OP2 Sequence

OP2: 「Brave Shine」 by Aimer

「決別の刻」 (Ketsubetsu no Toki)
“Moment of Farewell”

Greetings, Fate fans! As some of you may have noticed, I’m not Takaii (as far as modern science can tell); you’ll have to suffer Passerby hosting coverage of Unlimited Blade Works this season. Considering how the first 12 episodes went, we’re probably going to have a good show no matter what I say, so don’t let it bother you too much. A bit about my relationship with the Fate franchise, though: I’ve read the visual novel(s) and watched the anime adaptations, including the 2010 Unlimited Blade Works movie, and I generally consider myself a big fan. The downside is that I already generally know what’s going to happen, so I’m not open to being wowed by any plot twists. Instead I’ll be spending most of my time ogling at pretty lights. Just like everybody else, really.

So, after a good break, Unlimited Blade Works has resumed at last, and what better way to welcome back the fans than with fanservice? Here, have some Saber in a suggestive pose. A flushed and panting King of Knights is probably also useful for distracting us from the exposition. In this episode, Shirou talks about his trauma, Caster talks about her plans, and Rin talks about Archer’s backstory (in a dream, no less). A bit of exposition is probably necessary to both reinforce the core philosophies running through UBW (got to wax lyrical at least occasionally or else all our symbolism isn’t going to work) and also refresh the audience on what happened all those months ago. Not only was Saber taken last we left off, but apparently Kirei (the phoney priest, if you recall) also didn’t come out well from his own trial. So now Kirei is literally a taint, but the anime rule is: until they cremate the body on screen, you can’t assume they’re dead. Not even Rin believes it—that’s how you know she’s the smart one.

All of this exposition and recap was ostensibly to set up our first big fight of our second half of UBW: the long telegraphed final showdown between Rin and Caster. Except, barring some pyrotechnics, it doesn’t happen, because apparently Archer doesn’t feel like it. In the context of our story, Archer’s turning traitor is a genuinely surprising development, because while Archer has shown himself to be quite the cynic before, and implied to be shady, he hasn’t really been scum, and betraying Rin in the middle of the crucial battle was definitely a scum move. More personally, Rin held great trust in him and until now her confidence has largely been unshakeable. To have that confidence so suddenly undermined and so coldly is bound to be shocking. Why did Archer do it? Was Rin really doomed to fail, as he insinuated?

Whatever the answers may truly be, this shock is also a good opportunity for character development for Rin. She, who before held herself out as being invincible, has been left vulnerable. Rin internalises Archer’s betrayal as her own failure, like she did with the botched summoning in the prologue (which, at the risk of minor spoilers, wasn’t really her fault either), and such doubts makes her question the way she’s lived her life. This is one of the emotional climaxes of UBW, with Shirou and Rin getting a ‘soft’ moment together, with Shirou being able to play the big damn hero for a split second before fizzling opening up the attraction the two have for each other. Not that there was ever any doubt that Shirou would fall for Rin in the Rin route, but hurray, relationship upgrade!

Of equal importance, though, is how the conversation between Rin and Shirou mirrors the one she had with Archer earlier in the episode. Archer, Rin and Shirou make for good contrasts with each other. Shirou adamantly believes that just because one fails doesn’t mean one is wrong (and makes questionable decisions because he believes it the right thing to do), while Archer, his foil, believes that only results matter, and ideals are useless (and betrays Rin to maximise success). Rin straddles the middle, wanting to proudly live by her ideals and therefore takes great pains to never fail. Interestingly, they are all moral objectivists—each with an internal compass they will not compromise—but with varying approaches. Thus is the way of Fate/stay night, where relationships between characters are based not just on chemistry, but also largely on philosophy. We’ll probably be have a lot more philosophising before we’re done—bear with me here.

Looking ahead

So Caster’s feeling pretty good with all her shiny new Command Seals (though having them on her gloves instead of bloodily etched into her skin is a lot less impressive), and this could well be our heroes’ darkest hour. They’ll need to stage a counter-assault at some point, but it seems that they don’t have a single card in their hand. That said, the villain at her highest also gives the most satisfaction when she falls. To note, though: next week’s episode is titled ‘Princess of Colchis‘, just in case anyone had doubts left about Caster. It calls back to the age of chthonic myth, and that’s not a literary era traditionally associated with happy endings for anyone.


