Fate/stay night – Unlimited Blade Works Ep. 12: We’re going to a steakhouse tonight!

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Oh man, are you guys ready for some delicious steak? I know I am. Sure, last week’s steak was cold in the middle, full of gristle, and tough as an old boot, but c’mon… steak! Steak!!!

— And since we’re hopeless peasants, we can’t complain about the quality of the steak whatsoever.

— Uguu, this steak is over forty-seven minutes long. I hope that means its a porterhouse for two and not a big bowl of tripe.

— Gasp, to see the fair maiden in such a state… I must flee! The people’s hero cannot afford to taint his soul with lustful desires. As such, Shirou blushes before hastily leaving the room.

— Shirou blushes again when he later sees Rin all dressed up. Man, this guy is way too innocent for this shit. Not surprisingly, dude proceeds to freak out because he learns that he has a date with Rin in a neighboring city. Who identifies with someone like this? Even if you do identify with him, doesn’t it get tiring watching the same archetype over and over and over? We always bounce between the two extremes, too. The hero is either pathetically pure-minded like Shirou, or he’s a major asshole like Grisaia no Kajitsu‘s Yuuji. Why… why can’t we just have some variety?

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— Plus, what’s there to be uncomfortable about when Saber is tagging along?

— Shirou: “Anyway, I said I’d tag along with you, not go out on a date with you.” Yeah, wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong ideas. Then he’d be ruined for marriage and shit. No dowry in the world’s going to make up for the fact that… the protagonist has been on a date!!!

— Anime and caeki… it’s like they’re on an eternal date with each other. That caeki looks pretty shoddily drawn, though.

— Oh man, we’re literally watching these kids hang out downtown. Hoo boy, I sure am glad they doubled the length of this episode. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss out on these crucial scenes.

— Aw yeah, just look at that steak. Delicious, juicy steak everywhere.

— For one tiny second, the show gave me hope and made me that I’d be watching Persona 4 instead.

— It’s always awkward when one of the characters starts busting a gut, ’cause as a member of the audience, I’m just like, “Should I be laughing, too? Is it actually funny to see Shirou in some dorky pair of glasses?” Nah… nah, it’s not.

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— Riveting conversation right about now… riveting conversation about Shirou’s height. This is kind of like… the delicious pepper sauce that goes on top of the steak, right? Yeah, I think it is. Nothing adds spice and richness to a good steak like a conversation about the protagonist’s height and his potential to grow even taller.

— Eight minutes into the porterhouse steak for two, I’m now watching Rin hit a few balls in the batting cage. This must be the baked potato on the side with all the fixings.

— Haha, look at Saber bat the balls away as if she’s fighting someone! This is the bacon bits in the baked potato.

— Nine minutes into the episode, we’re now discussing Rin’s prowess in the batting cage. She must have done a lot of push ups, according to Shirou. Mm-hmm. Mmm-hmm. Tell me more.

— Picnic time! This must be like… uh, the picnic basket that comes with the steak:

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Hey there, Boo-boo! I didn’t think you’d go to so much trouble for this day-to~!

— Oh my god, Saber took a sandwich from the middle! This totally triggers my OCD!!!

— And the verdict is… the steak sandwiches are good, boys! I repeat, the streak sandwiches are good! Marry the girl! Her sandwich-making skills are higher than Asuna’s! And the latter only makes virtual sandwiches!

— Ten and a half minutes into the episode, Rin wants to wipe the corner of Shirou’s mouth with a napkin. I-I-I thought we’d only be eating sandwiches! No one told me about wiping each other’s mouths!! I’m not ready for this!

— I remember reading something like, “Hell yeah, only Ufotable would have the guts to make the episode twice as long in order to include everything!” I couldn’t agree more. Everything I’ve seen thus far has been absolutely indispensable! Indispensable!

— Shirou: “Are you sure that you aren’t Satan? I mean, you’re always wearing red.”

Jags_fan

— Rin: “D-Don’t get the wrong idea! I wasn’t concerned about you!”

seriously

— Elsewhere, Fujimura goes to see Kiritsugu’s grave, but it looks like Caster’s about to abduct the poor lady. I guess the fun and games are over, boys. No more steak. Time for some vegetables.

