptible even to all the accumulated evils of all the world. Much to the aggrievance of TM-fanboys everywhere who were but-mad that Gilgamesj was mean to their waifu.

  5. Anonymous

    Seeing as it’s unlikely that you’ll probably ever discus the DEEN movie of UWB on your blog here, would you mind commenting on the scenes of the prologue that made it in the movie? It covers the 45 minutes we saw here in 2 minutes and 35 seconds and the exposition is handled a bit differently.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7obFlaRzAe8#t=148 (2:30-5:05)

    Reply
  6. IonCaron (@IonCaron)

    I’m actually excited you picked this up, because of the three arcs in the original visual novel, this is the second-to-worst one, with the worst apparently being the last route of the story.
    People would call me a dolt for saying that (well pretty much everyone dislikes or has a lot of issues with Heaven’s Feel, the final route), but I have my reasons.
    _In fact, if you continue with this series long enough, you will actually come to the part where I literally told the visual novel to go fuck itself before closing it forever (only to then look up what happens later on, and fancy that, it wasn’t worth the bullshit). If you get there, I’ll happily explain why that was my reaction, but you might be able to figure it out.

    Anyway, first things first: Everything Kaique Miranda said is true. There actually is good enough reason to make two or even three entirely separate productions of the source material. I believe the issue with the original anime series was that it tried to do too much in a single go, tackling issues and plot points that aren’t meant to be brought up in the first route: the titular Fate route.

    Second, the artwork of the anime is being even more faithful to the source material than the original anime series. Yes, the actual artwork for the visual novel really is that strange, being some bizarre combination of horrendous and fantastic. The shading, coloring, and form on the bodies are all very well done. The faces, however, are about as good as I can draw. No really, I can draw those faces easily, primarily because the features are not just lacking (admittedly like in most anime) but because they shift around the skull like crazy depending on the angle of the head.
    _You already see what I mean in this episode alone. Get used to seeing eyeballs jut out of the skull one moment only to collapse near the ear the next, and for mouths to drop down to the chin and then float up to the nose.

    The artist, Takashi Takeuchi, isn’t totally bad, and he’s gotten (marginally) better with faces over time. He’s clearly stylized and has a lot of good points to his art. That said, he’s also gotten a lot better from the Fate/Stay Night days so for this anime to stay THAT true to the source material’s artwork is kind of embarrassing.
    _For example, here’s an image of Fate/Stay Night dynamic duo. This kind of thing makes up the majority of his work. Notice how this perfectly illustrates what I’m talking about: great shading, emotional expressions, dynamic actions…and horrendous faces (well, Rin’s not too bad here but Saber is just…wow).

    Reply
    1. Sap

      Hum… Last time I checked Heaven’s Feel was pretty polarizing, but never “disliked by everyone”. However, Fate route is usually considered the weakest route among the fans.
      The UBW route is probably the more consistent of the three and the one that deals best with the VN’s weaknesses (infodumping, lolcooking etc.), so it tends to be a fan favorite.

      There’s also been quite a lot of bitching about Rin’s UFOtable redesign, mainly due to her absence of nose. And I have no idea why I just wrote that.

      Reply
  7. Anonymous

    The animation and the character designs don’t look too impressive for a late 2014 anime series, but maybe the show’s just staying true to the original Fate/stay night aesthetics. As such, longtime fans probably won’t mind, but I still won’t like it.
    My impression was that it was the same characters in more or less the style UFO-Table employed in it’s other Nasuverse set works. Wasn’t stunned. Wasn’t bummed.

    Why is the prologue deliberately avoiding Shiro’s face?
    Whatever they reason I’m glad they didn’t show us dickface’s face … or dick for that matter.

    Kind of awkward how the girl’s just sitting on the school’s rooftop, talking to herself […] just, well, feeding us exposition.
    Hadn’t noticed that really. I spaced out during most of the exposition. Been there. Done that. Can I haz more Rin doing Rin-like stuff?

    Rin wants to be able to summon Saber, the strongest Servant. It seems silly to me that the tournament would have Servants of varying degrees of power. That hardly seems fair.
    Strength really doesn’t matter as long as the different classes are balanced which they are (e.g. Berserkers are stonk, Assassins stealthy and lethal, Casters are crafty and versatile, Archers are independent and so on). Saber is just … more balanced. I’m glad they left out the Visual Novels stats and alignments though, those have no place in the visual medium that is anime.

    Rin was reminded repeatedly that she’s an hour early all day, and yet she still forgot to do her summoning at the right time?
    It was magic I ain’t got to explain shit.

