Posted January 13, 2012 by Elaine Cepeda in Anime/Manga

Anime Review: Unlimited Blade Works

Title: Fate/stay night: UNLIMITED BLADE WORKS

Aired: January 23, 2010

Genre/s: Action, Supernatural, Fantasy


An alternate retelling of the main plot with Tohsaka Rin as the main female character. It delves more on Shirou’s destiny and his connection with Archer.


With the success of the visual novel Fate/Stay Night, they made an adaptation of the second route of the game and thus, the Unlimited Blade Works. It may seem like the Fate/Stay Night anime with some alterations in the sequence of events. For someone who hadn’t played the game but had watched the anime, this is quite confusing at first. It’s been a while since the last time I’ve watched the anime so I can barely grasp what is happening. But then, the differences from the series are quite evident that made me realized this one will go on for a different route.

Although it may appear almost the same as Fate/Stay Night, their main distinction lies on their aim. While the series focuses more on the destruction of the Holy Grail to stop the war, Unlimited Blade Works concentrates the relationship between Archer, Rin, and Shiro, and Shiro’s fate.

The main problem in this movie is the plot. The basic points remain but the entire plot has lots of loop holes. If by any chance someone will watch this without any idea about the game nor the previous anime, they’ll most probably be at lost on what is happening. It relies more on the knowledge from its predecessors. This results to a lot of unexplained happenings and appearances in its 1 hour and 40 minutes air time. There is a very futile attempt to explain the background of the story at the start but does not help in clarifying the loop holes presented in the storyline.

Given the time constraint, the lack of development is not only limited in the story but also in its characters. Personality-wise, they are rather weak. They do not bother to offer some brief backstory for the characters or perhaps their main purpose in the entire story. The latter is mostly for the supporting characters who are just there, without any reason other than to act as a villain. Period.

Fans of action-packed series will love the fight scenes in UBW. There is fighting, scenes after scenes…and after scenes. It’s as if 80% of the movie is action scenes. It’s rather cool and made it fast-paced, though. Indeed, battle scenes are enjoyable. But at some point, it is rather drawn out. Some battles are a little too long and unnecessarily dramatic. Not to mention, we do not get to see some of the signature moves of the servants.

The movie looks really good with its awesome animation. Compared with the series, the background is a lot more vivid and detailed. For instance, there is a distinct feature of Archer’s world to that of Shirou’s. The characters, though look the same, appears to have a sharper appearances which helps a lot in appreciating the battle scenes.

While it is a decent action-packed movie, it is far from being the best one. The high-end animation and good set of songs balances the so-so storyline. I had lots of expectation from this but after I finished watching, it was a let-down. It was lacking on some part that really disappointed me. So I wouldn’t really recommend this unless you’re a HUGE fan of this franchise.

Elaine Cepeda