Fate/Stay Night – Unlimited Blade Works episode 14: Caster Tragic Beginnings

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works caster dying

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 I was not expecting for such a major flashback to happen so late in the show. We are at episode 14 of 24 and just now we learn of the incredible event that happened before any of this even began. This might also very well explain so many of the inconsistencies which occurred in this Holy Grail War. As it turns out, Caster had another master previously, Souichirou was not her original master, in fact, she killed her original master. Turns out there was another powerful competitor in this Holy Grail War, someone favoured by the Mage Association and who went to great length to secure himself an advantage before anything even began. If anything, the man seemed quite fitting of receiving a witch traitor for a servant, it really shouldn’t have to a surprise then that he would be betrayed and killed in the most spectacular way.

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works burn it to the ground

From here, it seems that after receiving the notice from Caster’s original master, Lancer’s master decided it would be appropriate to terminate a rival before the game even begins. He sent Lancer in to kill Caster and her master knowing that things were not working out between the two, this sound like a very sound decision on his part. One master is out of the game before it even got to start, but unfortunately Caster managed to survive Lancer. Now we have a pissed off Caster who wants revenge for everything that happened to her in her past and present life.

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works foolish man

Turns out this Holy Grail War is much more interesting than I thought, we just happen to see it from the eyes of the most boring master ever. If we were to see this Holy Grail War from a different perspective it could have been so much better, turns out it is not the story that sucks, it is only what we get to see from the story that does. I don’t know enough about the mechanic of the Grail Wars, but it seems to me that since we already had a master die at the beginning and that Caster was reassigned to be a master so early on, there never saw a chance for a 7th master to appear and summon Assassin. This might have been why Caster was able to summon it the way she did. Then again, we have had a lot of irregularities in this war, so I’m kind of confused as to what is allowed and what isn’t.

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works Illyasviel is the key

We’ve had a lot happen this episode, a lot of reveals, and I wasn’t able to touch most of them. The last one I want to really quickly mention is how important it is that we’ve found out Illyasviel is the vessel for the Holy Grail. It makes sense after all, she is half-human half-homunculi, but it is interesting to me that the holder of the Grail happens to be one of the master. Guess Caster might might now find out why she couldn’t find the Grail in the first place.

ZeroGhj signing off

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4 Responses to Fate/Stay Night – Unlimited Blade Works episode 14: Caster Tragic Beginnings

  1. Farray says:

    Quick notes:

    Lancer’s master decided it would be appropriate to terminate a rival before the game even begins. He sent Lancer in to kill Caster and her master knowing that things were not working out between the two, this sound like a very sound decision on his part.

    Atram Galiast (that is supposed to be Caster’s Master’s name, as it’s stated in the credits) called Lancer’s Master a “she”. He knew her.

    Souichirou was not her original master, in fact, she killed her original master.

    The novel (both the uncensored and censored version iirc) is quite explicit how Caster managed to make a new contract with Kuzuki. As in, they slept with each other, because Kuzuki isn’t a magus and cannot provide her with any mana (he only acts as an anchor to her). So yeah, Caster and him have a sexual relationship, in the novel at least.

    Also, something has changed here. It’s noted in additional materials, that Caster found Assassin’s intended Master (it’s left out what would later happen to him). She summoned Assassin after she established the contract with Kuzuki. Still, Kirei notes that five Servants were already summoned (everyone but Saber and Archer), so something doesn’t add up here.

    Q: Caster summoned Kojirou as an irregular Master, but was there a person who would have summoned Assassin as a regular Master (someone with the sign of the bruise)?
    A: Caster found him before he could do the summoning….

    Btw, a lot of the flashback is entirely new, even for VN readers. The only things the novel said was that her Master was an asshole, she made him use up all his Command Spells and then killed him with Rule Breaker. However, a short conversation between her and Archer is missing, after he rudely disturbs her, while she was thinking about her former Master.

    It’s also noted how she doesn’t usually rely on stealing other people’s mana (she tries not to kill anybody at least), as it’s forbidden magic and that she has already completely analyzed how the Holy Grail works. She knows why a not-so-heroic spirit like her can be summoned.

    The scene with Illya’s maids is also new. They play very minor roles in all three FSN routes, but play slightly larger supporting roles in other works like Prisma Illya and Fate/hollow ataraxia. Leysritt (the one with the big boobies who can’t talk very well) is a strength-type homunculus, she possesses Servant strength actually. Sella is an academic-type, she specializes in magic. The Einzberns’ magical specialty is also alchemy, but far more refined than Caster’s Master’s one.

    Huh, Berserker’s identity was revealed. But him being Heracles isn’t such a big reveal, since this is the second route and it was revealed very early in the first route.

    Also, this episode is actually around 30 minutes long, so seven minutes were cut for the tv broadcast.

    • Farray says:

      Btw, that part with Kirei and the five Servants was wrong, he said “five Masters are already selected by the Grail”, which makes perfect sense, as Rin was already chosen a long time ago.

      • Zeroghj says:

        Atram Galiast (that is supposed to be Caster’s Master’s name, as it’s stated in the credits) called Lancer’s Master a “she”. He knew her.

        Right. I actually knew the other master was a girl from the discussion, but somehow I have trouble imagining that unknown master as a woman and keep saying He. My mind just has trouble taking in the new information without being given a female face to associate with.

        The novel (both the uncensored and censored version iirc) is quite explicit how Caster managed to make a new contract with Kuzuki. As in, they slept with each other, because Kuzuki isn’t a magus and cannot provide her with any mana (he only acts as an anchor to her). So yeah, Caster and him have a sexual relationship, in the novel at least.

        I obviously know very little of the Holy Grail rules and mechanics other than what is shown in the anime, but I’m not sure I understand how maintaining a sexual relationship with someone can give Caster a raison-d’être strong enough to allow her to continue existing in this world.

        The scene with Illya’s maids is also new. They play very minor roles in all three FSN routes

        They did seem to be very non-consequential characters, I must admit that I didn’t even understand why they were supposed to matter in the least. They are but homunculi after all, they could just make some new one once this is all over. I understand Illya is half homunculi herself, but the Holy Grail War is a place for people to die, it shouldn’t be that surprising and dramatic to see some magical tool die here and there.

        • Farray says:

          I obviously know very little of the Holy Grail rules and mechanics other than what is shown in the anime, but I’m not sure I understand how maintaining a sexual relationship with someone can give Caster a raison-d’être strong enough to allow her to continue existing in this world.

          Mana = excuse for h-scenes in the original novel. Another excuse is synchronization via sex, which can also be used to establish a magical bond between two individuals. This was sometimes used in other Type-Moon works like Tsukihime and its sequels.

          Caster did it because that is how she established the contract between her and Kuzuki. It was not because of the mana, since the Ryuudou Temple is the focus of the leylines in Fuyuki (this is actually a really important plot point). She already survived for a bit longer, when Kuzuki brought her to the temple. She still needed a living object as an anchor though.

          Btw, Caster actually dropped a lot of hints in this episode, which weren’t in the novel originally at this point, like when she talked about a location, which is the heart of the ritual and “where the Greater Grail” rests. The natural fortress, which can even repel Servants, matches Saber’s description of the mountain in episode 06, when she approached the Ryuudou Temple.

          They did seem to be very non-consequential characters, I must admit that I didn’t even understand why they were supposed to matter in the least.

          Sella is educating her and Leysritt has a special bond with Illya. Leysritt’s death is slightly more important because of that bond, but that would be spoiler territory. It doesn’t matter now anyway, since she’s dead.

          As you can see, they didn’t play a relevant role in this route and their appearance was probably just fanservice for those who know them, similar to the three sports girls from episode 00 and 01. Like Sella and Leys, they played larger roles in other games like Fate/hollow ataraxia. So those who don’t know them won’t care. The maids’ deaths just explain what happened to them in this route, as that wasn’t mentioned in the novel.

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