Posted by AidanAK47 on 11 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

Though the majority of the episode was of the same antics I have been complaining about in previous episodes, it’s nice to see Sidonia get back to what it does best. Dire situations and sci-fi mecha action. Izana being pushed into the role of scouting with a new weapon has to be the best path for her character right now. At the moment her existence is mainly to derail the plot with her crush on Tanikaze but now we finally see her being put to use. Her new mental controls are giving her more value on the battlefield and now has the potential to become more than just Tanikazes Harem member. The scene was tense and while we all knew something was going to go wrong, its still exciting just waiting to see exactly what will. With each fight Gauna are growing more and more dangerous. With Tanikaze and Tsumugi out of the battlefield, this could be Izana’s moment to shine and I am all for it.

One thing that bugged me however was the girl that Izana likely replaced. While Tanikaze was checking out the new weapon, a woman started mocking him. Saying how disposable they were compared to the hero of Sidonia. I had no problem with what the girl said to him as there is truth to it and considering that she was getting sent out on a mission with a high chance of death it’s perfectly understandable for her to lash out to golden boy Tanikaze. My issue with it was her walking away laughing like a witch. I wonder why they felt they needed to add that last detail to make her seem more in the wrong. What she said to Tanikaze wasn’t wrong, it’s true that he wasn’t being sent out to scout because he’s more valuable as a poster boy for the war effort and that they were being sent out because they are more disposable. All things considered, her anger was fairly justified. So why is she laughing like a saturday morning cartoon villain? If that laugh was removed she would be a more realistic and morally grey character. But it’s almost as if they went out of there way to make her obnoxious.

Other than that, it’s very much the same story. The show teases a pairing up of Izana and Tanikaze but honestly I see her chances to be slim. Have all the romantic getaways and fake confessions you like, it will not improve your chances. But Izana is not quite as hopeless as Yuhata. Honestly just for unpredictability I would like it if Tanikaze went for such an unconventional choice as Yuhata. The one who has the highest chances, despite my problems with it on many levels, is Tsumugi. Its crystal clear that she has feelings for him, what with taking a mecha pilot for a hellish joyride after him making fun of her missing her “boyfriend” and Tanikaze seems to harbor a certain fondness for her. Not to mention her connection to his first crush. But unless she gains a more human body I can’t help but look at their relationship with a raised eyebrow. I mean how would you even…I think I do not want to continue that trail of thought. My interest in Tsumugi’s future plot involvement has dissipated just as the conflicts I thought would have higher focus have. But Kunato looks to be creating a new Chimera and that could prove interesting. Next week I hope that Izana can have her moment of badass and finally become something more than Tanikaze’s secondary wife.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 7 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

A fairly uneventful episode this week.In some ways for me that’s good as it allows me to go into detail about the nature of the ever so popular CGI dolpins. But first let’s speak about what happened. Our three heroes had a strategy meeting discussing how to deal with Gilgamesh and the grail while all coming to the agreement that the grail should now be destroyed. Upon figuring out that Shirou is likely the best opponent for Gilgamesh, Rin then creates a link between her and Shirou so that he can make use of her reserves of mana. Saber comes to terms with the answer she gained from Shirou’s battle. And Shinji has turned into a berserker Eva unit. The strategy meeting was pretty much as expected. What I feel was the best part of the episode, though in truth it is a little tacked on to give Saber some closure to her arc, was Sabers conversation. It really was a conversation for the viewers than Shirou as even Saber knows he wouldn’t understand exactly what she is talking about. But seeing her walk around and talking with Shirou with a serene smile really showed that she had come to terms with her past. It was a pretty powerful scene when you think of just what she has been though and should benefit the events to come. The holy grails form has a small change from its visual novel counterpart. Now the mass of flesh has a large human like effigy on top of it that houses shinji who’s not looking his best. Overall I like the change though the Shinji shot was a little unnecessary. But I rather wish it kept the metal design it had before the mass of flesh emerged. I rather liked the look.

