I also wanted to call this post “Whisper Sweet German Spell Incantations in My Ear and then Tell Me You Love Me” but I think “Under the Sea” is a bit punchier.
I’m sorry this post was a bit late. A combination of Kate and I covering Special Edition and preparing for AnimeNEXT means that I have had 1,001 things to do. That it turn meant that this post got a bit delayed. That also means that my post for episode 23 is going to get just as delayed. If Special Edition is a middle-distance running race then AnimeNEXT is a long-distance triathlon. Most of this episode is just crystal dolphins so I don’t think anyone desperately needed my analysis but I do regret that my Incarnation post is going to be delayed as well. Hopefully I will be back on schedule after that so everything should be on track for the finale.
The funnest part of this episode was probably the meta comedy around ye olde
fluid mana transfer scene. I think most reasonable people realized we were getting the Réalta Nua version of Shiro getting Rin’s magic circuits. There was this somewhat misguided hope/delusion that we would get Bow Chicka Wow Wow version but that was never meant to be. I think parts of Kara no Kyoukai might have given people the impression that Ufotable might throw in a soap opera sex scene but that was always a false hope. First of all being a TV anime makes that very improbable. Sex sometimes happens in TV anime but it is almost always surprising when it does. Other than Garo: The Animation the last time I can remember something like was the controversial scene in Gundam SEED. Also I think at this point Réalta Nua has become the face of Fate/Stay Night. It is far more accessible which is important because I don’t think they would want to alienate any of the new fans they got from Fate/Zero.
Plus let’s be honest: People actually like to complain about the crystal marine life scene. Much like the CG dragon it lets everyone come together. It lets people complain how corny the original sex scenes are while also letting fans mention how silly the family friendly revisions are.
What do Gilgamesh and Nicolas Cage have in common? They are both Lords of War. While the triumvirate of Rin, Shiro, and Saber is quite formidable it might not be enough to triumph against a Servant with the prototype of almost every treasure known to mankind. On top of that they have a deadline with the imminent arrival of the Holy Grail. Rin might have a solution to their problem but she seems a bit hesitant to put her plan into motion. Can Shiro find out what she is hiding? Will it have sexy results?
It is quite obvious that the crew is a bit worn out. It seems like with every step forward they take one back right after. The loss of Archer and Lancer has canceled out most of the other progress they have made. On top of that they are just plain tired. At the same time Gilgamesh seems well rested and had fortified himself quite nicely. It is hardly the ideal last fight.
Despite all of that the trio is not wholly demoralized. Shiro is still quite optimistic, Saber seems a bit rejuvenated at least in spirit, and Rin is nervous but still strategizing a way to win. They clearly know they just can’t go in with a Shiro plan (aka no plan) so Rin starts the strategy meeting. But before then they must have a meal because Kinoko Nasu comes from the George R. R. Martin school of writing. But like the Game of Thrones TV series we skip the lush description of a meal and go directly to the plot.
As I was writing this I realize each path ends with Rin having to grab everyone and make a plan for the last battle. No mater who the heroine is Rin is always there to make that last plan (even when she is stabbed in the stomach.) You would think that as a king Saber would have done some tactical planning at some point. But without a doubt Rin is the smart one in the group. If you need to win a war you know which cast member you should go to.
Saber really could have used Rin during the Battle of Camlann.
As Archer hinted the best plan of attack is centered around Shiro. If Gilgamesh was a RPG character (which he sort of is) then his players spent all of character creation points on every magical item that he could get his hands on but did not leave that many points in reserve for this stats and skills. Therefore if you can counter his Gate of Babylon you actually stand a decent chance of being able to defeat him. The problem is heroes like Caster, Berserker, and Lancer all have major Achilles’ heels. Most of the time it is not a major problem because most people can’t go to Amazon.com and overnight the Noble Phantasm they need. The problem is Gilgamesh has an Amazon Prime account just for Noble Phantasms. You need someone like Shiro or Archer who can mimic the spam of weapons that the King of Heroes can spray around. They don’t have to be as good as the originals. They just have to last long enough to deflect what they are countering.
Unfortunately from the group it seems that Shiro is still a mostly untrained mage who has only really started coming into his own when it comes to Projection magic thanks to his fight with Archer. Now Shiro’s skill has leveled up considerably but his mana is still as low as ever. If there was only a way for the mana powerhouse that is Rin to give some of that battery power to Shiro. At that point he could pull off Unlimited Blade Works.
They mostly have been doing a good job of keeping Rin’s tsundere levels in check. They have it pop up from time to time but overall they keep Rin in the cool (but slightly devious) smart girl mode and only occasionally have her go into dojikko mode or transforms her into an affectionate spitfire. But in this scene they turn all of her tsundere tendencies up to 11. Her pillow fight slapping at the end might not be full on Louise Francoise le Blanc de la Valliere but she is fairly strong with the tsun side of the force here.
It has been confirmed: The CG crystal sea life is still very silly. It is less awkward than Rin and Shiro sex but only by a few degrees. It is also still less dorky than the old CG dragon. I always feel like there are some real low hanging fruit jokes surrounding these scenes that I have not seen anyone make. Considering the fandom in general I’m guessing it is more that none of them have become popular more than a sense of propriety and civility.
I have to assume we will see this high jump scene again in the Heaven’s Feel movie. It seems that Sakura and Rin both are witness to Shiro repeated attempts to make a near impossible high jump. If nothing else it shows that both women have very similar tastes when push comes to shove. It also makes it clear that Shiro’s crush on Rin has never been one-sided.
Also you think Shiro would recognize himself in Rin’s memory.
It was nice to see a bunch of Fate/Zero flash backs mixed in with Rin’s little memories of puppy love. It further connects Unlimited Blade Works to Fate/Zero as complete story.
I really think Saber is trying to figure out how many death flags she can trigger before the last battle. She does not have a fiancée to marry after the Holy Grail War so she is safe in that respect but other than that everything she says about being at peace with her past screams she is not going to make it. So the real question is if they are going to go with the Good or True ending for Unlimited Blade Works. The question has been on my mind since the beginning but nothing brings that to the forefront like this scene. On one hand Saber’s departure at the end of the bath would add a bit more weight to the ending and Rin and Shiro still do well for themselves. On the other hand they might want to give Saber a more traditionally happy ending since people have followed her since Fate/Zero.
I personally think they are going with the more bittersweet True ending but I would prefer the Good ending. The best scenario would be that they do the True ending for the TV series but release the Good ending with the BD release. I think that would make the most number of people happy. It might be a little too expensive to do but it would make me happy.
Apparently the Grail decided to wrap up Shinji in H. R. Giger’s coffin. They do well to present the wholly inhuman mixture of man and magic with the unfolding of the tainted Grail. It all looks like something you would fight in Bloodborne. I am sure that alone would make Nasu happy considering how much of a fan he is for From Software games.
The story is entering the end game. Other than one little wild card (this is really his only chance to shine) the only thing left is the Golden King and his mad apocalypse. I am really looking forward to so Emiya playing over the last battle.
Previous Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works posts:
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #021 – See the Title of the Post for Episode #1
Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works #020 – A New Meme is Born
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