Fate/Stay Night – Unlimited Blade Works episode 8: A Holy Spirit has Fallen

Fate/Stay Night - Unlimited Blade Works Rider done for

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If there is one thing this episode didn’t have too little of, it is definitively story progression. It was quite clear that at this point some kind of important battle or reveal would be necessary to keep this show from stalling too much. And progression there was. I was definitively not expecting for Rider to be eliminated already. She only appeared once before and we barely got to see what she was capable of. If anything, I think this was the first time Rider was even acknowledge to be the Rider Class. We never learned her name, never witnessed her Noble Phantasm. It was pretty clear that she was a weak, after all even Shirou was able to defend himself against her, but I didn’t expect she would go down so easily.

Fate/Stay Night - Unlimited Blade Works summoning the barrier

I know Rider is not the best servant class out there, but I didn’t expect her to be gone in an instant like this. I at least wish we could have got her name or something! One of the most interesting thing in Fate/Stay Night is to learn who the heroic spirits represent and what their powers are. Will we really never learn who Rider was? Is this only a trick and Rider isn’t really dead? I feel there must be something missing, the anime would never miss an opportunity to reveal such juicy information. I just don’t want to believe that Rider won’t reappear at some point. I smell treachery !

Fate/Stay Night - Unlimited Blade Works eye of sauron

If there is one thing we actually learned, it is the power of Caster. While I found her to be rather underwhelming while in her own sanctuary last episode, she managed to kill Rider in an instant this episode and even got to give Saber a scare. I was rather surprised to find out Caster’s power even outside the bound of her own Sanctuary. I was not expecting she would be able to cast shadow of herself so capable that it could take out an Heroic Spirit. For a Caster, she certainly isn’t a weakling. I still doubt she can take on Saber or Archer, let alone Berserker, but she certainly isn’t as useless as I believed. If anything, her ability to deceive others and her wit might be a major advantage in this Holy Grail War which features mainly stupid immature kids. We still don’t have a precise idea who exactly is Caster’s Master, but if I had to bet, I’d say the odd teacher we saw long ago is a definite contender. If there is but a single adult in this war, he is bound to have an incredible advantage considering the maturity of his opponents.

Fate/Stay Night - Unlimited Blade Works super tsundere Rin

The Holy War has definitively begun, we already have one less servant alive. Considering we began with 6 Masters to begin with, it seems we are already at the final 5. How quickly can things turn around, I’m eager to see more.

ZeroGhj signing off

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7 Responses to Fate/Stay Night – Unlimited Blade Works episode 8: A Holy Spirit has Fallen

  1. number 14 says:

    What’s missing is the Fate route. UBW’s story assumes audience already read Fate, except ufo didn’t bother to do any adapting about this bit here and now Rider looks like some scrub. And they’d been doing so well until now…

  2. Farray says:

    We never learned her name, never witnessed her Noble Phantasm. It was pretty clear that she was a weak, after all even Shirou was able to defend himself against her, but I didn’t expect she would go down so easily.

    Yeah, she is admittedly pretty weak with a shitty Master like Shinji. I have to mention though that she held back against Shirou. She wanted to test Shirou. For instance, if Shirou had used his Command Spell to summon Saber in that fight, she would have immediately chopped off his arm, because she was baiting him the whole time to do it.

    I at least wish we could have got her name or something! One of the most interesting thing in Fate/Stay Night is to learn who the heroic spirits represent and what their powers are. Will we really never learn who Rider was? Is this only a trick and Rider isn’t really dead? I feel there must be something missing, the anime would never miss an opportunity to reveal such juicy information. I just don’t want to believe that Rider won’t reappear at some point. I smell treachery !

    Keep in mind that FSN consists of three entirely different scenarios and unfortunately UBW, the second scenario, is the route where Rider gets the shorter end of the stick. You learn more about her in Fate and Heaven’s Feel, the first and third route respectively. UBW is around as long as Fate/Zero and with 14 participants, it’s obvious some have to bite the dust without getting much characterisation. It happened with some characters in FZ too.

    If there is but a single adult in this war, he is bound to have an incredible advantage considering the maturity of his opponents.

    Well, whether he is an adult or not of course doesn’t automatically give him an advantage of course. You can be an adult and still screw up, like several Masters in FZ did. I guess Caster as both a Servant and Master should also be counted in.

    • Zeroghj says:

      Keep in mind that FSN consists of three entirely different scenarios and unfortunately UBW, the second scenario, is the route where Rider gets the shorter end of the stick. You learn more about her in Fate and Heaven’s Feel, the first and third route respectively. UBW is around as long as Fate/Zero and with 14 participants, it’s obvious some have to bite the dust without getting much characterisation. It happened with some characters in FZ too.

