Sunday, April 26, 2015
I think it is official: I am a masochist. I must enjoy pain. I like a feeling in my gut that whatever entertainment I am consuming is dicking me around and screwing with my head. Otherwise there really can be no explanation as to why I continued to watch Studio ufotable's "Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works" the kinda sequel to their "Fate/Zero", one of the best anime series of this decade.
Now this is not a review because I have not seen all of "F/SNUBW: Ridiculously Long Abbreviation" yet. This a rant. The difference is that with a review, I would have seen the entire show and come up with a final definitive opinion on it. With a rant, I am just generally pissed off, am abandoning all reviewing structure, and will just jump into my point, willy-nilly. The point I'm making is this: "Unlimited Blade Works" sucks. Technically "Fate/Zero" is the prequel to this, so that is the work you're supposed to experience second. But that's not how I did it, because "Fate/Zero" was awesome and I never would be interested in this whole franchise otherwise. As somebody coming from "Fate/Zero" - not somebody who has played the original hentai game this now-hentai-less show is based on - this has been an awful sequel. I should have dumped this episodes ago and never written anything at all (I held myself back for a long time before this, too). But here I am, still chugging along, trying my best to find a silver lining.
Here's some positives: "Unlimited Blade Works" is probably the biggest blockbuster of an anime series ever released. The anime is stellar across the board. Any one screenshot from this show is cinema-quality. Action-wise too "Unlimited Blade Works" is fantastic. "Fate/Zero" is clearly blown out of the water in terms of fluidity of movement, expense in individual fight scenes, and definitely in background drawings, which are gorgeous beyond even Miyazaki at some points. However "UBW" will never manage to surpass the final climatic fight of Kiritsugu vs. Kotomine (spoilers) from "Zero", which is currently a good candidate for being the greatest single fight scene in anime history. Here's why: no matter how much money you pour into your animation, you cannot replicate the emotions and build-up that "Zero" had to create that fight. Because "UBW" just does not have those sorts of characters, does not have those emotions, and instead is mostly the tale of a high school dimwit and his bitchy girlfriend.