「プロローグ」 (Puroroogu)

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.




      1. Those aren’t rubber arms… it’s called the brachioradialis. It visibly curves like that when the arm is extended and the rest of her sleeve is like that because of this phenomenon known as gravity.

        There are better examples you could have used but you dun messed up and showed how you’re just desperately fishing for mistakes to point out.

    1. @anon Brachioradialis is a muscle not a condition, no healthy human being have their arms bend upwards, you’re the one senselessly defending animation flaw with real life health issues.

      @ace20a heres an example of animation fail from earlier Bleach episodes http://i.imgur.com/PE5vID0.png guy got six fingers here, but i didn’t see anyone defending Bleach saying “there are six finger people in real life, they just decided to anime gene mutation in bleach to add realism”

      1. Where did I say it was a condition? It’s muscle in the forearm with a convex curve to it that’s most visible when the arm is extended. My point stands.

        I don’t care about defending the animation; there’s no such thing as perfect animation but what you’re saying here is stupid.

    2. To add some moderation to this topic I feel I need to say this.

      Where in the blue h*** are you people looking? There are delicious legs right in front of you, ripe for the… staring (sure, I’ll go with that) and you’re looking at her arms.

      Shame on all of you.

      And me for being a massive perv.

    1. Actually I liked how in Zero they gave equal time to all perspectives, kind of like in Fire Emblem they switch nations/factions in each chapter, and you see everyone’s perspective in the war. Kind of a hard trick to do but I love it when it’s done right.

      I’m with you though, I’m really hoping they fix they flaws in Emiya’s character because he is really the only problem I have with FSN.


    As expected of ufotable, they adapted the entire Rin Prologue of the VN scene for scene. And being spoiled by Fate Zero’s uber quality animation, I didn’t even feel anything wrong with the epic battle between Archer and Lancer.

    Rin is so cute, and it’s totally like her to waste a Command Spell like that just to stroke her tsundere ego. XD And then there’s her abusing the definition of “Servant”, making Archer clean up her mess.

    BTW What’s RC’s policy regarding Fate Zero spoilers, or just spoilers in general? For now I’m going to assume they’re spoilers all the same and tag them all and label them where appropriate. If you guys decide discussion is a spoiler-free zone, then feel free to remove the spoiler-tagged sections in my post.

    Rin and Sakura (FZ related)
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Rin’s wish (FZ related)
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Archer (FSN related)
    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. About Spoiler 3, yes, it was pretty obvious 🙂

      Also, none of the “spoilers” are actually spoilers if you watched FSN and FZ, and of course not if you played the VN, but let’s keep the tags for the new viewers.

      Movie tier quality + spectacular backgrounds + awesome animation + Rin route = happiness

      Rin has always been one of my all time favourite characters, don’t know why. Well I guess I was young when I first met the FS world, so it impressed me a lot. Still liking her so much.
      I think I have already found my personal aoty.

  2. This looked really awesome, but if there’s something I would have to find to critique, it’s the fight scene.

    Yes, visuals wise it looked amazing, and really brought across how powerful Servants are, but it was also a bit overdone. And by that I mean, the pavement cracking and splitting into huge clouds of dust every time Archer and Lancer exchanged blows, and their strikes being so powerful they knock each other away with enough force that they blast through cement, or leaving several meters-deep craters in the ground when they block. And the “Archer presses down on Lancer’s spear with so much power it caves in the ground instantly like 3 foot and crashes Lancer into a building” thing was really unnecessary.

    They seemed to be going for additional flashiness as opposed to making the exchange of blows look significant otherwise for that part of the fight, and it honestly bugged me a bit. Lancer would not get knocked around like that by Archer like that either. I think Ufotable could have handled giving weight to Archer and Lancer’s movements and the power of the clashes when their weapons met each other, without being so shallow about it.

    That said, the episode was fantastic in general, and I’m looking forward to more.

    P.S.: It’s really weird coming from all of Kamiya Hiroshi’s cool roles in the last years to go back to Shinji. It’s almost like he’s made the character LIKABLE. Buuut then Shinji lost his shit and I remembered. Good job Hiroshi.