Now to the meat of the episode. For a long time now one of the greatest criticisms of Studio Deens Fate/stay night was the decision to replace a scene that was originally a sex scene with this magic circuit transplant that happened to show it using one of the worst examples of CGI in anime, a CGI dragon. The tradition was kept with the movie of this route, where they used terrible CGI dolphins to show Rin linking her mana with Shirou’s. These scenes are mocked to high heaven and when I see someone bashing them I can’t help but find it most amusing. It is to me a perfect example of just how blind a fanboy can be to the flaws of the work. So lets just get this straight, in this scene of the visual novel, Rin and Shirou have sex as it is the condition to set up this magic link. This is something that a lot of visual novels have in common, forced in sex scenes. For some odd reason there is some unwritten rule that visual novels must have sex scenes, even if it’s not suitable. Because of this visual novels tend to have contrived situations to push the characters towards sex near the end of a route. Here’s the important thing. Fate/stay Nights sex scenes are not known to be good. As a matter of fact, sex scenes in any Type Moon visual novel have an infamous reputation for being hilariously awful. There is some explanation saying that Nasu left the sex scenes to a different writer but regardless they have lines that would rival Fifty Shades of Grey in terrible writing. Type Moon even had a competition where they got fans to write the most purposefully terrible and funny sex scenes and featured some of the highlights in the fan-disc of Tsukihime. So I just find it amusing that there are people mocking Dolphins and Dragons of Deen when the Visual novel sports such standout sex dialogue as “It makes me feel so good that I want to vomit.” and “My grotesque meat stabs into her” Of course even taking out that it isn’t really logical for there to be a easy way to share mana and have Mages not be making use of it. Shouldn’t there be mage wives who are made to be mana batteries in this case? It makes more sense that this link would require such a huge sacrifice or else there is the question of why other mages don’t make use of the method.

Ufotables treatment of the scene is at least decent. I liked the inclusion of the scene with Shirou trying to do a high jump in the school yard. It is the scene that sparked both Sakura’s and Rin’s interest in Shirou. Makes sense that she wouldn’t want him to know about it. But Rin really did go into tsundere overdrive when for the majority of the series she was keeping it pretty under control. Admitly the heavily sex implied talk they had before the act was rather entertaining and fairly humorous. I do pity the English dub voice actor whose going to have to lip sync and pronounce all that mangled German. That will be a hard task to pull off. However, though they were only on screen of about a few seconds, those CGI fish/tadpoles/whatever looked terrible. Would have been best just to keep it to the CGI mana circuits lighting up and left it at that Ufotable. Next week is a decisive moment and where the series enters its climax. My final opinion on this will depend heavily on how these last episodes pan out but I am hoping they live up to expectation. They can’t rush it, that’s for sure as this is where the budget should really be going. I noticed in images for the next episode that looks like a part from near the end of the fight and it worries me. This is the big moment, do not mess this up.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 2 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

I think something is wrong when I consider a protagonist from a movie these characters are watching a more compelling lead than our current one. I was surprised when starting the episode to see a sudden rise in visual quality only for it to turn out to be a movie within an anime. Actually I am rather curious as to what happened later in that movie, as I am sure it’s bound to be more interesting than the episode itself. This isn’t a sci-fi show with harem elements anymore. This is a harem show with sci-fi elements. Only one thing related to the main plot happened in this episode and that was Izana’s mother letting the female engineer in on what’s going on. Seems that she’s had a hit of conscience and has decided to turn against Kobayashi. While that’s interesting, the show thinks of it as not that important as she then goes and sets up a romantic vacation for Izana and Tanikanze. It is true that this could just be a means of keeping her daughter out of harm’s way so that she can pull off a plan but I am sceptical. I do find it amusing though that the only way she could get Tanikanze to agree was to threaten him with a lie about a bomb in his neck. Dense as the plot demands him to be, Tanikanze still thinks this is a genuine mission. Can we for once have a protagonist who is aware of these girls affection? I have heard the line “What is she so mad about” so many times from so many protagonists that I could spend over a year chronicling every single one of them. I can understand that there are people who enjoy these segments of the show and that’s fine. I too don’t mind them as long as the main story continues. But when these aspects of the show begin to overshadow or even hinder the main plot that’s when I have a problem with them.

