The Fate/Stay Night anime is one of my all-time favourite series, due in large part to the ingenious plot. The storyline synthesised the majority of the three disparate threads of the original game. Unlimited Blade Works is a movie that focuses just on one – something I didn’t realise until partway through – I thought I was watching a slimmed-down, prettier version of the anime series.
And it is pretty. The animation is excellent, something immediately evident from the early fight with Beserker.
Unfortunately, my grasp of the story is somewhat lost in time, and the limited duration of the movie forced the plot to move extremely quickly. Characters such as Sakura and Taiga barely feature at all, and the relationship between Shirou and Emiya receives far less development than it deserves. The villain’s master scheme remained too vague to incite the engagement I felt during the TV series, and I’m somewhat nonplussed how this less climatic storyline was unlocked in-game after the much better first one. At least this time I understood the reveal of Archer’s true identity – in the TV series I completely missed the hints and only found out about it later.
Unlimited Blade Works is enjoyable entertainment, best consumed by fans of the franchise who still remember the intricate plot.