    1. Yes indeed. Kamiya Hiroshi has come a very long way since being cast as Shinji. It was working with Shinbo Akiyuki in Zetsubou Sensei and the Monogatari Series that really propelled his career.

    2. I felt the same. His Shinji role of the first FSN was actually the first one where I heard him. In the meantime he has voiced so many likeable and/or badass characters, that I really have to get used again hating a character with his voice.

    3. Compared to other fights like, say, Kenshin vs Saito from Rurouni Kenshin, then I can see where you’re coming from in terms of the focus given to the weapon contact, but at the same time this is UBW’s premiere battle with the fastest of the fast servants, Lancer. A bit of over-the-topness was inevitable, but that certainly didn’t make it any less freakin’ awesome, IMHO.

      Ryan Ashfyre
    4. I actually think the opposite of what you’re saying. One of my main complaints about the DEEN F/sn anime was that it DIDN’T get across just how POWERFUL the servants were. When reading the novels it’s like OMG SONIC BOOMS THESE SERVANTS ARE MONSTERS! Then in Deen’s anime I’m like “Wut, they don’t look any faster or stronger than normal humans”. In UFOtable’s adaptation they finally got it right. When servants clash it’s supposed to look like a disaster zone. All that flash really conveys the power and gravity of a heroic spirit. Heck even D rank strength is like 20 times peak human or so.

      The little details are great too. Like Rin’s leg reinforcement, or the way Lancer was obviously holding back when attacking Rin. (He wanted a good fight) Archer’s 27 swords was also a cool thing omitted last time. Well all Fate fans probably know what’s up already, but for newer watchers it’s a cool little hint about his skills.

      1. I understand what you’re saying and agree the DEEN anime was ridiculously underwhelming. But I think Ufotable is an experienced enough studio to be able to bring across how powerful Servants really are without having to rely on inaccurate flashiness.

    5. Unfortunately you got so many dislikes, but I agree with you.

      Ufotable has AMAZING animation and visual quality and consistency, camera work, effects, etc. etc. However, their animation could use some work. Of course, this is just episode 0, so the fights probably get better, and there will probably be some variety of fights later on, but when just looking at this one, it did feel too stylized to me. Epic yes, but too stylized and monotonous. It would have been cooler if it had a mix of some slower, more intricate movements than for everyone to be super super fast and for all those explosions to keep happening. I’m not saying it was not cool or that it did not look amazingly impressive, but that the fight could have looked better. And I’m not speaking for everyone here, perhaps most people really liked it to be super stylized for the first fight.

      For example, Yutaka Nakamura is really good at choreographing delicate movements and has a sense of weight, while keeping fight scenes fast and intense. There were clear movements in the animation in the Archer vs Lancer fight, but a lot of it kept feeling sped up and a bit bland. Of course, they were trying to show how intense a servant vs servant fight was, and in that sense it served its purpose in aweing Rin. But just talking about the fight choreography itself, it could have been cooler.

    6. I disagree. One of the bigger gripes about Fate/Zero that I had was that while the Servant fights were beautifully choreographed, they didn’t really convey the true raw speed and power of Servants. Even stuff like Berserker only felt like slightly more superhuman beings but not super strong. The first Lancer vs Saber for example didn’t feel much faster than a Hollywood sword fight

      Servants are supposed to be able to travel faster than the speed of sound in short bursts and be hundreds to thousands of times stronger than normal humans. UBW finally captured the explosiveness that fans imagined Servants had in a way no previous Type-Moon work had been able to achieve.

      Plus exploding terrain on clashes was present in Zero as well.

      1. THAT is an issue that fans of the Fate universe have but not one that a lot of anime-only viewers & non-fans have. For instance, I preferred the more down-to-earth battles of F/Z much more than the over-the-top one I just saw here(not that I didn’t enjoy it mind you,it was still awesome). But that’s understandable of couse,since FSN is labeled as a shounen series whereas F/Z is not.

    1. What’s wrong with her nose? It’s just a Type Moon face is all. They always look like that. I kinda like the look.

      But seriously, there are a lot of wallies complaining about the look of what was a simply gloriously looking show!