What’s even scarier is that Tsumugi has become a member of Tanikanze’s harem. Tsumugi being that nonhuman chimera. I find that immensely disturbing. Tsumugi may act and sound like a standard moe girl but she is not human and having her be a potential harem candidate is unsettling. What’s also odd is that no one seems to find something wrong with this, as a man watches them blast off together with a “Ahh young love” and Izana getting jealous at the two. Humans were pretty anti-chimera not too long ago but even taking away that I think we should be concerned about how messed up this relationship would be. Well the show doesn’t seem concerned with that and I watch Tanikaze sweet talk a blushing weaponized Chimera, all the while wondering why Kunato would outfit her weapon form with a blush function. I did like seeing Izana make use of a ten fingered controller for her mechanical hand as it at least promises that her character might have some use besides being a harem candidate. But then we have her going out in revealing clothing to make her mother happy because why not. Izana is now the harbinger of harem, with her every appearance being a signal of incoming harem hijinks. Should I consider it sexist that now that she is a woman, she is now being sexualized at every opportunity? Actually lets not go down that road, it never leads to anything good on the internet. This shift to slice of life ecchi antics is not reflected in the next episode previews which still have foreboding music to what looks to be more of the same. Guess that is a sign that this show is moving far away from what it was originally about.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 2 June 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

I am not happy. To say I was disappointed in this episode would be an understatement. I am, to be frank, angry. So much so that I have to admit something that I really don’t want to admit. For you see from what has been shown of the second cour so far I would deem it weak. Not bad per say but not what I have come to expect after the quality of the first cour. The story has been padded and the events that should have large impact have been lesser than they should. More importantly there is a lack of action in the second cour when the first cour at least let loose every now and then. I have begun to fear that the fan titled “Unlimited Budget works” may in fact be running low on the budget. I notice more that they are avoiding showing action and in this episode there is points where art is sacrificed for movement in the action sequences causing It to look off. I hope this is just them saving for the finale because if the budget really is running short then this is the worst possible time for it. We are reaching the finale of UBW which is pretty action packed. This really is the time to bring out all the stops and make this mind blowing, otherwise it will be a disappointing finale. Though admittedly on a rewatch my mind has changed. I am still disappointed that there’s more exposition than action, that the song Emiya only played for 30 seconds(There better be a full version) and that the end of the fight didn’t bring me the joy it would but it isn’t bad. I think this is a matter were my expectations prevented me from enjoying what I got. But here’s the odd thing, I believe that Studio Deen did this scene better in the Unlimited Bladeworks movie.

Yes, in that movie the meaning behind what they were saying was lost but the exhilaration of the fight from the visual novel was there. More importantly, they were fighting while talking which is likely how this would go down. In terms of presentation, Ufotables version is a debate whereas Studio Deens was a brawl. Ufotables version may get across the meaning behind the scene(Though fans say otherwise. But honestly I don’t think everything needs to be spelled out to get the point across. Actually considering what has been shown, I think anyone would get the point seeing as it’s been hammered down to into them to the level where it cannot be ignored) but arguable Deen got the impact which I would deem more important. I couldn’t care less if the fight was less accurate to the visual novel or not, it was fun to watch and damn satisfying. More so than the anti-climatic Ufotable version.

The second half of the episode was all about Gilgamesh cluing in Saber and the rest about the contents of the grail and what he plans for it. It was long, rather tedious and pretty much the worst way to present this information. Infodumping on characters should be a last resort for shows and can only really work if you can work it like the exposition master, Gen. This really shows that Gilgamesh for all his character in Fate/Zero will not get much in Fate/Stay Night. The Fate route is likely the best end for him but here he’s just the last endboss. Kirei is treated in a similar manner but at least gets his much needed development from Heavens Feel. UBW is mostly Gilgamesh’s most active role in Fate/Stay Night as his role in Heavens Feel is minor so sadly this is really all he gets. Many claim that despite him saying he was not affected by the grail that it still managed to corrupt him a little as the Gilgamesh in Fate/Stay Night seems like a different man from how he was in Fate/Zero. His goal of destroying mankind is rather by the numbers and him putting up with Shinji trying to pathetically lord over him without destroying him is a mystery in itself. Speaking of which, congratulations Shinji! You are finally useful for once in your life. Now that Gilgamesh has shoved the grail core inside of you and it’s turned you into something more fitting of your nature. His Akira-like transformation was both disgusting and strangely pleasing. A Shinji in agony is a Shinji that can be loved. We have three episodes left I think(I could be wrong on that, but I hope not. There isn’t enough materiel for more than that.) and the stage for the finale is set. The next looks to be the cooldown period and the return of the CG dolphins that are joked about at every chance. Well it’s not as if the real version from the visual novel is any less stupid. Lets see next time as, in the words of the next episode preview, Rin gives up her most precious thing.(Wink wink, nudge nudge)

