「sunny day」

And here we have it, the Good End of Unlimited Blade Works, covered on RandomC by popular(?) demand. I wasn’t actually planning to write anything about it at first because 1) it’s short and entirely lacking in substance so I didn’t really have anything to write about, and 2) I’ve stated in the past that True Ends > Good Ends and, no sir, I am not going to back down from that indisputable opinion. For those of you who insist on standing against the order of the universe by still liking Good Ends, here’s why you are wrong both factually and morally:

Good Ends are happy.

Yes, happiness. How very crass. Even the ancient Greeks, who thought that health was governed by humours, knew that Comedy was second-rate faff best left for the unwashed masses. The high art was Tragedy, not this happy-ending nonsense. Who’s going to win an Oscar for being happy? What, did you think Schindler’s List ended with nothing bad happening to the Jews ever again? Spoilers: the sequel ain’t Springtime for Hitler. Suffering and death—that’s where it’s at. What if the Little Mermaid doesn’t turn into foam at the end? Or if everybody survives in the Hunchback of Notre Dame? They’ll just become beloved children’s classics, and nobody wants that.

‘But Passerby,’ I hear someone saying, ‘the True End of Unlimited Blade Works was happy too!’. Firstly, don’t interrupt me and secondly, shut up. The point is that in the True End, Saber dies like a good heroine. Now what is she? The star of some soap opera, apparently, where she’s adopted by Rin, who needs Shirou to provide, er, ‘child support’. Which in this setting means… alien space dolphins! That’s where babies come from, kids; the space dolphins bring them. And then something something hydrogen bombs something Thetans.

(Memo to self: quit RandomC and start a religion. It’ll pay better.)

Instead of sticking around and killing the Emiya household food budget, Saber could have died with dignity instead. It’s not even about tragic catharsis or finding fulfillment or meaningful narrative resolution anymore; it’s about leaving on a high note. Get out while the going is good. Death is a respite, where nobody can hurt you anymore. But now, instead, Type-Moon will milk your character for all eternity. How many flavours of Saber are there now? Blue Saber, Red Saber, Saber of Red, Saber Alter, Saber Lily… and now there’s Fate/Grand Order which means ALL OF THE SABERS ALL OF THE TIME. How long must this farce continue? Just let the poor girl rest in peace.

But no, you plebs wanted a Good End. Have it your way. Back in my day, we earned our catharsis. Barefoot in the snow, uphill both ways, not even a good end in Saber’s own Fate route. The heroine is dead? Well, we were fine just being bitter about it, thank you very much. Now there’s this newfangled Realta Nua nonsense, everyone lives, even Illya gets to be a magical girl. I don’t care anymore. Good End it is then! Here’s more Saber! Here’s more Rin! Here’s more teeth-rotting sugar! Bread and circus for everyone! ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!

Bah, humbug.


Full-length images: 08.


  1. “Yes, happiness. How very crass. Even the ancient Greeks, who thought that health was governed by humours, knew that Comedy was second-rate faff best left for the unwashed masses”

    Ah, but did the Greeks said that? Or is it because humanity lost forever serious, important books about Comedy, like Aristotle’s second book of Poetics? I remember Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, whose fictional story suggested that the book was deliberately destroyed so the world would never consider comedy a serious matter. ‘Catharsis’ can be only the realm of tragedy (screw you, Tractatus coislinianus).

    TL;DR: Good End route is route.

    1. Who wouldn’t like this, I have never expected the “good” ending to be animated. That makes it feel more “true.” Depending which, I like the good endings better.
      I do hope Saber will knock at Jubstacheit’s door and kill him later. Or at least Saber should bury Ilya next to her dad.

      On the side note, if anyone had seen the visual novel, Rin was seen as bisexual during the s*x scene with Saber. Now there is three of them, I hope they do a three way “rapport.”

