Fate Something or Other Ep. 21 & 22: Almost done

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Well, he’s not wrong… And to be honest, I don’t even want to get too much into the final leg of the duel between Shirou and Archer. Yes, Shirou eventually manages to defeat Archer, which is supposed to be some momentous turning point in the development of his character. But the whole ordeal can’t help but feel like it has been rehashed to death and beyond. Archer has long run out of anything interesting to say. He only has one point, and he’s made it past its usefulness. But this is anime, so combatants can’t just fight silently, letting their blades do the talking. It’s not that duels have to be completely silent, but at some point, people do stop talking, don’t they? When there’s nothing left to say — when there’s only blood and sweat — a well executed duel can take your breath away.

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But shows like Fate Something or Other are full of these tiny, little interruptions. We get these glimpses into the characters’ minds — mostly Archer’s and Saber’s — but it’s like looking into a previous episode.

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Oh yeah, uh-huh, this is what Archer believes.

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And this is what Shirou believes. Hm, good thing, I might have forgotten. Sure, sometimes mortal enemies can have mental duels. I’m not saying otherwise. But that’s not what we have here. What we have here is an argument that we’ve been debating for the existence of Fate Something or Other. Unfortunately, there are no more rocks left unturned. There are no interesting angles left to explore. It is what it is.

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So Archer loses, then Gilgamesh shows up out of nowhere to kill the guy. But it’s Fate Something or Other, so people literally killing themselves onscreen then coming back to life is quickly accompanied by a 500-page essay on how it makes perfect sense… if you played the game. Which you should have done, I might add! Shame on you for not having played Fate Something or Other! It’s the cultural zeitgeist of our generation! Saber is as iconic as Mickey Mouse! Everything Fate related is so well-ingrained in our minds that, of course, it only makes sense that Gilgamesh would now proceed to stand in one spot and explain to us what the Holy Grail really is. ‘Cause I totally know what it is, but y’know, I should hear it again. Mmm-hmm.

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The whole spiel is accompanied by the Holy Grail doing stuff in some empty space. That’s cool. Really engaging. Haunting images, really.

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And also traffic. Traffic really nails down the idea that humanity is beyond redemption. I’ve never seen a show’s visuals lend itself so well to establishing the villain’s primary motivation to eradicate all life.

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Then the guy passes up the opportunity to kill his less-than-prepared opponents, because hurr durr he already killed his main target today.

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Yep. And yep is all you’ll get. I’m past the point of recounting and breaking down the events and plot of this series.

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So given a chance to recuperate and plan out the epic final chapter to this story, our heroes sit in a dimmed room and talk.

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Then they have dinner and talk. Y’know, in case you don’t understand what Gilgamesh had done.

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Then Rin talks to Saber privately.

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Then she talks to Shirou privately. Cool. Talking is cool. Especially when you have important things to say. Like where the Holy Grail is. And who best to put up against Gilgamesh. ‘Cause he’s literally war, man. Literally war.

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And here, we still have those tiny interruptions. Rin has tsuntsun tourette. She just can’t help but randomly blush, glare at you, and scream “Urusai!” It’s a condition that sadly afflicts the majority of female anime characters.

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This all culminates in her and Shirou developing a strong “rapport” with each other. This way, he can tap into her mana reserves for the upcoming fight. Now, the expected thing is to have him literally tap that ass, but this is anime, so instead, they just take off their tops.

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And Shirou begins to trip balls.

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Then he sees Rin’s memories, i.e. she’s always been in love with him because that’s how romances in anime works. Love doesn’t just grow between two people. It’s already fated. OH LIKE THE TITLE! Heh.

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This time, it’s not the tourette. She’s actually, like, embarrassed and shit. I guess people really think this sort of relationship would be fun and really awesome. Like they would be grinning from ear to ear to see their girlfriends always flustered and annoyed half the time. Frankly, it looks exhausting.

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Then Shirou has a private conversation with Saber, but I’m not even paying attention anymore. I’m paying more attention to Cloud9 get spanked by TIP. Man, who knew losing your primary shotcaller would be such a big deal? Anyway, I’ll just end the post with this final screenshot.

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Yep. Fate Something or Other, everyone! It’s almost over!


10 Replies to “Fate Something or Other Ep. 21 & 22: Almost done”

  1. I definitely agree with your thoughts on the duel. All that needed to be said was said. The duel now only needed to test each’s conviction one last time. It could have been a very poetic scene. Naw, let’s just add in a bunch of side commentary so you don’t miss any “important” points that have already been said many times before.

    Did the anime forget that expressions alone can tell volumes about a character in such scenes without need for words?

    But at least it felt that it was proper part of the story compared to the most recent episode. Episode 22 was basically Rin fan service. I honestly don’t fully get what people see in this character. Is it the idea that its a strong, seemingly independent character that is completely dependent on them emotionally and possibly physically? I guess that might appeal to people but that sounds more like a pet than a person.

  2. You know, I never understand otaku logic. Girls have sex is bad, yet showing their tits and ass is fine? Anime female must tried to suck male lead’s cock, but they must never success doing that? Not to mention that less fanservice-y an anime often has the most porn.

