Fate/Stay Night is one of those franchises that needs very little introduction. TYPE-MOON's hit visual novel from 2004 was adapted for anime in 2006, and while the original series was good for the most part, the show suffered due to an inherent problem with any visual novel adaptation.
Visual novels are a strange blending of anime, manga and games that, in a number of cases, allow the player a degree of choice over the events in the story (although there are some purely linear ones out there). The issue though, is that the same event may have several different outcomes that are dependent on the
choices made within the game, and it's this aspect of many visual novels that causes the most problems when it comes to making an adaptation as the storyline for these types of games are generally lacking in certain areas. The first anime version of Fate/Stay Night, for example, didn't just follow the game's Saber arc but also included bits from the other two arcs as the plot was believed to be too weak to support a 26 episode TV series.
Unlimited Blade Works, the second story arc from the game, has now been adapted as an anime movie, and unlike the TV series it promised to be a more faithful reproduction. The major question though, is whether the franchise works better in this format.
Ostensibly, Unlimited Blade Works is an alternative retelling of the original story, with many of the fundamental plot points, characters and settings included. The major difference between the two though, lies in the aim of the plot. In the original Fate/Stay Night (or Saber Arc, whichever you fancy), the goal was to stop the creation of the Holy Grail and end the war once and for all, but Unlimited Blade Works only uses this as a peripheral concept, with the main story being about the relationship between Archer, Tohsaka Rin's noble phantasm, and Emiya Shirou.
The main problem with the storyline is simply that it becomes too caught up in itself. While the basic concepts are good, the plot is far too reliant on knowledge of the previous anime series or the game itself. There are far too many occasions where no explanation is given for an action or event, a factor which doesn't help viewers with little to no knowledge of the franchise. Granted there is some effort made at the beginning of the movie to bring the casual viewer up to speed, but this is nowhere near enough to support the weight of the actual story.
That said, fans of the franchise may find this entertaining viewing at the very least, however they may also find it lacking in certain areas, in particular where the characters are concerned as, again, Unlimited Blade Works relies too much on what has gone before.
The problem with the characters is one that is fairly typical when it comes to movies - a lack of development, however the fact that this is an alternative retelling of an existing tale only serves to make this more pronounced. Both Rin and Shirou are decent enough characters for the most part, but one has to question why Shinji receives almost no development at all (and I never actually thought I would ever use that sentence when talking about anime), especially as a number of events in the story occur because of him.
There seems to be a kind of blatant ignorance of every other character aside from Rin, Shirou and Archer in Unlimited Blade Works, which may be due to time constraints admittedly, but given the degree of overacting and the long, drawn out fight scenes, it should be asked if this is actually the case. In addition to this, Shirou's abilities seem to grow at an accelerated rate over the course of the movie, and while one may accept this as some innate ability, the lack of any back story where this is concerned makes it nothing more than a convenient addition to the plot.
Be that as it may, this movie is looks very good for the most part. Studio DEEN have done a great job with Unlimited Blade works, but given that the director and most of the crew worked on the TV series, one might expect them to improve on their previous work. The animation is of a very high standard, and is a far cry from that of the TV series. The characters move very well, especially during the numerous combat scenes, and while they may look the same as always, their respective designs have been sharpened up. The settings have also undergone a degree of sharpening up, and are now more vivid and detailed than in previous versions of the story.
That's not to say it's all good in the visuals department though. There are occasions during where the design logic simply doesn't make sense, Saber's evening gown being one of them. There are also occasions where the characters movements seem far more theatrical than is necessary, especially during several of the combat scenes.
Which, strangely enough, brings me neatly on to the acting. Unlimited Blade Works uses many of the cast from the original series, which is generally a good sign for any retelling. Unfortunately the seiyuu have worked on many other projects over the last four years so their familiarity with the characters is not as good as it once was, and this shows in the amount of over acting in the movie. It seems as though the actors and actresses have focused more on the popularity of the franchise than the need to get the role right, and because of this it sounds as though they're trying too hard. In addition to this whichever bright spark decided that using English in certain scenes would be a good idea should be flogged as it seems totally unnatural, especially as it makes the character look foolish.
As far as the music goes, the movie is well served with a selection of dramatic, classically themed pieces to enhance the numerous action scenes. The sound effects are also very well crafted and choreographed, although it should be pointed out that certain scenes can become overwhelming with the combination of speech, music and effects.
On the whole, Unlimited Blade Works isn't a bad movie, but it's a far cry from being great either. The simple fact is that it's entertaining in its own right, but there's little there to recommend it to those unfamiliar with the franchise. That said, one could fairly watch it and find it works to a degree as a story, but only if they could forgive the lack of detail in the story, and the fact that the plot has several areas that needed further investigation.
That said, everything about this film screams out that it is definitely one for fans of the franchise, and ultimately they'll be the judge of whether it's good or bad. The movie may have its flaws, but fans may find these are forgivable as the well choreographed action scenes may make up for a lot. It could be fair to say that this movie was made specifically for fans of the franchise in the first place, as the efforts to introduce newcomers to the series seem a bit slapdash.
One final point is that while the TV series needed to borrow from the other game arcs in order to fill out the story, Unlimited Blade Works is almost the exact opposite, and because of this one has to wonder if the franchise would work better as a 13 episode series rather than either of its current iterations. At the very least there would be more time for explanations and the actors would be able to relax into their roles.
Whatever the case may be, we shall have to wait for Heaven's Feel to find that out.
Who is this for? Why was this even attempted?! Who the hell thought cramming 30 hours of story into a 90 minute movie was a great idea?! This "movie" is a disaster! If you have never heard of fate, you will be lost in this incomprehensible mess. If you have seen fate stay night by DEEN, the first third of the movie is a boring recap, the twists in the second act will be rubbish to you and in the third act... you will have an embarrassingly hilarious final fight and instead of a CG dragon you will get a
CG dolphin. If you have read the visual novel, you will probably hate it the most, especially when there is a superior adaptation by ufotable you should watch instead.
To sum this up (in case you don't want to read about me tearing this to shreds): this is a shiny pointless piece of crap that has no reason to exist exist other than to spoil twists in the novel and take 2 hours of your life. Unless you don't care at all about this franchise and just want to see flashy animation... stay away from this film.
Example of Real storytelling: Basis/premise, Story and Character building, character interaction, internal struggle meets external forces, twist, climax, resolution
This film: Basis, TWIST TWIST TWIST TWIST TWIST DOLPHIN (WTF?) DEUS EX MACHINA!
The pace is all over the place, sometimes you don't even know how characters got to places, nothing is explained, and there is no flow or consistency.
90 minutes trying to cram 30 hours... Ya... there is probably not going to be much room for development, but even if you know the characters you will be disappointed. The protagonist is an idiot who makes wrong choice after wrong choice, Archer (one of the other main characters) is an indecisive whore that switches sides every two minutes, Saber is reduced to a damsel in distress, Rin doesn't do anything smart, in the third act an "goldy archer" takes out two swords and charges in melee mode like a moron, ect. I kid you not, there isn't even a real conversation until 45 minutes into the film.
