As expected, this week we have another action filled episode. Queue the pretty explosions and fast paced fighting. It felt too short despite the episode length being just the same as the others. I often find that with a good episode of anime it makes you lose the concept of time as you watch. Making things seem longer or shorter than it actually is. Though watching a bad anime can also make you feel like it’s taking an eternity. I thought it would be best to just get a minor gripe out of the way first. I felt they used the same camera shots a bit too often during dialogue. The one showing Shirou and Archer talking with a crater in the foreground was shown at least three times in the same conversation. And at times the shounen talk of explaining attacks and motivations was a little intrusive. But as I am sure many would agree, who cares. We got laser beams and collateral destruction all around to admire.
Still it does make this a hard episode to review because what else is there to say besides get some popcorn and enjoy? Though the standout moment here is not the fight scenes but rather the contrast of Archer and Shirou. As Caster said, they are both similar in ways and yet different in approaches. With Shirou having an unrealistic, rather childish approach to an ideal whereas Archers is more cynical, realistic interpretation. The intriguing thing is that Archers approach is remarkably similar to Kiritsugu Emiya’s of Fate/Zero. The ends justify the means, the many over the few, this is quite interesting to see Shirou be faced with the very mentality of his father and outright reject it. Some Shirou haters might be rather delighted with this episode as Archer has pretty much said everything and done everything they wanted to do to Shirou from the beginning. I too find it is rather good to see Shirou’s flawed hero complex logic get a good beating. Actually the dialogue between the two even during the fights was excellent. Some of which denoted down to childish bickering which was amusing to behold.
That said, I found the Assassin vs Saber fight to be more engaging than the caster fight. The presentation of Assassin’s noble phantasm was well shown. Assassin himself proves to be quite the character, having created a noble phantasm simply because he was bored and had nothing else to do. It is rare to have such a great noble phantasm for an Assassin but much like Castor I don’t really see much worth in Assassin. After all taking a Assassin to the holy grail war is like taking a Go-kart to a NASCAR race. It’s just not a very good idea if you intend to win. True there may be exceptions such as Fate/extra’s Assassin or Fate/Apocrypha’s Assassin’s. But in this world of Fate/stay night where every “true” Assassin is the same, you might as well throw in the towel from the get go if you summon one. The after credits scene now looks to see Shirou making a true effort towards getting stronger. Which is expected as Archer has given him a good kick in the right direction both mentally and literally. Next week looks to feature the ever loveable Shinji once again, lets hope he does not bring down what should be a another great episode.