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.
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.
Oh yeah, uh-huh, this is what Archer believes.
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.
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.
The whole spiel is accompanied by the Holy Grail doing stuff in some empty space. That’s cool. Really engaging. Haunting images, really.
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.
Then the guy passes up the opportunity to kill his less-than-prepared opponents, because hurr durr he already killed his main target today.
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.
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.
Then they have dinner and talk. Y’know, in case you don’t understand what Gilgamesh had done.
Then Rin talks to Saber privately.
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.
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.
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.
And Shirou begins to trip balls.
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.
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.
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.
Yep. Fate Something or Other, everyone! It’s almost over!