「冬の日、願いの形」 (Fuyu no Hi, Negai no Katachi)
“Winter Days, the Form Wishes Take”

It was good to see interesting discussion in last week’s comments section, with both detractors and apologists coming out to speak their mind about Gilgamesh, the world’s oldest bully. How much you end up liking him is, I suppose, mostly a matter of taste and personal moral compass, but in this episode Gilgamesh attempts to appeal again by brutalising Illya’s corpse (to extract her heart, which I didn’t remember as being so blinged out). I’ll leave the assignment of points for that trick as an exercise for the reader.

On a scale of 1 to Shinji, Gilgamesh would be a π

Of course, no matter what Gilgamesh does this week, he’s never going to look all that bad. Because, in case you forgot he was still supposed to be around, here’s Shinji!


Really, Shinji is a class act. Why else would Gil keep him around? Not even Gil’s wealth can buy a better PR manager. Shinji’s like the inverse of the Tzadikim Nistarim of Jewish mysticism—36 righteous individuals who justify the world’s continued existence. Shinji makes the rest of the human race look good simply by being. Sure, he’s got all sorts of Freudian excuses for why he got the way he is and is ultimately a pitiable wretch, but deep down we’re all thinking: ‘I am glad I am not Shinji’.

Throw the dog a bone

Also appearing after a hiatus this episode is Lancer, who proves to be both comparatively more amicable and decidedly cooler. Lancer really does need more love in the Fate franchise, with story Cú Chulainn being the definitive Celtic myth, but alas he doesn’t seem to get a lot of respect in Fuyuki, Japan. The projected fight with Archer, though, should give Lancer a proper chance to show off, and every Servant in Fate needs to get at least one of those. At this point in the visual novel I was really hoping for Lancer to wipe Archer’s smirk off his face, because he was getting just a bit too smarmy for his own good. Since their initial duel in the prologue was never concluded, this should be the opportunity to settle the score. Something to look forward to next week.

All talk

The Lancer vs Archer matchup is delayed for next week because we needed to spend the rest of the episode talking. Whether it be pleasantly talking in the twilight, talking against pretty backdrops, or talking in the rain, Unlimited Blade Works has it all! To be fair, they were all about fairly important topics. In particular, Rin was taking issue with Shirou’s lack of self again. In a way, her rant, and Fate/stay night in general, is a deconstruction of the entire ‘hero complex’ we see often in fantasy fiction, in particular the popular shounen fare from which FSN is derived. Sure, the will to survive is not always the highest calling, but it would be odd, in a realistic context, for a person to have no self-preservation reflex in the slightest, like Shirou. One of the complaints I hear about Shirou’s character is that he goes beyond being brave to being daft, and Unlimited Blade Works explains how he came to be that way. It’s more than a simple clash of values, or even traumatic survivor’s guilt. Shirou, as a personality, is comprised almost entirely of a set of principles, a Superman that does not have much of a Clark Kent. Unlimited Blade Works will go further to explore how healthy that is, in the future.

If I was Rin, though, I would have blasted Shirou all the same. There’s only so many times you can try bail your man from certain death manufactured by his own stubbornness before you’re excused for getting pissed off. Not even the Protagonist Smile would have saved him.

Looking ahead

Next week, not only do Lancer and Archer have to get to fighting, we’re also going to go back to Caster, who managed no appearance this week other than in another sympathetic flashback (and an interesting reading of the Medea story). Is she still the main antagonist these days? Hard to tell. But Rin apparently has a trump card for defeating Caster. But of course, she can’t tell us what it is because any plan once explained is doomed to fail. It’s a rule.

Speaking of Rin, trump cards, and things unexplained, here’s a poser: the pendant left for Rin by her father was supposed to be unique. Yet Archer had one, and Shirou had one. On that note, the story moves into full spoiler territory, so again a gentle reminder to all readers: Please mark all spoilers, as usual. Thanks in advance. Also, leave the preview alone. Don’t click on that image link. Don’t look at it. Don’t draw attention to it. It really can mean anything.

(Don’t think about pink elephants.)

Full-length images: 30.




    1. https://randomc.net/image/Fate%20stay%20night/Fate%20stay%20night%20ubw%20-%2016%20-%20Large%2027.jpg
      Seriously i was laughing myself off when shirou did that complimented by rin’s total honest reaction. Even on Fate/Zero lancer was still cool as hell and the fight with garcher would be totally epic next week.

      i’d doubt that anyone who’s been watching up to now wouldn’t know the significance of this especially with the OP’s and ED’s we’d have for the second season.

  1. Ufotable went with the “I don’t mind, but under one condition” (a.k.a.: “Rin-sama Embarrassed and Angry”) choice?!

    Good job!

    Also, that teasing look on Lancer’s face was just as epic as Jetstream Sam’s trollface.

