「理想の末路(こたえ)」 (Risou no Kotae)
“Idealism’s End (The Answer)”

I warned you there would be philosophising. Here it is, raw and uncut. In a series with its fair share of dialogue heavy episodes, this one may well be its most talk-ey to date. Saber had to talk about her regrets (and for the two of you who didn’t know who Saber was, here it is), Archer had to talk about his regrets, and Kotomine had to talk about his evilness. I wasn’t expecting the anime to get fully into the exposition, or I wouldn’t have gone on about it last week and saved on my word count. Needless to say, the episode goes slowly, as the fight telegraphed from the previous episode only barely manages to begin at the end of this one. Well, at least there’s still Shinji.


While our characters all suddenly extolling their motivations may seem a bit droll, especially if you’re familiar with Unlimited Blade Works and have heard it all before, the showdown between Archer and Shirou, both physical and philosophical, is the most important one in the entire story. If the Fate route was about Shirou finding his ideal, then Unlimited Blade Works is about him having to live it, and as such Archer, being Future!Shirou or somesuch, is arguably the main villain. Fate/stay night is more or less Shirou’s coming of age story, and as such the obstacles he face should be reflections of himself (in the same way Darth Vader was Dark Side Luke. Also his father. Spoilers). Shirou the unabashed idealist is having his world view challenged in a test of will, and his fight is not just against Archer, but also doubt. To hammer the point home, Shirou’s magecraft, projection, is about creating swords based on nothing but the idea of a weapon, brought into form by will alone. As you will see later, there too doubt is not allowed. To put it generically, the greatest enemy of the hero is himself, just that in Unlimited Blade Works it’s more literal than usual.

Unfortunately nobody except Saber is going to just wait around while the Emiyas have their little aside. Meanwhile, Rin’s thighs are in danger, having been saved and then rapidly unsaved. Since the Archer = Emiya reveal was so exhaustively telegraphed, here’s another one: Lancer’s master. I suppose we don’t really have many named characters left standing and there’s not enough time to introduce someone new, so here’s Kotomine. For those who have not caught on by now, he’s still alive, and definitely not a good person, though those who have watched Fate/Zero no doubt already know that. Poor Lancer, being stuck with a guy like that. Now you know why there’s so many jokes about his misfortune; he just never catches a break. He gets to be really manly, gets to show off his magical abilities, and he still, pardon the expression, dies like a dog. Not even death in glorious battle. Come on Lancer, this is too sad, even for you.

Looking ahead

So Archer resents his posthumous career of visiting exotic locales, killing people of sensitive ethnicity, and posing scenically and wants to commit complicated causal suicide, but Shirou has the power of incredible stubbornness on his side. Meanwhile, Rin’s still a damsel in distress (but not without defiance) because she’s forgotten she still has a command spell to summon Saber with. And where was Gilgamesh supposed to be? A lot has been set up this episode, so next episode will definitely get the ball rolling again. Especially if we’re doing it to the sound of Archer and Shirou’s theme, Emiya, the only battle music of Fate/stay night capable of rivaling Excalibur. Look forward to it.




    1. Man…I knew Shinji was a jerk, but now an attempted rapist? He deserves a lot more than that one hit from Lancer. I hope he gets what’s coming to him in the future.

      1. Oh trust us, Shinji is even worse than you think, even worse than you see here. He was made for the explicit purpose of being the most hateful, despicable scum possible, and he possesses no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

  1. https://randomc.net/image/Fate%20stay%20night/Fate%20stay%20night%20ubw%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2033.jpg
    I smiled when I heard the Emiya soundtrack playing at this part. Probably the most iconic soundtrack of Fate and it would have been a crime that we wouldn’t get a new remix here.

    “Lancer died!”

    1. “it would have been a crime that we wouldn’t get a new remix here.”
      For some reason I have to agree on that.

      On the side note, for Lancer’s case, is Rin unable to save Lancer like he did for Emiya? I know that Shirou was saved probably because of Avalon, at least the second time where Shirou was saved when he was first killed. Though I was under the assumption that Gae Bolg wasn’t a bigger of a deal than Gae Buidhe, and that it was possible to, if one has enough power, to dispel the curse.

      Honestly, these Lancers have the most troublesome spears. I know that the Gae Buidhe can’t be dispelled, unless the spear is destroyed, but I was hoping the Gae Bolg would be a different story.