— Our heroes seem to have climbed onto a bus with no driver in it. Whoopsie!

— It’s nice when the story decides to show and not tell. The water here looks weird not because the 3-D animation is bad, but because the water is literally unnatural. It’s not the water that we know — the water that heals and nourishes the soul. Rather, it is water that has been tainted with evil, and this is represented in the real world as plastic-looking CGI water. CGI itself is unnatural and a corruption of the medium. But sometimes, it is a necessary evil. How else would you get cool-looking action scenes without the aid of CGI? Anyway, we later see these things rise out of the water to attack our heroes. But in general, more visual storytelling would be nice. This is an anime series, after all.

— Long story short, Caster wants Shirou and his unique Magic Circuits to work for her, and she’s taken Fujimura hostage as a bargaining chip. But of course, our pure-minded protagonist isn’t about to agree to her terms. What’s interesting here is the change in the sound of Shirou’s voice.

— Aaaaand then Caster floats there and feeds us exposition. Back to that delicious steak.

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— Sure, I want to know that Shirou potentially hates the Holy Grail. This is a crucial bit of character development. But I also want to learn this in an interesting way, and not from some floating lady just yapping away in the sky. I mean, c’mon, what a strong, pivotal revelation! He potentially despises the Holy Grail! If what Caster says is true, such strong emotions shouldn’t be something that we merely hear about. It should be something that we see and discern for ourselves through the character’s actions.

— Shirou’s willing to sacrifice his Command Seals in order to save Fujimura. But just imagine how many lives he could save with those Command Seals? How many lives could we save if he did get his hands on the Holy Grail? But the problem here isn’t really with Shirou. The problem here is with the story. What does Fujimura really mean to Shirou? She’s been his guardian, right? So she’s like a big sister or perhaps even a mother in the boy’s life. But we don’t really see that. When we do see Fujimura, it’s only for some shitty joke. She contributes almost nothing but comic relief to the story. Now, I can understand a guy throwing everything away to save someone so important to him. This is the sort of tragic flaw that has doomed plenty of heroes in the past, so it’d be nothing new here. Nevertheless, Fate/stay night hasn’t actually achieved this. It hasn’t gotten me to understand just how important Fujimura really is to the guy. We’ve wasted so many episodes on explaining the rules of the game or even a shitty date in the cities, but we’ve forgotten to develop Fujimura’s importance.

— So Saber saves his life, and he still uses a Command Seal to stop his Servant in her tracks. This leaves her open to Caster’s attack. Welp. So much for your ideals, son.

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— Somehow, Caster has taken control of Saber through her Noble Phantasm. I don’t really care about these details, though. I just want to see how the larger story plays out, not mire myself in the various rules and exceptions of the game.

— Caster commands Saber to attack Rin, but Shirou takes the hit instead. Saber then uses every ounce of her strength to tell our heroes to run. Rin eagerly obliges takes up. Finally, Archer decides to show up. It’s always peculiar how he always waits until the very last minute. A guy like him is way too prepared to allow his Master to be attacked like this. I thus wonder if he could’ve shown up earlier, but he wants Shirou to taste bitter defeat. In other words, he’s always close enough that Rin’s life is never really threatened, but he’s teaching Shirou a valuable lesson about the latter’s idealistic nature.

— Aaaaaand Shirou’s injured and bandaged up again.

— The shape of Rin’s head is pretty funny-looking.

— And now, Rin and Archer is discussing how he’s been rooting for Saber this entire time. Meh. I’d discuss the clues from this scene that Shirou and Archer are one and the same (how he knows Saber and why he’s actually concerned about Fujimura), but is there really a point to that anymore? We already know that they are.

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— Then a conversation between Caster and Assassin. Fun. He pisses her off good. As it has already been implied before, Caster is acting largely without her Master’s knowledge. As always, crucial details about a character and their motivations are revealed through a one-on-one conversation.

— Caster shows up to the church to claim her prize. But wait, the Holy Grail won’t appear until only a single Servant remains standing! Ah, but this is Fate/stay night, so there are always rules and exceptions. Caster can’t get the Greater Grail, but she can get the Lesser Grail becaus–… y’know what? I don’t care.

