Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

Overview: The visual novel Fate/stay night has three routes, and this anime is an adaption of the Unlimited Blade Works route (original release 2014-2015).

Normally I set the audio/subtitles settings to Japanese vocals and English subtitles but I was busy doing some other things and decided to switch to English vocals and no subtitles. I ultimately watched the remainder of the series under the same settings.

Rin Tohsaka (Mela Lee)

After the fourth episode, I wanted to keep going and watch the rest, but I decided to go to sleep (I couldn't possibly watch another 21 episodes straight anyways).

20171002: Ada and I started this series today.

20171014: Today we watched the next two episodes (episode one and episode two).

20171022: Today we watched episodes three, four, and five.

20171026: Today we watched episodes six and seven.

20171129: Finished watching the series again.

First Season

E0 Prologue:
A: "I didn't know you came to school this early." As she walks away, "Was that... his way of saying hello?"
A: Ha, what weird character relationships.
A: I see, that's why she went to observe the practices.
A: An hour early.
A: Command seals are explained in the following scene.
A: Ha. Clean the living room.
B: Ada remarked how Archer was Rin's servant.
A: "Archer, handle the landing."
B: This was an amazing fight.
A: "It's her, it's the Saber"
A=20160213, B=20171002

Archer (Jun'ichi Suwabe, Kaiji Tang)

E1 Winter Days, A Fateful Night:
A: Interesting powers.
A: It becomes apparent that this episode starts at the same time as the start of the previous episode.
A: "I didn't know you came to school this early."
A: Interesting, it seems like it currently acts like a shield. B: ?
B: He unrolled the piece of paper.
A: Oh okay. Interesting. "Saber"
A: "What is wrong, Lancer?"
A: "You must be Ireland's child of light."
A: Well, that seems fair. She saved his life and now he will have spared hers.
A=20160214 AM Hours, B=20171014

E2 The Curtain Goes Up:
A: Lol. "I see, you're exactly how you look, super honest."
A: "This is not the first time I've been summoned to this era." "No way, what are the odds of that?"
A: What? I thought Archer returned Tohsaka's necklace to her. B: Ada remarked that Archer returned the necklace to Rin. Yes, in fact, by this time, Archer will have already returned the same looking necklace to Rin. I just told Ada that it was an important detail.
B: Watching this episode now after Fate/Zero makes it so different.
A: This episode serves almost entirely for background.
A: Debt? But she already saved him. Though giving him the chance to recoup is reasonable. B: I suppose she puts on a front that she's in his debt, but deep inside she doesn't want to hurt him.
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Shirou Emiya (Bryce Papenbrook)

E3 The First Battle:
A: "Time to kill you. Okay, go get them Berserker."
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E4 Finding the Will to Fight:
A: Self-healing.
A: Some more backstory.
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E5 Dancing After School:
A: Ha, he doesn't get how much she is conflicted on liking him enough not to kill him.
A: A truce.
A: I'm confused, does it matter whether or not it was his birth father? I thought he was adopted
A: "Trace on."
A=20160214 Afternoon, B=20171022

Lancer (Tony Oliver)

E6 Mirage:
A: "I am the Bone of my Sword"
A=20160214 Afternoon, B=20171025

E7 The Reward for a Fight to the Death:
A: Damn, Archer is just full of fight.
B: Caster says Shirou and Archer are similar.
B: Ada notices that Archer spoke ideals similar to Kiritsigu, and soon after, Emiya thinks of his father's words.
A=20160214 Afternoon, B=20171025

E8 Winter Days, Where the Heart Is:
A: Lol. That's a dream? I'd hate to know what his nightmares are like. Unless something was lost in translation.
A: The swap of saber and archer classes does make for an interesting story.
A: I wonder what "rider" means as a class.
A: In any case, we've met a hero of each class: archer, lancer, saber, berserker, caster, assassin, and rider. Though as we know, the assassin we met is Caster's servant, not a mage's servant.
A=20160214 Afternoon, B=20171101

E9 The Distance Between Them:
A: Mysterious priest
A: Lol. There are other ways... hahahaha.
A: Ha. Boobs.
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E10 The Fifth Contractor:
A: Damn. What a show of hidden power.
A: Confusing ending...
A=20160214 Evening, B=20171104

E11 A Visitor Approaches Lightly:
A: Lol. Rin and Saber agreeing.
A: The mixed pairing between Archer/Tohsaka and Saber/Emiya continues.
A: Hmm. Is she angry because of the mismatch between her/Archer and Emiya/Saber?
A=20160214 Evening, B=20171104

Soichiro Kuzuki (Lex Lang) and Saber (Kari Wahlgren)

E12 The Final Decision:
A: What!!! He has a servant and his servant is Lancer!
A: Hmm. He talks a lot, but it's technically his fault that Saber is in the situation she's in.
A=20160214 Evening, B=20171104

