Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works route just ended. Kudos to Ufotable for delivering the animation awesomely.
As most people know, the Fate/Stay series is super popular. Based on visual novels, it follows three different routes. The first route Fate, was animated by Studio Deen in 2006. The same studio adapted Unlimited Blade Works (UBW) into a movie in 2010.
So how does the Deen’s production differ from Ufotable?
I’ll say, by miles.
Ufotable has a big budget and they did not waste it. The animation was done beautifully and it’s a shame if fans did not watch the series in HD.
While Fate/Stay plot is pretty much fixed, Ufotable invested a lot in character development and gave a proper background to most of the characters. It played with the emotion and made you understand more about those who involved with the Holy Grail War.
Ufotable chose to follow UBW True Ending, where Rin and Shirou both went to study magic at Clock Tower in London. And it did not stop there. They explored Rin’s and Shirou’s life after the war, and what decision Shirou had come to.
They also added a nice bit where Rin brought Shirou to visit Saber’s grave (who was the great King of Britain) for him to properly say goodbye to her.
There were also cameo appearances by Waver Velvet who was currently known as Lord El-Melloi II, a great professor at Clock Tower (you need to watch Fate/Zero in order to know who Waver was) as well as Luvia Edelfelt.
The combination of Aimer, Kalafina and Lisa for opening, ending and insert songs. What else do you need?
Whilst this route can be watched as an independent series, I highly recommend to watch Fate/Zero (also produced by Ufotable) prior to this. Why you ask? Fate/Zero unfolded a lot of things you need to know about the Holy Grail. It was set 10 years before the 5th war took place. And since UBW route follows directly after Fate/Zero, there were a lot of references to the previous series, especially stuff related to Emiya Kiritsugu (since he had the most connections with the characters: Emiya Shirou, Saber, Kotomine Kirei, Ilya etc).
However, once you’ve watched Fate/Zero, you’ll find that not all issues were resolved in a single route. Take UBW for example. Ilya died without knowing the truth as to why Kiritsugu abandoned her. The dagger used by Kirei to kill Tohsaka Tokiomi, and was later passed down to Rin did not make it appearances in this route (but it was used by Shirou to kill Kirei in the Fate route. Yeah, talk about karma..). Till the end, Sakura Matou did not know that Rin was her biological sister (but this was revealed in the Heaven’s Feel route).
In conclusion, I’m happy with Ufotable adaptation of UBW. The pacing was great, the story was nicely told, the fight was realistic, and Shirou’s monologue was brilliantly represented. And most of all, it brought out the best of Rin. She is definitely the best girl in this series!
p/s: Heaven’s Feel movie by Ufotable will be released sometimes later. Let’s hope Ufotable maintains its great job ^-^