Unlimited blade works
xARTURIAx’s Anime Reviews
-Gekijouban Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works-
In 2004, Type-Moon released their second 18+ Visual Novel for the PC, titled Fate/Stay Night. Soon after it’s release, Fate/Stay Night took the Japanese gaming world by storm. With its in-depth character bases and action packed plotlines, Fate/Stay Night erupted into more than just a computer-based dating-sim. Increasing popularity of the 3-route game nearly forced the Type-Moon team to expand its horizon. In 2006, a 13+ anime was released, and only a few years later the anime was scooped up by Funimation and released in the States. Thanks to the English adaption of the series its popularity spread like wildfire. The anime centered mainly on the Fate scenario of the PC game (the first of three scenarios represented by the game). Although centered on Fate, the anime allowed a quick look into the other two scenarios as well; the Unlimited Blade Works route and the Heaven’s Feel route. After years of contemplation, Type-Moon finally decided to give their second scenario, Unlimited Blade Works, an animated title of their own. On January 23rd, 2010, Gekijouban Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works was released in Japanese theaters. After 8 months of anticipation, the movie has FINALLY been released onto BluRay and DvD, nabbing a number one sales spot in the process.
Being an overly obsessed Fate/Stay fan myself, I HAD to grab a copy of this movie; not only to satisfy my own needs, but to prove to myself that a long ass scenario like Unlimited Blade Works could be worked into a 1hr 50min movie. I have to say, this movie did not disappoint. Type-Moon was able to include every detail about the UBW scenario that actually meant something to the initial plotline. Of course, if I had never played the PC game myself then I would have been hopelessly confused throughout the entire film. This would have mattered little to me, because the fight scenes were so damn cool, but some of you may be more interested in the actual plotline of the film…so in other words, don’t bother seeing this movie if you have not played the game (unless you just want to witness some great 2010 animated fight scenes)! Like stated before, I HAVE played the Fate/Stay Night 18+ PC game, so the movie was just that more enjoyable to watch. Anyway, on with the review!
Even when Fate/Stay Night was originally released as an anime series, the animation style did not disappoint. This movie only ups the beauty of the Fate/Stay Night universe. Although relatively basic, the animation style used in this movie was very vivid, and detail was obviously key. The colors were bright, vibrant, and like eye candy to those who already drool over the appearance of Saber on a bigger screen…
The special effects were a bit odd at points throughout the movie, but they still made the scenes look frikin’ awesome. Of course Lancer’s Gea’ Bolg has to light up every time he uses it, and of course the image has to be inverted when Shirou senses something amiss…but that’s just Fate/Stay Night for you. The effects are not terribly distracting, but a bit unneeded at points.
Who has time to listen to the soundtrack of a movie this awesome?! Oh…well…me, I guess. The Fate/Stay Night PC game had so many good tracks melted within it, but the movie really didn’t. I’m not saying the music was terrible, just that it was lacking in variety. If you’re a human being who watches something ONLY for the soundtrack, this may not be your movie. If you’re a normal human being, then the music comes off as a nice compliment to what is happening onscreen. The music fits well and is nowhere near overpowering. I enjoyed the music a lot, but you won’t find me putting the soundtrack on my iPod. The songs may keep your interest for a few moments, but it really is nothing that special.
Like stated above; if you have never played the Fate/Stay Night game, this movie will leave you hopelessly confused. This does not mean the plotline is full of holes ‘n’ junk, but simply summed up. The scenario was looooooooong, and I feel that Type-Moon did a great job of making the UBW scenario a 1hr 50min movie. Unfortunately, because of the movie having the rating it does, there were specific details left out…these details are, of course, the ‘more adult’ situations presented within the original plot. Type-Moon did a decent job of fixing up the material, but I was really disappointed with a few of the scenes. (CG dolphins…really? Really Type-Moon? First I had to put up with a CG dragon, and now this? Really?) Despite leaving out THOSE details, the plotline kept interest. There was never a dull moment, and every scene meant something to the initial story. Personally, I really adore the Unlimited Blade Works plotline. If this movie had really destroyed the beauty of the story, then I would let you know. This movie ruined nothing. (…but CG dolphins, really? Well, at least they kept Saber in that dress…)
Any true Fate/Stay fan should know that it is the character bases that truly make the story. The characters represented in this universe have very deep stories, some of which are still unknown. Although the movie doesn’t do the best job of representing the history of these characters (those who have played the game should already know the majority of the bases of these characters), it does give a great representation of their unique sides/talents. For those who have watched the anime, Saber is still Saber, Archer is still Archer, etc…but the movie reveals more about each character that you may have not known before. Unlike the anime, the movie centers on Rin being the main female character. I’d have to say that Archer is really the main protagonist in this movie, which will come to you as a bit of a shock. The characters in the movie are different from their anime counterparts, but still very similar. This twist makes this movie that much more enjoyable.
The voice acting is EXACTLY the same as the anime…which is fantastic! I’m very glad Type-Moon was able to pull all the old voice actors back for another go. Emotion is all perfectly portrayed, and the voices are just so cool!! Ayako Kawasumi has always been Saber, and if they had changed that, I would have been severely disappointed. Having the same cast made the movie just that more personal. I have no complaints about the casting job.
Gekijouban Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works will not disappoint fans of the Fate/Stay Night universe. The movie is beautifully animated, brings back all the characters we originally fell in love with, and leaves out little detail. Although not a great movie to watch without any background knowledge of the series, it will still please anyone who just wants to see what the series has to offer. Fate/Stay fans go watch it, even if you have yet to play the game. If you love the original anime, you will enjoy this movie. If you’re not a fan of watching a movie in its raw Japanese form, then feel free to wait, but do watch it. Do not let this movie slip away into the background, even if it only appeals to Fate/Stay fans. The movie is great, the scenario is great, just watch it.