  2. Well, thanks for taking the time to at least acknowledge this. Thought it was a joke when I heard this would get an OVA since the Fate route only got one ending, but nice to see the branching out is continuing. The Good Ending does what its supposed to do; be a somewhat nonsensical fluffy good ending. That’s why it’s called the “Good Ending” and not the “True Ending”, because you can feel the writer’s hand giving the story a push in an unnatural way that leads to rainbows and sunshine for the hero/heroine. It’s fanservice, and no one ever said otherwise.

    And I liked it. Yes, I said it. So there.

  3. Reading this reminded me of how both Socrates and Plato bashed greek tragedies relentlesly and passed them of as “cheap entertainment”. Irony is love, irony is life.

  4. Long Story short, Nasu is very lazy for side stories or alt endings. He’s at his best when it’s fix route LN style ala Kara no Kyoukai.

    The only alt ending that I look forward it’s THAT BAD/Normal Ending “Sparks Liner F***ing High”!!!!

  5. Ahaha nowadays it’s all about money making, as long as the franchise still popular it will keep spanning sequels/prequels/side stories. Sometime it’s good and can be a perfect addition for the original one, for example Fate Zero. But sometimes it’s not quite good, kind of hit and miss with popular franchise like this. Well I took the stance of watching those that I liked and skiping those that I don’t like.

  6. The next Cash Cow to milk her dry will be Sakura… But there is the dark part with his brother.. i wish i did not asked for this strange worms, that the blond Guy servant crushed under his feet

  7. I like bitter, grumpy Passerby. It’s entertaining!

    Also, you can never quit RandomC and you know it. If you do, I’ll give the order. Don’t make me give the order, Bystander-kun. I’ll enjoy it too much.

    *cackles malevolently*

  8. I never really understood this faux-artsy hatred for the happy endings. I mean, if I’ve invested however many hours into a thing, I’d like it to end well. Of course, that argument stands more for long running series.

    For example, a game or TV series that I’ve invested 5+ years into…anything less than a great ending, and a well resolved and happy one, will have to be well crafted indeed for it not to piss off the fans. Of course, there’s a difference between something like Star Wars (eg: if the Emperor had won) vs Game of Thrones or Bersekr (which we all feel will end poorly for most, if not all, the heroes).

    Still, nothing wrong in wanting wish fulfillment in what is ultimately a fantasy. Heck, isn’t thinking “the story must always be THIS way” yet another way of creating stale tropes?

    As for the whole Comedy vs Drama debate…yes, Drama is more well respected. But I’ve always felt Comedy is more difficult to do well (at least the good stuff, as opposed to the toilet humor). Hence, why so few comedy anime ever hit my radar. Still, it’s all taste, which there’s no accounting for.

    Thanks for the food for thought, as always!

    1. Well, Star Wars actually had a scrapped alternative ending where Luke puts on Vader’s mask saying “Now I’m Vader”.
      Is that a dramatic ending?
      Sure, but is that the ending we wanted to see?
      Hell no! Sometimes the story is more touching with a good end.

      1. But we still got a bittersweet ending with him losing his father, who he was convinced he could save throughout the whole movie. He knew that his father was reunited with his former friends in the afterlife, but that doesn’t erase all the pain.

        Most of the follow-up books also understood that the ending to the movie wasn’t a perfect happy end. That’s why I dislike the final scene in George Lucas’ Special Edition, because it implied that with the Emperor dead there was suddenly piece and happiness and dancing in all the universe.

      2. And of course, there’s the urban legend that says neither the Millennium Falcon nor Lando Calrissian (nor poor Nien Nunb) was supposed to make it out of the second Death Star.

    2. The answer, of course, is that it depends. Some stories ought to end happily (and would be disappointing if they didn’t), while others really shouldn’t. Fate/stay night is one that’s improved by the not-totally-happy ending, I feel. Your general magical-fantasy-action-harem anime should probably end on a happy note.

      Either way, I wrote a couple of posts on this. Here’s a My Way or the Anime one, and one on True Ends specifically about this episode (albeit before it came out).

