After a week of build up, we’re ready for the action that Unlimited Budget Works has in store for us! We have Archer and Shirou facing off against Caster, while Assassin keeps Saber occupied.
Despite being a servant of a servant, and seemingly not possessing a noble phantasm, Assassin is able to give Saber a run for her money. He’s able to match her blow for blow, and even catch her off guard. Looking back at what Archer said previously, generally servants have no desire in the grail, and Assassin seems to fit into that statement. He could easily strike Saber and Shirou while they’re vulnerable, but instead chooses his pride as a warrior. He lets them leave so he can do battle with Saber once again.
Caster herself has a wealth of tricks up her sleeve. Not only is she potent in magical abilities, but she has also violated the rules of the war by summoning her own servant. She doesn’t have a great deal of respect for Assassin, and based on her personality, I’d say she’s incredibly manipulative. She doesn’t appear to be too interested in the Holy Grail as well, and is looking towards the future after the war has ended.
While battling with Caster, I have to say that Shirou and Archer were pretty adorable. The two of them are very similar, yet very different at the same time. They both can’t show any gratitude towards each other and resort to petty name calling. On the other hand, their philosophies differ vastly which I’ll get into later.
Archer appears to have his own personal agenda aside from obtaining the grail. He could easily take out Caster, which Rin has been trying to do all this time, yet he lets her go. Rin isn’t here, and she didn’t specifically give him any orders, so he’s choosing to make his own decisions (which don’t align with Rin’s).
Archer’s philosophy is that the end justifies the means. A similar way of thinking as Kiritsugu, as long as the end result is achieved, what happens in the process doesn’t matter. In the end, the Holy Grail War must come to an end, so why not speed up the process by allowing Caster to take out Berserker? By allowing Caster to continue to power up, she will eventually be able to deal with the dreaded Berserker, and then he can take out Caster’s master afterwards. While from a strategic standpoint, Archer has the right idea, but from a moral standpoint, it’s clearly flawed.
With the idea obviously not sitting well with Shirou, the two get into a dispute. Shirou being so set on becoming an ally of justice, and refusing to compromise to obtain the grail leads to Archer’s decision to take his life. From the memories we saw within Rin’s dream, it seems like Archer has suffered a lot in the past, which makes him strongly believe in his utilitarian views.
After all of this, Shirou still can’t find it in himself to bear ill will towards Archer. I mean, the man tried to kill him, yet he tries to rationalize it from his perspective. Instead, Shirou takes this whole experience, and uses it as motivation. Once again, he useless in the battlefield, only proving to be a hindrance. Seeing Servants like Archer and Caster fighting for the grail, he cannot let it fall into either of their hands. In the end, the only way to stop them would be to win the war himself, which is why he needs to become stronger.
You can watch Fate Stay Night (2014) Episode 7 on Crunchyroll (available the following week for free users)