Otaku Review: Fate/ Stay Unlimited Blade Works

Fate/ Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works

I am the bone of my sword
Steel is my body and fire is my blood
I have created over a thousand blades
Unknown to Death, Nor known to Life
Have withstood pain to create many weapons
Yet, those hands will never hold anything
So as I pray, unlimited blade works.

One of my all time favorite anime series. It got plot, characters and is beautifully animated. The anime is an adaptation of a visual novel with unlock-able sex scenes. Unfortunately I can’t stand the insane walls of boring text and repeating names. This is a thing that makes a good anime adaption a gods end. The Fate universe is a complex one with a ton of plot lines and spin-offs. Infinite blade works is the second adaptation, which focus on a different plot line and point of view than Fate/ Stay night. Ultimately it’s the same characters only being used differently. To be honest the naming convention is way to convoluted and confusing. Generally it’s easier to just refer to it all as the Nasuverse. Naturally some die hard fans will disagree with me, proclaiming that the visual novels are superior. If you can get hold of a good translation that is.

Unlimited blade works, follows the path of the sorceress Rin and her summoned servant known as archer. Which both partake in a conflict know as the holy grail war. Where several stuck up and questionable mage families compete for the ultimate price. Which will grant the winner his ultimate wish. Naturally the families participating does their best to summon the strongest and most vicious heroic spirits possible. Essentially when well known heroes of legends die, they will become a part of the Holy grail. Waiting to be summoned by whomever participates in the Grail war.

blade1

The story mainly focuses on Rin whom is a young magician, whose father groomed into becoming a part of the grail war. She is quite skilled and very headstrong, with a soft and sensible side as well. Every now and then she also cracks a joke. This alone makes her leagues above the cookie cutter stereotypes most series cram down our throats these days.
Meanwhile her servant Archer is quite fantastic as well and actually look like a seasoned and buff warrior. With a snarky attitude and an infinite amount of swords to throw around.
Lastly there is Saber; A blond knight, that is so serious that and no nonsense as you can get her and yet have a somewhat compelling personality.

Lastly there is Shirou, whom starts off as interesting as a wash cloth with a traumatic past. Whom eventually he becomes more than a pushover handy man. The kind that has to be stabbed a lot, before he learns his lesson. Which happens a lot, as most of the players in the grail war does not play around much; Nor do they play fair. Even if the characters are fleshed out and very interesting. They still have the nasty habit of beating everyone over the head with a blunt encyclopedia of exposition. Followed by long periods of little action and some shocking plot twists.

blade2

The music score is fairly decent and the voice actors does a splendid job for the most part. Can’t say much about the dubbing. I have no good reason to watch the English version at all. Meanwhile the art style is quite moody with a gradient filter to all. It even makes the odd facial structure of the characters looks good. The backgrounds are not much to write home about. Since it takes place in Japan, there is the generic school, temples and a lot of streets with no names. The animation quality is very good despite many slow and moody moments.

Unlimited Blade Works comes highly recommended and  is quite addictive, leaving the viewer either frustrated, or just craving more.

Njål H Sand