Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works Cover Art
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works Cover Art

Overview

The general plot of Fate/UBW is that there are seven masters who each control a servant and they all battle it out over the Holy Grail.  These masters are mages and their servants are the spirits of heroes from myths and legends.  There are seven classes of servant, one for each that is summoned.

These classes are: Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Caster, Assassin, and Berserker.

While Fate/UBW was good, there are still some major complaints I have with it, and these may just apply to the Fate series as a whole.

The first issue is that it feels like it drags on for too long at times.  This is a two season anime, but I really felt like everything could have been wrapped up neatly in only one 12 episode season.  Sure you wouldn’t have as many twists and turns in the plot, but for the most part those felt very predictable and so I don’t think I would be missing out by shortening it all.

The second issue I have is with the plot.  The show sets up some general rules and guidelines that it’s going to follow, but then breaks them and does something different.  Unfortunately, to fully explain this we’ll have to go into what I would call mild spoiler territory.

**Spoilers Ahead**

Plot Discrepancies

Originally I was planning to make a chart of all the servant classes and who the servants were that were summoned into each one, but I’ve decided that spoiling the servant’s names is too much.  Instead, we’ll just take a look at how Fate/UBW goes against this idea of one servant per class.

Saber, Lancer, Rider, Caster, and Berserker are all fine and good.  The issue classes are Assassin and Archer.

First, Assassin.  There is no real Assassin class servant in Fate/UBW.  Instead, Caster summons a servant of her own which is the Assassin class and that one replaces the would-be Assassin.  It was mentioned that this summoned Assassin was not the real one, but the real one never did show up.

Saber vs. Assassin
Saber vs. Assassin

While the issue with Assassin is that there is no real Assassin, the Archer class has the opposite issue.  There are, in fact, two different Archer class servants at the same time.  So if the real Assassin couldn’t be summoned because there was already a fake Assassin, then how could a second Archer be summoned while there was already a first?

I know they gave some explanation of these things in the show, but none of the explanations really made enough sense to the point where I could suspend my disbelief.

Conclusion

Originally I had actually dropped this anime a few episodes in, but I ended up giving it another shot since so many people like the Fate series.  However, while I had some pretty major issues with Fate/UBW, it was still a good anime with a good soundtrack and some pretty good animation.  All of this together makes Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works a 7/10.

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