Fate/Stay Night 2014 – Thoughts

Episode 0 of Fate/Stay Night has just come out so I decided I would give my thoughts on the Studio and its choices.

With Ufotable’s release of Fate/Stay Night episode 0, they have set the tone of what is to come from the rest of their series. Their overall high quality has remained consistent as always however instead of giving a review of the episode what I would like to do instead is give my overall thoughts on the choices Ufotable has made for the series, specifically the route choice they have made for the TV series which I feel had mixed reactions.

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Out of the three routes that the Visual Novel is comprised of, being Fate, Unlimited Blade Works and Heaven’s Feel, to my disappointment the Studio opted for the Unlimited Blade Works route. It is safe to say that I was not alone in my disappointment, many like me who have actually sat down and read the Visual Novel were expecting a Heaven’s Feel adaption. However despite this I believe that the choice that Ufotable has made was in fact correct, taking the UBW route instead of Heaven’s Feel.

The first consideration to be made while discussing this matter is the complete ignorance of the Fate route which was relatively average and does not compare to that of the latter two routes and serves more of an introduction to that of the setting, characters and the rules of the Holy Grail War. The reason as to why this would be a good choice in ignoring this route is that the audience who would be watching this new adaption would have undoubtedly have seen Fate/Zero and be already familiar with the Holy Grail War in way or another. As result there would be no reason to force the Fate route onto the audience and henceforth the clash comes between UBW and Heaven’s Feel.

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Unlimited Blade Works was ultimately the better choice as previous knowledge of the previous route was almost unnecessary apart from the major plot twists evident. However this is not so in Heaven’s Feel as to make any kind of sense of it, knowledge of what occurs in the previous routes is necessary to understanding what it is going on, including that of UBW’s biggest plot point. It should also be noted that the themes in Heaven’s Feel wouldn’t have such an impact on the audience without knowing what occurred in UBW. This is due to the fact that the focus of the theme heroism, is played out in significantly different ways in each of the routes with overarching theme of the said routes (which are different for each route) placing a dire impact on the theme of heroism.

In terms of Fate/Zero, yes Heaven’s Feel matches the grim, dark tone of that adaption much better than that of UBW but Unlimited Blade Works would fit much better for one reason. It would make much more sense to the casual viewer. This route with the knowledge of Fate/Zero or the original Fate/Stay Night or even none at all as the show would explain it would be much easier to jump into. As mentioned before, there is required knowledge necessary for an understanding of the events in Heaven’s Feel, but it’s more than just that and the impact of the themes. It’s the events themselves. Some of them can be considered controversial in terms of character choices and what takes place, so as I have emphasized, knowledge of the other routes is required.

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However for Heaven’s Feel fans like myself there is good news as Ufotable announced that there will be a movie adaption of the route. While I may be jumping for joy it also leaves me skeptical of what is to come. I am fearful of a repeat of what Studio DEEN with the UBW route in their movie adaption. Simply put, trying to cram about twenty or more hours’ worth of story into less than two hours is not practical. Perhaps if Ufotable take the format of Kara no Kyoukai of several movies in order to remove the strain of squeezing so much into so little time. Otherwise I wish Ufotable all the luck they can if they are planning to leave the route simply as one movie where I would undoubtedly see a repetition DEEN’s failure. (I really just want to see Nine Lives Blade Works animated)

Sorry is this is not my best post, I’ve been inactive for far too long and just wanted to get something out there. So expect a major improvement for the next post.

Next post will be a review of Episode 0.

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3 responses to “Fate/Stay Night 2014 – Thoughts

  1. I hope they make a fate route eventually. Their choices make sense from a viewing perspective, but if they are doing two routes already, its unfair to leave Saber’s route out just because and act like it doesn’t matter. There are 3 routes in the VN sequenced in a specific manner, and DEEN’s adaption was not good enough to say that makes up for an utter lack of representation for Saber’s story.

    If they want to take the reigns from DEEN, they have to do so entirely IMO

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    • Correct me if I am wrong, because I’ve only seen the DEEN anime and Fate/Zero, but I’ve heard from a lot of people that most of what makes fate series good is in UBW and HF.

      Fate, on the other hand, is your normal fantasy anime boy-meets-girl story, made slightly above average because of the surrounding lore. What I’ve seen of DEEN anime supports that, as butchered as it is. I don’t like the Shirou x Saber romance at all, so is there anything in the Fate route that’s really worth it to animate the route again? Couldn’t ufotable just incorporate whatever parts from the Fate route necessary to fill in Saber’s story into their UBW anime?

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      • No definitely not, mixing routes was one of the reasons DEEN’s adaption was heavily criticised. Mixing routes completely ruins characters interactions, development and the themes and most importantly, the plot.
        I would say that the Fate Route is worth animating. Many fans of the visual novel like myself agree that the Fate route simply doesn’t compare to UBW or HF.

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