      It’s not a hipster thing. There’s reason behind it. But it always depends on the story in question.

      1. I agree that it often depends on the material as well. In my case, I’d invested so much time in the Type-Moon games, anime, and books, that I didn’t mind the endings…as in all the various extrapolations of them. And to be certain, the happy endings had a place in that for me.

        Conversely, there have been shows where I felt that tragedy or bittersweetness were preferable to a standard “good ending” (eg: Code Geass, and Season 1 of Death Note). Actually, Maburaho is an anime where I detested the final half (despite it being “happy”…long story). I actually think the show would have been more awesome had the main character’s death at the half-way point been the true ending of the show.

        But yes, I tend to be biased towards happy endings, and again, it is generally in proportion to the amount of time spent with the material. “The dragon sometimes wins” is generally much more palatable for a 1-2 hour movie, as opposed to a long running investment. But again, it depends on the context, as Stilts states, and stories with certain conventions in mind beforehand are less likely to perturb me.

        I think the truly egregious cases are when such endings come out of nowhere, or happen as a result of an “idiot ball,” or similarly capricious and convenient tomfoolery. Certain expectations and conventions are just beyond what is reasonable to ask of the audience (one of my fave bloggers refers to it as a “loss of narrative cohesion”).

      2. Incidentally, I think my love of happy endings is also a direct correlation to the repressed nature of the characters in the genre. That’s why I had less of a problem with the “True Endings” here, as the MC and the heroines clearly come to terms with their emotions (at least in the games).

        I’ll save myself a lambasting by NOT mentioning a few examples that are beloved by most, but frustrating for me. Suffice it to say, I’ve just been too put-off by season upon season of “non endings” that end in a giant “meh” or a great tragedy after months/years of teasing.

      3. To be fair, the non-endings are a different thing. Those are usual adaptations that CAN’T have a conclusive ending, because the source material isn’t finished yet. It annoys the hell out of me too, though, so I agree with ya there.

      4. As I think on it, I would also add that much of Japanese storytelling (per the classes I’ve taken) ascribes to the idea that “the journey is more important than the destination,” much like Ernest Hemingway. One takes solace in the richness of the path to the finale, as the ending itself might be the bitter pill to an otherwise sweet journey.

        Granted, this is more often done in classic dramas, but it seemed quite prevalent in Japanese literature. Per my class, it was believed to have been a result of living in the “post-apocalypse” of the atomic explosions. So gravitation to that “reality” seemed more honest than some quaint “happy ending” just for the sake of escapism.

        Then again, that is also counter to the the ideology employed by Hollywood during the eras of depression in the United States, where films were gratuitously happy for the sole purpose of escapism from an otherwise dreary life.

        It takes all kind, is what I suppose I’m saying. Again, different tastes work better in different situations. Another interesting though to have worked through during this discussion, and I appreciate the feedback!

  9. >] Here, the Good End. Happy now?

    Happiness, eh? Ah yes, those brief but relishing moments of endearment that we humans happen upon every now and again.

    Why yes, I do happen to recall something like that while watching this. 🙂

    Ryan Ashfyre
  10. How many flavours of Saber are there now? Blue Saber, Red Saber, Saber of Red, Saber Alter, Saber Lily… and now there’s Fate/Grand Order which means ALL OF THE SABERS ALL OF THE TIME. How long must this farce continue? Just let the poor girl rest in peace.

    No mention of Saber Lion and Master Artoria? =)

    Seeing how big the Fate adaptation projects have become,
    Nasu-san can probably laugh all the way to the bank anytime of the year now..

      1. Blue Saber is Arturia, as seen in Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero.
        Red Saber is genderswapped Emperor Nero, as seen in Fate/Extra and Fate/Extra CCC.
        Saber of Red is Mordred, as seen in Fate/Apocrypha.
        Saber Alter is Show Spoiler ▼

        Saber Lily is a younger Arturia before she became king, as seen in Fate/Grand Order (well, actually, the Saber Lily design first appeared in Fate/Unlimited Codes but just as an alternate costume for regular Arturia, not her own character).
        Saber Lion is a chibi Arturia in a lion costume, as seen in Fate/Tiger Colosseum.
        Master Arturia is an AU version of Arturia who’s, duh, a Master instead of a Servant, as seen in Capsule Servant.