    1. Well Lancer actually rarely dies first outside of carnival phantasm, he isn’t the first to die in all three routes of fate/stay night, the other lancer class servants didn’t die first either. Fate zero he was the 2nd servant to die, and the psp games have him around for quite awhile.

    2. Lancer was 3rd to die in F/Z, assassin was first, caster was 2nd. In Stay Night Lancer dies pretty late in all three routes. On the other hand, Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Perhaps Saber reminds our Female Caster of her old Day Female Love Rival, that her Husband left for her. Perhaps this is somehow revenge for her on her Husband on her Time

      But, perhaps this is more an obsession. Since it based on Carnival Phantasm special.

  2. as for the Necklace:

    Show Spoiler ▼

      1. “I am the summary of all my knowledge. i have watched many Anime, read many Mangas, played many jRPGS and some US RPGs. What you see is the reap of what i sow since Youth time. it all began with Future Boy Conan”

  3. This episode shows that Rin is so much better for Shirou than Saber was. Saber made his faults worse, and just encouraged him to act more stupidly. Rin confronts him about his problems, and made him admit them.

    1. Its not just that. The Shirou/Saber shippers will probably hang me for saying this, but I think both characters have far more depth when they are not romantic interests. Their “love story” in the Fate Route/DEEN ANime was so badly executed, it made both look like people who were worthless unless they had a shallow romance. Saber in particular comes off worse when you consider its supposed to be her route.

      It doesn’t help that the writing insisted it was some cute romance. Even the Eggplant himslef stated he was disappointing on how it turned out and he was the on who wrote it! Its fairly apparent that when both UBW and Heavens’ feel were written he had a much better feel of how he wanted the story to be. Its too bad it made the Fate route’s flaws more apparent.

      1. Remember that Nasu wrote the Fate route when he was 15 back in the mid 90’s. Then once he got out of literature school he improved it a bit, but feeling that it still missed something wrote UBW and Heaven’s Feel as alternate stories. Even he admits Fate is mostly his teenager ideals that he wrote in high school and despite doing his best to improve it, it is still too immature to compare with UBW and Heaven’s Feel

    2. I agree that the Fate route was the weakest of the three, but I can see its purpose as the introductory story (and hey, Arcueid’s route was also the weakest of Tsukihime‘s). The Fate => UBW => Heaven’s Feel trilogy is overall about Shirou’s growth (and all three have the same subtext about regrets), and Fate served to establish his ideals and philosophies in the form of Saber. It is then in UBW (and in different ways, in Heaven’s Feel) that it can be tested. Framed as the Hero’s Journey, Fate is by and large about hearing the call. The other routes get to work off that.

  4. Mostly talk and setup for the next battle, but it is important because it finally gives some perspective to Shirou and how he ticks. My first impression with him was from the original DEEN anime, which suffice I hated him from the start. It took years before I played the VN and reached this scene (Your Distortion ) where it finally showed that Shirou has some depth in him.

    I have some mixed feeling how this was handled to be honest. This is one of my favorites scenes from the VN and I was glad to see it animated. On the other hand, I felt it didn’t really carry the emotional weight it had. Perhaps it needed a more emotional soundtrack to compliment it. To explain further, Shirou has one unique quality that no other person has: He is COMPLETELY selfless. The trauma of the fire has basically destroyed any sense of self-worth to the point that he can’t get any satisfaction in life unless he is helping someone. That may sound admirable, but Rin basically points out how screwed up this is. Earlier in the series, Shirous friends point out that this quality of his means many people can take advantage of him. Rin points outs something even worse: This is an inherently self-destructive attitude and will eventually end up very badly for Shirou. Even Shirou can’t deny that, but he can’t stop being that kind of altruistic person because that belief is what shapes him.

    On the other hand they did get one of the funniest scenes on the VN right. Because we get to watch Lancer be a total bro and Rin get flustered out of her mind at the same time. I have to agree with Lancer, Shirou may be not be very bright, buy I have a lot of respect from any guy who is willing to be upfront in who he likes and is willing to stand up for her. Also, Rin is still the best girl

    1. And ironically enough…(spoiler for those who don’t know the general story)

      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. The problem with that is Show Spoiler ▼

    2. Agree with you there. All the adaptations seem to fall short on this particular scene. Granted it’s probably hard to adapt as inner thoughts are always that way but to be honest, I had higher hopes for this adaptation given how they handled similar scenes earlier on in the series and even in F/Z

  5. hmm, did something happen in ep 16? it feels as if nothing much happened here.. maybe because the last episode was extremely intense with emotional impact? The story flow of ep 16 felt dragging.. I could hardly care about blue, red, and others talking inconsequential blah blah and blushing, squabbling etc. (f**k them all) boring as hell.

    anyway, Illya was lying flat down all the time.. sob.. I wished Shirou could somehow deploy Avalon which could perhaps heal all her wounds instantly including slashed eyes and fatal ones.. like ripped heart and damaged internal organs etc…

    Where is the white haired loli? I wanna see more of lively cute Illya! cute as a button! Her cute figure will appear only in the opening sequence from now on? what a pity… what a pity indeed..

