Afternoon News: Sexy Red Man attempts convoluted suicide plan
After a surprisingly weak performance last week, Ufotable manages to pull somewhat of a saving throw with this episode.
I do have minor qualms with what happened this week, but for the most part, I’m extremely satisfied by Ufotable’s efforts.
The cold open to this episode incited such a fanboy reaction from me. At first I was like, “Wait, where the fuck is Shirou? This isn’t where we left off in the last episode. Was this even in the VN…“, then once Shirou started talking, I was like, “oh, OH. THIS IS ARCHER MAKING A CONTRACT WITH ALAYA, OH MY GOD, WHAT”
It’s pretty cool seeing that actually happen for the first time. Never thought Shirou sold his soul to Alaya during that nuclear power plant meltdown mentioned by his mostly-the-same counterpart in Fate/Extra. Though, I’m pretty sure Shirou’s hair should be white by this time, at least, considering the details revealed about when Acher made the contract. I feel like this will confuse a lot of anime-only fans, with them misinterpreting his contract being the cause of his changed appearance. In reality, it was his misuse of magecraft (as Archer says in that pic of Extra) that lead to his skin being darkened and his hair turning white. Even Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya got this spot-on, with them showing another Shirou from an alternate universe in the middle of that process:
Also note that if Archer didn’t spike up his hair, he’d just look like a palette-swapped version of an adult Shirou (as seen in Ufo’s cold open for the episode). They should have at least shown part of his hair turning white in the anime, in my opinion.
Nasu can see the future
It was neat actually seeing some of his Counter Guardian work in action (Archer confirmed for fighting ISIS), although I was expecting to see at least one or two instances of him fighting some Cthulhu-like motherfuckers, since the VN uses these…well, horrifying pictures as its imagery whenever something of the similar sort happens (like the bullshit Shirou sees when he comes into contact with The Shadow/Angra Mainyu in the other routes). That and Archer kind implies that he has fought things similar to The Shadow in Heaven’s Feel. Overall, it did feel a bit off that Archer was just randomly appearing to shoot people with arrows, considering that Counter Guardians are supposed to appear in any age where humanity is near extinction – after they had already ruined things for themselves. This is noted in Heaven’s Feel (highlight for spoilers), where Archer jumps at the chance of taking care of the Shadow, since it’d be the first time he’d take care of a catastrophe before it gets out of hand.
I liked the white cape Ufotable gave to him, but EMIYA really should have been shown with his signature red buttcape in some of the flashbacks, considering the fact that he got it from Ciel (Tsukihime) during his life for working with the Church at some point (in fact, it would have been really cool if we saw that), so he really shouldn’t be wearing it at all as a Counter Guardian. Unless Alaya lets Archer change clothes in the throne. Who knows… Anyways, thanks to the anime, I finally know how Archer Shirou died: he was skewered by swords and then hanged.
It was cool seeing Ufotable animate some of Saber’s past, although the precious time could have been used to expand on other Archer-related things or squeeze in extra dialogue left out from the visual novel. Truth be told, Saber’s past isn’t that important to this route, although her bearing witness to Archer and Shirou’s dilemma is also a way for her to come to terms with her own problems in this route, since EMIYA and her are so similar. Other than that, if you want more in-depth Saber, you’re going to have to read the Fate route.
I always love how loyal Saber is to Shirou, even if he’s no longer technically her Master. Now there’s double-Shirou for her to be concerned about.
Kudos to Ufotable for being up-to-date with the Nasuverse! Loved the fact that Arturia’s daughter (Saber of Red/Mordred) and her Noble Phantasm are shown on the hill, with their current designs from Fate/Apocrypha. Pretty sure they used Mordred’s prototype design in Fate/Zero‘s flashbacks and the first ending theme.
Reminder that this masterpiece was created by hentai futa magecraft
Thank you, Lancer, for punching out that sad piece of shit Shinji. For the record, Berserker earned points from me in the Fate route for stepping on him.
I remember Tohsaka’s insults to Kotomine after finding out Kotomine was responsible for Tokiomi’s death in the VN, and it’s a real treat to see her facial reactions to it. Thanks Ufotable.
Lancer’s down… but is he really out? You’ll see soon… next week.
Back on the EMIYA vs Emiya side of things, after sharing what he’s been through and what Shirou can possibly become in the future, EMIYA offers Shirou a chance to kill himself. This definitely wasn’t in the visual novel, but it’s pretty interesting. But would this really create the big paradox that Archer hopes will happen or will it merely just save Shirou from suffering the same fate? Either way, at this point I guess Archer will settle on preventing another Counter Guardian EMIYA from being born.
It’s a shame that Ufotable has once again left out Shirou’s monologues. I suppose it isn’t that bad in every other instance, but here you don’t know whether or not Shirou agrees or disagrees with anything Archer has said. Here, an anime-only viewer would infer that Shirou rejects everything Archer has said when Shirou says that they are, in fact, two different people. Truthfully, he only says that when Archer says that he regrets everything, something Shirou thinks he would never do. To Shirou, Archer’s ideal wasn’t wrong, but his failure and his regret was. Thus, Archer is a representation of his failure, which Shirou won’t approve of.
It’s also a shame that they left out Archer’s bit of dialogue, where he reveals that although he hopes that Heroic Spirit EMIYA killing Emiya Shirou would create a paradox big enough to trick Alaya, all he’s really doing is taking out his anger on his younger self – the man who will become a clown because of his ideals.
Even Saber is blown away!
And oh boy, despite my worries, Ufotable has proven me wrong. They’re actually using the EMIYA theme! And I definitely got chills when the beginning started playing. I thought it was a great way to hype viewers up for the upcoming battle.
“I admired his wish to save someone because it was beautiful…!”
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