Admittedly it looks really good. There is a particular amount of detail emphasized on the character models and it all looks great. However, considering that the remake has already bettered this movie in these regards belittles this complement.
Really the best thing going for it. The soundtrack by Kenji Kawai is excellent, making the action feel more epic and exciting than it otherwise be.
DEEN's movie is the bone of my suffering,
Broken is my body, and boiled is my blood,
I have created over a thousand tears,
Unknown to Death, nor known to life,
Have withstood pain to find my sanity,
Yet those hands will never hold me,
So as I pray, Ufotable's Blade Works
UBW was probably one of the most anticipated movies, and I can't blame people for that - the original route in the Visual Novel was outstanding, touching, at one time keeping you at the edge of your seat, at another causing you to cry about the pain of the characters, the results of their unfortunate choices, their small mistakes or simply outstanding sacrifices. The movie made me remember that story, made me want to live through it again.
Too bad it doesn't MAKE me live through it again.
IMO the obvious mistake the creators did, was forcing 20 hours of game-play into
1,5 hour movie - at the same time being forced to cut some portions of the story in order to squeeze it into the time frame. A 3 part OVA would've been much better, but they decided to make a single movie, and cut things out. Unfortunately, the thing they cut was - of all things - the plot.
I am not amused.
When I first watched the movie, I thought they were doing the same thing as FMA:Brotherhood did, cutting out portions that already were covered in the TV series, as to save some time for later action - It turned out that yes, they did indeed do something like that, except they didn't stop at the moment movie derived from the series. Through the first two thirds of the movie I felt like I was watching that "Previously on..." preview section, that reminds you what happened last week in an episode, and helping you to "get into the mood", to get better enjoyment out of an episode. Large chunks of story were cut out, the only things that were left, were the absolutely-essential-to-the-plot scenes, that push the story forward. There are two main problems with this:
First thing is, you can't have only plot-driving material in the movie, you need to join it together somehow. If you want to know what I mean, try launching any series, but watch only odd episodes (1,3,5,7...) - You'll somehow understand what the plot is about, but in the process you will lose the whole mood, the suspension of disbelief will be broken, because the story won't flow, it will be stitched together - If they really did not want to put in the portions in-between, they could've helped it if they worked around it. They didn't. And yes, watching an anime series with every second episode cut out will get you a pretty decent idea of what this movie is to the original VN route.
But there's another problem - If you throw out all your character development, you also lose any attachment the audience might feel towards those characters. This is especially important in movies dealing with sacrifices, helping others by losing something precious to you. I hope this won't spoil too much, but there's one death in this anime that particularly hit me - in the VN it was display of honor, sacrifice and chivalry, and it really made me sad that that person died in the process - Now what hit me is that in the movie... I felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. I didn't get to know this character, I didn't establish a connection with him/her, so even though I know this scene should be sad and touching - I can't help, but not give a crap. Things in this movie just... happen, but I couldn't help but feel detached.
And that's really a shame, because animation is superb. The fights are exciting, the visual effects are stunning, and the whole animation just feels so smooth and flowing - something I really lack in a lot of animes that have fights in them. It's really dynamic, but you can follow what's happening on screen, and made me jump in my chair a few times, visualizing I was blocking enemy strike :) That effect is something I saw in only a few series, and I personally think that this is how all fights should actually be done in animation. There might've been some inconsistencies, but it was nothing to make a drama out of - and if you look at the way they did the story, all other faults bleak in comparison.
Sounds are... good I guess. I think I heard the original music from VN a few times which is a plus of course, all of the original actors are here... I'm not a sound specialist, so I can't say much, but I have nothing to throw against sounds. I like them.
The movie actually gets A LOT better near the end, where - surprise, surprise - there isn't much plot to deal with, because for the most part it's just fights.
My opinion? Watching TV series is the least you REALLY should do before seeing this - otherwise you won't get half of the things, because they aren't explained, as well you probably won't really understand characters' motivations and personalities.
But in the end - I recommend to just go and read the VN, because there's just so much more to this story than what this movie presents. If I was to use this movie somehow, I'd cut out the fight scenes, remix them and input them into the VN as cut-scenes, and just remove everything else. All in all - considering the hype and my expectations - I am really disappointed by this movie.
There are many times in anime where I've been left dry simply because I was out of the target audience. However, there is a time, rare that it may be, that an anime is created with absolutely no target audience in question. Unlimited Blade Works is lucky that I don't consider it a movie because it would be one of the worst, if not the worst anime movie I have ever seen. Unfortunately compiling a slide show of random fights without any well established context, background information, plot, scene transitioning, and character development does not qualify as an actual movie.
First thing's first though and for
an animated film, Unlimited Blade Works has pretty poor production values. This should not come as a shock, seeing as this is studio DEEN who are notorious for budget cutting anime, but it is nonetheless disappointing. Several times through the anime there is a constant abuse of distant still shots and camera rotation. The designs were mostly alright, but the worst issues are around Archer and Shirou's UBW, and Gilgamesh's Gates of Babylon where it initially renders the swords properly, but then turns them into glowing sticks flying across the screen. Personally, this is not appealing and is yet another corner costing by DEEN.
The true problems of the movie are definitely the direction and content. Whoever thought that adapting a 10 plus hour long visual novel route, longer than the Fate route adapted in the original anime, was a good idea is extremely naive. It was clear from the onset that this movie could only ever serve to be a taste of this story to the original anime watchers, and/or a treat to the original VN players with the animation of many of UBW's few key scenes. But the execution of this entire film by DEEN was just horrible.
Frankly, for any newcomer to the Fate/Stay Night universe, I'm not even sure how this film was in anyway comprehensible whether it be the plot, the characters, or even just the action. Many of the events of the first episode or two of the original Fate/Stay Night are quickly glossed over in but a mere few minutes, and to exasperate the problem, the plot never slowed down, if even for a moment. Each new scene began with a new character showing up, followed by a fight, concluding and then doing the same thing all over again in the next scene. There was no real established context, and each fight was fought for vaguely defined reasons at the beginning of the film (That one would only understand if they saw the original anime or played the VN).
This is in no way, shape or form to show a movie. This is but a slide show of events. And what's worst, these events are not even a treat to the VN fans since they muck up so many of the plot details, that one cannot help but feel enraged. Whether it be how they disproportionately stronger Shirou is in the movie compared to the VN, the way Shirou and Archer fight, the quick conclusions of the battle, or especially the last fight in this movie, everything was so off detail from the VN that no VN player would be able to truly enjoy this anywhere near the level of their respective scenes in the VN. Not to mention that if you were a Rin fan before the movie you would have been severely disappointed by how much interplay between Shirou and Rin was cut out in this film as well.
Perhaps some of the original anime waters could have managed to find some enjoyment in this film (Without any VN knowledge), but I can't imagine it can be seen as anything but a huge fan service movie with many random fight scenes between their beloved characters. It is my opinion that no matter what, this movie has to stand up on its own, and it is clear that it doesn't.
Now before I finish, let me break down all the possible target audiences they could have went after, and why in the end, it was for none of them. You have people who have played the VN, people who have seen the original Fate/Stay Night anime, and then you have the people who are entirely new to Fate/Stay Night.
