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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fate Stay Night - Unlimited Blade Works

It has been a long time coming, but finally I have had the chance to watch Fate Stay Night - Unlimited Blade Works. Just a warning for any of our readers out there that has not seen it yet, this review contains spoilers. So if you don't mind being spoilt then read on, otherwise you're more then welcome to hit the Backspace button on your browser =P

Unlimited Blade Works (UBW) is an alternate storyline from the visual novel that was given an animated adaption and released in Japan back in January of this year. The original seiyu from the TV series return to fulfill their original roles in this animated film including the director Yamaguchi Yuji, and I must admit that I'm glad that they did. I can't imagine a different seiyu for Saber. I would have felt sick =P

 Unlike the TV series where the audience was able to witness a growing relationship between Shirou and Saber, for the animated film; the relationship is strictly that of Master and Servant. However, we still see the side of Shirou that we all come to know and admire, and that is he places the welfare of others above his own.

This therein leads to the heart of the animated film. I haven't read the visual novel for Unlimited Blade Works, but from what I was able to gather from various blogs and opinions from others; Archer is the embodient of Shirou's heroic ideals. Like the TV series, Archer is portrayed to the audience as confident and often arrogant figure.

If this is the first time you have been introduced to the Fate Stay Night story line, get ready to be lost and confused. The film does have a brief run down on the relationship between Master and Servant, but it stops short on explaining in any detail how a Master is able to summon a particular class of Servant. It presumes that the viewer has either watched the TV series or have read the visual novel and so it leaves out a lot of vital details for the newly initiated.

Having said that, for those of us that has already been aquainted with Fate Stay Night, the setting still holds true to how we would have remembered it from the TV series. The characters and in particular Saber are really well presented. The only difference is that of Gilgamesh. The Golden armor has been replaced with casual clothing, which gives him a more laid back look but still sinister none the less.

As I mentioned earlier, the relationship between Shirou and Saber is strictly Master and Servant. But for the animated film, it can be safe to say that the relationship between Shirou and Rin goes beyond just being friends. This is further evident when Rin establishes a mana circuit with Shirou in order to help him create the Reality Marble.

For Fate Stay Night fans, if you haven't already watched this film, go and watch it. Remember that this is an alternate route in the visual novel and it does not follow the TV series. As much as I would like Saber to have more air time, this film focuses on Shirou and Rin. It was able to reveal to the audience who Archer represented and explained how Rin was able to summon him at the start of the film.

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