Ufotable has set the bar for their anime based on Type-Moon proprieties pretty high. The Fate/Stay Night anime from Studio Deen is more of a punchline than anything else. It was not an utter train wreck but it is also a super simple task to pick apart all the places where it misstepped as an adaptation. You cannot even be that generous when it comes to the Tsukihime anime from J.C.Staff. It was such a bad version it has become a meme. The Kara no Kyoukai movies were a breath of fresh air that saved a fandom that was convinced that their favorite titles would never get a good anime. Fate/Zero and the Unlimited Blade Works TV series showed that Ufotable was able to replicate the miracle. The TV series was not fully OVA quality but considering Ufotable was putting out an episode a week it was close to miraculous. Also, it was a good conversion of the story to an animated medium. When Fate/Apocrypha was given to A-1 Pictures people were disappointed as the anime was nowhere near the quality they had come accustom to. It was far better than the bad adaptations but it was nowhere near the brilliant shine of anything by Ufotable.
So then Ufotable said their next big Fate project was going to be Heaven’s Feel. It was the last of the three paths of Fate/Stay Night and the only part what had never been animated. As the darkest path, there was always debate if anyone could animate the story without major cuts. It is the path where the sex is heavily integrated with the story and the violence is a bit more horrific. Now there is the Réalta Nua version for the PS2 that takes out all the adult content which could be used as a template but there is a segment of the fandom that considered that the neutered version.
So when Ufotable said they were going to make Heaven’s Feel three movies and not a full TV series the opinions were all over the map. There were the Ufotable faithful who felt they had enough successes under their belts that it was not worth worrying about. There was the once burned, twice shy gang who are always suspicious and the story being compressed into three movies got them very worried. Most other fans were a little surprised but cautiously optimistic. So began the wait to see who was right.
I had hoped that Anime NYC would get the premiere of the Heaven’s Feel movie but they had enough exclusive material that I understood that not being one of their jewels in their crown. I was lucky enough that living in NYC allowed me to see the movie in back in November. It was time to see if Ufotable could work its usual magic or if Zouken’s 500 Years Dedication would strike the final path of Fate/Stay Night.