So at the start of this episode featured the big moment of Gilgamesh ripping out Illya’s heart and it was surprisingly underwhelming. It is true that in context his makes more sense and fits his character better. But it is little disappointing. Strangely this wasn’t how it was in the visual novel and this is a rare moment where the Deen UBW movie is closer to the source than this TV remake. Basically Gilgamesh did first cut Illya’s eyes first rendering her blind but he ripped out her heart while she was still alive. There was a images dedicated to showing him ripping the heart from her chest. Its a moment everyone remembers from the visual novel so to have it absent, even if it was to better the story, is a bit of a downer. Shinji once again shows up to point out that he still is a smug moron but again it comes across as rather funny. Maybe because it’s clear to everyone but Shinji that he’s in way over his head. It’s sort of endearing just how oblivious he is to his own situation. Also helping that everyone is taking the time to knock him down a peg any chance they get.
Thus in front of Illya’s grave do we subtly bring up the core message behind this series…yes that wording was indeed sarcasm. If at this point you do not know that Shirou regards others lives more important than his then I would claim you were either blind or asleep while watching the series. But take note that there are people who want this series to have more of Shirou’s inner monologues from the source and trust me when I say that compared to the visual novel, this is subtile. I am a fate fan and I say we don’t need ten thousand monologues reminding us that Shirou is selfless and suffering from survivor’s guilt. This is a pretty key aspect of the story however as it is an interesting one. To be selfless is an ideal, but to achieve selflessness in it’s truest form is just wrong. The very nature of a hero is built on being selfless and helping those in need but Fate brings up that it’s important to enjoy and do such a thing for yourself. That’s what makes Shirou so broken. He’s selfless but does not enjoy being selfless. He does it out of an obligation and while it’s admirable you can’t help but find it alienating. Many of the servants have pasts related to being alienated or suffering due to their heroics. Saber being betrayed because no one could see her as human, Hercules driven mad against his will to murder his family, and even Lancer was put into the position of unknowingly killing his son. The point is that being a hero isn’t a good way to live a life and that it’s important to value yourself as much as others.
Lancer once again proves that he is a criminally underused character and I am truly glad they choose the option of Shirou letting him join them under one condition. There was another option with Shirou letting him join with no conditions which had both Rin and Lancer lamenting how dense Shirou was to Rin’s affections. Typical harem protagonist nonsense really. So I am glad they avoided that pitfall. I would like to bring up the background art for a moment cause I must say that it’s marvelous. Yes, it is rather redundant to bring up Fate’s ridiculously high production values but its truly amazing the level of detail in these backdrops. On seeing Rin sitting on a bench I can look at the bench and see the grain of the wood with some chips on the edges. The greenery in the surroundings is landscape art piece worthy. From the cracks, clouds to the cobblestones it’s truly awe inspiring just how much work went into parts of the show that most would just glance over. But this to me is what makes Ufotables work stand out as it does and makes it special. Next week looks to be the big reveal based on Rin’s last words of the episode. Of course I highly doubt you do not know what it is at this point. If by some miracle you somehow managed to avoid the couple of hundred fans shouting spoilers at every chance they get, the foreshadowing is so in your face that you likely have a very good idea. Even in the visual novel at this point it was obvious. But lets not forget that we have a big action scene next week with Lancer vs Archer round 2 and that I am most certainly looking forward to.