    So what are Servants exactly? I mean, where do they come from? Why do they exist? Why can’t we just cut out the middleman and have the mages directly battle each other for the Holy Grail? Hopefully, the anime will explain this to me so I don’t have to go look it up on Wikipedia.
    There will be hooks and we might get hints in the analysis of enemy magic-crafts, but that won’t become plot relevant until Heaven’s Feel, where they’ll go into the nature of the Grail and it’s contents. Honestly, I’m surprised you’d care to have them exposit on the subject. They are legendary heroes here to duke it out and the winner gets their greatest desire fulfilled. What more do you need to know?

    everyone has dreams. Whether it’s wealth, world domination, true love, or just raising a dead cat, everyone has something. So something’s messed up with Rin doesn’t even have a wish.
    A lot of anime ague that nothing that’s worth having has any worth if you don’t obtain it for yourself.

    Sigh.
    This Archer doesn’t seem like much of an archer, though…
    That scene on the roof has been animated three times before it was animated in this adaptation as well. It’s good to see whoever wrote the script had the self-awareness to throw those of us who have seen that scene over a dozen times a bone by including a subtle joke like that; I think the only Servant in the Archer class to have been a pure bowman was Robin hood and seeing as I haven’t played the game that he’s included in he might not even be a pure bowman in that game.

    Why is Rin so worked up about Shiro dying?
    That a joke? She literally shouts the reason for that into the empty school building.

    So will the rest of the series be told from Rin’s perspective, or are we shifting back to Shiro? Probably the latter, huh?
    I really hope that they’ll give all sides their own POV like they did in Fate/Zero or at least that they’ll stick with Rin as the main character. This isn’t a game anymore where you choose between equally crappy dialog options in hopes of bedding one of the main heroines, not dying or at least progressing the story somewhat. They couldn’t focus on his dicking around if they wanted so there’s no point in having that bland misogynist for a main character.

    Maybe it gets better from here on out! That’s what everyone says. You’re going to believe everyone?I personally think that the prologue is on par with some of the better moments of the game. It’s a lot better than all the harem shenanigans, and the stuff were people explain random stuff to Shirou that goes over his head anyways because he’s a numb skull.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Honestly, I’m surprised you’d care to have them exposit on the subject. They are legendary heroes here to duke it out and the winner gets their greatest desire fulfilled. What more do you need to know?

      Your tone is annoying.

      Reply
  8. IonCaron (@IonCaron)

    Anyway, don’t worry too much about the fanbase getting pissy, mate. Do what you do and it’ll be cool. I mean, be prepared for some people to try to correct you on certain things, but I don’t think you’ll get as much of a mini-lashback as last time. As much as I thoroughly enjoyed the Fate route, I have to admit this isn’t high-tier writing. This is the same series that has the oldest story character in written history flying a golden jet to kill a super-powered Lancelot (Fate/Zero). People are in it for the drama and character development.

    It’s not just your opinion that “brevity should win out”. It’s fact. That’s how we’re meant to write, because elongating our prose or dumping information on the audience is one of the quickest ways to lost their attention. While in the written medium you can make exposition interesting to read (Fate/Stay Night’s tournament mechanics were pretty interesting to read), in the visual medium you need more than just chatter.

    I laughed at this hard: “So instead of saber, she gets some badass bishie with chiseled abs. B-but it’s not the strongest Pokemon!” HAhaha!!
    Archer is like Charmander. He’s not the strongest but he’s the hottest.

    “…Let’s hope it’s not a silly twist.”
    Oh, you can’t even begin to… Oh, man… Biting my tongue this hard really hurts…
    But it’s not so silly in comparison to Saber’s true identity.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      but I don’t think you’ll get as much of a mini-lashback as last time.

      Shrug, I’m already ignoring most of it.

      Reply
      1. IonCaron (@IonCaron)

        “Shrug, I’m already ignoring most of it.”
        As you should. I wouldn’t be here if you weren’t worth it.
        You’re too damn fun to read to let others’ fanboism effect your writing.

        Plus, like my gigantic posts have mentioned, I’m really looking forward to this! I already know this route will give you plenty to work with.

        Reply
  9. sensualaoi

    Personally ubw was my favorite arc of the three. The best part will come when they reveal Archer’s identity; he is my favorite character from this series.

    Nasu, the author tends to write a lot, and to repeat things to drive his point accross, which is why the game was so bloated it took me about three days to finish. Do not worry though about loose threads; one strength of this series is that the lore is tight enough that all of the questions you’ve asked will get answered in this arc, or the next.

    I know they’re going to switch back to Shirou’s perspective, since they’re playing it safe for the prissy fans, but that is such a waste since it’d be so much more exciting to watch the show from the perspective of Rin for a change. I always felt that Rin didn’t fet enough development; although, she’s way better than stoic male Saber or that horriblly helpless woman, Sakura. Rin simply spends way too much time being an infodump as a knowledgable magician, which is why it’d have been nice to have followed the story from her perspective and hear her inner monologues for a change.

