The series has officially begun now! While it’s technically the same events as the prologue, I was surprised at how little they reused scenes. Leave it to ufotable to go that extra mile and produce new content for us! I won’t go too far into details for this week, since I already did a write up for the prologue (and both cover the same events).
Seeing Shirou’s life was quite the contrast to Rin’s life in the prologue. Neither of them have a family, but Shirou’s household is a lot livelier. He lives with not only his teacher, but his cute underclassman visits him on a daily basis to cook and clean. I guess you could say he’s living every young boy’s dream!
So far, Shirou seems like your typical shounen protagonist. He has a strong sense of justice, and wants to protect/save everyone. Because of this, people are often walking all over him. He takes on tasks and helps out wherever he can, just for the sake of doing a good deed. His way of living varies greatly from Kiritsugu’s (which I won’t get too into for you non-Fate/Zero watchers). Shirou wants to be a superhero who can save anyone with no repercussions. Kiritsugu has a more realistic view on things. There’s always a give and a take. It’s impossible to save everyone since there are opportunity costs involved when you devote your time.
Sakura clearly has some feelings towards Shirou. Perhaps she’s drawn by his ideals, and is hoping he can be her savior. From what we already know, Shinji is not the friendliest big brother. It’s likely that he’s a tyrant at home, and causes Sakura a lot of suffering. I’m guessing that she enjoys helping Shirou since it gives her an opportunity to be in a normal household.
While we’re on the topic of discussing characters, let’s talk about Shinji. I’m baffled as to how he’s popular with his underclassmen. Every non-side character can see that he’s a massive jerk. He acts like a spoiled kid who gets what he wants, yet people still want to hang around him. Unfortunately for Shirou, he can’t say no to anyone, even if they’re a massive jerk. He still treats Shinji as he would treat anyone else.
The second half of the episode focuses more on the story, and less on introducing the characters. Shirou’s kindness gets him into a real pickle. Being unable to stand up to Shinji, he ends up staying late at the school cleaning up. A simple case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time seals his fate. While part of his involvement may have been coincidence, I’d say that it was also his destiny. Earlier on, the command seals had started to form prior to the encounter. He was destined to be a master the moment he was taken in my Kiritsugu.
The objective of the Holy Grail War is to defeat all the other masters, and claim the grail. It’ll be difficult for Shirou to take part since he’s all about saving everyone. This will be even harder now that he learns about Rin’s involvement. If he wants to win and reach his goal, he’d have to defeat and cause harm to those around him.
Overall, I enjoyed the episode once again. The animation was beautiful, and we did learn a fair bit about the characters. My only issue with the episode, is that it felt a little bit jumpy at times. I guess you can’t blame them since it’s retelling the events of the prologue, but as a stand alone, it could get confusing. It looks like we’ll get the full rundown next episode since they’ll be visiting Kirei.
Another concern I had, is how they’ll be balancing out the comedy with the more serious tone of the war. Fujimura, to me, just feels like a character who only offers comedic relief and to please fans of the “older-sister” trope. I’m also curious how big of a role the other school kids will play. They’re just normal kids who don’t have any knowledge of magic and provide a slice of life feel to the show. I guess we’ll have to see how they balance the two sides as the series progresses.
You can watch Fate Stay Night (2014) Episode 1 on Crunchyroll (available the following week for free users)