— Kotomine then turns into an action hero and escapes from Caster’s minions. Okay. Lancer is lurking nearby. I guess he’s ready to make a return to the story.

— Elsewhere, an injured Shirou wants to fight with Rin, but she rejects him. But what a way to end the first cour of this split-cour series. They have a conversation about his uselessness, then she and Archer fly away. We are then treated to a montage of the story’s various characters before the credits roll. Whee.

— C’mon, that was not a porterhouse for two. We got honeydicked into watching a bunch of conversations again. As always, the anime dangles the possibility of well-animated action scenes before us. There was some action… but just some. But instead, it’s just one long sequence of boring conversations.

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— But will I watch the second cour? Of course! I love steak!

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34 thoughts on “Fate/stay night – Unlimited Blade Works Ep. 12: We’re going to a steakhouse tonight!”

  1. Oh isn’t it so cute when Shirou is acting tsundere? Freaking adorable. Also, apparently fooling around for the day is much more important than saving people from Caster’s clutches. Looks like he’s not suited to be the hero of justice.

    1. But he had sauce on his cheeks! He also looks good with glasses. That’s important character development if you ask me. What better way to demonstrate his innocence than adding blushing marks on his face at all times?

  2. I stopped counting how many times my eyes rolled this episode..

    Shirou literally gets skewered, by a great sword no less, and only ends up suffering a tiny-ass wound in the end. Seriously, him getting injured has long since lost its effect. Also, why bother showing him looking around for Rin, wondering where she’s at, if he can “magically” know she’s standing on top of some random skyscraper? How the heck did he manage that? Also, assassin having a normal conversation with his ribs sticking of his chest made my day.

    Finally, one third of the episode is dedicated to hinting that Shirou and Archer are linked to one another as if the show hadn’t been obvious enough about that already. It’s all pandering crap for the audience. I can’t take this show as seriously as it thinks it is.

  3. Shirou looked like Harry Potter when he had the glasses. I think that was the joke of that scene XD. I liked that this episode had the music theme “this illusion” as the ending theme. I think that Caster and Archer are my favorites characters of the first half this anime adaption of Fate Stay Night, I know that in the second half my favorite character will be Gilgamesh, but i really like Caster, i don´t know why.

  4. What’s the point of wasting time with all the complicated rule of the game? The author’s just gonna pull exception and nonsense out of his ass anyway. From Shirous power up out of nowhere, the lesser Grail we never heard about, a noble phatasm called Rule Breaker that can steal command seal, the super powerful teacher that somehow is not a mage, the church’s terrible security( this is not the first Grail war, how come no body thought of stealing the Grail and attacking the church before?), Shirou didn’t die when killed, servant that can summon another servant, character acting like idiot…. God this show is so dumb.

    1. What’s the point of wasting time with all the complicated rule of the game?

      Ummm, because the fanboys want it to stay faithful to the VN?

  5. YOU SHOULD JUST ENJOY THE STEAK YOU GET, YOU GODDAMN UNGRATEFUL PEASANT!

    But seriously, why? Why did they even feel the need to have a 47 minute episode and have literally half of it be this pointless slice-of-life shit?

    I want those 47 minutes of my life back. Holy shit, that was boring and pointless as fuck. All of that could have seriously been condensed into 25 minutes. Take away the first 15 minutes of them frolicking and dating. Reduce that shit to 60-90 seconds. A montage would have worked just as well. Show stills of them happily enjoying shit in a mall.

    If I was the CEO of Ufotable, I’d fire whoever is in charge of managing resources in this show. Because whoever it is thought it would be a good idea to waste about 20+ minutes worth of TV broadcast time on meaningless shit.

    Talk about dragging things out. All that cool action-filled shit that was in the preview at the end of the episode could have actually fit into this season, had they eliminated all the fluff that plagued this first cour of theirs. But no. They need to find a way to maintain viewers for two entire seasons so that they could make more money, quality be damned!

    1. But seriously, why? Why did they even feel the need to have a 47 minute episode and have literally half of it be this pointless slice-of-life shit?

