Fate/stay night – 20
Kotomine tells Shirou that if Saber doesn’t want a second life, all Shirou needs to do is leave one Command Spell. On the way home, Shirou thinks to himself that he can’t let Saber get the Holy Grail, but the only way to save her is with the Grail’s power. He knows that since he met Saber, he’s hasn’t wanted to leave her alone and hasn’t wanted to lose her. In short, he realizes that he likes her. Back at home, he has a chat with Rin about Saber. When Shirou says that it’d be good if she doesn’t become a complete Servant, Rin comments that Archer had said the same thing. Apparently Archer had regretted becoming a Servant and didn’t want Saber to become the same way. Rin wonders if Archer and Saber knew each other from back when she was a king. She then asks Shirou what he’s planning on doing. Shirou’s response is that he’s taking Saber on a date, which puts Rin into a fit of laughter. After she gets over it, she tells him to do his best – she likes both of them. However, she does warn him that a date is like a battle.
When Shirou tells Saber about it, she’s not sure what a date is. She doesn’t understand his explanation, nor does she see a reason to go on a date. Rin finally describes it as a lover’s rendezvous, a statement that causes both Shirou and Saber to blush. Rin continues on by saying that it’s a guy’s chance to appeal to the girl he likes. It’s at this point that Ilya bursts into the room and announces that she likes Shirou. But with one chop of her hand, Rin knocks out Ilya, who she considers the strongest enemy of Shirou’s date. Shirou and Saber then set out into the city. They first go to a store where Saber rips apart a shirt. Next is the movie theater. Shirou tries to touch Saber’s hand, but she gets a bit too caught up in the movie. At the aquarium, Saber comments that it’s unnatural for the fish to have their freedom taken away and be confined this way. However, she also feels that it looks beautiful. The two stop for tea, and then go to a store selling stuffed animals. Saber takes a liking to a stuffed lion and Shirou starts laughing. An angry and embarrassed Saber tells him that it’s not good to laugh at another person’s tastes, and then she storms out of the store.
Outside, Saber sees an old sunken ship sticking out of the nearby water and relates a story from the previous Grail War where she sank a ship with a Noble Phantasm. The two then end up on the bridge watching the sun set. Shirou says that they can do this again another time, but Saber shakes her head, saying that a Servant exists to fight. Something like today would just be denying their own existence. And Saber knows that every fight brings her closer to the Holy Grail. Shirou says that Saber is very contradictory – she says that she wants to fight, but she doesn’t really want to. He thinks that she’s fighting because she has no other choice; he points out that she likes to keep the fighting to a minimum in order to prevent casualties – she’s afraid of fights that would produce victims. What’s more, Shirou thinks that Saber is saying that fighting is her only goal because it’s an excuse to deceive herself. Saber objects to what he’s saying and once again says that she has no choice but to fight. Shirou tries to make her understand that there are many roads ahead of her and that she’s not the same person she used to be. It’s not good if she doesn’t live for herself, and he just wants her to be happy here.
Saber says that a king’s oath cannot be broken, and she has a duty that needs to be fulfilled. From the beginning, she’s had only one wish and that hasn’t changed. But to Shirou, Saber only wants to redo something that she couldn’t change when it occurred, which is thinking akin to a selfish child. Saber falls silent for a while, and then softly says that she thought he’d be the one to understand. She calls him foolish because he gives priority to others and doesn’t even know the importance of his own life. She also says that if he’s angry, he could cancel the contract and it wouldn’t matter. She’d just destroy the Masters by herself and get the Holy Grail. Shirou can’t believe what he’s hearing, but Saber continues by saying that her only purpose is the Holy Grail – everything else is unnecessary and Shirou is no exception. Shirou calls her obstinate, and says that if this is how she wants it, this is how she can have it. He runs back home and lies on the floor of his room. He thinks that he’s not angry at Saber so much as he’s angry at himself because he’s unable to save her. He looks over at his bag, which has the stuffed lion that he bought for her sticking out of it. Shirou knows that even if he is wrong and Saber is right, even if she’s really important to him, he can’t apologize.
He then falls asleep and stays that way until Rin wakes him several hours later. From Rin, he finds out that Saber isn’t around, which sends him into a bit of a panic. Shirou searches the city, and finally finds Saber right where he left her: on the bridge. Saber says that she hasn’t gone anywhere because she can’t decide where to go; Shirou had told her that she could do what she wants, but Saber doesn’t know what she wants to do. This entire time she’s been thinking about where she should go. Shirou tells her that the place she can return to is his home. Saber protests because Shirou doesn’t understand her. He doesn’t deny that, but he still takes her hand and says that even a Servant would catch a cold in this chilly weather. He wants her to quickly go home with him and have something warm to eat. Shirou says upfront that he won’t apologize for earlier, but if she has any complaints, she should voice them after they go home. Saber willingly lets Shirou lead her home hand-in-hand, but before the two can get very far, a voice calls out to them. The Golden Servant from the previous battle appears behind them and tells Shirou not to take someone else’s thing without permission.
Extra serving of Saber goodness this week. :)
Aside from that and the humor (courtesy of Rin and Ilya), there was some really heavy drama in this week’s episode. The story devotes itself mainly to Shirou and Saber, who grow closer on their date (kind of), but then have a major argument about what Saber wants to do vs. what Shirou wants her to do. Saber seems to be motivated currently by her duty and nothing else (or so she says), whereas Shirou is mostly motivated by his own ideals and his feelings for Saber. By the end, it doesn’t feel entirely like the issue is settled, but Saber does realize to an extent that Shirou cares about her, as shown by the way that he wants to get her home before she catches a cold and by the way he holds her hand.
The other thing I do want to mention are that this episode has yet another comparison of Shirou to Archer. I can’t help but wonder if they’re actually going somewhere with this or if they’re just going to make allusions like this until the end of the series.
But anyway, the most shocking moment of this episode lies in the preview for next week. I think this first shot just looks awesome in so many ways. It’s doubtful Shirou or Saber will die, but both do look like they aren’t faring so well in those shots. I really can’t wait to see next episode.