        There’s also Sakura Saber from Koha-Ace, who is genderswapped Okita Souji; Demon Saber also from Koha-Ace, who is Okita Souji fused with Oda Nobunaga; and Proto Saber from Fate/Prototype and Fate/Prototype: Sougin no Fragments, who is the original concept for Saber before Nasu decided to make her a girl.

        So as I pray, Unlimited Saber Works.

  11. Preaching to the choir Passerby.
    Personally I have nothing against a happy ending but this one just feels like fanservice (because it is) and is no better then that epilogue for Realta Nua. And oh god am I sick of the various flavours of Saber!

    1. There are 40 Bad Ends in the entire game, and around a third of them are in UBW route. Here they are:
      Show Spoiler ▼

      1. somehow i doubt everyone here bought the bluray. i’m willing to bet there’s somewhere that people torrent or downloaded this at.

        speaking of fate, i coincidentally met one the key animator for Fate/Zero in a private tea party. i never realized this, but apparently ufotable only animate the first 2 episodes and the end of season finale. everything else was hired by other companies to do in between episodes, there were apparently 4 different groups working on fate/zero.

  12. LOL xD

    thank you for posting this, but… this…THIS ENDING !!! I ONLY PLAYED THE FSN VN ONLY TO GET THIS ENDING!!!

    well… not really, but this is what i was looking for

    yes, is a happy ending, and not a meaninful ending like the true ending.

    i prefeer to the true ending, but i like this one, is not like I can only open one door, and this is the nature of FSN

    what i really want to see animated is shirou’s future from Fate and its Final epilogue


      Same here. This was what I played for. Obviously some people did not like it, but to see these characters all come through this together… for me that is the entire reason the story exists.

  13. Its a faithful adaption of the Good Ending so of course it sucks. It pretty much implies that they will have happy threesomes in a joking manner then end credits. In contrast the True End was heavily expanded Epilogue with a Time Skip

    As for this whole debate on the better ending, I personally dislike the the idea that True End is inferior just because Saber bites it. That just trivializes what she has gone through. In her last moments, Saber has basically reached her catharsis and and goes out satisfied and ready to face her real death. Essentially Saber reaches the end of her arc the same way in the Fate Route, without that horrible, sexist, character-derailing romance with Shirou. That’s a good end for her too and is far more natural that implied threesomes. Granted that sounds hot but still not better than the True End.

    1. Is it really that hard to believe that Shirou and Rin still end up together and Saber just stays by their side, the same as she had since the beginning?

      With all respect, you’re the one talking about how other people trivialize the True End by virtue of Saber’s death, but at the same time it would seem that you’re also trivializing the Good End by virtue of her survival. Then you go off on a weird tangent talking about implied threesomes, which to me, with all respect, comes across as your attempt to further delegitimize this ending, which I don’t think is fair at all.

      Ryan Ashfyre
      1. What virtue are you talking about?

        That is EXACTLY what the ending implies. The Good End is practically a joke end made for a goofy Omake Chapter. All it it says is is the Saber is alive then Rin gets these weird tangent about needing Shirous “help” to maintain Saber. How funny. Will it address Saber’s new life of being consonantly at risk unless her masters bone a lot more? Nope, Saber is alive we will just make a joke about it. There is nothing profound about it. Any other meaning you want to implement comes entirely from headcanon.

        The thing is Prisma Illya did address this with Kuro, though that was scene was cut out of the anime. During one of their make out sessions Illya wonders what kind of life Kuro would have that seeming normal but is entirely dependent as long as she can constantly transfer mana to her. And Prisma Illya is supposed to be a light-hearted take on the Magical Girl Genre!