      1. Rin can’t save Lancer like she did Shirou because she needs tons of magic for that. When she saved Emiya she used the mana from the heart shaped gem, and she wasn’t even sure if it would work when she tried it. She also doesn’t have physical contact at the moment which might be unhelpful. Spellcasting often needs somatic elements to work properly which she also can’t do right now.
        Sometimes you just need to tie up spellcasters to keep them from causing trouble.
        Although she really should try summoning Saber with a command spell, that just seems sensible.

      2. @Riktol
        Meaning, it is possible to save Lancer if one has enough magical power. So if we are talking about someone like Flat Escardos or Caster then there is a way to dispel the curse?

      3. shirou wasn’t saved because of avalon,
        avalon needs mana to be activated, and shirou’s magic circuits aren’t strong enough to keep it working
        so only wheen saber is summoned he can get the healing abilties of avalon .. or with the help of kiritsugu,

        by the time he was hitted by gae bolg, he surely have died without rin’s help

      4. From what I remember Rin said the heart pendant had about 10 years worth of magical energy stored in it. I have no idea how much that is or even the units they use to count magical energy in the Fate-vers, but it sounds like a lot*. Given that in both cases the person was stabbed through the heart, it seems initially that the same person with the same resources could do the same thing (or at least attempt it with similar odds of success).
        However, you have to remember that Lancer is not a human with a human heart, which Rin presumably knows something about from paying attention in biology class, he’s a Spirit so even if the physical heart he has while materialized gets fixed, he isn’t necessarily going to get better just like that. He needs magical energy from his Master (who presumably isn’t going to give him any given his previous command) and some contract thing to bind him into the world and maybe some other stuff as well. And don’t forget, Kire is standing RIGHT THERE, he’d probably have something to say about it.

        *Maybe she meant 10 years output for an averagely magical person, maybe she meant that her father put a little magic in it every day for 10 years like a penny jar, maybe he spent 10 years doing nothing BUT fill the pendant or maybe there is some sort of conversion rate for units of time into magic and you can trade back and forth between them. Frankly I think it works better when they don’t arbitrarily put numbers on the Fate magic system, it works better when described narratively rather than concretely.

    2. When the Emiya soundtrack hit the screen, I was hit by nostalgia and squealed like a 5 year old, thinking “This is it! The face off we’ve been waiting for. Animated by ufotable! Shits gonna fly!!!”
      And then, credit rolls…
      You could hear my death wail all the way to the moon.
      ufotable, why you torment us so…

      On another note, Show Spoiler ▼

      1. Lancers are one of the three knight classes, so they are powerful by default. The thing is, it’s a common occurrence in Fate that they are victims of circumstance and get screwed over without ever getting to fight for real.

  2. I hope that there will be more about Saber’s past. And damn why always lancers have to die so quickly, when they turn out to be one of the coolest characters.

  3. I’m surprised that Shinji still manages to stay conscious after that ‘light slap’ from Lancer that sent him flying away.

    Damn… can’t believe that one of my favorite male leads, Araragi Kiyomi, is voiced by the same VA as Shinji and Akashi.

  4. i´dont know that emiya was killed in gallows O.o
    shingi and rin father derseve a more gruesome death(see heaven feel and u will understand why)
    lancer will shine even in his death

    1. Not really. Show Spoiler ▼

      It’s only Zero Lancer and FSN Lancer that get this fate.

  5. Any other Fate/Zero fans? Was anyone surprised when Show Spoiler ▼

    Rick Anime
      1. hehe put it that way I feel kinda dumb 🙂

        But like Kami says I was introduced to the series via the amazing Fate/Zero. So I keep thinking in the ‘reverse’. I apologize for any confusion caused. Fate/Zero was my gateway into this series

        Rick Anime
  6. Zweilous
  7. “Emiya, the only battle music of Fate/stay night capable of rivaling Excalibur. Look forward to it.”
    🙁 What about mighty wind? Although Emiya is definitively the most epic of all three.

    “Kill yourself Shirou.”
    “But people die when they are killed!”
    “Kill yourself Lancer.”
    “Ok :(”

    1. Archer IS a villain. A sympathetic one driven to his actions by extreme cirumstances that would drive almost anyone insane, true, but as far as Unlimited Blade Works is concerned Archer is a villain.

      1. Archer is 100% a villain in UBW. I mean he gave Rin over to be raped after all. He simply doesn’t care about anything apart from killing Shiro. If that is not a villain then no one is!

    2. Very well, then call him an antagonist. A hero he may be, but it cannot be denied that he is one of the greatest forces of oposition in the Unlimited Blade Works route

    3. I think that doesn’t matter because its as much Archer’s story as Shirou’s. There’s no reason a character can’t be villainous and a main character as well. It’s fairly common really.