Posted by AidanAK47 on 28 May 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

Moral of the story, if you build a death star planet destroying ray then you better make sure that it’s not sentient. Though it seems that the dangers of using such weaponry are lost on Kobayashi as even one wiping out the testing facility and a hefty number of people isn’t enough of a red flag for her. I do wonder just what is pushing her to these extremes. Before in the series she seemed like a fairly reasonable person but recent events look to be pushing her to megalomania. Which is a bad thing considering that the Gauna has got the same idea as her and are going for the home world of the enemy. One thing I do find off putting is how nobody seems to take notice of the changes in the people controlled by parasites. Despite the glasses girl broadcasting it with every monotone word she speaks with dead eyes not one person has commented on how fast her personality changed. Kunato has outright manically laughed in the presence of other people and not one person gave him a funny look. Well who knows, maybe they wrote it off as him laughing that no one noticed that he modeled the laser cannon after his member. Which actually makes sense seeing as he started laughing after Kobayashi called his cannon “Magnificent”

The first half of the episode was strong but the second half was not good. I said before that the harem fanservice aspects of this show clash with its more serious aspects but there is another problem. It’s quite simple really. Tanikaze is not a good character. His personality is bland, is history of very little interest(besides his strange convenient healing ability), he’s become the best Sidonia fighter just because and there’s nothing that makes him stand out from other mecha protagonists. This is especially seen when he’s interacting with girls and they somehow find some charming quality underneath all that dull personality. His harem is only growing and unless he gains some sort of dynamic appeal then I can classify him as a standard harem protagonist. The first season worked because events kept happening to keep our mind off it but now that things have slowed down its really evident. Another annoyance is that Izana is now a confirmed girl. A confirmed girl with big breasts. I love women as much as the next guy but I don’t think I will understand anime’s deep fascination with massive boobs. All I know is that I have heard the dialogue between Izana and Yuhata in the bath so many times before in many different animes. And for good measure with got the old “girls clothes are blown apart” because as logic dictates the best way to prevent someone’s suit from being worn by the wrong person is to self destruct it. Rather than stop her from putting it on in the first place. With her gender confirmed, Izana’s last interesting trait disappears so I can only see her presence as a negative at this point. So the way to make this good again is simple. Less harem hijinks, more gauna battles.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 24 May 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

This episode wasn’t quite what I expected. It is true that I didn’t get the big fight I was looking for, though there were clashes going on. However this still was a very good episode. So on the matters of Kirei, Rin, Lancer and Shinji it was all done perfectly. Well there was this weird moment of Kirei slowly moving his hand down Rin’s chest but considering that it’s Kirei we are talking about he was likely just positioning his hand to rip her heart out. But thank god for Ufotable treating that unsavory scene with some dignity. You see in the visual novel Shinji attempted to rape Rin after Lancer put Kirei down. It’s a pretty bad part of the visual novel and I honestly was dreading it being adapted. However Ufotable instead changed it to Shinji choking Rin. I approve this change on so many levels. It makes more sense, it’s easier to watch and it at least doesn’t make Shinji even more of a unsalvageable mess than he already is. Though it does give this series a strange trend of woman getting strangled. Both in Zero and somewhat here as well. Actually…a Tosaka being strangled by a Mato desperate for her affection? Now I wonder if that’s intentional nod. Afterwards it’s greatly satisfying to see someone put Shinji down a peg. Lancer just was brilliant in this moment. The show really doesn’t give him enough credit. After taking a fatal wound he kills Kirei, chases off Shinji, cuts Rin’s bonds and sets the place on fire. All while dying, that battle continuation skill isn’t there for nothing. It’s also amusing to see him remark that he wished he could have had a master like Rin. In the game Fate/extra he is actually Rin’s servant but sadly they don’t make the most of it there. But Lancer what are you talking about saying you had no luck finding good woman? Fate/Grand order just put out the design for your master, Scáthach and that’s most definitely a fine woman. Amazed you could keep your mind on training. This is the last we will see of Lancer here but at least he went out with a bang.