    Loli principality
      1. “the calm before the storm. Fate/Stay Night – The wonders of Background Arts ” -> I quite I agree with this point: the importance of the calm parts and its wonders. but it is just that for some reason, this particular episode (and “some” other anime episodes of the Fate world did “not do the magic” to me (did not register or click etc. and felt dragging). Compared to the Fate visual novel / game and specific other fate anime episodes that seem to be executed far better (finely and subtly yet with enriching / satisfying depictions of characters’ essence: sometimes subtly and yet other times vividly). These better ones seem to let me experience with (or almost? as if in) the characters (or as if in their shoes). I just could not feel, be, or experience in any of their shoes in this episode (almost none of them, except very briefly in Shirou’s shoes).

    1. Fate is more than just big battles. It’s actually far more about the people, their interactions with each other, what makes them tick, their drive, goals, wishes, regrets, etc.

      If you watch the previous ones (Studio DEEN’s Fate/stay night and Fate/Zero), it’s like this quite a bit. If anything, keeping the battles more scarce is a good thing in ways, because it means each time they happen, the viewers will continue to be wowed by them rather than having battles happen constantly and the viewers getting bored with a “meh, whatever” mentality to them.

      1. I quite I agree with this part “It’s actually far more about the people, their interactions with each other, what makes them tick, their drive, goals, wishes, regrets, etc.”

        the reason the last episode had an impact on me was not simply because of the wows of the big fighting scenes (that alone would be quite boring to me.), rather it is because their actions / behaviors felt as if the projections of (or reflect) their inner worlds / motives / hopes / pasts / intense (painful) longings, wishes, cries from the bottom of their hearts (which were unattended, ignored, neglected, disregarded..), etc. particularly in the case of Illya (and the Berserker.) The connections to their past and the consequent connections between them. but, did ep 16 provide something interesting? in rendering or depicting the characters? maybe a bit but hardly so. and furthermore, perhaps I feel some kind of uneasiness or unpleasant discontinuity from the ep 15 / from what happened to Illya. I mean, I feel almost anger toward other characters: i.e. Illya was just killed and brutalized in an extremely ghoulish way and you guys all chatting some petty? sh** as if nothing happened? wtf? what heartless ass****? (maybe except Shirou. at least he shed tears)) I guess that is one of the reasons I said (f**k them all) in my previous comment. It is just that ep 16 did not feel significant compared to ep 15 not because of a lack of a spectacle of fights but because I could hardly put myself in their shoes in ep 16.

        . most parts in ep 16 felt like what I already knew, “without new better (=different angles, facets, sequences, methods, styles etc.) representation / re-configurations / re-portraits” of the (same) characters and the (same) fate world.

        what I care is if something worth paying attention (moving) is unfolding. for example, many flashback scenes in ep 15 did not involve spectacular fights but my attention was sustained because those were significant events in connecting Illya and the Berserker (depicted somewhat in a new refreshing way etc. I suppose). or reminding me of the nature of Illya and partly that of the Berserker (with different / new impact). oh, well, maybe it is just that ep 15 was shockingly unparalleled among other episodes.

      2. Unfortunately, that can be a downside for a number of people when it comes to adapting source material pretty much exactly as it originally was; if one is already experienced with the source material, then the anime version can seem boring at times simply because of the fact that nothing is really changed overall. One just seeing moving images as opposed to still images or just words of the exact same scenes, but they still know what’s going to happen, what will be said, and, if the source material was good enough to convey it, how people feel about things, and so on.

  6. Good to see you, Lancer. Best bro!

    I find it strange that there was never much focus on him (or at least in my limited knowledge of the Fate universe) considering how he can be labeled as one of those ‘real’ heroic spirits with principle and honor with a smoothness about the ladies. It was the same in Fate Zero too, other than the fact that he wrongly believed he was betrayed by Saber. I too would love to see him give Archer at least a terribly difficult time.

    Shirou’s way of thinking makes a little more sense in the episode now that they have touched on his past a little and while understandable, his lack of self-worth is astoundingly horrific. I’m guessing that this is one of the reasons for his future development in how he becomes-nevermind, spoiler alert.

    The obvious hint though, is pretty much in the face with Rin’s pendant. Speaking of which, she continues with a great blend of comedy and seriousness.

    On the whole, it’s a pretty good episode. You can see the obvious upturn in the entire mood and atmosphere of the episode from the beautiful backgrounds as compared to the stark contrast of blood and gore of previous episode’s, yet there’s an impending sense of unknown fear that something will turn out badly yet again and keeps me anticipating for more drama and execution of the plot twists. I also like how ufotable continues to insert little snippets of the past for various characters and somehow making it smooth in transition.