    1. Yeah unfortunately, watching the UBW movie will ruin many great upcoming scenes if you remember them.

      As for Fate/Zero. If you loved it, you would probably enjoy this – simply because it’s the same studio that’s adapting the original source.

      However, in my opinion, F/Z’s story is superior to all 3 routes of Fate/Stay Night. Because Urobutcher.

  3. https://randomc.net/image/Fate%20stay%20night/Fate%20stay%20night%20ubw%20-%2000%20-%20Large%2036.jpg

    Its a good day to be a Rin fan! Move over Saber,you’ve been hogging the popularity polls for too long despite your route sucking and being a huge disservice to your character. Now it’s the Rin/Archer route now, and we can focus on actual decent developments and plot.

    I’m so happy its was UBW to get the UFOTABLE anime treatment. I’m in the opinion it’s the only route that can be properly adapted into anime. Its the only route the is paced properly, going from exposition to action to character drama without ever feeling slow. Its the only route that I read non-stop because I was excited to see what happens next.

    Fate as seen on DEEN anime, can’t carry an adaption without adding nonsensical filler to pad out the episode count and even then was still dull and boring. Heaven’s Feel is a great route, but is bogged down by lots of padding to get to the good parts and has some very dark themes that can tend to be over-the-top. I always thought HF would do better as an OAV series, until UFOTABLE made the far superior decision to make into several theatrical releases. Its a win-win situation really. Except for Saber fans I guess.

    1. I would have good reped you if you didn’t feel the need to thrash poor Saber. 🙁
      About the SEVERAL theatrical releases bit, I don’t think that has been confirmed yet, has it?

      1. I didn’t really trash Saber, I trashed her Fate Route. I really do think it sucked because it turned what should be an interesting character like Saber into a dull waifu bait with some unfortunate sexist implications. Even Nasu himself says he was dissapointed with how it turned out. Its evident he hadn’t gotten a proper handle on the characters until he wrote UBW and HF. Why do you think it took years until Nasu let his RPG buddy write a prequel series for Fate/Stay Night and FINALLY give Saber the depth she truly deserves?

        And yeah the HF getting several releases isn’t confirmed, but we both know you can’t make a proper adaptation of HF with one movie. I’d like to think UFOTABLE is smart enough to know that to. They haven’t screwed up yet.

      2. My apologies, I was just kidding. I understood well enough what you meant. Thankfully I played through the Fate route at a time when I had almost no experience with other VN’s and it didn’t bother me as much as it might today.
        HF is an interesting route, but I can’t say it’s my favorite due the way Sakura is depicted. Wonder how much of it will make it into the movies.

    2. despite your route sucking and being a huge disservice to your character.

      I know right.

      Spoiler tagging to be safe.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      But yes, Rin is justice.

    3. Now, it’s been a decade since I’ve played the UBW route, so my memories might be wrong…but…did they make Rin more Dere? Not that I’m complaining. I like it. I like it very much thank you! Refill please! Extra large!!! <3

      1. @livid: “…but…did they make Rin more Dere? Not that I’m complaining.”

        Funny you should mention that because I thought the same thing. While it hasn’t been a decade, it’s been a looooong time since I played the VN, so maybe she’s just more dere in the UBW route, but it was something I noticed as well. And yeah, no complaints either though I still like Saber over Rin. 😛

  4. Ah, all that delicious Rin.

    All in all, pretty much the perfect adaptation of the prologue. It showed pretty much everything and I didn’t even have to deal with Nasu’s narrative.

    If I did have to complain, it’s that I kind of wish we got to see that iconic Saber cg animated by UFOtable. I mean, I know they couldn’t have possibly put it in since this is UBW, but gosh darn it I still want to see it. Maybe in Heaven’s Feel.

    Btw, I’m totally gay for this guy.


    Crap. Gar. I meant gar.

  5. recently I have discovered how to watch anime in 60 fps, and this was the first anime I tried to watch it with. One word to describe this episode (well the lancer-archer fight) in 60 fps: Glorious!