One of the biggest complaints of this episode is Archer using Unlimited Bladeworks again. Admittedly yes, this is a huge waste of mana when he is already nearly out of it and yes, instead of making use of the reality marble he seems to just be using it to make a point. The big question that I really need to ask is….do I really care? The answer to that is no. No, I do not. Because A) even without this huge expense of mana, Archers mana problem don’t make any sense to begin with and B) this means that Archer actually uses UBW for more that just some weak one off attack on Saber. And finally C) Shirou and Archer get to fight in unlimited bladeworks, which is a perfect place for them to fight and is badass. Thankfully the CGI for unlimited bladeworks is much, much better. I wonder why it was they couldn’t do this for it’s previous appearance. So far it’s less of a fight and more Archer hammering in the points that anyone annoyed with his hero complex has wanted to say to him for a long time. I can’t really fault Archer for this. If I met myself from ten or fifteen years ago I would likely beat him bloody myself. But it is interesting to see Saber react to what he is saying as a lot of it applies to her as well. Archer isn’t speaking to her but you can tell his words are cutting her to the core. Even Shirou is getting dispirited.

Then there was the Shirou monologue and realization. Where in the battle Shirou is knocked down and the show basically shows a mental landscape and memories to represent what he is thinking. And damn, this was done magnificently. The imagery of Shirou pulling out the sword from the ground, mirroring Saber pulling the sword from the stone. Shirou walking into the hell he experienced ten years ago to show him taking the path that will lead him to his ruin. Pulling scenes from Fate/zero and showing Kiritsugu giving him Avalon. Just, perfect. Truly. I always worried how they would handle representing the monologues in this route but this made use of the visuals and dialogue to get the point across for more poignantly that the source even did. My one criticism is the song used. The song itself isn’t bad but when the chorus comes into it, it clashes a bit with the mood. It’s a little too cheesy. I see they tried to explain Avalon healing Shirou’s wounds here but this is another reason why it may be best to watch Fate/zero before this. As this really does seem like it comes out of nowhere if you don’t know about Avalon. That is something that has become strange with this series. The original way to experience it was Fate, Unlimited Bladeworks, Heavens feel and then Fate/zero. However due to the Deen version of Fate being subpar and Fate/zero being more accommodating to newcomers, the “proper” to view this story is a little skewed. Diehard fans still claim that UBW must be watched before Zero but in all honestly that may not be the best method to experience it. UBW is dependant of knowledge gathered from the Fate route. You are not supposed to dive into it first. Fate/zero gives the knowledge that is needed for UBW and as a whole may be a better introduction to the series than the Fate route is. Sure Fate/Zero spoils elements of Heavens Feel but Heavens Feel also spoils elements of Fate/zero, so really no matter what you start with, you are getting spoiled on something. Finally if we are to recommend that anime only watchers view UBW first then we might as well tell them to wait about five years or so for the Heavens Feel movie/movies before checking out Fate/Zero seeing as that is the intended order. But that’s just downright unreasonable. Hoping for more action next week but Ufotable, good job.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 21 May 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:

So far the focus has been pretty heavily on Tsumugi, the chimera. Who is strangely moefied. Its really odd to see what is essentially a giant  tentacled monster display the characteristics of a innocent cutsy little girl. Still she is to me one of the better characters of the show. Untainted by the negative aspects of Sidonia and it’s easy to see why Tanikaze and Izana have bonded with her so fast. On another note the Chimera opposition subplot has been dropped as fast as it arrived. For understandable reasons, considering that you can’t protest the creature that nearly sacrificed its life to save all your hides. That said, she is holding the show to a standstill as the focus is placed heavily on her and less on the developments going on behind the scenes. I understand they are likely using it as either build up for future developments or as a means to pass time without resorting to a timeskip. Sidonia is at it’s best when things are dire and dangerous so having the show take a more easygoing lighthearted tone isn’t making these last episodes too strong.

Izana losing an arm and leg was a pretty surprising development but it’s nice to see some consequences instead of wrapping her up in bandages and saying she’s healed. However her character is still hindered by her attraction to Tanikaze and much of the interesting aspects of her neutral gender are only used for harem moments with him. At this point I see her as a complete girl so I don’t even understand what the point was of making her gender neutral in the first place. I truly could not care less for Izana’s attraction for Tanikaze as from a romantic standpoint she’s hasn’t got a hope in hell of getting together with him. Speaking of which, at times it really does feel like those harem moments are a separate show altogether. Maybe it’s the CGI but in a setting as do or die like Sidonia, having a moment where a woman punches a guy to the wall for pushing his face in her breasts just feels unreal.

