Fate / stay night: Unlimited Blade Works – 13

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When UBW’s first season wrapped three months ago, things were in a very bad way, and they only get worse this week, although from one perspective, perhaps it’s best that what happened happened for the sake of moving forward.

That may not quite explain why Saber is in such a suggestive position with the back of her gown hiked up, but that’s a small detail; suffice it to say she’s trying to fight Caster. She’s not yet a full thrall, but she has to fight her own body to resist.

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With Shirou no longer Saber’s Master, and still recovering from his severe wounds, this first episode back is full of doubt and dread, with the feeling that everything is high up in the air…and extremely breakable, so when it all comes down it will shatter. But that hopelessness only goes so far. We know Shirou will make a comeback in some form or another, it’s only a question of where and when.

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That where and when is decidedly not here and now, but Shirou still can’t keep his nose out of Holy Grail business. Which is just as well, as we find out later.

The moment Rin mentioned part of why she was going after Caster now was so that she could restore Saber to Shirou and thus restore their alliance, I knew Archer would have some misgivings about such a plan. What I didn’t expect is that those misgivings would be strong enough for him to straight-up betray Rin and join Caster.

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To be fair, Archer is a super-pragmatic guy who follows strength and goes with the odds, not ideals or hope or emotion. Rin’s motivations stunk of all three. He also warned her several times whether she really wanted to visit Caster, perhaps knowing what he’d do when they did. The fact he’s pieced together the fact she’s the famed, peerless Princess Medea made that choice all the easier.

Still, Archer’s still a billowing billowing dickweed for turning his cloak on Rin, especially in the middle of their battle. Yet, rather than allow Caster to finish Rin and Shirou (who leapt out from the shadows to save her), he makes their survival a condition of him joining her.

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Why the sentimentality all of a sudden? Aren’t the weak useless? Perhaps part of him hopes Rin will come back stronger than ever to wrest him from Caster’s grip…even if he knows she’ll never forgive him for this. Rin, for her part, promises she’ll do just that.

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Now that Rin and Shirou are in the same boat. It looks as if the two could be walking home as if they’d simply stayed at school late doing club activities, rather than walking away from their captive servants; one taken against her will, one who went over willingly. They lost the big game, having come up a bit short, but they’re still alive, and not out of it yet. Shirou insists the best thing to do is to go home, rest, and formulate their next move.

When Rin asks Shirou why he went into that church with that injury, he tells her how her raw emotional wounds must hurt far more than his shoulder, and promises she can whine and gripe about it all she wants when they get home, and he’ll listen gladly; a gesture that moves her to tears.

 

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Later, atop a starlit hill, Shirou confesses why he really saved her life: because he has feelings for her; feelings he’s no longer afraid to report. Having just witnessed such unbridled honesty, Rin dispenses some of her own, thanking him for coming to her rescue, admitting how happy it made her that he saved her.

I for one was delighted that this season wasted no time addressing this couple. Saying such things took a lot of guts for both of them, but considering how much those guts have been punched of late, the time was nigh for the walls to come down and for the truth to come out in the open. It was also a welcome glimmer of hope in a dark sea of doom and gloom.

If they had the strength to be honest about their feelings, it bodes well for them working together to come up with some way to get their servants back.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

6 thoughts on “Fate / stay night: Unlimited Blade Works – 13”

  1. Thank you for the review!

    So, Archer is a man whose ideals were stamped down upon due to repeated trials?

    Clearly Archer is Okabe Rintarou.

    I’m curious, what is your experience with FS/N? A spoilery comment from before made me think you might have at least seen F/Z. Also, will Franklin be reviewing this as well? I see the category is red, not purple.

    1. Nope, this is the only FS/N show I’ve watched. Any spoilers are coincidental!
      I know Franklin is interested in reviewing as well, it’s just a matter of whether he has the time, so we’ll see.

      1. You somehow knew who the blonde guy was tho <>

        Anyway, fun episode. From the perspective of a VN reader it was a tad rushed, but the next series of episodes are basically going to all blow us away, and the pacing is a minor a complaint at best.

        That said, the scene at the end not having a certain OST it had in the VN did rustle some jimmies. Some folks on YouTube added it back in though.

        As a non VN-reader, I’m curious if you think the original way it was done was better or if the lack of OST during the confession was better.

      2. For me, as someone who knows the events of the VN, the pace of this episode was closer to what I was hoping for going into UBW. It was interesting to see people predict where last season would end. Most thought this episode would be the ending for the first half. Others thought it would be the big thing with the one guy and the younger guy (that’s vintage mobster code, right there).

        Maybe, when this is all over, we’ll have half of a season that was a bit too slow and half that was a bit too fast.

  2. First off: Aimer OP FTW!

    Secondly: I am so glad that this show didn’t waste time getting together the power couple of the Anime season. Most shows drag this on forever, but I think now was the right time to make the jump, and they did it well.

    I am not a reader of the VN, but I did watch the previous version of UBW and wonder which one the anime will track. I know this show hasn’t been afraid of deviating from the source material, but somehow it always dovetails back at some point. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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