      2. @fragb85: First of all, I personally wouldn’t consider it a deal breaker even if Shirou agreed to have sex with Rin to supply her with additional mana. By all rights they’re already a couple, so what’s the big deal?

        Secondly, we don’t even know if that is the case. Sure that’s what happened in the original VN, but the anime could go any which way it wanted to, just like they did when Rin opened up a link to Shirou so he would be able to use UBW against Gilgamesh.

        Hell, if that’s the worst thing this series ever did, it’s done a pretty bang up job (ahahaha, bad puns are fun. XD).

        Ryan Ashfyre
  14. It’s the only route in the entire Fate/Stay Night series where Saber gets a happy future for herself, I’ll take it. It might be fanservice, it might be useless, but the fact that there is at least one continuity where Saber’s final fate isn’t to die is comforting.

    Also OT3 is the best ship.

    1. Sure, we can do that. We’ll make it like another episode of Carnival Phantasm where Shinji gets all high and mighty after winning the war, getting into all sorts of hilarious hijinks and the like before everyone finally gets sick of him and ends up staging an over-the-top, big scale revolt.

      Hilarity ensues before Shinji finally wakes up and realizes it was all just a dream. Zouken knocks at the door and tells him to get ready for the Holy Grail War, but Shinji tells him it’s too much of a hassle and we fade to black, end of episode.

      Ryan Ashfyre
    2. Zouken: Shinji get in the Damn Robot Grail War!!!
      Shinji: I can’t win this! I’m gonna die! I must run Away!!!

      Hence Team up with Shiro… and Issei for the Triple Delta Route

  15. Gad Damn It, wasn’t informed by this and thanks Passerby for the great coverage. Based on the way you write its like you also loved it (tsun-tsun-tsun) :))))))

    Also would you when would be the release for Heaven’s Feel, i can’t stop the nnnnggg~~!!! feelings

  16. Here’s my thing: Good ending or bad ending aside, that doesn’t stop Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works from being bad in general. The series wallows in exposition and hopes that its gorgeous visuals will distract you from the simplistic and emotionally hollow story-telling of a character who never changes or evolves as a result of the story and other characters who were interesting at first but ultimately get ignored or side-lined on the aggravatingly boring protagonist. I tolerated Shiro in the original series, but he is insufferable here. This ending does not really change my perspective on the series as a whole. Neither of the endings changed the fact that the story as a whole is hollow, pointless, and dragged out to a quite frankly ABSURD degree. If I had to choose, I’d say I might prefer the other ending if only because it fits in more with the general awfulness of the series’s storytelling. I guess the only good Type Moon thing is till Garden of the Sinners. Oh well.

    Birdy The Critic
      1. For starters? Have Rin actively acknowledge that Shirou is crazy and attempt to course correct him from a path of debilitating loneliness and empty selflessness. The whole arc of his character is that by choosing to save everyone, he refuses to make a choice, but by choosing to save people from other people, he’s already making choices. Having him acknowledge that he himself is choosing who’s worth saving and who isn’t would do a lot to undercut the almost galling level of self-sacrificing stupidity. Both endings acknowledge that Shirou’s ideas are bad but do nothing with it. Also, in general, the series has a bad tendency to kill its pacing dead by constantly stopping fight scenes and action for giant reams of exposition that are either unnecessary or repetitive. Also, for how long this series is, you’d think someone outside of Shirou would get at least SOME development and I would prefer it if significant villains and heroes were not just brought up and then tossed aside to focus on the dead horse of a storyline that is Shiro and Archer. Also, the Shiro-Archer fight SHOULD NOT have been 3 episodes long. The fact that such an ultimately unsatisfying fight took 3 episodes is proof that UBW’s biggest problems are poor pacing due to excessive exposition and a story with too narrow a focus on easily the most boring character in the entire Fate franchise.

        Birdy The Critic
      2. >] “For starters? Have Rin actively acknowledge that Shirou is crazy and attempt to course correct him from a path of debilitating loneliness and empty selflessness.”

