OP: 「ideal white」 by 綾野ましろ (Ayano Mashiro)
「冬の日、運命の夜」 (Fuyu no Hi, Unmei no Yoru)
“Winter Days, A Fateful Night”
While I’d hesitate to call this the “first” episode since we had an amazing episode zero and are essentially watching the exact same events from a different perspective, I was completely blown away with ufotable’s work on this “first” episode. From the jaw-dropping fight scenes to the tiniest of hints of what’s to come, this episode had everything you could ask for in it. On a slightly more random note before we get into things, can you imagine if all anime were double their traditional length? Being completely honest, I had a hard time concentrating by the end of the episode (I’m watching right after work) but boy was it nice to have a fancy dialogue cake with fantastic fighting icing to top it off.
Realty vs Ideology
Something that the show briefly touched on (and I’m sure we’ll get back to it eventually) was the harsh reality of what it means to save others. Skipping all the fluff, Kiritsugu said it best that in order to save one, you sacrifice another. While this may not be something as literal as choosing between saving a bus of elementary kids or your girlfriend who’s precariously dangling over a bridge, there’s no denying that the people who we regard as our Hero of Justice are the Devilish Demons to others. In a world where alliances change at the tip of a hat and believing in justice may just be the flavor of the month, is it really possible to think you can save everyone?
Apparently Shirou thinks so, and for good reason to! Given another shot at life when people were literally burning up right in-front of him, his pure view of what it means to serve others is the perfect representation of how I’d like to be as a person. And as much as logic and reason want to strike down how childish and unreasonable his beliefs are, how can you not root for someone who tosses logic out the window and tries to do what he can for what he believes in?
Crossovers and Different Dimensions
With last week tossing the spotlight completely on Rin, this week did a fantastic job at introducing prominent characters who may or may not have been named. While I’m going to avoid spoilers to the best of my ability, I can’t be the only one who giggled a little after thinking how crazy it’d be if characters from different spinoffs/timelines appeared. Can you imagine Mahou Shojou Illya busting into a serious fight or Assassin carrying his stupid temple gate on the back a truck? Maybe I’m just weird.
On a slightly more serious note, I for one wouldn’t mind even more Taiga!
With the introductions finally out of the way, I can’t wait to see how ufotable handles things from here. Sure, most of us will have a general idea of what’s to come but once you take ufotable’s way of turning normal stuff into amazing stuff, I can almost feel the drool pooling in my mouth as I think about all of my favorite scenes to come being re-mastered by them.
P.S. Even though I already know, just, ugh, fuck Shinji. (Kamiya Hiroshi, stop doing your job so well)
** Spoilers Policy / Stuff **
I’ll try my best to keep this is a spoiler free write-up! If I have something I need to say that involve spoilers within the post I’ll have them in spoiler tags so follow suit in the comments! (ie: Please, please, please put spoilers in spoiler tags!)
Also, if you’re confused whether or not you should keep watching this even if you haven’t seen any previous material, let me point you to this comment from last week. TL;DR: Watching this should be a-okay for a first time viewer albeit not the “perfect” way of doing it.
ED: 「believe」 by Kalafina