Will it ever be addressed as to why the cafeteria lady is a talking Bear? Its funny that it’s gone on so long and yet no one has really questioned it. The villains endgame remains mysterious and his intent unclear. So far his works have saved Sidonia from obliteration but I would eat my foot if this guys plans were just to aid Sidonia. He has the chief under his thumb and looks to be pushing her to take a more aggressive stance against the Gauna. Tsumugi is undoubtably part of his plan and I think he hasn’t liked that she’s gotten rebellious. I don’t see a happy end for this chimera. It’s possible that Kunato needs to reach the Gauna homeworld and is pushing the chief to use more Gauna based Weaponry as a means to take over once they reach the homeworld. It would be best if things kick up before these hijinks get tiresome.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 17 May 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

Oh my god, I can’t believe that Archer is the future Shirou Emiya!….said no one who watched this episode. But yes the cat is out of the bag. Archer is Shirou turned cynical and jaded after playing executioner for a couple of decades. There was a small bit showing how he contracted with the world and there were some flaws with how it was presented. Namely that in the flashback Archer still had red hair when it should at least start turning white. Do I really care though? Nope, not in the slightest. It’s a minor detail and you can just wave it off as him gaining the hair later. Admittedly the reveal and explanation was the weakest part of the episode as it does show the flaws of Nasu’s writing. Namely the long winded and roundabout approach of explaining the simplest of matters. In a previous post on this series I basically summarized the topic of counter guardians that took well over five minutes to explain here. The visuals did there best to keep things interesting but I bet the animators had a tough time figuring out just how to make over ten minutes of roundabout dialogue engaging. This my friends is why I unlike many type moon fans say that including the inner monologues would not make things better. Quite honestly any time I see Archer lecture on about heroes I am reminded of a skit in Fate/Hollow Ataraxia called “Justice and the kitten”. In it Archer saves a kitten from a tree and three girls thank him for it and call him a hero of justice. Which in turn spurs Archer into a big speech about how heroes of justice are bad and that his action may have been a bad thing for the kitten. The skit makes it seem like Archer was just really embarrassed and his little speech was him just acting tsundere. So every time I see Archer monologue on I can’t help but smile and recall that skit.

I do think this is a better episode than the last few weak ones. You could get invested in the dialogue and the events happening with Rin were very engaging. First of all, props to Ufotable for not going too far with Shinji feeling up Rin. We are not out of the woods yet but at least this scene was made as painless as possible. This gives me hope that the distasteful scene to come is treated with restraint. Plus I really cannot stop watching Lancer punch Shinji to the floor. On first viewing I rewound and watched that shot at least three times. Truly satisfying. Kirei’s entrance made this all the better with Shinji dumbfounded at the side while Lancer, Rin and Kirei have a serious discussion. Like a kid standing at the side while the adults talk. Really Unlimited Bladeworks isn’t Kirei at his best as this is still the point where he was still a rather generic villain in the Visual novel. With knowledge of Fate/zero this scene has a lot more impact. Having Kirei admit to killing Rin’s father was excellent and even Rin saying that she suspected it. It’s actually rather interesting. Kirei’s father never seen his true nature, neither did his wife or Rin’s father for that matter. But Rin may be one of the few to see him for his true nature from even a young age.

Once again, Lancer gets the short end of the stick and to those who watched Fate/Zero this might be an ironic end for him. Having Rank E luck will do that to you. It’s a pity he wasn’t given more screen time as he only was really starting to shine here. Admittedly the scene isn’t over yet but the next events will be brief to say the least. The end of this episode is what really stood out to me though as it promises great things for the next and gave me the thing that Fate/Zero’s music composer Yuki Kajura did not. Fate/Zero did have a good soundtrack and while she delivered on the iconic song “Sword of promised victory”, she neglected the other most iconic song from the game soundtrack. Yet as the episode closes, Archer and Shirou walk towards one another to fight and my ears hear that beautiful melody. Undeniably it’s “Emiya”, the theme tune of both Archer and Shirou and when it plays that means things are about to get awesome. Ufotable, the next fight is a defining moment. It is a time to wash away any distaste I may have. Break open the budget, bring out all the guns and make this the anime fight to end all anime fights. Make it beautiful Ufotable. Make it beautiful.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 12 May 2015 with categories: Currently Watching:, Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