A newcomer would find this movie utterly incomprehensible. An anime only viewer would find this film extremely confusing, borderline incomprehensible as well, but might enjoy the fights to a degree. A VN player would be utterly disgusted with this trash adaption.
In any case, I think it is impossible to view this in anyway as good story telling, or top notch anime productions. DEEN is good at wrecking franchises for sure, and it seems they are no different with Fate/Stay Night.
How deep can an adaption go? How much source material must be understood and internalized before setting foot in an unfamiliar universe? How true can a work be to it's source material before becoming trite? All these questions, and countless others besides, resound from the lips of the wary furiously as they vacillate with abject trepidation. The answers:
1) Should I watch the Anime beforehand?
Yes (unless you have played the visual novel, then the necessity is subjective)
2) Should I play the Visual Novel beforehand?
Yes. Actually, just play the VN regardless. Really. Stop what you are doing, and get it now.
are the clear-cut answers to the most important issues. There are more dubious questions abounding however...
3) Why is this a movie instead of a series?
Because they damn well wanted to make it thus. It is quite useless and ignorant to claim that a series would allow to connect with the characters more, would make the plot immediately apparent, etc. Deal with the fact that it is a movie, and don't judge it as a series. And definitely don't compare the impact of the story and the characters to their equivalents in the visual novel. No amount of time will outdo Fate/stay night; it is that good.
4) Does the movie move too fast?
My play-through of UBW arc was 20 hours... not because I read slow, but because I read deep. So in a sense, the movie cannot help but move fast. Therefore, the question is stupid and infantile.
5) Are things exactly like the visual novel? Do they play the same music at the same times, and say the same things? They definitely don't change anything I liked, right?
There are good fans, and bad fans. You are a bad one. Think for a second before you whine and complain: if everything was just the same, wouldn't you hate the movie for not being as good as the VN? See, thinking helps sometimes. Well, not for you, for other people; let them think for you, don't hurt yourself.
And the questions that should be asked, but lack spokesmen as loud as the aforementioned whiners:
6) Should I be well-read before I watch this movie?
By God yes. Half of the depth of Fate/stay night is the accurate depictions of historical characters in their personalities and attributes. If you have no knowledge of myths stemming from multifarious origins, you will sadly be unable to appreciate Fate/stay night to its fullest. Topics to consider: Greek Mythology, Zoroastrianism, Medieval folklore... the list really isn't exhaustive. Learn something, and chances are you may be able to apply it.
7) Should I compare this movie to other aspects of Fate/stay night?
Probably not. Why would you want to? Comparing this movie to the anime would cheapen the character development of the former and the animation quality of the latter, for example. Go ahead if you want to, though. It won't ruin the movie for me, just you.
8) Should I watch this movie if my answers to these questions differ?
Yes. This movie is well animated with wonderful sound, an epic plot, memorable characters and a deeply introspective philosophic worldview. You can lose nothing by watching it... you just may not gain as much as you could otherwise.
What I got from this movie:
With the framework of the UBW arc fresh in mind the plot slipped into place, and the dynamism of the Fate universe was realized in stunning visual and aural fashion. The violence was more visceral, and the BGM more primordially stirring than anything previous incarnations of the series could offer. I actually applaud the musical variation from the soundtrack of the VN. The opening introduction's theme is amongst the most powerful symphonic works I have heard, and the lack of adaption makes 'Emiya' all the more powerful when it hits. The speed of combat finally matches my imagination, and heroic spirits finally feel, well, heroic. This movie stirred me down to the marrow. I was exhausted after watching it; never have I felt this good after watching a movie, then again, I was quite invested.
What I would change:
In all honesty, nothing. The pacing at the beginning was superb, and it came to a roaring conclusion. Even the extra after the credits rolled were wonderfully done. If I had to choose to change one thing though, it would be the entire anime series. Remake it in this vein. I will not mourn it's passing.
What a friend, who had never heard of Fate/stay night, got from this movie:
Everything I mentioned above, tempered with the newness of the experience. He mentioned incredible animation, stunning music, and depth he could feel, yet not always comprehend entirely.
What was lost by inadequate preparation:
Frankly, not much. Foreknowledge of the plot, and preconceptions concerning the characters.
In conclusion: Those who wish to watch a movie which will hit their primal drives and leaves a deep feeling of satisfaction should watch eagerly. Those who cannot rein in their expectancy should really quit complaining and play through the visual novel yet another time; truth be told, it is what you want to do anyhow.
Undoubtedly today is the day I will be burned alive by the internet as some kind of heretic... You are about to find out why.
I watched the bluray of F/SN UBW because I wanted to know why everyone was like "OMG UBW COMES OUT TODAY!" and, well... Watching it did NOT answer that question.
I have very little good to say about the movie. In fact, "The sound and visuals didn't suck." is about the extent of my praise. So I won't bother trying to divide this into pros/cons.
First of all, the narrative is almost non-existent. The movie is 105 minutes
long, and at least 90 of that is action scenes.
No real character development. It's obvious that the characters progress to some degree, but it all feels random and very little is offered by way of explanation.
I was going to bump it up to 6/10 overall, just for a disturbingly brutal death scene, but later disappointments made me knock it back down to a 5.
The animation and art would be high-quality for a terebi-anime, but are not good enough for a gekijouban. (Including some really shoddy CG that did not blend AT ALL and exhibited some pretty bad aliasing in a few cuts.)
I gave it a rating of 'average' based simply on the fact that I was able to finish it and didn't totally regret wasting time watching it. But it has few redeeming qualities and is otherwise SUB-STANDARD.
Fans of the F/SN franchise will probably enjoy it, but as my only connection to F/SN is as someone who enjoys another Type-Moon creation (Melty Blood) the movie did nothing for me.
So, as everyone should know, Type-Moon is infamous for having poor adaptions of anything not named 'Kara no Kyoukai'. Tsukihime's was so bad its worth thinking of it as an entirely different franchise because the characters are nothing alike, and Fate/Stay Night decided 'hey, we can't decide what route we want, so let's remove defining plot points and replace them with akshun.' I decided to ignore this and went into Unlimited Blade Works hoping it'd be okay. After all, its just one route, right? They can get the important stuff in, right?
If the important stuff is action, then they did pretty good. All the good
fights from the route are in, and done pretty well. One of my favourites from the visual novel remains one of my favourites in this movie, and it certainly is easier to convey a good fight scene via a movie than text. The sound, as well, is done pretty well, and certainly adds to these fight scenes. So, if you're a Fate/Stay Night fan and you just really want to see one fight in particular animated, you should probably watch this and get what you came for. Otherwise, its probably going to be a bit lackluster.
To make time for these fight scenes in such a short timespan relative to the amount of time the route contains, the vast majority of the plot points are thrown away to make room. This leads to the fight scenes being fairly poorly strung together, and if you're not familiar with the route (i.e. having not read the visual novel, only seen the anime, or even worse, going into this as your first F/SN experience), it's rather difficult to follow what's happening. A lot of character development for everyone was lost as well, which leads to many characters seeming very one-dimensional, even if you've seen the original anime. There are a few fights where the outcome seems highly unlikely to the viewer, and while this difference is explained in the visual novel both before and after the outcome occurs, in the movie it is simply left blank and you just have to assume the victor is more badass than you thought before.
