We’re approaching the end of the first cour of Unlimited Blade works. The war is still in it’s early stages and we’ll have to wait for the second half to see everything crumble.
Archer’s past is still shrouded with mystery, but we slowly learn more about his life through Rin’s dreams. He suffered fighting for what he believed in, yet in the end, it seems like he was betrayed. Perhaps this is why he’s so against Shirou’s fighting for his ideals. Having been in a similar position, he knows that it’s naive to believe that this war can end with few casualties.
Love is in the air for young Rin! Ever since teaming up with Shirou, she’s become a lot softer. Archer was originally pleased that he had such a competent master, but the two have been fighting a lot recently. Rin’s decisions have been influenced by Shirou, whom Archer heavily disagrees with. He thought that they were in it to win it, but since teaming up with Shirou, he’s been doubting everything.
With their falling out, the truce seems rather ineffective. We basically have two masters (or one and a half depending on Shirou’s development), and a servant who can’t be used to her full potential. Even with their combined forces, they don’t have much of an advantage over the other duos.
Shirou’s kindness is, once again, both a good quality, and a fault. Upon suspecting Kuzuki, he doesn’t want to jump the gun. He wants to give him the benefit of the doubt, despite so many telling signs pointing towards him. He was even ready to run to his aid after Rin’s attack. Even after confirming his involvement, he wanted to hear him out before deciding their next move.
Shirou approaches Kuzuki with a black and white view. Either he was unaware of Caster’s actions, and is innocent, or he was an accomplice by not stopping her. Kuzuki throws him off by falling between the two choices. He never encouraged Caster’s actions, but he doesn’t care about them either. He wants no part in this war, making it hard to hold him accountable for Caster’s crimes.
Unlike Shirou (at this point), Kuzuki proves to a very capable master. Being able to go toe to toe with servants is no easy feat. His fight made me realize that servants really aren’t a god like being. In fact, they were once mortal like their masters, and therefore it shouldn’t be too surprising that a master has the same strength as their servant.
Under the pressure, Shirou is able to advance his technique. Having studied Archer’s weapons and techniques, he’s able to mimic his weapons now too. With Shirou’s determination to become stronger, he’s becoming more like Archer. Even if he doesn’t see eye to eye with him, Shirou can’t deny his strength and wants to be more like him.
At the end, we see Shinji has reentered the war with Gilgamesh as his servant. Receiving such a special servant has really inflated his already massive ego. He’s excited that he can do whatever he wants with this new servant, but he doesn’t realize what’s actually happening. Kirei seems to have a specific goal in mind and is using Shinji to obtain it. He’s willing to overlook his actions because he knows the type of person Shinji is, and can rely on him to work in his best interest.
You can watch Fate Stay Night (2014) Episode 10 on Crunchyroll (available the following week for free users)