  8. Does Shini even have one good trait? He’s pathetic, slimy, a jerk and now a rapist. Even El-Melloi, Ryuunosuke and Zero Caster had some redeeming qualities and all of them were either entertaining or at least badass mages. I know there are characters, the creator wants you to hate, but Shinji is so pathetic, I can’t even enjoy to hate him.
    I’m also not sure if Shiro’s resolve is brave or stupid/naive.

    1. No. No redeeming qualities whatsoever. The only thing to like about him is seeing him DIE, and praying that it will happen as soon and as violently as possible.

      Also, he’s not just “now” a rapist. You just haven’t seen enough of his life. Just tossing that out there. :p

    2. You could take into account the fact that he is completely worthless as a magus while having Matou Zouken (who we all know isn’t the nicest guy to hang around) as a grandfather. Also, according to the Fate/side Material (basically the encyclopedia with all the background information):
      “Due to the gap between his “ideal world” and the world he actually lives in, his personality has become warped, but when Shirou first made his acquaintance four years ago he wasn’t nearly as bad as he is now.
      As you might expect, he stumbled across Shirou doing menial tasks for people free of charge, and despite (seriously) deriding him as an idiot from behind his back, he hung around with him until he was done. At the end of the day, Shinji laughed as if he was having a good time, and exclaimed, “You may be an idiot, but you sure do good work, at least!”
      Perhaps Shirou appreciated Shinji’s honesty despite his foul mouth, because afterward they became friends.
      Though Shinji often made fun of him, in the shadows he socially assassinated anybody that took advantage of Shirou, and frequently invited him over to his house to hang out. It seems they really were close.
      However, as you know, for a temperamental genius like Shinji even a friend of many years is not safe from suddenly becoming his enemy for incomprehensible reasons.
      Basically, he’s the kind of person that’s reliable when he’s on your side but ends up being really troublesome if he turns on you.”

  9. After all that babble about each of their own morality problems, I still don’t understand why Archer needs to kill Shirou.
    Hasn’t Shirou been out of the game since, like, forever ago?

    Petit Orenji
      1. Are you familiar with the plot of the Terminator movies? Killer robot from the future goes back in time to kill the person who will eventually become the leader of the army that is about to defeat all the killer robots in the future? The idea is that by killing a person in the past the future will change and everything they could or would have done will never happen. Archer is trying to do the same thing by killing himself in the past so that he can’t ever become who he is now.

        There are several different reasons why it won’t work, so it’s a completely futile effort on his part. However, he literally has nothing else left. The last fragment of sanity he really has is the desperate hope that he can change history and kill himself before he ever becomes a counter-gaurdian. He cannot let go of that wish. It is the only thing that remains of him.

    1. It’s because after all of Archer’s experiences, he was driven to the point of desperation that this is the only plan that he have left to save himself. Despite the fact that the chances of success is slim, he needs to do it out of desperation to save himself and get out of Alaya’s contract.

      1. Archer’s experiences are his problem. The contract with Alaya was his choice and he has no one but himself to blame for it. Despite hating his past self his personality remains the same trying to accomplish a goal that is stated to be futile.

    2. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s never stated in the novel or extra material that Archer killing Shirou would not work for sure. It’s discussed that there is a high chance that it won’t, but the reason Archer tries it is because it’s at the very least plausible. That’s why he goes out of his way to kill Shirou himself – if Shirou were to die by someone else’s hand, it would not affect him, but if he is the one to kill his younger self it would create a even greater paradox that might just be enough to wipe him out of existence

      1. If I recall correctly, there weren’t many reasons for Archer to believe that his plan would actually work. There’s the whole ‘removed from causality in the Throne of Heroes thing’, and this Shirou is not exactly ‘his’ Shirou because differing circumstances etc. Even for an Archer, it’s a very long shot.

        The more important reason why Archer wants to kill Shirou, I think, is that as the embodiment of his old ideals Shirou is anathema to Archer. In the same way, Archer is the ultimate culmination of Shirou’s ideals but ended up despairing for them, so Shirou must reject him. This is why Archer is the ‘villain’, being the oppositional foil to the hero.

  10. Lol, at Rin’s reaction when she found out that kotomine killed her father. It was funny how she tell him off later on, I thought it was going to be more dramatic or shocking than that.