All in all, if you've only seen the original Fate/Stay Night anime, then your expectations probably aren't too high in the first place, so you might as well watch this anyway. You probably won't be too disappointed since you don't know what you're missing. If you haven't seen the anime or read the original, then you'll likely be utterly confused, but if you like action and don't care too much about why the action is happening, it'll still be fine. If you liked the original VN, then you've probably already seen this and were disappointed and this review won't change much. Overall, I give it a 5/10 from my experience as a disappointed VN fan.
If you haven't watched the tv show or at least completed the "Unlimited Blade Works" arc of the visual novel. You won't enjoy this movie very much, since the characters have little to no introduction and the story moves really fast. It's very clear from the beggining that the plot development assumes the viewer already knows a bunch of things.
As i said before, the story develops at the speed of light. It's heavy on fights and light on background information. During the first 15 minutes, shit happens so fast that you will get motion sickness.
The plot follows the exact events of the visual novel
arc by the same name, with the exception of the hentai scenes (which have been removed) and some minor details.
It's refreshing to see that an adaptation, actually adapts the original thing into an animated movie. Instead of re-writing a great story into a incoherent piece of shit, that features the same characters as the original awesome story.
Art / Animation: 12
Don't rub your eyes, it says TWELVE. Trust me, the animation and artwork you will see in this movie, makes every other anime look like South Park.
I can say without exaggerating that, even when the characters are walking it looks FUCKING AWESOME.
There are a FUCKLOAD of fights, and thanks to the impressive animation and art, they all look epic. The movements are realistic, the effects of the weapons and the clashes are superb, and everything looks simply awesome.
This is one of those movies where you will find yourself shouting "HOLY SHIT!" on the first few fights, due to the epicness of what you are witnessing.
The sound and OST are very good and the seiyus did a tremendous job. The HQ sounds and expressiveness of the seiyuus, complement the outwordly animation and art to make the ultimate fight scenes.
A few thoughts on the characters.
All the characters portrayed in the movie are from the original story, there are no "let's make up a character to make the movie look cooler" characters (thankfully).
The character development is nill (save for Shirou and Archer ). Which makes sense if you think that the movie is supposed to focus on the events that are characteristic of the UBW story.
So if you haven't watched the tv show, you will have a hard time trying to figure out who is everyone.
This is a hard aspect to evaluate, since enjoyment is purely subjective.
If UBW was your favorite arc in the VN or, if you watched the tv show and thought that Rin should have been the female lead, then you will probably enjoy this movie very much.
If you are a Diehard Sakura fan, you will be dissapointed since she barely even appears (that's not the case with Saber thou).
If you haven't watched the show or played the VN, you could still enjoy this movie, as long as you are looking for a movie with plenty of awe inspiring action scenes, and little char development. I mean, you won't understand half of it, but im sure you will be able to figure out who are the bad guys and who are the good guys. So i believe you can still enjoy it, depending on what you are looking for.
A very faithful adaptation that looks incredible. Specially recomended for Rin / Archer fans. That can even be enjoyed by those who haven't watched the show (at least some of them).
I hope that you found what you were looking for in my review. Cheers!
Some guy: Hey Billy, Our cash cows are getting hungry and most of them are dying. Hurry up and finish that TV series already
Billy: We're not done yet. We're still animating the show and the voice actors are not done yet.
Some guy: Goddammit, we need more cash for the cash cows NOW!
Billy: How about making a movie based on "Unlimited Blade Works"?
Some guy: Huh?
Billy: We'll just cut some scenes and cram it all in a 90 min. movie. This should give us more cash.
Some guy: Great idea! Billy, I'm promoting you to "Money Whore Executive".
The movie is set in Fyuuki City where the
5th Holy Grail War is taking place. 7 masters are randomly picked and they summon a being called a "Servant". Servants are real life heroes from the past turned into a heroic spirit. They are summoned to serve their master. 7 masters and 7 servants fight against each other to claim the ownership of the Holy Grail which can grant any wish that the master and a servant want.
Fate/stay night is based on a visual novel video game where the player must decide how the story will go. Fate/stay night has 3 paths. The 1st path is Fate, the 2nd path is Unlimited Blade Works and the 3rd path is Heaven's feel. The movie is now focused on the 2nd path unliked the Fate/stay night TV series back in 2005 which was focused on the 1st path.
The first 15 minutes of the movie, you should already be familiar with if you watch the Fate/stay night series and onward are scenes you've never seen before.
Now here's the reason why my story rating is 3. It's not because the story was utter crap. It was because they decided to cram in a 30h story in a 90min movie which obviously did not work. What you get is a complete mess of a story. Everything was rushed, there was a lot of scenes that was skipped, etc. If you watch Fate/stay night then you'll probably understand some parts of the story but if you have never watched Fate/stay night before then good luck following the story. I watched Fate/stay night and I still didn't understand the whole story of the movie because of how rushed it is.
Compared to the first Fate series which had an animation that was probably doodled by a 5th grader, this movie had an outstanding animation. The animation is actually very similar to Fate/Zero which was a TV series so I have every right to compare the animation of Fate/stay night and Unlimited Blade Works animation. The character design is also phenomenal. You can actually see the details on them and how they look is also wonderful. Saber's sword design is also very similar to Fate/Zero which was amazing. The CGi enemies are also wonderful. Except the final boss? I mean wtf was that?
The soundtrack was amazing. Especially that awesome opening introduction soundtrack. It literally gave me goosebumps for over 5 minutes. All the battle themes I have heard in the movie are amazing. It perfectly fits in that particular battle scene. Whoever composed the battle themes, great job. There is one song used in the movie. It was used for the ending credits and I think it was good.
If you watched Fate/stay night then you already know who the characters are in the movie. The movie did not introduce the characters which I am not surprised because they want you to watch Fate/stay night first. Since the movie was rushed, there was absolutely no room for them to give these characters some development. The movie got straight to the action. As usual, we have Shiroe Emiya, a 17 year old teenage boy, one of the masters fighting in the 5th Holy Grail War and one of the main characters of the movie. I kinda liked Shiroe here than in Fate/stay night because his stubbornness and the dumb things he do in stay night which I find very annoying does not show here. Rin Toosaka, a 17 year old teenage girl, one of the masters fighting in the 5th Holy Grail War and this time, the main protagonist of the movie. Her personality is the same as usual and her personality is the reason why she's one of my favorite characters. I'm not going to introduce all the main characters so I'm skipping to the servant. Saber, a servant of Shiroe Emiya and she once was King Arthur. She holds an invisible weapon and her special power (I forgot what they're specifically called) is the "Excalibur". Her gender in the past life is male and it was explained in Fate/Zero why. I liked Saber in Fate/Zero and in this movie because she's a cold badass. Not so much in Fate/stay.
