Fate Something or Other Ep. 17: There she goes

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There’s some fighting in this episode. Amazing, I know.

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The anime looks great for the most part. There’s no doubt about that. What really puts it over the top are the goofy-looking characters. The juxtaposition is just fascinating. You have relatively smooth animation and gorgeous backgrounds… then Lancer’s hilarious come-hither stare.

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Elsewhere, we get a very brief glimpse into Kuzuki’s past. Like very brief. It’s so brief, it makes you even wonder why the story bothered. Well, if the loli’s fate was any indication, then it just means that the guy is about to die. And that’s just hilarious for reasons that I’ll get into later.

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He must do something which I know nothing about, but it’s okay, ’cause he’s going to die anyway. Plus, I would totally understand what he’s talking about if I bothered to consume all of the other Fate Something or Other material, because that’s obviously what makes a great story…

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Random Saber sexiness just to remind you that she’s still somewhere around here…

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And so we trash talk…

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…and we trash talk some more. ‘Cause, y’know, they’re just trying to buy time. The execution, however, is just lacking. Trash-talking should have some passion behind it, but I couldn’t care less about either character. Caster is pretty one-dimensionally evil, and Rin just hasn’t really emerged as an emotionally complex character. Honestly, none of them have. There’s no one here I feel compelled to root for. I wouldn’t feel anything if any of them died. First, they each lack a compelling purpose in this all-important war, but we’ve been over this. Shirou arguably has the strongest story, but it’s also the most cliche one: he’s a generic do-gooder with some tacked on nonsense about how he has a mentally disturbed propensity for altruism. Uh-huh. Sure.

Anyway, everyone else just falls flat. Rin doesn’t really have a wish per se, Kuzuki doesn’t really care for the grail either, so on and so forth. Yeah, Caster is sacrificing everything for Kuzuki, but just look at him… he’s so boring! So by extension, her love for him is boring. It’s like a love story about a slab of granite. You can go all Titanic on a slab of granite if you want, it still wouldn’t jerk a single tear.

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More talking, but this time, it’s Shirou talking to himself. Can you just feel the tension rising in this moment? Can you?!

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Good thing we have Lancer and Archer to give us some action… er, well…

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The show kinda has that DBZ problem…

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…where the attacks go all nuclear and shit, but it’s okay, because they always find these barren, empty places to do battle. And there will be no mention of this shit in the news either. A giant, fuck-off explosion goes off in the middle of the night, and it’s like nothing happened. So how impressive is this really? It’s like that age-old paradox: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, did it make a sound?” Or put it another way, why do most disaster movies often feature the destruction of some major city? Because that shit has to mean something. These scenes often have just a bunch of nobodies running and screaming too. Nobodies that we would know absolutely nothing about. But that’s the point; actions have consequences.

A meteor crashing into the planet means something when our homes are destroyed, our fellow citizens are dead, etc. Here, however, the explosion is like a microcosm of the entire holy grail bullshit. An artifact that will grant you any wish… but only a small handful of people, literally a infinitesimal percentage of the world’s population, will have any say in the matter. Caster is oh so evil… but I hardly see the results of her evilness. There’s like some mention of it… and maybe a building full of unconscious people. That’s about it. And now, we have this giant fucking explosion that will look cool in the moment, but what actual impact will it have on the world of Fate Something or Other? Now, DBZ is really just a dumb shounen, so it can handwave a lot of this shit off… but what’s Fate Something or Other’s excuse?

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Anyway, lo and behold, Archer isn’t really siding with Caster!!! Naw, really?!

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We cut back to Rin and Shirou, and the latter isn’t doing so well against Kuzuki. He kinda sucks. But as you can see, Rin totally surprises Caster by getting physical. I guess, uh, Caster finds it a bit uncouth.

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Kuzuki predictably comes to Caster’s aid. But we also know that Archer is now free to do whatever he wants, so it’s not like you can’t see what’ll happen next…

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Yep.

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And maybe I’m supposed to pity Caster’s character or something, but again, she’s in love with a slab of granite.

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And as she fades away, he can only look forward with that granitey face of his. Truly a love story for the ages. Another characters bite the dust, and it doesn’t emotionally matter one bit. But wait, there’s more!

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Kuzuki doesn’t want the grail, but he’s going to see this through. I really identify with his character and its 20 minutes of total screentime, which he spent a good majority of it throwing punches.

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Aaaaand he goes down in two strokes. There we go. Another characters goes down… and it doesn’t emotionally matter.

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Let’s make this 4 for 4! Let’s see Archer kill Shirou too! See, I’d fight for the grail just to make that wish come true.

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21 thoughts on “Fate Something or Other Ep. 17: There she goes”

  1. I either pity or admire anyone who hasn’t figured out or been spoiled (THANKS A LOT “SPOILER ALERT”S) on Archer’s identity. No, really, that’s pretty darn impressive.

    1. And DBZ has actually paid *some* attention to that whole “tree in a forest” detail lately. You know, Battle of Gods and such?

    2. I’d say pity as at this point you’ve been able to get long stretches of time staring at both their faces to see the obvious (aside from certain scenes earlier which practically told the audience in no subtle terms).

      At least in the VN you don’t get to see Shirou’s face so frequently, or at all really, so it’s not as obvious.
      I don’t think, anyway.

  2. “but what’s Fate Something or Other’s excuse?”
    Especially when DBZ routinely poked fun at how often the main city was either wrecked, felt the tremors of a far off epic fight, or just bared witness to two toddlers flying in the air and shooting laser beams at the crowd.

    Makes you wonder if the writing here would be better if it had the capacity to be tongue-in-cheek.