    I dropped Fate a few eps ago, but it’s disappointing that the anime doesn’t even has the ball for sex. I don’t expect they do it Game of Thrones style, but ufotable avoided a direct confirmation that characters have sex.

    1. The whole reason for them to have sex is contrived anyway for the video game, where sex was your reward for being Shirou for twenty hours. (And my god, that is a curse that no man or woman should have to endure.) That they don’t have sex here makes no sense, but why would it? What has made sense so far or felt true or had real emotion behind it in this entire show?

      Also on Game of Thrones, after last week’s episode, it turns out that Fate Stay Night UBW was only the SECOND worst show I’ve been watching this season. Unfortunately I can’t drop that one because there’s only one damn episode left and I still have characters I like.

    2. Well, you got to impress both the MRA otaku crowd who just want their ‘sexy’ ladies and the anime SJW crowd who consider Rin to be anything but a compromise intended to satisfy both crowds at once. Sex ‘triggers’ the latter, but have no fanservice period and the former will cry about the feminist cabal taking over anime.

    1. That would require a level of maturity and finesse that this series and most anime today simply don’t have.
      Plus sex is gross and impure. Lewd shots and random nudity is okay, but sex is too far.
      Might as well look up lewd images of boys and girls h-h-holding hands…

  3. I could have sworn she was starting to say “Gib Dem Waddermellun” haha
    I cannot possibly imagine this being any more engaging in the visual novel. I really can’t. Then again, I tapped out during the Saber bride scene so meh. As for what it’d be like to be in a relationship with a girl who acts like Rin, it’s called “dating a schizophrenic/self-destructive dick”. People like her end up alone or in a constant string of abusive relationships (often being the abuser if they are not being abused).

    Dated a girl like that once in highschool since I was new to life, fresh-faced and yeah a massive anime dork who seriously thought this would be cute. Turns out real life isn’t cute like anime, and unlike Rin, a simple honest sentiment didn’t make her blush but rather just yell louder. Never go near crazy…

    Anyway, you really sound like you’re wading through the mire, mate, and honestly I can’t see how anyone would blame you. Until now we’ve been met with absolute narrative regurgitation the likes of which puts the entirety of DBZ to shame. So much repetition eats away at the audience until all you’re left with is…well, exactly what you’re expressing here.

    I’d be interested in your final thoughts on all of this, both your viewing of the show and the responses/back-and-forth with your readers regarding it. I’ve never seen someone go so hard into something while bringing along so many vocal voices all desperate to say their piece. It’s like you accidentally wound up with a crash-course in a franchise I can guarantee you likely won’t touch again with a ten foot pole. This whole thing has been so interesting, seeing it from the outside.

    “It’s the cultural zeitgeist of our generation! Saber is as iconic as Mickey Mouse! Everything Fate related is so well-ingrained in our minds that…”
    HAhaha! Well no worries, mate, as you well know the franchise is only monolithic in Japan and niche circles so it’ll be easier for you to break away from it once all this is over.
    I only wish I could say the same for today’s pop and rap music.

  4. I know this story has problems, especially pacing problems, but there are reasons we enjoy it which you’ve missed. Nastu is good at world building with cool premises and chuunibyou abilities, and you use your imagination to gloss over his shortcomings as an author.

    The series is as verbose and complicated as chapters of the bible (like this post will be.) You’re supposed to sit there and wank as you try to rationalize the fights, and the asspull exceptions that retain the rules the author wrote earlier. Still, it’s fun to build a mental encyclopedia and try and figure out plausible reasons after you’re told how things “are.”

    I kid you not, struggling with the visual novel was part of the reason I became an atheist. There’s a part in Heaven’s Feel where the loli explains how the Holy Grail became corrupted from a wish granting device into purely malevolent destructive force: basically in the third holy grail war one of the masters was so determined to win that he summoned
    angra mainyu, the Persian predecessor of the Christian devil. I had never heard of this devil before. The visual novel says this vengeful spirit was actually based on a real person, but he was just a weak man who an ancient village tattooed with all the curses and burned to death as a scapegoat so they could feel better about themselves. I immediately realized this outsider from Japan had a good argument for the fictional origin of the Christian devil as a scapegoat, and frankly, hoped he was right and the devil was a myth.
    That hypothesis about the primitive origins of religion from a non-Christian gave me seeds of doubt about the goodness and legitimacy that I had been conditioned to believe because of my isolated upbringing, and I turned agnostic 6 months later.

    Also FYI, I’ve played the game around 3 times and the scene where she watches him jumping over the high bar has more meaning because it’s the first time she noticed him. He spent the whole afternoon after school trying stubbornly to jump over a high bar that she couldn’t jump over. Rim Tousaka admires that kind of devotion, just like how in this episode she told Lancer, “Sayounara Lancer, I didn’t know you long, but I like guys like you.” (right after he stayed alive long enough to save him through determination.)

    In other words she didn’t fall in love instantly, but she comes to like him more over time because Rin is coincidentally stalking her estranged sister Sakura (who lives with another family) and she sees how hardworking, protective and kind Emiya is toward her sister.

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