  6. Can Archer get any more cooler than he already is? Notwithstanding the fact who he really is? Lol. Man, just lapped up every single second since he first arrived in this episode. Perfect. And Rin and Archer: that color-matchy matchy clothes. Nosebleed.

  7. Having played a little bit of F/SN visual novel, this episode was nostalgic. I knew Archer was gar but this episode demonstrated just how GAR he can be. And it is such a departure how Lancer is hell lot more menacing here than any of the other anime he was present, it is weird feeling but don’t mind. While there are some flaws in basic character design elsewhere, it delivered the goods. Of course I’m biased as I like both UFOtable and Rin Tohsaka. It is glorious to experience that same excitement when I had after watching Fate/Zero.

  8. Oh yes, it’s time for the anime of 2014 for me! Oh, how I have waited for this moment. It was a shame that my friend wasn’t online last night, we would have hyped about it so hard..!

    Anyways, I was overjoyed to see that they went with the long introduction episode, just like they did with Fate/Zero as the viewers and newcomers are introduced to the characters (I feel you Rin, Shinji really is a dirtbag) and the overall settings for the series. To be honest I didn’t know about the prologue part of the game until I followed a text formatted Lets Play of FSN with screencaps.

    Ah yes, Rin, our Absolute Territory Tsundere. It’s safe to say that Rin is one of my favorite girls in the Fate series as a whole. My number 1 character place falling to the ever lovable kitsune Caster from Fate/Extra /CCC.

    I would say the best part of the episode for me would be her interaction with her servant Archer. Oh the internal screams of joy as Rin tossed cleaning tool at Archer telling him to clean up the mess he made after getting summoned. Moments like that are precious, especially when you have an servant who is skilled at making tea!

    And then we have the first battle of the series, Archer vs Lancer. There is no better way of saying this then “HOLY FUCKING SHIT, MY MIND WAS JUST BLOWN AWAY”. You can really tell that Ufotable is giving their all while producing this anime. I would say that Archer vs Lancer animation is a lot compared to Fate/Zero’s first fight Saber vs Lancer. That high speed action.

  9. No matter what era of anime you might hail from, how rare is it that an anime can honestly be said to live up to the hype? So many things have to fall into place just the right way – solid source material, an amazing studio, quality staff, sufficient budget (seriously, the budget for UBW must be enough to makes even BONES jealous), and so many other things – and even then there’s no guarantee. ufotable however, has done it.

    All aces, across the board. Really, the only thing I’d honestly critique is that I wish they’d used an “Ever-present Feeling” remix or the like when Rin found Shirou. Mayhaps in the blu-ray release?

    Honestly though, Fate Stay/Night Unlimited Blade Works is easily a top contender for anime of the year even with just this episode alone. It’s the adaptation I and so many fans have been waiting over a decade for and, for this level of quality and dedication, it’s well worth the wait.

    Ryan Ashfyre
  10. Sorry, i wish you all good Pleasure watching it, but i will not. Because these different Time lines or Universe just confuse me the hell out of it. I only know the Time line where Illya was the master of Berserker, and these Kawaii Fate Illya of lately 🙂

    1. With all respect, what’s there to be confused about? Fate Stay/Night has three main routes: Fate, UBW, and Heaven’s Feel. This is UBW (Unlimited Blade Works), which focuses on Shirou, Archer and Rin as the main heroine.

      And if you still need some clarification, why don’t you just google it and read up a bit so it makes more sense to you?

      Ryan Ashfyre
      1. I just not only watch the Animes, i try to Analyze them on the Fly, while watching. Because of that they collide with my Old Memories in my Brain. So you can say, i would hurting myself, if i begin to watch it and try to understand it. I have some problems to shut off my Brain, and Enjoy the Anime

        Thats the Way i am. It impossible for me to memories all Pictures, but the own Summaries that stay inside my Brain banks

      2. i could say, in Windows 7 Terms. While watching my CPU is on heavy load, because i run the Analyze tool in the background, what this Episode want to tell us. And another tool is running to look for little hidden Hints of Future actions or the Way it will take.

