For everyone who was concerned that this take on the Unlimited Blade Works route would leave newer viewers in the dust, we were given an amazing double length prologue episode to get everyone up to speed.
A Return to Fuyuki City
I love how ufotable decided to get things rolling by giving us a special double zero episode to get watchers both new and old back up to speed. Taking us on a tour of the infamous Fuyuki City which hosts the current Holy Grail War, a competition among various Masters (typically mages) and their Servants (Heroic Spirits from humanity’s legends) for the opportunity to make any wish of their choice, I still can’t get over how amazing everything looked. From the backdrops to the quality of the fight scenes, I have no qualms with ufotable dumping a ton of money into the first episode. And, if Fate/Zero is any indication where things are headed, I think it’s safe to assume we’re in for one hell of a beautiful ride.
Tohsaka Rin <3
If you haven’t already noticed, Tohsaka Rin is our heroine of choice in the Ultimate Blade Works route and I absolutely love it. Being one of the spunkiest girls in the entire series (only trumped by Taiga), I love how in this route we get a chance to really see what goes into making her tick. Unlike other adaptations that only give us a shallow look into her character (I’m looking at you Fate Illya), it’s a nice change of pace to see the cool and caring side that makes me love her character. While it might not have shown this week while she was dealing with Archer and that attitude of his, a part of it started to shine after a “random” classmate of hers got stabbed by Lancer’s famous spear.
Looking Ahead to Episode One
Even though we had an extra long episode (45 Minutes!) to get things rolling, we really didn’t get that much in terms of content this week — something I’m okay with. Instead of trying to cover too much, we got a close look at a few major players who we’ll get to see grow and change over the season. Refreshing the memories of the veterans and creating new bonds for the newbies, I think this prologue episode was the perfect way to prime the stage for next week’s “first” episode. See you next week!
P.S. Please put spoilers inside of spoiler tags! There are newcomers as well as people who haven’t watched the UBW Movie — thanks for your consideration!
P.P.S. For everyone wondering whether or not they need to watch previous material to understand what’s going on, let me paste a great tl;dr from Daikama.
“is it the best place to start watching the FSN animes?”
– “Best” is subjective. IMO the “best” order to watch is the VN order = FSN -> UBW -> HF (when Heaven’s Feel movie is out). However, that is if (a) you want to get the most complete overall picture of the story w/o playing the actual VN (it’s an 18+ eroge BTW), (b) have the time to marathon FSN and/or just don’t mind putting off UBW for awhile until you finish FSN, and (c) temper expectations appropriately for FSN (see below).
Note Regarding FSN Anime: Many people have issues with the FSN anime, ’cause, well, it does have issues. My guess is that I don’t think it’s as bad as others, but yeah, there is room for improvement for sure. For one, the visual quality alone is MUCH worse than UBW (movie or TV anime). The fights are more “VN”ish so they are not nearly as dynamic and exciting as what we got here. There are some other things (*cough* terrible CGI), but it is the default/first route for the story. There are some things in FSN that are not in UBW (or HF for that matter).
Fate/Zero can be watched at any time IMO as it’s a prequel to the above three. Depending upon your free-time, you can watch it now or after UBW. Won’t matter.
– If your primary concern is “Do I need to watch FSN or Fate/Zero to understand UBW TV anime?”, then IMO no. This looks to be a very comprehensive telling of the second (Rin) route = should function just fine as a stand alone story.
Hope this helps.