Name: Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
Genre: Action, Fantasy, Magic, Supernatural
Director: Takahiro Miura
Original Airtime: October 12, 2014 – December 28, 2014 (Season 1), April 5, 2015 – June 28, 2015 (Season 2)
The story of Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works takes place in Fuyuki city which becomes the setting for an age old ritual. In order to realise the holy grail that is said to have omnipotent powers that can grant any wish. Seven masters are given seven heroic spirits. Each master enters a contract with the servant and battles other masters and servants till only one pair remains. This is known as the ‘Holy Grail War’. The battle to obtain an omnipotent device that grants any one wish of the victor.
The Fate Visual Novel has three routes – Fate, Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven’s Feel. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works follows the second route.
The story of Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is not any different from that of the Visual Novel. Being a 24 episode series there is no filler issues. In fact there are a few questions that remain unanswered thus leaving a few loose ends. The reason being that the Fate/Stay Night light novel had a lot of information that are relevant to understand the story perfectly. I commend Ufotable for trying their best to accommodate as much information as possible. They really tried. They left as much episode run time as 28 minutes per episode and even had two one-hour special episodes. But in the end it just was not enough and many questions remained unanswered. Nonetheless each episode leaves the viewers wanting for more. I did not find any pacing issues with Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works.
There is a large set of characters in Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works. However, Rin, Archer and Shirou gets most of the spotlight. The other characters are influential but not to the extent of Fate Zero where you could get the insight into all characters, what they think and their motives. The influence of all characters is not equal. But as separate characters they are all really good. Some characters specially Shirou has shown great character development throughout the anime. But as mentioned before, more insight on all the character would have been nice. Specially characters like Assassin, Ryder, Illyasviel and Berserker weren’t properly explored in Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works.
Here are some notable characters from the anime:
The animation of Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is the best the industry has to offer. As expected from Ufotable, the visuals were almost perfect. In fact almost too perfect. From drawing to coloring to animation everything is top notch. The production house really brought our all of their guns on this one. It’s called ‘Unlimited Budget Works’ for a reason.
Here are some screenshots from the anime:
Like the animation in Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, the sound department pulled its weight too. I loved both the openings and first Ending theme. The 2nd Opening ‘Brave Shine’ by Aimer is one of the most exciting soundtracks you will come across. The background scores in Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works were lovely and served their purpose well. Some scenes appeared better than they actually are because of the background scores.
Why would you not enjoy Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works? I don’t think there is any reason. I absolutely loved the show. The thrills, the suspense, the blood rushing action even the occasional comic moments completely provided what I could have possibly wanted.
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is a massive leap forward from the DEEN’s adaptation of the show and even the movie. They have hardly set a foot wrong in their attempt to adapt the Visual Novel. However, they still fell short to their prequel Fate/Zero. May be it is wrong from my part to expect that it could rival a masterpiece like Fate Zero. However, lesser insight on the characters lesser knowledge on their motives is noticed in Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works unlike in Fate/Zero. But each is equally enjoyable in their own ways. More psychological battle greater emphasis on all character does give Fate/Zero the edge. On the other hand it should also be mentioned that Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works has the better action scenes and a masterpiece visual-wise. I guess at the end of the day it comes down to preference. You would be correct if you said that Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is comparatively light-hearted with more emphasis on action while Fate/Zero is darker and emphasized more on the Psychological battle. ‘But just because you are correct, doesn’t mean you are right.’