In Fuyuki City, a long-lived ritual involving battles between seven magi and their servants is taking place. This ritual is known as the Holy Grail War and it promises to grant the victor any wish. With the war now entering its fifth iteration, the stage is set for Rin Toosaka to succeed her father's legacy.
Rin wishes to summon Saber, said to be the most powerful class. But when she miscalculates and summons Archer instead, how will she fare in the battles that lie ahead of her?
BIT OF BACKGROUND
Welcome Anime aficionados! In case you’re new to the Fate series, grab onto your hairpieces because you’re in for a treat. We’re delving into the world of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works Prologue today. Just to bring you up to speed, the Fate series pivots around the Holy Grail War – a battle royale which involves seven mages, each summoning a heroic spirit (Servant) from history or mythology, battling it out for the almighty Holy Grail, which holds the power to grant any wish the winner desires.
Unlimited Blade Works Prologue gives a refreshing new take on Fate/stay night’s Holy Grail War. The story steps away from the usual protagonist, Emiya Shirou, and instead, whimsically focuses on Rin Tohsaka, a gifted and determined mage. Rin summons her Servant, Archer, even earlier than she intended, just days before the onset of the War. Archer is an enigmatic and headstrong warrior, with no recollection of his past, yet possesses immense skill and charisma.
We’re kicking off with a bang as this anime takes a noble gamble by sidestepping the primary hero to explore and delve into the character of Rin Tohsaka. Ufotable, the production studio, flourishes the character of Rin incredibly well. She is a strong, independent, and determined mage, contrastingly layered with a soft-hearted and compassionate side. The dynamic between Rin and Archer is absolutely intriguing, a combination of tireless quibbling and genuine respect.
Visually, the anime is spectacular! Ufotable’s uncommon attention to detail, coupled with wow-worthy action scenes – we’re talking about cinematic-level scenes – sets a high benchmark for an anime series. The animation is fluid, the special effects are on point, and the character design is exquisite, which engrosses you into the narrative, artistry, and overall atmosphere of this anime.
Audio direction accompanies the visuals immaculately. The music fits the scenes perfectly, elevating every element in a scene whether it’s an epic battle or a casual dialogue. The exceptional sound effects should also be mentioned. Whether it’s the clashing of weapons or the incantation of spells, the creators ensured the anime music isn’t just background noise, but an integral storytelling tool.
As for the storyline, the Unlimited Blade Works Prologue graciously ticks all the boxes: amazing action, drama, thriller and interesting character dynamics. The shift in perspective by focusing on Rin and her servant Archer is intriguing, it gives viewers a deeper sense of the overarching plot that we’ve seen in “Fate/stay night”.
For those undecided on whether to rent, buy or stream, I say go ahead and dive right into Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works Prologue. This anime delivers a wonderful blend of well-developed characters, epic battles, mind-blowing animation, and dramatic storyline. Consider streaming or buying if you’re prepared for some heavy premium quality watching. If you’re a fan of the Fate series this is definitely a must-have for your collection, so consider it an investment. And for the causal viewers, believe me, this action-packed ride is worth every penny to rent!
While there is quite a bit of lore and history involved, newbies can still very much enjoy it. However, a little precursor study might be needed to fully understand the context. All in all, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works Prologue fills you with a sense of admiration, charm, excitement, and urgency that leaves you wanting more. This isn’t just another installment in the Fate series but a triumphant piece that stands proud amongst the others.
Stay tuned for more reviews savvy seekers of anime. I’m The Anime Critic, signing off now, till our next journey through the dazzling world of anime!
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