This Review is written in the perspective of an Anime only viewer thus far.
The overarching story of the Visual Novel is absent from this Review and is solely based upon Ufotables adaptation.
At the end of Unlimited Blade Works we were left with a rather monotonous and filler-full episode.
Season 2 kicks off with a rather hefty amount of character development and back story to further develop the overarching story as a whole.
It's clear and concise, and creates a competent understanding of who the characters are, and what their motives are for.
The first few episodes might be slow, but they are certainly important.
The story unveils some major plot events that are fundamental to the story. We begin to understand the backgrounds and motives of several characters; most notably Caster, Archer and Ilya, which were absent from the first season.
My thoughts on the story, are for the most part positive; It introduces us to some more serious themes, which seemed lacking in the former part of the show. The first season felt more Slice of Life esque between Emiya and Rin, and the fidelity they felt towards each other. The second season instead begins to dive deeper, and starts to unravel the hidden subtleties that the viewer may not have initially picked up on during the first season, such as Rins Locket.
This suspense and tension keeps the viewer intrigued for what events are inevitably to be revealed. The first few episodes build up a lot of tension, the pay-off created in the end, is done astoundingly well.
The art is largely the same as the first season, some scenes are noticeably jaw-dropping in terms of animation quality. These captivating scenes are especially apparent in Episode 16. You can't help but squander over the imaginative and creative landscapes that ufotable seem to create so consistently. The amount of detail put into the scenery is beyond staggering, showing that ufotable know how to correctly use their time and resources effectively.
The battle scenes, albeit few have truly piqued in terms of raw animation quality, which have been crafted even more beautifully than its predecessor.
One thing that I couldn't quite get to grips with art-wise, was Emiyas expressions. I don't know whether it's just me. but they seem rather over the top at times, or at the very least out of place. Perhaps this is just my opinion, but i'll let you decide for yourself.
When it comes to the Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks, the soundtrack is remarkable in many different ways. The music creates a certain ambience in the right moments; whether it be tension and anger during fight scenes, or calm and melancholic music during sad and painful scenes, the music seemingly accommodates the pacing and rhythm of the anime tremendously well.
Another great quality about the Fate/Series that is very apparent in the Second Season is the Opening and Ending.
Brave Shine sung by Aimer, balanced with the amazing art and production during the opening creates an unprecedented raw amount of hype and excitement. The music corresponds with the animation creating a humongous amount of anticipation for what is to come in the current episode.
The ending decides to take a more melodic and soothing approach, Ring Your Bell sung by Kalafina is certainly a great track in its own right, and I appreciate how Ufotable decided to create an entirely different animation sequence at the end of Episode 15. Having said that I prefer more rock-eccentric music when it comes to the Fate Series, but that's a personal preference and the ending should be interpreted in anyway you see fit.
The Characters as previously mentioned have received a tremendous amount of development and back story, Emiya and Rin seem to have taken a backseat in terms of development. Probably because the first season was on the most part, focused heavily on the Rin and Emiya relationship.
Regarding characters, more specifically Ilya and Archer; They both receive a lot more explanation and helps the viewer obtain a greater understanding of their ambitions and motifs for fighting, they dedicate episodes to explaining what has happened after the Fate/Zero story.
Archer has been given a more competent reasoning behind his morals, and hints towards his goals of entering the grail war, a lot of plot twists occur due to Archer, and keeps the viewer guessing at what he's planning.
My enjoyment of the series thus far has been on the status of "elated," Many aspects of the franchise that viewers have come to love have been brought back; from the animation and sound, to the story. Fate is back, and it's definitely in full force.
If you haven't already deciphered what I have been saying for the last few paragraphs, I will summarise it in a few words; Go watch it right now.
Thank you for taking the time to read my Review, I hope my opinion and standpoint helps you create an informed decision! If you have any questions please don't hesitate to question me on my profile.
*Revisions made 26/04/2015 21:35*
*Revisions made 02/05/2015 20:12*