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.
— 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?
— 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.
— 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.
— 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:
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.”
— Rin: “D-Don’t get the wrong idea! I wasn’t concerned about you!”
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
— But will I watch the second cour? Of course! I love steak!