Anime Reel – Anime & Manga TV News

Fate/stay night – Unlimited Blade Works Preview

Posted on: November 18, 2009

Saber, the most popular character from the series by far. Fate/stay night is a tricky topic to talk about, because it comes with so much baggage from its days as a visual novel. The novel was a vast work, epic in scope and packed with emotional and moral punch that made it a runaway hit among Japanese gamers. The TV series disappointed me because of its sluggish pace, weak character development, and a laundry list of other complaints, but the new movie that comes out on January 23, 2010 has a chance to fix that.

Fate/stay night is a story about Emiya Shirou, a minor sorcerer who becomes  caught up in a war over the Holy Grail, which will grant its holder with a wish. Along with his own weak form of magic, he has the assistance of a summoned being known as a Servant – but really, most of the premise is window dressing. Fate/stay night is a look at heroism, and failure, and wish fulfillment, and the strength of the visual novel was its characterization of various stages in Shirou’s moral development, as his simple-minded morality was often put to the test in the cruel reality of the war over the Grail.

The anime was mostly a lot of Shirou standing around and being angsty, which is why it draws my ire.

The movie adapts the second storyline of the novel, Unlimited Blade Works – it’s a personal favorite of mine (though some people prefer the third storyline, Heaven’s Feel), and it should survive the conversion to a movie format fairly well. The movie, which comes out in January, is also going to be accompanied by a fairly extensive re-working of the 2006 anime series, which has a chance to cut out the sucky parts and be something much more meaningful and entertaining – though I kind of doubt that will happen.

Here’s hoping that this latest adaptation does the story justice – otherwise I’ll just have to try and slug through the novel again…

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1 Response to "Fate/stay night – Unlimited Blade Works Preview"

A friend gave me the VN once, but I still haven’t gotten around to playing it. I saw some clips of the dubbed anime and it was okay, didn’t get too into it again. This movie will probably be the nice middle-ish ground I’ve been looking for.

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