Tuesday, October 7, 2014

First Impression: Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works

FATE/STAY NIGHT: UNLIMITED BLADE WORKS: Can’t help but compare it to other Fate adaptations

            Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is an anime series by Ufotable premiering October 2014. It tells the second route of the Fate/Stay Night story.

Side Note: Studio Deen has already animated the first route. It has also animated its version of Unlimited Blade Works, so it’s interesting to see how this version will turn out.

            From the get go, it is obvious that this series is under Ufotable. The quality of the animation is top-notch, living up to the studio’s commendable adaptation of Fate/Zero. The character designs, environmental backgrounds, and overall style also bind these two Fate adaptations together. It is obvious that Ufotable wants to separate its adaptations from Studio Deen’s.

            Another common thing between Unlimited Blade Works and Fate/Zero is the slow start. But it seems that the producers somehow learned something from Fate/Zero’s coarse exposition, so Unlimited Blade Works has controlled information-dumping.

            As for the story itself, Ufotable’s Unlimited Blade Works has almost identical plot points compared to Studio Deen’s Fate/Stay Night and Unlimited Blade Works, which is understandable, because they are based on the same source material. In effect, I’m not surprised in the development of events, because I know what’s going to happen next. The predictability could be good, bad, or both. But for those who have not seen Studio Deen’s adaptations, Ufotable’s Unlimited Blade Works Episode 0 could be a blasting start in terms of story. It has good pacing after the exposition. It has also imposed a lot of questions that could hook the newcomers.

            I am particularly eyeing on the characters. The pilot episode has introduced many during its exposition phase, and I’m interested if they are going to be fleshed out like what Ufotable did in Fate/Zero. Tohsaka Rin and Archer are also starting to show depth. Their personalities blend well, resulting to interesting interactions.

            Another thing that could be good, bad, or both, is the music. The soundtracks are reprised versions of Fate/Zero’s. This could be good because they are inherently pleasing to the ears. They convey the emotions well. They give the heroic feel that has given Fate/Zero its epic atmosphere. This could be bad because there could be tendencies where the soundtracks don’t fit the scene. They are originally for a different series after all. Maybe, just maybe, the imported music is Ufotable’s attempt to add continuity to their Fate adaptations.

            Overall, I think Ufotable’s Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is off to a good start. It drastically improves the shortcomings of Studio Deen’s Fate adaptations, and it possesses the traits that has made Ufotable’s Fate/Zero to what it is now. Recommended especially to Fate fans, and those who are not are definitely welcome to join the ride.

            Related posts:
            Anime Review: Fate/Zero


  1. Glad you enjoyed the episode as well. It rather impressed me, and for an episode that is twice as long as the typical episode, it did not feel as though it was drawn out.

    Of the anime this fall season, I have yet to see an opening episode that even comes close to matching Fate/stay night's first episode, and I have seen most of the season's anime.

    Having intentionally avoided Studio Deen's adaptation, the progression of the plot is not exactly what I expected, and that's good. I think that I am going to enjoy the series a lot, providing the plot holds together.

    Ufotable's animation is breathtaking! It completely blew me away. Fate/Zero and Kara no Kyoukai looked amazing, but I have to say that this series even tops their previous work, at least from this first episode.

    Overall, I think we agree that this was a top notch start to the series. I doubt that this will top Fate/Zero, due to the source material though. I also plan to review the first episode this weekend after my summer anime reviews today.


    1. This is actually the first, and so far only, anime pilot this season. But I'm particularly interested in Parasite (I haven't read its manga, but I've heard a lot of good things about it way before) and 7 Deadly Sins (I also heard some stuff about this long ago, but it seems pretty shounen-ish, but I'll see.)

      I hope the amazing animation will be consistent, because like what you said, it really is breathtaking. Ufotable has its distinct way of animating, and it is pretty standard in their previous and current work so far.

      I'll look into your reviews too! Maybe I'll find a short anime that I could binge watch and review, since I haven't reviewed anything in a while.

    2. *This is actually the first, and so far only, anime pilot this season that I've seen.