Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works Review:
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works is a film adaptation of the second route of Type-Moon’s Fate/stay night visual novel following the same general premise as the television series which was also produced by Studio DEEN and aired roughly 4 years previous. It stars our wonderfully stock protagonist, Shirou Emiya as well as Saber, Rin Tohaska and Archer. And of course all of the other characters are here as well. They’re all engaged in the Holy Grail War to obtain the Holy Grail which grants ultimate power.
So yeah, the pretty much exact same set up and for about the first large portion of the film, it just felt like an accelerated and visually updated version of the original series. A lot of the same things happened, maybe not the same way and maybe not in the same order, which i can sort of compare to watching EVA Rebuild:1.01, except it is much more rushed and disorganised. Yeah, if I could sum up the movie very shortly it would be those three words, “rushed and disorganised.” It was ALL over the place. Especially in the beginning portions because it just flew back and forth between major scenes, leaving nothing in the middle. So to enjoy this movie at all, it’s pretty much a given that you have seen the original Fate/stay night and if anything the first long bit is a lot of refresher. And think about it, the people in charge of this had to fit a 24 episode anime into about an hour and forty five minutes. So I get that it’s a little bit rushed but god damn. I wish they were just like “Hey, this movie picks up after episode 18,” or something so that the new parts that actually mattered had more time to develop into something you actually can care about. Which brings me to the next point that is really related. The characters! My God, I was never in love with the characters from the show but wow, you are throwing all of this refresher at me for about the first half of a movie and it’s rushed and jumbled and I have nothing to latch onto. There is no weight to anything because you never had a chance to attach to the characters because it was just the action scenes. I understand that some may have gotten attached to the characters while they were watching the show much the rushed execution of this film gave me nothing to care about for roughly an hour. But I will admit that when new stuff finally started coming along, I was fairly interested and I think that the plot points themselves made for a potentially more interesting story than the series. Unfortunately though, there was hardly any time to get into it like I should have been able to. However, I must give credit where credit is due and I am ready to say that I am really really happy about how this looked. For Studio DEEN, this is seriously surprising. I mean, yeah it is a movie so it kind of better look half way decent but the action looks good, the colours and movement look good although, somewhat awkward at times. And this is what seriously made the first portion feel like a really long HD recap episode. The music was fairly good but I didn’t really lock into it at all and the action was decent. The sound on the whole is on the upper end of average but the animation takes the cake as the most elevating factor of the film.
So, that’s 2 adaptations of the same visual novel that I’ve reviewed and 2 adaptations of the same visual novel that I’m not exactly let down by but more sort of put off. This film’s execution is its downfall as it was just too rushed and everything else suffered, except the animation of course. I think that the best I can do for it is to give a 4.5/10. The Fate Franchise (if I can call it that) is sort of a mixed bag. And I think more than anything right now, I want to see a very good and solid adaptation of this story. And I really really hope that Fate/zero satisfies me and that the new adaptation that supposedly is being produced by ufotable is as good as people claim Fate/zero to be. And don’t worry my friends, I will most definitely review those as well.