The movie might have been rushed but that doesn't mean I hated the movie. The action scenes are so bad-ass and it actually shows them fighting unlike Fate/stay night which showed still pictures with some vibrating lines on the side to make it seem look like they were fighting. The soundtrack is also another reason why I enjoyed the movie. A bad-ass fighting scenes and epic soundtrack is what saved this movie from becoming a worthless movie to watch in my opinion.
I wanted to rate this movie 5 but the overall rating came out as 7.2 so I decided to go with the calculated overall score.
Overall, the movie is not that bad to watch. It's filled with epic battle scenes with epic soundtracks that will likely give you goosebumps. If you're looking for a movie with a great story then just skip this one. However, if you don't care about the story and all you care about is the sword-fighting action scenes then you might want to check this out.
I have made it no secret that I adore Fate/Stay Night [Unlimited Blade Works]. I sincerely find it one of Nasu’s absolute greatest pieces of writing. The characters have the right mix of charm and depth, the fight scenes are exhilarating, the romance (As minor as it is) is well done, the pacing is fantastic, and most importantly of all, it is the only piece of Fate media in which Cu Chuulain gets the chance to go out with any sort of dignity.
Of course my praise for this story only extends as far as the original 2004 Visual Novel (And its many rereleases, with my
favorite being the PS Vita Version… which I sadly do not own so I’m stuck with the PC Version with all of the add-ons of the PS2 Version) and the 2014 TV series. Sandwiched in between those two is a 90 minute movie made by Studio DEEN that tries to adapt the whole story.
Just to give you an idea on how terrible a plan this was, the currently ongoing Heaven’s Feel trilogy is comprised of three movies (Duh) which are all around two hours long and cover about the same amount of material and they STILL had to leave out some stuff.
This is less so gonna be like my traditional reviews and more of a critique of this movie as an adaptation, and also on how adaptations should be done in the first place, especially when you’re adapting a videogame into a movie format, as way more things have to be taken into account than when adapting into another medium, like a book, or a TV Series. I’ll also mostly try to avoid mentioning the TV Series by Studio Ufotable, so if I’ll be comparing this movie to anything, it will be to either A) The source material or B) Movies that similarly adapt videogames into movies.
To start off with, I’ll give it some praise. If you wanna get technical, this is a very accurate adaptation of the Visual Novel. I didn’t really notice any divergence (At worst they got a small detail wrong, but that’d be about it) and overall all major events are here and accounted for. I’ll also admit that visually speaking this movie is pretty good. It came out during one of my favorite eras of Takeuchi’s art style, and overall everyone looks the way that they should look like. They do make a few odd color choices (Like increasing the amount of red in Shirou’s version of UBW, which kinda lessens the whole sunset motif it originally had) but otherwise it’s perfectly good, if not great. Also, Kawai Kenji comes back to do the Soundtrack and it’s as amazing as always, so no complains there.
Sadly, this movie’s biggest sin is, ironically, being too faithful to the source material.
See, the original Visual Novel had a very much “Tell, don’t show” approach to things. The plot was moved by the inner monologue of our main character and we were often told what other characters were feeling. Now, for a Visual Novel, this is perfectly fine. They do have that “Visual” part in their name, but overall they are, in the end, interactive novels at best, thus they often rely on many tricks novels have to use in order to convey emotions.
However the problem then becomes when many of the issues are internal instead of external. The majority of personal conflicts in UBW are indeed internal. What most movies do when this happens is use a “Show, don’t tell approach”. Have the actor’s expression be more than enough to show what they’re going through. In an animated medium, you instead have to have not only the facial expressions match with what’s happening, but also have the voice actor convey said feeling.
DEEN’s solution to this is… well, you know how the movie adaptations of “The Hunger Games” had the main character constantly have a poker face in order to show how outwardly stoic she was even though she had a massive range of emotions? Well, DEEN does that, except that at least in The Hunger Games, Jenifer Lawrence was legitimately that good an actress that she could pull it off, whereas DEEN is what would happen if you gave that role to any lesser actress.
That is the fundamental issue with all of DEEN’s adaptations of Fate/Stay Night: They never truly showcase how layered a character Emiya Shirou is. Say whatever you want about the Ufotable adaptations, but at least they had the decency to often externalize most of his internal conflicts as best as they could. Here they keep everything the same as it was in the Visual Novel without any of the explanation or meaning behind any of it. Thus when there’s the big moment in which Shirou gets up and turns the tables around Archer, whereas it’s a massive moment in the VN, here it feels more like he suddenly gains and advantage out of nowhere. Hell, this version doesn’t even make it clear that Archer lets Shirou win; it’s all framed as if he’s legitimately overpowering him!
However that’s not this movie’s biggest issue. Oh no, its biggest issue is compression. See, most good movie adaptations of videogames or any sort of long story like novels or even anime series often focus on one or two elements of the source material and rearrange the whole plot so that those themes are in the forefront. The live-action Ace Attorney movie, for instance, focused on two things: Phoenix’s growth as a lawyer, and Edgeworth’s past and how it has affected those around him and himself. A lot of stuff got thrown in the dumpster fire, sure, but that’s because they didn’t matter to the story they were aiming to tell. Or the Gintama live-action movie, which basically just took a small part from the show and made a movie out of it.
Alternatively you can do massive rearrangements to the plot so as to fit the new format. The first Rurouni Kenshin movie focused on Kenshin and how he tries to move on from his past as a Hittokiri, so as a result the whole plot had to be altered so that the fight against Jin-Eh would be the climax of the movie all the while still including characters like Kanryuu and Sanosuke. Alternatively the .Hack//G.U. Trilogy movie had to rearrange huge chunks of the plot so as to make the relationship between Haseo and Atoli the emotional core of the story.
The latter in particular could’ve really helped this movie. They could’ve made the core of the story one of three things: 1) Shirou’s growth as a person and how distorted his ideals are. 2) The rivalry between Shirou and Archer and how it ultimately helps both of them grow. 3) Build up the eventual fight between Shirou and Gilgamesh through the whole movie, so as to make the final fight more climatic. None of these would’ve made for a very accurate adaptation, but it would’ve made for a good adaptation. This is why what I feel to be the best adaptations of A Christmas Carol to be the 1999 Version starring Patrick Stewart and the Muppets version starring Michael Caine, even though I’ll admit that the 1984 version starring George C. Scott and the 2009 Version starring Jim Carry are arguably more accurate (And great movies in their own right).
However this movie decides to be an accurate adaptation over a good adaptation, and that’s where it fails. For all the accuracy, all of the soul of the original work is lost. It’s trying to cram too much into too little time, without bothering with the context or meaning behind anything. Hell, the first two thirds of this movie feel more like a “previously on” segment, only for the actual movie to finally start when Archer kills Caster. Unfortunately, without the previous context, the final third just lacks any kind of impact on me. Really, this movie is all spectacle and no substance.
So yeah, I didn’t really like this movie. And with the Ufotable Version now being widely available, I don’t feel comfortable recommending it. The only thing that it has over the Ufotable Version is Nakata Kazuhiro as Kuzuki instead of Terasoma Masaki, but even then Terasoma did a good job, so I can’t complain too much. Watch it as a curiosity at best.