        But, then this Task can collide with old Files entry’s. The risk of a Blue Screen of Death, is very High

      3. GermanGuy, if you’re mentally disabled just say so. Lots of people have mental disorders. There are a lot of institutions out there that help people like you overcome their disabilities, if not at least cope with them better. Check around your city.

      4. hehe

        What next? I should go dieing in a corner?

        I only wrote that i will not watch it, and my reason. And wished the ones, that watching it, good Luck and enjoyment

        And what get i from this? Smolders hunting the weak ones

    2. This builds upon the same events as the regular Fate/ Stay Night, except (because it is a different route) the events lead up to different other events, from a different character’s perspective. The anime is even giving the viewers some time to remember the rules of Fate, such as when the Master-Servant contract is explained. It’s probably made so that the viewer can follow along pretty easily by just knowing the basics behind the anime.

  11. EDITED BY ZEPHYR: Spoiler tag revelations not pertinent to the episode please.

    Why didn’t they get Archer to say “Trace on”???

    Anyway, what’s Sakura doing having a rendezvous with Gil?




    Makise Kuristina
      1. Yeah, I avoided comments like the plague during near the ending of the Chimera Ant Arc of HxH and Steins;Gate. Same for Game of Thrones. Unfortunately for GoT, one day while I was innocently watching a Twitch stream, some random dude randomly (completely out of context) posted Show Spoiler ▼

        in the chat. So I suppose the lesson to be learned is to either: 1) live under a rock 2) finish source material asap

  12. I’ve watched the UBW movie and FSN 2006 before,
    but Ufotable’s FSN -UBW- prologue episode just blows them both into subpar quality…

    Though thanks to UBW movie that spoiler-ed me I can pretty much enjoy the subtle stuff that’s in this UBW that Ufotable has gladly inserted.
    1) The Tohsaka basement room is the same as we saw it in Fate Zero.
    2) Archer’s first reaction on seeing Saber which can be interpreted as recognising a Servant enemy, or Show Spoiler ▼


    What can I possibly hate about Ufotable’s UBW series so far?
    One thing = Show Spoiler ▼

    I found that very annoying to watch in the original FSN.
    (Heck, even Saber herself was annoyed by it in the series)

  13. No one’s gonna point out how ufotable made Shirou cooler in this episode by that cool morning greeting and only showing the lower half of his face? I hope he keeps on like this even as the story focuses on him more. I hated his whiny character in the Fate route. I’m quite sure his minimized screen time here is because this prologue is an adaptation of the visual novel’s Rin-centric prologue that had almost zero Shirou screen time.
    I also noticed how smooth Archer was with Rin the entire episode, even when he was throwing out harsh words. Rin even blushed multiple times! It’s kinda hard to do that to a high-class tsundere like her. Must be old habits from his previous life resurfacing, polished this time with experience and all the necessary knowledge given by the Grail upon his summoning.

  14. Love that they decided to make episode 0 the 3-day prologue from the original visual novel. With Rin being the heroine of the UBW route it just makes sense to show it from her perspective, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the next episode or 2 show the same events from Shirou’s perspective (unless they are assuming viewers have already seen the original FSN anime or played the visual novel).

    1. Yeah, episode 1 will be Shirou’s point of view. Same length too.
      I wonder what that means for the episode count of this first cour. 11 eps + ep. 00 or 12 eps + ep. 00?

  15. The quality of this anime blog really has gone down. You guys pick series that are easy to write about, rather than series that are objectively interesting. I guess that’s just how it goes with many of the better writers being replaced by these new and inexperienced ones.

    3 paragraphs for the most anticipated anime this year. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    1. I don’t think the quality is going down, but you are right perhaps some delay is reasonable for a more substantive assessment of a highly anticipated and what will be one of the most read reviews on the blog.

    2. I don’t think it’s about picking series that are easy to write. Zankyou no Terror, Mushishi and Mahouka (before it was dropped for reasons unrelated to being easy/hard to write about) are just a few recent series coming to mind that don’t exactly pass as easy to write about.

      On the other hand, I don’t know how the future posts of UBW are going to be, but I also hope that we will be getting something more than just a couple of paragraphs. Even if we don’t, thanks for picking this up Takaii, keep up the good work!

