Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #011 – The Silly Faces of Taiga Fujimura

hisui_icon_4040 It was an inevitability. I have only recently become aware of it but someone finally made a “The Faces of Rin Tohsaka” Tumblr. She is just giving the audience far too much gold this season. This episode alone should keep the Rin fans busy until the next season comes along. And the next episode is an hour-long but since it will mostly be fighting they had to knock out as many silly Rin faces as they could.

I do have to wonder what sort of Tumblr would have formed around Sakura had Heaven’s Feel been made into a TV series as opposed to a movie. “The Infinite Sadness of Sakura” Tumblr? Maybe even something even worse considering the less than egalitarian feelings focused on her? Maybe it is for the best that Heaven’s Feel will only be theatrical.

I like to call this picture “Fujoshi Saber has Shiro and Archer act out her latest fan fiction.”

The ambush on Souichirou Kuzuki succeed in its initial goal but overall would hardly be considered a victory. So Rin, Saber, and Shiro have to sit down and formulate a strategy as they must face Caster in her own lair. At the same time Shiro’s body has not been doing well ever since he did projection magic for the first time. Is this a bit of magical soreness or the sign of a more damaging affliction?

The episode is also trying to be the Many Silly Faces of Taiga Fujimura as it seems to think that someone needs to give Rin Tohsaka a run for her money.

Rin easily wins this episode.

While Shiro is concerned about Saber he should realize that while she looks fine he still appears to be like something that cat dragged in. And as it turns out while Saber is fine Shiro’s arm has totally been thrown off as his magic circuits have been fried. But he seems to be a bit too manly/stiff upper lipped to mention this to anyone. You silly fool. It is clear from his day at school and his time at home that something is wrong but he must just think he can walk it off.

It is just more proof that Shiro thinks of other before he thinks of himself but in a way that only ends up hurting others as well. If he mentioned his pains to Rin she might have easily done for him what Archer did. Since he does not want to inconvenience Saber or Rin he says nothing. If they went to Ryuudou Temple like this he would be at best only fighting at half strength. Also if anything went down at school again he would be at a severe disadvantage.

It seems that Rin was absolutely correct. Once Catser’s Master was revealed she would make sure that he never left the temple. Despite the fact that all of his students are shocked that Kuzuki would be out it is clear that he can no longer show up at school while the Holy Grail War is ongoing.

Also I had to laugh seeing how uncomfortable Issei is with Rin waiting for Shiro in the student council office. It is clear that he does not want her there but also knows there is no way he can chase her out. For her part Rin clearly has no fucks to give.

Shiro on the other hand seems to run home. I think part of his whole reluctance with seeing Rin is not wanting to have her see that he is injured. But that is no matter because she makes a full frontal assault at his house. Much like Issei while Shiro maybe be uncomfortable Rin is still out of fucks to give and she won’t be getting a new supply in until later in the week. Slightly righteous indignation on the other hand, she has lots of that. There are plans to be made and the longer they wait the more time Caster has to consolidate her power.

The best part of this little lunch time meeting had to be the Rin and Saber alliance. It is clear to Shiro that once those two were on the same page anything he said in protest was essentially meaningless.

As much as people like to throw the tsundere label at Rin you have to say that Shiro is quite tsun-tsun and dere-dere this episode. With all of his sitting away from Rin, blushing, and denying he likes Tohsaka he feels quite a bit like he is a certain palmtop tiger. All he does not say is, “I did not make his hot-pot so you would like it, Rin.”

Oh that poor cornered Tiger. You don’t know who you are up against. When Rin is prepared and on the offensive she is invincible. Just eat your hot-pot and don’t ask too many questions.

Oddly enough up until this point most of Shiro’s bonding moments have been with Saber so this is a nice time to get to know the actual heroine of this arc.

The way the bounded fields are set up around their houses speaks volumes about how they were raised and how they turned out. The metaphors here are quite explicitly laid out but it is worth noting that while the barrier around Rin’s house started as her father’s ward it has become her’s over the years. She voluntarily made it hers. Shiro’s is merely an inherited spirit. It maybe Shiro’s house now but the magic is still Kiritsugu’s. Still another aspect of his father he merely borrowed without a full understanding. He can do the maintenance but cannot replicate the soul of the effect.