Full-length images: 01, 04, 26.


ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「ring your bell」 by Kalafina



    1. TsundeRin helds the crown for best tsundere character. The perfect amount of tsundere to not hate her(when the tsundere helds the realitinship to a standstill) and not oblivious to not know her feelings.

      1. Ach, for certain reasons, this is difficult to find from a work computer. I’ll have it this evening, if no one posts it before me. It deserves to be seen.

        I just wanted to point out that TEX-MEX is the name Hiroe Rei uses to publish doujin works. As in, the author of Black Lagoon. If you’ve seen a picture floating around the Internet of Saber Alter punching Shiroe in the face, that’s also his doing.

        Axe Armor
      2. Right, got it. Look for “A Strawberry Manga”, “A Strawberries Manga”, or “Fate / Shisei Yon Shiki Doujin”. The part in question has a translation by Baiken. Not exactly worksafe, but not exactly porn either.

        Axe Armor
    1. I don’t know what GAR or GARCHER means and at this point im too afraid to ask. (Having played fate VN, fate hollow ataraxia, read fate zero and watched all the animes)

  1. Oh shit, that is the kind of anime protagonist i’ve been wanting to see the most. The one that confesses his love first instead of waiting the girl to shove it right on his face.

    Also, dat new OP.

    1. Yes, nothing beats a confession after risking your life to save the girl from certain peril.
      It’s the failsafe confession plan! Save girl -> confess -> profit.
      Shirou has done it! You can do it too! Do it now and get the girl of your dreams!

    1. But I swear his face is getting squarer and squarer and more chinless each episode. His face used to be oblong and quite pointy. I don’t know why it became so flat.

      Petit Orenji
  2. More UBW = More Rin (AKA Best Girl) screentime. That’s always a good thing. And I especially like how they are now taking more steps to develop her relationship with Shiruo now.

    Some clarification on Archer’s back story is probably needed. Rin’s exposits that Archer is a Counter-Guardian (“Protector”? Come one sub translators, you can do better than that!). Counter-Guardian’s are spirits that are summoned by the World itself to protect it, like anti-bodies that fight of diseases. Archers time as a counter-guardian was not a happy time for him. We’ll get more into that as the story progresses but suffice to say, this is the reason why Archer is very cynical.

    I always like how UFOTable takes the steps to reinterpret scenes from the VN. The scenes in the VN are essentially just these two back to back sprinkled with Shirou’s monologues. Right up to Shirou’s confession at which Rin just gets flustered and babbles. In this anime, it is much more animated, especially the way Rin reacts It makes it really sweet to watch. And speaking of the confession, this is why I like ShirouxRin. It’s not some contrived last minute hook up or some sudden romance. It actually feels like they built up a relationship from the ground up and are ready to take the next steps.

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Yes, i bet the most Fans. Knowing the Path Shirou and Rin will follow, through the Game or Manga.

      But the Secret here is, that the Anime is the best chance to give these Story, Emotions. in an other Word. The Way here is the target. Not the Destination, because the most know in how it will ends

      So, not rising into the Highs, no growing in the wideness is here the Golden Key. And mostly of Manga Adoptions. But then. it all rise and fall with the Voice Actors into giving them Soul…

    1. He has the Skill now to materialize them, but he still lacks on “Power Supply” to hold them alive. He still not Mastered the New Nuclear Power Supply inside his body 🙂

  3. Archer is hopping that Caster get ride of the other Strong Masters, like Berserker. Perhaps he even know in how Strong the New Servant of this Odd Boy (The Brother of Sakuya) is. So his Strategy cold be that themselves gets killed, and he just need to do the Clean up. Or he thinks, Love on the Battlefield is only turn in Despair, and so he sabotage the Love bound with Rin and Shirou. Perhaps Archer knows more then he want to Say (an i can write without drifting into Spoiling)

    But this “Sexual Harassment” of Saber, it came out of nowhere. Perhaps a little Cake Fan Service. Lucky they do not exposed her naked Butt. But i bet in BD we will see and hear Saber moaning… And some String is dangerous near in the forbidden zone.. So Caster is a SM Lover