  11. random viewer
  12. And yet, I still see reactions from people in other online communities after this episode who are surprised that Counter Guardian EMIYA is Emiya Shirou’s alternate future self. Do they need a Gae Bolg stabbed into their brains?

  13. Type-Moon seriously needs to make a sequel with a Lancer as the MC’s servant


    Seriously, Lancer deserves so much better!


    Backfisting Shinji instantly gave Lancer the right to be the hero of a spinoff!


    “Oh my god! They killed Lancer!”

    1. Well, you might want to try reading Fate/Apocrypha (which features 14 servants divided in 2 teams, if you didn’t know) since one of the lancers Show Spoiler ▼

      while the other Show Spoiler ▼

    2. Type-Moon seriously needs to make a sequel with a Lancer as the MC’s servant

      I’m not giving anything away by saying this, but he shines in Fate/hollow ataraxia. In more ways than one, actually.

  14. https://randomc.net/image/Fate%20stay%20night/Fate%20stay%20night%20ubw%20-%2019%20-%20Large%2001.jpg
    So is no one going to comment that this is literally the first time we ever get any detailed background on Archer’s past? Before that all we got Archer’s description on how it happened. Even the official materials written by Eggplant were vague statements on how Archer developed. And on an interesting note, in Fate/Extra Archer mentioned that he once stopped a meltdown of a nuclear reactor. Here its telling us this was the very moment he made contract to become a Counter Guardian after he dies. Finally some actual tangible facts about Archer! It only took a decade for the Fate fans to have some new material.

    EMIYA! You know I was a bit worried with the anime hit-and-miss soundtrack. I didn’t actually think they would do their own version of it. I can’t wait to see how the full track will be on the next episode. Its definitely my favorite track of the franchise.

  15. the three major themes in FSN are one in each route

    1.-fate route = Sword of the promised victory
    2.- Unlimited blade works route = Emiya
    3.- Heaven’s feel = Light and darkness

  16. Really liking Archer’s characterization & his guardian story. Can’t say the same for Shirou, who despite this being supposedly HIS story above others(or at least as much as Archer’s), his characterization is lacking. In my anime-only viewer eyes, his characterization so far isn’t much better than in DEEN’s adaptation. I know we can’t expect to have VN-like inner-monologues in Shirou’s case, he’d need at least a little in order to appear as more than just a generic shounen protag.

    “I won’t regret it!” That was it? That was all he had to say after hearing his future self’s story? We know Shirou won’t necessarily end up Archer, since even if they’re both Emiya Shirou, they don’t have to be identical. Just the fact that the Shirou in this timeline met his future self whereas Archer will surely have an impact on Shirou who will probably proceed about becoming his supposedly ideal self in a different manner(more or less anyway). But I do hope we’ll get to hear his thoughts on all this, at least by the end of the show.

    1. I mentioned this back on episode 16, but the scene where Rin finally confronts Shirou about his selflessness is supposed to be his most important scene. It establishes how warped his personally is because of how traumatized he was. Its what sold me on his character and revealed how much depth he has. I also pointed out the the Anime didn’t do the scene very well and failed to carry the emotional weight its supposed to have. You can compare the same scene on the VN and see how much more emotional it was, especially with the music.

  17. Shirou is seriously one of the most annoying and detestable main characters I have ever seen. I knew all this already but re-watching this new adaptation is a constant reminder of just how naive a person can be. After everything Archer told him, this clown can still say something like he’ll never regret his decision no matter what.

    1. Who cares what Archer told him? Archer comes from an alternate future so he cannot predict how Shirou’s life will be if he follows his ideals. If Shirou is naive Archer is selfish bastard, he made his decision when he contracted he with Alaya and nobody coerced him into it. He now wants to escape the contract because he suffered so much but Saber even tells him the chances of his plan being successful are very low. Since Archer is Shirou he is still a clown because even though he curses his ideal of being a hero he still pursues a goal that is stated to be impossible for him to accomplish.

  18. Cynical people hate Shirou. Thankfully I’m not, which is why I like Shirou’s character, though I also think he’s an idiot. Nonetheless he’s a pretty awesome idiot.

    “I saw my future self. And I didn’t like what I saw. So now I’m going to beat him down.”

  19. “I saw my future self. And I didn’t like what I saw. So now I’m going to beat him down.”

    That’s a pretty awesome attitude if you think about it.

  20. Why just then not change Fate?
    Setle down in a quiet place, marry Rin and forget all heroics?
    Now he has seen where his path would have led him, Shiro can change his course to avoid the trap.

  21. Ep 20:

    Show Spoiler ▼



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