    3. What someone chooses to cover is up to their individual tastes as well as schedules.
      Also, being rude to our newer writers who give up their own time and effort is kind of a dick move no matter how you feel about my coverage of the prologue.

  16. The supposedly useless catalyst… Does anyone else think that was “fossil of the first skin ever shed by a snake?” If so could she have possibly summoned another*

    Show Spoiler ▼

    EDITED BY ZEPHYR: Watch spoilers please.

      1. Re: Spoilers

        I think for most of us veterans, we might take it for granted that the viewers are familiar with the nuances of the franchise as well as the characters as well.

        I for one come to this show with the mind that the viewers here have watched the UBW movie thus know the “nuances of the series and characters” as well

  17. It should say something that the only complaint which can be reasonably levelled at UBW here is the streamlined animation quality during “downtime” scenes (noticeable when characters turn their heads or we get closeups of the eyes for example), and even then when things start moving you hardly notice these nitpicks at all. The action scenes especially were very well done and give me a nice warm fuzzy feeling that the later ones will be even more awesome.

    I’m probably lucky in never having seen the UBW movie, but I remember enough from the original FSN and Fate/Zero that I’m already anticipating all the fun stuff coming up next. So far it’s reasonable to say the hype hasn’t been overblown.

  18. so…. does the prologue/1st episode make it OK for brand new viewers who have never seen any of the Fate/Stay animes to start their journey into the Fate/Stay universe with this UBW series?


      1. @jltrm: “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.

      2. thanks for all the replies. considering going UBW -> Zero -> HF (when it comes out).

        would I be missing out on much/particularly if I skipped the original Fate/stay night (2006) anime completely?

      3. You will not miss anything if you don’t watch FSN 2006 because UBW will be edited so it works for brand new viewers and because important stuff from Fate route will seemingly be moved to the UBW Anime. Watching FSN 2006 or the UBW movie can only result in spoilers and unjustified hate for certain character(s)

  19. T-that… was impressive. Excellent overall visual quality – even better than as I expected. It really does make one wish the original/default FSN route anime received the same treatment. Oh well. Just hope Ufotable didn’t blow most of the budget on the first episode since it would be great if we get the same high quality for all the battles.

    Not sure what else there is to say other than eagerly awaiting next episode.

    Oh, one last thing. As noted in some other comments, there are some here who have not watched the UBW movie and/or played the VN, so best to use spoiler tags for any future events, characters, etc.

    1. Took the words right out of my mouth. Fingers crossed that they’ve got enough in the budget to keep up the quality. At one point I was thinking they must have used something from the movie version because I just wasn’t expecting it to look this good. Haven’t seen the movie yet, nor played the VN. I did think that Archer came across as a better character than his FSN version. Subtle differences in his personality and the way he interacted with Rin. The fight with Lancer was the type of fight that I want to see in my anime.

    2. If Fate/Zero is anything to go by, the quality will remain the same throughout the entire run.
      Not that hard for ufo seeing as they don’t release many shows per year, have budget from TypeMoon and because it will be a split cour series.

    1. There are three possible orders of watching:

      A. Intended:
      A1. Unlimited Blade Works TV Series (this one)
      A2. the yet to come Heaven’s Feel Movie or Movie Series (whichever it ends up being)
      A3. Fate/Zero

      B. Chronological (only for those who care more about chronology than spoilers):
      B1. Fate/Zero
      B2. Unlimited Blade Works TV Series
      B3. Heaven’s Feel movie(s) when they come

      C. Full Experience with Anime as preferred medium:
      C1. Fate Route in the FSN game OR some Youtube Let’s Play of Fate Route
      C2. UBW TV series
      C3. Heaven’s Feel Movie(s)
      C4. Fate/Zero

      In any case, do not bother watching the 2006 adaptation and stay away from the UBW movie as if it weer a plague (as it will spoil the whole TV series without giving anything in return)

  20. One thing that makes me like the UBW route out of all the other routes (apart from other reasons mentioned here): role reversals. Usually, you have a weak main character “accidentally” summoning the strongest summon / servant / warrior / etc. It’s the other way around this time in UBW.

