Saturday, July 4, 2015

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

Do you want action? Do you want awesome? Do you want, well, I can't think of anything else, but! If you're looking for an exciting anime that delves into the psyche of someone who dreams of becoming a hero, than look no further. Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works is a remake of the Fate/Stay Night UBW movie made by a company several years back. That movie, by the way? Yeah, it sucked. This anime series? Awesome.

The basic story behind Fate/Stay Night is this: Fuyuki City—a city surrounded by the ocean and the mountains becomes the setting for an age-old ritual. To realize the mythical Holy Grail, which is said to grant any wish from its possessor, seven masters are given seven heroic spirits chosen by the Grail. These heroic spirits or servants are: Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Caster, Assassin, Berserker.

Each master will enter into a contract with their assigned servants and battle the other masters and servants to the death until only one pair remains...

This is the "Holy Grail War."

This story focuses primarily on the heroine Rin Toosaka. After her father's death, Rin enters the Holy Grail War as the sole heir to the prestigious Toosaka Household, with her servant Archer. But, she soon finds out that Shirou Emiya, a boy from her high school has gotten himself involved in the battles and unexpectedly saves him when he is fatally injured.

Before long, Rin sets out to strike down the conspiracies surrounding the Holy Grail War along with Shirou and his summoned servant Saber. And so, the story begins to explore the truth behind Shirou’s powers and the nature behind his unyielding will to become a "hero."

The first thing you should know about this anime is that the animation is beautiful. Seriously, their fight scenes are absolutely glorious, somehow managing to capture the intensity of a high-level battle between Heroic Spirits, the spirits of former heroes told in legend, perfectly. Fast-paced, filled with action, and with unimaginably smooth action sequences, on a purely animated standpoint, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works takes home the gold medal.

Of course, there is more to this anime beyond its actions scenes, like, you know, a really pretty blond woman who can wield a sword with the best of them. No, seriously. There's this cute little blond woman who fights like a freaking demon. She's amazing. And this actually brings one of this stories strongest points home: kickass female characters. I know a lot of people, women especially, want to see badass females. You don't have to look much further than here. The two main female characters, Saber and Rin Tohsaka, are quite possibly some of the strongest women to have come out of anime in the past five or so years. They may not have the gritty personality of someone like Revy from Black Lagoon, but that certainly doesn't make them any less strong.

The characterizations in this anime are actually quite well-done. While some characters are based off an archetype (Rin Tohsaka is a classic example of a tsundere), they still feel more fleshed out than what you see in a lot of anime these days. They're not just one-dimensional personalities with a "tsun-tsun" and "dere-dere" switch that can be flipped at the drop of a hat. The main character, especially, one Shiro Emiya is actually one of the few male protagonists to come out recently that I really like. Sure, he's got some seriously screwed up priorities, but his incredibly flawed existence makes him all the more likable. Although I really do feel bad for Rin. I mean, having to put up with someone like Emiya must be hard work.

If there was one thing I did not like about this anime, it was this scene. This god-awful piece of crap scene, where Ufotable omitted the fact that Shiro and Rin had sex and instead mucked up the entire magic system in some misguided attempt to make this more kid friendly. Transfer a magic crest?! Seriously?! You might as well turn Shiro Emiya into Shiro Tohsaka since he's pretty much the head of the Tohsaka house now that you've given Rin's magic crest to him. The magic crest is the symbol of a mage family's power, the culmination of generations of research. You don't just "transfer" something like that! All you people needed to do to make this kid friend was a "fade out" and a "fade in" scene. That's it! It would have freaking worked, but no! You had to go and screw yourselves in the butt with a crowbar because, lord forbid, we follow the canon. Guess what geniuses, this anime is based off an eroge! It was going to have sex in it, and if you don't like that, then maybe you shouldn't have bothered producing it!

... Okay, I feel better now. Man, that was liberating.

So, mucking up the magic system to accommodate Ufotable's "no sex" policy aside, this is still a really good anime, and I would recommend it to everyone who wants a good action series with some excellent character development.

Artwork: 9/10
Character design: 9.5/10
Character Development: 9.5/10
Storyline: 10/10
Musical Composition: 8/10
Animation: 10/10
Total Score: 9.333/10