Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works Episode 17 (It’s time for a Showdown!)
So, yeah, the most serious of shit goes down. Why is it I always get the big battle and turns this time around? *Shrug* But yeah, there’s alot of cool stuff to talk about and this episodes gonna be one of my fave’s this season.
We have Caster and Kuzuki, which I do like. Its almost like Caster has two different selves; one where she’s the haughty,manipulative witch that most see, and then when she’s with Kuzuki alone, and she’s far more subdued, calm and almost submissive. They have a strange chemistry that works, even as Kuzuki seems to have no emotions or expressions. Which leads me to the first treat we get this episode, a glimpse into Kuzuki’s backstory.
He was taken, trained for war, and sent to serve, but killed, only because he was ordered to. He didn’t have any attachment or investment, he just killed them, and when he did, he ceased to see himself as a human. He lost any desires a normal person possesses, and even the desire to have desire. He has become an empty sort of person, with the only desire coming…from wanting to grant Caster her wish. This is not very much, but it is interesting, especially when you put it in perspective with other characters, like Shirou. Shirou has no internal desire, and doesn’t really focus on himself at all, so he’s taken to focusing entirely on helping others, to fill the void he fills in his own existence. Kuzuki is a dark mirror to him, having himself no desires and disconnected, and only fueled by a desire not his own. Both have traumatizing pasts that led them to this state, and no personal interest in the grail itself. It adds a whole new dimension to Kuzuki and how he fits in terms of the story.
But enough about that, there’s a fighting to do. We got Archer vs Lancer, Kuzuki vs Shirou, and Caster vs Rin. Place ya bets folks!
We focus on Lancer and Archer and HOLYSHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTT
You know how amazed and awestruck I was at the fight in episode 0?
FUCK THAT NOW THIS MAKES IT LOOK LIKE SHIT!!
Of course, there’s a very good reason for this. Lancer was forced to hold back on their first encounter, and Archer likely held back at least somewhat to protect Rin, but of course now, they’re going all out and it is EPICLYGLORIOUSTASTIC.
Lancer has earned all of the cool points here. I’ve only seen him from the Deen anime (in which he’s barely in it) and Carnival Phantasm (where he is a joke) so seeing him being at his best is just glorious. He’s kicking Archer’s ass so hard, and he’s shown he’s just a badass and a super cool guy. Like, its amazing how he fights, moves, it all seems to work. His blue tights are actually kinda awesome now. Especially his freaking finisher.
He throws his Noble Phantasm, Gae Bolg, and its basically made to be an instant kill weapon. Archer’s like “dodging is pointless, I need to block it.” So he summons FUCKING AJAX’S SHIELD TO BLOCK THE ATTACK!!!
AND THE SPEAR TEARS THROUGH EACH OF ITS BARRIERS IN SUCH A FUCKING MASTERFUL MANNER!!! AND CREATES SUCH A BADASS EXPLOSIOOON!!!!
And Archer’s freaking gotten his ass handed to him. However, as they’ve fought, Lancer’s been figuring out something…this was likely Archer’s plan all along. Waiting for Caster to drop her guard and vision, so he can act secretly. Lancer’s done with Archer’s bulshit and leaves, having shown he’s got the biggest swinging spear in the game and that he is THE HOUND OF FUCKING ULSTER WOOFWOOFMOTHERFUCKER!!
*takes deep breath* Anyways, we turn back to Rin and Shirou’s fight which is…going about how they expected. Neither are a match for their adversary, but both are holding out for the right time. Of course, Caster and Kuzuki don’t hold back at all, and eventually, it looks like Rin’s burnt out her steam. While Rin has to use gems with 10 year’s worth of magic in them,Caster easily counters and attacks, it looks like its all lost, until Rin shows something that didn’t exist in ancient Greece.
Being slammed in the solar plexus like a punk bitch! Rin pulls out the martial arts, which lets her smack the crap out of Caster. Its rather badass seeing her fight this way and beat on her, even though she can’t give a killing blow until Kuzuki intervenes. Its supremely cool seeing how Rin operates, and actually gets the upper hand on Caster, a mage who’s far beyond her in every level. You go, Rin!
However, with their last gambit failing, it looks like Shirou and Rin are done for, I mean who could possibly come now to…
Ohh…ohhh…ohhhhhhhhhhhh. Archer comes out, and in a perfect position, gets Caster impaled with swords, and just wrecked. His plan’s finally shown, he mad the deal to get close, come in, and finish Caster with one decisive blow. However, as she’s dying, Caster gets to show her true face, and also show her true feelings. While Kuzuki thought she wanted to go back home, in truth..she just wanted to be with him, and wanted the grail so she could keep her happiness. Its really sad and touching as, even though Caster has done so many terrible things, she did them out of a desire we can empathize with, so its sad still as she fades away.
Kuzuki then follows suit. He doesn’t explicitly say its to avenge Caster, especially because there’s no way he could. Without Caster’s reinforcement magic strengthening his blows, he has no chance against Archer. Even so, he still fights, because “its something he decided to do” and he’ll see it through to the end. He is also like Shirou in being incredibly stubborn, only he’s not the main character so he actually dies.
Well, now that that’s done, everything is good. Caster’s gone, Saber is free, and now they can focus on defeating Gilgamesh and continuing their plans for the Holy Grai-
Archer, still unbound by Rin’s will, plans to kill Shirou, now that everything is in position for him to do so. This was almost certainly his plan all along, letting hi be free of the command seals so he could kill him. However, now that Saber’s free and also not affected by the command seals, she can finally act for the first part of this season.
So, yeah…a LOT happened this episode, just…damn. Plot wise, emotion wise, action wise, it had it all. It was just crazy and I freaking love it. This is the stuff that makes this show good, and the anime has enhanced and expanded the source material wonderfully. The animation, music, everything is just perfection and its likely only going to get more awesome as the weeks go by.
Side note: For those reading who know a bit out Fate, I have a question. Rule Breaker steals the command seals of our heroes, we see them fading from Rin and Shirou and go to Caster. Now, does this mean that Rin and Shirou can’t be masters anymore since they have no command seals and thus aren’ eligible to make a contract with a servant? Or is there something I’m missing here, wherein, if you make a new contract, you get new command seals? Anyways, can’t wait to see next episode becauseI love this show so much.