Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #020 – A New Meme is Born

hisui_icon_4040 Well, it seems clear that Shiro’s infamous line of “People Die If They Are Killed” just might have gained a little brother. I interpreted the line as “Your facts might be correct but the conclusion you reach with those facts can be faulty” but that does not roll off the tongue. I saw someone with a decent grasp of Japanese interpret the line like this. It all comes down to the simple fact that while Shiro agrees that Archer is neither lying nor misrepresenting the facts of his augment he cannot come to the same conclusion as his future alter ego.

I’m hoping what ever the actual line is they clean it up the official release. I feel this is just one of the problems with speed subbing. The official translators don’t have that much time to get these episodes out on time so a few awkward lines are going to pop up here and there.

But it is sort of past the point of simple fixes. It is just destined to be one of those lines that will continually come up in conversations about the writing in anime. Oh well. That is one way for the series to stay a part of the conversation of anime fandom.

Lancer proves that he can do more while dying that most people can do while alive. At the same time Shiro realizes that he has to calm the conflict within himself before he can ever defeat Archer.

Saber mostly stands around and looks shocked most of the episode.

If your going to go out you might as well go like Lancer. He kills Kotomine, saves Rin, and takes out the trash in the form of Shinji. That is an impressive bit of work for most people. It is downright epic for anyone with a magical spear wound to the heart. That A ranked Battle Continuation really comes in handy from time to time. It seems like every time Lancer is down for the count he gets a second wind to do what he needs to do.

I do have to say that they play up the sexual violence a bit too much with Rin in this scene. At this point I think there is little left to say about Shinji. It is clear they are trying to make him despicable as possible. It is cheap but at least it makes sense with his character. The thing that actually got to me the most was Kotomine placing his hand between Rin breasts before he strikes. It would be hard for Kotomine to care less about Rin sexually but that action was purely for the audience more than anything else. It seemed like a poor choice all in all. He was menacing enough as it was. That just added a weird wrinkle to it all.

I did find it very telling about Rin character that she keeps giving Shinji a chance to take an out and run away. She realizes he is a small boy in over his head but his pride and anger won’t let him bow out when normally his cowardice would make him retreat. Sadly he is not wise enough to listen to her.

Proof positive that Shinji is a little prick.

As the fight begins to heat up Shiro gets the peak into Archer’s mind that Rin has been getting all this time. It is one thing for Archer to make all these speeches about how horrible his life turned out. It is another thing for Shiro to experience them first hand. The betrayal involved in Archer’s death and the true horror of the life of a Counter Guardian becomes intensely clear. In many ways it is more effective against Shiro than any fighting technique. Archer does not just want to kill Shiro at this point. He wants Shiro to die knowing that his ideals are all bupkis.

The real question is does Archer want Shiro to admit that he is wrong or is he hoping that Shiro can still justify his life and by extension Archer’s as well. Or maybe both of those are not mutually exclusive desires.

As a side note my roommate really felt that Archer giving that little speech about how some fighters can draw on past (and apparently future) lives to increase their fighting ability really just seemed like an excuse for why Shiro goes from zero to hero is such a short amount of time. I can’t fully disagree with that.

This little heart to heart is a warm moment between these two before the room becomes a very hot place to be. All this scene did was remind me of how much I have always liked Bazett. If only Lancer had been able to properly team up with her the 5th Holy Grail War would have been a very different affair. Alas that was not meant to be.

Also Lancer is wise enough to know that you don’t take half measures with Kotomine. Just because he looks dead does not mean you do not burn that bastard just in case. Caster made that mistake and it cost her dearly.

Look. I’m personally obligated to put a Saber picture into any post that I write if I can. Even if she did spend most of the episode just making faces like the one above.

They really spice up this fight quite a bit. Most of this was just Archer and Shiro monologuing at each other with very little description of the actual fight itself in the visual novel. The back and forth here with Archer doing major blows really made the fight seem all the more visceral. The internal conflict on Shiro’s part and the moral debate is all still there. They just spice it all up with some solid swordplay between the two.

I did notice that while some of the scenes are superbly fluid in this fight there are a few that are much rougher that was has come before it. Hopefully those will be fixed up in the official release.

Another interesting change is the increased emphasis on Kiritsugu’s involvement in shaping Shiro philosophy. It comes up in the visual novel but nowhere near as much. The anime clear has all of Fate/Zero to draw on (and fans of Fate/Zero who want some more resolution) so that they can bring him in more when discussing Shiro’s borrowed ideals. It was a nice touch.

Overall what it comes down to is this is Shiro’s fight against himself. In the Fate path people might have called Shiro an idiot for his beliefs but he never really had to question them. His super idealistic want to be a hero of justice is never really challenged. In this path he comes to the first challenge that requires him to justify his life. He is required to question why he wants to be a hero of justice before he can move forward. Having the glimpse he has gotten shakes his confidence. For the first time he really has to wonder if following in Kiritsugu’s path is really a good idea. It never really worked out for his adopted father.

Or did it? Kiritsugu could never save the world but he was able to save one boy. And that has to be worth something.

With a renewed sense of self-worth and a reforged philosophy Shiro is ready to go head to head with Archer on equal footing. In a way by defeating his self-doubt Shiro has already won.

(Avalon fully activating does not hurt.)

This episode seems to refuse to do two things. 1. Play any long stretch of Emiya. 2. Have Archer say the full Unlimited Blade Works chant. But I suppose they have to save some of that for the next episode.

– Alain

Previous Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works posts:

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #019 – I Didn’t See Aigis or Metis Anywhere
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #018 – I Endorse this Ship

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #017 – Boot to the Head

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #016 – Another Spin

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #015 – When You Dream

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #014 – All in Good Time

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #013 – Break Your Heart

Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #012 – The Empire Strikes Back

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

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


2 thoughts on “Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #020 – A New Meme is Born

  1. animeva says:

    So many people misunderstood this line. What Shirou was actually saying is that just because someone is correct (factually) does not mean that they are right (morally).

  2. John says:

    My immediate impression of seeing some of the cuts to the Saber faces was “well that’s kind of silly and unnecessary.”

    However, don’t you think ufotble’s actually making some subtle effort towards some Saber development? There are a few parts where what Archer says things to Shirou that are actually very applicable to Saber, like here: http://i.imgur.com/psuto8lh.jpg. Combining that with the increased importance for Avalon, and Saber got a more pronounced role than I expected, even while sidelined.

    I hope this gradual leaning on her ultimately culminates in a character resolution not to far removed from Fate’s.

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