    Let’s See, in how to ex-Masters, stripped of their Command seals, can retake their Servants from Caster. I bet that Archer’s plan is that from the Start. An opportunity for both to retake the Servants from Casters as normal Human beings. Perhaps as a result of a fight with other Servants. My guess goes for Berserker. illyia is also a very Strong Magic Master, perhaps stronger then Caster or even

    For the other Servant with the Blond Hair, we do not know anything yet. So Speculation about him, is right now a Mine zone

    My guess, are that we will see soon Caster use their new Servants to attack the Brute Raw force of Berserker and illyia. Perhaps illyia in the middle of the battle, will help them. Because she want to fight them fair and square. As we already had a taste in the Graveyard

    Let’s see. This is not A.Z. and perhaps this kind of Anime is not my territory to speculating

      1. Speculation is all good, but WorldWideDepp, that’s a poor excuse for not even being at least a little bit familiar with the source material. Living in Europe? Please. I have a friend in Germany who finished the Fate/Stay Night Visual Novel earlier than I did – and I live in Asia, for starters. The FSN Visual Novel has been out for a long while in the English language, so please don’t use the excuse that “living in Europe makes it hard to get the game”.

        When There Is A Will There Is A Way
      2. On my part, I had to bribe half of Type Moon’s staff so that a lone employee could smuggle an alpha copy out of Japan to Manchuria, where my guide, an old man with peg leg and a heavy Siberian accent, guided him along the Silk Road through the forgotten ruins of ancient Persia. On opposite shore of Eurasia, there they stole a kayak from the local pirates with the help of a school of sentient pufferfish, and made a perilous journey by sea, ever hounded by zombie Nazis, who knew that Nasu had written the secret to breaking their Enigma machine into Heaven’s Feel. When they finally reached Australia, my fellow conspirator, life partner and femme fatale challenged me to pistols at dawn to settle custody of this single copy of Fate/Stay night. I won the duel, but lost my right eye.

        True story, except for the parts where facts were changed to protect the innocent.

      3. Are you make fun of me? *outrageous* *Slaps my White Glove in your Face* i Herby challenge you to a Duel of Laughing. I choose cotton balls Guns for this Kind of Honor Battle. The first one laughing will lose, and clean up the Shoes

        Serious: Believe it or not, i am watching the Animes through official channels, well sometimes here and there i sneak into some raws, but then i only guess what they are talking about. So i preferred Subtitles, and support BD release of my favorite movies so far (Ghibli Collection)

        and in my past, most of the VN Japan Games had an Regio ID Blocking, you must fake your OS into being Nippon and such things. In short it was a Pain in the ass to start the most VN Games. In the past there was not such things. i even still have an Windows 95 Bishojo-Manga Game here called “Paradise heights”. Nowadays (or while i gave up) they build in Region Lock. The Party poppers for Fans. Sure with time and effort i could make it possible to Run. But know what, i am tired of that. So i wait for Official channels, and right now it is only Animes so far.. Well, i pay in US Dollars for them

        Just look how many Videos are blocked here in Germany. We have the bad side of the Deal. Example: Crayon Pop.. in how fast the blocked the Videos here, since they sign the Contract with Sony…

  4. Welcome onboard Passerby. I always liked your style and I’m sure you’ll pair this awesome show with an equally awesome coverage. you already started 🙂

    Like you, I’m also a big fan that already knows what’s about to happen, nevertheless I find this adaptation most enjoyable … that slow motion “trace-on” eheh

    1. That’s something I should have mentioned, and perhaps I will point out if it happens frequently. There’s something about ufotable’s camerawork in action scenes that sometimes confuses me. Like, they shift angles a little too quickly and I’m momentarily disorientated.

    1. In-story reason: Saber (and her class in general) has high magic resistance (yeah, they have stats. Ugh.) and she is resisting Caster’s control even though she bears the Command Seals. Caster could expend the seals to give undeniable orders, of course, but that would be such a waste. More relevantly, Caster is a sadist who would rather magically torture Saber into submission.

      Out-of-story reason: Sex sells.

  5. It’s Passerby! Thanks for covering this. 🙂

    I think practically everyone who posts here are lying if they said they didn’t anticipate the continuation greatly. They picked up straight where they left off so I didn’t miss a beat, and the exposition served very well in being a reminder as to what has transpired. Visually stunning as always, and great colours and lighting used for setting the atmosphere.