Well here it is. The name drop. The very thing the route is called after. And its….its…kinda bad. Of all the places to make the first visual blunder, why did it have to be here? Well Archers reality marble/noble phantasm Unlimited Blade Works was unleashed and Ufotable thought the best treatment would be to render it entirely in CGI. If it was just the sky and swords given the treatment it wouldn’t have been too bad but the ground was CGI as well and it shows, especially when the camera is panning. The texture on the ground is so flat that it resembles an early PlayStation one game and when you stick those colourful drawn characters in it the difference in looks becomes glaring. A lot of the core problems with this episode where in this scene. Fans criticized it because Shirou didn’t counter Archers sword rain the way he did in the visual novel but to me that’s minor problem. They also disliked how Archer materised the swords in the air instead of lifting the ones around him but again that’s minor to me. The main problem is that Archer pulls out Unlimited Blade works for nothing. He takes it out, tries one attack and then it disintegrates again. Even in the Visual Novel I remember after reading that scene thinking “Is that it?” Archer taking such a huge gamble and effectively doing nothing with it was always a head scratcher to me though Archers thoughts and actions during this route have been rather nonsensical.

This could have been the time to get the most out of UBW. All the fights of the second half have so far been short lived. This could have been the point where you could add material that would have benefited the story. Previous new material was nice to have but not needed but a fight here, even if it ends unconcluded, would have done wonders. True they could be saving the budget for the finale. Which makes sense as that’s the best time to go all out. But I am starting to get worried. This could be the beginning of a disappointment. I had full confidence in Ufotable last season but these last couple of episodes have shaken it. Now I fear that when I see the final confrontation I will be unmoved by it. Also as I have brought up many times before, there are 6 episodes left, yet at the rate they are burning through the material they will reach stories end by 3 or 4 episodes. I even heard word that the last episode will be forty minutes long. Just how do they plan to fill out that time? With more nice to have but not needed material? Fans say the story is rushing but honestly I believe the last thing Fate should do is slow down. What Fate needs to do is deliver. The build up has been built and the stage is set, it’s time for the fireworks.

A standout moment in this episode was Archer admiring that he should never have been a hero. There was a lot of emotion in that line and you could see Saber resonated with it. As her wish is similar. Rins explanation of Archers past was good though potentially confusing to those who don’t know what a counter guardian is in the Nasuverse. To those who don’t know, a counter guardian is basically a glorified hitman. Whenever mankind is threatened with potential extinction the earth summons up counter guardians to remove the cause. In other words, kill the person or people who are pushing humanity’s self destruction. They have no control or will of their own when summoned. Archer is a fellow who contracted with the earth to receive power in life and as a result was used as a killing machine after his death to bring stability. Hence resulting in him becoming cynical and jaded by the very ideal of heroism. Rins explanation on his past was fairly vague so I think anyone who doesn’t know the details will just be lost. But I say you get the basic idea. But the sure are driving the nail in about his identity at this point. I won’t say it until it’s stated outright but come on. The characters know and the audience know. If anyone is genuinely surprised when it comes out I will be shocked. The next episode has a scene I have been dreading and coincidentally is Shinji’s worse moment as a character.(In this route mind you. We still have Heaven’s feel and hoo boy…) Be cool Ufotable and handle this delicately.

Posted by AidanAK47 on 4 May 2015 with categories: Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks

There was a time when I believed that in order for an adaption to work it must stick to the source material as close as possible. More often than not an adaption failed because the director wanted to put his mark on it and disregard the very reason people love the story. However there can be times when something is adapted perfectly true to the source and yet ends up weaker all the same. This is what faces me here. This episode had two of my favorite moments in the route, them being the Lancer vs archer fight and Rin fighting castor hand to hand. There are those who claim this episode was rushed and I can see how they came to that conclusion. But the strange truth is that when you strip the descriptive text and monologues from the scenes they really are this short. So herein lies the problem, that text gave impact and significance to these scenes but there is no real way of satisfactorily transferring this to visuals. I remember reading about Rin beating up Castor was an adrenaline fueled moment but here its cut short because of it’s brevity. In terms of adaptation this is perfect as it really did happen like this in the visual novel. But the visual novel gave you time to revel in the moment and make it special. So in a strange turn of events, staying true to the source actually hurt these scenes.