      That’s the funniest part about people saying that Ufotable has the guts to make this episode twice as long as normal. They had the guts…!

      …to give us slice-of-life.

  6. I’m suprised you didn’t pick up on why Rin was telling Shirou he’d grow taller.
    You mentioning “How many lives could we save if he did get his hands on the Holy Grail?” is interesting because that’s what Kiritsugu, his dad, would actually do, he’d sacrifice someone that’s close to him to save more people, even if he didn’t like it, guess Shirou has yet to realize his dad was right about the “save one, kill another” thing.

  7. I can’t believe how uneventful in general this was. This really needed to be condensed. Felt like it was building up to something but just ended in such a boring way. That’s the lamest cliffhanger I’ve seen recently.

  8. Even with my great love for steak I can’t stand a show who was supposed to be about a fucking war and instead is a slice-of-life where buddies have a lot of fun and I don’t because nothing happens. E Minor, If you can stand the entire half of the season of the most boring anime of the year, Fate/Zero deserves a second chance.

    Ps: a even more beautiful photo of a steak

    1. The fanboys don’t like when someone says that F/Z is better than this series. In fact, some of them blindly deny Fate Zero’s existence.

      1. Hold your horses franboys! Even Fate/Stay Night is much better than this series because at least we had some action and the ridiculous dialogues were like a special charm of the anime. My favorite quote will always be this precious piece of wisdom by Shirou:

        1. Been years since I saw that and it still is great. The closest we got this season was that one line about showing is better than telling.

  9. The steak is bad. Really bad. There’s a few bits that aren’t charred to hell which still have a bit of juice in them, but overall it’s just awful.
    Good thing you aren’t actually eating it, just appraising it, otherwise you probably would’ve gotten a bit queezy…
    Like I did when I read the VN.

    “Then he’d be ruined for marriage and shit.”
    HAhaha! Dude I cannot get enough of your blaze mockery of this kind of nonsense. It’s like someone making caeki for you, the exact same caeki as every other chef in the restaurant, and you just roll your eyes and punch it into the plate. Priceless

    “not mire myself in the various rules and exceptions of the game.”
    That’s good, because see, we who read through the VN up to this point have reached the exact moment where all Suspension of Disbelief is demolished thanks to Caster’s weapon, literally titled “Rule Breaker”
    “GET IT?! SHE CAN BREAK ALL THE RULES CUZ SHE’S MAGIC! AND-AND ALSO SHE’S GOT A SUPER POWER THAT LITERALLY GIVES HER THE POWER TO BREAK THE RULES!!!”
    …Fuck you, F/SN.

    1. That’s good, because see, we who read through the VN up to this point have reached the exact moment where all Suspension of Disbelief is demolished thanks to Caster’s weapon, literally titled “Rule Breaker”
      “GET IT?! SHE CAN BREAK ALL THE RULES CUZ SHE’S MAGIC! AND-AND ALSO SHE’S GOT A SUPER POWER THAT LITERALLY GIVES HER THE POWER TO BREAK THE RULES!!!”
      …Fuck you, F/SN.

      Yeah, I just don’t worry about them. It’s not storytelling. It’s just a bunch of rules.

  10. Anyway, believe it or not that isn’t the worst part for the readers. No, see, in the author’s effort to insult the reader of his visual novel to the highest degree, he pushed things much further.
    Already UBW is a cheap destruction of everything firmly established in the first route, a novel’s length story known as Fate. It spends almost as much time setting up the world’s rules and lore as it’s predecessor only to break every single rule for the sake of being “surprising”. This, of course, is horrendous as it makes the previous route AND the first half of this route absolutely meaningless and shows that all that exposition was indeed just to waste our time.

    The idiotic choice on Shirou’s part here was ridiculous but human so it’s somewhat forgivable.
    I mean, considering we know a command seal can make a servant do ANYTHING like some genie’s wish, he could have just wished for Saber to save his not-mom and *poof* it would have been done. You know, something any one who’s been paying attention to the story can think of. But hey, he’s clearly severely retarded so why should we expect him to remember something that was established IN THIS VERY STORY?