    1st timrrs should be delighted or confounded by Archer’s betrayal, but it didn’t feel convenient as there had beeN foreshadowing of sorts earlier on that Archer had a rather mercenary attitude. He probably has a very valid reason for it though, and it will be fun to see things pan out.

    Ironically, driving Rin into the corner opens up the relationship possibilities with Shirou, on whom is the only person she can rely on. The moment of vulnerability in a character seemingly impervious to setbacks makes her even more attractive. Tohsaka Rin is shooting up my tsundere charts. Kudos to Shirou too, and he made the confession seem so natural!

    At this point I wonder if I could ever criticise anything about UBW greatly, because it has been so consistently good and always left viewers asking for more when the ED credits roll weekly. It’s gonna be a great season just with this alone, I wager. 🙂

    P.S Saber fanservice scene has been shelved in my Guilty Pleasures memory bank. :p

    1. It’s Owaranai! Yo. No need to thank me; nobody is forcing me to cover UBW 😉

      I have no real basis for this, but I think Tohsaka Rin more or less codified the modern tsundere. That’s why they’re all ‘hard on the outside and soft on the inside’ today, when traditionally they were more completely antagonistic but eventually warms up to whomever.

  6. Can’t say I expected Garcher’s betrayal. Forget cynical & pragmatic, that was downright going into scummy territory. Though of course, it still feel’s like he did it to protect Rin or has some scheme going on. Not gonna speculate anyway, since that makes it irresistible for hardcore fans to confirm or deny speculations 😛

  7. Food
  8. Kudos to Kuzuki-sensei for being all chill and listen to Caster’s explanation. And when the reason is logical, he goes “Alright, continue on.”
    For some reason, those two makes a good pair.

  9. Actually, if the animated prologue is accurate on where Rin was standing, Rin DID screw up the summoning a little. She was standing in the spot where the summon was supposed to appear, so the summon had to go somewhere else. When Saber was summoned, it looks like she appeared on the circle and dashed out to intercept Lancer’s attack.

    Fate/Zero spoiler/reference:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Uh, that’s not the reason why Rin messed up in the ritual. I thought it was already spelled out in the first episode. She messed up in the peak time of her power because the clocks in her house were ahead by an hour.
      Plus she would have failed to summon Saber properly as she wasn’t using a proper catalyst. Show Spoiler ▼

      1. I know, i have my thoughts about Archer, i wrote it down far above here in a Spoiler tag

        But controlled summoning.. i was thinking they receive their Servants per randomness

    2. For a story that loves to explain its mechanics, it never specified where you stood when performing the ritual was actually a big deal. Come on, it’s magic. They can stand wherever would make them look coolest.

  10. I feel like I have to say this, that scene with the way sabre was tied up was completely unnecessary. I have been watching anime for decades so yes, I understand fanservice. Some anime’s are notorious for them. This one has it bits here and there but Sabre tied up in that kind of position with her dress hiked up like that is the sort of thing that is just too much.

  11. Well, this is a treat for me. As an avid watcher of Fate. I Hope they deliver the same quality in the next episode. Because Fate:UBW Movie pacing is to fast. i need to know what is what with a reasonable pace. Slow down a bit and hit it with bang. that’s what this episode is delivered. keep up guys.

    1. Well at the Seattle premiere, they showed 3 episodes back to back. Personally it was fantastic in terms of quality and pacing. The only thing is, well, I have to wait 3 weeks now to watch the next episode.

    1. admit it, you all want to haven an Onsen Episode with all their Masters and Servants and the usually Men must peek on Womans thing. Perhaps an BD Special. And perhaps some Boys could get envious like in the Ep 1 of Highschool DxD Born the Girl measure the length..

  12. So this is the 346 Producer’s “other assignment”…

    With that joke out of the way, man, this is the second time an Archer-class servant has betrayed a Tohsaka.

    Also, what did Shirou mean when he said he had another pendant just like the one Rin has? Would that be from his late father Kiritsugu?

  13. Not the best review 🙂 Maybe a little more euphoric 🙂

    For plot; I am not sure, how much is certain here (based on the light novels). But I would assume we might see a servant switch (Rin -> Saber, etc.) ? The opening kinda suggests this — in my humble opinion.

  14. Ep 14:

    Show Spoiler ▼


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