    You’ve alreaady identified a weakness in her motives too which I’m sorry to say doesn’t go away. Her motivation to enter the tournament is lacking, but I could say that for all of the characters. Considering that the holy grail is so powerful that it can give you any wish, you’d think more characters would have complex plans for that wish. Instead, none of the seven actually want the grail; at least half of them want the grail for some other barely eluciated purpose, such as to gift it or to honor someone special to them, as with Rin. Shirou for example wants it just to end the tournament so more people won’t get hurt! How lame is that?! I wished more of the characters had played straight and embraced greed or other emotions, instead of trying to be all subversive with our expectations to the point of losing credibility. Statistically, most people enter a lottery so they can become rich, and not so they can honor their father or impress some other person. But at least the servants have more interesting motivations than their masters…

    Reply
  10. Anonymous

    The talkiness was actually toned down from the VN version. The prologue spends way too much time introducing a bunch of characters, some of whom are not actually very important.

    “Nooooooo. Noooooo. Why are you pausing the fight to talk each other up?!”

    You basically have to accept as a convention in these kind of shows that talking during battle doesn’t take up any time. It’s silly, but for some reason it doesn’t generally bother me, perhaps because it’s so obviously silly that writers presumably are aware that it’s just a convention.

    “So what are Servants exactly? I mean, where do they come from? Why do they exist? Why can’t we just cut out the middleman and have the mages directly battle each other for the Holy Grail? Hopefully, the anime will explain this to me so I don’t have to go look it up on Wikipedia.”

    These things are explained eventually.

    “Why is Rin so worked up about Shiro dying? Does she like him already or something?”

    This is actually explicitly stated: she doesn’t want any innocent bystanders to die.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      This is actually explicitly stated: she doesn’t want any innocent bystanders to die.

      I’m referring to when she turned him over, saw his face, and got even more worked up.

      Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          I figured as much, which is why I asked if she had a crush on the guy. People have been trying to correct me on this thing all day though without realizing what I was really referring to.

        2. andmeuths

          Well, an interesting line in that scene where Shirou was dying was “How could I face her?” I wondered who the “her” the Rin is referring to, but I don’t really think the anime is going to answer that properly, since, like many of your other questions, the most detailed answers come not in UBW, but Heaven’s Feel.

  11. 7-10

    Rin was sad, because she knows Shirou and she also know that her sister Sakura likes him.

    Servant are representations of reals and mythologicals heroes, when they use the term heroe, they are refering to the original meaning of the word(the original greek definition). They can be heroes from the past, present or the future. They don´t have to be good people, they can be evil.

    In the holy war, the servants has a special power or weapon called Noble Phantasm. The Noble Phantasm is the strongest weapon or power of the heroe. Some specials heroes have more than one Noble Phantasm. Each servant has diferent abilities, but they also has abilities and stats based on their class(remember that fate is a videogame franchise), for example most of the saber class servants are Jack of All Stats, Lancers are fragil speedsters or glass canons, berserkers are lightning bruisers(EXTREMELY high defense, attack and speed), berserkers have the highest stats of all, but they are insane, stupid and consume a lot of mana(this is their handicap). Saber, archers, lancers and rider servants have a relative high magic resistance(most magus can not hurt them). Assasins servants are weak, but they specializes in killing masters instead of servants, rider(considered the second best class) are not that strong in term of stats, but they have good mobility, they can ride magical beasts, modern machinery like motorcycles and planes, they also has an extremely stron Noble Phantasm. Casters… this is self explanatory. Sabers are considered the best class, because they are the most balanced servants

    Reply
    1. sensualaoi

      Yeah I didn’t want to give away too much, but 7-10 has already explained their relationship. Since it doesn’t get explained until the third arc, I suppose it’s safe to elaborate. Rin is like the ultimate tsundere stalker. You see hints of it in this episode when she is following Sakura, everywhere – at the archery range, outside that house. Since our loner heroine constantly stalks Sakura in her free time, Rin knows everything about Sakura including that she likes Shirou. Rin also secretly admires Shirou because in middle school she watched him stubbornly trying to high jump over a bar, even though he had no chance of clearing, he wouldn’t stop trying for several hours after school ended. It’s cool how many complex facial expressions and foreshadowing you notice when you’re re-watching the series.

      Reply
    2. E Minor Post author

      You guys don’t have to explain everything. I ask a lot of questions rhetorically. I mean no offense by this, but I expect to get the answers from the show, not the blog’s readers.

      Reply

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