Anime Club: Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works

FATE/STAY NIGHT: UNLIMITED BLADE WORKS

CREATED BY: Takahiro Miura

NO. OF EPISODES: 26 Episodes

GENRE: Action, Urban Fantasy

YEAR: 2014-15

COUNTRY: Japan

Fuyuki City is the setting for a secret and violent war among competing magi. For the past two centuries, seven sorcerers have gathered and engage in a battle royale known as the Holy Grail War, each gambling his or her own life to obtain the Holy Grail, a legendary chalice capable of granting wishes. The past four Holy Grail Wars have typically occurred every fifty years or so. However, the fifth war has started prematurely, with the most recent concluding less than a decade ago.

The seven sorcerers, known as Masters, are aided by seven beings known as Servants, reincarnations of legendary heroes from all times. These resurrected souls possess superhuman characteristics and wield powerful artifacts or abilities called Noble Phantasms, symbols of their heroism during life. Only one Servant can be summoned in each war from one of seven classes: Saber, Archer, Lancer, Berserker, Rider, Assassin, and Caster, each representing their distinctive role in battle. The Servants are summoned by the power of the Grail itself and aid their Masters in doing battle, protecting them from harm and killing other Servants or Masters. In return for their aid, the Servants also seek their own wish from the Holy Grail, should their Master become victorious.

The silence of an empty battlefield.

Alright, so after much pestering from colleagues and commenters, we can finally say the we put yet another Fate/Stay Night series under my belt. Unlimited Blade Works is a beautiful piece of animation in design, while not holding back on any single frame and it has fine craftsmanship down to.the finest detail. As for the English dub, it wasn’t actually half bad. We would like to applaud the voice acting cast, as the actually invoked life into the main characters. That has always been a problem for me with the Fate/Stay series as a whole.

Our only problem with Unlimited Blade Works is that it felt very much like a formula. We see two of the characters team up to take down the big evil antagonist, eventually developing a relationship. This was the same formula we saw in Fate/Zero, as the main party teams up to defeat the Caster servant in both iterations. While Fate/Zero had a much more gruesome and over the top battle than Unlimited Blade Works, the creators made sure they stuck to their formula.

PROS:

  • Beautiful animation.
  • Solid English dub cast.
  • Historical fiction = Entertainment

CONS:

  • Follows the Fate/Stay formula.
  • Drawn out too long.

SCORE: 7.5 / 10

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