Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

9 December 2014: ufotable's Fate/stay night would be a lot better if it wasn't for Fate/stay night

Saber works better as a supporting character than as a lead.

I'm not entirely convinced Fate/stay night needed a remake. Whipping boy Studio DEEN's first adapted this TYPE-MOON game in 2006 with the Saber-centric "Fate" route, followed by a 2010 movie based on the Rin-tastic "Unlimited Blade Works" route. Logically, the Sakura-suffering "Heaven's Feel" route should be next, but it appears ufotable plans on adapting it (as a movie) after animating their own "Unlimited Blade Works" project, this time as a television series that sort of succeeds ufotable's 2011 Fate/Zero prequel.

Shirou and Rin
Your face is really close.

Fate/stay night remains stunningly popular despite (or perhaps because of) its numerous flaws. The idea of Fate/stay night is interesting, but the game itself is packed wall-to-wall with excrutiating prose, and the "Fate" route follows two characters who are so obtuse it's difficult to develop any real empathy for them. At least Studio DEEN's "Unlimited Blade Works" movie managed to make Shirou about as likeable as someone could reasonably hope to expect. (About on par with the transformations to Ikari Shinji in the first two Rebuild of Evangelion movies.) I've been told Shirou is less dense in game's "Unlimited Blade Works" and "Heaven's Feel" routes as well. That's sort of good news for the current series and upcoming movie.

Rin is frequently incredulous.

ufotable is doing a top-notch job with this adaptation so far. The animation is excellent and the narrative manages to avoid most of the problems found in the game. Still, it unfortunately follows the game's route faithfully instead of throwing out all the known problems and going its own way. A common lament among people who have played the Fate/stay night game is that it teases the player with an extended prologue from Rin's point-of-view before switching abruptly to Shirou. The story basically never recovers. Dutifully, ufotable began the series with an hour-long block of Rin being Rin before switching to Shirou. This is a move that presumably satisfies viewers who adamantly resist deviations from source material, but it's a wasted opportunity. I accept that no adaptation can diverge too much from the original game's dynamics, no matter how leaden, without turning into outright parody such as Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA, but I would be in favor of at least giving it a try.

I'm pretty sure this bath scene was integral to the plot.

Speaking of Prisma Illya, I sort of got used to Illya's mahou shoujo personality, forgetting she's one of the antagonists in a show that is pretty obviously going to have lousy fates for nearly anyone not named Shirou. We know Shirou will come out fine at the end because he's the main character, and it's pretty unlikely the anime adaptation will go all School Days on us and choose to adapt one of the Bad Ends, although, to be honest, I would be okay with that too.

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