  21. for once i have the pleasure of watching a show without spoiling myself first. The first was reading story sinopses of the original fate/stay night even before watching the actual show. next was reading the novel of fate/zero as the show preogresses (i dont actualy regret this). lastly i havent watch ULBW and haveny read the wikia at all so iam just going to enjoy the show like a new commer. woop dee do!

  22. Question for FSN VN players or anyone who knows the series well:

    Do you think we get the “true” ending or “good” ending for UBW TV anime? My vote is for “true” ending.

    NOTE: If you wish to reply with more than just “good ending” or “true ending”, please make sure to use spoiler tags as appropriate. Thanks.

    1. I’m quite curious about this as well. I just watched the movie recently and didn’t enjoy it as much as the Fate route. So while the animation might keep me watching, the story is a bit of a grind for me. Would love to see some different character development from the movie. More accurately some better development between Archer and Rin compared to the movie.

      1. Sorry, but you ain’t gonna get any value from Good End as it only changes the Epilogue. The rest of the story is the same no matter towards which ending it goes for.

        And no, I don’t think that Good End should be animated as OVA. OVA’s will most likely be Tiger Dojos (judging from Fate Zero) and if they do make something special, there are more interesting things that could get animated instead.

  23. That fight was great. Honestly, I was interested how the fight scenes would turn out.
    (since Fate/Illya really did a nice job, sorry. My bad comparing..)
    Looks like I don’t have to worry now. 🙂
    They’ve also gave Lancer some justice, apart from Rin and Archer. He really is a beast on the battlefield.
    Overall, a nice prologue and an extremely kawaii tsundere Rin. 🙂

  24. yep……..it’s back, the Holy Grail of animation is back.

    This episode is a clear reminder of why I didn’t mind the loli Rin filler in F/Z and why I fucking love Rin.

  25. So much hype.

    But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to it, especially after the awesome UBW OVA. The animation was clearly high-level, and episode 0 is indeed a good one to ease first-timers of the F/SN universe into the story. It’s not just the animation too. Love how they made full use of different colors and lightings to bring out the atmosphere.

    Rin brings the love back for tsunderes, if it has ever gone away. ‘Spunky’ is indeed the ideal way to label her, and she shows so much personality..And it’s only episode 0! It’s going to be a heck of a ride for the rest of the series, I hope.

    Saber aside, Archer is my favorite Servant thus far and I’d also be anticipating how they cover his backstory.

    I’d label this as a definite follow, and thanks for blogging this Takaii.

  26. There are 2 ways to know the meaning of happiness

    first: go get a dictionary

    second: look at my face when i was watching this episode

    Yup, finally UBW gets the Ufotable anime adaptation that it deserves oh-so-well! Everything is so top notched that even this season’s cash cow (SAO2) pales in comparison.

    From the way TsundeRIN threw her alarm clock at the chair, to when Arched receives his dustpan and broom, to the fight scene that lasted 5 epic minutes! Everything was done in HfukingD quality!

    See this Studio DEAN?! This is how you adopt the Fate/Stay Night into an anime! You give it the most HD quality possible, even if you have to burn a hole through your wallet to do so! GARcher deserves no less than perfection!

  27. So I’ve never watched anything to do with this series before? Would it be a bad idea to start with this new series? What would I need to watch beforehand? I understand this is an alternate timeline or something?

    1. The original material is from a type/moon game. This is a different route you could theoretically get depending on your decisions. (There’s Fate, UBW, and Heaven’s Feel)

      From everything I can tell, if you start with this prologue you should be okay for the entire run.

      If you have time, I’m a personal fan of watching things in the order they aired. If my memory serves that would be the original Fate/stay night then Fate/zero. There’s a movie adaptation of Ultimate Blade Works but I would skip it so you don’t spoil yourself for the ufotable anime version (:

    2. Also, Daikama had a nice write up a few comment blocks up.

      @jltrm: “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.

