I have fallen into the Fate/ series hole, and I don’t see myself coming out any time soon. As you may recall, I reviewed Fate/Zero here and I loved it. I just finished one of the follow ups, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, and it was a pretty good continuation of the world.
There are technically three follow up series to Fate/Zero that focus all on almost the same story. The Fate/Stay Night original visual novelization had three different tracks to choose from with three different stories. Type Moon, the company making the animes, adapted all three storylines into three different animes. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works is the second of the three. Fate/Stay Night is the first, and I have yet to see that one. Fate/Stay Night Heaven’s Feel is the third, and is being released in theaters as a movie that I’m trying to figure out how to see.
The elements of each story that are the same is that they follow Shirou Emiya, adopted son of Kiritsugu Emiya from Fate/Zero. Shirou was the only survivor of the Holy Grail War in Fuyuki City, and Kiritsugu made sure he would be protected and trained as a mage. Ten years later, Kiritsugu is dead and Shirou is trying to be a helpful normal teenager. His desire is to be a hero of justice, just like his father wanted to be, and that desire draws him into the next Holy Grail War. He unwittingly summons Saber, the most powerful Servant, and he learns what it means to truly be a Hero of Justice.
In UBW, the one I just finished, Shirou makes a pact with Rin Tohsaka and her Servant Archer. Archer has no memories of who he is or why he is a Servant. The four of them work together to protect the city, while all the time knowing that they would eventually have to fight to have one winner of the Holy Grail War.
Overall, I enjoyed UBW. I still love Zero more, I think that Zero has the stronger story and stronger characters. With Zero, viewers got to know every Servant and Master. In UBW, Rider was never given a chance to do anything. She was in one episode, cast one spell, and then died. She never even spoke. And it felt like some of the other Masters were simply glossed over.
I did enjoy UBW, don’t get me wrong. I loved Saber as ever, and I’m even planning a cosplay of her. Archer was instantly one of my favorites throughout the whole series. His design was gorgeous and his character was fascinating. And I loved Rin and Shirou teaming up together and protecting their loved ones. I especially loved the connections that were shown and made to Zero.
I’m hoping to find a way to watch the original Fate/Stay Night, while also making plans to go see Heaven’s Feel. I want to see how all three storylines play out similarly or differently. But for now, UBW is definitely my second favorite in the Fate/ world.
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