I will clarify once again: I’m a total newbie to the Fate “backslash” series, so upon seeing that Fate/stay night wouldn’t solely focus on Rin Tōsaka like I first thought, I’m prepared to eat a little crow.
It turns out Shirō Emiya is actually our main protagonist, but the story could easily change focus repeatedly like Fate/Zero did, so I’m not ditching that as a possibility either. This was a prettier version of 2006’s adaption, with nicer graphics and colors, so if you’re a fan, don’t expect too many new touches just yet. Newcomers, welcome–this is Fate/stay night, and it’s going to get brutal (with another hour long episode)!
Shirō Emiya attends the same school as Rin. They’re not really among the same cliques or friends, so their interactions have been minor up until this point, but the Holy Grail war will likely change all of that. I mean, it’s Rin that brought Shirō back to life after Lancer killed him, so there’s a budding dynamic growing there. Most of this episode however, focused on Shirō’s daily life. He’s an incredibly kind person and willing to do a lot for his classmates and friends. He’s really hard to hate at the moment, unlike what I recall hearing about the 2006 version: “Shirō is kind of unlikable and forgettable.” So far so good though, and in fact, all of the characters introduced haven’t rubbed me the wrong way; they’ve all filled a niche that’s fitting for the story.
So Shirō is killed by Lancer, only to be brought back to life, attacked by Lancer once again, but then summons Sabre who leaps into battle against the other servant. After a brilliantly choreographed battle, Sabre senses another servant, Archer. Unfortunately, Archer (as we learned last week in the prologue episode) is under the hand of Rin, so Sabre is commanded to stop as Rin unveils herself with a smile. Naturally, that’s a lot to have happened, and allowing an hour to present all of that was a smart move. Ufotable are terrific with animation, and Takahiro Miura is a pleasure to watch direct and control the characters onscreen. Next week will bring about more action, likely more servants and masters, and hopefully some answers, but honestly I’m so happy with how this is going it’s going to be hard to only spend 20+ minutes with the series each week.
Fate/stay night is going wonderfully so far–an incredibly boastful thing to say, I know, but with 4 episodes (essentially) shown, it’s safe to say that this is being treated with the respect it deserves. It’s for fans, by fans, and not being treated as a cash-in. I will be eagerly awaiting a new episode every week, and am quite upset the full story won’t be told until summer 2015.
[A few people here and on Twitter have informed me that the visual novels are pretty easy to get through and can help tell the story in advance, but I simply haven’t the time to devote to it with the current workload I have at the moment. I will happily watch and write about Fate/stay night every week, and enjoy it, hate it, praise it, whatever needs to be done, but I truly do thank you for the suggestion on how to experience it.]