      1. I would advise to read the VN because it’s very well written and very complete…
        Though the Visual novel may be an eroge, it’s a calm one, in the Saber route there are two scenes of H material, and in Rin’s route (the one that tells the story of UBW) there’s only one scene right before the end…
        The thing here, is you have to play Saber’s route first to be abble to play Rin’s.

        Jim Dean
  28. Show Spoiler ▼

    Takaii Edit: Such Spoilers. Come on now.

    1. 1 – Nope… They don’t look alike… One has more GAR-ness than the other, awesome body build and white hair. The other, looks like your ordinary high school kid.

      2 – Cos she wants to do this and that yuri stuffs with her.

      3 – Shinji? Ikari Shinji?

      4 – Who’s that?

      5 – I think the priest has always looked questionable ever since he tasted the forbidden fruit.

      6 – Be mindful of what you say or else Kuro Illya will come after you

  29. we talk all about watching the whole series from fate/zero to the original material but lets not forget to watch Carnival Phantasm after all the series. its a great show that give a lot of laughs involving all our favorite type-moon characters

  30. Having watch to original anime of F/SN I was left confused about a number of things honestly and just started to read the wiki lol. I UBW should piece everything together properly in comparison.

    For a first episode I love what they left out or failed to show. Which I hope gets a proper reveal this time! I mean this should fallow Rim and Archer’s point of view.

    1. This was a 100% true adaptation of the prologue that appears in the VN (visual novel); and that prologue has Rin’s point of view all over it.
      Next week we will for sure be back to the lead’s point of view, and you’ll even see some of the same events from his side, wich is good and gives you more info.
      But don’t worry, this route is all about Rin and Archer, we will know everything that there is to know about those amazing characters.
      For me this is the best route of them all, absolutely brilliant 🙂
      Rin FTW :p

      Jim Dean
    1. I downloaded the Horrible Subs version and laughed when I saw the comment Shirou made about the equipment he was fixing for Issei. Was it a jab at Deen, I wonder?

      Also, is it just me or was the art very much like the VN? Uncanny.

  31. Oh, many ppl likes this show, it seems.

    I remember watching the old series, it started right but then go wrong. Don’t even remember why. And that’s the worst thing of all.

    The worst thing is not that you don’t like a show. It’s that you forget about it.

    Anyway, now we have this remake and, as I said with Sailor Moon Crystal, oh God, how GOOD the flow of time feels on you 😉

  32. Interesting piece on which series to watch first. IMO Fate/Zero did a great job in flashing out the world, and letting us know of the events of the much bloodier and savage 4th war. However, the ending contains major spoilers that will likely ruin the biggest twist in the Fate/Stay series. But then again, if you start with Fate/Stay, then you will definitely know how Fate/Zero will end.

    It is a bit like Star Wars really. Fans of the original trilogy knows what will happen to Aniken Skywalker in the prequels. Those who started off with the prequel would then not experience the same twist which happened in Episode 5.

    I think starting off with Fate/Stay seems to work better.

  33. Well, it’s impressive. Nothing much to say here. Somehow feel a bit off without the character faces. Some girls look pupilless. I may be misremembering but I think F/Z have better animation. Anyway, any possible complaints were gone by the time Lancer showing up. Ufotable really managed to create to a feel epic and awesome. Not ‘epic’ and ‘awesome’ in the sense of how it was so cheaply used nowadasy but epic and awesome as in the classical sense of the words. Epic as in a fight between heroes of legend, awesome in the sense would make you feel weak on the knees if you watched in real life.

  34. I’ve been re-watching the first episode and something seemed strange. correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the story supposed to take place in January or February? If so why is Fuyuki so green in the show? It looks like it takes place in late spring instead.

    1. They are going to release a movie about that route, after this ends.
      IMO UBW is the best route, Heaven’s feel has a lot of amazing stuff but, the lead girl just bores me in the first two thirds of the story, when i read the Visual Novel i found myself wishing somebody to just kill her…

      Jim Dean
  35. HOly cow, this prologue was impressive by all means. And By the way, episode one was 45 minute long as well. Are we having a feast with ufotable and OVA-like lengh episodes? I’m fine with this of course.

    Saga Darklight

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