Once again, ufotable does not disappoint when it comes to visuals! There are so many series nowadays that have noticeable dips in animation quality during the season, but ufotable keeps up the amazing consistency. I was completely blown away how smooth and flashy everything was. We’re only three episodes in, and this is probably the most action I’ve seen at the start of a series!
At first I was wondering why Shirou and Rin didn’t attack Illya. All the masters were standing around and analyzing the situation. As Kirei mentioned, that killing the master would be the easiest way to take out the competition. Shirou and Rin both did show that they weren’t a fan of the idea earlier on though, so I figured that was the reason why. Once Rin did start fighting Illya though, it wouldn’t have mattered since that small little girl is monster! She has absolute confidence in her and Berserker’s strength, and easily handles the 2 on 1.
Berserker’s Noble Phantasm compliments the class perfectly. Unlike the other servants, it doesn’t seem like Berserker has the same amount of mental awareness. He’s incredibly strong, but he doesn’t seem capable of thinking for himself. He follows Illya’s orders completely, and seems unable to speak. His ability to regenerate/rebirth allows for him to be as reckless as he wants, which probably makes him hard to read. He can also simply overwhelm his opponents with his brute strength, and not have to worry about his own well being.
In the middle of all of this, Shirou finds himself overwhelmed by everything. He vowed that he would take place in the war in order to protect others, yet there is no way he can match up to the power of the servants. Heck, he can’t even match up to the other masters at this point. From what we’ve seen so far, his only magical ability is reinforcing/tracing objects. He realizes that there is no way he can save others when he can’t even defend himself at the moment.
Archer seemed pretty adept in close range combat when he battled Lancer, but he’s also capable of taking more of a back seat role and support from a distance. Archer wasn’t too fond on having Shirou around. Why have a potential enemy in such close quarters? I’m sure taking out both Shirou and Saber in that blow, along with Berserker, wouldn’t have been the worst thing for him.
At the end, Shirou doesn’t look too well. I’m not sure whether he sustained some damage throughout the battle, or if it’s because of the scene in front of him. The coughing up blood leads me to believe it was an injury, but he did have a traumatic experience in fiery ruins. Perhaps seeing a scene like that may have triggered something in him?
Overall, I thought it was an amazing episode. The level of detail in the fight scene was insane, combined with an awesome soundtrack, made for a beautiful viewing experience. We’re only 3 (or 4 if you count the prologue) episodes in, and there is still plenty of action to be animated!
You can watch Fate Stay Night (2014) Episode 3 on Crunchyroll (available the following week for free users)