    It’s payback time. Looking forward to next week’s episode as I always do.

    1. Perhaps Shinji is not his real Master, and he is only pretending that Shinji has control over him. But did we saw Shinji gets new Command Seals after losing Rider? that would be a visual Proof, that he is somehow Gilgamesh’s master. right now i am not real convenience that Shinji is the real master here. It all could be a fake

      1. No, we never did see Shinji and Gilgamesh actually establish a contract formally on screen. In fact, interesting thing about Shinji: we’re never shown Command Seals on his body. Of course, how much of a spoiler the reason for that is depends on your familiarity with the previous materials.

    2. Personally, I’ve always felt that Shinji characterization was a lazy concept. An annoying brat for the sake of being an annoying brat. Yes, I’m aware of his circumstances, but it felt as if they just needed a cartoony bad guy for the sake of having a cartoony bad guy and threw Shinji in there. You could literally cut Shinji’s parts out of all the Fate games and it would have little to no impact on the story!

      It would’ve been one thing if fate was written as a slice of life comedy and Shinji was just the cocky, classmate douchebag. He’s attitude and arrogance wouldn’t seem so out of place there. Yet, the series is obviously trying to go for a more dark and serious tone – Shinji’s presence always seems to break that tone.

    3. Clearly Gilgamesh has plans for Shinji, or he’d be a bright red smear by now. Gil’s face becomes intensely neutral whenever Shinji starts getting chummy with him. I feel like the whole reason Gil let Shirou and Rin go in this scene was because they were pissing off Shinji.

      Axe Armor
  7. Shinji makes the rest of the human race look good simply by being. Sure, he’s got all sorts of Freudian excuses for why he got the way he is and is ultimately a pitiable wretch, but deep down we’re all thinking: ‘I am glad I am not Shinji’.

    The way you described him, perhaps Shinji is supposed to be the modern day version of Angra Mainyu. He is someone who we can say is more evil than us, to make the rest of humanity look good.

    1. Just so as to avoid any unintentional spoilers with respect to Fate/Hollow Ataraxia, Show Spoiler ▼

      Shinji, by comparison, is just… well, Shinji. Admittedly, there’s a decent person… somewhere in there, but for all intents and purposes, he’s just a detestable ass that I – and I imagine a strong majority of my fellow viewers – want to see him getting what he has coming to him.

      For those who’ve already read through Unlimited Blade Works, you know what I’m talking about.

      Ryan Ashfyre
      1. The best summary of Shinji’s function in this work was done by Sakura in episode 6 of Carnival Phantasma

        After punishing rider for CLEANSING his spirit:


        Even the authors agree with this.

        I don’t like the way these types of characters are used. Making the audience, the heroines, the heroes and main villains feel cooler in this way is a cheap trick.

        Big deal proving your value by comparing yourself to someone who has none.

  8. It is for reasons like this that I love Carnival Phantasm. It’s like everything that happens in Fate/Tsuki/Kara is a bad dream, or a play. Also, Lancer gets lots of love. Terrible, terrible love.

  9. This episode seemed to pale in comparison to the others so far which is a bit disappointing since this is actually suppose to be one of the more important scenes in this route. The discussion between Rin and Shirou about “helping others” is pretty much the crux of the matter which generates much of the conflict in this route. I’m a bit disappointed that they didn’t flesh it out more but I guess it’s suppose to be somewhat akward as a scene since neither are willing to backdown on their world view. I just had more hope for it especially with how they handled similar scenes in s1

    That said. I really enjoyed Lancer coming in on the two of them and the following “keep away from my girl” scene.

    1. Someone said this last week too, and I don’t get why. Fate/Zero spoilers:

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Axe Armor
  10. random viewer
  11. poor ilya ;.;
    i´m sure that there no enough material to 24 episodes so they will add filler at some point
    and how they will handle the SEX scene ??you know now there things like opai dxd and love ru and other so why not?

  12. Personally I really hope that they will animate both the “Good” and “True” ends of the UBW-route. It would make this already amazing adaption just about perfect.

    1. that would be nice. I am actually hoping that with the same character, they’d just right out make a fate stay night original path. No more I already know what happened, I’m here for the pretty lights. Heck, I’m hesitant to watch the heaven’s feel movie. I kinda regretted watching the ubw movie and spoiled myself before this movie comes out. So I’m thinking I might as well just wait a few years and hope that heaven’s feel anime series come out lol.

  13. Ep 17:

    It gets an 10/10

    Alone for the Action

    Show Spoiler ▼

  14. The visuals are stunning! I haven’t watched any of the new FSN series for the past couple of years. Where the heck do I start? I want to start watching this good stuff here but I don’t want to be lost.


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