        First of all, Shirou has already resolved himself to the path he’s chosen, so Rin trying to force him onto another would be denying the entire point of the series. She knows that, hence why the best she can do is to see that Shirou can see himself as important as he does others.

        >] “The whole arc of his character is that by choosing to save everyone, he refuses to make a choice, but by choosing to save people from other people, he’s already making choices.

        Humans are a mess of contradictions, and Shirou is a prime example taken to the extreme, tet it’s not as though he’s ignorant of this. He knows that his dream can never be fulfilled, but the dream itself isn’t a mistake in and of itself, so it’s worth pursuing to the very ends of his existence if it helps even one person. That’s the answer to his ideal as far as I understand it.

        Whether or not you acknowledge that is completely on you. I’m not entirely sure I do to be honest, but there’s a certain unwavering conviction in it that I can respect.

        >] “Both endings acknowledge that Shirou’s ideas are bad but do nothing with it.

        I think the term “bad” is too simplistic in this particular case. Unachievable, to be sure, but the idea of wanting there to be a world where no one has to suffer needlessly is certainly admirable. It’s just not workable in reality and with humans whose existence is sustained in no small measure by continuous pains and suffering.

        Secondly, it’s just not correct to say that they did nothing with it. At the beginning, Shirou just kept plowing forward with his ideal without ever truly coming to grips with the harsh reality that would’ve inevitably had him end up where Archer did. It was only by confronting that reality and yet still choosing to move forward that, IMHO, he did save himself.

        I may be wrong, and please tell me if I am, but when you say that they did nothing with it, I think what you really mean is that Shirou never abandoned ideals that, of course, were impossible to begin with. I don’t agree with that at all.

        All that aside, as for matters of pacing and the like, I happen to agree with you that a lot of things were stretched out well beyond what they needed to, but that’s all water under the bridge now. All in all, it was a good series; falling somewhat short of the VN experience, but still enjoyable.

        Ryan Ashfyre
      3. I see a lot of your points and I don’t think you’re wrong, but I feel like the story soured on me because of how bored I was in the second half. It had nothing left to say after episode 12, and it kept repeating what it was saying incessantly. Also, what kept me from feeling bored in the first half a lot of the time was how gloriously animated and choreographed the fight scenes were, but even the fight scenes were underwhelming in the second half and what enjoyment I could have gotten from them was often drowned out by exposition and repetition of its themes. I haven’t read the VN, but this adaptation badly suffers from not following the “Show, don’t tell rule.” I really could be a lot more positive about this series if the story was better told and didn’t so exclusively focus on the series’s most boring character for so much of it. Or maybe just cut out several episodes. That could also help.

        Birdy The Critic
  17. I love this ending because I’m a sap who believe these guys deserve a happy ending. Also, Harem ending is the best kind of ending, and Rin’s harem is the best kind of harem

  18. I like having multiple endings to an anime -espcially if it was a multiple ending series that spawned it -also i like this one as saber doesnt just (spoiler) die at the end -she isn’t dead yet she is technically displaced in time -and i like to see people who had the shit kicked out of them in life get a second chance at it ——-Also in the game you should know that rin mentions that she would need shiro’s help maintaining saber -with mana or she would disappear -and transfering mana is well —sex —-basiclly meaning the 3 of them would be having a lot of sex together -i just laugh so much because rin just wouldn’t spit it out

  19. i also agree that true ending is a way better ending. (It concludes the story much better, a much better resolution) I guess I should just consider this a bonus. Im surprised that they did this alternative ending from the game. (I guess they were true to the material to the core, which is a good thing)

  20. I have nothing against happy endings as long as…
    1.earn your happy end trope is enforced – prime example Higurashi no naku koro ni – those kiids definitely earned their happy end
    2.not everyone makes it – in any setting where there is fighting involved, casualties are unavoidable…
    so I think the UBW ending was actually “realistic happy ending” while this one is quite pushing the limits…


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *