Review: Fate/stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works

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Anime: Fate/stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
Animation Studio: Studio DEEN
Number of Episodes: 1 (movie)
Length per Episode: Approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes.

I’ll keep this part before the bump short because I needed to use two pictures for the title (those jerks). Basically, I won’t explain my future plans and such at the end of this post, I’ll do a new post for it. Also, I’m going to do this review in the same format I did my Index season two preview because I don’t want to spoil all the twists and turns of the movie. Screenshots will not be in chronological order, I’ll randomize them.


Unlimited Blade Works follows the same setup as the TV anime version of Fate/stay Night. There are seven people chosen to be “masters” for seven “heroes.” They duke it out with each other and kill each other’s heroes (and possibly each other, too) to be the last one standing. That person gets access to the Holy Grail, which will grant their wishes.snap5

The difference is that while the TV series mainly followed Shirou and Saber as the main characters, Unlimited Blade Works focuses on Rin and Archer (and Shirou to a degree) as the main characters. It doesn’t have the same events, however. After Shirou learns of the Holy Grail War, the movie goes off and starts doing its own thing for the most part.snap3

This may sound like your typical action show setup, but the movie manages to be very interesting through its execution. Rather than just facing one Master at a time with each successive one being stronger, you’ll get random encounters throughout the story and different Masters’ plots will cross paths more than once.snap6

The story has a lot of twists and turns along the way, keeping you on the edge of your seat. This is mainly due to the movie’s fast pace. Its fast pace is not a negative thing, however. The speed fits the series very well, and everything gets just the right amount of screentime that it deserves.snap4

While the TV series aired a decent amount of time ago and had decent quality animation for its time, its age is starting to show. The Unlimited Blade Works movie manages to pick itself up and brush off the dust. It still retains the same feel/look as the TV series, but the animation is a lot sharper, more detailed, and flows better. However, there are a few moments when the blend of CG and 2D animation causes the scene to look a little awkward, it’s nothing deal-breaking.snap2

This is mainly prominent in the fight scenes, which very obviously have more frames per second. Studio DEEN got a movie-sized budget for this, and they knew very well where to throw most of it. That’s not to say the rest of the animation is bad, but you can easily tell where most of the work went for the movie. There are a lot of fights in the movie, which makes sense because, duh, this is a war.snap8

While the movie is full of action, there are also messages to be taken from it, such as how far you’re willing to go to accomplish your goal, and how being a martyr can actually do more harm than good. The latter is the main focus for the movie, and it handles it pretty well. Obviously, it could be handled better, but for an action movie, it did a great job.snap9

One of the best parts about the movie (besides the action) is actually the dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not massively thought-provoking or philosophical, but it’s very clever. It hardly ever comes off as awkward or forced, all the characters STAY in character, and a lot of clever phrases and such are thrown between characters. It makes the movie more enjoyable, and more immersive.snap10

 

The reason I didn’t explain any of the characters or anything is because of something I should warn you about. I said the movie has a fast pace, and that’s because it expects you to at least have watched the TV series. They skip pretty much any overlapping scenes from these two storylines, so knowing the anime at the least is essential to enjoying the movie to the fullest.

That’s honestly the only problem the movie has, and I don’t even really consider that a problem. Because they did that, they were able to focus on the more important and unique scenes for the Unlimited Blade Works arc.

To sum it up, Unlimited Blade Works was a movie I enjoyed and watched many times already. I’ll probably also watch it many more times. Of course I haven’t read the VN, so I can’t compare it at all, and could be why I enjoyed it so much. For all I know, it could have ‘butchered’ the story. Last I checked, I think VN fans were split on the matter, but I saw more people liking it than disliking it.

Basically, if you watched the Fate/stay Night anime or have read the VN, there’s no reason you shouldn’t watch this movie. Go do so now.

Now, I think it may best to, almost ironically, end this review with the same way the movie started: the Unlimited Blade Works chant.snap11

RATING: 10 out of 10.

 

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