    The name of her super power, the Mary Sue like untouchable prowess she has (I mean aside from Archer, who’s just too Gary Stu to ever be messed with by the likes of her), and everything up to now was just the sickly green film on the rotting steak.

    Next time you’ll see the moment where all of it comes together. It’s the moment that made me drop this instantly (well actually I dropped it here with “ZA RULE BUREAKER” but actually tried to read it again only to drop it finally).

    I’ll get into it when that time comes. Considering your distance from this world and its characters it will definitely not affect you the way it affected readers of the VN. For you it will merely be unpleasant and pointless. For readers like me it was the biggest FUCK YOU the author could have thrown at us.

    1. I mean, considering we know a command seal can make a servant do ANYTHING like some genie’s wish, he could have just wished for Saber to save his not-mom and *poof* it would have been done.

      To be fair, I doubt he was thinking clearly in the heat of the moment. He probably didn’t realize he had issue any command.

      Next time you’ll see the moment where all of it comes together. It’s the moment that made me drop this instantly

      I thought you said you dropped it earlier.

      1. I had dropped it, but like I said I picked it back up again. I guess I was more invested than I would otherwise be simply because I’d come to know these characters over the course of reading the first route. Or maybe I was just curious. I don’t know, my point is that, like an abusive relationship, I came back to the thing until I finally chucked it.

  11. ohh man those first 10-20 minutes were killing me, there were so unnecessary and this is coming from someone whom actually enjoys slice of life anime.

  12. I love how people act so shocked and but hurt about caster acting “outside” of the so called “rules”.

    First i like to remind people that Noble Phantasms are supposed to be OP rule breakers themself (remember gae bolg anyone?). Yet i never saw people bitching about Gigamesh gate of babylon or is having thousands of NB’s suddenly balanced?

    second the concept of rulebreaking was something that already introduced and explained in fate/zero. I can see why people are pissed off if they started with this series but those that followed the fate franchise from the start don’t really have a excuse to point this out. Heck the only reason the HGW had those rules was because it was the best way to ensure there is a holy grail at the end. Doesn’t take away that they are only guidelines that doesn’t necessary have to be followed. The reason why caster could do what she did here was because the principle of “filling” the holy grail is the same, the only difference is the quality and quantity. ( she dropped a hint: souleater).

    I agree that this show has alot of problems with being to “talkative” when it really shouldn’t. But that’s one of the side effect when trying to animate every thought of the characters from a visual novel. Which somehow resulted in characters saying there “long” inner monologue’s outloud as if to deny the fact that a enemy is right there that could strike them down in flash.

    1. I personally don’t give a shit about the consistency or inconsistency of the show’s concepts. It’s really hard to give a shit about it when the show is awful at presenting ideas in the first place.

      Furthermore, there is much less anger about that particular point than you’re pretending to make it out to be. If you’ve been paying the slightest bit of attention to the comments section of these episode reviews, you’ll notice that people have been far, far more critical and irritated at the show’s unimaginative and boring storytelling methods more so than any minor points about the rules.

      The original poster, E Minor, barely spends two passing sentences about that particular scene. To quote E Minor’s review: “Somehow, Caster has taken control of Saber through her Noble Phantasm. I don’t really care about these details, though. I just want to see how the larger story plays out, not mire myself in the various rules and exceptions of the game.”.

      And out of the 30-plus comments on this comments thread, only 3-4 actually talk about this particular scene. Everyone else is talking about the awful storytelling and wasting of time on shit like pointless date scenes.

  13. I forgot to add to my original post, but one point that really annoyed me was the preview scene at the end. You know, when we see Tohsaka and Shirou working together once again. This pretty much renders hollow her threat against Shirou at the end of the episode about how he’s dead if they meet again.

    I mean, obviously, at this point, we already know that she’s the tsundere love interest, so any declarations of those sort are hollow by default. But even then, earlier in the show, she constantly talks about how she would not hesitate to eliminate Shirou but fails to live up to these threats (like at the school fight thing earlier in the show).

    What, then, was the point of making all that threat seem so ominous at the end of this episode?

    This show is just so stupid.

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