The the episode starts off with a small flashback to Souichirou’s past which wasn’t in the visual novel and isn’t the best place to dive into his backstory. Again, it’s likely only there to try and get the audience to care about him before his death. There were plenty of opportunities to go into this before without it being as out as place as this and really could have been handled better. Even more shoddy is that at the end of Souichirou’s speech we cut to a distasteful shot of Saber lying suggestively on the floor. I am not going to say than fanservice has no right to be in anime but gentlemen there is a time and place for it. This was most certainly not it. The highlight of the episode was obviously the Lancer vs Archer confrontation which was longer than the visual novel but still short lived. The clash of Gae Blog and Rio Aris was a beautiful sight, you could really tell it’s where the effort went to in this episode. One has to wonder just how Fuyuki is still oblivious to the holy grail war when there is the base equivalent of a nuclear explosion happening not far from the city. It is admittedly an issue in Fate/Zero as well as it’s never really explained as to why Fuyuki is so deserted at night and ignoring explosions and light shows. One thing that might confuse people here is that the three fights, Lancer vs Archer, Rin vs Castor and Shirou vs Souichirou take place at the exact same time. However the episode shows the fights one after the other, giving the impression that they follow each order in sequence. They added small things to the fights to try and show this like the tremors or the coughing up blood but it may not be clear.

Thus does Archer betray Castor and take her out of the running. The third servant to be removed anti-climatically. I would like to say that the visual novel gave these two more character building to make this moment more meaningful but that would be a lie. There death is exactly as it was in the visual novel and just as ineffective. Fate/hollow ataraxia was the game that gave these two some better characterisation and brought in their interesting relationship that felt like two socially awkward people trying their hardest to be a loving couple. But here the fate route didn’t show anything about them(Really Castor is unceremoniously killed off the moment she shows up.) and UBW is about as much attention as they get. Yet again the episode cuts off just when things were getting really interesting and the big reveal was about to be shown. I can’t say enough how much this story is not meant to be cut up into bite sized chucks. More and more I find myself leaving each episode unsatisfied. So much so that I am beginning to question if this story is really is as good as I thought it was. It’s a rather disheartening thought but after rereading the fate route of the visual novel I can really admit that it is truly bad. So I am beginning to fear that if I reread what is my favorite route of the series that it would come up short of how I remember it. But there are still plenty of episodes left and this is far from being a bad show. Still it is a question of how they plan to fill the remainder of the season when they are this far into the story.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 03:33 PM)
    Also bam, Little witch academia’s second episode came straight out of nowhere.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 03:32 PM)
    @;), Might be interesting. Though I don’t have any power to add you to the site. I can however give you the password the LighteningBlots account seeing as I got it when we had that incident before. I am a little reluctant to hand that out to just anyone.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 02:52 PM)
    Btw Aidan, if you want for more stuff to be covered on the site I am willing to cover some manga I read here and there, since I have spare time lately.
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 02:15 PM)
    But looking back at all the close-ranged gun fights one has to wonder why no one has thought of that to kill the enemy that is too close to dodge or at least make them go away…
    I do enjoy this arc but now I realized they use a rifle as if it was a handgun…
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 02:15 PM)
    Also I just now realized they are using an automatic gun…
    Yet nobody tried spraying bullets on the enemy!!
    Admittingly this is kinda risky as it wastes bullets, is hard to aim with, and leaves one a bit open if the enemy can get away from the bullets..
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 02:05 PM)
    I hate it when manga and anime “cheat” fighting chereographics by showing a single image of people bleeding without letting us see how they were injured!!!
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 02:04 PM)
    Anyone reading Assasination Classroom?
    Because I call bullshit on Nagisa 4-person killing in one panel!!!
    These kids are using M16 rifles! These are maybe not too heavy of an object but they’re still very hard to hold in one hand not to mention while running like that and shooting a bunch of times and how the recoil will make the gun “jump” away if you don’t hold it with both hands!!!
  • ;(
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 02:04 PM)
    Why doesn’t this work?
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:50 AM)
    Still would have preferred dorohedero adaptation than gangsta though but I can dream…
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jul 4. 2015 05:46 AM)
    Reading over the impressions post for Ranpo, reminded me, has anyone read the Junji Itou take on that story?

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