  3. “but what’s Fate Something or Other’s excuse?”

    I think there’s something said, or implied, that magicians are covering it up or something. Like, there’s an organization that makes sure the public doesn’t find out about this. I could be wrong, as I only have some slight knowledge of the subject matter, but that is an excuse.

    1. That’s the sad thing here. It has that excuse (the Mages’ Association, they call it), but the story does not even use it and simply assumes that the diehard fan already knows about it, having digested all of the other related Fate (and Tsukihime) stuff, which leaves general viewers like E Minor out of the loop and scraching their heads (and the guy already made clear that he won’t touch other Fate materials unless those interests him).

    2. Kotomine says in the VN that the Holy Grail War is the only time the greater organization of magi and the church (Vatican) cooperate to make sure the contest doesn’t out them both or ruin cities.

      Considering the power at play, though, it’d have been nice to see examples of how they do this when streets and buildings get wrecked.

      1. Let’s face it: it’s a shitty excuse to avoid having to factor in how these events might affect the rest of the world. We’ll just say some wizards covered it up, then bam! We can just write whatever we want!

  4. This will be a good place to put that meme:
    “AAAAAND IT’S GONE”

    About Kuzuki’s lose: It’s because Caster has gone.
    He can beat Saber and punch Shiro and Rin around because his fists are enchanted with Caster’s magic.

  5. Yeah, the scene where got punched Caster finds it a bit uncouth makes my eyebrow raised. More raised when Kuzuki help her and she said if he didn’t came she will definitely lose.

    Anyway Saber “twist” is next week (if they don’t talking to much). But I doubt you get surprised by it.

  6. Yeah, the scene where Caster got punched and she finds it a bit uncouth makes my eyebrow raised. More raised when Kuzuki help her and she said if he didn’t came she will definitely lose.

    Anyway Saber “twist” is next week (if they don’t talking to much). But I doubt you get surprised by it.

  7. “He must do something which I know nothing about, but it’s okay, ’cause he’s going to die anyway. Plus, I would totally understand what he’s talking about if I bothered to consume all of the other Fate Something or Other material, because that’s obviously what makes a great story…”
    I think the major problem with this thing. It’s made only for the fans who already know these people and it’s as if most don’t realize it. So many episodes have passed by and this show hasn’t gotten me to care about anyone.

    “The show kinda has that DBZ problem……where the attacks go all nuclear and shit, but it’s okay, because they always find these barren, empty places to do battle.”

    Exactly, but even in dbz there were times where you could feel the danger. You don’t even have to look to recent movies for it either. When nappa and vegeta came part of the fight was being broadcast by the news and you got citizens pinning their hope on the hero’s, cause they know they have no chance if they fall. Plenty of happen above cites and the hero’s negotiate to move the fight elsewhere. Even in the powerpuff girls movie, they played tag and wrecked a city and got chased out for it. Like you said this show really has no excuse.

    The fight are gorgeous though and the colours oh my, especially when archer used the shield.
    I feel like the only one who doesn’t see the resemblance between archer and shirou. I know who he is but it wasn’t from the character designs.

  8. “Now, DBZ is really just a dumb shounen, so it can handwave a lot of this shit off… but what’s Fate Something or Other’s excuse?”

    Fate/ Stay Night is also a dumb shounen. It just takes itself seriously while DBZ doesn’t as much.

    The previous Fate adaptation was a fighting shounen that was brief and had a neat visual style. It picked ideas from the three story paths of the Visual Novel and butchered them into a single storyline. And it is the best Type Moon adaptation for TV. It’s simple, but it banks on knowledge of the visual novel to make the viewer care about these characters the least of the two adaptations.
    I’m so disappointed that such fancy visuals have been squandered on this.
    In the case of Caster here, in the studio DEEN adaptation she had more screen time to stablish her evil menace, mostly because they talked more to one another and an arc was solely dedicated to dealing with them (her and Kuzuki). There is a reason for that too. In that version of the story, Sakura, Rin’s sister, is kidnapped to serve as vessel for Caster to summon the Holy Grail prematurely and they plan to use mana extracted out of people to keep the summoning spell going. It simultaneously makes the battle more personal for the characters Shiro and Rin and makes her a more credible menace than whatever unexplained evil she was planning in that church in this version.

    1. I wouldn’t call Fate/Stay Night dumb. It just doesn’t know how to balance exposition and action, it seems. The villains also needed more episodes devoted to them in order for us to empathize with them better. Also, Gilgamesh.

      Personally, the best Type Moon anime is Carnival Phantasm. I’m no fan of Fate/Stay Night, or Type Moon in general, but man did that series work for me.

        1. I go to TvTropes, so I was able to know a tiny bit of the background info before watching Carnival Phantasm. It’s a good comedy show, as it takes the piss out of Fate/Stay Night and Tsukihime. It’s good stuff.

  9. “Shirou arguably has the strongest story, but it’s also the most cliche one: he’s a generic do-gooder with some tacked on nonsense about how he has a mentally disturbed propensity for altruism. Uh-huh. Sure.”

    The fact that he is a generic do-gooder is indeed vey cliched. His mentally disturbed propensity for altruism on the other hand could be seen as a deconstuction of the cliched shounen do-gooder. In my opinion, this is in fact the main point of the whole Fate Stay Night story. (And I mean all three of them)

    1. I know what the story wants to do. Whether or not the adaptation conveys that point properly is another thing.

      1. You probably know my opinion about the Fate franchise, but even I can’t help but agree with you that the adaptation is doing a bad job at conveying its main point.

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