Second Season

E13 Time of Departure: (S2E01)
A: "I got irritated." (in her sleep)
A: "Now come down so I can kick your ass!"
A: King of Caucas. His daughter.
A: Obviously he has some sleight of hand or plan in mind.
A: "I always side with the most powerful." I don't believe his words.
A: I wonder if they'll be able to switch at some point. Saber matched with Rin and Archer matched with Emiya.
A: Oh, that's what got me confused in E2: he somehow has a pendant just like the one she has.
A: Rin...
A=20160214 Evening, B=20171108


E14 The Princess of Colchis: (S2E02)
A: It seems the priest also concealed his Lancer servant in the past
A: And that caster was just as wicked in the past.
A=20160214 Evening, B=20171108

E15 A Battle of Legend:
A: So Berserker is Hercules.
A: Damn, that makes the other guy seem overpowered.
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E16 Winter Days, The Form Wishes Take: (S2E03)
A: You can't save other people if you're dead...
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Gilgamesh (David Vincent)

E17 The Dark Sword Bares Its Fangs: (S2E04)
A: Rin reveals cryptic information about the pendant.
B: Shirou after Rin gives information basically responds with "Cool. Thanks for this information I don't understand. Let's go."
B: I told Ada this, and she said she didn't understand the implication of the amulet. I told her they would eventually tell the viewer.
A=20160215 AM Hours, B=20171113

E18 The Beginning of the Circle: (S2E05)
A: "I am... the Bone of my Sword."
A: "Trace on." - Archer
A: Hmm, Archer talks about mana. I wonder if Rin could transfer her mana. I thought that was her abilities.
A: Ah okay, or that. Lol. Partial points for believing in the switch in E13.
B: Apparently Shirou already suspected from Day 1...
A: "What did you and Rin do to secure his allegiance. What manner of spell did you use?"
A=20160215 AM Hours, B=20171113

A: Hmm... but then what was Emiya's catalyst for Saber? [This is alluded to in E20, but I looked it up and found a thread which answers the question, possibly with spoilers]
B: I'm not sure I understood before, but today I realized that Archer said the amulet was Rin's catalyst for summoning him [the above comment seems to suggest I understood, but I don't remember understanding, haha]
A: So it's the case that Archer took the amulet from Emiya? [20171120: This comment suggests I didn't understand what was going on; Rin saves Emiya, drops the amulet, Emiya keeps the amulet (forever), becomes a heroic spirit, gives Rin his amulet]
A: "Ahh... sorry about that. I meant to say stop but I punched you instead."
A: Whoa. I didn't see that coming. (@7:45, after he says that's what Shirou Emiya wanted to be)

Illyasviel von Einzbern (Stephanie Sheh)

A: Unfortunately, as far as I could tell, this doesn't seem to be a circular storyline... at least yet. [20171120: Because he doesn't seem to indicate that he's already been approached by his former self in his own lifetime]
A: Assuming a single timeline, asking his previous self to commit suicide would be paradoxical. [20171120: And yet the plot refers to Heroic Spirits being timeless.]
A: If it's a different version of Shirou, then there's no guarantee his fate is the same as Archer's source of Shirou. [20171120: This would, in fact, suggest different timelines.]
A: "Trace." "On."
A: "Do you think you can keep up with my Blade Works?" Hmm. It doesn't make sense why an experienced version of Emiya would lose to his former self.
A=20160215 AM Hours, B=20171119

A: Oh I see, right, he's running out of mana.
A: Bam!
A: "Ha, silly girl. Come find me again when you're older."
A: I still cling onto the notion that Lancer is giving Emiya the right inspiration (perhaps Tohsaka).
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A=20160215 AM Hours, B=20171120

A: Lol, Emiya wouldn't even have known if Tohsaka didn't let on that the dream was a secret. He doesn't even recognize himself? Hahaha. B: Unless that boy wasn't him?
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B: Something about a bird and then a lion.
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B: How is Archer alive? [Various theories exist]
A: Nice arm cut. What a fight.
A, B: Haha. "Go ahead a cut your arm, but first take a step to the right."
A: "That guy. Always showing off."
A: "Damn it. I didn't even get a chance to chew him out."
A=20160215 AM Hours, B=20171129

E25 Epilogue:
A: Hmm... it might have been better not to watch the Epilogue... Parts of it were good, but parts of it felt out of place.
B: I don't understand the ending.
A=20160215 AM Hours, B=20171129

Watched (Netflix, Instant) (English vocals, no subtitles)
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (2014-2015) [bot visual novel Fate/stay night]

Relevant Links:
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (Wikipedia.org)
Fate/stay night (wikipedia.org)
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (IMDb.com)

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