As the other reviews suggest, there might be many types of people watching this show, but I believe the outcome can only be the same. Let's take that you have neither watched the TV series nor played the game, because there are still too many loopholes in the context of this standalone movie to enjoy, regardless of any rules set up in the TV series or game.
As for the plot, you will not understand who is who doing what with whom unless you look it up on Wikipedia. Here I'm just going to make a list of unacceptable loopholes (which doesn't require knowledge from the
TV series or game to acknowledge) that make me so sick:
- In the first fight of Berserker - the giant Servant, he proved invulnerable to both physical and energy attacks (Archer's first and second attacks) - in other words, iron skin - but he eventually died by Gilgamesh's rain of swords, being stabbed to death.
- Knowing that a Servant will perish if the Master dies, in the first fight, instead of just attacking Illyasviel the Master, Archer and Saber threw out a futile fight over Berserker the Servant. It's not like Illyasviel has any ability to hide at will at all, even though she "mysteriously" managed to make it to Berserker's shoulder in the midst of the fire started by Archer's AoE attack.
- The main male, Emiya, is just an i-want-to-save-em-all-but-can't-fucking-do-so-'coz-I-m-too-weak(-but-still-jump-out-to-die-like-a-dog-anyway) archetype. Even after he has discovered the evil barrier which drains life energy from school students, pursued Shinji, and even when he was on the verge of death, he still refrained from calling Saber, albeit knowing that she'd be gone anyway if he dies. Silly enough, this stupid main male proved to be invulnerable, taking countless fatal wounds from being a meat shield for others.
- Caster emerged as an almighty Servant who can even summon another Servant. She appeared to be even more dangerous when teamed up with her Master (based on Archer's statement that "Caster is too difficult to deal with now") but shortly after that both Caster and her Master got killed (while on guard, not off guard) in a single blow by Archer's rain of swords.
- Archer's "cool foolishness" really bugs me like hell whenever he belched his stupid phrase "I don't like to kill meaninglessly/without gain." Because in effect, both Caster and, in a later fight when Archer betrays Tohsaka, Emiya and Tohsaka combo did come back to mess with him after being spared by him. Archer just conveniently doesn't think ahead about the consequences so that he can blurt his stupid phrases and conveniently switched between saving and killing Emiya. Or more accurately, the author just conveniently prolongs this stupid movie with his stupid nonsensical twists.
- Another stupid and convenient twist: when Caster infiltrated Emiya house and attacked him, instead of drawing out her sword or just fists, Saber jumped out as a meat shield to be stabbed by the Rule Breaker and be forced to defect to Caster's side.
- After the fight between Archer and Lancer, when Archer surrendered, Lancer withdrew unconditionally, knowing that only killing Archer can fulfill either the order from his Master (to kill Archer) or his own aim - to protect Tohsaka, who was betrayed by Archer and would soon be kidnapped and stranded also by Archer, leading to Lancer's own death. The reason for why Lancer let Archer pass and was just waiting outside is conveniently left out.
- When Lancer came to the castle to rescue Tohsaka, Kirei emerged as the mastermind of his Holy Grail project but soon he got killed by Lancer who turned out to be miraculously and RIDICULOUSly tough that he could withstand a stab in the heart to both kill Kirei in one blow and wound Shinji. Kirei was also too stupid to notice that Lancer should have vanished into thin air if he really died.
- The last events in the movie are probably the most stupid of all: After clashing swords and swearing at each other, Gilgamesh and Emiya ended their battle as a mysterious black hole appeared and sucked Gilgamesh in. Soon after, Archer, who had already died and vanished, ridiculously turned out to survive and in effect helped kill both Gilgamesh and the Holy Grail.
- Finally, the "reality marble - Unlimited Sword Works," which makes the title, has completely nothing to do with the course of the movie. In all 3 times it was summoned, it did nothing particularly in favor of its summoner and those battles always ended abruptly.
I would give this really poor work a 2, but since I don't want to make this a flamebait, I would give it a 3. Are you fine with that?
Ah the movie every Fate Stay Night fan has been waiting for and for good reasons too. This movie is not a continuation of the anime series. To make it very clear it’s like coming to a fork in the road, picking route A) takes you to the anime series which you seen or heard of, or if you pick Route B) it take you to the movie and the events in Route A) never happened at all.
Now here's some advice, to those who are new to the Fate/Stay Night Series. I highly recommend watching the anime before committing to this movie. The
reason I suggest this is simple. Try to compact a game which requires over 15 hours of play time into an hour and 45 minute movie. What are the flaws of doing that? It’s simplification. That means the supporting characters are like cardboard cutouts as you don’t get to see them much. Characters like Taiga, nor Sakura get hardly any screen time, nor other servants who in the original Visual Novel had a very lengthy screen time to learn of their plans and all their motives of doing what they’re doing and plus some of the humor that was in the route of Unlimited blade Works have been cut out for just pure action.
Story: The story of Unlimited Blade Works follows a different route to which Shirou isn't as protective of Saber as he is in the Anime. The Story separates from the anime shortly in the beginning after Rin takes Shirou to the Church. In this Movie Shirou is trying to win the war with little to no casualties. Unlike the Anime, the movie focuses more on Shirou and Rin as well as Archer. The only flaw in the movie is the simplification and doesn't nearly as much as the anime does, however the action in this movie is better than the anime which is more slow pace. The Story is faithful to the route in the visual novel and no changes are made, though the only thing that upsets me is that characters are like cardboard cutouts in which you don’t learn much about the characters in the movie as you would when you play the game. Because of the flaw I have to give it 7 out of 10
Art: The anime was made in 2006, and the artwork at the time was excellent. Four years later in 2010 the movie is finally released. So is the quality of art the same? No rather it takes its art up four notches and in top form. I applaud the people who made this and for not being lazy and slacking on the art. If need to be compare to the anime and the movie think of the anime like the original Hellsing anime compare to the Hellsing Ultimate OVA's. I award art 10 out of 10.
Sound: I made this point in my other reviews success on an anime or movie depends on the music, Art and characters alone can't tell the story. To make my point clear, put Barney the purple dinosaur I love you song in a scene in Dragon Ball Z where the fate of the world is in balance. Doesn’t work. Fortunately this doesn't happen in the movie. The Soundtrack is not as up to par compared to its anime counterpart. However, needless to say it gets it job done, not perfect, but done. Nothing feels out of place for any moment, no heartwarming moment is spoil by the wrong type of music and all is well; however it’s certainly not the top of the food chain, and has some flaws. This is the aspect where the anime version is superior. Sound I award an 8
Character: Everyone has favorite characters for different reasons. One character may be the favorite because of his attitude, another because of the jokes cause by the character, and last but not least, because that said character is Gar. My reason is different (though my favorite character being Gar isn't far from the truth). What this movie does it separates itself from the series by accurately portray the same characters differently and that they're not going down the same path. Shirou is not so protective of Saber as much in the movie as he was in the series (and i do admit that did annoy me sometimes) and this is where Shirou in this is different than his counterpart in the anime. Same goes for Archer and Rin as well as Saber, and in this movie it shows the characters ideals and these ideals are spoken through actions rather than words. However turning point to this is rest of the characters which are actually very important get very little development like Caster and her master, as well as a couple of others. Because of those drawbacks I give character a 7
Enjoyment: The only enjoyment watching this movie would be the action pack scenes, otherwise don’t expect anything else like romance and other things. 7 out 10 for enjoyment
Overall: So is this movie better than the anime? That answer will depend upon you. You are at the fork in the road and which path do you want to take? Path A which is the anime with decent actions and has a well explain story? Or Path B a movie that tells you the basic outline of the story and delivers action unlike any ever seen? The decision rests with you.
