Well, the journey has come to an end with the epilogue.
To be honest, I’m a sucker for these types of endings. I love seeing time skips and seeing how the characters ended up after the events of a series. Rin and Shirou continue with their relationship now that the war has ended and headed off to London to continue progressing as a magician.
While the holy grail war was a huge event for them, the world is just a massive place. Shirou especially had no idea about the world outside of his little city in Japan and how insignificant he can be. Traveling the world, he’s able to get a better perspective on things. He wanted to be a hero of justice, but the world is such a vast place. He is only one man and would have to continue to learn more about the world if he wants to make his ideal a reality.
We also get to see some of Rin’s life after the war. She has softened up a lot and found her resolve with Shirou. While she wasn’t able to save Archer, she realized that she could be there for Shirou and help him remember to stay true to his goal. She was too late to save Archer from going down that path, but she can ensure that Shirou never has to feel the same way.
It was also nice to see how all of the characters ended up after the war had calmed down. Sakura continues to be kind to everyone and seems to have a better relationship with her brother. Shinji isn’t as abusive towards Sakura and seems to have toned down his behavior towards her. Everyone else continues on with their normal lives now that all of the chaos has passed by, and it seems like a happy ending for the city.
We also got to see how these other characters in the Fate and Naruverse sort of tie into the series. Luvia and Waver both make an appearance, which I’m certain most fans of the franchise are thrilled to see. Both Waver and Shirou shared some similarities. Neither of them came from necessarily well known mage lineage, but somehow got caught up in the holy grail war. They both had something to prove, and by the end of the war, they found something that they wanted to do with their lives.
At the end, it seems like Shirou will still continue to follow his fate. He will continue to fight never ending battles in pursuit of creating a world where no one has to be hurt. The only thing that has changed for him is the fact that he will continue doing it without regrets. He knows its a flawed ideal, but he has dedicated his life to fight for what he believes in. While he may never reach the end, it’s a worthy dream to live for.
You can watch Fate Stay Night UBW Episode 25 on Crunchyroll
Fate Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works Review
Now that the series has finished, I thought I’d share some quick thoughts on the series as a whole. Overall, I enjoyed the series, and would probably consider it one of my favorites for both seasons in which it aired.
I think Fate Stay Night has difficulties with character development. Don’t get me wrong, I feel that Rin and Shirou had some good development this season, but the rest of the cast was kind of lacking. We learned the backstory of most of the other servants and masters the same episode in which they’re killed off. For people who aren’t acquainted with the series, I can understand if they feel indifferent to these characters’ deaths since they hardly knew them and in their final moments, had a bunch of info shoved down their throat. It’s hard to process all of that information and connect with the characters when all of it happens so quickly.
I can’t really blame the anime for this though since Fate Stay Night is based on a visual novel with multiple routes. Within each route, they focus on a different set of characters, and one would have to play all the routes to get the full picture. For example, Sakura is considered a major character in Fate, but she was only seen at the start, and at the end of the series. There were a lot of smaller details and hints dropped throughout the series, but it’d be hard to connect them and see the significance without being familiar with the entire series or watching Fate Zero.
They did do a decent job on expanding on Saber’s character though. Most of her focus is on the original route, but they still made an effort to draw connections between Fate Zero and here. She also finally gets some peace and closure in this route, even if she doesn’t stay until the end.
I thought for the most part, the story was well paced. We pretty much alternated between high action episodes, and then slower, more drawn out episodes to set up for the next battle. I guess at times it did feel a bit shounen-ey (in it’s defense, it is a shounen series) where Shirou would stupidly run into a battle where he should be killed, but since he’s the main character, someone is always covering for him.
There were plenty of plot twists, but I’m not sure what others thought of it. I mean, for the first half of the series, they set up Caster to be the main threat, then all of a sudden Kirei shows his true colors. We spent quite a bit of time getting to understand the type of person she was, only for a guy that has been working in the shadows to be the true villain. Shortly after, he’s killed and the final boss is none other than Gilgamesh, who again hasn’t been that involved until the latter half of the series.
I hate to compare series, but one of the things I enjoyed about Fate Zero is that both Kirei and Kiritsugu were involved in the story for the entire series. We were able to see their thoughts and philosophy on the war and how they differed all the way up until their eventual clash. Here, it felt like the story focuses primarily on Shirou and Archers’ internal struggles and the rest of the story came second to that.
Animation and Sound
Probably the highlight of the series for me. Ufotable has never disappointed me with their gorgeous and smooth animation and incredible soundtrack. To be fair, most of the music came from the original game anyways, but still enhanced the series nonetheless.
Overall, I feel like the series was what I expected it to be. I enjoyed it, and some scenes in particular (the final battle) exceeded my expectations. The epilogue was a nice addition to the series as well, to set up for future series as well as provide some closure on the story. I look forward to Heaven’s Feel once that’s released so that we can revisit the world of Fate and see the untold story!