Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower

Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower

Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven's Feel - I. Presage Flower anime movie cover art
Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower

Movie Overview

Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower ( 劇場版「Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] Ⅰ.presage flower」) is the first in a trilogy of Heaven’s Feel movies from the Fate series. And since Heaven’s Feel is an alternate route to Unlimited Blade Works, this review is going to feature major spoilers for both.

Fate/stay night is broken into three main routes: the Saber route, the Rin route, and the Sakura route. The original Fate/stay night (which nobody ever recommends anyone watch) is the Saber route, Unlimited Blade Works is the Rin route, and Heaven’s Feel is the Sakura route.

That basically just means that they all feature the same servants, characters, and initial plot before they split off. And then there’s also Fate/Zero, which is the prequel to the Fate/stay night routes, and Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya, which is an alternate universe version of the Fate/stay night routes.

Rider from the anime movie Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven's Feel - I. Presage Flower
Rider

It’s no secret that I really like the Fate series as a whole. But although I like it, I do recognize that it often has problems in the writing department. For example, in every single Fate anime I can think of (except maybe Prisma Illya), the rules which are set up at the start are broken.

And while this route seems to have some of the same rule breaking as Unlimited Blade Works, so far the writing has been good. Prisma Illya probably has the best writing of all the Fates, but from just this first movie, Heaven’s Feel might surpass it.

Also keep in mind that Heaven’s Feel simply looks the best (because it’s a movie). It has great art and a lot of really great animation.

Differences from Unlimited Blade Works

This is where a lot of the spoilers for both Heaven’s Feel and Unlimited Blade Works are going to come into play. I won’t spoil the true names of the servants (yet), but I will be spoiling what happens to them.

So right from the beginning we skip over the initial fight between Lancer and Archer. That’s not too big of a deal though considering this movie basically assumes you’ve already seen it in Unlimited Blade Works. However, all the fights after that are a bit different — and I’m sorry if I get anything wrong, because I haven’t seen Unlimited Blade Works in years.

One of the unfortunate changes is that Assassin (fake) is immediately killed by Assassin (true). Assassin (fake) vs. Saber was one of the great fights from Unlimited Blade Works, and we miss out on that here. Further, Caster is also taken out by Assassin (true) right away.

Lancer vs. Assassin from the anime movie Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven's Feel - I. Presage Flower
Lancer vs. Assassin

Rider’s fate isn’t all that different in this movie compared to Unlimited Blade Works. She’s still defeated relatively easily, but in this route she was defeated in record time (1 hit). The part which hasn’t been explained yet, though, is how Rider manages to come back at the end of the movie after we see her body fade away.

My prediction is that Sakura somehow summoned her this second time around, but that would also be a major breach of the rules.

And the final servant to be defeated within this first movie is Lancer, who’s defeated by Assassin (true) with the help of some sort of “void being.” This movie also skips over how Kirei Kotomine acquired Lancer, so I had to look that part up because I knew he wasn’t Lancer’s original master.

Oh, and I guess another major difference is that Saber Alter shows up at the end of the movie, but I’ll discuss that more in my review of movie two.

From a Fate/Grand Order Perspective

I’ve been playing Fate/Grand Order since it released internationally back in 2017. And because of this, I often view these Fate anime through the lens of Fate/Grand Order — with class advantages, servant stats, and servant abilities.

From this point of view, I think it’s fairly safe to say that Cú Chulainn (Lancer) is the strongest servant in the Fate/stay night routes. But I guess Artoria Pendragon (Saber) would technically be stronger because she has class advantage and Cú’s “Protection from Arrows” skill only stops projectiles in the anime unlike the game.

But, what does all this mean for the other fights which we see in this movie? I think the fight which makes the most sense was Artoria vs. Medusa (Rider), in which Medusa was destroyed easily. Let’s face it, Artoria is a good servant while Medusa really isn’t.

Saber Alter from the anime movie Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven's Feel - I. Presage Flower
Saber Alter

Hassan of the Cursed Arm (Assassin (true)) vs. Sasaki Kojirou (Assassin (fake)) is a pretty even match up as far as I’m concerned. However, I’d give Sasaki the edge because he can ignore Hassan’s evasion. But once we get to Hassan vs. Medea (Caster), there’s no doubt that Medea would win the fight.

And even if Medea somehow lost to Hassan (as she did in the anime because Hassan took her master hostage), again there’s no way Hassan would defeat Cú. As every Fate/Grand Order player knows, Cú is unkillable.

I guess the idea here is that Hassan’s instant death effect on his Noble Phantasm went into effect. But Cú has a guts skill in “Battle Continuation” which should keep the instant death effect from actually killing him. So there’s no way he would actually lose to Hassan, especially if we’re considering the fact his own Noble Phantasm can hit through evasion (eventually).

Basically what I’m saying is that Hassan is the worst servant in Heaven’s Feel (except for maybe Medusa), and yet he’s somehow already defeated three servants he should have lost against.

Conclusion

Overall, despite the fact that the fights in this movie definitely shouldn’t have ended up as they did, Fate/stay night Movie: Heaven’s Feel – I. Presage Flower is an 8/10 from me. It was a really good movie, and I’m looking forward to watching the next one in the trilogy.

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