While the 2006 show was very weak, predictable and straigh forward (also boring) this 2010 movie got a way more interesting setting. Unfortunately the story was so so rushed to fit in 1h40m that to enjoy (and understand) it you really really have to watch the previous series, otherwise it's actually a pretty bad movie and I would have rated it 4/10 only because it still have a very good art, as it alone have a poor story and character development, however if you count the first TV run to fill those gaps it gets good.
Now, is the first TV series that bad? No, just
a generic harem hero, so if it floats your boat...
Alright Time For A Short Review !
(I don't know but i always sad when i watch anime's ending)
This is just a short review and please forgive me if my english went bad!
Story : As it drive you to the epicness , it shows and answered some of the questions
that was left behind on FSN series. Well, they use some of same scene a little from the series
but still EPIC. The story is all about ARCHER with his related ideals so named Shirou.What i'm trying
to say , the storyline is not same as the series.One more , sorry but i found out that was
in this movie ^^".
~I give 9/10.
Sound/Music : The sound effect for each scene is perfect ! This will help you fully
froze in front of the screen in watching it ! Although it seems there s only 1 OST
for this movie but It was all help entertaining.
~I give 8.5/10
Characters : All of the characters did their own excellence job on playing their role
and behavior . I to be honest like the Saber 's version here . She was a bit cool and
less complaining . And not to mention Archer too ! He s cool but in the end...ehehe I don't
want to give a spoiler ! xP
~I give 10/10
Arts : It really drawns well than the series . But at some times , the art don't really
keep constant but the artist have a great talent , really. The fashion were perfect too
and I really like Gilgamesh 's new hair and costumes !
~I give 9.5/10
Overall : I don't really likes to give a long crazy review but I seriously
reccomended this to be watch by the whole Fate Stay Night FANS ! I'd give a little
warning cause's this movie contains a slight seizure , so for those who don't dare of
bloods dont't watch it (although i want you to watch the epicness!)
Buy the DVD blu-ray and keep it ! By the way, You'll have to watch the whole Fate Stay Night 's series
before watching this movie so that you fully enjoy watching it without a question of :
~Who are they?
~What is this?
~What happen actually?
~Why is it?
I fully enjoyed watching this entertaining lovable movies! and
In my own opinion , at the moment this IS
Studio DEEN 's MASTERPIECE.It really shows a 2010 year's work.
I'd give 10/10 for this movie !
I really love this movie as i love the series.
It was really good honestly, some parts were changed from the visual novel, even Emiya Shirou's incantation and Rin's, the epilogue was rushed like some parts too.
The only reason why I would tell you not to watch it would be if you didn't watch the Anime or play the game because they skipped the obvious parts that happened "in between" so you would be confused by the sudden time jump in some situations. But if you are curious about then just forgive those parts because they were meant for viewers who already watched the Anime and/or played the game.
The story was a very good translation
from the Visual Novel given the time they had, even tho there is time skip you can really get into some parts of it. But since they had such a short time they couldn't naturally represent it at its best so my score is 8/10
As expected Art was very good for me, they did indeed give their best to make it as high quality as possible and depict the scenes as best as they can, I have no complaints about that so my score is 10/10
I find that the music is really fitting for every scene and if there was no sound then it fitted it too. About the sound in general I have no complaints because I didn't find any irregularities with the synchronization or similar. My score is 10/10
It was all about Emiya Shirou and Tohsaka Rin so that part was clear while you watch it but as for both they didn't really have the time since they are tightly connected to the story, some parts were hard to understand about em too without concentrating on it. The most important character here was Emiya Shirou, he was shown very good but not in the best way because of the rushing, some parts were skipped too about him making it unable to show him 100% but it got very close to it despite of that. My score for Characters is 8/10 because they couldn't depict Emiya Shirou, the main character, that well and it is a merciful score from my side.
I honestly enjoyed it very much because I knew what each scene was since I played the game and watched the Anime but the time skip was a let down on the expectation I had. But of course, it couldn't be helped give the time an Anime movie must have. My score is 8/10 because although the Anime was fast paced you could get into it and really enjoy it making it worthwhile to watch.
In the end it was a really good movie although a bit hard to understand at some parts because of the time skip but that shouldn't stop you from enjoying it. I definitely recommend everyone to watch it once, it is indeed really good and the best they could do with 1h and 45min, really well put together. My score is 9/10 because it is a really great story and they did the best you can do with what they had on hand, the only reason it wasn't a 10 was because they couldn't depict Emiya Shirou very good as a Character and rushed the story.
Well then, I really enjoyed it, you should too. Why don't you go and watch it now~?
See ya~ ^^
I must say that I had mixed emotions about this movie. I didn't like original anime much and I never played the game. What I didn't like in season one was mostly Shirou who pissed the hell out of me with his stupidity and the whole Saber/Shirou romance. Not that it was bad but I think that there was too much attention on it.
And yeh, Saber obessed Gilgamesh also was not my thing. Iactually dislike stories where everyone are after one person and where main character is basicly unbittable.
But here comes the movie with alternative story and I have several things to say about it.
not liking anime much, this movie would look bad without watching anime first... or playing the game.
Major minus of the movie is that it had rushed a lot of things especially at the begining. One moment we have Shinji and Rider meeting Shirou and Rin in the forest and then suddenly we see them all at school fighting some random skeletons. It's like if they had skiped several days there. If not the anime, I would have been lost even more while watching the movie.
Another minus just for me was the fact that my favorite servant got almost instantly killed without any background or actually doing anything.
Those things made me want give movie lower mark. However, the upcoming pluses made up for it.
1. The movie has great quality animation as well as fantastic action scenes.
2. I enjoyed this story version much more. Shirou didn't piss me off even once here, though his ideals still seem to be the same.
3. It isn't all about Saber and her romance with Shirou. The romance is kept to minimum, actualy I would call it more on friendship stage, so it doesn't get in the way of actual story. Things are progressing and other characters managed to get more background and screentime.
4. More characters got their deserved screentime.
5. We are able to understand Archer much better since he mainly is the lead character here. He seriously lacked in attention in anime series.
6. Despite still being one of the strongest servants, Saber doesn't look like unbittable main character anymore. She actually looks on even ground with everyone else what makes fighting and her characte more enjoyable.
7. Gilgamesh is not Saber obessed and has new looks.
You might dissagree with some of the pluses, but I'm sure that you will agree on majority. And to those who love Saber and her romance with Shirou, don't get depressed. Saber still had some cool moments and they did have several moments.
If not the cut out scenes, the movie would be perfect. I hope that if studio will decide to animate other routes, they will create a series version but this time with 12 episodes. Because old anime version was too dragged while movie was too short. 12 episodes should be a good alternative, or maybe 4-6 OVAs.