I think my favorite part of this scene is probably Rin showing that as much as she might have a little envy for Shiro’s home life she is quite comfortable being herself. She loves being a mage and her lifestyle. She realizes it has problems and that there were advantages to the freedoms that Shiro had but in the end she still turned out OK. It really gives Rin an empowered feeling when we see how comfortable she is in her own skin. She has a love for learning and studying magic, a self motivated desire to improve herself, and a positive attitude about responsibly being a hedonist. She is her own woman and it feels good.

I think this scene is also very good at explaining how Rin is different from Saber and Sakura. While Saber and Saber are very supportive Rin is a challenger. She expects everyone around her to be growing as much as she is. They don’t have to progress at the same rate but they should be constantly striving to move forward. That is what first attracted her to Shiro in the first place. She wants him to grow and she know the only way he will do that is if he starts to think about himself a little bit.

Also Rin’s little comment about Shiro and Archer being so damn similar is perfectly subtle. The anime has been ping ponging between making it super obvious and slyly inserted. In this case it is a nice medium between the two extremes.

To tell you the truth I don’t remember what her surprise for Shiro is. Part of me wants to think it is her Chinese cooking. That is a powerful trump card. But resist telling me what it is in the comments. I want to be surprised next week.

I have said it before and I will say it again, Saber really has to wonder if she is not just thinking of another Kiritsugu Emiya whenever anyone in the house talks about him. The difference between the man in Shiro’s stories and the man she knew are the difference between night and day.

While Rin is good at noticing the problems in Shiro’s soul it seems that Saber is good at spotting the problems with his body. But before they can have a longer conversation Archer steps in with some advice. Oddly specific advice. Advice that makes it seem like he has had personal experience with such an affliction. Also he has a remarkably precise solution as well. It is so convenient that Saber is more than a little suspicious herself. You know if the cast listened to Saber’s suspicions more often they would save themselves a LOT of trouble.

But the most important thing here that Shiro is missing is the advice that Archer is giving him. It does not help that Archer is being belligerent and sarcastic at the same time but his advice is simple, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” He can have all the high ideals he wants but if he has not thought them through then they are a liability for himself and others. Shiro merely hears him disparage his way of living in favor of Archer’s more cynical world view. But it is clear at this point in time Shiro is not in a position where he can do that sort of self-examination and so they will continue to be at odds.

But it is clear that Archer still has some faith that Shiro could change. Otherwise why would he fix Shiro’s malfunctioning magic circuits?

There were not enough Saber pictures in this post so here is a very important bonus image.

I’m fairly certain I know where the next episode is going to end so it should be interesting to see what people’s reactions are going to be especially if they are new to the story. It is not exactly Red Wedding territory but it is certainly more of a “YOUR GOING TO END THERE?” point than Fate/Zero’s mid-season break. It is one thing to have Saber running over the water to fight an unruly plate of calamari but this is another. The Unlimited Blade Works stopping point is a bit more Empire Strikes Back ending.

If nothing else you will soon learn about the origin of Saber Lily and lots of Caster jokes.

– Alain

Previous Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works posts:

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #010 – The Bushwhackers
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #009 – The Issei Strip Mahjong Game
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #008 – There’s a Shortage of Perfect Breasts in this World
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #007 – Curse Your Sudden but Inevitable Betrayal!
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #006 – Shiro the Puppet
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #005 – The Silly Faces of Rin Tohsaka
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #004 – A Good Neighborhood Tiger
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #003 – Spoilers: Archer Uses a Bow
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #002 – Emiya Visits the Rip-Off Church
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #001 – People Almost Forgot Shiro is the Hero
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #000 – Archer the Combat Butler

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2 thoughts on “Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #011 – The Silly Faces of Taiga Fujimura

    • Kong Robber says:

      I’m your biggest fan Mr. Rinface!

      Looking forward to next week’s episode very much so- and, perhaps even more so, people’s reactions who are new to the series, and the writeup on this blog of course!

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