      I wondered if I should have watched Fate/Stay Night (original) before this one. I foolishly believed this new Fate/Stay Night would be a remake and watching the original would simply spoil me. I won’t watch it right now, but maybe in between season 1 and 2 of Unlimited Blade Works I’ll give it a try. Try to increase my knowledge of the universe a bit. Seeing how much backstory I am missing, I’m actually interested in learning more about all that stuff, I’ll have to educate myself some more.

      • Farray says:

        Personally, I find the 2006 anime extremely mediocre. It was that anime that got me interested in FSN many years ago, before the Visual Novel got a translation, but it’s really not that good. I wouldn’t recommend it.

        The 2006 anime is, to say it mildly, a very bad adaptation of the first route, Fate. It doesn’t help that Fate is probably the weakest story of FSN, as lots of it serves as an introduction to the Holy Grail War and Shirou’s ideals. Saber, as the love interest, is probably one of the few characters that actually gets some character development and there are the usual pacing problems (and lots of food porn and slice of life) in FSN.

        Now the thing is, Studio DEEN made everything worse. It is incredibly hard to adapt Shirou’s thoughts in the novel well (ufotable also struggles with this, Shirou is sometimes acting even more tsundere than Rin actually for instance). It’s very easy to misunderstand Shirou in that anime and DEEN tried to add stuff from both the UBW and the Heaven’s Feel route in their anime.

        Seriously, there are even some fans who actually like the Fate route (and read it), but absolutely despise DEEN’s work. Imagine their disappointment when ufotable announced in July that they would adapt UBW and HF.

        I wish Visual Novels would be more openly accessible in the West (or the VN medium in general more flexible for those who can’t keep reading a “book” on a computer screen). It would make it easier to recommend just reading Fate instead of skipping or watching DEEN’s half-ass adaptation of Fate with some added scenes from the other two routes which make no sense and only spoil plot points.

        As compensation for the not-adapted Fate route, Type-Moon promised to release the Fate route for iOS and Android for free, but a release date hasn’t been given yet as far as I know. The Fate route used to be available on the Japanese amazon, but it was expensive, and for some reason they took it down.

        There is actually a super fancy (and awesome) patch available for that version (http://forums.nrvnqsr.com/showthread.php/4745-Fate-Stay-Night-Realta-Nua-PC-version-Mirror-Moon-TL-insertion-project), but unfortunately, the only way to play this version for now is by pirating it.

        • Zeroghj says:

          It’s okay, I’m a masochist. I’ve seen really terrible shows through the ages. So long as there is some kind of “knowledge” or new information, I’ll probably still watch the Fate arc. I was already told the anime was “meh” at best, but if it means I can learn more, I’ll go through it. Everyone will tell me to play the visual novel instead (or read the manga for different show) but I cannot safely consume visual novels or manga, it sucks me in too much and I’m afraid I have real life responsibilities I’m not supposed to forget doing. With anime I can do other things at the same time and the story will unfold nonetheless.

          • Farray says:

            Everyone will tell me to play the visual novel instead (or read the manga for different show) but I cannot safely consume visual novels or manga, it sucks me in too much and I’m afraid I have real life responsibilities I’m not supposed to forget doing. With anime I can do other things at the same time and the story will unfold nonetheless.

            Well, if that is the case, then there is probably nothing I can say that will convince you to change your mind.

            When I started with the Visual Novel, I didn’t have much free time either, so what I did is either reading one hour and then save or do a whole day (~15/16 days per route) and then save. I was very slow back then and on my second reread, when I had a lot more free time, I finished the whole novel in a weekend.

            I am very afraid of people who start with DEEN’s 2006 anime (or watch it after seeing Fate/Zero), because compared to the source material or Fate/Zero (Light Novel or anime), it leaves a very wrong and bad impression of FSN. Especially Shirou gets some serious hate due to his portrayal there.

            Do you remember when I said Shirou actually acts a lot smarter and tolerable in UBW than in other routes? With “other routes” I meant Fate. And DEEN’s Fate-Shirou is even worse. Not to mention, you might spoil yourself of stuff like Archer’s identity, because DEEN left very obvious hints of him without ever addressing them again and other similar stuff, that was really dumb.

            If someone had given me the choice between an eight-hour long anime series that covers Fate really badly and the story from the source material, which is around twice as long, but far better written, I probably would have taken the Visual Novel. Unfortunately, that was not an option for me, because back in 2006/2007 there was no English patch and even now my Japanese isn’t even close to good enough yet.

          • Zeroghj says:

            You made me reconsider, I think I’ll watch it once I’ll be done with Unlimited Blade Works completely. it would indeed be in rather poor taste to be spoiled by a shitty anime.

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