I am a fan of Fate/Stay Night and the Fate series in general, but in my opinion, this movie is quite bad. Let's start with the good points though.
Art: The artwork in this movie is quite nice. It's more or less what I expect out of Studio DEEN and all of the fight scenes are animated quite spectacularly. Each fight is full of light and particle effects, and it really is one of the few enjoyable parts of this movie.
Sound: The soundtrack of this movie is pretty standard. The music was there, and I noticed it was there. It didn't make me cringe, but at
the same time, it didn't particularly stand out. The only reason I rate it higher than 5, is because I sort of liked the voice acting.
Story & Character: This is where the entire trainwreck is. The plot makes absolutely no sense. At all. Now, this is the part where some might object and say that you should play the game, or at least watch the anime, first. If you haven't done either of the two before, the story just ends up being a montage of 2-3 min scenes and you never have any clue how they end up going from one place to the next. There is little to no motivation for what happens next in the story. Even while the next event is happening, there is little explanation as to what is even going on. If you have played the game/watched the show before, then it's simply a rushed recap of everything that happened in the game. This would be more acceptable if the aim was to get to a more important part of the plot and focus more time on it. Unfortunately, the rushed "quick recap" pace continues throughout the entire movie making it pretty much one giant mess. Due to the nature of the presentation, the characters also come out extremely shallow. If you have not seen the previous works, it's likely you will have no idea why anybody is doing what they are doing. Characters will yell at each other asking "When did you become like this?" but you'll have no idea what they were like to begin with.
Conclusion: The artwork is quite nice, and the battle scenes look quite epic. However, why the fights are happening, why we should care about any of the characters at all, what the basic premise even is, are all poorly explained or not explained at all. If you are new to the Fate series, good luck sorting out what is going on. Even if you aren't, it's still a giant muddled mess that basically tells you to go play the game if you want to have any idea what just happened.
I'm not going to write a really long review. So getting to the point.
Story-4- If you have not read the visual novel, then you might of enjoyed this better than I did. The story wasn't to bad, only thing that really got on my nerves was that they really didn't seem to give a time frame. Most of the scenes were messed together and you could easily think that it was all done in 2 or 3 days. In reality it happens in 10 days.
Art-9- I would have to say my two favorite parts of the movie was the art and the music which I
will get to. They did a really good job with the art keeping it flowing well.
Sound/Music-7- I'm very surprised that they didn't use most of the music from the game (they did use one track called emiya), but some of the music they did use was nice.
Character-5- There wasn't much character development. I guess that they really didn't need to. If you either watched the anime or read the novel you would pretty much know the story behind Emiya.
Enjoyment-3- Ok the reason I gave this a really low score was because they took a story line and pretty much all the details laid out and they cut out A LOT of the enjoyment of the novel. In the movie they didn't quite use all of the "shining" moments from the novel that would of made the movie probably the best one that come out this year. When a friend and I sat down to watch it after 8 long months (we both had read the novel). We tried to keep up with the movie they jumped around a lot and cut out most of the days that explained what the holy grail was (that to me would of gave this movie a lot more depth). Well I think this rant has gone on long enough, so if you really enjoyed the anime series then go ahead and watch it. BUT if you have read the novel save your self the trouble and don't even bother with it.
for fans who have read the fate/stay night visual novel, this movie would be very disappointing (except for one part)
basically the story is rushed through, no surprises there as it is a movie, and the visual novel has too much to cover, but to name the movie "unlimited blades work" would be to put into focus the main point of it from the visual novel, which is, emiya shirou's convictions and archer's convictions.
as someone who has read the novel, i can say that nothing is very well explained, even the things that MAKES the movie.they should have shown more "dreams" of archer on top of
the hill of dead bodies, and have emiya shirou monologuing what he sees, describing the true nature of that scene.
i found the revealing part, where archer revealed he is emiya shirou to be underwhelming (of course i already knew, but even after that fact, i still found it unimpressive due to the lack of buildup)
yet the biggest problem i have with this film..is the chant. they show it at the opening needlessly, and never once in the movie has the full thing been said (it has been shown yes, but i feel emiya shirou saying his chant would have been alot more epic)
but, if there is one thing i love about this movie, it's emiya vs archer..the soundtrack by kenji kawai was amazing, all throughout the scene, i was completely engulfed.
the perfect movements, the conflict of ideals, and of course, the music made that scene the best moment of the movie (though this is just my opinion)
and now, emiya shirou vs gilgamesh.
first of all, when shirou declared he will take care of gilgamesh instead of saber in the novel, everyone was surprised, the thought was absolutely ridiculous, and the reaction of both saber and gilgamesh reflected that (and it was a great buildup to the epicness that lied ahead)
i have nothing against the soundtrack played during the fight, but playing "emiya" again would have been epic. that theme was also played during the novel while shirou was fighting
gilgamesh, and it was awesome.
i have already stated i did not like the chant, so i'm going to talk about the fight itself.
of course, shirou said the line everyone was waiting for, "do you have enough weapons in stocks, king of heroes?" but during the fight, we see emiya shirou using the same weapon over and over, just like gilgamesh. the point of "unlimited blades work" was to count gates of babylon, countering a limitless number of weapons with another endless supply of weapons.
in the novel, gilgamesh constantly changed weapon, and emiya shirou constantly took the same weapon to match him, that was the essence of this battle.
the story wasn't well told, but that is to be expected since the movie had a time constraint.
the art was amazing, everything was extremely detailed, i especially love the reality marble "unlimited blades work"
the soundtrack was also nice, my favorite being the theme "unlimited blades work" (not to be confused with emiya, and kenji kawai's emiya
i can't say much about the characters, if you read the novel, you know them, and i did not find anything i had a problem with. i think they managed to flesh out the characters enough for us to know their mindset
enjoyment? there wasn't a lot to be intrigued by, until archer vs emiya, and just for that scene, i can say i will rewatch the movie again and again
overall, i'd give it an 8, though i wish i could give it a 10
This is a great watch for those who're already a tad familiar with Fate/Stay Night. As a standalone it's a bit lacking in context, but either way it'll still be a good watch. It's a simplified version of a much longer story, but it's pretty tastefully done and the directing is fantastic. The dialogue is also noticeably better then the TV counterpart (which was extremely hit-or-miss at times), while still certainly being cheesy. But Fate/Stay Night is mostly dumb fun with maybe a bit of emotional investment for some. It's not exactly the most intense of Battle Royale story-lines, but you gotta give Kenji Kawaii
(the man behind the music) heavy credits for giving the Deen series a truly unique feel for the Fate universe that was never again matched. While other Fate stories may be more in-depth with plot and characters, I think this movie has the best overall package for those Fate vibes. It's a shame they didn't make a whole anime of this quality back then. And I should note I watched this way back when it was a thing, just gave it a rewatch and still like it (while TV counterpart not so much).
If you're going to step into the Fate universe with this though, definitely watch the first 3 episodes of the original Fate/Stay Night anime first. They brush over that part in particular which hurts it a bit.